COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

Blog Topic: Upcoming in Athens

  • Culture Briefs: Athens Symphony Christmas Concert Tickets Available Nov. 25

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    Photo Credit: Athens Symphony

    Complimentary tickets to the Athens Symphony's two-day Christmas Concert series will be available for pickup at the Classic Center box office on Monday, Nov. 25 at 10 a.m., the Classic Center announced today. The concerts will take place Saturday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 8 at 3 p.m.

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  • In the Loop: Everything You Wanted to Know About SPLOST but Were Afraid to Ask

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    With a vote on SPLOST 2020 coming up Tuesday, it's obvious that a lot of folks have questions—and misconceptions—about the sales tax and the projects it will fund. The community group Friends of ACC SPLOST 2020, headed by Shannon Wilder, who chaired the citizens committee that recommended projects, is here to provide some answers.

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  • In the Loop: Now's Your Chance to Comment on High-Speed Rail Through Athens

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    A map of the three proposed routes. The "greenfield alternative" through Athens is in green.

    The Federal Railroad Administration and the Georgia Department of Transportation are currently taking public input on three proposed routes for high-speed rail between Atlanta and Charlotte, one of which would run through Athens.

    The "greenfield corridor" through Athens offers the highest speeds—125 miles per hour for diesel or 220 mph for electric—as well as the highest potential ridership, carrying up to 6.3 million people in 2050.

    Another route, along I-85, with the nearest stop in Commerce, would have similar speeds and ridership, but at a much higher cost of $13.3 billion to $16.4 billion, compared to $6.2 billion to $8.4 billion for the greenfield corridor.

    The third alternative would run along the existing Silver Crescent track through Toccoa and Gainesville. It would be much cheaper at $2 billion to $2.3 billion to upgrade those tracks. But it would also top out at 79 mph for diesel and 110 mph for electric, and carry far fewer people, about 940,000 to 1.1 million in 2050.

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  • In the Loop: Firefly Trail Bridge Proposal Blends Old and New

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    Consultants hired by Athens-Clarke County to design a bridge over Trail Creek incorporating the famed "Murmur trestle" have submitted a final proposal that will go before the ACC Mayor and Commission next month.

    Based on feedback from an ACC-appointed user group and the public, consulting firm Kimley Horn came up with a design that involves rebuilding the remaining portion of the wooden trestle, bolstered by more modern steel-and-concrete arches on either side.

    The trestle was part of the first railroad into Athens, and was made famous in the early 1980s, when R.E.M. put it on the back cover of its debut album. Owner CSX started to demolish it in 2000, but R.E.M. fans around the world rallied, and the local government purchased what was left, with plans to turn the historic railroad into a walking and biking trail.

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  • In the Loop: Climate Change Is Going to Make Athens Hot as Hell

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    It was 97 degrees in Athens yesterday. You think that's bad? Just wait.

    Greenhouse gas emissions are projected to cause an 8-degree jump in global temperatures over pre-industrial levels, and a group called the  Union of Concerned scientists calculated what that would mean for individual counties..

    Clarke County averages 61 days a year with a heat index above 90. (Sort of like wind chill, the heat index combines the temperature and humidity level into a number that expresses how hot it feels.) Nine days a year on average, it rises above 100 degrees, and twice, it hits 105.

    If nothing is done about climate change, the heat index will hit 90 110 times a year by mid-century, and it'll hit 100 six times as often as it does now. For nearly a month out of the year—29 days—the heat index will be 105 or above.

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  • In the Loop: School Board Seeks Applicants for District 4

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    Former District 4 BOE member Jared Bybee.

    The Clarke County Board of Education is now accepting applications for the vacant District 4 position on the board.

    The remaining eight members of the school board will select someone to replace former president Jared Bybee at their Aug. 8 meeting. Bybee resigned in May.

    The board chose District 7 representative LaKeisha Gantt to replace Bybee in his role as president last month, but the District 4 seat remains vacant.

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  • Grub Notes: Weed-Themed Sub Shop Coming to Athens

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    Photo Credit: Cheba Hut via Facebook

    Cheba Hut, a cannabis-themed sandwich franchise founded in Tempe, AZ, is looking to open a couple of locations in Athens. No surprise there. The South is an as-yet-untapped market for the company, which has a bunch of restaurants in Colorado, but nothing closer to us than Madison, WI.

    Founder Scott Jennings said they're looking downtown for the first location, but don't have a specific one picked out yet.

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  • Culture Briefs: Michael Thurmond Signs New Edition of Athens Black History Book Saturday

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    Athens native Michael Thurmond will sign copies of A Story Untold: Black Men and Black Women in Athens History at The Classic Center from 4–6 p.m. Saturday.

    Thurmond has updated the book for its 40th anniversary.

    In 1986, Thurmond became the first African-American elected to the state legislature from Athens since Reconstruction. He served as state labor commissioner from 1997–2010, becoming the first non-incumbent African-American to win a statewide race in Georgia. After a failed run for Senate, he became superintendent of the DeKalb County school system, and was elected CEO of DeKalb County in 2016.

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  • In the Loop: You Can Drink at UGA Football Games This Fall—if You're Rich

    The SEC has lifted its ban on selling alcoholic beverages at sporting events, but the average Dawg still won't be able to throw back a cold one in the stands at Sanford Stadium.

    The new policy, approved Friday, requires conference members that wish to sell alcohol to set aside designated areas for consumption and prohibits drinking in seating areas.

    "Our policy governing alcohol sales has been a source of considerable discussion and respectful debate among our member universities in recent years," SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. "As a conference, we have been observant of trends in the sale and consumption of alcohol at collegiate sporting events and have drawn upon the experiences and insights of our member schools which have responsibly established limited alcohol sales within controlled spaces and premium seating areas."

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  • In the Loop: CCSD Budget Funds Police and Counselors; Cuts Grants for Schools

     

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    Superintendent Demond Means.

    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:

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