In the Loop

  • Athens' Republican Congressmen Hate the Supreme Court's Abortion Ruling



    Pro-abortion rights protesters outside the Supreme Court.

    Athens is represented in Congress by two Republicans who also happen to be Baptist ministers, so it’s no surprise that they’re extremely unhappy with yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, striking down Texas restrictions on abortion clinics that would have closed most of the clinics in the state.

    Here’s Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) on the 5-3 decision:


  • Athens Power Rankings for the Week of June 27

    Welcome to Athens Power Rankings. In the spirit of sports rating systems, through painstaking analysis, we rank the top movers and shakers in the Classic City each week. Who's hot? Who's not? Find out below.


    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones

    Mothers accepts an award at last week's Flagpole Athens Music Awards show.


  • Oconee Commission Approves Move for Mercedes-Benz of Athens


    The Oconee County Board of Commissioners voted to rezone property for an Athens Mercedes-Benz dealership that wants to move, based in part on an economic development document that wasn’t made available to the public.

    Three weeks after the Oconee County Planning Commission voted against a proposed rezone on Highway 316 for auto dealerships, county Economic Development Director J.R. Charles sent members of the Board of Commissioners an “Economic Impact Analysis” that said the project would benefit the county.

    Charles also sent the report to Jon Williams, president of Williams and Associates, who was representing those asking for the rezone, saying “Thought you would like to have it in your back pocket if you have to speak at the Commission meeting.”


  • Supreme Court Rules Against Immigration Program



    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file

    "Victoria" told Flagpole last year that her husband, a 22-year Athens resident, was deported, leaving behind her and their grandchildren, who may never see him again.

    Supreme Court ruling has put in jeopardy the Obama Administration’s plan to shield 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.

    A 4-4 tie (due to Senate Republicans’ refusal to vote on the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement) announced this morning means that an injunction on expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will remain in place—for now.

    DACA allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children before 2007 to remain here and work legally. Obama announced in 2014 that he would expand the programto cover newer arrivals, as well as the parents of U.S. citizens and green-card holders. Texas and 26 other states sued to stop the program.


  • UGA, Athens Transit Win Grants for Electric Buses


    Photo Credit: courtesy of UGA

    An electric bus demonstration on the UGA campus.

    Athens Transit and UGA Transit will receive funding for 29 new electric buses, replacing one-third of the diesel buses in those fleets, Gov. Nathan Deal announced today.

    Deal announced the 11 winners of a combined $75 million in grants under the GO! Transit Capital Program.


  • Oconee County Had Plans for Calls Creek Sewer a Year Before It Told the Public

    No Pipe Sign (1).jpg

    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    A proposed sewer pipeline down idyllic Calls Creek northeast of Watkinsville and through a series of neighborhoods along the creek has Oconee County in a bit of turmoil. Protest road signs, bumper stickers and T-shirts are popping up around the county.

    Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis, who lost control of several meetings in which citizens voiced their unhappiness, has imposed strict restrictions. Sign-up sheets are required for citizens wanting to speak. A large clock is projected on the screen as people come forward to comment. A loud buzzer goes off if the speaker exceeds the allowed three minutes.

    Despite these restrictions, citizens have used the open comment section of meetings, budget hearings, rezone hearings and discussions of sewer and water contracts to make it clear to anyone who wants to listen that a 24-inch pipeline with its required 30-foot buffer is not wanted.


  • Athens Power Rankings for the Week of June 20

    Welcome to Athens Power Rankings. In the spirit of sports rating systems, through painstaking analysis, we rank the top movers and shakers in the Classic City each week. Who's hot? Who's not? Find out below.



  • 100 Prince Is Back With No Changes



    Photo Credit: Smith Planning Group

    100 Prince—the mixed use development proposed for the St. Joseph Catholic Church property—will be resubmitted this month with no changes, according to Jim Warnes, the Athens attorney for the Greenville, SC development company Homes Urban.

    Plans were withdrawn in early May, just before the Athens-Clarke County Commission was to vote on (and likely approve) them. At the time, Warnes told Flagpole that Homes Urban was facing issues with lining up a main commercial tenant, high construction bids and tax credits for development in low-income areas.


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