Homelessness in Athens: Will There Be an End to the Cycle of Poverty?

Athens and homelessness seem to go hand-in-hand, but today there are several obstacles in place that prevent progress within the community, and rather instill those affected into harsh cycles of poverty. While there are several nonprofit outreach programs within the community, much of what is holding these people back steams from unresolved issues within the system that prevent people from applying to jobs and making the money they need to support themselves and their families. “A lot of times I see people that look like perfectly capable people. And I…

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Community Health News Organizations 

ACCPD works to improve mental health response procedures

Story written and produced by: Amy Scott, Alexandria Ellison and Ashlyn Webb ATHENS, Ga. — Athens-Clarke County Police linked approximately 140 citizens back to mental health resources in 2018, continuing their 2016 initiative to lower the incarceration rate of the mentally ill. This is due in part by the ACCPD’s 2016 mental health collaboration and Georgia’s Crisis Intervention Team training.The mental health collaboration is a partnership between ACCPD, the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office, Advantage Behavioral Health and UGA’s Fanning Institute. The collaboration was created to “examine policies, enhance interdepartmental communications,…

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Environment Health News 

Athens Set to Become Wetter, Hotter, Experts Say

ATHENS, Ga. — Athens climate is becoming more extreme, with hotter and wetter days ahead in response to human-induced climate change, according to researchers. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that Athens experienced its highest rainfall average in 2018 in the last 20 years. Rain averaged almost 70 inches in 2018 compared to the 46-inch rainfall average from 1981 to 2010. These aren’t the only expected weather changes.  “The latest research that we have on what should happen in the southeastern United States, including Athens, is that we will…

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Business Health News Restaurants/Bars 

Athens health scores reflect more than food quality

ATHENS, Ga. — Local restaurant health scores don’t only reflect food quality and kitchen cleanliness, a fact that restaurant owners and managers alike wish the public knew more about. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, health inspection violations fall into two categories: risk factor violations, such as proper cooking temperatures, and good retail practice violations, such as building infrastructure. “It’s really not the score itself. It’s the violations. You can have multiple good retail practice violations that can get somebody into a B score, but overall they may…

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Government News 

Girtz’s Environmental Plan Sparks Concern for Low-Income Families

ATHENS, Ga. — Some residents of Athens-Clarke County fear that a plan on plastic bags could cause a negative impact on low-income families. Kelly Girtz, mayor-elect of Athens-Clarke, released an environmental plan that includes a ban or fee on plastic bag use in the county. While Girtz mentioned that he will ensure that low-income families will not be burdened by this plan, there are still concerns lingering among Athens-Clarke residents. Asynaka Willis, business account manager at Haven, a company that offers services such as document printing to web hosting, in Athens, Georgia, an…

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Undocumented Students are Hopeful for the Upcoming Election

ATHENS, Ga. — For years, attaining higher education has been at the top of the list of obstacles undocumented students face, but as the midterm elections approach, dreamers in Athens-Clarke County are hopeful for the future. Undocumented students have been barred from attending Georgia’s top universities and receiving in-state tuition since the Georgia Board of Regents created a policy against it in 2011. Both candidates have taken strong stances on opposite sides of the policy so the outcome of the election on Nov. 6 could be the determining factor as…

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Community Government News Organizations Social Issue 

Dreamers in Athens Maintain Hope Amidst Uncertain Future

ATHENS, Ga. – The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) is scheduled to expire on March 5 putting as many as 21,600 registered beneficiaries of this federal program popularly called Dreamers in Georgia at risk for deportation, according to the Migration Policy Institute.  The ending of DACA, which allows undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to live and work in the country, would demographically affect those that are single and under the age 24. If faced with deportation, almost 80 percent of these young DACA recipients…

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Community Health News Organizations Social Issue 

Campus Kitchen Provides Thousands of Meals for Food Insecure Households

ATHENS, Ga. – Campus Kitchen at the University of Georgia distributed 25,000 pounds of food to food insecure households and food banks around Athens last year, according to the program’s website. The organization recovered more than 43,000 pounds of food from local grocery stores and gardens, such as UGArden, which they used to provide weekly nutritious meals for their clients and then redistributed unused food to related programs in the area. “Our model is built on creative food sourcing,” said Brad Turner, the program coordinator for the organization at UGA’s Office of Service…

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Entertainment News Uncategorized 

Athens Drag Culture Inspires Gender Identification

  ATHENS, Ga. – Diego Wolf, a native of Conway, Arkansas, who now lives in Athens, said that drag shows– the energetic art of song and dance– have given him a way for him to find his true self. “It is a socially acceptable, safe place to explore the identity that you choose, and not the one that you are born with,” Wolf said. Between three drag groups, a dozen human rights events, and weekly drag performances, drag has become a staple in Athens, according to Wolf. When exploring one’s…

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Community Crime Government News 

ACCPD Builds Community Relations, Strengthens Communication

ATHENS, Ga. – The Athens-Clarke County Police Department (ACCPD) is using a new strategy of community oriented policing in hopes of changing the relationship between local law enforcement and the public. The policy, implemented by ACCPD Chief Scott Freeman, gets officers out of their patrol cars and into the community to build stronger bonds with the people they serve and will usher in the next era of policing in Athens, Freeman said. Click below to watch an interview with the University of Georgia’s Dr. Brian Williams on community policing.  “I think…

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