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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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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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 Transportation 

Athens Attempts to Increase Bicyclist and Pedestrian Safety

ATHENS, Ga. – Athens-Clarke County is constructing a new bicycle and pedestrian master plan, Athens in Motion, with the intention of making the roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians. The plan rates roads on a level of comfort scale that ranges from one to five, with a score of one being the safest and five being the least safe for cyclists of varying skill levels. The ratings system is bolstered by Athens-Clarke County residents who point out problem areas for bicyclists and pedestrians on an interactive map provided by the…

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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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Entertainment News 

UGA Experts Claim Experiential Marketing Creates More Demand

ATHENS, Ga. – University of Georgia marketing experts stress that unique social media tactics from music artists can earn them higher rankings. In August 2017, music artist Taylor Swift blacked out all of her social media and posted unexplained videos of snakes to her Instagram. This was to build anticipation for her new album which is set to come out in November 2017. President of UGA’s American Marketing Association, Sabrina Hand, described this tactic as “Experiential Marketing,” a method that engages the audience to participate and connect with the artist. “This…

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Community Education 

Elementary School Boy Finds Leadership Through Athens Mentor Program

ATHENS, GEORGIA. – Quienteze, a first grader at Barrow Elementary School, polished his manners and respect after a year of involvement in the Clarke County Mentor Program (CCMP). Before Quienteze entered the program, he struggled with following directions according to Caryn Demarest, his physical education teacher. Greg Waddell, Quienteze’s mentor, said his mentee has really grown into a vibrant young boy. For the protection of the child, the program has chosen to omit the last name of Quienteze.  “I know that he looks forward to his mentor being there. We have…

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News 

Athens’ Homeless Rates Drop, But Root Causes Remain

The Reality of Homeless Rates Despite the collaborative shelter and service relief efforts, Athens, Georgia has just 17 fewer homeless in 2016 due to the difficulty in addressing homelessness’s root causes. According the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2016 Homelessness Point in Time Count (PIT) conducted for Athens-Clarke County, the total number of homeless individuals dropped from 247 persons in 2014 to 225 persons in January 2016. Clarke County sits among 11 other counties reporting the highest numbers of homelessness in the state. The Georgia Department of…

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Education News 

Athens Transit Eyes Youth Prosperity with Transit Alternatives

Athens, Georgia- Athens Transit’s “Kids Ride Free” program has continued to thrive four months after its summer trial period—showing that economic benefits outweigh a loss in revenue. The program, created by the Athens Youth Development task force, started as opportunity for youth [ages 5-17] to travel around the city in the summer.  On August 2, the initiative was extended throughout Athens-Clarke County’s academic school year. Athens Transit Director Butch McDuffie said youth ridership is up 570 percent from August 2015 to August 2016. “We went from an increase of 50 youth riders per day…

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