Blog Topic: Breaking News

  • In the Loop: UGA Students Condemn Library-Wide Email Railing Against Undocumented Immigrants


    A University of Georgia library employee is under investigation by UGA’s Equal Opportunity Office after sending an email via the university-wide library email list stating her controversial views on immigration in June.

    The Office of Multicultural Services and Programs and organizations such as the Hispanic Student Association, NAACP, Listo and MIXED recently received an anonymous letter that contained a copy of the email originally written by the library employee, Kay Altschul. The letter was sent during National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is Sept. 15–Oct. 15.

    “To encourage illegal activity and give them food, house and rest and a Country to break our laws. That is how they began their life with our Country. What makes us think they will live with different morals since they’ve crossed over the border illegally? What do we want for this Country now? Total Immorality? Injustice? Chaos? Cheating? Lying? Stealing? Killing?,” the email sent on June 20 reads.


  • In the Loop: ACCPD Deputy Chief Justin Gregory Is Resigning


    Photo Credit: Athens-Clarke County

    Deputy Chief Justin Gregory is the second top administrator to leave the Athens-Clarke County police department in less than two weeks.

    Gregory, a 23-year veteran of law enforcement, submitted his resignation Friday, effective Oct. 5. He told Flagpole that he's been thinking about changing careers for over a year to spend more time with his family and gain more life experience. He said he's leaving his options open.

    "It's time to figure out what to do with the rest of my life," he said.


  • In the Loop: City Manager: Police Chief Lost Confidence of Department

    Blaine Williams web.jpg

    Athens-Clarke County Manager Blaine Williams

    Athens-Clarke County Manager Blaine Williams said Thursday night that he and Police Chief Scott Freeman mutually agreed to part ways over simmering concerns about morale and attrition within the police department.

    "This has been coming for some time," Williams told Flagpole, adding that "this is a conversation that's been happening the past five or six months.

    "Real or perceived, there's been an erosion in confidence in the chief," Williams said. "The chief has done a lot of great things, but I've got to bring some stability to the department... At the end of the day, the chief and I agreed mutually this was in the best interests of the department."


  • In the Loop: Scott Freeman Is Out as Athens Police Chief

    ACCPD Chief Freeman.jpg

    Scott Freeman is no longer chief of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, but the circumstances surrounding his departure are unclear.

    As an Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement town hall meeting about community relations with police was wrapping up, AADM co-founder Knowa Johnson announced that Freeman had been fired.

    The Athens Banner-Herald broke the story at about 7:30 p.m., quoting Mayor Nancy Denson as saying that ACC Manager Blaine Williams had fired Freeman.

    “I wasn’t surprised that he was let go because I know there were several issues,” Denson told the ABH. “Evidently he wasn’t a good fit for Athens.”

    Neither Williams nor Freeman immediately returned calls seeking comment. But about 20 minutes later, the ACC government issued a news release saying Freeman had resigned effective today. The announcement said he is leaving to "pursue other opportunies."


  • Culture Briefs: Saturday's UGA Football Game Moved to Noon

    Saturday's UGA football game against Middle Tennessee State, which was originally slated for a 7:15 p.m. kickoff at Sanford Stadium, has been moved to noon, according to an announcement from the UGA Athletic Association. The game will be televised on ESPNews and the ESPN app.


  • In the Loop: Standoff With Robber Ends at West Broad Gas Station

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    A standoff with an alleged armed robber that shut down part of West Broad Street this evening ended without any injuries.

    A man walked into the Marathon gas station near Evans Street with a gun Friday afternoon intending to rob it, according to Athens-Clarke County police spokesman Epifanio Rodriguez. But after being confronted by someone inside, the man instead walked outside and sat down.

    When police arrived, the man—whose name has not been released—refused to comply with their instructions, Rodriguez said. The SWAT team was called in, and after attempts to negotiate, they used non-lethal rounds to take him into custody, he said.

    The man was arrested at about 7 p.m., and West Broad was reopened.


  • In the Loop: UGA Will Ticket Bird Users Who Break Traffic Laws


    Photo Credit: Savannah Cole

    University of Georgia police will start ticketing Bird e-scooter riders on Friday if they break traffic laws, the university announced in a campus-wide email this morning.

    “For the last 10 days, the University Police Department has engaged in an effort to educate scooter riders about the applicable laws,” an Archnews email said. “Moving forward, individuals violating traffic code — including riding scooters on sidewalks — may be cited, which could lead to fines of $185, plus associated court fees.”


  • In the Loop: UGA: Snelling Dining Hall May Be Renovated, but No Decision Yet



    Photo Credit: University of Georgia

    Rumors have spread on campus that Snelling Dining Hall will be closing for renovations and Oglethorpe Dining Hall, also known as O-House, will become the new 24-hour dining hall. However, a University of Georgia spokesperson said those rumors are false, and there are no plans to close Snelling at this time.

    “Snelling is a popular dining hall, and we know students rely on its availability. Dining Services continuously seeks ways to improve the student dining experience,” said Greg Trevor, executive director of media communication.

    Trevor said UGA will begin a “feasibility study this fall to explore ways we can enhance service at Snelling.” The study is expected to take four to six months to complete.


  • In the Loop: Athens Police Will Start Ticketing Scooter Scofflaws


    Bird scooter web.jpg

    Photo Credit: Savannah Cole

    A group of Athens-Clarke County commissioners said on Thursday that the grace period is over for Bird scooter users who do not abide by state and local law.

    State law bans people over 12 from driving any vehicle on the sidewalk in most areas. County ordinances prohibit parking on sidewalks and driveways, in front of alleys and driveways or in the middle of the street.

    The Legislative Review Committee—chairman Jerry NeSmith, Allison Wright, Sharyn Dickerson and Mariah Parker—were scheduled to discuss motorized vehicles on public property such as golf carts, scooters, mopeds and segways. However, their attention quickly honed in on how to address the new dockless electric scooters in Athens.


  • In the Loop: UGA Is Confiscating Those Newfangled Scooters


    Bird scooter web.jpg

    Photo Credit: Savannah Cole

    Last week, Bird Scooters began hatching around Athens and soaring through the University of Georgia as part of the company’s nationwide “University Pop-Up Tour.” But now, several Athens-Clarke County and University of Georgia officials are saying they’re becoming a big problem—so much so that university officials are confiscating the new scooters on campus.

    According to university spokesman Greg Trevor and ACC public information officer Jeff Montgomery, Bird Scooters did not coordinate with the university or the county and do not have a business license.

    Common concerns about the new scooters are riders ignoring helmet requirements, riding scooters on sidewalks, disobeying local and state traffic laws and leaving scooters abandoned on sidewalks, roads and other areas where could cause harm to bystanders.


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