COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

In the Loop

  • Portrait Unveiled of Miriam Moore, First Black Woman Elected to Local Office

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    Photo Credit: Blake Aued

    A portrait of former Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Miriam Moore hangs in the community room of the East Athens Development Corp., a nonprofit she helped start, in a former elementary school that's now named after her.

    Community leaders unveiled the portrait at a ceremony Saturday attended by about 100 people who knew or were influenced by Moore. Known as Mimi, Moore fought to bring social services and quality affordable housing to East Athens before, during and after her four years on the Athens City Council and ACC Commission. She was the first African-American woman elected to both bodies in 1988 and 1990, respectively.

    Along with the late Jessie Barnett and Evelyn Neely, Moore helped revitalize Triangle Plaza and create the Classic Center, EADC, Athens Neighborhood Health Center and East Athens Park. The Miriam Moore Community Service Center on McKinley Drive was named for her in 1999. She died in 2006 at the age of 80.

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  • Video Shows Man With Knife Attacking ACCPD Officers Before They Shot Him

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    A still from Officer Charles Bidinger's body camera shows Officer David Harrison wrangling with Aaron Hong.

    The man who two Athens-Clarke County police officers shot and killed at an apartment complex off Macon Highway on Monday attacked one of the officers and tried to take his gun, body camera video released by ACCPD today shows.

    Police Chief Cleveland Spruill walked reporters through the footage at an 11:30 a.m. news conference.

    It shows the two officers, David Harrison and Charles Bidinger, responding to a call at the River Club apartments about a knife-wielding man covered in blood. They encountered the man—identified as Aaron Hong, 23—in the parking lot. (The blood is believed to be Hong's own.) 

    Bidinger and Harrison immediately drew their guns and repeatedly told Hong to drop the knife, alternating between orders and pleas. "We can help you," Harrison said. Hong walked toward the officers with the knife as they retreated back down the long driveway to Macon Highway, shouting at them to "do it!"

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  • ACCPD Officers Shoot, Kill Knife-Wielding Man

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    Police Chief Cleveland Spruill.

    Athens-Clarke County police officers shot and killed a man with a knife earlier today at an apartment complex off Macon Highway.

    Three officers responded to multiple calls at about 12:30 p.m. of a man with a knife who was covered in blood and "acting erratically" on the 1000 block of Macon Highway, according to Police Chief Cleveland Spruill. He added that the blood was the man's own.

    The man disregarded the officers' commands to drop the knife and began to advance on the officers, who retreated, Spruill said. When the man broke into a run, two of the officers fired multiple times, he said.

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  • Wayfair Workers Walk Out Over Migrant Camp Sale

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    Photo Credit: Screenshot via WCVB

    Hundreds of workers at Boston-based online retailer Wayfair walked out earlier today to protest the company's sale of $200,000 worth of furniture to a contractor that runs migrant detention facilities for the federal government.

    Wayfair is opening a call center in Athens next year that will employ 500 people, Athens-Clarke County and state officials announced last week.

    Despite the controversy, Mayor Kelly Girtz said he has no regrets about approving up to $60,000 in local incentives for Wayfair to locate in the planned General Time development off Newton Bridge Road.

    "I'm still excited about them coming here, but I'm also happy they have employees who are concerned about human rights violations at the border," Girtz said.

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  • Candidate Announces Run for Commission District 8 Seat

     

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    Andrea Farnham.

    Andrea Farnham recently announced her intention to run for the Commission District 8 seat held by Andy Herod since 2007.

    Farnham, a couples and sex therapist who owns the private practice Just Relationships, has lived in Athens since 2012. She is active in the Green Acres/Crestwood neighborhood association, the local Democratic Party chapter, Oconee Street United Methodist Church, Gaines Elementary School and several professional organizations. She said she was motivated to run by entrenched poverty in black communities and social and political disenfranchisement.

    From her news release:

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  • Means Addresses Chase Street Principal's Resignation

     

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    Clarke County School Superintendent Demond Means.

    Clarke County School Superintendent Demond Means was “surprised” and “disappointed” that Chase Street Elementary Principal Andrea Neher resigned earlier this month, he said in an email to parents and staff last week. 

    Neher abruptly left her job June 14, saying that, although Chase is one of the highest-performing schools in the district, Means had told her she had “more than fallen short in meeting his expectations.” Just days later, she became principal of Winder Elementary in Barrow County. 

    Here is the full letter:

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  • Home Goods Company Bringing 500 Jobs to Athens

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    A rendering of the General Time development by architects McMillan Pazdan Smith.

    Wayfair, an online furniture and home goods retailer, will open an operations center in Athens that will employ more than 500 people.

    The center will occupy about 45,000 square feet out of 250,000 in General Time, a planned mixed-use development at a former clock factory off Newton Bridge Road near the Loop. The Boston-based company plans to invest $7.7 million in the facility, described in documents as a call center, over the next five years.

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  • LGBT Lobbyist Praises Gaines' Syringe Bill

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    Shannon Clawson.

    Shannon Clawson, lobbyist for Georgia Equality, told Oconee County Democrats recently that her group had a mixed record during the 2019 Georgia legislative session.

    Clawson pointed to passage of a number of bills that she said served the interests of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities of the state.

    She included among the successes passage of a bill sponsored by Rep. Houston Gaines (R-Athens) making it possible for “syringe services” programs to distribute syringes or needles without civil or criminal liability.

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