COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

In the Loop

  • Superintendent Means Is Still in Office—for Now

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    Photo Credit: Andrea Farnham

    A rally for Clarke County School Superintendent Demond Means drew about 50 people Friday.

    Demond Means came to work Friday and apparently will stay on as superintendent of the Clarke County School District at least through next week.

    Means said he would resign after a contentious discussion at Thursday's school board meetingregarding the board's response to an ethics complaint filed against Means with the Professional Standards Commission, which certifies educators. The board urged the PSC to dismiss the formal complaint, but a line added by board member Tawana Mattox saying that the board would hold Means accountable drew the superintendent's ire.

    "By virtue of that vote, you don't want me as superintendent, and we need to have a discussion about how I leave," he told the board Thursday.

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  • School Superintendent Demond Means Says He's Quitting

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    Photo Credit: Whitley Carpenter/file

    Clarke County School Superintendent Demond Means said he is resigning during a Board of Education meeting tonight that quickly devolved from sedate to a spectacle.

    Frustrations spilled over when the board discussed a letter to the state Professional Standards Commission, which certifies educators, informing the PSC that three allegations of unethical behavior made against Means in May don't warrant sanctions by the PSC.

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  • Former UGA Professor Under Investigation by ICE

     

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    Photo Credit: University of Georgia

    A former University of Georgia political science professor is under investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. 

    GBI spokesperson Nelly Miles confirmed today that the GBI is assisting Homeland Security in its investigation into Jamie Monogan, who formerly taught in the School of Public and International Affairs. 

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  • Video: Democrats Host U.S. Senate Candidates in Athens

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    Photo Credit: Chris Dowd

    From left, Sarah Riggs Amico, Jon Ossoff and Ted Terry.

    The Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee hosted conversation with three U.S. Senate candidates—former 6th Congressional District candidate Jon Ossoff, former candidate for lieutenant governor Sarah Riggs Amico and Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry—on Nov. 11 at the Cotton Press. (A fourth candidate, former Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson, did not attend because of a scheduling conflict.) The winner of the May primary will face Republican Sen. David Perdue in November.

    The Q&A sessions were moderated by state Reps. Spencer Frye (D-Athens) and Dar'shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia).

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  • Frances Berry Resigns From School Board

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    Clarke County Board of Education member Frances Berry resigned Friday after just nine months on the school board.

    Berry was appointed in February to serve out the remainder of Vernon Payne's term representing District 2, in the northeastern part of the county. Payne resigned in December for health reasons.

    In response to a call seeking comment, Berry emailed a brief statement to Flagpole: "I joined the board hoping I could help make a difference, but I learned this year that I am not cut out for the stress of politics. I resigned in order to focus on my health and my family."

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  • School Board Won't Pursue Ethics Complaint Against Means

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    Clarke County Board of Education members decided last week that they don't want to pursue an ethics complaint filed against Superintendent Demond Means with the state Professional Standards Commission in May.

    The complaint—filed by a Newnan lawyer on behalf of anonymous group of clients—alleged that Means plagiarized a passage from a self-help book in a memo to staff, inappropriately accepted payment for teaching an AVID training course while also pushing the BOE to hire the company, and questioned whether he completed his dissertation.

    The PSC wrote to the school board in June asking it to investigate the allegations. The school district's attorney, Michael Pruett, told the board that PSC likely perceived the complaint as merely "local political turmoil."

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  • Funding Restored for Clarke Middle Renovations

     

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    Photo Credit: Blake Aued

    Clarke Middle School is back on the Clarke County School District’s ESPLOST project list.

    Superintendent Demond Means told school board members at a work session Thursday that he wants to restore $10 million for Clarke Middle renovations and postponing a new district headquarters.

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  • Voters Overwhelmingly Approve SPLOST 2020

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    Athens voters have overwhelmingly approved extending a local 1% sales tax for capital projects.

    Over three quarters of voters approved SPLOST 2020, which passed with 78.4% of 8,978 ballots cast. 

    SPLOST 2020 will last an estimated 11 years and fund $314 million worth of projects. Big ticket items include a new judicial center to replace the outdated and overcrowded courthouse, an arena at the Classic Center and redeveloping the aging, dilapidated Bethel Midtown Village affordable housing complex. That's in addition to 34 smaller projects, ranging from crowd-pleasers like park improvements to necessities like equipment for firefighters.

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