COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

In the Loop

  • UGA, Clarke County Schools Will Open Late Tuesday

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    Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

    Clarke County public schools will open two hours late due to the threat of icy roads early Tuesday morning.

    Elementary school classes will start at 9:40 a.m., middle schools at 10:25 a.m. and high schools at 10:45 a.m., the Clarke County School District announced. School doors will open a half-hour before classes start. Buses will run on a two-hour delay, and breakfast will not be served.

    Earlier today, Gov. Nathan Deal announced that state government offices will not open until 10 a.m. Tuesday. His office listed Clarke as one of the counties that could be affected by black ice on roads.

    The National Weather service says black ice and icy spots can be expected in parts of North Georgia tonight and Tuesday morning as temperatures could drop below freezing.

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  • Democrats Make Slight Gains in Oconee County

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    Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton.

    Republican Brad Raffensperger got 67.1 percent of the vote in Oconee County in the runoff for secretary of state on Tuesday, up just slightly from his 66.8 percent vote on Nov. 6.

    Democrat John Barrow received 32.9 percent of the vote in Oconee County on Tuesday, up from the 30.7 percent he received in the three-way contest on Nov. 6.

    In the Public Service Commission race, incumbent Republican Chuck Eaton received 68.1 percent of the vote in Oconee County on Tuesday, down from the 69.4 percent he received on Nov. 6.

    Democrat Lindy Miller received 31.9 percent, up from the 27.3 percent she received in the three-way race on Nov. 6.

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  • ACC Attorney Says Board of Elections Illegally Closed Meeting

     

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    Savannah Cole/file

    The Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections broke state law when it went into executive session in September to discuss opening an early voting site at Cedar Shoals High School, according to the ACC Attorney’s office.

    Tension continued in the Board of Elections on Tuesday as they discussed the closed-door meeting. The attorney’s office concluded the board was in violation of the Georgia Open Meetings act. Assistant county attorney John Hawkins provided the results of the review to board members.

    On Sept. 4, the BOE decided to go to executive session to discuss “personnel matters” since more poll workers would be needed for an additional early voting location. Under the Open Meetings Act, the board is permitted to go to executive session if it involved personnel matters. However, other topics were discussed, and the personnel exemption is meant to cover discussions about specific employees or candidates for positions, not hiring more personnel in general.

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  • Athens' John Barrow Loses Bid to Become Georgia Secretary of State

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    Republican Brad Raffensperger defeated Barrow in a runoff Tuesday.

    Democrat John Barrow lost his bid to become Georgia's secretary of state Tuesday to Republican Brad Raffensperger, and Republican incumbent Chuck Eaton kept his seat on the Public Service Commission, defeating Democrat Lindy Miller.

    Barrow's loss means that a Republican will be running Georgia's elections in 2020—when President Donald Trump and one of his staunchest supporters, GOP Sen. David Perdue, are on the ballot—and 2024, when Gov.-elect Brian Kemp will be up for re-election.

    It also comes amid widespread accusations among Democrats that voter suppression efforts under Kemp, the former secretary of state, cost Democrat Stacey Abrams the gubernatorial election.

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  • Barrow Urges Athens Democrats to Get Out the Vote in Runoff for Secretary of State

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    Photo Credit: Blake Aued

    "Whoever wants it more wins," Athens Democrat John Barrow told a small group of supporters during a last-minute campaign stop on Monday night, just hours before polls opened for a runoff election for secretary of state. "We need all the hay in the barn we can get."

    Barrow is running to be Georgia's top election official, and Stacey Abrams supporters need no reminder of how important that position can be after her narrow loss to Republican Brian Kemp last month amidst widespread accusations of voter suppression and irregularities at the polls.

    "Y'all know the stakes," Barrow said. "I'm running for an office nobody knew anything about. Now the whole country has gotten a crash course."

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  • Bird Owes UGA Over $500,000 for 1,100 Impounded Scooters

     

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    Photo Credit: Savannah Cole

    It’s been four months since Bird scooters began hatching around downtown Athens and soaring through the University of Georgia campus in August as part of the company’s nationwide “University Pop-Up Tour.”  

    After a week, university officials began confiscating Birds on campus, and ACCPD and UGAPD later started ticketing riders who did not obey the law. Now, Bird scooters are causing another problem for University of Georgia officials since the company has refused to pick up the impounded scooters or pay fines.

    As of Nov. 19, the University of Georgia had confiscated a total of 1,096 Bird scooters since August and stored them in the Carlton Street parking deck. At that time, Bird owed the university $504,360, according to UGA spokesperson Rebecca Beeler.

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  • Watkinsville Hires ACC Commissioner Sharyn Dickerson as City Administrator

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    The Watkinsville City Council has hired Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Sharyn Dickerson as its first-ever city administrator, according to the Oconee Enterprise.

    “I’m super, super excited about the vision this mayor and council have,” Dickerson told the Enterprise. “I’m so grateful for the meaningful, thoughtful, deliberative process that the mayor and council have gone through to bring someone in. It’s a dream job; it’s my dream job, and I look forward to serving the community.” 

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  • Watch Secretary of State Candidate John Barrow Debate an Empty Podium

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    Republican Brad Raffensperger was a no-show for an Atlanta Press Club debate with Democrat John Barrow for the runoff for secretary of state.

    The debate aired Tuesday on Georgia Public Broadcasting. Raffensperger claimed he had a scheduling conflict, but the press club said it had been trying to negotiate a date and time for almost three weeks.

    His absence allowed Barrow—a former congressman and Harvard Law graduate—to run roughshod over an empty podium as he contrasted himself with both Raffensperger and Gov.-elect Brian Kemp, who was widely criticized for voter suppression as secretary of state while overseeing his own election.

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