COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

Blog Topic: Say What

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

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    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."

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  • In the Loop: Anti-Abrams Flyers Found Inside Copies of Flagpole Downtown, on Campus

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    Photo Credit: @hello_madison/Twitter

    Several weeks ago, we began getting tips from readers that someone (or someones) had been inserting pro-GOP flyers inside random issues of Flagpole. The leaflets, which have been found at various distribution locations downtown and on campus, warned of the evils of antifa and the "Democrat Party" while admonishing readers to "VOTE CONSERVATIVE."

    As Publisher Pete McCommons wrote in his column last week:

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  • In the Loop: UGA Is Confiscating Those Newfangled Scooters

     

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    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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  • In the Loop: Secretary of State's Office Doesn't Know How Many People Voted in the Primaries

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    Secretary of State Brian Kemp's office told a reporter it would cost over $1,000 and take 30 days to say how many people voted in the May 22 and July 24 elections.

    The Georgia Secretary of State's office, which is responsible for elections in the state, does not know how many people voted in either the May 22 primary elections or the July 24 runoffs.

    The 159 counties in the state filed that information with the Secretary of State's office shortly after each of the two elections as part of the certification process for elections.

    Fran Davis, director of the Oconee County Office of Elections and Registration, for example, told the Secretary of State’s Elections Division that 7,815 ballots were cast in the county in the May primary and 5,973 were cast in the July runoff.

    Robin Herron, an executive assistant in the Secretary of State's office, said it would take about 38 hours for staff to gather and review those records for the 159 counties and that the work would have to be spread across 30 business days.

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  • In the Loop: Georgia Lawmaker Makes an Ass Out of Himself—Literally

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    Photo Credit: Screencap via Showtime.

    In the middle of a summer chock-full of political hilarity, with Georgia taking center stage nationally with its candidates and their guns and pickup trucks, another Georgian sets a new low for the state.  

    On Sunday’s episode of Sacha Baron Cohen’s new project “Who Is America?” the intrepid host—who says he is “in Mossad, not in Moussad”—persuades naïve Georgia Rep. Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine) to appear on the show ostensibly to learn how to identify and intimidate terrorists. Spencer failed to catch Cohen’s clues that he is not what he says and proceeded to follow the most ridiculous instructions.  

    Cohen probably zeroed in on the controversial Spencer thanks to his public threat against a black former state representative who was calling for the removal of Confederate statues and his proposed 2016 bill banning burkas.  

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  • In the Loop: What's Up With the Trees on the Loop?

     

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    Photo Credit: Mccunicano/Wikimedia Commons

    RIP Loop trees.

    Or what’s down, rather. Many readers have noticed that trees on the Loop are being cut down and have asked who’s doing it and why. It’s the state Department of Transportation, and they say they’re thinning the trees for safety reasons.

    “We are doing vegetation management along the corridor the last few weeks,” GDOT spokeswoman Katie Strickland said. “Trees can be a hazard for roadways in many instances. Winter weather, along with other storms, can take trees down across power lines and also block routes. We also have seen pedestrians and drivers injured by trees located too close to our right of way.”

    Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

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  • In the Loop: Avid Pulls Out of Athens Academy Book Fair After Being Told to Remove Book With Gay Characters

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    Avid Bookshop shut down the annual book fair it holds at Athens Academy today after an administrator told booksellers to hide a book that features gay characters, according to owner Janet Geddis.

    The director of the Oconee County private school's "lower" (or elementary) school told Avid staff to remove The Best Man by Newbery Medalist Richard Peck from display after a parent complained on Wednesday, Geddis said. The Best Man "tells the story of small-town life, gay marriage and everyday heroes," according to Avid's website

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  • In the Loop: Candidates Condemn 'Violent Rhetoric' by a Richard Winfield Supporter Against Chalis Montgomery

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    Photo Credit: Nicole Adamson/file

    Chalis Montgomery.

    Chalis Montgomery's campaign called on opponent Richard Dien Winfield today to denounce what it called "escalating and violent rhetoric" against Montgomery.

    Both Winfield and Montgomery are running in the Democratic primary to take on District 10 Rep. Jody Hice (R-Greensboro).

    Irami Osei-Frimpong, a Winfield supporter who is featured in some of his campaign materials, posted on Facebook Sunday that he would "kill their [white liberals'] Democrat." 

    The Montgomery campaign took this to be a threat and called on Winfield to denounce it. 

    “The national sickness of violent political speech—particularly against women—has unfortunately reached our city,” Montgomery spokeswoman Kimberly Davis said in a news release. “This issue is one that transcends this particular election and is reflective of where we are in terms of public discourse in this country. It’s about how we treat all women.”

    In a statement provided to Flagpole, Winfield said that he asked Osei-Frimpong to change the language of the post—which he did—and that he would not tolerate inflammatory speech.

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  • In the Loop: Athens Immigrants Respond to Trump's 'Shithole Countries' Comment

     

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    Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

    Speaking of shitholes...

    Early Thursday afternoon, it seemed as if the Senate was steamrolling into a victory bipartisan effort to end the uncertainty for DACA recipients—immigrants brought to the U.S. as children by undocumented parents who were protected from deportation under the Obama Administration. A team lead by Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) seemed to have settle on an agreement to prevent the deportation of almost 700,000 DREAMers that the bill covers.

    However, later that same afternoon, when President Trump was brief on the details of the plan by senators, he was frustrated with the idea of allowing the legal immigration of residents from Africa, Haiti and El Salvador, questioning, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” adding, “We should be taking more people from Norway.”

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  • In the Loop: Nick Chubb's Fascinating Family History

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    Photo Credit: UGA Athletic Association

    For all of Georgia running back Nick Chubb's accomplishments on the football field, what his ancestors did may be even more impressive.

    The Atlanta news website Saporta Report ran a story Monday on the Chubb family history, and it is incredible.

    In 1851, eight Chubb brothers, all freed slaves, moved from North Carolina to Madison, GA, about 30 miles south of Athens, then settled near Rome, founding an unincorporated community called Chubbtown.

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