COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

Blog Topic: Breaking News

  • 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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  • In the Loop: 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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  • In the Loop: 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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  • Grub Notes: The Five Points Waffle House Is Closing

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    Photo Credit: Google Streeview

    Did you hear that? Well, it's true, and it makes some sense considering how valuable that piece of real estate is.

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  • Homedrone: Tweed Recording Academy to Open in Lamar Lewis Building Downtown

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    Andrew Ratcliffe

    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.

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  • In the Loop: 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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  • In the Loop: 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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  • In the Loop: 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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  • In the Loop: Kelly Girtz Elected Mayor in a Landslide, and More Election Results

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    Photo Credit: Savannah Cole

    Kelly Girtz celebrates with his son Noah and wife Andrea Griffith-Girtz.

    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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  • In the Loop: Get Your ACC Election Results Right Here

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    Photo Credit: Savannah Cole

    Mayoral candidate Harry Sims watches election returns at JR Crickets.

    Ten of 24 precincts are now reporting, and Kelly Girtz remains in good shape in the mayor's race. He has 58 percent of 4,583 votes cast to Harry Sims' 32 percent and Richie Knight's 10 percent.

    The first results in District 1 are in, and Patrict Davenport leads incumbent Sharyn Dickerson 164 votes to 134. But they're from Winterville, which is probably a little more progressive than other parts of the eastern Clarke County district.

    In District 9, Ovita Thornton has opened up a 155-vote lead over Tommy Valentine.

    More votes in District 2 are in, and Mariah Parker's lead over Taylor Pass has shrunk percentagewise but grown in raw number of votes, from 21 to 45.

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