In the Loop

  • 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).


  • Frances Berry Resigns From School Board


    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."


  • School Board Won't Pursue Ethics Complaint Against Means

    Means web 26.jpg

    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."


  • Funding Restored for Clarke Middle Renovations



    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.


  • Voters Overwhelmingly Approve SPLOST 2020


    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.


  • Flagpole Ends Delivery to 'Space Kroger' on Hwy. 29


    Beginning with this week's issue, Flagpole will no longer deliver to the Kroger Marketplace located at 700 U.S. Hwy. 29—known locally as "Space Kroger"—a change that will affect over 800 readers who pick up the paper there every week.


  • Everything You Wanted to Know About SPLOST but Were Afraid to Ask


    With a vote on SPLOST 2020 coming up Tuesday, it's obvious that a lot of folks have questions—and misconceptions—about the sales tax and the projects it will fund. The community group Friends of ACC SPLOST 2020, headed by Shannon Wilder, who chaired the citizens committee that recommended projects, is here to provide some answers.


  • CVB: Visitors Spent $330M in Athens Last Year


    Visitors spent $330 million in Athens last year, up 6.6%, accounting for nearly 3,000 jobs and over $22 million in tax revenue, saving the average local taxpayer $488, the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau announced at a hospitality industry awards banquet Oct. 27 at the Classic Center.

    The CVB’s Partner of the Year was Russell Stalvey, brewery events business manager at Terrapin Beer Co. The Classic Host Award went to Jean Lord, event manager at UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, who has brought numerous conventions to Athens. Piedmont College President James Mellichamp won the Louis Griffith Hospitality Leadership Award. The CVB also honored Valencia Landry, a server at Hotel Indigo, as the city’s front-line hospitality employee of the year.


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