In the Loop

  • Photo Gallery: Juneteenth Celebration at the West Broad Farmers Market


    Juneteenth is an African-American holiday celebrating the emancipation of slaves in Texas—and, more broadly, across the South—on June 19, 1865.

    The Athens Land Trust marked the occasion with a celebration at its West Broad Farmers Market on Saturday morning, featuring speeches by Mokah Jasmine Johnson, Broderick Flanigan, Timothy Aaron Styles, Valarie Babb and Freda Giles; performances by Palms of Fire, the Hilsman Middle School step team, VIP Girls and the East Athens Dance Center troupe; an African fashion show, educational workshops and more.

    Flagpole contributing photographer Austin Steele documented the scene:


  • Podcast: Did Trump Violate the Constitution?

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    In this week's episode, host Marc Steiner interviews Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, who, along with his counterpart in Washington, D.C., filed a lawsuit alleging that President Trump violated the U.S. Constitution's Emoluments Clause, which prohibits U.S. leaders from accepting gifts or benefits from foreign leaders.

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


  • Athens Democrat Will Run for State House

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    A screenshot from Deborah Gonzalez's website.

    Deborah Gonzalez, an Athens attorney, has announced that she will seek the Democratic Party nomination for Georgia House District 117, which includes three Oconee County precincts.

    Regina Quick, a Republican, currently represents the 117th in the Georgia House of Representatives. Quick, also an Athens attorney, has not said if she intends to seek re-election in 2018.

    Gonzalez officially launched her campaign at Bishop Park in Athens on Saturday.


  • Sessions' Sexist Stonewalling at the Senate Hearing

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    Photo Credit: Baynard Woods

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions is sworn in before testifying at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Tuesday.

    If you didn’t know, via obscure Latin etymology, that the word “testify” is related to the word “testicles,” you sure could have guessed it from watching Senate testimony pretty much any time ever, but certainly this year. (For what it’s worth in Rome, you swore on your balls to tell the truth.) 

    Back when now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in the middle of the confirmation hearings in which he seemingly perjured himself about contacts with Russian officials, Sen. Elizabeth Warren tried to read a letter Coretta Scott King wrote to the Judiciary Committee about Sessions into the congressional record. King wrote the letter in 1986, when Sessions was up for a federal judgeship. Though Sessions didn't get the post because of his racist views, the letter never made it into the record, and Warren was trying to correct that. 

    Majority Leader MItch McConnell pulled out an obscure rule to censure Warren for impugning the character of a fellow senator. McConnell uttered the now famous phrases: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” 


  • GOP State Rep: Athens Democrats Are 'Fired Up'

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    Rep. Chuck Williams (R-Watkinsville).

    Athens native Brian Kemp, seeking the Republican Party nomination in the 2018 gubernatorial election, told a gathering of Oconee County Republicans late last month that his experience as a small business owner sets him apart in the campaign.

    “I have been a conservative, small business owner for over 30 years,” Kemp, who currently is secretary of state, said. He said he is seeking the governor's office to “take that small-business owner’s mentality and be the next CEO of the state.”

    Kemp said he wants to reform state government, strengthen rural Georgia, do tax and regulatory reform and provide health care for those in Georgia who are here legally.


  • Check Out the Bishop Park Master Plan

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    Bishop Park is one of Athens’ most popular recreational areas, but it hasn’t had a facelift in more than 40 years. “We’re surrounded by all-1974 infrastructure, and it’s bad. It needs repair,” Park Services Administrator Mel Cochran-Davis said at an open house for the Bishop Park master plan last week.

    Location-wise, not much would change in the master plan, except the basketball courts would be moved from the center of the park to the far northern edge, making way for a stormwater pond. (Water drains there naturally, so Leisure Services couldn’t find anywhere else to put it, interim director Kent Kilpatrick said.) But many existing facilities would be replaced in phases with new, better and larger ones.

    “This is our polished version—taking what’s working about Bishop Park, what people said they want, and making it better,” Cochran-Davis said.


  • The Accused Cedar Shoals Rapists Can't Seem to Stay Out of Trouble

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    The cases of three teenagers accused in the alleged rape of a Cedar Shoals High School studentin January 2016 appeared this week on the trial calendar of Superior Court Chief Judge David Sweat, marking a continuing chapter in a scandal that roiled the Clarke County School District.

    Xavier Marquise Clarke and Markel Dereek Brannon, both 19, and Jaivious Malik Collins, 18, were charged with rape, criminal attempt to commit a felony, false imprisonment, child molestation and conspiracy in the alleged incident, which took place in a Cedar Shoals High stairwell and was captured by a security camera system. Collins and Brannon were also charged with influencing a witness and tampering with evidence, according to court documents, as the former Cedar students were accused of asking the victim to recant her allegations against them. 

    In the year and a half since the alleged incident, the three have be in and out of the Clarke County jail. The court has modified special conditions of their bond, only to see them return to jail after violating those court orders. At present, Brannon and Clarke now sit in jail, while Collins had the conditions of his bond reinforced following a traffic charge of driving 108 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone on Apr. 21.


  • Podcast: Exorcising the White House and the State of the Counterculture

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    On this week’s episode, co-hosts Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner, joined by producer Imani Spence, talk about the Fugs, exorcising the White House and the state of the counterculture.

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


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