Blog Topic: Breaking News

  • 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.


  • In the Loop: Police Identify Officer Who Shot Domestic Abuse Suspect

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    Athens-Clarke County police and the Georgia Bureau of investigation have identified the officer who shot a domestic abuse suspect on Saturday as Roger Williams. The suspect is Salvador Salazar, a 28-year-old North Carolina resident.

    Williams responded to a call about domestic violence at a Baxter Street apartment shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday. When he arrived, Salazar was holding a machete, according to ACCPD.

    "Shortly after the initial encounter, the man brandished a knife in a threatening manner toward our officer," police said Sunday. "Fearing for his life, our officer discharged his service weapon struck the male in the torso."


  • In the Loop: Clarke County Graduation Rate Tops 80%


    Clarke County's graduation rate ticked up to 81.4% in 2019, just shy of Georgia's as a whole.

    Both of the county's traditional high schools, Clarke Central and Cedar Shoals, beat the state average of 82%, with 83.7% and 83.5%, respectively. At the alternative Classic City High, 24 of 46, or 52%, of students graduated within four years.

    The 82% figure is an all-time high for Georgia. The state graduation rate has increased by 12 points since the federal government changed the way graduation rates are calculated in 2012.


  • In the Loop: Former Athens Judge Blocks Georgia Abortion Law


    Judge Steve Jones.

    Georgia's infamous "heartbeat bill" banning most abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy suffered a legal setback today when a federal judge blocked the law from taking effect while it's challenged in the court system.


  • In the Loop: ACC Announces Plans to Redevelop Bethel



    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file

    Bethel Midtown Village.

    Athens-Clarke County announced plans late Friday afternoon to spend $39 million redeveloping the affordable housing complex Bethel Midtown Village if voters opt to extend a 1 percent sales tax for construction projects in November.

    The project, in partnership with the Athens Housing Authority and private developers Columbia Residential and Jonathan Rose Companies, would also include surrounding ACC and AHA properties, in addition to the 190-unit complex off College Avenue just north of downtown.

    “This project would truly transform not only this site and the lives of its residents, but it also has the potential to provide reinvestment into the surrounding area, including downtown Athens,” Mayor Kelly Girtz said in a statement. “This partnership presents a great opportunity to expand the number of affordable and workforce homes downtown and create a healthy, sustainable and well-maintained environment for residents.”


  • In the Loop: ACC Police Warn of THC Tainted Vape Cartridges

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    Photo Credit: courtesy of ACCPD

    Athens-Clarke County police issued a warning today about homemade vape cartridges that have been "tainted" with THC and other chemicals.

    Earlier this week, police executed a warrant and seized 2,370 of the homemade cartridges. They were nearly identical to those produced by a company in California—where THC, the compound in marijuana that makes you high—is legal, but several other chemicals that carry health concerns were added, too.

    In addition, THC remains illegal in Georgia, and shipping THC to Georgia from a state where it's legal is against the law, as well.


  • In the Loop: BOE Member John Knox Responds to Superintendent Means' Allegations


    John Knox.

    Tuesday Flagpole published a story about Clarke County School Superintendent Demond Means' response to a complaint filed with accreditation agency AdvancED in which he alleged that three school board members attempted to micromanage and usurp his authority.

    The story did not include the full response from one of those board members, John Knox. He has provided an 11-page account of his interactions with Means, which you can read here. An excerpt:


  • In the Loop: BOE Approves Early Learning Center at West Broad

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    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file

    The Clarke County Board of Education voted Thursday night to approve Superintendent Demond Means' controversial plan for an early learning center at the West Broad School.

    Means' $10 million proposal includes five to 10 Head Start, Early Head Start and/or pre-K classrooms in a new building, as well as community meeting rooms, an office for students to fill out job and college applications, and a school-based health clinic in the historic portion of the school facing Minor Street.

    The vote was 4–2, with Kara Dyckman, Charles Worthy, Linda Davis and LaKeisha Gantt in favor, and John Knox and Greg Davis opposed. Frances Berry was out of town. Patricia Yager abstained. Tawana Mattox, who works for the Athens Land Trust, recused herself—a crucial distinction, because she was counted as not present, meaning only four votes were required to pass Means' plan instead of five.


  • In the Loop: Commissioner Andy Herod Won't Run for Re-Election

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    Andy Herod, who’s represented the Eastside on the ACC Commission since 2007, won’t run again in 2020, he announced in his monthly newsletter to constituents.

    “Although I have enjoyed the work tremendously, there are some things I would like to pursue in my professional life that I have put on hold for several years,” the UGA geography professor wrote.

    Andrea Farnham, a sex and relationship therapist, announced her candidacy for the District 8 seat in June, running on a social justice platform.

    Longtime local activist Carol Myers, the retired dean of general education at Athens Tech, told Flagpole after Herod’s announcement that she also plans to enter the race. Myers has worked on several local campaigns, served on the SPLOST committee, is active in BikeAthens, helped write ACC’s bike and pedestrian master plan and now chairs a committee overseeing implementation of that plan.


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