Blog Topic: Say What

  • In the Loop: Oconee Official: Move Bishop and Widen 441

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    The Madison Athens-Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study (MACORTS) Policy Committee took the first step on Wednesday toward reactivating the construction of a bypass of Bishop and the four-laning of U.S. 441 from Watkinsville to the Apalachee River.

    The project now goes to the public comment stage, with a key meeting to be held from 5–7 p.m. on Feb. 24 in the Community Center at Oconee Veterans Park.


  • In the Loop: Conservatives Target Athens Ben & Jerry's Over 'Hands Up, Don't Shoot' Shirt

    Landon Bubb, a manager at the downtown Athens Ben & Jerry’s, posted a picture to the store's Facebook page on Saturday featuring company co-founder Ben Cohen wearing a “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” t-shirt. 

    The University of Georgia graduate posted the photo in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Hoping to spark a positive discussion about police brutality, he was met with hateful backlash. The photo went viral overnight, gaining upwards of 300,000 views, more than 3,000 shares and more than 1,600 comments. Supporters chimed in here and there, but the discussion is dominated by personal attacks and threats of a boycott. 


  • In the Loop: The Prince Avenue Flags Made the Atlanta News

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    Photo Credit: Blake Aued

    Tim Bryant had a great quote on Facebook: He is "at the same time amazed and yet also unsurprised that Athens, of all places, makes a statewide issue out of crossing the street. "

    11Alive did a story yesterday on the new Prince Avenue orange flag interpretive danceprogram. 


  • In the Loop: UGA Is Handing Out Football Tickets to Lawmakers Left and Right


    An ethics reform law passed in 2012 capped lobbyists' gifts to state lawmakers at $75. But giving hasn't slowed down for the University of Georgia and other public colleges and universities. That's because government employees are no longer required to register as lobbyists.

    Since they're not officially lobbyists, the state ethics commission no longer keeps tabs on University System spending. But the Atlanta Journal-Constitution filed open-records requests with the schools themselves. The investigation found that they spent a total of $48,000 on legislators since last November and exceeded the $75 limit 20 times.


  • In the Loop: Athens Is Now the Poster Child for Binge Drinking

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    Jason Benning purchases thousands of dollars worth of food and alcohol for his Libation Station tailgate. Credit: Randy Schafer

    Athens gets a lot of national attention, but this is one of those times when we probably don't want it.

    A recent Chronicle of Higher Education article highlighted Athens—long known as a drinking town with a football problem—as the poster child for binge drinking.

    The article tells the story of how Athens came to be drowning in booze through the eyes of University of Georgia Police Chief Jimmy Williamson, former fake ID kingpin William Trosclair (whom Flagpole profiled in February), bar owner Mark Bell, UGA health official Liz Prince, alcohol-free party planner Adam Tenny and tailgater Jason Bening (whose Libation Station was featured in a Flagpole photo gallery last month).


  • In the Loop: The Morton Theatre May Be Haunted

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    What's that blur on the right?

    When there's something strange in the Morton Theatre, who you gonna call?

    Ghosts of Georgia Paranormal Investigations.

    According to an Athens-Clarke County news release, "after hearing stories over the years about unexplained occurrences in the building, the Public Information Office (PIO) approached the Morton Theatre staff about telling the history of the building with a twist by hosting an overnight ghost hunt." Because Jeff Montgomery ain't scared of no ghosts.

    Six investigators with Ghosts of Georgia and a Radar Productions videographer conducted an overnight investigation Oct. 11–12, setting up a variety of recording equipment and walking through the 104-year-old building. (This isn't your tax dollars at work. The investigation was free, Montgomery said.) 


  • Grub Notes: Waffle House Gave Away Free Food Wednesday

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    Photo Credit: Randy Schafer

    Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch? And dinner… and breakfast…

    Free waffles and hash browns are being handed out at the downtown Waffle House today courtesy of Georgia beating Auburn this past Saturday, thanks to the “waffle wager.” 


  • In the Loop: Auburn Fan Claims He Was Spit on, Hit by Bottles in Athens

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    Photo Credit: Randy Schafer

    Georgia and Auburn fans, living in harmony.

    This is an anonymous Reddit post, so take it with a Big Gulp full of grains of salt, but a (purported) Auburn fan didn't have a good time in Athens last weekend (if this person was even here at all).


  • In the Loop: UPDATE: Parents Are Upset About a New Athens Library Storyteller


    Parents are "livid" that a popular storyteller at the Athens-Clarke County Library apparently is being replaced.

    Rebecca Ballard reads to children ages 2–5 at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. each Tuesday. Parent Amanda Cook says that Ballard is being replaced by her boss, Jonathan Dolce, who could not be reached for comment this afternoon. 

    Tomorrow morning will be Ballard's last story time, according to Cook. She said parents will be showing up at the library at story times to support Ballard.

    Parents are circulating an online petition as well as a letter to library Executive Director Kathryn Ames (who retired in September, I believe, but is still listed as director on the library website) asking for Ballard to be reinstated. The text of the letter is below.


  • In the Loop: UPDATE: UGA Cancels African Journalist's Speech Over Ebola Fears


    Photo Credit: BrianGroen/

    The University of Georgia has canceled a speech on campus this week by a Liberian journalist due to concerns about the Ebola outbreak.

    Wade C.L. Williams, the editor of Front Page Africa, was scheduled to give the McGill Lecture this Wednesday. 


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