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In the Loop

  • Road Closures and More Hurricane Irma News

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    Photo Credit: NASA

    Hurricane Irma over the British Virgin Islands on Friday.

    The University of Georgia will be closed today and Tuesday in anticipation of Hurricane Irma hitting Athens.

    All classes, campus events and other activities at UGA are canceled. Residence and dining halls will remain open. Campus Transit will run as long as conditions allow. Designated employees are expected to report to work if they can safely travel.

    For more information on UGA's closing, visit emergency.uga.edu.

    Clarke and Oconee County public schools will be closed today and Tuesday, as will Athens Tech and the University of North Georgia. Athens Christian School, Prince Avenue Christian School and Piedmont College are closed today, but have not announced whether they will be closed Tuesday. Classes will resume at Athens Academy on Tuesday.

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  • Podcast: Police and White Supremacy

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    This week, co-host Baynard Woods talks with author D Watkins about white supremacy, policing, and the Trump administration. Watkins is the author of The Beast Side and The Cook Up and editor at large at Salon.com.

    Democracy in Crisis is a weekly podcast hosted by Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner, produced and engineered by Baynard Woods for The Center for Emerging Media. Theme music by Ruby Fulton and the Rhymes with Orchestra.

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  • Brian Kemp Takes On Trumpian Tone at UGA

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    Georgia gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp called out the media and his Democratic opponents and defended his record as secretary of state Wednesday night while visiting the UGA College Republicans.

    Kemp—joined by newly appointed Judge Regina Quick and Houston Gaines, the former UGA Student Government president looking to fill Quick's vacant state House seat—stopped in his Athens hometown during his statewide campaign tour in an effort to get the college students involved in his "grassroots army."

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  • Athens Special Elections Officially Set for Nov. 7

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    As expected, Secretary of State Brian Kemp has officially called a special election Nov. 7 to fill two vacant Athens-area state House of Representatives seats.

    District 117 representative Regina Quick and District 119 representative Chuck Williams both recently resigned, Quick to accept an appointment as Superior Court judge and Williams to become director of the Georgia Forestry Commission.

    Both districts include parts of Clarke and Oconee counties, and 117 includes parts of Jackson and Barrow counties, as well.

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  • Commission Approves Downtown Condo Tower Over Community Opposition

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    A rendering of the 155 Mitchell Street development.

    The Athens-Clarke County Commission voted to approve a rezoning for a towering upscale condominium development near downtown Tuesday night despite concerns raised by citizens about the scale, design, price and environmental impact of the project.

    The development, at 155 Mitchell Street behind the Steeplechase condominiums, will include 256 bedrooms, mostly in two-bedroom, two-bath units, on top of three stories of parking and one level of office space. Situated on a steeply sloping lot, it will measure seven stories on one side and 10 on the other, barely coming in under ACC's 100-foot height limit when measured from the midpoint.

    Several dozen speakers opposed the rezoning during the five-hour meeting, in addition to more than 100 who emailed comments in opposition to commissioners. They argued that the ACC government should be encouraging affordable housing downtown, rather than housing aimed at wealthy retirees, and raised concerns that the development would wind up as mostly empty gameday housing or student housing.

    Activist group Athens for Everyone opposed the development as "a giveaway to those who already have enough" on behalf of its 1,075 members.

    "We want to be a community that meets the needs of all of our residents," including the 38 percent in poverty, A4E's Adam Lassila said.

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  • Third Candidate Jumps Into House District 119 Race

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    A third Oconee County businessman has announced that he plans to run for what will be an open seat in the Georgia General Assembly representing Oconee and Clarke counties.

    North High Shoals resident Steven Strickland said he wants to bring his 17 years of business experience in the communications and software industries to the Georgia House of Representatives.

    “I look forward to being the voice of District 119, and leveraging my experience in collaboration, negotiations and technology innovation to drive meaningful legislation for our local community,” Strickland said in announcing his intention to run.

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  • Podcast: The House Where Trump Was Conceived

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    This week, co-host Baynard Woods talks with Amanda Petrusich, who recently wrote for the New Yorker about spending a night in the home where Donald Trump was conceived.

    Democracy in Crisis is a weekly podcast hosted by Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner, produced and engineered by Baynard Woods for The Center for Emerging Media. Theme music by Ruby Fulton and the Rhymes with Orchestra.

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  • Potential Costco in Oconee County Put on Hold

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    The future site of Epps Bridge Centre Phase II at the intersection of Plaza Parkway and the Oconee Connector.

    The developers of the expanded Epps Bridge Centre have postponed until some unspecified time in the future construction of the part of the project that was expected to include a Costco membership-only warehouse store.

    In revised preliminary site plans submitted to the Oconee County Planning and Code Enforcement Department on July 31, Oconee 316 Associates LLC of Atlanta split development of Epps Bridge Centre II into two parts, labeled Phase 1 and 2.

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