Blog Topic: In the Community

  • In the Loop: Video: Kids, Cops and Charlayne Hunter-Gault at the Chess and Community Conference

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    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones

    The fifth annual Chess and Community conference Saturday at the Georgia Center featured entrepreneur Beau Shell (the Lil' Ice Cream Dude), journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault (who integrated the University of Georgia) and a tournament between the Classic City Knights youth chess team and local police officers.

    Here's a video by Flagpole senior staff photographer Joshua L. Jones featuring Chess and Community founder Lemuel "Life the Griot" LaRoche.


  • In the Loop: Photos: Clarke County School District Maker Faire


    The Clarke County School District held its first-ever Maker Faire Saturday afternoon at Clarke Central High School. The event featured more than 100 students from all 21 CCSD schools, including exhibits on arts and crafts, 3D printing, film, music, drones, robots, science, engineering, agriculture and more. All photos by Flagpole contributing photographer Austin Steele.


  • In the Loop: Help ABH Reporter Joe Johnson Beat Cancer


    Those of you who are regular readers of the local daily will recognize the name Joe Johnson. He's been the paper's ace crime reporter for about 15 years—the guy who not only writes those hilarious blotter items, but covered dozens of murder trials, hung out with gang members when police denied Athens had gangs, exposed wrongdoing at the county jail and broke countless other big stories over the years.

    The tough-as-nails New Yorker was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and underwent surgery earlier this month. He doesn't know yet whether the tumor is malignant or what other treatments he may need, but they're bound to be expensive, and it's unlikely he'll be able to return to work full-time for a while.


  • In the Loop: UGA Holds Memorial for Baldwin Hall Remains

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    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones

    Federal Judge Steve Jones, an Athens native and UGA graduate, speaks at the memorial service for dozens of people whose remains were moved from the Baldwin Hall construction site to Oconee Hill Cemetery.

    The University of Georgia held a memorial service today for 105 people whose gravesites were found during construction on a Baldwin Hall expansion project and moved to nearby Oconee Hill Cemetery.

    "From the moment the first remains were discovered in November of 2015, the university's guiding principle has been to treat these individuals with dignity and respect, and it is in that spirit that today's ceremony was developed," UGA President Jere Morehead said.

    Most of the 30 remains that could be tested were of African ancestry—presumably slaves, given that the Jackson Street or Old Athens Cemetery where they were found closed in 1956—and some members of Athens' African-American community have been critical of the way UGA has handled the situation.


  • In the Loop: Four Drive-Bys and a Shooting Death Happened Over the Weekend

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    A woman's ex-husband shot and killed her boyfriend during a drunken argument on Linda Avenue Sunday night.

    Tommy Lee Morris, 53, had been drinking at a nightclub and started to argue about the woman with Tony Curtis Foster Jr., 43, according to police. Morris went to his car, got what police described as an "assault-style rifle" and shot Foster several times. He then moved closer to the victim and shot him again while standing over him, police said.

    Foster was dead when police arrived at about 10:30 p.m.

    Shortly after, police found Morris hiding in the woods near the scene. He is being held at the Clarke County Jail on a charge of aggravated assault.

    In addition, Athens-Clarke County police reported four drive-by shootings over the weekend:


  • In the Loop: Ex-UGA Player Quentin Moses Remembered as 'True Gentleman'



    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones

    Quentin Moses' father, Preston, comforts his mother, Claudette Smith, at a memorial service Thursday at Cedar Shoals High School.

    A crowd of over 300 people gathered at Cedar Shoals High School on Thursday for a vigil in remembrance of Athens native and former University of Georgia football player Quentin Moses, Andria Godard, and her daughter, Jasmine Godard, who died in a house fire Sept. 12.

    The only people who talked ill of Moses were the players on the opposite side of the ball, who were faced with the challenge of getting by him, said Moses’ former high-school coach Scott Wilkins during the vigil. “On the field, he was a player that locked down the left side of the field defensively, and off the field he was a true gentleman,” Wilkins said, adding, "He was the best player I ever coached.”


  • In the Loop: Athens Mosque Hosts Open House Saturday



    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file

    Imam Adel Amer (center) at Al-Huda Islamic Center's open house in 2016.

    The Al-Huda Islamic Center will host an open house this Saturday from 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

    “The timing is so crucial to give people a window to know about Islam,” said imam Adel Amer. “Actually the problem is with ignorance, we have to fight ignorance, and you won’t be able to form or crystalize an opinion about someone without reading about him, so instead of hearingabout us you’re going to hear from us. Because when you hear about us... the whole portrait will be the same color, or throw all the Muslims in the same basket, and that is not necessarily true. We have bad people, we have crazy people, like everybody else. But this is not the norm.”

    An open house last January drew about 600 people, and Amer is expecting a drastic upswing in attendance this year.


  • In the Loop: ACC Restricts Parking at World of Wonder Playground


    Photo Credit: Blake Aued

    The new World of Wonder playground that reopened in December is popular—a little TOO popular.

    In response to what Athens-Clarke County officials call "dangerous situations that have been created for vehicles and pedestrians in the area, particularly children," the county government has instituted new parking restrictions at the Southeast Clarke Park playground.

    Parking on the Whit Davis Road shoulder has been banned, and anyone who parks there can be towed by ACC police.


  • In the Loop: Thousands March Against Trump in Downtown Athens



    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones

    Jesse Houle fires up the crowd at the City Hall before the march starts.

    On an unseasonably warm night for mid-January, a makeshift band, giant bird puppets and a crowd of thousands gathered around Athens City Hall in protest of newly inaugurated President Donald Trump, filling in every inch of space from Washington Street to Hancock Avenue and from College Avenue to the City Hall doors.

    At what might be the largest march in Athens history, the Day of Resistance drew an estimated 2,500–4,500 attendees, according to Athens for Everyone, who helped organize it.

    While the march was organized in response to the inauguration of Trump, it was not specific to one cause. Speakers included representatives from U-Lead Athens, an organization for undocumented students; The Cottage, a nonprofit that assists sexual assault survivors; Students for Justice in Palestine and Athens for Everyone.


  • In the Loop: Photo Gallery: Athens' First MLK Day Parade


    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones

    Former R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe speaks with parade organizer Mokah Jasmine Johnson after the Athens in Harmony concert at the 40 Watt Club Monday night.

    Athens' first-ever Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade drew several thousand people downtown on Monday to enjoy not only marching bands and classic cars, but food trucks, kids' activities, live music and more. Flagpole photographer Joshua L. Jones was there to capture the event. [Blake Aued]


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