In the Loop

  • College Avenue Parking Deck Expected to Reopen Wednesday After Fire

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    Photo Credit: ACC Fire Department

    A car caught fire at the College Avenue parking deck this morning, but damage was minor and the deck is expected to reopen on Wednesday.

    Athens-Clarke County firefighters responded to reports of smoke billowing from the deck at about 10 a.m. The smoke came from a car accident—a driver hit a wall on the fourth level, according to Battalion Chief Jeff Reno.

    "It's still under investigation, but we think that's what happened," he said.


  • UGA Names Four Finalists for Provost


    Rahul Shrivastav.

    A University of Georgia search committee has announced four finalists for the position of senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, the No. 2 position at UGA.

    The finalists are Jack Hu, vice president for research at the University of Michigan; Beate Schmittmann, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University; Rahul Shrivastav, vice president for instruction at UGA; and Elizabeth Spiller, dean of the College of Letters and Science at the University of California, Davis.

    Shrivastav will give a public presentation Tuesday, Schmittman on Thursday, Hu on Monday, Feb. 11 and Spiller on Wednesday, Feb. 13. All four are from 9:30–10:30 a.m. at the Chapel.


  • UGA Union Defends TA Against Racism Charges


    Irami Osei-Frimpong

    The UGA chapter of the United Campus Workers of Georgia is gathering signatures online and in person in defense of Irami Osei-Frimpong, a PhD student and teaching assistant in philosophy who was targeted by a right-wing publication for online comments he made about race.

    Last fall, Osei-Frimpong wrote on Facebook that "some White people may have to die for Black communities to be made whole in this struggle to advance freedom."

    A recent graduate confronted Osei-Frimpong at a Young Democrats meeting and wrote about the TA's social media musings for the conservative organization Campus Reform, sparking widespread accusations of racism and advocating violence, although Osei-Frimpong has clarified multiple times that he was referring to the historical fact that white people have died in the past fighting for and against white supremacy.


  • Piedmont Athens Regional CEO Charles Peck Is Resigning


    charles peck web.jpeg

    Charles Peck.

    Piedmont Athens Regional CEO Charles Peck is stepping down this spring, Piedmont Healthcare announced last week.

    Peck will return Mar. 1 to Navigant Consulting, where he previously served as managing director. But he will stay on as Piedmont Athens Regional’s interim CEO until May 31.


  • Kemp Settles Lawsuit, and Athens Legislators Receive Committee Assignments


    kemp web.jpg

    Gov. Brian Kemp.

    Just before taking office, Gov. Brian Kemp quietly settled a lawsuit filed against him by a Kentucky company he’d invested in, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week.

    A consent order signed by a Gwinnett County judge Jan. 8 doesn’t disclose terms of the settlement.

    The lawsuit was an issue in last year’s gubernatorial race. Businessman Rick Phillips claimed in the lawsuit that Kemp never repaid a $500,000 loan Phillips gave Kemp to invest in Hart AgStrong, a Georgia-based seed company that ran into financial trouble after expanding into Kentucky. At one point, the company owed farmers there $2 million. AJC reports indicate that Kemp invested a total of $750,000 and guaranteed another $10 million in loans. He resigned from the company’s board in 2017 and began to sell off his stake, and now owns about 8 percent of AgStrong.  


  • That 'UGA TA Hates White People' Story Is Way Overblown



    Photo Credit: The University of Georgia

    Irami Osei-Frimpong.

    Here’s some breaking news.

    Wait for it.

    It’s crazy.

    You won’t believe this.

    An Athens PhD student has some controversial political views. And he posts them on social media.

    Irami Osei-Frimpong, a University of Georgia teaching assistant in philosophy, is well-known in Athens political circles. He hosts a YouTube show and posts his thoughts on race and class on Facebook multiple times a day.

    Some months ago, Osei-Frimpong said that “some white people may have to die for black communities to be whole in this struggle to advance freedom.”


  • Former Athens Immigrants Rights Activist May Be Deported


    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file

    Eduardo Samaniego (center) at a 2014 protest outside UGA President Jere Morehead's office.

    An immigrants' rights activist who was denied entry to UGA based on his immigration status is in danger of being deported after spending nearly three weeks in solitary confinement at a South Georgia detention center.

    Eduardo Samaniego, originally from Mexico, was the student body president at North Cobb High School and graduated with honors in 2013. UGA recruited him, but late in the process, he learned he couldn't enroll because he didn't have the documentation required by University System Board of Regents policy. 

    Instead, Samaniego studied at Freedom University, where professors teach classes to undocumented students who are barred from attending Georgia's competitive public universities. He also worked to reverse the policy that kept him out of UGA.


  • Vernon Payne Resigns from Clarke County BOE


    Photo Credit: Clarke County School District


    Vernon Payne has stepped down from the Clarke County school board for health reasons after 40 years of service.

    Payne submitted his resignation to Superintendent Demond Means and Gov. Nathan Deal in a letter dated Dec. 28, but it was not made public until last Friday.

    Payne has not attended a meeting since March, according to meeting minutes. The school district had no procedure to replace him unless he resigned, causing some concern among his District 2 constituents that they would go unrepresented until his term expires at the end of 2020. 


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