In the Loop

  • UGA Will Hire 56 New Faculty Members This Year


    Photo Credit: Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA

    Peggy Brickman (left) teaches a small class at UGA.

    The University of Georgia will hire 56 new faculty members in the coming year, UGA announced today.

    Some new faculty will start teaching in August the university said. Ten faculty members were hired last fall to teach 80 courses with high demand.

    By fall 2016, UGA will have added 319 course sections in 81 majors, and the majority of classes will have fewer than 20 students.

    UGA’s current student/faculty ratio is 18–1.


  • Athens Power Rankings for the Week of July 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

    Valerie Bell


  • Ag Official Explains the Myths of Food Stamps

    Kevin Concannon web.jpg

    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones

    Kevin Concannon, undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, toured the Athens Farmers Market and several local community gardens during a visit to Athens on Wednesday.


    All to answer the questions of a poultry science professor, Kevin Concannon, a U.S. undersecretary of agriculture, came to UGA last week to discuss the myths and misconceptions about people on SNAP (the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, though recipients now get their benefits on a debit card).

    Robert Beckstead, a poultry science professor at UGA, teaches a class about the effects of global agriculture on world culture. As part of that class, there is a project where his students are given the farm bill and asked to cut 20 percent of the budget.

    “The majority of the students,” Beckstead said, “whether they were lazy or that’s what they really believed, they said, ‘Well, we’ll just cut 20 percent from [food stamps].'”


  • Athens Power Rankings for the Week of July 20


    Photo Credit: Photo via Facebook

    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.


  • Ex-Congressman John Barrow Will Teach at UGA


    Former U.S. Rep. John Barrow, an Athens native, will teach at the University of Georgia starting this fall, UGA announced today.

    Barrow will be a scholar in residence at the School of Public and International Affairs, teaching once class this fall and two in the spring semester focusing on political polarization.


  • Go to This Complete Streets Forum If You Care About Bike Safety


    This is what a Complete Street looks like. Illustration via Complete Streets Prince Avenue.

    The following commentary was submitted by Tyler Dewey, Tony Eubanks, Clint McCrory and Jennifer Rice.

    On Wednesday, July 22, Athens-Clarke County is accepting comments on proposed changes to three streets in Athens (Chase Street, East Hancock, Riverbend Parkway), adding bike lanes in two cases (see below for details). 

    While some small positive outcomes may result from these changes, they are not designed in a way that provides meaningful improvements to bike and pedestrian safety or accessibility in Athens. As citizens concerned with the lack of a coherent approach to implementing ACC’s Complete Streets policy, we urge you to attend this forum and ask questions about the way public input is being gathered and how staff decisions on bike and pedestrian issues are made. Also, please let the Mayor and Commission know that you want to see meaningful public debate on traffic management for bike and pedestrian safety, and that the current approach to implementing ACC’s Road Diet and Complete Streets policies is not adequate.


  • Jamie Hood Found Guilty on Murder Charges


    ACCPD Officer Buddy Christian's official photo (left) and Jamie Hood's mugshot from the Clarke County Jail.

    After a bizarre four-week trial, it took an Elbert County jury less than a day to convict Jamie Hood on charges of murdering Athens-Clarke County police officer Buddy Christian and local resident Kenneth Omari Wray in 2011, as well as attempting to murder ACCPD Officer Tony Howard.

    But the jury found Hood not guilty on charges of kidnapping Judon Brooks and falsely imprisoning an East Athens family while on the run from authorities after shooting Christian and Howard. He was found guilty of robbing Brooks, though.


  • ARMC CEO: Hospital Must Find a Partner to Grow

    Charles Peck web.jpg

    The health care industry is changing, and Athens Regional Health System CEO Charles Peck sees two options: Keep the status quo and possibly shrink, or find a “strategic partner” and grow.

    The Affordable Care Act has hastened consolidation among health insurers, and fewer and larger insurance providers means that hospitals are at a disadvantage when negotiating reimbursement rates. Costs are rising, though more slowly than before the ACA took effect. Patients are looking more to outpatient care.

    Then there was the botched new electronic medical record system installed under former CEO Jamey Thaw, who resigned last year. Peck, who was hired in February, acknowledges that implementation was “rough,” but also says media coverage was overblown. That coverage made potential patients (read: customers) think twice about seeking treatment at ARMC. 

    “People in the community probably started wondering whether this was the place to come at that time,” Peck said.


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