Gov. Nathan Deal endorsed Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in the Republican runoff for governor today over Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
The endorsement could help stop Kemp's momentum in the weeks leading up to the July 24 runoff. Cagle finished first out of five candidates with 39 percent of the vote on May 22, with Kemp trailing at 26 percent. Since then, though, Kemp has surged. A recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll gave Kemp a slight lead, 44 percent to 41 percent.
As his second term winds down, Deal remains popular, with an 85 percent approval rating among Republican voters—even higher than President Donald Trump.
The endorsement comes as little surprise, given that Deal and Cagle are both from Gainesville and have worked closely together over the past eight years to pass Deal's agenda in the state Senate.
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:
Photo Credit: Airman Sadie Colbert/U.S. Air Force
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.
Photo Credit: Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce
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.
Tweed Recording Academy, a new school offering "cutting-edge audio engineering and mixing programs," plans to open in downtown Athens in fall 2019, according to a press release. The school will occupy the former Lamar Lewis Shoe Store building, which spans the block from Clayton Street to Washington Street and also includes the former Copper Creek brewpub.
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.”
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.
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.
Photo Credit: Savannah Cole
With nearly twice as many votes as his nearest competitor, Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Kelly Girtz was elected the next mayor on Tuesday.
Girtz had received 60.5 percent of 15,720 votes cast with 20 of 24 precincts reporting and the other four partially reporting. Former commissioner Harry Sims recieved 30.6 percent, and businessman Richie Knight 8.9 percent.
Girtz called the results a continuation of the progressive wave in 2017 that swept two Democratic state representives into office in GOP districts. But Girtz also said he reached out to every part of the county during his year-long campaign and would continue to do so.
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