Both the Clarke and Oconee county school districts announced Tuesday night that schools will be closed Wednesday in anticipation of possible snow early this morning.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for central Georgia (including Athens) until 10 a.m. Wednesday. There is a 70 percent chance of precipitation, with a predicted low of 23 degrees. One to two inches of snow is possible.
"Plan on difficult travel conditions, including during the morning commute on Wednesday," the advisory says.
Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency in 83 counties, including Clarke. Non-essential state employees are not expected to report to work on Wednesday.
Photo Credit: Jessica Silverman
Lovers of funky tapestries and eclectic novelties will be saddened to hear Junkman’s Daughter’s Brother, located on West Broad Street, is officially closing as soon as the last of the merchandise sells.
However, it’s not a retirement or sudden urge to relocate that’s shutting down the shop—it’s that rent is going by 56 percent. Owner Mark Gavron said no one approached him with an opportunity to re-sign his lease. One day, he said, a man came in and casually asked if Gavron was moving locations, since he’d seen the building was available on Craigslist. Gavron said this was the first he had heard of the news.
“It’s OK, it just puts me a year ahead of my planned retirement,” he said.
It's true: Everyone's favorite homophobic-yet-delicious fast-food chicken chain is coming to downtown Athens.
Rumors that Chick-Fil-A would move into the prime space at the corner of Broad Street and College Avenue most recently occupied by burger chain Five Guys have been confirmed by documents filed with the Athens-Clarke County Planning Department.
The building is in the downtown historic district, and Chick-Fil-A has applied for permission to make changes to the facade:
Photo Credit: Nicole Adamson/file
More than a dozen inmates at the Clarke County Jail have been turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement since the Clarke County Sheriff's Office reversed its policy in July and started holding undocumented immigrants for ICE.
The Red & Black reported that the reversal came about because of "changes to the Department of Homeland Security’s policy."
“In light of these changes, and in keeping with our role and responsibility for community safety with respect to the detention of individuals with outstanding warrants, we now recognize ICE detainers that are supported by a warrant for arrest or warrant for removal or deportation,” Captain Hayden Hodges of the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
At ICE's request, the sheriff's office will now detain inmates at the local jail for up to 48 hours after they're scheduled to be released. ICE has made 17 such requests and picked up 13 inmates, Hodges told Flagpole.
Photo Credit: Matt Hardy/file
A Madison County woman was sentenced to 25 years in prison for hitting a killing a University of Georgia graduate student and another cyclist while driving intoxicated and distracted, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.
Judge Eric Norris sentenced Whitney Baker Howard, 32, to a total of 31 years. She will serve the last six on probation. Howard was convicted of two counts of felony vehicular homicide and several other charges in October.
Howard's SUV crossed the center line on Athena Drive while answering her phone is September 2016 and hit Ashley Block and Mitchell Enfinger, killing Block and seriously injuring Enfinger.
The Athens-Clarke County Commission will vote tonight on a deal to sell Strong Street and a city-owned parking lot between Strong and Dougherty Street to Hotel Indigo for a development that will include hotel rooms and office space.
The deal calls for ACC to sell the property to Athens Hospitality Holdings LLC, the company that owns Hotel Indigo, for $3 million. Athens Hospitality Holdings would then build a new five-story development on the property that would include 45 hotel rooms; office space for the ACC Economic Development Department; 8,000 square feet of meeting and event space; 7,000 square feet of coworking space where entrepreneurs and startups could rent desks, offices and conference rooms; a street-level restaurant; a rooftop bar and 60 underground parking spots. Strong Street would be closed and converted into a courtyard.
Photo Credit: Nicole Adamson
Democrats won shocking victories in two special elections for Athens-area state House seats on Tuesday, winning the conservative-leaning seats in spite of well-funded opposition from Republicans.
In District 117, Deborah Gonzalez overcame Republican opponent Houston Gaines' $200,000 war chest and much-publicized support from Democratic Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson.
As of 9 p.m., Gonzalez led Gaines 53 percent to 47 percent, with some Clarke County precincts left to be counted, but all the votes in staunchly Republican Oconee, Jackson and Barrow counties have been counted, leaving Gaines no chance to catch up.
Likewise, with all Oconee precincts reporting, Jonathan Wallace avoided a runoff by winning 56percent of the vote in District 119, which historically leans even further to the right than 117. (Both districts were specifically drawn to elect Republicans.)
Love The National but don't go there anymore because, as Yogi Berra is alleged to have said, it's too crowded? Well, you're in luck. Local cheftrepreneur-made-good Peter Dale is opening a new restaurant, Maepole, on Chase Street in early 2018.
Republican Houston Gaines had raised nearly $200,000 as of last week for his Athens-area House District 117 race, outpacing Democratic opponent Deborah Gonzalez nearly four-to-one.
In documents filed Monday with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, Gaines reported raising $196, 251 and had $140,436 on hand as of Oct. 23, 15 days before Election Day, Nov. 7.
It's a common strategy for candidates with such overwhelming fundraising advantages to keep some of their powder dry to ward off future challengers.
Gaines' list of contributors is a Who's Who of powerful, connected Republican politicians and business interests in Athens and Atlanta.
In Monday's Federation of Neighborhoods candidate forum, Republican Houston Gaines kept referring to the "unique perspective" he'd bring to the state House of Representatives.
One would think that Gaines, who just graduated from the University of Georgia in May, was referring to his youth. When Flagpole intern Nate Harris asked him what made him unique, though, Gaines' answer was anything but clear.
After much hemming and hawing, Gaines at one point said, "It's obvious just by looking at us that we have a different perspective."
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