Photo Credit: screencap via Lee Becker
Enrollment in Oconee County schools increased by 246 students over the last year, marking the fourth straight year that enrollment in the county schools grew by more than 3 percentage points.
Brook Whitmire, chief human resources officer for the school system, told the board of education on Monday that the growth in enrollments means that the county is adding enough students each year to represent about half of a K–5 school.
Milledge Avenue Baptist Church and First Presbyterian Church of Athens are sponsoring two workshops—one for the public and one for faith leaders—on suicide prevention next week.
The churches are bringing in Soul Shop, a faith-based suicide prevention program, to raise awareness of suicide as a public health problem and how to reduce the risk of suicide.
First Presbyterian's parish nurse, Madeline Van Dyck, attended a Soul Shop conference in Atlanta.
"The workshop boldy took on the mystery of suicidal depression and the heartache that surrounds it," Van Dyck said. "The presenter and the materials were able to frame for me a new understanding of the hold suicide has on a soul, and a crucial new step we all need to take to address desperation's call."
The Athens Area and Oconee County chambers of commerce have scheduled the first local candidate forum of this election season, to be held Thursday, Oct. 11 from 6–8 p.m. in the auditorium on the third floor of Piedmont Athens Regional's medical services building at 242 King Ave.
Confirmed candidates include state Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-Athens), state Sen. Frank Ginn (R-Danielsville and Democratic challenger Dawn Hawkins Johnson, state Rep. Deborah Gonzalez (D-Athens) and Republican challenger Houston Gaines, and state Rep. Jonathan Wallace (D-Watkinsville) and Republican challenger Marcus Wiedower. Cowsert's Democratic opponent, Marisue Hilliard, has not committed.
The forum will be moderated by Tim Bryant, news director at WGAU 1340 AM, and broadcast live on that station.
Photo Credit: @hello_madison/Twitter
Several weeks ago, we began getting tips from readers that someone (or someones) had been inserting pro-GOP flyers inside random issues of Flagpole. The leaflets, which have been found at various distribution locations downtown and on campus, warned of the evils of antifa and the "Democrat Party" while admonishing readers to "VOTE CONSERVATIVE."
As Publisher Pete McCommons wrote in his column last week:
Photo Credit: Savannah Cole
The Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement will host a town hall meeting on community policing and race relations at the Athens-Clarke County library from 5:30–7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Co-founder Mokah-Jasmine Johnson said that residents and community leaders are concerned that ACC police aren't doing enough to build trust and ensure safety in the wake of two recent incidents—an officer who hit a fleeing suspect with his car in June, and another officer who tackled a 10-year-old boy in July.
A standoff with an alleged armed robber that shut down part of West Broad Street this evening ended without any injuries.
A man walked into the Marathon gas station near Evans Street with a gun Friday afternoon intending to rob it, according to Athens-Clarke County police spokesman Epifanio Rodriguez. But after being confronted by someone inside, the man instead walked outside and sat down.
When police arrived, the man—whose name has not been released—refused to comply with their instructions, Rodriguez said. The SWAT team was called in, and after attempts to negotiate, they used non-lethal rounds to take him into custody, he said.
The man was arrested at about 7 p.m., and West Broad was reopened.
Athens-Clarke County commissioners approved preliminary plans Tuesday night for bike lanes in the Boulevard neighborhood—but not on Boulevard itself.
The concept plan approved Tuesday includes narrowing lanes on a Chase Street bridge to slow traffic coming into town off the Loop and multi-use paths along Barber Street and Oneta Street.
However, plans to eventually stripe bike lanes along Boulevard were scrapped—for now—after residents of the street objected that Boulevard is already safe for cyclists, and the markings would ruin its historic character.
Athens-Clarke County commissioners are expected to vote tonight on plans for removing one car lane from four-lane Barnett Shoals Road south of College Station Road to make room for a two-way protected bike lane when the road is repaved.
The new configuration would be tested for 30 days before being made permanent. But two Eastside commissioners, Andy Herod and Sharyn Dickerson, don't even want to test it. They have proposed replacing a sidewalk with a multi-use path instead. BikeAthens recently posted an article explaining why that's a bad idea.
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