Photo Credit: Nate Harris
In response to the shooting at a church in Texas on Nov. 5 that killed 26 people, members of the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America gathered at City Hall in Athens on Saturday for a vigil for the victims, as well as a call to action.
The event, deeply rooted in faith, began at First A.M.E. Church before marchers made their way through downtown to City Hall. Many of the roughly 40 people held signs calling for an end to gun violence and a repeal of Georgia's campus carry law. During the procession, the group sang in unison, and was greeted by a church choir on the front steps of City Hall.
At City Hall, state Rep. Spencer Frye (D-Athens) and others local leaders and gun safety advocates spoke to the crowd about the need for a solution to gun violence.
Photo Credit: Andrew D. Hurley/Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Nate Harris
With the Nov. 7 special election drawing nearer, the candidates for state House districts 117 and 119 met Monday night for one final forum, organized by the Athens-Clarke County Federation of Neighborhoods at the ACC Library.
Candidates running in both districts responded to prepared questions from a Federation representative; much to the disappointment of both attendees and some of the candidates, they did not field questions from the audience, nor did they debate the topics.
Republican Houston Gaines and Democrat Deborah Gonzalez took to the stage first, starting out with their legislative priorities. For Gaines, that includes fostering business and economic growth while addressing education and transportation issues; for Gonzalez, improvements to education and public health, she said, would lead to improvements in other areas as well, including crime and mass incarceration.
Halloween came early on Sunday as hundreds of people lined the boulevards of Boulevard for the second annual Boo-le-Bark dog parade. Costumed canines and their humans enjoyed popsicles, food-truck munchies, iced coffee and music from the Rev. Connor Tribble at Jittery Joe's Roasting Co., all to benefit Athens Pets, a local organization that places lost and abandoned animals with new homes. Flagpole intern Nicole Adamson was there to document the decorated doggos.
With Hurricane Irma looming, hundreds of people still turned out for the annual Athens PRIDE Festival—the culmination of PRIDE Week—featuring music, speakers, local businesses and political groups, and a drag show. Flagpole photo intern Jessica Silverman documented the scene.
Photo Credit: Austin Steele/file
Athens-Clarke County officials said Wednesday they will restripe part of Chase Street between the Loop and Newton Bridge Road, returning it to four lanes.
But that may not be the last change to the street, according to ACC Transportation and Public Works Director Drew Raessler. A consultant hired to update the county's bike and pedestrian master plan will produce a Complete Streets study of the corridor in November.
"We can't simply go back and say 'that's it,' in my opinion," Raessler said.
Photo Credit: Richard Hamm
In spite of a storm that leveled dozens of trees and left thousands without power on Saturday, the Star-Spangled Classic went on. Entertainment included a fireworks show downtown, and Flagpole contributing photographer Richard Hamm was there:
Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file
There’s a new holiday in Athens, but it’s one that’s been around for 152 years.
For Athens, that day is May 4, the day in 1865 when the Union army arrived and freed the slaves in town and the surrounding countryside, who then gathered with their loved ones at the town hall, hoisting a flag up what they then deemed the “flagpole of liberty.”
While many marches that take place downtown are in protest, Thursday’s vigil and rally marking the “day of jubilee” was one of celebration and honoring ancestors.
Photo Credit: Stacey-Marie Piotrowski
On one of the busiest spring Saturdays in Athens, 100 people attended a town hall for District 10 congressman Jody Hice. The one notable absence was Hice himself.
Michael Goltzer of Athens was one of several people who addressed a photo of Rep. Hice (R-Social Circle) propped up in a chair on the stage of the Athens Regional Library on Apr. 22. He pointed out that the town hall was the most basic form of democratic conversation and lamented Hice’s refusal to engage with his constituents.
“Just tell us what we have to do to get you to meet with us,” he said.
Photo Credit: Austin Steele
Speaking to an audience of Athens parents, teachers and concerned citizens for the first time, Demond Means, the sole finalist for Clarke County school superintendent, described himself as someone who's committed to social justice, marginalized students and raising his family in Clarke County.
The board is expected to formally appoint Means today after a public forum Monday night.
Although Means has been superintendent of a smaller, largely white and affluent district in suburban Milwaukee for nine years, he was raised in inner-city Milwaukee and graduated from public schools there.
One of the reasons he felt drawn to Clarke County, he said, is the opportunity to help minority and low-income students. (CCSD is 79 percent minority, and more than 80 percent of students qualified for free or reduced-price lunches before a USDA grant made them free for everyone.)
"I firmly believe our most marginalized children deserve the most attention," he said. "Those children who don't have an advocate in the superintendent's office or other places are the ones who need us the most."
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