In the Loop

  • Acting DA Brian Patterson Outlines Plans

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    Brian Patterson speaks to Oconee County Democrats on Feb. 20.

    Brian Patterson, acting district attorney for Oconee and Clarke counties, told Oconee County Democrats last month that, if he becomes district attorney on a permanent basis, he will resurrect a number of unsolved murder cases in the two counties.

    He also said he will increase the investigation of organized criminal activity and gang activity, continue to prioritize crimes against women and children, and promote alternative court programs to keep people from having a criminal records for lesser offenses.

    At the time he spoke, Patterson was chief assistant district attorney for the Western Judicial Circuit serving the two counties, but he moved up to acting district attorney on Mar. 1 when Ken Mauldin resigned rather than complete his term.


  • Here's Who's Running for Office in Athens

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    The qualifying period to run for local, state and federal offices ended today. Here's a list of who's running in Athens. (D) and (R) indicate party affiliation; most local races are nonpartisan. Asterisks indicate incumbents.

    Athens-Clarke County Commission

    District 2: Mariah Parker*

    District 4: Michael Stapor, Allison Wright*

    District 6: Jesse Houle, Jerry NeSmith*

    District 8: Andrea Farnham, Kamau Hull, Andrea Farnham

    District 10: Mike Hamby*, Knowa Johnson


  • Tony Derricotte Named Cedar Shoals Principal

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    Antonio Derricotte will be the principal of the Athens high school where he graduated.

    Derricotte, one of two acting co-principals at Cedar Shoals High School, has been named principal at Cedar Shoals High School by interim superintendent Xernona Thomas. The Clarke County Board of Education approved the move at its Thursday meeting.

    "Mr. Derricotte is student-focused and values collaboration," Thomas said in a news release. "I am confident he and the Cedar Shoals team will work very well together to set high expectations and provide strong academic instruction and support for students."


  • Early Voting Is Now Underway in Athens

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    In-person early voting for the Democratic presidential primary started Monday at the ACC Board of Elections (155 E. Washington St.) and will expand to four other locations later this month.

    Office hours are 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for Wednesday, Mar. 18, when the office will stay open until 7 p.m. The Board of Elections will also be open from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday, Mar. 14 and 1–5 p.m. Sunday, Mar. 15.

    The week of Mar. 16–20, voters can also cast ballots at the ACC Library (2023 Baxter St.), the Cooperative Extension Office (275 Cleveland Road), the Miriam Moore Community Center (410 McKinley Drive) and room 103 in the basement of City Hall (301 College Ave.). The first three sites will be open from 10 a.m.–5 p.m., with City Hall opening at 8 a.m. All four will stay open until 7 p.m. Wednesday, Mar. 18.


  • Gun Group Wants Oconee County to Be 'Second Amendment Sanctuary'

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    Ryan Anglin.

    The Oconee County Gun Coalition is making plans to ask the Oconee County Board of Commissioners to pass a resolution declaring the county a Second Amendment Sanctuary County.

    If the Board of Commissioners were to approve the resolution, the county would join at least 21 other counties in the state in supporting decisions by the sheriff “to not enforce any unconstitutional firearm restrictions.”

    The resolution also calls on the commissioners to agree not to use government funds or resources to enforce any law “that unconstitutionally infringes on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”


  • Commissioner Allison Wright Will Run for Re-election, Draws Opposition

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    Allison Wright will run for a third term on the Athens-Clarke County Commission, she announced today.

    Wright, a medical illustrator, has represented District 4, the Five Points area, since 2013.

    In her announcement, she took partial credit for a number of initiatives during those seven-plus years, including fare-free transit for children, seniors and the disabled; affordable housing; police body cameras; and addressing discrimination at downtown bars.

    She said she wants to continue to expand transit, provide training on discrimination and sexual assault to bar employees, and address poverty and the aging population.


  • Video: Athenians Deliver Petition Asking Kemp to Appoint New DA

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    Congressional candidate Andrew Ferguson (center) and Athens state Rep. Marcus Wiedower (right).

    The resignation of District Attorney Ken Mauldin has cast uncertainty on the race to succeed him. Will there even be an election for DA this year?

    Erin Stacer of Athens for Everyone and Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Tim Denson organized a delivery of over 1,500 petition signatures to Gov. Brian Kemp, asking him to allow the voters to decide who will next serve them as DA. While at the Capitol, the group also asked their state representatives to weigh in publicly on this situation.


  • Athens Gets Grant to Help Lure Airline

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    Athens-Clarke County has received a $750,000 U.S. Department of Transportation grant to help bring commercial air service to Athens Ben Epps Airport.

    An airline hasn't flown out of Ben Epps since 2014, when Congress cut the Essential Air Service subsidy for small airports.

    County officials are currently negotiating with American Airlines to fly 50-passenger jets twice a day between Athens and Charlotte, according to Commissioner Jerry NeSmith, who serves on the Airport Authority. ACC is also offering other incentives, such as no landing fees for the first year.

    "I'm confident we can convince them to do this," NeSmith said.


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