COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

In the Loop

  • Man Posing as Uber Driver Accused of Rape

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    Athens-Clarke County police have arrested a man they say raped two women who got into his car mistakenly believing it was an Uber.

    At about 3 a.m. Friday, Apr. 20, a woman reported to police that she had requested an Uber and got into a car she believed was her Uber, but realized halfway through the ride that it was not. She asked to be let out of the vehicle, and the driver raped her before releasing her, according to police.

    That evening, police received a report of a similar incident. A second woman reported that she had requested an Uber at about 1:15 a.m., and when she was picked up, the driver touched her private areas before she could get out. She took photos of the driver and showed them to police.

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  • More Details on the Westclox Mixed-Use Development

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    Photo Credit: Studio BNA Architects

    A view of the proposed development facing east from above Newton Bridge Road. The amphitheater faces Dairy Pak Road to the south.

    The 35-acre General Time development on the long-vacant Westclox clock factory property off Newton Bridge Road would primarily serve permanent Athens residents as well as draw visitors from around the region, according to promotional materials released Monday.

    "This type of adaptive reuse model works so well in countless scenarios in metro Atlanta and around the Southeast," said Michael Dinerman, who is developing the project along with Jennifer Davidson. "We saw the old Westclox property as an opportunity to help pull together many needs of the Athens community in one strategically located district."

    Plans and renderings—available on the Athens-Clarke County website—show a brewery with a rooftop "tasting terrace," a "cycle cafe" along a stormwater detention pond and a "provisions market."

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  • Brian Kemp Blasts Athens Sheriff for ICE Reversal

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    Brian Kemp.

    This morning, the AJC's Political Insider picked up on Flagpole's Friday report that Clarke County Sheriff's Office will no longer detain undocumented inmates past their release points to give Immigrations and Customs Enforcement time to deport them.

    The news came as a relief to many in Athens, but the Insiders wondered when Secretary of State Brian Kemp would weigh in.

    Sure enough, this tweet came soon after:

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  • Sheriff Reverses Policy on ICE Detainers

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    The Clarke County Sheriff's Office will no longer detain undocumented immigrants for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport unless requests are accompanied by a judicial warrant, the sheriff's department announced late this afternoon.

    Sheriff Ira Edwards instituted a new policy in July, complying with ICE requests to hold undocumented inmates—many of whom had not been convicted of a crime—for up to 48 hours beyond when they would have otherwise been released so that ICE could pick them up and deport them. The policy change met with widespread criticism from activists, churches and other elected officials once it became public in December.

    In January, Edwards convened an advisory committee that could not come to a concensus on the issue and recommended that he seek legal counsel from the Athens-Clarke County attorney's office, which told him "there is case law that has identified gaps in the current system that do not allow the Sheriff's Office to hold individuals solely on a detainer from ICE," according to a news release. "As such, the Sheriff wishes to avoid the potential risk to the county of civil litigation relating to ICE detainers."

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  • Big Mixed-Use Development Planned for Former Athens Clock Factory

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    Photo Credit: Matt Clayton/Google

    A "super cool" 35-acre mixed-use development including a 3,000-seat music venue is planned for the the old Westclox plant off Newton Bridge Road, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reportedThursday.

    The project's developers, UGA graduate Michael Dinerman and Jennifer Davidson, have been eyeing the property for more than two years. Dinerman, an Atlanta real estate developer, said he has seen similar adaptive reuse projects in Atlanta and noticed that Athens lacks a large music venue.

    In addition to the music venue, they want to build about 100 apartments, "maker space" for craftspeople, retail space and three or four restaurants. Terrapin Brewery has also signed a long-term lease for warehouse space at the development, according to the Business Chronicle.

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  • Someone Sprayed Harry Sims' House With Paintballs

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    We now take you live to the Athens-Clarke County mayoral forum:

    via GIPHY

    Former commissioner and current mayoral candidate Harry Sims was the victim of a drive-by paintball attack on Wednesday.

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  • Residents Oppose Development in South Oconee

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    Celestea Sharp's (left) documentary "Carving Up Oconee" featured Farmington/Bishop area residents Tony Glenn (center) and Courtney Gale (right).

    Ann Stoneburner said she was motivated to help set up a program at the Oconee County Library late last month by a concern with the rewrite of the county’s Comprehensive Plan and its impact on development in the county.

    The centerpiece of that program—sponsored by the Oconee County Democratic Committee and the Oconee County Progressives—was a screening of the 2008 film by Celestea Sharp, Carving Up Oconee. Stoneburner is vice-chair of the Oconee County Democratic Committee.

    The 50 minutes of discussion that followed the film indicated that those in attendance shared Stoneburner’s general concern, and those familiar with the draft of the Comprehensive Plan focused on one particular change it contains.

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  • AADM Co-Founder Knowa Johnson Joins Sims Campaign

     

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    Knowa Johnson.

    Knowa Johnson, co-founder of the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement, has joined former Athens-Clarke County commissioner Harry Sims' mayoral campaign.

    This comes as a bit of a surprise, given that Sims has been skeptical of the civil rights committee AADM has proposed creating, while fellow candidates Kelly Girtz and Richie Knight have been vocal supporters. ButJohnson could help Sims shore up his support among young people, which appears to be his weakest demographic.

    From the Sims campaign's announcement today:

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