Photo Credit: Austin Steele/file
During a contentious four-hour called meeting Tuesday night, the Athens-Clarke County Commission approved moratoriums on demolitions and some construction on Milledge Circle and Castalia Avenue in Five Points and in the West Hancock neighborhood.
Both moratoriums apply demolitions and changes to facades and rooflines for one year while neighborhood residents, county planners and commissioners study ways to protect those neighborhoods' historic character. But they allow interior renovations and add-ons to the backs of homes, in an effort to appease opponents who are planning improvement projects.
On Milledge Circle, residents are fighting to stop homebuyers from tearing down historic residences to build larger suburban-style houses—which they said has happened three times already and could happen again at 398 Milledge Circle.
"You come to realize Athens has been at the center of a demolition derby, so to speak," Milledge Circle resident and historic preservation professor John Waters said. "You don't know what to expect next door to your property, or what it's going to do to your quality of life."
Photo Credit: Lee Becker
The Georgia Department of Transportation is proposing that U.S. 441 be widened to three lanes through the center of Bishop rather than build a bypass of the small Oconee County city.
GDOT also is proposing that the highway be widened to four lanes from Bishop north to Watkinsville and from Bishop south to Madison, following the alignment of the existing roadway.
GDOT released the proposed route Tuesday night at the first meeting of the Oconee County Citizen Advisory Committee, where it met with strong opposition from Bishop Mayor Johnny Pritchett and Farmington resident Buddy Murrow, both members of the Citizen Advisory Committee.
In this week's issue, we reveal the winners of this year's Flagpole Athens Favorites contest, for which our readers picked their favorite local businesses in several dozen categories. See the results here.
All photos by Joshua L. Jones
Athens has been home to a nationally ranked women’s flat track roller derby team for more than a decade. The Classic City Rollergirls reflect the wildly eclectic and hopelessly transient nature of our town, as women from all walks of life come and (in most cases, eventually) go—making the sustained popularity, competitiveness and professionalism of the squad all the more impressive.
That headline pretty much tells the story, but here's a bit more detail:
Photo Credit: Lee Becker
Oconee County commissioners in a 3-1 vote Tuesday night turned down a request for a 30-megawatt solar energy farm at the intersection of McNutt Creek Road and Dials Mill Road in the northwestern part of the county.
Commissioner Chuck Horton made the notion to deny the request for a special use of the 205 acres zoned agricultural for the solar farm, proposed by Rural Green Power LLC of Athens. Commissioner Mark Saxon seconded the motion and was joined by Horton and Commissioner William “Bubber” Wilkes in the vote on the motion. Newly elected Commissioner Mark Thomas provided the sole vote against the denial.
Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones
About 60 protesters gathered at the Arch Wednesday night to express their opposition to President-elect Donald Trump (it's gonna weird writing that for a while). They were joined by Trump-supporters counter-protesters as well as a number of onlookers, the Red & Blackreports.
Meanwhile, the Athens Banner-Herald describes local Republicans as "excited but cautious" about a Trump presidency.
Flagpole photographer Joshua L. Jones documented the scene at the Arch Wednesday night.
Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file
They wouldn't mention him by name, but at least two Republican elected officials representing Athens are urging GOP voters to continue supporting Donald Trump in spite of the video that surfaced Friday of Trump describing sexually assaulting women and attempting to commit adultery.
"None of us anywhere will defend the comments that were made," U.S. Rep. Jody Hice (R-Loganville) said in a brief speech at an Athens GOP meeting Monday night. "I will tell you this, if you are struggling with who to vote for, just remember the platforms the parties are running on."
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