COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

Blog Topic: Breaking News

  • In the Loop: Mayoral Candidate Richie Knight Running Campaign on Company Dime May Violate State Law

     

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    Photo Credit: Nicole Adamson/file

    Richie Knight speaks at a Mar. 29 mayoral forum.

    Athens mayoral candidate Richie Knight may have violated Georgia campaign finance laws by using company resources for campaign purposes.

    Interviews with a number of Knight’s former employees at HW Creative Marketing—the Athens firm Knight co-owns— and former campaign staffers suggest that Knight exceeded campaign contribution limits related to his campaign’s use of his business’s office space and payments made by his company to campaign workers. (Editor’s note: The author is dating a former Knight campaign volunteer, but she was not a source for this article.)

    Marc Hershovitz, an Atlanta attorney who specializes in political law, confirmed the appearance of a pattern of apparent violations. Hershovitz’s clients in the past have included Democrats and Republicans, including former Gov. Roy Barnes, former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, state Sen. David Shafer and former congressman Ben Jones.

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  • In the Loop: CCSD Names New Principals at Cedar Shoals, Clarke Central, Chase Street, Stroud and JJ Harris

     

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    Derrick Maxwell.

    Derrick Maxwell is returning to Cedar Shoals High School. Maxwell—the former Whit Davis Elementary principal who led Cedar Shoals through the unpleasant spring of 2016 after Tony Price was suspended—was named Cedar Shoals’ principal once again. Maxwell had applied for the permanent job two years but was passed over in favor of DeAnne Varitek, who is moving on, and became a middle-school principal in Commerce instead.

    Maxwell was among five of Means’ personnel recommendations the school board approved Thursday night. Chase Street Elementary assistant principal Andrea Neher will move up to replace Adam Kurtz. Stacie Carson and Beverly Harper had the interim tag removed at Stroud and JJ Harris, respectively. Harper replaces Xernona Thomas, whom Means promoted to chief of staff earlier this year. And Swade Huff, a former Clarke County educator who most recently served as principal of a Newton County middle school, is the new principal at Clarke Central. The principal position at Whit Davis remains unfilled.

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  • In the Loop: Richie Knight Releases 21-Point Plan, Loses Another Campaign Manager

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    If you liked Kelly Girtz's five-point plans on affordable housing, economic development and the environment, you're gonna love this, comrade: Fellow mayoral candidate Richie Knight has released a plan with, as LeBron James might say, not five, not six, not seven, but 21 points. You can read it here.

    In other Knight news, another of his campaign managers, Cameron Jay Harrelson, has resigned. He follows on the heels of Monika Ammerman, who left last summer, and Loran Posey, who was hired to replace Ammerman, then left last fall and went to work for the Girtz campaign. (In a rather extraordinary move, Knight sued Posey for a libel over a Facebook post that was critical of Knight, a lawsuit that Knight recently dropped.)

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  • In the Loop: Harry Sims (Finally) Responds to A4E Questionnaire

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    Mayoral candidate and former commissioner Harry Sims has been feuding with Athens for Everyone over the D- grade it gave him, based in part on his failure to fill out the group’s questionnaire. Well, Sims finally filled it out last week.

    In it, he gets in a couple of digs at his favorite foil—activists who speak out—as well as opponent Kelly Girtz, and explains his concerns about various policies A4E favors, such as fare-free transit and Complete Streets.

    Here are his answers:

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  • In the Loop: Athens Democrats Announce Endorsements

     

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    Commission District 7 candidate Russell Edwards is among the chosen ones.

    In our local nonpartisan elections, voters often want to know, who’s the real Democrat? The Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee is here to help.

    The committee released a list of endorsements Saturday, includin Patrick Davenport in the Commission District 1 race, former county party chairman Russell Edwards in Commission District 7 (over another former chairman, Bill Overend), LaKeisha Gantt in the school board’s 7th District and Lisa Lott for Superior Court judge.

    In addition, it declared the following candidates “qualified Democrats” in other local races:

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  • Homedrone: Guided By Voices, The Mummies, Ex Hex to Play Athens Popfest 2018

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    Guided By Voices

    Athens Popfest has announced the initial lineup for this year's festival, which takes place Aug. 9–12 at the Georgia Theatre, Little Kings Shuffle Club and The Foundry.

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  • In the Loop: Piedmont, BCBS Reach New Contract Agreement

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    Piedmont Healthcare and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield finalized an agreement Monday for BCBS to continue covering treatment in-network at Piedmont hospitals and by Piedmont-affiliated doctors.

    The contract between the health care provider, which owns Athens Regional, and insurance company ended Apr. 1 with the two sides unable to agree on reimbursement rates. Gov. Nathan Deal urged them both back to the negotiating table, and they reached a "handshake deal" on Friday.

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  • In the Loop: Man Posing as Uber Driver Accused of Rape

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    Athens-Clarke County police have arrested a man they say raped two women who got into his car mistakenly believing it was an Uber.

    At about 3 a.m. Friday, Apr. 20, a woman reported to police that she had requested an Uber and got into a car she believed was her Uber, but realized halfway through the ride that it was not. She asked to be let out of the vehicle, and the driver raped her before releasing her, according to police.

    That evening, police received a report of a similar incident. A second woman reported that she had requested an Uber at about 1:15 a.m., and when she was picked up, the driver touched her private areas before she could get out. She took photos of the driver and showed them to police.

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  • In the Loop: More Details on the Westclox Mixed-Use Development

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    Photo Credit: Studio BNA Architects

    A view of the proposed development facing east from above Newton Bridge Road. The amphitheater faces Dairy Pak Road to the south.

    The 35-acre General Time development on the long-vacant Westclox clock factory property off Newton Bridge Road would primarily serve permanent Athens residents as well as draw visitors from around the region, according to promotional materials released Monday.

    "This type of adaptive reuse model works so well in countless scenarios in metro Atlanta and around the Southeast," said Michael Dinerman, who is developing the project along with Jennifer Davidson. "We saw the old Westclox property as an opportunity to help pull together many needs of the Athens community in one strategically located district."

    Plans and renderings—available on the Athens-Clarke County website—show a brewery with a rooftop "tasting terrace," a "cycle cafe" along a stormwater detention pond and a "provisions market."

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  • In the Loop: Brian Kemp Blasts Athens Sheriff for ICE Reversal

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    Brian Kemp.

    This morning, the AJC's Political Insider picked up on Flagpole's Friday report that Clarke County Sheriff's Office will no longer detain undocumented inmates past their release points to give Immigrations and Customs Enforcement time to deport them.

    The news came as a relief to many in Athens, but the Insiders wondered when Secretary of State Brian Kemp would weigh in.

    Sure enough, this tweet came soon after:

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