Sunday, October 20, 2019

Turnout In First Week Of Early Voting In Watkinsville On Track With Projection Of Final Turnout of About 30 Percent

***New Voting Machines Demonstrated***

In the first week of Absentee In Person, or early, voting, only 121 of Watkinsville’s 2,209 registered voters have cast a ballot, or 5.5 percent.

Early voting usually picks up some as the election gets closer, but, if it holds to the present pattern, only 363 people will cast a ballot before the Nov. 5 election, or 16.4 percent.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Defeated Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Stacey Abrams Still A Concern, Oconee County Republicans Told

***Watkinsville Mayoral Candidate Makes Partisan Appeal***

Democrat Stacey Abrams, who ran unsuccessfully for governor a year ago, is watching the outcome of the mayoral race in Watkinsville, Bob Smith, one of the two candidates in that contest, told Oconee County Republicans last month.

The race is nonpartisan, but Smith made it clear he is running as a Republican and told those gathered they needed to make sure he wins to send a message back to Abrams.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Regional Library Leaders Ask Oconee Library Board For Help In Seeking Exemption From Governor’s Budget Cuts

***Board Asked To Lobby Legislators***

Athens Regional Library System leaders asked member of the Oconee Library Board of Trustees on Monday to contact their state legislative delegation to oppose cuts to library funding requested by Gov. Brian Kemp.

Jean Mead, assistant director of Regional Library Services and Outreach for the Athens Regional Library System, told the Library Board that Kemp has included public libraries in his request that certain state agencies submit plans for a 4 percent budget reduction for the fiscal year underway.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

New Oconee County Superior Court Judge Told Local Democrats She Loves Her Job And Her Work Environment

***Raised Concerns About Budget Cuts***

Lisa Lott, Superior Court judge for the Western Judicial Circuit, told a gathering of Oconee County Democrats last month that her first months in office have been a wonderful experience.

“It has been great. It has been absolutely great,” Lott said. “It has really been a dream come true.”

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Oconee County Expects State To Reduce Volume Of Water To Be Withdrawn From Apalachee River, Citizens At Town Hall Meeting Told

***Waiting On New Permit***

Oconee County is expecting the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to modify its June 2008 Apalachee River Withal Permit and reduce the amount of water Oconee and Walton counties can withdraw from the river for the Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir.

The state Environmental Protection Division also is likely to add monitoring requirements to the permit, including using new stream flow gauges, quality monitoring stations and biological monitoring activities.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Oconee County School System Students Show A Drop In SAT Scores But An Increase In Graduation Rate

***Oconee Students Outperformed Students In State***

Oconee County students taking the SAT college admissions test in 2019 had a mean composite score of 1157, down a small amount from the average score of Oconee County students who took the test a year ago and up slightly from the average score of Oconee County students who took the test in 2017.

Oconee County schools increased its graduation rate to 97.7 percent in 2019, up from 94.4 percent a year earlier and from 90.5 percent in 2012.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Oconee County Commissioners Approve Tabled Rezone Request For Five Acres On Moores Ford Road

***Allow Smaller Lot Size***

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners last week reversed course and unanimously approved a rezone for Tracie and Thomas Hedges allowing them to subdivide their five-acre parcel on Moores Ford Road near the Apalachee River into three lots of 1.67 acres each.

Guy Herring, director of Planning and Code Enforcement for the county, told the Commissioners that the staff had changed its view of the request and was recommending approval in part because the Hedges made their rezone request during a “transition period” in the county codes.