COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

Blog Topic: Breaking News

  • In the Loop: Suspect Arrested in Shooting of Pregnant Woman

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    Photo Credit: Blake Aued

    Auriel Callaway's mother LaShanda, uncle Bryant Gantt, Police Chief Cleveland Spruill, sister Kearia Rucker, cousin Vanessa Johnson and Deputy Chief Jeff Clark.

    Athens-Clarke County police arrested a Clarke Gardens resident Wednesday night and charged her with the murder of neighbor Auriel Callaway during a gunfight at the Eastside apartment compex Monday.

    Although others were also shooting, police say Kiresa Shanice Cooper, 27, fired the bullet that killed Callaway, 24, who was walking with her 3-year-old son when the gunfire broke out. Callaway was trying to get her son to a safe place when she was shot, according to Police Chief Cleveland Spruill. She died, along with the unborn child she was carrying, at a local hospital shortly after the shooting Monday night.

    "I cannot think of a more tragic circumstance that for an innocent mother to be gunned down in front of her residence while her child looked on," Spruill said at a news conference this afternoon to announce Cooper's arrest.

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  • In the Loop: Pregnant Woman Shot and Killed in Front of Son

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    ACCPD spokesman Geoffrey Gilland speaks to reporters Tuesday.

    An Athens woman was shot and killed Monday night while walking outside with her three-year-old son.

    Athens-Clarke County police received a call about gunshots fired at the Clarke Gardens apartment complex off Barnett Shoals Road at 9:37 p.m. Monday. When they arrived at Carriage Court, they found 24-year-old resident Auriel Callaway on the ground, bleeding. 

    Police provided first aid until EMS arrived to transport Callaway to a local hospital, where she died. Callaway was four months pregnant, according to police, and the fetus she was carrying did not survive. Her son was unharmed and is staying with relatives, police said.

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  • In the Loop: Deborah Gonzalez Is Running for District Attorney

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    Former state Rep. Deborah Gonzalez is running for Western Circuit district attorney, she announced Thursday.

    “All of us want to keep our communities strong and protected, but we know that the old tough-on-crime way of administering justice has been too tough on our communities,” Gonzalez said in a video posted online. “It’s left us all less safe, less whole and with less opportunity. It’s time for a new approach to justice and crime. It’s time for new leadership.”

    Gonzalez is a media and entertainment lawyer with no experience as a prosecutor, but in the House she served on the committee that handles bills related to criminal justice, and she also served on a criminal justice task force for the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. 

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  • In the Loop: Mail Delivery Resumes at Bethel Homes

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    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file

    The U.S. Postal Service resumed delivering mail to Bethel Midtown Village today after a meeting with Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Cleveland Spruill.

    Spruill met with Atlanta District Post Office Operations Manager Anne Berger to "clear up confusion and misinformation regarding crime in the community," according to an ACCPD news release. Berger agreed to temporarily resume mail delivery at Bethel, and a meeting on permanently restoring mail delivery is scheduled for next week.

    Commissioner Ovita Thornton said at the July 2 commission meeting that Bethel residents had not received their mail for over a week.

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  • In the Loop: Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry Is Running for Senate

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    Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry is joining what is shaping up to be a crowded Democratic field for U.S. Senate.

    The Atlanta suburb, a city of about 13,000, is home to many refugees and often referred to as the most diverse square mile in America. 

    In his campaign announcement, the 36-year-old touted his record as the "millennial mayor," including decriminalizing marijuana, enacting a $15 minimum wage for city employees and making Election Day a holiday.

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  • In the Loop: ACCPD Officers Shoot, Kill Knife-Wielding Man

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    Police Chief Cleveland Spruill.

    Athens-Clarke County police officers shot and killed a man with a knife earlier today at an apartment complex off Macon Highway.

    Three officers responded to multiple calls at about 12:30 p.m. of a man with a knife who was covered in blood and "acting erratically" on the 1000 block of Macon Highway, according to Police Chief Cleveland Spruill. He added that the blood was the man's own.

    The man disregarded the officers' commands to drop the knife and began to advance on the officers, who retreated, Spruill said. When the man broke into a run, two of the officers fired multiple times, he said.

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  • In the Loop: Senate Candidate Teresa Tomlinson Says Trump Should Be Impeached

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    Democratic Senate candidate Teresa Tomlinson.

    Democratic Senate candidate Teresa Tomlinson believes House Democrats have a "duty" to begin impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump, regardless of whether it's politically advantageous.

    "The fact of the matter is, you're not up there to get re-elected," she told a group of Athens Democrats over breakfast Saturday morning. "You're up there to lead."

    While most Democrats believe Trump committed crimes and abused his power while in office, they are split on whether to move forward with impeachment. Some, remembering the GOP's unpopular impeachment of President Bill Clinton, think impeaching Trump might boost his chances of re-election.

    Even if the Democrat-controlled House did vote to impeach, it would likely be a futile gesture, as 67 votes in the Senate are required to convict, and Republican senators have shown no signs of abandoning Trump.

    "We have to go through the process," Tomlinson said. "If the Senate votes to acquit, they vote to acquit."

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  • In the Loop: Athens Moms (and Others) Rally to End Gun Violence

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    Photo Credit: Whitley Carpenter

    ACCPD Chief Cleveland Spruill and Mayor Kelly Girtz.

    About 30 people wearing orange to symbolize their opposition to gun violence braved a looming thunderstorm Friday night for a rally featuring Athens Mayor Kelly Girtz and Police Chief Cleveland Spruill.

    "We wear orange to say we will be seen, we will be heard, we will show up—even when it's raining—and we will work to end gun violence," said Emma Jones of Moms Demand Action, which organized the rally.

    The group also tried to light up City Hall orange, though as they acknowledged, the coloring wasn't really visible in the dim light.

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  • In the Loop: Mayor Girtz Names New Athens-Clarke County Attorney

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    Judd Drake, not to be confused with Judge Dredd.

    Mayor Kelly Girtz has named Macon-Bibb County Attorney Judd Drake the sole finalist to replace Bill Berryman, who is retiring, as Athens-Clarke County attorney.

    Drake has served as the attorney for Macon-Bibb County since it unified in 2014. He also served as Macon's senior assistant city attorney and interim city attorney, and interim manager for Macon-Bibb.

    Prior to moving to Macon in 2011, the Metter native had a practice in his hometown for 11 years, focusing on local government, education and real estate law. During that time, he also served as the attorney for Candler County and the Candler County Board of Education, and as chief magistrate judge and state court judge in Candler County.

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  • Homedrone: RIP Athens Musician Jeff Walls

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    Remembrances poured in on social media Wednesday as friends and fans learned about the death of Jeff Walls, a longtime Athens musician known for playing in The Woggles and Guadalcanal Diary, among other well-loved bands.

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