Blog Topic: Breaking News

  • In the Loop: Former UGA Professor Under Investigation by ICE



    Photo Credit: University of Georgia

    A former University of Georgia political science professor is under investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. 

    GBI spokesperson Nelly Miles confirmed today that the GBI is assisting Homeland Security in its investigation into Jamie Monogan, who formerly taught in the School of Public and International Affairs. 


  • In the Loop: Frances Berry Resigns From School Board


    Clarke County Board of Education member Frances Berry resigned Friday after just nine months on the school board.

    Berry was appointed in February to serve out the remainder of Vernon Payne's term representing District 2, in the northeastern part of the county. Payne resigned in December for health reasons.

    In response to a call seeking comment, Berry emailed a brief statement to Flagpole: "I joined the board hoping I could help make a difference, but I learned this year that I am not cut out for the stress of politics. I resigned in order to focus on my health and my family."


  • In the Loop: Funding Restored for Clarke Middle Renovations



    Photo Credit: Blake Aued

    Clarke Middle School is back on the Clarke County School District’s ESPLOST project list.

    Superintendent Demond Means told school board members at a work session Thursday that he wants to restore $10 million for Clarke Middle renovations and postponing a new district headquarters.


  • In the Loop: Voters Overwhelmingly Approve SPLOST 2020


    Athens voters have overwhelmingly approved extending a local 1% sales tax for capital projects.

    Over three quarters of voters approved SPLOST 2020, which passed with 78.4% of 8,978 ballots cast. 

    SPLOST 2020 will last an estimated 11 years and fund $314 million worth of projects. Big ticket items include a new judicial center to replace the outdated and overcrowded courthouse, an arena at the Classic Center and redeveloping the aging, dilapidated Bethel Midtown Village affordable housing complex. That's in addition to 34 smaller projects, ranging from crowd-pleasers like park improvements to necessities like equipment for firefighters.


  • In the Loop: ACCPD Officers Kill Eastside Man in Shootout

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    Athens-Clarke County police officers killed a man Saturday who they say opened fire on them while they were investigating a noise complaint on the Eastside.

    Officers received a call at about 8 p.m. Saturday about a dispute over noise between two neighbors on Royale Road, off Gaines School Road, where one had threatened to shoot the other.

    When officers located the man accused of threatening his neighbor—identified as Nan Zhao, 45—and tried to question him, Zhao "produced a handgun and fired several shots at the officers," according to police. The officers returned fire. Zhao was taken to a local hospital, where he died.


  • In the Loop: Police Release Video of Latest Officer Shooting

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    Body camera video released by Athens-Clarke County police today shows an officer shooting a woman who started to charge at him while holding a knife.

    On the morning of Oct. 14, Senior Officer Lamar Glenn responded to a call about a suspicious woman with a knife and a gun on Chalfont Drive, off Tallassee Road.

    Glenn arrived and immediately told the woman—later identified as Bonny Thomas, 54—to put down the knife. Thomas repeatedly said no and walked toward Glenn with the knife raised and her other hand under her shirt, saying, "I have a gun and a knife." Glenn backed up and pulled his handgun, and as Thomas started to break into run, shot her once in the chest.


  • In the Loop: Cedar Shoals Principal Derrick Maxwell Resigns


    Cedar Shoals High School principal Derrick Maxwell is resigning effective Oct. 29.

    Maxwell announced his departure in an email to Cedar Shoals parents and staff today. Sources tell Flagpole he is taking a central office position in Barrow County.

    The former Whit Davis Elementary principal was tapped to lead Cedar Shoals through a painful period of dealing with an alleged sexual assault on campus in 2016. But he was passed over for the position when it came time to hire a permanent principal. Last year, the position came open again, and he was hired.

    But Maxwell had reportedly gotten on Superintendent Demond Means' bad side. In April board member John Knox met with Means to tell him that Maxwell is widely liked, and the community would be up in arms if he were fired. The meeting resulted in Means filing a complaint with accreditation agency AdvancEd accusing three board members of micromanagement.

    Maxwell is the latest of about a dozen principals who have left the Clarke County School District in the past two years.

    The Local School Governance Team, made up of teachers, parents and other community members, will choose one to four candidates for principal to send on to Means, who will recommend one to the school board for approval.

    The full text of Maxwell's announcement is below:


  • In the Loop: ACCPD Officer Shoots Suspect for Fifth Time This Year


    Photo Credit: Blake Aued

    Chief Cleveland Spruill briefs reporters on an officer-involved shooting at an Oct. 14 news conference.

    An Athens-Clarke County police officer shot and killed a knife-wielding woman Monday morning on Chalfont Lane, in the Westchester neighborhood off Tallassee Road.

    The officer was responding to a 10 a.m. call about a suspicious woman with a knife and possibly a firearm, Chief Cleveland Spruill told reporters Monday afternoon. 

    The officer retreated, but the 54-year-old white woman ignored his orders to drop the knife, instead "rais[ing] the knife in a threatening manner," Spruill said. The officer fired, striking her in the torso. Other officers rendered first aid, but she died.


  • In the Loop: Cedar Shoals Student Charged With Making Threat

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    A Cedar Shoals High School student was charged with making terroristic threats after, police said, she "became distressed" during class and "made a verbal threat referencing a weapon."

    A cellphone video recorded by a student at Cedar Shoals showed the girl saying she would "AR-15" other students, using the name of the assault-style rifle as a verb. The video went viral Wednesday and has been shared on social media hundreds of times, sparking conversations about whether the girl would be disciplined or not because she is white.

    After investigating, police issued the student a juvenile complaint.

    Cedar Shoals Principal Derrick Maxwell sent a note to parents Wednesdays explaining the incident. Athens-Clarke County police also urged families to talk about the dangers of weapons and using threatening language in school.


  • Homedrone: Go Bar to End Late-Night Music, Transition to Restaurant


    Go Bar in 1999.

    After 20 years of drag shows, dance parties and noise-rock freakouts, Prince Avenue institution Go Bar has announced plans to transition from a music and entertainment venue to a restaurant, installing a kitchen, covering the outdoor patio and adding daytime hours.


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