A prominent Athens Republican has stepped down from state House candidate Houston Gaines' campaign after an Atlanta magazine reported that she posted several anti-LGBTQ comments on Facebook Tuesday, the second anniversary of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.
According to Project Q, Joan Rhoden shared a photo on Facebook of pride-themed clothing at Target and accused "homosexuals" of spreading propaganda. She also characterized homosexuality as a disease and an "alternative lifestyle," criticized a New York bill that would add a third gender option to birth certificates and a cartoon featuring drag queens, defended Chick-Fil-A (a company that has taken anti-LGBTQ stances) and said that LGBTQ people's aim is "to annihilate free speech and dismantle the established facts of biology.”
Last month the Oconee County Industrial Development Authority approved unanimously the spending of up to $375,115 on a contract to beautify Mars Hill Road and preliminarily approved up to $115 million in bond funding to Presbyterian Homes for construction of its Oconee campus.
Jerry Peterson, representing Presybyterian Homes, told the IDA he was asking for preliminary approval for the Authority to issue up to $115 million in revenue bonds for Presbyterian Village Athens, to be located on U.S. 441 at Hog Mountain Road.
He said the bonds would be repaid through funds potential tenants pay as entrance fees, through a U.S. Department of Agricultural loan for heath centers, and bonds sold to institutional investors and banks.
The Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement has issued a statement in support of Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Scott Freeman for firing an officer who hit suspect Timmy Patmon with his police car Friday.
Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Scott Freeman fired an officer Sunday who, according to witnesses and video footage, hit a fleeing suspect with his car on Friday.
An initial news release from ACCPD said that officers Taylor Saulters and Hunter Blackmon were patroling the area of Vine Street and Nellie B Avenue Friday evening when Blackmon spotted Timmy Patmon, whom Blackmon believed had a felony warrant out for his arrest.
When the officers made contact with Patmon, he ran. Blackmon chased him on foot while Saulters pursued him in his police car.
Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file
Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson called last week’s local elections—in which progressives backed by Athens for Everyone swept the mayor’s race and all six commission races—a “U-turn” in an interview with WGAU 1340 AM this morning.
Host Tim Bryant suggested that the results were “a left turn.” Denson responded, “It wasn’t just a left turn; it was a U-turn.”
Both Bryant and Denson chalked the results up to enthusiasm on the progressive side, while, as Athens GOP chairman Gordon Rhoden said in a recent mass email, conservatives stayed home.
“When you have that kind of passion from small, very vocal groups, and they organize, we saw what they did… I have to give them credit, they did an amazing job of taking over this election,” Denson said.
The state legislature’s decision to move nonpartisan elections like Athens’ from November to May also played a role, Denson said.
Photo Credit: Savannah Cole
With nearly twice as many votes as his nearest competitor, Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Kelly Girtz was elected the next mayor on Tuesday.
Girtz had received 60.5 percent of 15,720 votes cast with 20 of 24 precincts reporting and the other four partially reporting. Former commissioner Harry Sims recieved 30.6 percent, and businessman Richie Knight 8.9 percent.
Girtz called the results a continuation of the progressive wave in 2017 that swept two Democratic state representives into office in GOP districts. But Girtz also said he reached out to every part of the county during his year-long campaign and would continue to do so.
Photo Credit: Savannah Cole
Ten of 24 precincts are now reporting, and Kelly Girtz remains in good shape in the mayor's race. He has 58 percent of 4,583 votes cast to Harry Sims' 32 percent and Richie Knight's 10 percent.
The first results in District 1 are in, and Patrict Davenport leads incumbent Sharyn Dickerson 164 votes to 134. But they're from Winterville, which is probably a little more progressive than other parts of the eastern Clarke County district.
In District 9, Ovita Thornton has opened up a 155-vote lead over Tommy Valentine.
More votes in District 2 are in, and Mariah Parker's lead over Taylor Pass has shrunk percentagewise but grown in raw number of votes, from 21 to 45.
You could watch the election results like I do—alone, with a laptop and a fifth of bourbon—or you could be social and go out and watch them with a group of people you can celebrate and/or cry with. If you choose the latter, here are your options:
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