COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

Blog Topic: Breaking News

  • Homedrone: Georgia Theatre Operator Zero Mile Partners With AEG

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    Zero Mile, the Atlanta-based promotions company that books and operates Athens' Georgia Theatre, as well as the Atlanta venues Variety Playhouse and Terminal West, has announced a new partnership with AEG Presents, the entertainment division of Los Angeles-based events monolith Anschutz Entertainment Group, or AEG.

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  • In the Loop: Three Candidates Apply for Clarke County School Board Seat

     

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    Former Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Harry Sims.

    Former Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Harry Sims is among three applicants for the District 2 seat on the Clarke County Board of Education vacated by Vernon Payne.

    East Broad Street resident Mary P. Bagby and Mulberry Street resident Frances Berry are the other two applicants for the open seat. Berry, a photographer, is a former president of the Federation of Neighborhoods and managed Commissioner Patrick Davenport’s campaign in 2018.

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  • In the Loop: College Avenue Parking Deck Expected to Reopen Wednesday After Fire

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    Photo Credit: ACC Fire Department

    A car caught fire at the College Avenue parking deck this morning, but damage was minor and the deck is expected to reopen on Wednesday.

    Athens-Clarke County firefighters responded to reports of smoke billowing from the deck at about 10 a.m. The smoke came from a car accident—a driver hit a wall on the fourth level, according to Battalion Chief Jeff Reno.

    "It's still under investigation, but we think that's what happened," he said.

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  • In the Loop: Piedmont Athens Regional CEO Charles Peck Is Resigning

     

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    Charles Peck.

    Piedmont Athens Regional CEO Charles Peck is stepping down this spring, Piedmont Healthcare announced last week.

    Peck will return Mar. 1 to Navigant Consulting, where he previously served as managing director. But he will stay on as Piedmont Athens Regional’s interim CEO until May 31.

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  • In the Loop: Vernon Payne Resigns from Clarke County BOE

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    Photo Credit: Clarke County School District

    Payne.

    Vernon Payne has stepped down from the Clarke County school board for health reasons after 40 years of service.

    Payne submitted his resignation to Superintendent Demond Means and Gov. Nathan Deal in a letter dated Dec. 28, but it was not made public until last Friday.

    Payne has not attended a meeting since March, according to meeting minutes. The school district had no procedure to replace him unless he resigned, causing some concern among his District 2 constituents that they would go unrepresented until his term expires at the end of 2020. 

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  • In the Loop: Athens-Clarke County Names New Police Chief

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    Photo Credit: Courtesy of Athens-Clarke County

    Cleveland Spruill.

    Athens-Clarke County Manager Blaine Williams has appointed a North Carolina police chief to take over the ACC police department effective Feb. 4.

    Cleveland Lee Spruill Sr. has been the police chief in Huntersville, NC, since May 2014. The Huntersville police department has 102 sworn officers, 111 total employees and a $12.8 million annual budget.

    Although Huntersville, population 60,000, is half the size of Athens, Spruill has experience running a larger department. Prior to becoming the police chief in Huntersville, Spruill was the executive chief deputy in Alexandria, VA, which had 320 sworn officers, 105 civilian employees, a $57 million budget and served a population of 150,000.

    Williams said in a news release that Spruill stood out among many qualified applicants as the best person to uphold ACC's philosophy of community-oriented policing and serve as an ambassador to the community.

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  • In the Loop: Gov. Nathan Deal Will Teach at UGA

     

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    Photo Credit: Office of the Governor

    Gov. Nathan Deal, whose second term ends on Monday, will soon be teaching at the University of Georgia.

    The University System of Georgia Board of Regents voted today to appoint Deal as a Regents Professor. His appointment will be effective for at least three years beginning March 1.

    Deal plans to occasionally lecture undergraduates with interests in political science and law at UGA and other institutions in the University System of Georgia, the Atlanta Journal-Constitutionreported. He's also starting a consulting firm with his longtime chief of staff, Chris Riley.

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  • In the Loop: 9d's Bar Will Be Closed This Weekend After Reaching Agreement on Discrimination Complaint

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    Photo Credit: Blake Aued/file

    Kendrick Bullock (left) and his brother, Broderick Flanigan, discuss a discrimination complaint they filed against 9d's Bar at a May 2017 news conference,

    The East Clayton Street bar 9d's will be closed today and Saturday while its alcohol license is suspended after agreeing to a consent order with the Athens-Clarke County attorney's office on an April 2017 discrimination complaint.

    Kendrick Bullock alleged that 9d's denied him entry for a dress-code violation in April 2017 in spite of the bar not having a dress code publicly posted as required by a local anti-discrimination ordinance passed in 2016 in response to numerous complaints that student bars downtown were unfairly using dress codes to keep out black customers.

    In addition to closing for two days, 9d's agreed to go on probation for 12 months, pay a $350 fine and:  

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  • In the Loop: Gov.-Elect Brian Kemp Calls for Unity in UGA Speech

     

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    Photo Credit: Savannah Cole

    Gov.-elect Brian Kemp speaks at UGA's Biennial Institute on Tuesday.

    After a divisive campaign, Gov.-elect Brian Kemp called for unity Tuesday in his first major speech since winning a close and hard-fought election. Taking a different tone than what voters heard on the campaign trail, he appealed to state legislators to “put politics behind us.”

    The speech at the University of Georgia’s Biennial Institute, a three-day training session for state legislators, came months after Kemp emerged from a bruising Republican primary in July and just weeks after he repeatedly called Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams a radical extremist.

    “It’s time to shed the labels and work together as Georgians. It’s time to stand up for our communities, our families and our Georgia values,” Kemp said. “It’s time to protect the vulnerable. It’s time to do the right thing—even when no one is looking.”

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  • In the Loop: Athens' John Barrow Loses Bid to Become Georgia Secretary of State

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    Republican Brad Raffensperger defeated Barrow in a runoff Tuesday.

    Democrat John Barrow lost his bid to become Georgia's secretary of state Tuesday to Republican Brad Raffensperger, and Republican incumbent Chuck Eaton kept his seat on the Public Service Commission, defeating Democrat Lindy Miller.

    Barrow's loss means that a Republican will be running Georgia's elections in 2020—when President Donald Trump and one of his staunchest supporters, GOP Sen. David Perdue, are on the ballot—and 2024, when Gov.-elect Brian Kemp will be up for re-election.

    It also comes amid widespread accusations among Democrats that voter suppression efforts under Kemp, the former secretary of state, cost Democrat Stacey Abrams the gubernatorial election.

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