COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

In the Loop

  • Piedmont Athens Regional Is Planning a $171 Million Expansion

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    Photo Credit: Blake Aued

    Piedmont Athens Regional is planning a $171 million expansion that will add a seven-story tower and nearly a quarter of a million square feet to the Prince Avenue hospital, according to documents filed with the state Department of Community Health.

    Piedmont notified DCH last week that it intends to apply for a certificate of need to build an addition to the hospital and renovate other space.

    The project would mostly affect the front of the medical complex facing Prince Avenue, where the emergency room entrance is located. It would involve tearing down part of the Prince 1 tower (the oldest part of the hospital) and building a new seven-story tower in its place. A fourth story would be added to the Prince 2 tower, and it would be renovated as well.

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  • Harry Sims Has Beef With Athens for Everyone

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    The progressive group Athens for Everyone gave mayoral candidate Harry Sims a D- on its commission report card last month, and Sims is not happy about it.

    The former commissioner has started a change.org petition taking issue with his grade. “[W]e believe Commissioner Sims’ words and actions were deliberately omitted or incorrectly characterized in a way manner [sic] to create a false impression of the commissioner’s positions,” the petition says. “We believe that the A4E report card fails to disclose relevant information, lacks important disclosures of what criteria were used and does not disclose any conflicts of interests that might exist between the group and the candidates/officials that were evaluated.

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  • GDOT Proposes Truck Bypass Around Bishop

    The Georgia Department of Transportation has developed an alternate plan for improvements to U.S. 441 that involves a close-in truck bypass on the east side of the City of Bishop.

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    Officials from GDOT presented the broad outlines of the plan to the city council of Bishop on Monday night, where it got at least some support.

    The officials said they would present the plan in fuller detail to its citizen advisory committee in a meeting from 5–6:30 p.m. on Mar. 19 at the community center in Oconee Veterans Park.

    The truck bypass would take some land from the University of Georgia Equestrian Complex and pass very close to two houses on Old Bishop Road, possibly necessitating the purchase of those two properties, the officials said.

    The truck bypass—which could be one or two lanes wide in each direction—would connect to a four-laned U.S. 441 at Astondale Road and High Shoals Road with roundabouts.

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  • AADM Hosts Mayoral Forum Tonight; Two More Scheduled

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    The Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement will host a forum featuring mayoral candidates Kelly Girtz, Richie Knight and Harry Sims from 6–7:30 p.m. today at the Athens-Clarke County Library.

    The forum will "center around their action plans to address poverty in Athens, quality of life, diversity and community inclusion," according to the AADM.

    Originally the forum was set to be held at Ciné, but it has been moved to the library.

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  • Who's Running for Which Office in Athens?

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    Photo Credit: Nicole Adamson

    The five-day qualifying period when candidates officially sign up to run for local, state and federal offices in Georgia ended at noon today. Here's who will be on the ballot:

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  • Avid Pulls Out of Athens Academy Book Fair After Being Told to Remove Book With Gay Characters

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    Avid Bookshop shut down the annual book fair it holds at Athens Academy today after an administrator told booksellers to hide a book that features gay characters, according to owner Janet Geddis.

    The director of the Oconee County private school's "lower" (or elementary) school told Avid staff to remove The Best Man by Newbery Medalist Richard Peck from display after a parent complained on Wednesday, Geddis said. The Best Man "tells the story of small-town life, gay marriage and everyday heroes," according to Avid's website

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  • Republican Says GOP Will Stay in Power

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    Rick Jeffares.

    Rick Jeffares, running for Georgia lieutenant governor, told Oconee County Republicans that he doesn’t expect the Republicans to lose any state offices in November and that the party is likely to control state politics for at least eight to 12 more years.

    Jeffares, from Henry County, said he expects fewer people to vote in the May 22 Republican primary than voted in the primary four years ago.

    “When things are good,” Jeffares said. “When the stock market is good and people have got jobs, I hate to say it, they don’t care about politics at that point in time.”

    Jeffares used the Feb. 22 meeting of the Oconee County Republican Party to state his positions on a variety of issues.

    He said he wants to reduce regulations that restrict businesses, increase technical offerings in high schools, improve rural broadband service, invest more in roads and infrastructure, and reduce tuition at state universities.

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  • Athens Groups Organize School Shooting Forum Today

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    Photo Credit: Formulanone

    The Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and other local groups and individuals will hold a "community response forum in support of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School" in Parkland, FL, where a gunman killed 17 people earlier this month.

    The forum is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. tonight in the auditorium at the Athens-Clarke County Library. It will open with a moment of silence, then Clarke County School Superintendent Demond Means and state Rep. Spencer Frye (D-Athens) will speak.

    The AADM is seeking volunteers to "perform simple tasks for this event." Volunteers should call Knowa Johnson or Michael Smith at 706-380-5256.

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