Photo Credit: Blake Aued
A portrait of former Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Miriam Moore hangs in the community room of the East Athens Development Corp., a nonprofit she helped start, in a former elementary school that's now named after her.
Community leaders unveiled the portrait at a ceremony Saturday attended by about 100 people who knew or were influenced by Moore. Known as Mimi, Moore fought to bring social services and quality affordable housing to East Athens before, during and after her four years on the Athens City Council and ACC Commission. She was the first African-American woman elected to both bodies in 1988 and 1990, respectively.
Along with the late Jessie Barnett and Evelyn Neely, Moore helped revitalize Triangle Plaza and create the Classic Center, EADC, Athens Neighborhood Health Center and East Athens Park. The Miriam Moore Community Service Center on McKinley Drive was named for her in 1999. She died in 2006 at the age of 80.
Clarke County School Superintendent Demond Means was “surprised” and “disappointed” that Chase Street Elementary Principal Andrea Neher resigned earlier this month, he said in an email to parents and staff last week.
Neher abruptly left her job June 14, saying that, although Chase is one of the highest-performing schools in the district, Means had told her she had “more than fallen short in meeting his expectations.” Just days later, she became principal of Winder Elementary in Barrow County.
Here is the full letter:
Wayfair, an online furniture and home goods retailer, will open an operations center in Athens that will employ more than 500 people.
The center will occupy about 45,000 square feet out of 250,000 in General Time, a planned mixed-use development at a former clock factory off Newton Bridge Road near the Loop. The Boston-based company plans to invest $7.7 million in the facility, described in documents as a call center, over the next five years.
Photo Credit: Lee Becker
Shannon Clawson, lobbyist for Georgia Equality, told Oconee County Democrats recently that her group had a mixed record during the 2019 Georgia legislative session.
Clawson pointed to passage of a number of bills that she said served the interests of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities of the state.
She included among the successes passage of a bill sponsored by Rep. Houston Gaines (R-Athens) making it possible for “syringe services” programs to distribute syringes or needles without civil or criminal liability.
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.
The Clarke County School District’s proposed 2020 budget includes funding for an assistant police chief and new positions focused on student behavior—partially funded by cuts to grants that individual schools can spend however they please.
Thanks to rising property values and increased state funding, the $164 million budget is $14 million bigger than the current fiscal year, but much of that money will be eaten up by health care and pension expenses. Still, the budget does include about a dozen new positions:
Photo Credit: Austin Steele/file
An ethics complaint filed against Clarke County School Superintendent Demond Means alleges that he plagiarized part of a letter to colleagues, accepted an inappropriate gift and may have lied about his dissertation on his job application.
Patrick McKee, a Newnan lawyer, filed the complaint with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, which certifies educators, on May 3. McKee formerly represented the PSC as a senior assistant attorney general and currently is general counsel for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, an accrediting body.
McKee told Flagpole that he “represents a group of parents and taxpayers” in Athens, but would not say who. “At some point, the group will become more visible,” he said.
The Clarke County School District has leadership vacancies at six schools to fill after moving several principals to the central office.
The district announced the moves late Friday, a day after the Board of Education met in closed session to discuss personnel.
According to Director of Public Relations and Communications Mary Walsh Wickwire:
Photo Credit: Thinc UGA
Come June, Jared Bybee will no longer be the president of the Clarke County Board of Education. His family and he are moving to southern California, where his wife has accepted a job with the University of California, Irvine.
Bybee was first elected to the board in 2016. His colleagues voted him president in January 2018.
“Being on the board has been a ton of work, but very rewarding, and I’ve learned a lot from my colleagues on the board even when we disagreed,” Bybee said. “Even after seeing all the complicated innards of how it all works, I remain steadfast in my optimism for CCSD and the direction we are headed.”
With the construction of Firefly Trail finally underway after nearly 20 years, Athens-Clarke County finally has to make a decision about what to do with the Murmur trestle.
In 2000, CSX started to remove rails and demolish trestles along an abandoned rail line running from Winterville to downtown Athens. One of those trestles, near Poplar Street, was featured on the back cover of R.E.M.’s album Murmur. Fans rallied, and ACC purchased the trestle and halted the demolition, but not before it was halfway gone.
As many cities have done with unused railroads—see New York’s High Line or the Silver Comet Trail west of Atlanta—ACC decided to convert the flat, level rail bed into a walking and biking trail. Sales tax collections, planning and federal approval took over a decade. The first leg of the trail, between East Broad Street and Dudley Park, opened last year. Initially, there was not enough money for a new bridge over Trail Creek, but that’s changed since voters approved a 1 percent sales tax for transportation in 2017.
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