Blog Topic: Breaking News

  • In the Loop: Driver Injured in Prince Avenue Wreck


    Photo Credit: Austin Steele

    Bystanders gather around an injured driver after a wreck outside Hendershot's this afternoon.

    A three-car wreck on Prince Avenue injured one person and startled dozens of others on the patio at the Bottleworks—and it could've been a lot worse.

    Flagpole was on the scene, of course, since it happed right outside our office.

    At about 12:40 p.m., according to witnesses, a purple sedan traveling westbound on Prince suddenly swerved or turned, hitting a white SUV and a silver hatchback.

    The driver of the purple sedan was lying on the ground for several minutes before an ambulance arrived. He suffered a "serious injury," according to Athens-Clarke County police spokesman Epifiano Rodriguez.


  • In the Loop: Downtown Hotel Construction Accident Injures Three


    Photo Credit: Tim Denson

    A parking deck at the Hyatt Place hotel under construction on Thomas Street partially collapsed earlier tonight, injuring three construction workers.

    The accident happened around 7:30 p.m., as people were leaving the Envision Athens town hall meeting at the Classic Center next door. 

    Classic Center Executive Director Paul Cramer said he was not sure exactly what happened, but it appears that either a section of the deck collapsed, or a crane may have dropped a piece of pre-cast concrete onto the deck. Part of the deck was damaged, and a piece of concrete lay shattered on the ground nearby.


  • In the Loop: ACC Is Making Crosswalks Safer All Over Athens


    Photo Credit: Austin Steele

    Workers install a pedestrian refuge island on Prince Avenue at Piedmont College Tuesday morning.

    Athens-Clarke County workers are installing two pedestrian refuge islands on Prince Avenue this week, and similar improvements will be coming to other parts of the city within the next couple of months.

    The Transportation and Public Works Department is installing the islands at mid-block crosswalks at Pope Street and Piedmont College. They give pedestrians a place to pause safely after crossing two lanes of traffic before crossing the other two.

    "They're small, but they do provide some protection for the pedestrian," TPW Traffic Engineer Steve Decker said.


  • In the Loop: Trump Advisor Roger Stone Thinks the Deep State Is Trying to Kill Him

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    Photo Credit: Screencap via Infowars

    Carter Page—the seemingly hapless, dead-eyed and bald-headed former-Trump advisor who is at the white-hot center of the controversy surrounding Trump campaign-collusion with Russia—looks like he tried to learn to smile like Putin but can’t pull it off. Yet he continues to accept offers to botch television interviews.

    Last week, he refused to say who brought him into the Trump campaign as a foreign policy advisor on skittery appearances with Jake Tapper and George Stephanopoulos.

    Speculation about Page grows, reaching a fever pitch in former British MP and rom-com novelist Louise Mensch's explosive, and seemingly unfounded, claim that Page delivered a video of Trump making policy promises to the Russians in exchange for hacking the election.

    In conversation, long-time Trump advisor and Republican dirty-trickster Roger Stone—who, like Page is expected to testify before the House intelligence committee, and, also like Page suspects that he was the subject of a FISA warrant—told me that he also thinks that former campaign head Corey Lewandowski is responsible for Page’s presence on a list of Trump advisors—but added that Page had previously worked for Ben Carson’s campaign.


  • In the Loop: 'Progressive Conservative' Antwon Stephens Announces Mayoral Candidacy

    Antwon Stephens Tiffany Trump.jpg

    Stephens' Facebook profile features a photo of himself with Tiffany Trump.

    Earlier today, I received a press release announcing a new candidate for mayor. Just one thing was missing: a name.

    Apparently he announced on Tim Bryant's radio show this morning, but I didn't catch it. After some online speculation—Batman? "The Man With No Name," Clint Eastwood? Should we get the Hardy Boys on the case?—campaign manager April Carson was kind enough to fill me in. The candidate is Antwon Stephens.

    If the name sounds familiar, it's because Stephens—then going by Keyantwon—was involved in a controversy as the 17-year-old head of the Athens Tea Party Patriots back in 2013.


  • In the Loop: Campus Carry Opponents Plan Online Action


    Photo Credit: Poetry Action Network

    As they did last year, the Poetry Action Network—a group of Athens writers led by Magdalena Zurawaski, Laura Solomon and Jenny Gropp—is taking to Twitter to oppose "campus carry" legislation passed by the Georgia legislature.

    The Poetry Action Network is asking campus carry critics to download a sign here, print it out, take a picture of themselves holding the sign, and tweet the photo to @vetocampuscarry or @poetryaction, or email it to The photos will be tweeted at Gov. Nathan Deal all day in an effort to convince him to veto House Bill 280.


  • In the Loop: Clarke County School Superintendent Nominee Demond Means Is 'All In' on Social Justice

    Demond Means web.jpg

    Photo Credit: Austin Steele

    Means speaks at a public forum Monday night at Whitehead Road Elementary School.

    Speaking to an audience of Athens parents, teachers and concerned citizens for the first time, Demond Means, the sole finalist for Clarke County school superintendent, described himself as someone who's committed to social justice, marginalized students and raising his family in Clarke County.

    The board is expected to formally appoint Means today after a public forum Monday night.

    Although Means has been superintendent of a smaller, largely white and affluent district in suburban Milwaukee for nine years, he was raised in inner-city Milwaukee and graduated from public schools there.

    One of the reasons he felt drawn to Clarke County, he said, is the opportunity to help minority and low-income students. (CCSD is 79 percent minority, and more than 80 percent of students qualified for free or reduced-price lunches before a USDA grant made them free for everyone.)

    "I firmly believe our most marginalized children deserve the most attention," he said. "Those children who don't have an advocate in the superintendent's office or other places are the ones who need us the most."


  • In the Loop: CCSD Names Sole Finalist for Superintendent

    demond means.jpg

    Photo Credit: screencap via YouTube

    The Clarke County School District will introduce Demond Means as its sole finalist for CCSD superintendent at a public forum tonight, the district announced this morning.

    Means, a Milwaukee native, has been the superintendent of the Mequon-Thiensville school district in suburban Milwaukee since 2008. He also has experience as a high-school social studies teacher, assistant principal and associate principle, middle-school principal and human resources director, all in Wisconsin.


  • In the Loop: CCSD Will Name Sole Superintendent Finalist Monday

    CCSD logo.jpg

    The Clarke County Board of Education will introduce its sole finalist for superintendent at a public forum Monday night, the district announced late Friday.

    Naming a sole finalist is a reversal for the school board, which had previously said it would name three finalists and allow the public to question them before making a final decision.

    Here's the news release from CCSD:


  • In the Loop: CCSD Announces Location for Superintendent Candidate Forum

    superintendent forum.png

    A forum Monday with the finalist(s) for Clarke County School District superintendent will be held at Whitehead Road Elementary, the district announced today.

    Whitehead is in the northwest corner of the county, at least a 20-minute drive from the Eastside and not on a bus line. Why such an inconvenient location?

    "Much of our community has not had the opportunity to visit Whitehead Road Elementary School,  which is truly an incredible learning environment," CCSD spokeswoman Anisa Sullivan Jimenez said. "We hope individuals will come and see their tax dollars at work at this important community event."


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