COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

Blog Topic: Oconee Observations

  • In the Loop: Oconee Dems Briefed on Firefly Trail

    Screen Shot 2019-05-06 at 2.16.27 PM.png

    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    Stephanie Doerr, a board member of Firefly Trail Inc.

    Stephanie Doerr’s commitment to multi-use trails was obvious from the outset.

    “For my bucket list, I’m determined to ride on every trail in every state,” Doerr told the gathering of the Oconee County Democratic Party.

    Doerr listed 27 states as “done.”

    Doerr was joined by Ivette Bledsoe. Both are members of the Board of Directors of the Firefly Trail Inc., a Georgia non-profit incorporated to create a multi-use trail from Athens to Union Point.

    Read More...

  • In the Loop: Voting Machine Bill Passes on Party-Line Vote

    gold dome ken lund flickr.jpg

    Oconee County’s three legislators in the Georgia General Assembly last week voted in favor of House Bill 316, which selects new voting machines and responds to allegations that voters last year were denied access, absentee ballots were not counted and vote tallies were incomplete.

    The vote on the House bill was partisan, and Sen. Bill Cowsert from the 46th District, Rep. Houston Gaines from House District 117, and Rep. Marcus Wiedower from House District 119, all Republicans, sided with the Republican majority.

    Read More...

  • In the Loop: Athens Republicans Vote for Abortion Bill, Against Hate Crimes Bill

    Wiedower web.jpg

    Rep. Marcus Wiedower (R-Watkinsville).

    Oconee County’s two representatives in the Georgia General Assembly cast their votes late Thursday night with the House majority in favor of a bill that prohibits most abortions after a doctor can detect a heartbeat in the womb and with the minority against a hate crimes bill.

    House Bill 481, officially called the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act, passed narrowly at 10:45 p.m. on Thursday with 93 representatives, almost all Republicans, voting in favor, and 73 voting against.

    The bill required 91 votes for passages in the 180-seat House of Representatives, where Oconee County’s Houston Gaines and Marcus Wiedower are joined by 105 other Republicans.

    House Bill 426, which would amend existing Georgia Code to provide criteria for imposition of punishment for defendants who select their victims based upon certain biases or prejudices, also passed narrowly with 96 voting in favor and 64 voting against.

    Read More...

  • In the Loop: Oconee County Moves to Keep Economic Development Out of the Public Eye

    Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 11.40.46 AM.png

    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    County Administrator Justin Kirouac.

    The Oconee County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night will consider transferring the county’s economic development activities to the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce.

    The action comes in the form of a memorandum of understanding that would convey $100,000 annually to the chamber and give it responsibility for providing economic development services for the county, including attracting and recruiting new businesses and industries.

    The intent of the agreement, according to Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell and County Administrator Justin Kirouac, is to circumvent the state’s open records and open meetings laws.

    Read More...

  • In the Loop: Bill Prohibiting House Design Regulations Passes Committee Over Oconee's Objections

    Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 11.42.18 AM.png

    A screenshot of Athens homebuilder Jared York testifying before the House Agriculture Committee.

    The Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee of the Georgia House of Representatives voted 6-5 Wednesday morning to pass House Bill 302 prohibiting local governments from regulating building design of one or two-family dwellings.

    The vote followed a discussion of more than an hour that was dominated by the building industry in the state, with speakers strongly favoring the bill and criticizing local regulations of residential housing.

    One of the most outspoken of those who addressed the committee was Jared York, past president of the Athens Area Home Builders Association, who singled out Clarke and Oconee counties for criticism.

    Representatives of the Georgia Municipal Association and the Association County Commissioners of Georgia spoke against the bill, as did Lilburn Mayor Johnny Crist. Lilburn is in Gwinnett County.

    Oconee County Commission Chair John Daniell and Commissioner Chuck Horton attended the meeting and asked to speak, but Committee Chair Tom McCall called for a vote before they could do so.

    Read More...

  • In the Loop: Meeting Between Oconee Commissioners and Legislators Focuses on Kemp

    All 3 v3.jpg

    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    From left, state Rep. Houston Gaines (R-Athens), Rep. Marcus Wiedower (R-Watkinsville) and Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-Athens).

    Brian Kemp, the governor-elect of Georgia, was not invited to and did not attend the pre-legislative session held late last year by the Oconee County Board of Commissioners for the county’s delegation to the Georgia General Assembly.

    But Kemp’s presence at the gathering was strong nonetheless.

    In closing the session, Republican Sen. Bill Cowsert said “the most interesting thing about this session” is going to be seeing how the personalities of Kemp, newly elected Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan,and House Speaker David Ralston “mesh” and how their goals “match.”

    Read More...

  • In the Loop: Democrats Make Slight Gains in Oconee County

    eaton_1438x2100.jpg

    Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton.

    Republican Brad Raffensperger got 67.1 percent of the vote in Oconee County in the runoff for secretary of state on Tuesday, up just slightly from his 66.8 percent vote on Nov. 6.

    Democrat John Barrow received 32.9 percent of the vote in Oconee County on Tuesday, up from the 30.7 percent he received in the three-way contest on Nov. 6.

    In the Public Service Commission race, incumbent Republican Chuck Eaton received 68.1 percent of the vote in Oconee County on Tuesday, down from the 69.4 percent he received on Nov. 6.

    Democrat Lindy Miller received 31.9 percent, up from the 27.3 percent she received in the three-way race on Nov. 6.

    Read More...

  • In the Loop: Oconee County Voters Cast Mostly Party-Line Ballots

    georgia voter.jpg

    Oconee County voting on Nov. 6 showed little variation by election contest, suggesting that most ballots were cast along party lines.

    No Republican got more than 74.6 percent of the vote or less than 66.8 percent in Oconee County, and no Democrat got more than 30.7 percent of the vote or less than 25.4 percent, an analysis of the certified results shows.

    Voting for the state as a whole showed that same pattern, with almost all contests being split, with about half of the vote going to Republicans and nearly half going to Democrats.

    Read More...

  • In the Loop: Athens-Area Reservoir Named to Georgia's 'Dirty Dozen'

    Cover Report.jpg

    The Georgia Water Coalition has named the planned withdrawal of water from the Apalachee River for an expanded Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir on its 2018 Georgia’s Dirty Dozen list.

    The coalition labeled the proposed Apalachee River water intake “an exercise in overbuilding” and called on the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to turn down the current requests for the intake.

    The Georgia Water Coalition is an alliance of more than 200 organizations, including the Greater Apalachee River Community, a group of Oconee County and Morgan County residents that organized this year to represent the interests of the Apalachee River.

    “For the Apalachee, the aquatic wildlife it harbors and the people who live along and play in it, this proposed withdrawal creates other problems simply because it is super-sized for such a small river,” the report states.

    Read More...

  • In the Loop: Over 40 Percent of Oconee Voters Voted Early

    Early Voting Nov 2018 v2.jpg

    At the end of early voting on Friday, 11,709 Oconee County residents had cast a ballot, representing 42.5 percent of the county’s 27,530 active, registered voters.

    Four years ago at the end of early voting, only 24.4 percent of the county’s then 22,526 active registered voters had participated, indicating final turnout for Tuesday’s election almost certainly will exceed by a considerable amount turnout four years ago.

    Read More...

Page 1 of 19, showing 10 posts out of 186 total, starting on # 1, ending on 10

< previous123456789