COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

In the Loop

  • Nine Athens Transit Bus Routes Have Changed

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    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file

    Changes to nine Athens Transit routes—5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 22, 25, 26 and 27—took effect on Sunday.

    The changes mainly affect service to the Eastside, the Westside and the University of Georgia campus. Buses that run along Sanford Drive have been rerouted during construction, service has been added to Whitehead Road, and several Eastside bus routes have been revamped to create a circulator between Walmart and campus:

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  • New Law: Put Down Your Phone While Driving

     

    Georgia’s new “hands-free law” took effect July 1. No, that doesn’t mean it’s legal to drive with your knees while you eat a cheeseburger and watch YouTube. In fact, it’s the opposite: The law cracks down on distracted driving by making it illegal to use your cellphone while driving. That means not only texting—which was already illegal but difficult to enforce—but making or answering phone calls, browsing the internet, using social media or watching or recording videos as well.

    The law prohibits drivers from having a phone or other electronic device in their hand or supported by any part of their body while driving—including at stop signs and traffic lights. Calls can still be made by speakerphone, earpiece, wireless headset or smart watch, or by connecting your phone to the car and dialing by voice. Voice-to-text remains legal as well, as does using a continually recording dash-mounted camera.

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  • Hundreds Rally to Reunite Immigrant Families

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    Photo Credit: Savannah Cole

    Athens joined dozens of cities around the country in holding a "Families Belong Together" rally Saturday morning to urge the Trump Administration to reunite families separated at the border.

    More than 2,000 children were separated from their parents in June as the Trump Administration instituted a "zero tolerance" immigration policy.  Trump has since ordered families to be detained together, but many of the families initially separated are still apart. 

    Several hundred people participated in the Athens rally, which included a wire crate lined with dolls to represent children kept in cages at federal facilities. 

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  • Athens Chamber of Commerce Names New CEO

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    Photo Credit: Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce

    David Bradley.

    The Athens Area Chamber of Commerce has named a North Carolina chamber executive as its new CEO.

    David Bradley is currently president of the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce in suburban Charlotte. The Guillford College graduate has also worked in manufacturing and served as president of the chamber in Mount Airy, NC. In Statesville, he served on the downtown development, regional development, and convention and visitors' bureau boards, led the effort to create a strategic plan for Statesville and was involved in theater and fim.

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  • GOP Leader Leaves Gaines Campaign After Anti-LGBT Posts

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    Houston Gaines.

    A prominent Athens Republican has stepped down from state House candidate Houston Gaines' campaign after an Atlanta magazine reported that she posted several anti-LGBTQ comments on Facebook Tuesday, the second anniversary of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

    According to Project Q, Joan Rhoden shared a photo on Facebook of pride-themed clothing at Target and accused "homosexuals" of spreading propaganda. She also characterized homosexuality as a disease and an "alternative lifestyle," criticized a New York bill that would add a third gender option to birth certificates and a cartoon featuring drag queens, defended Chick-Fil-A (a company that has taken anti-LGBTQ stances) and said that LGBTQ people's aim is "to annihilate free speech and dismantle the established facts of biology.”

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  • Oconee IDA Approves Bonds for Senior Living Center

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    Last month the Oconee County Industrial Development Authority approved unanimously the spending of up to $375,115 on a contract to beautify Mars Hill Road and preliminarily approved up to $115 million in bond funding to Presbyterian Homes for construction of its Oconee campus.

    Jerry Peterson, representing Presybyterian Homes, told the IDA he was asking for preliminary approval for the Authority to issue up to $115 million in revenue bonds for Presbyterian Village Athens, to be located on U.S. 441 at Hog Mountain Road.

    He said the bonds would be repaid through funds potential tenants pay as entrance fees, through a U.S. Department of Agricultural loan for heath centers, and bonds sold to institutional investors and banks.

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  • Anti-Discrimination Movement Issues Statement Supporting ACCPD Chief Freeman for Firing Officer

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    A screenshot from body-camera footage shows police handcuffing Timmy Patmon after an officer hit him with his car while Patmon was running from police.

    The Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement has issued a statement in support of Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Scott Freeman for firing an officer who hit suspect Timmy Patmon with his police car Friday.

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  • ACCPD Officer Fired for Hitting Suspect With His Car

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    Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Scott Freeman fired an officer Sunday who, according to witnesses and video footage, hit a fleeing suspect with his car on Friday.

    An initial news release from ACCPD said that officers Taylor Saulters and Hunter Blackmon were patroling the area of Vine Street and Nellie B Avenue Friday evening when Blackmon spotted Timmy Patmon, whom Blackmon believed had a felony warrant out for his arrest.

    When the officers made contact with Patmon, he ran. Blackmon chased him on foot while Saulters pursued him in his police car.

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