Athens-Clarke County Featured Stories Northeast Georgia 

Long-Awaited Firefly Trail Takes First Steps in Athens

After nearly seven years of planning, the much anticipated Firefly Trail is finally being built. The Firefly Trail, a proposed 39-mile rail-trail, will be constructed along the now abandoned historic route of the Georgia railroad running from Athens to Union Point. When finished, it will be the 3rd longest trail in the state of Georgia. Construction for the first .8 miles of the trail, which will run from East Broad Street all the way out to Old Winterville and Lexington Road, is currently underway in Athens-Clarke County. “Just yesterday the…

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Controversial Adoption Rules Blocked in Georgia

As the 2017 Legislative Session comes to an end, the LGBT Pride community celebrates Georgia lawmakers’ failure to pass adoption bill updates. The changes to House Bill 159 would have protected adoption agencies who do not wish to work with LGBT couples.This includes private adoption agencies that are funded by the state. Georgia Unites Against Discrimination has been encouraging supporters to contact senators with this message, “Keep discrimination out of GA adoption laws and fix this bill!” “When you’re saying that it’s reasonable for queer couples to not be allowed…

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Georgia Representatives Receive Backlash for Lack of Public Town Hall Meetings

Georgia senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga, and David Perdue, R-Ga, as well as Georgia’s 10th District Representative Jody Hice are under fire from many constituents from their refusal to hold public, in person town hall meetings with their voters. Congressman Hice hasn’t hosted a town hall in Athens since his election in 2014. Senator Perdue said he prefers small meetings and telephone town halls, while Senator Isakson, just recently held a tele-town hall. Yet, none of these are putting Athens residents’ concerns at rest. Leandra Nessel, member of Athens’ chapter of…

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Featured Stories News 

Athens Animal Workers Oppose Georgia Pet Bill

The Georgia House is considering a new law to regulate the sale of pets in retail stores. The bill, introduced by Rep. Earl Ehrhart, of District 36, would prohibit local governments from preventing the sale of dogs and cats from any pet store in the state of Georgia. HB 144 would require pet stores to vaccinate their animals against certain diseases, and allow a 14 day return policy for owners. The idea of not prohibiting animals from being sold raises concerns for pet advocates on whether or not this leads…

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News Oconee County Sports 

Parents Struggle to get a Refund from Swim School

Some Oconee County parents want their money back from the Georgia Aquatic Center in Watkinsville. The parents say a disagreement that banned a coach from the swim center last month cost them the program and their money. Coach Sean Gillan ran “Sean Gillan Swim School” for a year and a half out of the facility. Gillan says a disagreement about issues with water chemicals and clarity led to the coach and facility ending their relationship. Gillan says that he had a difficult time working with management, and the situation escalated…

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Oconee County Top Stories 

Campus Carry Reloaded

Campus Carry, a bill that caused a lot of controversy last year, is back on the agenda for the 2017 Georgia legislative session. Supporters say it may pass with the Governor’s blessing, thanks to one difference from its predecessor—but legislators are running out of out of time to get it through the house. This year’s bill is almost word for word the same as the Campus Carry bill vetoed by Governor Deal last session. That one was vetoed by the governor because it didn’t have exemptions for places like day…

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Featured Stories News Northeast Georgia Top Stories Weather 

Fighting the Drought: New Plans for Water Recycling

New water recycling plans approved by the Athens-Clarke County Commission could potentially lower drought probability to almost 0% according to an assessment presented by the public works department in January. The assessment determined the existing drought resilience of Clarke County and created solutions for the county to become more water efficient in the future. The water recycling plan would in part increase the amount of useable water in Bear Creek Reservoir. Athens draws drinking water from the Middle and North Oconee Rivers as well, but in droughts Bear Creek is…

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“Mimosa Mandate” Could Extend Sunday Alcohol Sales

Sunday alcohol service could be extended if a proposed bill in the Georgia Senate becomes law. The bill would expand the hours restaurants can serve alcohol on Sunday mornings. State Senator Renee Unterman sponsored the bill she nicknamed the “Mimosa Mandate.” Unterman and local businesses say it’s a matter of fairness. State-owned businesses are allowed to serve alcohol earlier than privately owned restaurants. Right now, private restaurants cannot serve alcoholic beverages before 12:30 p.m. If passed by the state legislature, restaurants could begin serving alcohol two hours earlier. Travis Birch,…

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Featured Stories News Northeast Georgia Top Stories 

UPDATED:Two Dead in Barrow County Plane Crash

UPDATE: 2/17/7 2:28PM Shannon Ewing of Gwinnett County and nephew Henry Ewing of Jones County are the two victims of Thursday’s fatal plane crash, Captain Ryan Sears of the Barrow County Sheriff’s Department confirms. Their ages have not been released. Terry Williams, the media contact for the National Transportation Safety Board, says the investigation is still in the fact-gathering stage. They are still identifying the cause of the crash, the intended path of the plane, and any possible witnesses of the incident, Williams says. The initial report should be available in a week. ORIGINAL POST: 2/16/17 Barrow County, GA Two passengers…

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News Pro Sports Top Stories UGA UGA Sports 

UGA Football Coach and Athletic Director React to Former Player’s Death in Fire

MONROE, Ga.,-Former University of Georgia defensive end (2003-2006) and Miami Dolphins linebacker (2007-2010), Quentin Moses, died Sunday morning in Walton County. 31- year-old Andrea Goddard and her 10-year-old daughter, Jasmine Goddard, were also killed in the fire. According to police reports via the Walton Tribune, Monroe firefighters were called to the home on Shamrock Drive. Monroe Fire Chief Keith Glass said the house was “fully engulfed” in flames when firefighters arrived on the scene around 6:05 a.m and the roof later collapsed as the fire department made attempts to control…

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Athens-Clarke County Top Stories 

Updated Athens ordinance may affect dog owners

ATHENS, Ga. – Local dog ordinances in Athens-Clarke County didn’t reflect the Responsible Dog Ownership Law until the commission voted on Tuesday night to clean up their local ordinances to match state law.  UGA student Logan McLeod is looking for a dog of her own. She understands the importance of always keeping a close eye on a pet even before her new best friend comes home. “Sometimes they can be pretty unpredictable, even when they are good,” McLeod said. But sometimes dogs can be dangerous, even vicious. The Responsible Dog…

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Sports UGA Sports 

First-Year Coaches Quiz

Kirby Smart’s first season as UGA’s head coach is one bowl game away from completion. Smart’s first year had some striking similarities to Nick Saban’s first season at Alabama, where Smart was his defensive coordinator from 2008 to 2015. The first-year head coach finished the regular season with a 7-5 record, but how does that stack up against some of UGA’s former coaches in their first seasons? We made a quick quiz to see how much you know about some of college football’s greats in their first years as head…

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