Sunday, July 05, 2020

Rolling Average Of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Northeast Health District Continues To Increase

***Clarke County Added 24 New Cases On Sunday***

The 10-county Northeast Health District added 61 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, with Clarke County’s 24 new cases leading the way. Oconee County added six new cases.

Clarke County has added 229 new cases in the last week, and Oconee County has added 37.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Participants At Oconee County Courthouse Vigil Recognize Victims Of 1905 Lynching

***Also Attend To Grave Of One Of The Victims***

About 100 people turned out on the front lawn of the Oconee County Courthouse in Watkinsville on Monday to join in recitation of a poem, explain why they had chosen to participate in the vigil, and read aloud the names of the eight victims of vigilante violence near that site 115 years ago.

About half of those present then proceeded funeral-style to a recently discovered grave of one of those victims, where they added soil and flowers and told personal stories about their experiences with race in this country.

Northeast Health District Added 83 New COVID-19 Cases On Saturday, But No New Deaths From The Disease

***Clarke County Added 29 Cases, Oconee Added Six***

The 10-county Northeast Health District topped off a bad week on Saturday by adding 83 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 that pushed up the seven-day rolling average of added cases to 77.3, a new record. A week ago the seven-day average was 41.7.

Every county in the District added at least one case except for Greene. Clarke County led by adding 29 cases, and Oconee County added six.

Friday, July 03, 2020

The Northeast Health District Added 131 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases On Friday, A New Record

***Clarke County Added 198 Cases In Last Week***

The 10-county Northeast Health District of the Department of Public Health added a record 131 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 with the issuance of the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Friday.

Included were 54 new cases in Clarke County and 10 in Oconee County.

U.S. District Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Forcing District Attorney Election In November

***Secretary Of State Told To Set Procedures For Election***

In a strongly worded decision on Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Cohen in Atlanta granted a preliminary injunction requiring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to hold an election for the District Attorney of the Western Judicial Circuit on Nov. 3.

Cohen ordered that representatives of Deborah Gonzalez and the four other plaintiffs meet with representatives of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Raffensperger and “endeavor to present to the Court” within 14 days a consent order setting out the procedures for conducting the special election.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Watkinsville Mayor Attempts To Veto Budget, Proposes Cuts In EMS Services, Staff Salaries, Legal Services, Arts Funding

***Behavior At Odds With City Charter***

Watkinsville Mayor Bob Smith, on June 30, the final day of the last Fiscal Year, attempted to veto the nearly $2 million budget for the current fiscal year that had been passed in a 5 to 0 vote by the Council on June 17.

Smith sent out a press release on June 30 saying he was vetoing the budget because the Council “ignored” his request at the June 17 meeting to cut 12 percent from the budget and was instead using anticipated federal pandemic relief funds and the city's reserve funds to balance the budget.

State Adds Nearly 3,500 New COVID-19 Cases On Thursday, With 43 In Northeast Health District

***Hospitalizations Due To COVID-19 Increase Sharply***

Georgia recorded 3,472 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 with the release of the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Thursday and is in completely new territory in terms of spread of the disease.

The seven-day rolling average of added cases is 2,373.4, up more than 250 cases from the record set on Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Northeast Health District Sets New Record Of Added COVID-19 Cases As Number In State Soars

***Clarke County Adds 43 New Cases, 155 In Last Week***

The state of Georgia set a new record on Wednesday with the addition of 2,946 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 108 of those in the 10-county Northeast Health District.

The new cases in the state pushed the seven-day rolling average of added cases to 2,122.3, and the new cases in the 10-county Northeast Health District resulted in a seven-day rolling average of 61.1.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Northeast Health District, Led By Clarke County, Adds Record Number Of COVID-19 Cases On Tuesday

***All 10 Counties In District Add Cases***

The Northeast Health District reported a record number of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the 10-county Northeast Health District with the release of the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Tuesday.

Led by Clarke County’s increase of 41 cases, the 10-county Northeast Health District added 128 new cases, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases jumped to 54.0 from 42.9 on Monday.

Board Of Commissioners Chair Asks Citizens To Pressure School Board To Discuss Options For Malcom Bridge Middle School Entrance

***Still Prefers Roundabout***

Oconee County is willing to modify its plans for the parent entrance to Malcom Bridge Middle School, but that will be possible only if citizens put pressure on the Board of Education to consider alternatives, Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell said last week.

Daniell said the proposed modified R-Cut design is good but not the best option, and the originally proposed roundabout, rejected by the Board of Education, is better.

Monday, June 29, 2020

COVID-19 Cases Increase In State And Region on Monday; Hospitalizations From The Disease Show Large Jump

***Good News: Unemployment Rates Decline***

The state added 2,207 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 with Monday’s release of the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report, the second largest number of new cases ever added.

The 10-county Northeast Health District added 28 cases, including two in Oconee County and five in Clarke County.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

COVID-19 Cases Continue To Soar In State And In 10-County Northeast Health District

***Rolling Average More Than Doubles From April High***

The number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases continued to soar on Sunday, with the state and the 10-county Northeast Health District setting new records.

Across the state, 2,225 new cases were recorded in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report, the first time that the number of cases has increased by more than 2,000 in a 24-hour period.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Northeast Health District And State See Record Number Of New COVID-19 Cases On Saturday

***State Adds 10 Deaths But Eliminates Four***

The 10-county Northeast Health District, which includes Oconee and Clarke counties, and the state of Georgia as a whole, set new records on Saturday in number of added confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Across the state, the Department of Public Health reported 1,990 new cases of COVID-19, the highest number ever, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases jumped to 1,596.6, the highest average ever.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Number Of New Cases Of COVID-19 In State Soared On Friday, Setting New Record

***Northeast Health District Cases Also Increased***

The spread of COVID-19 in the state entered entirely new territory on Friday with the Department of Public Health reporting 1,900 new confirmed cases, the highest level ever reported.

The Daily Status Report listed 1,800 new cases on Saturday of last week, the previous high record, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases was 1,569.4 on Friday, the highest rolling average ever.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

State and Northeast Health District Report Big Jumps In COVID-19 Cases On Thursday And More Than 50 Percent Growth In Four Weeks

***Critical Care Hospital Beds At Area Hospitals At All Time Low***

The state of Georgia added 1,714 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Daily Status Report of the Department of Public Health on Thursday, the third day in a row in which more than 1,700 new cases were added.

The seven-day rolling average of added cases in the state is 1,454.7, which far exceeds the seven-day rolling average of 857.3 on April 13, the earlier high point after which cases began to decline.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Oconee County’s Two State Representatives Voted In Favor Of Modified Hate Crimes Bill

***Both Had Voted Against Bill In 2019***

Oconee County’s two state representatives, Houston Gaines and Marcus Wiedower, reversed course on Tuesday and voted with the majority in approving a modified version of House Bill 426, referred to as a Hate Crimes Bill.

Both Gaines and Wiedower had voted against the original version of the bill when it narrowly passed the Georgia House of Representatives in March of last year.

Rolling-Average Of Added COVID-19 Cases Continues To Increase In State And In Northeast Health District

***Clarke County Added 11 New Cases***

The seven-day rolling average of added confirmed COVID-19 cases increased both in the Northeast Health District and across the state with the release of the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Wednesday.

The Northeast Health District added 58 new cases, including 11 cases in Clarke County and two in Oconee County, and the seven-day rolling average increased to 31.4 cases per day from 27.7 on Tuesday.

Watkinsville Council Approved Concept Plan For Miracle League Field And Playground In Harris Shoals Park

***Also Approved Budget***

The Watkinsville Council last week unanimously approved a concept plan for a Miracle League Field and new playground in Harris Shoals Park behind the Extra Special People two-building complex on VFW Drive.

The Council instructed the city staff and attorney to work out an operating agreement between ESP and the city to be considered and approved at a later date.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

COVID-19 Cases And Deaths Increased In Region And State On Tuesday–A Day With Little Good News Regarding The Pandemic

***Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations, Ventilator Use Increase***

The seven-day rolling average of added COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths attributed to the disease increased on Tuesday both in the 10-county Northeast Health District that includes Oconee and Clarke counties and in the state overall.

In the 24 long-term care facilities in the Northeast Health District with COVID-19 contamination, the number of deaths and the number of residents with COVID-19 increased, as did the number of staff with the disease.

Oconee County Budget Hearing Results In Call For Septic Tank Monitoring And Internet Investment

***Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Outlined***

Two citizens used the opportunity of a Budget Hearing of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners last week to raise concerns that have budget implications but that were not directed as specifics of the budget presented.

County Finance Director provided the commissioners and the public the final details of the $53.3 million budget which includes no new positions, no salary raises for existing employees, and increased spending on health insurance benefits.

Gonzalez Said In Meeting With Oconee County Democrats She Is Ready To Launch Campaign If Judge Orders District Attorney Election

***Hearing Scheduled For Thursday***

Athens attorney Deborah Gonzalez said last week she is ready to seek election as district attorney in November pending the outcome on her suit against Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to force the state to hold that election.

Gonzalez told Oconee County Democrats, meeting virtually last Thursday evening, that U.S. District Court Judge Mark Cohen in Atlanta has scheduled a hearing on her motion for a preliminary injunction against Kemp and Raffensperger for 10 a.m. on this coming Thursday via Zoom.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 Increase In State And Regionally On Monday; Hospitalizations And Ventilator Use Up In State

***Walton County COVID-19 Nursing Home Death Reported***

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased again on Monday, both in the state as a whole and in the 10-county Northeast Health District.

The state added 1,227 new confirmed cases of the disease in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Monday, and the 10-county Northeast Health District contributed 26 of those cases.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sen. Loeffler Emphasized Her Support For President Trump In Her Comments Before Oconee County Republicans

Said She And President Are Both “Outsiders”***

Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler told Oconee County Republicans that three things distinguish her from the Democrats and Republicans who will be seeking her seat in the non-primaried special election on Nov. 3.

Loeffler said she is a business outsider, a life-long conservative, and someone who already has Senate experience.

Number Of Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 At Record High In State And Increase In 10-County Northeast Health District As Well

***Only One COVID-19 Death Added Statewide***

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continued to climb on Sunday in the state of Georgia as a whole and in the 10-county Northeast Health District.

The state added 892 new cases of COVID-19, and the 10-county Northeast Health District added 14.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Northeast Health District Reports Only 10 New COVID-19 Confirmed Cases On Saturday While State Reports Record 1,800 New Cases

***Northeast Health District Has No New Deaths Listed***

On the day that the Georgia Department of Public Health reported the largest number of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 ever, the Northeast Health District reported only 10 new confirmed cases.

Those new cases were spread throughout the 10-county Northeast Health District, with Oconee County adding one case and Clarke County adding two.

Rescanning Of Oconee County Absentee Ballots Resulted In Four Additional Voters Being Counted

***Results Certified On Friday

The rescanning of Oconee County’s 7,422 Absentee Ballots on Wednesday did not have any impact on the outcome of the county’s elections on June 9, but it did result in the votes of four of the county’s residents being counted that were missed in the first scan.

The rescan had been agreed upon by the county Board of Elections and Registration on Tuesday because the scanner appeared to be not counting some of the Absentee Ballots that had been marked.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Consistent With State Trends, Northeast Health District Adds COVID-19 Cases And Deaths On Friday

***Critical Care Bed Use Also Increases***

Reflecting the broader trends across the state of Georgia, the 10-county Northeast Health District added 39 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, listed three new deaths attributed to the disease, and reported the highest number of Critical Care Beds in use in more than two weeks.

Only Oconee County among the the 10 counties in the Department of Public Health Northeast Health District did not add at least one case in the Friday Daily Status Report, released at 2:50 p.m. on Friday.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Department Of Health Reports 882 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In State And 23 In Northeast Health District

***Seven-Day Rolling Averages Decline***

The state of Georgia added 882 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Thursday Department of Public Health Daily Status Report, and that included 23 cases in the 10-county Northeast Health District.

For the state and the region, the number of newly identified cases was lower than the number added on Thursday of last week, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped from 864.3 on Wednesday to 848.4 on Thursday at the state level and from 22.4 to 20.7 at the local level.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Oconee County Elections Board Decides To Rescan All Of The Absentee Ballots From June 9 Election

***Determined Scanner Missed Votes Marked On Ballots***

The Oconee County Board of Elections and Registration on Tuesday voted unanimously to toss out the initial scanning of the 7,424 absentee ballots cast in the June 9 election and to rescan those ballots before the county’s election results are certified on Friday.

The Board took the action on the recommendation of Fran Leathers, who is chair of the Board and director of Elections and Registration for the county.

Northeast Health District And State Show Increases In COVID-19 Confirmed Cases And Deaths On Wednesday

***Oconee County Has 10th Death Reported***

The seven-day rolling average of added COVID-19 cases and deaths increased in the 10-county Northeast Health District of the Department of Public Health and in the state of Georgia as whole with the release of the Daily Status Report on Wednesday.

The 10-county Northeast Health district added 32 new cases, with Oconee, Clarke and six of the other counties adding cases. The seven-day rolling average of added cases increased from 20.6 on Tuesday to 22.4 on Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Seven-Day Rolling Average Of Added Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Northeast Health District Unchanged In Monday Daily Status Report

***No New Deaths Are Listed***

The 10-county Northeast Health District added 25 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the same number added a week ago, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases per day remained unchanged at 20.6.

Only two counties–Oconee and Greene–did not add a new case, and the total number of confirmed cases in the District over the three-month run of the pandemic is 1,840.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Area Showing Growth In COVID-19 Cases And Deaths, But Not At The High Rate For State As A Whole

***Area Long-Term Care Facilities Add Cases, But No New Deaths***

While Georgia continued to show growth in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths on Monday, the 10-county Northeast Health District–which includes Oconee and Clarke Counties–witnessed a slight drop in averge number of cases and a consistent level of COVID-19 deaths.

The 10-county district added 23 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, but that number was down from the 33 added a week ago, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped to 20.6 on Monday from 22.0 on Sunday.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Northeast Health District Adds Only One Confirmed COVID-19 Case In Sunday’s Daily Status Report And No Deaths

***Sunday Report Normally Shows Little Change***

The Northeast Health District added only a single confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Sunday Department of Public Health Daily Status Report–in Clarke County–and the seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped from 23.1 on Saturday to 22.0 on Sunday.

The 10-county Northeast Health District did not report any new COVID-19 deaths on Sunday, but the seven-day rolling average of added deaths remained unchanged at 1.7 from Saturday because no deaths were added on Sunday a week earlier.

Oconee County’s Sen. Cowsert Expects Georgia Senate To Pass A Hate Crimes Bill This Session, But Not The Version Passed By House

***Said He Favors A Bill***

Sen. Bill Cowsert, who represents Oconee, Clarke and Walton counties in the Georgia General Assembly, said he thinks the Senate is likely to pass a hate crimes bill after it comes back into session on Monday, but it will not be the bill passed by the Georgia House of Representatives last year.

Cowsert said he supports passage of a bill, and he thinks the bill that the Senate will produce “will be much more comprehensive” than the House Bill now before the Senate for consideration.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Board Of Commissioners Town Hall Meeting, Proposed For Malcom Bridge Middle School, Moved To Oconee Veterans Park

***No Agreement Reached With Board Of Education***

At the Board of Commissioners meeting last week, Chair John Daniell announced that the next Town Hall Meeting will be June 23, possibly at Malcom Bridge Middle School, where there will be a chance to discuss ongoing and proposed road improvements at the school complex.

At the end of the week, however, Daniell said in an email message that “We are still finalizing the details of the Town Hall scheduled for June 23rd. We hope to have everything nailed down next week.”

COVID-19 Cases And Deaths Increase In Georgia And Northeast Health District In Saturday Report Of Georgia Department Of Public Health

***State Increases Very Large***

The seven-day rolling averages of added confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths attributed to the disease increased both in the state of Georgia as a whole and in the 10-county Northeast Health District with the release of the Daily Status Report on Saturday.

The increases at the state level were quite dramatic, as the state added 1,018 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 28 deaths.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Three New COVID-19 Deaths In Northeast Health District Push Up The Seven-Day Rolling Average Of Added Deaths

***Nursing Home Active Cases Continue To Decline***

Three COVID-19 deaths listed in Friday’s Daily Status Report of the Department of Public Health pushed up the seven-day rolling average of deaths in the 10-county Northeast Health District, consistent with the statewide trend of increasing deaths from the disease.

The Northeast Health District added 24 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday, but that was much lower than the 59 new cased added a week ago, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped from 27.0 per day on Thursday to 22.0 per day on Friday.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Oconee County Reported No Problems During Tuesday Election; Questions Show Mixed Interest In Making Races Non-Partisan

***Turnout Higher Than In 2016***

Just less than half–48.3 percent–of Oconee County’s Active Registered Voters cast a ballot in the merged Presidential Primary, Party Primary, and Non-Partisan Judicial election on Tuesday.

That compares with a turnout of 53.7 in the Presidential Primary in March of 2016 and with the turnout of 30.81 in the May 2016 Party Primary and Non-Partisan election.

As COVID-19 Cases Increase In State, Northeast Health District Shows No Increase In Seven-Day Rolling Average Of New Cases

***Only One New Case Reported At Long-Term Care Facilities***

Even as the state of Georgia saw continuing increases on Thursday in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths, in the 10-county Northeast Health District the average number of new cases remained the same as the day before and the average number of new deaths was down just slightly.

The Northeast Health District did add 35 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Thursday Daily Status Report of the Department of Public Health, up from 19 the day before.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Wednesday Daily Status Report Shows Slight Drops In Seven-Day Rolling Averages Of COVID-19 Cases, Deaths In District

***No New Cases, Deaths At Long-Term Care Homes***

The 10-county Northeast Health District added 19 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and one death attributed to the disease in the Wednesday Daily Status Report of the Department of Public Health.

The figures resulted in slight drops in the seven-day averages of added cases (from 27.0 from 27.3) and deaths (from 2.0 to 1.6).

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Voters Pick Incumbents in Oconee County Republican Primary For County Commission Posts, Current Captain To Be Sheriff

***Hunsinger Elected As Probate Court Judge***

Voters in the Oconee County Republican Primary on Tuesday selected three incumbents in Board of Commissioners races, a newcomer to the county in the Board of Education race, and a current Captain in the Sheriff’s Office to be the new Sheriff.

Voters in the nonpartisan election for Probate Court Judge chose Mike Hunsinger to succeed retiring Judge David Anglin.

Twenty-Five New COVID-19 Cases In Northeast Health District Push Up The Seven-Day Rolling Average Of Added Cases

***Department Of Public Health Adds Five COVID-19 Deaths***

The Department of Public Health on Tuesday added five deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the 10-county Northeast Health District and 25 new confirmed cases of the disease.

The large number of new cases increased the seven-day rolling average of added cases per day in the Northeast Health District to 27.3, up from 26.3 on Monday.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Average Number Of Daily COVID-19 Cases In Northeast Health District Increased Again On Monday

***One New Death From Disease Reported***

The seven-day rolling average of new cases of COVID-19 in the 10-county Northeast Health District increased on Monday with the addition of 33 new confirmed cases of the disease.

Only Morgan and Madison counties did not add cases in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report released at 3 p.m. on Monday.

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Sunday Report Of Department Of Public Health Lists Only Nine New COVID-19 Cases In Northeast Health District

***No New Deaths Attributed To COVID-19 Reported In District***

Consistent with the pattern from recent weeks, the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Sunday listed only nine new cases of COVID-19 in the Northeast Health District, and the report included no new deaths attributable to the disease in the District.

The seven-day rolling average of added cases in the District did increase–from 23.1 on Saturday to 24.1 on Sunday–because the nine new cases in the Sunday report compared with the two new cases reported Sunday a week ago.

Five Local Democratic Candidates On Tuesday’s Ballot Without Opposition Tell Fellow Democrats About The Issues That Concern Them

***U.S. Senate And Probate Judge Candidates Also Speak***

Lacking opposition in the party primary on Tuesday, the five local Democratic candidates speaking at the party meeting last month focused not on this week’s election but on the election on November 3.

Jonathan Wallace, seeking election to the Georgia House of Representatives, said he was motivated to run because of redistricting.

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Department Of Public Health Issues Second Daily Status Report on Saturday To “Correct” First Report’s Listing Of COVID-19 Deaths

***Northeast Region Not Affected By Change***

The Georgia Department of Public Health issued a Daily Status Report at 3 p.m. on Saturday eliminating 21 deaths from its cumulative list of deaths attributed to COVID-19.

The result, according to the report, was a drop in the number of deaths in the state from the disease from 2,174 to 2,160 on Saturday.

Early Voting Wraps Up With More Than A Quarter Of Oconee County Voters Casting A Ballot

***Majority Of Votes By Absentee***

More than a quarter of Oconee County’s registered voters already has cast a ballot, either in person or by absentee, during the just-completed three weeks of early voting for the June 9 election.

The Tuesday election is a merger of the postponed March 24 presidential primary as well as of the party primaries and nonpartisan elections originally scheduled for May 19, and just less than 70 percent of Oconee County voters have used a Republican ballot in voting so far.

Friday, June 05, 2020

Department Of Public Health Reports Increases in COVID-19 Cases And Deaths For Northeast Health District And State

***All Four Seven-Day Rolling Averages Increased***

Both the Northeast Health District and the state as a whole reported large increases in confirmed cases of COVID-19 and increases in deaths attributed to the disease in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report for Friday.

The seven-day rolling average of added cases of COVID-19 and added deaths attributed to COVID-19 increased both in the 10-county Northeast Health District of the Department of Public Health and across the whole of Georgia.

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Two New COVID-19 Deaths And 35 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Added In Northeast Health District On Thursday

***Oconee County Experiencing Spurt In Cases And Deaths***

The 10-county Northeast Health District of the Georgia Department of Public Health added two deaths attributed to COVID-19 and 35 new confirmed cases of the disease in the Daily Status Report released at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

The new deaths–in Clarke and Barrow counties–moved the seven-day rolling average of added deaths up from 2.3 deaths per day on Wednesday to 2.4 deaths per day on Thursday.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Ninth Oconee County COVID-19 Death Reported By Georgia Department Of Public Health On Wednesday

***Northeast Health District Added 16 COVID-19 Deaths In Week***

Oconee County added a ninth death attributed to COVID-19 in the Wednesday Daily Status Report of the Georgia Department of Public Health, and Walton County added three deaths, bringing the total number of deaths attributed to the disease in the Northeast Health District to 77.

The 10-county Northeast Health District has added 16 COVID-19 deaths in the last week, and the seven-day rolling average of added deaths attributed to the disease in the District stood at 2.3 at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, the same as the day before.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Oconee County Schools Reviewing Options On School Reopening, Superintendent Tells School Board

***Waiting On Report Of COVID-19 Spread In County***

Oconee County School Superintendent Jason Branch told the Board of Education at its meeting on Monday that he and his staff are reviewing the guidelines from the Georgia Department of Public Education and the Georgia Department of Public Health to determine how schools will reopen in the fall.

The two state departments had released earlier in the day guidelines for school systems regarding the reopening of schools following their closure this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oconee And Clarke Counties Each Add COVID-19 Death On Tuesday, As Northeast Health District Adds Seven

***Seven-Day Rolling Average Of Deaths Jumps***

The Northeast Health District added seven deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the Daily Status Report of the Department of Public Health on Tuesday, with Oconee County and Clarke County each accounting for one of the deaths.

The addition of seven deaths was the largest ever recorded for the 10-county Northeast Health District in a single day, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases increased to 2.3 on Tuesday from 1.4 on Monday.

Monday, June 01, 2020

Seventh Oconee County Death Due To COVID-19 Reported By Department Of Public Health

***Oglethorpe Adds Death In Monday Report As Well***

Oconee and Oglethorpe counties each added a death attributed to COVID-19 in the Monday Daily Status Report issued by the Georgia Department of Health, bringing the total number of reported deaths from the disease in each of the counties to seven.

Oconee County’s death was of a female, described as 90 plus years of age and with chronic conditions, while the Oglethorpe death was of a 70-year-old male without known chronic conditions.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

One In Five Of Oconee County’s Voters Have Cast In-Person Or Absentee Ballots For June 9 Primary

***Republican Ballots Make Up Two-Thirds Of Those Cast***

With 10 days of early voting completed for the June 9 primary and judicial elections, just more than 20 percent of Oconee County’s 30,457 registered voters have cast a ballot, either in person or by returning an Absentee ballot.

Republican ballots continue to dominate.

Of the 980 In-Person ballots cast by the end of the day on Saturday, 88.8 percent were in the Republican Primary, and of the 5,188 Absentee ballots returned as of the end of the day on Saturday, 66.2 percent were for the Republican Primary.

Northeast Health District Adds Only Two Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Sunday Daily Status Report

***No New Deaths Recorded***

Clarke and Elbert counties where the only counties in the 10-county Northeast Health District to add a confirmed COVID-19 case in the Daily Status Report on Sunday as the area experienced a lull in the growth of cases.

Even with the addition of just the two cases, the seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped only from 38.4 on Saturday to 36.6 on Sunday because Sundays traditionally have been days on which few cases are added in the District.

Extra Special People Releases In Virtual Meeting New Plans For Miracle League Field And Playground At Harris Shoals Park

***Splash Pad, Second Park Entrance Eliminated***

Extra Special People, in a virtual meeting on Friday, released to the public greatly revised plans for its proposed development of a part of Harris Shoals Park in collaboration with the city of Watkinsville.

Retained in those plans is a Miracle League Field, which is a ball field that can be used by people in wheelchairs, but gone are the originally proposed splash pad, additional park entrance off Experiment Station Road, and increased parking.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Oconee County Added COVID-19 Death In Department of Public Health Saturday Report; Confirmed Cases In Area Continues To Increase

***Death Count Incomplete***

Oconee County recorded its six death attributed to COVID-19 in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report released at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and the county and the Northeast Health District continued to add cases in an unmistakable upturn in the disease in the area.

The 10-county Northeast Health District added 35 cases on Saturday, including seven in Clarke County, and the seven-day rolling average of cases increased to 38.4, the highest number ever recorded for the District.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Department Of Public Health Reports Five New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Oconee County

***Region Adds 39 New Cases***

Oconee County added five new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report released at 1 p.m. on Friday, and the 10-county Northeast Health District, of which Oconee County is a part, added 39 new cases.

Clarke County added nine cases in the Friday Daily Status Report, and every county in the Northeast Health District except Morgan and Greene counties added at last one case.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Forty-Three New COVID-19 Cases In Northeast Health District On Thursday Push Up Seven-Day Rolling Average Of Added Cases

***Oconee County Adds Two Nursing Home Deaths***

The Northeast Health District of the Department of Public Health continued a three-day run of adding large numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, with 43 new cases pushing the seven-day average of added cases to 37.0 from 34.4 on Wednesday.

The 10-county district also added another death attributed to the disease, the sixth death in the last three days, and the seven-day average of added deaths stood at 1.7, down from 1.9 on Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Oconee County Commissioners Get Look At Pared-Back SPLOST List For November Referendum

***Optimistic Projection Is For Nearly $65 Million In Projects***

Oconee County voters in November will be presented with a $64.6 million wish list of projects to be funded by a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax if the Board of Commissioners accepts a staff proposal given it last week.

Included on the list is $14.4 million for roads and bridges, $7.5 million for water and sewer projects, $6.9 million for a library and government administrative building, and $6.3 million for county broadband.

Northeast Health District Reports Largest Number Of New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Ever And Four Deaths From Disease

***Oconee County Adds More Two Nursing Home Deaths***

The Northeast Health District added 81 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the 1 p.m. Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Wednesday and four new deaths.

The number of new cases is the largest number ever added in a 24-hour period, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases jumped from 24.9 on Tuesday to 34.4 on Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

One New COVID-19 Death And 42 New Cases Added In Department of Public Health Daily Status Report For Northeast Health District

***Death In Walton County***

The Northeast Health District added 42 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one death attributed to the disease in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report issued at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

The seven-day rolling average of cases added in the district dropped from 25.0 on Monday to 24.9 on Tuesday, while the seven-day average of added deaths remained steady at 1.4.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Republican Ballots Dominated First Week Of Early Voting In Oconee County, But Democratic Ballots More Pronounced In Absentee Counts

***Early Voting For June 9 Election Continues Tuesday***

Nine out of 10 of those who participated in the first week of In-Person early voting in Oconee County used the Republican ballot, but less than two-thirds of those who had turned in an Absentee ballot by the end of last week had used the Republican ballot.

Early In-Person voting has been light, with only 533 persons showing up at the Board of Elections and Registration Office across from the Courthouse in Watkinsville to cast a ballot by the end of the day on Friday.

Department Of Public Health Lists 14 New Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 In Monday Report For Northeast Health District

***Oconee Adds Two Cases***

The Northeast Health District added 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Department of Public Health’s Daily Status Report issued at 1 p.m. on Memorial Day.

That number of new cases, which included two from both Oconee and Clarke counties, kept the seven-day rolling average of cases at 25.0, just down from 25.3 on Sunday.

Oconee County Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Projects Short-Term Drop In Sales Tax Revenue, Commissioners Told

***Property Tax Rate Remains Unchanged***

Oconee County Finance Director Wes Geddings last week presented the Board of Commissioners with a $53.3 million Proposed Fiscal Year 2021 Budget that anticipates a 10.4 percent drop in sales tax revenue but includes no increase in the property tax rate.

The budget includes no new positions and a modification of health care options that holds the increase of costs to 5 percent, Geddings told the Board at the first hearing on the proposed Fiscal Year 2021 Budget.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Fifteen New Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 Included In The Sunday Daily Status Report For Northeast Health District

***Oconee Does Not Add Cases***

Clarke County added four cases of COVID-19 in the Daily Status Report released by the Department of Public Health at 1 p.m. on Sunday, and the whole 10-county Northeast Health District added 15 cases.

The seven-day rolling average of cases added in the District increased from 22.9 cases per day on Saturday to 25.3 on Sunday. Oconee County did not add any new cases on Sunday, and its total stands at 103 cases since the state began monitoring the disease back in March.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Northeast Health District Adds Five Deaths Attributed To COVID-19, Including One In Oconee County

***Rolling Average Of Confirmed Cases Increases***

The 10-county Northeast Health District of the Department of Public Health added five deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the Daily Status Report on Saturday, the largest number ever added in a single day in the District.

Included was one death in Oconee County, two in Barrow County, one in Jackson County and one in Walton County.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Department Of Public Health Listed 21 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Oconee County On Friday And One Additional Death

***Rolling Average Of Confirmed Cases In Region Increases***

Oconee County added 21 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one additional death attributed to the disease on Friday with the issuance of the 1 p.m. Daily Status Report of the Department of Public Health.

That brings to 103 the number of confirmed cases in the county since the Department of Public Health began issuing its reports in the middle of March and brings the number of deaths to four.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Rolling Averages Of COVID-19 Cases And Deaths Increase In Northeast Health District

***Oconee Has Fourth Nursing Home COVID Death***

The seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths attributed to the disease both increased in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report for 1 p.m. on Thursday.

At the same time, the Department of Community Health is reporting that a quarter of the residents of the 17 area long-term care facilities on its list are COVID Positive.

Oconee County School Board Approves Agreement To Charge County For Use Of School Sports Facilities

***Gets Sales Tax Collection Update***

Participants in Youth Tackle Football and Youth Basketball programs of the Oconee County Parks and Recreation Department will be paying higher fees starting in a year because of an agreement approved last week by the Oconee County Board of Education.

The approval was the final step in a process initiated by Oconee County Schools to recover maintenance costs from the Oconee County government for use by the county of athletic facilities at county schools.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Seven-Day Average Of Added COVID-19 Positive Cases And Deaths In Northeast Health District Holding Steady

***Residents With Disease At Long-Term Care Facilities Increasing***

The Northeast Health District added 14 cases of confirmed COVID-19 with the 1 p.m. Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Wednesday, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped to the level it has maintained for the last week.

The 10-county region added an additional death, of a 45-year-old female in Greene County with known chronic conditions, bringing the total number of deaths to 48 and holding the seven-day rolling average of added deaths at 1.1.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Northeast Health District Reports Large Increase In COVID-19 Cases; Disease Spreads Among Residents Of Oconee County Nursing Home

***Northeast Health District Adds COVID-19 Death***

The 10-county Northeast Health District of the Department of Public Health added 43 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 with the 1 p.m. Daily Status Report on Tuesday, bringing the seven-day rolling average of cases up from 15.9 to 21.7.

Elbert County added 22 cases, Walton County added seven, Barrow County added five, Jackson County added four, and each of the other counties, except Morgan County, added one.

Oconee County Voters Opted For Republican Ballots In First Day Of Early Voting; Gonzalez Files Lawsuit To Force District Attorney Election

***Democratic Ballots Larger Part Of Returned Mail Voting***

Oconee County had 108 voters turn out on Monday for the first day of early voting for the June 9 election, which includes the delayed Democratic and Republican presidential primaries, state primaries, and nonpartisan judicial races.

Only six voters used the Democratic Ballot on Monday, with the remaining 102 using the Republican Ballot.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Oconee County Adds One New Death Attributed To COVID-19 In Monday Daily Status Report

***Northeast Region Adds 16 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases***

Oconee Country added one COVID-19 confirmed case and one death attributed to the disease in the Monday Daily Status Report from the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The addition of the death of a 73-year-old male without chronic health conditions in Oconee County brings to three the number of deaths in the county attributed to COVID-19 and to 46 the number in Northeast Health District of the Department of Public Health.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Candidates At Oconee County Republican Party Election Forum Asked About Disputes Between County And School Governing Bodies

***Sheriff Candidates Questioned About Deputies In Roadways***

Disputes between the Oconee County Board of Commissioners and the Oconee County Board of Education played a prominent role in the candidate forum held by the Oconee County Republican Party last week.

Moderator Tim Bryant from Cox Radio’s WGAU asked about the relationship between the two governing bodies of candidates in the June 9 Republican primary for spots on the two Boards.

Daily Status Report Adds No New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Or Deaths For Northeast Health District On Sunday

***Oconee And Barrow Lose Cases***

The Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Sunday produced positive news for the Northeast Health District with no new deaths attributed to COVID-19 and a reduced number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in the region.

For the second time, the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report either reassigned or disallowed two COVID-19 confirmed positive cases, one in Oconee County and one in Barrow County, with the 1 p.m. report on Sunday.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Two State Reports Add Three COVID-19 Deaths In Northeast Health District But Disagree On Where They Occurred

***Number Of Added Cases Four In One Report And 12 In Other***

In the Georgia Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Saturday, the Northeast Health District added only four confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, but it also added three deaths.

In the separate Georgia Department of Community Health Long-Term Care Facility Report for late Friday, the Northeast Health District added 10 COVID Positive resident cases at long-term care homes, two COVID Positive staff cases, and three COVID resident deaths.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Oconee Farmer’s Market To Launch 17th Season Saturday At Courthouse In Watkinsville

***Drive Through Only***

Oconee County’s Farmer’s Market will launch its 17th Season at 9 a.m. Saturday (tomorrow) as a drive-through only operation in front of the Courthouse in downtown Watkinsville.

Persons interested in purchasing from the Market’s vendors will remain inside their vehicles and enter the Courthouse front parking lot from Third Street.

Oconee County Added 14 New COVID-19 Cases On Friday And Has Three COVID-19 Deaths

***Area Hospital Critical Care Bed Availability Drops***

Oconee County added 14 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report at 1 p.m. on Friday, the largest single-day increase ever reported for the county.

The Department of Public Health’s Daily Status Report also added two additional deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Oconee County.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Rolling Average of COVID-19 Cases In Northeast Health District Holds Steady, According To Department Of Public Health Report

***Long-Term Care Facility Report List 16 New Cases***

The Georgia Department of Public Health added 10 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the 10-county Northeast Health District on Thursday, bringing the total number or cases in the region to 1,021 and producing a very slight increase in the seven-day rolling average of added cases to 17.9.

Barrow County again led the list of counties reporting increases, with six new cases. Oconee County, for the seventh day in a row, reported no new cases.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Oconee County Has Adopted New Procedures For Early Voting In Response To Pandemic

***PPE Purchased; Secure Drop Box Installed***

The county has put into place a series of precautions as early voting for the postponed June 9 Democratic and Republican primaries and the nonpartisan judicial races begins at 8 a.m. on Monday and runs through June 5.

A plexiglass screen has been installed at the Oconee County Board of Elections and Registration Office across from the Courthouse in downtown Watkinsville, separating office workers and voters to protect both from COVID-19 as the voting process begins.

After Adding Few Cases For Two Days, Northeast Health District Added A Record Number Of New COVID-19 Cases On Wednesday

***New Death Added In Barrow County***

After two days when the Department of Public Health added only three confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Northeast Health District, the Daily Status Report on Wednesday added 68 new cases, the largest number ever added in a single day in the region.

The second largest number added in the 10-county Northeast Health District was a week ago, underscoring the seemingly erratic but patterned nature of reporting of cases to the Department of Public Health.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Only Barrow County Adds Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Daily Status Report; Barrow Also Has Another COVID-19 Death At Nursing Home

***Hospital Bed Availability In Region Steady***

The Northeast Health District added only two confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report for 1 p.m. on Tuesday, both in Barrow County, and the seven-day rolling average of confirmed cases in the 10-county region dropped to 15.1.

The seven-day rolling average of added cases in the Northeast Health District has declined in each of the last six days from 27.1 on May 6.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Northeast Health District Adds Single Confirmed Case Of COVID-19 On Monday But Adds Two Deaths Attributed To Disease

***Number Of Available Critical Hospital Beds Down Slightly***

The Northeast Health District added only a single case of confirmed COVID-19 with the 1 p.m. Daily Status Report on Monday, but it added two deaths attributed to the disease, one in Barrow County and another in Walton County.

The Barrow County death was of an 80-year-old female with known chronic conditions, while the Walton County death was of a 93-year-old female with unknown chronic conditions.

Oconee County Sheriff Candidates Say It Is Important To Get Deputies Out Of County Roadways When Possible

***Try To Dodge Dispute Between County Commission And School Board***

Oconee County sheriff candidates James Hale and Jimmy Williamson said they didn’t want to get involved in a dispute between the School Board and the Board of Commissioners and would continue to provide deputies to direct traffic at school entrances if elected and asked to do so.

At the same time, they said that having deputies in the roadway is dangerous and that they are in favor of road infrastructure changes, including roundabouts, that remove the deputies from the school entrances.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Average Number of New COVID-19 Cases Holds Steady For Northeast Region And State

***Discrepancies Between Two Health Reports Of Deaths Remains***

The Department of Public Health added 16 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the 10-county Northeast Health District with its noon Daily Status Report on Sunday, down from the 20 added on Saturday and from the 18 added Sunday a week ago.

The seven-day rolling average of added COVID-19 cases in the Health District, which includes Oconee and Clarke counties, dropped just slightly from 18.6 cases per day to 18.3 on Sunday.

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Average Number Of New COVID-19 Cases In NE Health District Drops; Oconee County Adds Second COVID-19 Death At Nursing Home

***Oglethorpe And Walton Add Deaths***

Each of the 10 counties in the Northeast Health District of the Georgia Department of Public Health except Oconee County added at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 with the Daily Status Report issued just before noon on Saturday, but Oconee County added a second death at a nursing home.

The Oconee death at the High Shoals Health and Rehabilitation nursing home in North High Shoals does not appear in Georgia Department of Public Health Daily Status Report, which does add two new deaths in the Northeast Health District in the 24-hour-period ending at 11:25 a.m. on Saturday.

Friday, May 08, 2020

Number Of New COVID-19 Cases In NE Health District Declines In Daily Status Report; Four Deaths Added In Long-Term Care Report

***Oconee Sheriff Reports No New Active Cases***

The Northeast Health District added only eight new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report for noon on Friday, and the seven-day rolling average of added cases dropped from 23.6 to 21.3.

The 10-county Northeast Region that includes Oconee and Clarke counties added no new deaths in the Daily Status Report for the third day in a row on Friday, with the total number of deaths standing at 35.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Second Oconee County Long-Term Care Facility Joins Department Of Public Health List Of COVID-19 Positive Facilities

***Disease Outbreak At Winder Facility Reported***

The Georgia Department of Public Health added a second Oconee County facility to its Long-Term Care Facility COVID-19 Report late on Wednesday after a staff member tested positive for the disease.

That same report listed a Barrow County nursing home with 74 out of 115 residents and 23 staff members as COVID-19 Positive. On Tuesday, that same facility, Winder Health Care and Rehabilitation Center, had listed 15 COVID-19 Positive residents and 23 COVID Positive Staff.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Northeast Health District Adds 51 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases On Wednesday, The Largest Number Added In Single Day

***Oconee County Has COVID-19 Death In Nursing Home***

The Northeast Health District of the Georgia Department of Public Health reported 51 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 at noon on Wednesday, the largest increase ever recorded in the District by a Daily Status Report in a 24-hour-period.

Every county but one in the 10-county Northeast Health District reported an increase in cases, with Barrow County reporting 24 new cases.

Oconee County School Board Turns Down Request By Board Of Commissioners For Joint Public Meetings

***Wants Training Session Instead***

The Oconee County Board of Education on Monday turned down a proposal from the Board of Commissioners that the two bodies meet with the public in three Town Hall sessions stretching from this month through January of 2021.

Instead, the Board of Education accepted Chair Tom Odom’s proposal that he approach the Carl Vinson Institute at the University of Georgia about conducting a training program for the members of the two Boards.

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Northeast Health District Added Four Deaths Attributed To COVID-19 On Tuesday, Largest Single-Day Increase In More Than A Month

***District Adds 16 New COVID-19 Cases; Seven-Day Rolling Average Drops***

The Northeast Health District added four deaths attributable to COVID-19 in the 24-hour-period ending at 11:25 a.m. on Tuesday, the largest number of deaths added in the District in a single 24-hour-period going back to the end of March.

A Barrow County female whose age is not known was listed in the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report on Tuesday as a COVID-19 fatality. She is classified as having had chronic conditions.

Monday, May 04, 2020

Gov. Kemp Puts Off Election Of District Attorney In Oconee And Clarke Counties Until 2022

***County Already Has Issued 5,831 Mail-In Ballots For June 9 Election***

Oconee County and Clarke County voters on Monday lost the chance to select a new district attorney in November for the Western Judicial Circuit of the Superior Court.

Gov. Brian Kemp failed to appoint on Monday a district attorney to serve until a special election could be held on Nov. 3, meaning that no special election will be held.

Northeast Health District Adds Nine New COVID-19 Confirmed Cases; Seven-Day Rolling Average Of Added Cases Drops Slightly

***Sheriff Addes One Active Case On Sunday***

The first day of the work week generally is a light days for reporting for the Department of Public Health COVID-19 Daily Status Report, and the Northeast Health District added only nine confirmed cases in the report issued just before noon on Monday.

Oconee County did not add any new cases, while Clarke County added three cases and Barrow County added four.

Oconee County Plans To Have Government Operations Back To Normal By May 14, Commissioners Told

***Draft Budget Presented***

Oconee County will begin bringing its employees back to work with the goal of having county government operating under normal conditions by May 14, Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell said last week.

The county’s Parks and Recreation Department also will develop plans for a phased re-opening of the county’s parks, Daniell told Commissioners at the agenda-setting meeting on Tuesday.

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Oconee And Clarke Do Not Add COVID-19 Cases, But Seven-Day Average Of Added Cases For Northeast Health District Increases

Greene County Adds COVID-19 Death***

Neither Oconee County nor Clarke County added any new confirmed COVID-19 cases with the Daily Status Report issued before noon on Sunday, but Barrow County added 10 cases and the Northeast Health District as a whole added 18 cases.

Greene County added a death attributed to the disease with the passing of a 47-year-old male with known chronic conditions, bringing to 30 the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the 10-county district.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Northeast Health District Adds 39 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases On Saturday, Largest Day-To-Day Increase Since April 7

***Clarke Added Five Cases, Oconee One***

The Northeast Health District added 39 cases of confirmed COVID-19 with the noon Daily Status Report on Saturday, the largest number it added in a 24-hour period since April 7 and the second largest number added in a 24-hour-period going back to the advent of the disease in the district on March 14.

Barrow County added 13 cases, Jackson added 10, Clarke added five, and Oconee County added a single case.

Friday, May 01, 2020

COVID-19 Deaths Reported In Jackson And Walton Counties; Oconee County Adds Five New Active COVID-19 Cases

***Northeast District Adds 24 Cases***

Both Walton and Jackson counties reported additional deaths from COVID-19 in the Daily Status Report of the Georgia Department of Public Health released just after noon on Friday.

A 77-year-old female in Jackson County and a 56-year-old male in Walton County were included in what now is a list of 29 COVID-19 deaths in the Department of Public Health Northeast Health District, which includes Oconee and Clarke counties.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

COVID-19 Confirmed Cases Increase In Oconee And Clarke Counties; March Sales Tax Revenues Show Expected Decline

***Active Cases Added In Oconee***

Nine of the 10 counties in the Northeast Health District added at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 in the 24-hours ending at noon on Thursday, and the Department of Public Health Daily Status Report showed the district as a whole adding 33 new cases.

Those 33 cases compare with 32 a day earlier and 27 on Thursday of last week. The seven-day rolling average of added cases rose from 23.0 to 23.9.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Watkinsville Council Approves Large Multi-Use Wire Park Project

***Zoning, Annexation, Wastewater Allocation Included***

Watkinsville Mayor and Council last week, in three separate actions, moved the Wire Park project--on just less than 67 acres formerly occupied by the Southwire manufacturing plant on Barnett Shoals Road--closer to reality.

The Council voted in a virtual session to annex just less than six acres outside the city limits into the city, rezone just more than 41 acres for mixed use and office space and a little more than 25 acres for detached residential development, and allocate residential sewer capacity for the project.

Seven-Day Rolling Average Of Added COVID-19 Confirmed Cases In Northeast Health District Increases Second Day In Row

***State Issues New Long-Term Care Facility Report***

The Northeast Health District of the Georgia Department of Public Health added 32 cases of confirmed COVID-19 at noon on Wednesday, down from the 33 cases added a day earlier but up from the 24 cases added on Wednesday of last week.

The seven-day rolling average of added COVID-19 cases for the 10-county Northeast Health District, which includes Oconee and Clarke counties, increased for the second day in a row, to 23.0 cases, up from 21.9 on Tuesday and 20.6 on Monday.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Clarke County Added 17 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases On Tuesday, Leading The Northeast Region, Which Added 33 Cases

***Daily Status Report Revised***

Clarke County added 17 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 in the 24-hour period ending at noon on Monday, while Walton County added seven cases, Barrow County added five cases, and Oconee and Jackson counties each added two cases.

The 10-county Northeast Health District of the Georgia Department of Public Health added 33 cases with the noon Daily Status Report on Tuesday, up from the 12 added on Monday and from the 24 added on Tuesday a week ago.

Monday, April 27, 2020

After Losing Cases On Sunday, Northeast Health District Adds 12 New Cases Of Confirmed COVID-19 On Monday

***Group Of Area Leaders Call For Continued Social Distancing***

The Northeast Health District added 12 cases of confirmed COVID-19 with the noon Daily Status Report on Monday, with all of the six counties in the region that lost cases in the noon Daily Status Report on Sunday adding cases on Monday.

Clarke, Jackson, and Oglethorpe counties added the same number of cases on Monday as they had lost on Sunday. Oconee County had lost two cases on Sunday and added three on Monday, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 56.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

SPLOST Requests Explained At Virtual Town Hall Meeting Of Oconee County Commissioners

***List Exceeds Likely Tax Yield***

The wish list for the 2021 Oconee County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax is a long and expensive one, including $21.5 million for road projects and $18.8 million for water and sewer facilities.

The total request before the Board of Commissioners is for just less than $78.5 million.

Georgia Public Health Sunday Report Removed Confirmed COVID-19 Cases From 6 Counties, Including Oconee And Clarke

*** No Explanation Offered***

The Georgia Department of Public Health in its noon Daily Status Report on Sunday removed or reassigned 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases allocated to six of the counties in the Northeast Health District at noon on Saturday and added 11 cases to the remaining four.

The Daily Status Report offered no explanation for the changes in the cumulative figures. The Department of Public Health also has refused to explain how it assigns cases to counties.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Seven-Day Rolling Averages Of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Grew On Saturday In Northeast Health District And State

***No New Deaths In Region***

The Northeast Health District of the Georgia Department of Health added 26 new cases with the noon Daily Status Report on Saturday as each of the 10 counties in the district added at least one case except for Clarke and Morgan counties.

Oconee County added a single case, while bordering Walton County added nine cases and Oglethrope County added seven cases.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Counties In Northeast Health District, Including Oconee County, Add 34 New COVID-19 Cases, Bringing Total to 595

***Rolling Average Continues To Decline***

Nine of the 10 counties in the Northeast Health District of the Georgia Department of Public Health added confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the noon Daily Status Report for Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 595.

The 34 new cases were up from the 27 added at noon on Thursday, but down from the 38 cases added on Friday a week ago.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Oconee County Goes Third Day Without New Confirmed COVID-19 Case; Northeast Health District Adds 27 Cases

***Cases And Death Increase In State***

Oconee County had its third straight day on Thursday without a new confirmed case of COVID-19 added in the noon Daily Status Report of the Georgia Department of Public Health. The county has 53 confirmed cases.

Clarke County added three cases, and the 10-county Northeast Health District as a whole added 27 cases, up from 24 added in the noon Daily Status Report on Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Oconee County Added No New Cases Of COVID-19 With Noon Daily Status Report For Wednesday

***Northeast Region Added 24 New Cases***

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Northeast Health District, which includes Oconee and Clarke counties, increased by 24 in the Wednesday noon Daily Status Report of the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The Wednesday increase is the same number as was shown from Monday to the noon Daily Status Report on Tuesday.

Dispute Between Oconee County Board Of Education And Board Of Commissioners Heats Up

***Monday Meeting Devoted To Conflicts***

The ongoing dispute between the Board of Education and the Board of Commissioners took a dramatic turn on Monday with the remotely connected, but live streamed, meeting of the Board of Education.

After allowing Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell to speak for six minutes as a registered outside speaker, the School Board, led by Board Member Tim Burgess, spent 29 minutes responding critically.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Clarke, Oconee And Barrow Counties All Add COVID-19 Cases On Monday; NE Health District Adds 24 Cases; Oglethorpe Adds 1 Death

***State Has Large Increases In Cases And Deaths***

Clarke County added four new COVID-19 cases on Monday, Oconee County added three, and Barrow County added nine, contributing to an increase of 24 cases over a day earlier in the Northeast Health District of the Department of Public Health.

The increase of 24 is lower than the 36 cases added on Tuesday of last week but higher than the 13 cases added on Monday. Only Morgan and Elbert counties in the 10-county district did not add cases.

Oconee County Town Hall Meeting Shows SPLOST Requests Exceed Likely Revenue, Malcom Bridge Road Improvements Controversial

Another Town Hall Tonight

Last week’s virtual Board of Commissioners Town Hall meeting was billed as focusing on two topics, the 2021 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum being planned for the Nov. 3 ballot and roadway improvements on Malcom Bridge Road.

The commissioners, as is usual, also took questions from the audience.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Northeast Health District Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 Increased By 13 On Monday, But Seven-Day Rolling Average Remains Stable

***New Testing Available; Data Problems Persist***

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported 13 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 in the Northeast Health District in its noon Daily Status Report on Monday, up from the count of 11 added on Sunday and the same number of cases it added on Monday a week ago.

The Daily Status report numbers vary by day of the week, and in each of the last three days–Saturday, Sunday and Monday–the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases was the same as the number on that day a week ago.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Oconee County Schools Updated Existing Plans For Online Teaching To Accommodate COVID-19 Closing, Administrator Told School Board

***New Dispute With County Emerges***

Claire Buck, chief academic officer for Oconee County Schools, told Board of Education members last Monday that the closure of the county schools on March 16 did not catch administrators and teachers without a plan.

In the first remote, live streamed meeting held by the Board, Buck said that the school system starting making changes to its Plan for Continuity of Learning In The Event of Inclement Weather on March 13 and was prepared when the schools moved to digital learning on March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oconee And Clarke Counties Add COVID-19 Cases; NE Region Adds 11 New Cases, Up From 7 On Saturday

***State Shows Big Increase In Testing***

Oconee and Clarke counties each add two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the noon Daily Status Report released Sunday by the Georgia Department of Public Health, contributing to the 11 new cases added in the 10-county Northeast Health District.

The 11 new cases are the same number as the Northeast Health District added a week ago–on Easter Sunday–and are an increase over the seven new cases added in the noon Daily Status Report on Saturday.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Northeast Health District Added Seven New COVID-19 Cases On Saturday, The Same As A Week Ago

***New Long-Term Care Report Released***

The Northeast Health District, which includes Oconee and Clarke counties, added only seven new confirmed cases of COVID-19 with the noon Daily Status Report of the Georgia Department of Public Health on Saturday.

The seven cases compare with the 38 added on Friday and the 37 added on Thursday.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Attorney For Gonzalez Notifies Gov. Kemp Of Possible Legal Action If He Delays District Attorney Election

***Ashford Announces For Oconee Commission Seat***

Atlanta attorney Adam M. Sparks last week sent a letter to Gov. Brian Kemp on behalf of Athens Attorney Deborah Gonzalez urging Kemp to appoint a District Attorney for the Western Judicial Circuit before May 3, thus assuring that an election for the open District Attorney office will be held on Nov. 3.

Sparks, with the law firm of Krevolin & Horst, told Kemp that “Waiting beyond May 3 would deprive voters and candidates alike of their First Amendment rights” under the U.S. Constitution.

State Of Georgia And Northeast Health District Report Very Large Numbers of New COVID-19 Cases On Friday

***Oconee And Clarke Coroners Get First Test Kits***

The state of Georgia recorded 1,525 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the 24-hour-period that ended at noon on Friday, the largest number of new cases ever recorded in the Department of Public Health’s Daily Status Report.

The 10-county Northeast Health District, which includes Oconee and Clarke County, recorded 38 new cases on Friday, the second largest number of new cases listed for the region in the Daily Status Report.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Northeast Health District, Which Includes Oconee And Clarke Counties, Added Nearly 100 Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 In Last Three Days

***No Deaths, But Coroners Still Lacking Tests***

The Georgia Northeast Health District added 37 new cases of confirmed cases of COVID-19 with the noon Daily Status Report of the Department of Health on Thursday, bringing the number of cases added in the last three days to just fewer than 100.

The three days of large number of new cases in the region, which includes Oconee and Clarke counties, follows three days in which the number of reported cases had been low.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Ossoff Told Oconee Democrats His Focus On Fighting Political Corruption Sets Him Apart In U.S. Senate Race

***Seeking Democratic Party Nomination On June 9***

Jon Ossoff told Oconee County Democratic Party members last month that one of the things that distinguishes him from the other candidates for the Democraticy Party nomination for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican David Perdue is his convictions and values.

Ossoff is CEO of Insight TWI (TheWorldInvestigates), an investigative journalism organization that produces programs for television companies around the world.

Number of COVID-19 Confirmed Cases Increases In Oconee And Clarke Counties And In Northeast Health District Overall

***State Provides Some Measurement Details***

The number of COVID-19 confirmed cases on Wednesday increased by 25 in the 10-county Northeast Health District, and, with a death of an 87-year-old male with known underlying conditions in Walton County, the number of deaths increased by one.

Oconee County added two new confirmed cases with the noon Daily Status Report of the Georgia Department of Public Health on Wednesday, and Clarke County added three.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Number Of Cases Of COVID-19 Surges Again In Northeast Health District And State

***Despite Big Increase, Some Evidence Growth Slowing***

The Georgia Department of Public Health with its noon Daily Status Report on Tuesday listed 36 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 in the 10-county Northeast Health District and one additional death–in Clarke County--attributable to the disease.

The increase of 36 cases was the largest increase since the 46 cases were added on Tuesday a week ago and the 36 were added on March 31, two weeks ago. The total number of cases in the region now stands at 355.

Monday, April 13, 2020

NE Health District Adds 13 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases On Monday: Oconee County And Clarke County Each Add Cases

***No New Deaths Recorded***

The Northeast Health District added 13 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Georgia Department of Public Health noon Daily Status Report on Monday, including the addition of two cases in Clarke County, one in Oconee, five in Walton County, and four in Green County.

The noon Monday report listed no new deaths in the region.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Northeast Health District Adds 11 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases On Sunday, Including Two In Oconee County And One In Clarke County

***Slowing Of Growth Locally And Statewide***

Georgia’s Northeast Health District, which includes Oconee and Clarke counties, added 11 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 with the noon Daily Status Report of the Department of Public Health on Sunday.

Those 11 cases are up from seven added in the noon Daily Status Report on Saturday but down dramatically from the 27 added on Friday and the 46 added on April 7. Included are two new cases in Oconee County and one in Clarke County.

Oconee Commissioners Approve Contracts For New Water Tower And Pressure Valves To Improve Watkinsville Area Water Service

***Virtual Meetings Scheduled***

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners agreed on Tuesday, in a brief meeting closed to the public except through live-streaming because of the COVID-19 pandemic, to two contracts totaling $3.1 million for a new elevated water storage tank and pressure valves to improve water pressure in the Watkinsville area.

The Board approved a bid of $2,475,000 with Caldwell Tank Inc., of Louisville, Ky., for construction of the 750,000-gallon elevated water tank at the intersection of the US. 441 Bypass and Macon Highway (South Main Street).

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Oconee Death From COVID-19 Apparently Relisted In Clarke County By State Department Of Public Health

***Positive Test Rate In State Drops***

The sole death in Oconee County attributed to COVID-19 by the Georgia Department of Public Health has been eliminated as of the noon Daily Status Report on Saturday.

The number of deaths in Clarke County increased by one in that same noon Saturday report, with an 85-year-old male without known underlying conditions added to the Clarke County total, now of 11 cases.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Oconee County Added Two New COVID-19 Confirmed Cases In Friday Daily Status Report; Discrepancy On Clarke Deaths Not Explained

***Northeast Health District Adds 27 Confirmed Cases***

The Northeast Health District, which includes Oconee and Clarke counties, added 27 new COVID-19 cases in the 24-hour-period ending at noon on Friday, the largest number of added cases since the 46 added on Tuesday.

Oconee County added two new cases, and Oglethorpe County added nine new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the 24-hour-period.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Department Of Health Daily Status Report For Thursday Does Not Reflect 10 Announced Deaths At Athens Nursing Home

***Raises Questions About Death Tally In Reports***

The Georgia Department of Public Health in its noon Daily Status Report for Thursday listed nine deaths for Clarke County despite the announcement by an Athens nursing home operator Wednesday that 10 of its residents who had “previously tested presumptive positive for COVID-19" had passed away “in the past few weeks.”

The Daily Status Report listed Clarke County as having its first COVID-19 death on March 24 (or a little more than two weeks ago), seven deaths attributable to COVID-19 on April 2, eight on April 3, and nine first on April 7.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Virtual Town Hall Meeting Focuses On Absentee Balloting And Census Participation

***Organized By Mokah Jasmine Johnson***

Sara Tindall Ghazal, former voter protection director for the Georgia Democratic Party, and Rev. James Woodall, president of the Georgia NAACP, participating in a virtual Town Hall meeting last week, urged Georgia voters to apply for an absentee ballot for the May 19 election.

Voters should fill out the application sent to all active, registered voters in the state by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the two said, as a safe way to vote as the COVID-19 pandemic plays out in the state.

UPDATE: Raffensperger on Thursday morning moved the primary back to June 9.

Number Of Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 In Region And State Increases, But At Lower Rate Than Day Earlier

***Local Hospital Demand Exceeded With Extreme Projection***

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the 10-county Northeast Health District of Georgia grew by 16 in the 24-hour period ending at noon on Wednesday, down from the increase of 46 cases in the 24-hour period ending at noon on Tuesday.

The number of deaths in the Northeast Health District increased by only one during that time period, reflecting the first death attributable to the disease in Oconee County, picked up in the 7 p.m. Daily Status Report from Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Oconee County Elections Board Calls For Special Election To Fill Commission Vacancy

***One Candidate Already Announced***

The Oconee County Board of Elections and Registration on Tuesday officially approved a call for a special election to fill the Post 3 vacancy on the Board of Commissioners.

The election will be held in November without a primary, meaning that qualified candidates will have the chance to pick a party label, and more than one candidate can run with the same label.

Number of COVID-19 Cases Jumps In Oconee County, Northeast Region And State; Deaths In State Up by 100

***Local Hospitals Prepare For Surge***

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased greatly in Oconee County and the Northeast Georgia region on Tuesday, reflecting the dramatic increase across the state in the noon Daily Status Report from the Georgia Department of Health.

The report shows Oconee County with 32 confirmed cases, up from 24 at noon on Monday, and Clarke County with 77, up from 69 at noon on Monday.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Number of COVID-19 Confirmed Cases Increases By 22 In Northeast Region As State Experiences Large Jump In Documented Cases

***Local Leaders Ask For Masks***

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the 10-county Northeast Health District of Georgia increased by 22 in the 24-hour period ending at noon on Monday, and the number of cases in the state during that time period increased by 667.

Oconee County is part of the Northeast Health District, but it saw no increase in cases during the 24-hour period, but Clarke County had an increase of seven cases, Barrow County had an increase of two cases, and Walton County had an increase of four cases.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Oconee, Clarke, Barrow, Walton And Jackson Counties Add COVID-19 Confirmed Cases; Walton County Has First Death From Disease

***Ratio Of Confirmed Cases Per Population Increases Greatly In Week***

Oconee, Clarke, Barrow, Walton and Jackson counties all added new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the 24-hour period that ended at noon on Sunday, and Walton County counted its first death attributable to the disease.

The total number of cases in Oconee County in the noon Daily Status Report from the Georgia Department of Health was 24. It was 62 in Clarke County and 25 in Barrow County.

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Oconee County Industrial Development Authority Agrees To Sale Of Gateway Tract To Taylors Iron Company Of Watkinsville

***Authority Also Agrees To Refinance Bonds***

The Oconee County Industrial Development Authority, in a called meeting on Thursday morning, approved the sale of just under 25 acres from the eastern tract of the Gateway Technology and Business Park to Taylors Iron Company of Watkinsville.

Taylor’s Iron Company currently is located at 1081 Industrial Drive in the Watkinsville Industrial Park and will use the Gateway location as a new site of operations.

Oconee And Clarke Counties Each Add Three New Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 In Saturday Daily Status Report

***Statewide New Testing Drops***

Oconee and Clarke counties each added three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the 24-hour-period ending at noon on Saturday, according to the Georgia Department of Health Daily Status Report.

The 10-county Northeast Health District of the Department of Health that includes Oconee and Clarke counties added 13 confirmed cases in the 24-hour-period, and Georgia as a whole added 329 cases.

Friday, April 03, 2020

Clarke County Added One New Death From COVID-19 In Noon Daily Status Report; Oconee County Added Another Confirmed Case

***Elbert County Added First Case***

Clarke County added one new death as a result of COVID-19 in the noon Daily Status Report for Friday, bringing the total deaths in the 10-county Northeast Health District of the Georgia Department of Health to 12.

The death was of a 98-year-old male with underlying conditions.

Elbert County, the sole county in the region without a confirmed COVID-19 case, added a single case in the 24 hour period from noon of Thursday to noon of Friday.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

COVID-19 Dominated Oconee County Board Of Commissioners Agenda-Setting Meeting

***Tribute Made To Memory Of Commissioner Wilkes***

COVID-19 both altered the physical arrangement of the agenda-setting meeting of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday and dominated its content.

The Commissioners were spread around the Commission Chamber at the Courthouse, rather than seated at their usual places at the front of the room.

Oconee County Added Another Confirmed Case of COVID-19 in Last 24 Hours, Clarke Added Three

***Georgia Added 710 New Cases***

Oconee County added another confirmed COVID-19 case in the 24 hours ending at noon today, while Clarke County added three, Walton and Jackson counties each added two, and Madison County added one.

The state of Georgia added 710 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the third highest increase on a day-to-day basis since the first case was reported on March 2.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Oconee County Added Six Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 In Last 48 Hours; Disease Now In 139 Georgia Counties

***State Growth Rate In Last Two Days: 65.2 Percent

Oconee County added three new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours and six in the last 48 hours, representing the largest two-day growth in cases in the county since the Georgia Department of Public Health began its Daily Status Reports on March 12.

Clarke County added a single case from noon of yesterday until the release of the Daily Status Report at noon today, and Barrow County added two cases.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Oconee County Leaders Briefed On 2020 Census Leading Up To Census Day

***High Participation Rate Needed***

Oconee County government and community leaders were given a target when they met early this month as a lead-up to Census Day on Wednesday.

They were shown Census Participation Rates for both the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census.

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Shoot Up In Oconee County And Elsewhere Around The State

***State Says Testing Part Of Explanation***

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported the largest single increase ever in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its noon Daily Status Report today, attributing the increase in part to new testing.

Oconee County added three new cases, and Clarke County added nine.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Clarke County Reports 3 Additional Deaths From COVID-19 In Last 24 Hours, Barrow Reports 1; Oconee Confirmed Cases Steady At 11

***Testing Stalled***

The Georgia Department of Public Health Daily Status report for noon today lists seven new deaths in the state attributable to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, with three of those in Clarke County and 1 in Barrow County.

The total number of COVID-19 deaths in Georgia now stands at 87, with the total in Clarke County at five and in Barrow at two.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Oconee County Commission Chair Explains Decision On Emergency Order, Decision to Live Stream Tuesday Commission Meeting

***In Zoom Interview***

Citizens will not be allowed to attend the agenda-setting meeting of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, but they will be able to watch via a live stream on YouTube.

Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Daniell announced that decision to hold the agenda-setting meeting as usual, but minus an audience, in an interview of just more than 30 minutes length via Zoom on Sunday morning.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Clarke And Barrow Counties Report Deaths From COVID-19; Confirmed Cases In Oconee And Surrounding Counties Stable

***Number Of Cases In State Increased By 80 Since Noon***

Update 7 p.m. 3/29/2020: The number of COVID-19 Confirmed Cases in the 7 p.m. Daily Status Report for both Barrow and Walton counties was reduced by 1 from the noon report. The figures for Oconee, Clarke, and the other surrounding counties remained unchanged. The state added only 32 cases from the noon report, bringing the total to 2,683, and three deaths, bringing the total to 83.

Georgia reported 79 deaths due to COVID-19 in the 7 p.m. Daily Status Report today (Saturday), up from 69 in today’s noon report. The rate of death to confirmed cases now stands at 3.2 percent.

The 7 p.m. Daily Status Report included rudimentary data on the death in Clarke County and the death in Barrow County first included in the noon status report.

Clarke County Reports Second COVID-19 Death, Barrow Reports First; Oconee County Confirmed Cases Stable At 10

***State Reports 365 New Cases***

Clarke County has recorded its second death attributable to COVID-19, and Barrow County has recorded its first death, according to the Georgia Department of Health Daily Status Report for noon today.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Clarke County increased by three since noon of yesterday to 35.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Oconee County Added 3 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Last 24 Hours; Clarke County Added 8; State Of Georgia Added 476

***State Now Has 64 Deaths***

As of noon today, Clarke County had 32 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Oconee County had 10, and Barrow County had 6. The numbers for other surrounding counties are shown in the chart below.

The state, based on the noon Daily Status Report from the Georgia Department of Health, now has 2,001 confirmed COVID-19 cases, up from 1,525 at noon on Thursday.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

COVID-19 Has Altered Already Unusual Political Campaign Scene In Oconee County

***Campaigns Become Virtual***

The outbreak of COVID-19 in Georgia and Oconee County has added another dimension to an already complex election year in the county.

On Feb. 5, District Attorney Ken Mauldin suddenly announced he would retire, resulting in cancellation of the expected May 19 primary contest and calling into question whether an election would be held at all, even though two announced candidates had been campaigning for months for the spot.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Clarke County Reports First Area Death Due To COVID-19; Oconee’s Seven Confirmed Cases Second Highest In 10-County Region

***County Says Shelter-In-Place Order Not Needed***

Update 7 p.m. 3/26/2020: Clarke County now has 29 cases and Oconee County has 7. The numbers for the other counties surrounding Oconee are: Barrow (5), Walton (0), Morgan (1), Greene (1), Oglethorpe (0), Jackson (2) and Madison (3). The state now has 1,643 total confirmed cases, 509 hospitalized patients, and 56 deaths. The line chart below reflect the numbers as of noon today. The box above the lines includes the 7 p.m. figures. The increase in the number of cases in the state in the last 24 hours was 18.5 percent.

The Northeast Health District of the Georgia Department of Health has confirmed the first death in the district from COVID-19 with the passing of a 67-year-old Athens male at one of the area’s two hospitals.

The Northeast Health District consists of 10 counties, and, as of 7 p.m. on Tuesday, had 28 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with Clarke’s 17 and Oconee’s 5 dominating.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Oconee County Now Has 5 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Clarke Has 16; Medical Professionals Urge County To Issue Shelter-In-Place Order

***Commission Chair Said Considering Citizen Input***

UPDATE: Oconee County added two new cases of confirmed COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, as did Clarke County. The number of cases in Oconee is now 5, and it is 16 in Clarke. Barrow County still only the one confirmed case. Walton, Morgan and Greene counties now also are reporting a single case, as is Madison County. The number of cases in the state has increased 32.9 percent in the last 24 hours and now stands at 1,026. The chart below summarizes those data. I will update it again after the 7 p.m. Daily Status Report today.

Click To Enlarge

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Stable In Oconee County, Barrow County, Clarke County; New Testing Options Announced

***Area Government Leaders Expect Increases In Future***

Update 12:14 p.m. 3/23/20 Oconee now has its third confirmed case of COVID-19. The number of confirmed cases in Clarke is now 14. Barrow still has a single confirmed case. The number of confirmed cases in the state now is 772.

Click To Enlarge

The original post follows.

While the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has increased dramatically in the state in the last two days, the number of confirmed cases in Oconee, Clarke and Barrow counties has remained stable, according to data released by the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Oconee and Barrow counties are each reporting a single case, and the Department of Public Health has decreased the count of the number of cases in Clarke County from 10 to nine.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Clarke County Now At 10; Piedmont Oconee County Campus Offers Testing

***Potential Exposure At Oconee County Landfill***

UPDATE 3/21/2020 noon: Numbers for Oconee, Clarke and Barrow counties remain unchanged from a day earlier.

UPDATE: Oconee county has its first confirmed case of COVID-19, based on the Georgia Department of Health Daily Status Report for 7 p.m. on 3/20/2020. Clarke now has 10 cases. Barrow has one case.

This original post was based on data from Thursday and has been updated based on the Georgia Department of Health Daily Status Report for 7 p.m. of 3/20/20.

The Georgia Department of Health reported Thursday that Clarke County has eight confirmed cases of COVID-19, up from five on Wednesday. Barrow County has a single case, first reported on Tuesday. (Clarke now has 10 cases, as of 7 p.m. on 3/20/20)

According to the Department of Health report for Thursday, Oconee County still has no confirmed cases, but the Oconee County web site reports a potential exposure of an employee at the County landfill off U.S. 441 in the far south of the county. (Oconee now has one case as of 7 p.m. on 3/20/20.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Last Week’s Retreat And Called Meeting Of Watkinsville Mayor And Council Show Differences In Perspectives

***No Support On Council For Mayor’s New City Charter***

After an eight-hour retreat of the Watkinsville Mayor and Council on Monday of last week, Brian Brodrick, mayor pro tem and the longest serving member of the Council, praised his colleagues, including new Mayor Bob Smith, for their team play.

Brodrick made the comment even though Smith had surprised the Council at the retreat with a proposed revision of the City Charter that would that would reverse the action by the Council at the end last year–just before Smith took office–delegating to the city manager some of the duties of the mayor.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Democratic Ballots Dominated Early Presidential Primary Voting In Oconee County Before Election Postponed

***Republican Ballots Greatly Down From 2016***

Just less than 5 percent of Oconee County’s registered voters had cast a ballot before voting for the March 24 Presidential Primary was suspended by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger at the end of early voting today.

The Presidential Primary now will coincide with the already scheduled May 19 party primaries and nonpartisan judicial elections.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Oconee County Gun Coalition Meeting Inserts Gun Rights Into County Elections

***Commission And Sheriff Race Targeted***

Oconee County’s approach to guns became solidly embedded last Saturday in the upcoming elections for the Board of Commissioners and for Sheriff.

Carol Bennett and Johnny Pritchett, both seeking the Republican nomination for Chair of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners, attended the meeting of the Oconee County Gun Coalition at the Oconee County Library and endorsed that group’s desire to declare the county a Second Amendment Sanctuary.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Oconee County Board Of Education Tables Action On Joint Use Agreement With County For Sports Facilities

***Charging Of Fees Put On Hold***

The Oconee County Board of Education Monday evening tabled a proposal from school administrators that Oconee County Schools begin charging the county Parks and Recreation Department for use of school athletic fields.

Dallas LeDuff, director of student services for Oconee County Schools, presented the School Board with a revision of his proposal from a week earlier that phased in the usage fees across the three years of a new joint use agreement with the county.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Acting District Attorney For Oconee And Clarke Counties Outlines Activities He Has Planned For Office

***Governor’s Decision On Appointment Not Known***

Brian Patterson, acting District Attorney for Oconee and Clarke counties, told Oconee County Democrats last month that, if he becomes District Attorney on a permanent basis, he will resurrect a number of unsolved murder cases in the two counties.

He also said he will increase the investigation of organized criminal activity and gang activity, continue to prioritize crimes against women and children, and promote alternative court programs to keep people from having a criminal records for lesser offenses.

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Three Democrats Qualify For Oconee County Offices In Final Day Of Filing

***Commission Chair And School Board Posts***

Democrats qualified for three Oconee County offices on Friday, setting up competitive races in November for the Board of Commissioners Chair and two Board of Education posts.

Eric Gisler, co-chair of the Oconee County Democratic Party, qualified for the Chair of the Board of Commissioners, Laura Williams Ormes qualified for Post 4 on the Board of Education, and Joan Parker qualified for Post 5 on the Board of Education.

Friday, March 06, 2020

Oconee County Gun Coalition Asks Board Of Commissioners To Declare County Second Amendment Sanctuary

***Tackle Football Fee Not Increased***

Ryan Anglin, founder of the Oconee County Gun Coalition, appeared before the Oconee County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night and asked that body to adopt a resolution declaring the county a Second Amendment Sanctuary.

Anglin spoke during the citizen comment section of the Board of Commissioners meeting and followed five speakers, including Marisue Hilliard, a volunteer with the Georgia Chapter of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America, who anticipated Anglin’s request and spoke against it.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Four More Candidates Qualify For Oconee County Offices; No Democrats Have Filed, With One Half-Day Left For Qualifying

***More Democratic Than Republican Ballots Cast In Presidential Primary***

Four more candidates qualified for Oconee County offices Wednesday and Thursday, providing a second candidate in the race for Sheriff, a third candidate for Board of Commissioners Chair, a second candidate for Post 1 on the Board of Commissioners–all in the Republican Primary--and a third candidate for the nonpartisan Probate Court Judge race.

James Hale joined Jimmy Williamson in the race to replace retiring Sheriff Scott Berry. Both filings were expected, as the two have been campaigning for months for the May 19 primary and yard signs are already spread around the county.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Four More Candidates Qualify For May 19 Elections; 149 Cast Ballots On Second Day Of Presidential Primary Voting

***Competition For School Board Nomination***

Four candidates qualified for Oconee County offices on Tuesday, the second day of filing, setting up the expected competitive races for Republican nomination for Board of Commissioners chair and for the nonpartisan election of Judge of Probate Court.

Adam Spence qualified as a Republican for the open Post 5 on the Board of Education, making that race also competitive, as Michael Ransom had qualified as a Republican on Monday.

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Oconee County Board Of Education Wants Phase-In Of Any Fees Charged To County For Use Of School Athletic Facilities

***Suggests A Three-Year Contract***

The Oconee County Board of Education pushed back at least slightly last evening on a proposal by school administrators to begin charging the county Parks and Recreation Department fees for use of school athletic facilities on July 1.

School Superintendent Jason Branch, as part of a discussion of a new Joint Use Agreement between the county and Oconee County Schools, said he was seeking Board input on the length of a new agreement and on whether the Board wants to begin charging the county a fee for use of school athletic facilities.

Monday, March 02, 2020

Nearly Equal Numbers Of First Day Oconee County Presidential Primary Voters Use Democratic And Republic Ballots

***11 Candidates Qualify***

A total of 110 voters cast a ballot today in the first day of early voting for the March 24 Presidential Primary, with 54 of them using the Democratic ballot and 56 using the Republican ballot.

Eleven candidates filed their paperwork today to qualify for county offices, all but one of them as a Republican. Today was the first day to qualify for local and state offices.

Life Church Of Athens Going Before Oconee County Board Of Commissioners After Positive Vote From Planning Commission

***Scaled Back Proposal For New Church***

Life Church of Athens, confronting vocal opposition from potential future neighbors in Summit Oaks and Summit Grove subdivisions, scaled back its plans for a community-scale church to a neighborhood-scale church.

At the Planning Commission meeting last month, many neighbors continued to object to the plans, focusing largely on traffic that even the smaller church will put onto Summit Grove Drive as it intersects with SR 15 (North Main Street) just north of Watkinsville.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

Oconee County Parks And Recreation Department To Pay $60,000 More For Use Of Athletic Facilities At Oconee County Schools

***Cost Of Tackle Football Fee To Increase By $20***

Oconee County Schools is initiating a new fee schedule on July 1 for use of its athletic facilities by the Oconee County Parks and Recreation Department that, according to the county, will increase the costs to the county by about $60,000.

Supt. Jason Branch informed the county in a letter dated June 26, 2019, that the School system plans to terminate a 2010 agreement with the county that covers the use by the county and the school system of county and school system facilities.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Presbyterian Village Athens Plans To Open Campus For Residents In December

***Working With GDOT On U.S. 441 Plans***

Presbyterian Village Athens, the large complex under construction between Hog Mountain Road and U.S. 441, plans to open its gate in December for a phased move-in of residents.

The continuing care retirement community has contracts on 94 percent of the units, according to Alex Patterson, president and CEO of Presbyterian Homes of Georgia, and residents will move into those units over several months, beginning with the December start.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Oconee County Gun Coalition Plans To Ask Board Of Commissioners To Declare County A Second Amendment Sanctuary

***Speaker Tells Republican Party Members***

The Oconee County Gun Coalition is making plans to ask the Oconee County Board of Commissioners to pass a resolution declaring the county a Second Amendment Sanctuary County.

If the Board of Commissioners were to approve the resolution, the county would join at least 21 other counties in the state in supporting decisions by the Sheriff “to not enforce any unconstitutional firearm restrictions.”

The resolution also calls on the commissioners to agree not to use government funds or resources to enforce any law “that unconstitutionally infringes on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”

Monday, February 24, 2020

Watkinsville Mayor And Council Find Little Agreement Across Wide Range Of Agenda Items

***Mayor Lacks Vote But Controls Flow Of Meeting***

Watkinsville Mayor Bob Smith suggested delaying a decision on the development plan for the Wisteria Ridge apartment complex on 75 North Main Street at the Watkinsville Mayor and Council meeting last week.

The Mayor votes only in the case of a tie, and Council approved the plan in a 3 to 1 vote.

Mayor Smith strongly opposed the site development plan submitted by Oconee State Bank for its new headquarters at 41 North Main Street.

Council approved the plan 3 to 0, with Council Member Brian Brodrick recusing himself from the discussion and vote. (Council Member Christine Tucker was absent from the meeting.)

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Bagley Not Seeking Reelection To Oconee County Board Of Eduation, Creating Open Seat

***Odom And Burgess To Qualify***

Oconee County Board of Education Chair Tom Odom and Board Member Tim Burgess announced on Friday that they plan to seek reelection and qualify for the May 19 Republican Party primary.

Board of Education Member Wayne Bagley announced that he will not seek reelection, creating an open seat on the five-person Board. The terms of School Board Member Kim Argo and School Board Member Amy Parrish do not expire until 2022.

Oconee County’s Farmland Preservation Committee Wants To Increase SPLOST Funding To Protect Rural Land From Development

***Preparing For November Ballot Initiative***

Oconee County’s Farmland Preservation Committee voted earlier this month to ask the Board of Commissioners to increase funding for protection of farmland in the county in the 2021 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum planned for the November Ballot.

In both the 2009 and current 2015 SPLOST, $500,000 is set aside for the purchase of conservation easements on farmland in the county that protect the land from future development.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Hard Labor Creek Management Board Agrees To Install Flow Monitoring Station On Apalachee River In Response To Citizen Input

***Georgia EPD Set Requirement***

The Hard Labor Creek Reservoir Management Board last week voted to approve the installation and maintenance of a flow monitoring station on the Apalachee River at Snows Mill Road, responding to a requirement of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

The new monitoring station will be a companion to the already existing station of the U.S. Geological Survey at Price Mill Road and will provided data on the impact of the water intake facility planned for the Apalachee River at High Shoals just upstream from the SR 186 bridge.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Oconee County Industrial Development Authority In Discussion Again With Potential Gateway Business Park Tenant

***Also Told About New Bond Sale***

The Oconee County Industrial Development Authority is in discussion with a potential purchaser or leaser of at least part of the eastern parcel of its Gateway Technology and Business Park on SR 316 on the southern edge of Bogart.

Following a 30 minute executive session last week, the Authority came back into open session to vote to transfer to the county an easement that would allow the county to extend sewer services to the parcel.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Oconee County School Board Sought Assurances On Report On Sales Tax Revenue Decline

***Concerns About Debt Service***

Oconee County Board of Education members sought assurances last week from Oconee County Schools Chief Financial Officer Saranna Charping once she completed her monthly financial update.

Charping had just told the Board that collections from the system’s one percent Education Local Option Sales were down slightly in calendar year 2019 compared with the year earlier.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Speakers At Oconee County Forum On Human Trafficking Told Audience Members They Have Power

***Asked To Learn, See, And Do***

Speakers told those gathered last week at the Human Trafficking Awareness Forum sponsored by the North Oconee Rotary Club that they have the power to combat the dual problems of labor trafficking and sex trafficking.

Deborah Richardson, executive director of the International Human Trafficking Institute of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, presented the group with a list of indicators so they can identify victims of sex trafficking.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Governor Has Set Feb. 20 Deadline For Applications For District Attorney For Oconee And Clarke Counties

***Patterson To Apply; Gonzalez Says No***

Gov. Brian Kemp has set a Feb. 20 deadline–a week from today–for applications for the position of district attorney for the Western Judicial Circuit consisting of Clarke and Oconee counties.

Brian Patterson, currently chief assistant district attorney, has said he will apply for the appointment.

Deborah Gonzalez, former House District 117 representative, has said she will not submit her application.

Georgia Secretary Of State Told Oconee County Republicans He Wants Voting With New Machines To Be Easy And Enjoyable

***Explained New Voting Equipment***

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Oconee County Republicans last month that he wants the experience of voting with the newly rolled-out equipment at the presidential primary on March 24 to be equivalent to a positive experience at a fast food restaurant.

“We want it to be a great experience, just like when you go to Chick-fil-A,” Raffensperger said. “Who’s ever had a bad experience there? It’s like one in a billion. That’s the kind of experience we want voters in Georgia to have.”

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Oconee/Clarke County District Attorney’s Resignation Has Changed Landscape For Election Of Replacement

***Election Can Be Postponed***

District Attorney Ken Mauldin’s announcement last week that he would resign on Feb. 29 rather than retire at the end of his current term in December has scrambled plans for the election of a successor and given Gov. Brian Kemp control over the outcome.

Before that announcement, Deborah Gonzalez and Brian Patterson were contending for the Democratic nomination for district attorney in the May 19 Democratic primary. No one has declared for the Republican Party nomination.

Oconee County Commissioners Told Sales Tax Collections Lagging Behind Those Of A Year Ago

***Finance Director Said He Expects Collections To Rebound***

Oconee County’s expenditures and revenue for the first half of the 2020 Fiscal Year were on target with one exception, county Finance Director Wes Geddings said Tuesday in making his quarterly financial report to the Board of Commissioners.

The exception is sales tax collections, which were lower in November and December of 2019 than they were a year earlier, Geddings said.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Oconee County No Longer Planning Roundabout At Parent Entrance To Malcom Bridge Middle School

***Announced At Board Of Education Meeting***

Oconee County has abandoned plans to build a roundabout at the parent entrance to Malcom Bridge Middle School, cutting in half the number of planned or constructed roundabouts on Malcom Bridge Road between Mars Hill Road and Lenru Road.

Construction of the roundabout at the bus and staff entrance to Malcom Bridge Middle School and Malcom Bridge Elementary School will begin in spring and be completed before school starts in August, according to Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Two Candidates In May Primary Introduce Themselves And Discuss Issues At Oconee County Democratic Party Meeting

***Gonzalez And Ferguson Guest Speakers***

Deborah Gonzalez and Andrew Ferguson used the opportunity of the meeting of the Oconee County Democratic Party last month to introduce themselves to those in attendance.

For Gonzalez, it was a matter of a re-introduction, and she said she was going to respond to the “first question most people ask me.”

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Oconee County Committee Reviewing Plans For Burger King And Convenience Store At U.S. 78 And Mars Hill Road

***Latest Documents Stamped Jan. 7***

The Oconee County Development Review Committee is in the process of evaluating plans submitted by Jones Petroleum of Jackson for a combination Burger King and a convenience store with 10 fuel dispensers at the northwest corner of Mars Hill Road and U.S. 78.

William B. Jones submitted to the county a preliminary plat and preliminary site plan on Jan. 7 for what is described as Phase 1 of the project, which ultimately could involve 32 acres owned by Jones and rezoned for commercial development by the Board of Commissioners in May of last year.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Oconee County Commissioners Give Initial Approval To Allocation Of Sewer Capacity To City Of Watkinsville

***Possibly For Wire Park Residential Use***

Oconee County commissioners on Tuesday night tentatively approved an agreement that will allocate to the city of Watkinsville 100,000 gallons per day of sewage treatment capacity from the county’s Calls Creek Water Reclamation Facility and provide another 100,000 gallons per day when that plant is expanded.

Watkinsville can use that allocated sewage treatment capacity as it sees fit, including for residential use at the proposed multi-use Wire Park development on Barnett Shoals Road.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Oconee County Planning Commission Recommends Approval Of New Up-Scale Retirement Community Near Epps Bridge Parkway

***Developer Says County Underbuilt***

The Oconee County Planning Commission has recommended that the Board of Commissioners approve the rezone request for just under 62 acres between Old Epps Bridge Road and SR Loop 10 for a large retirement community with 398 residential units.

The project, called Celebration Village Athens–Oconee Campus, will include in Phase 1 two three-story “concierge living” buildings, a three-story assisted living and memory care building, two four-story independent living buildings, and 32 independent living cottages.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Participants In The New Friends For The New Year Session Organized By Oconee Progressives Were Told Not To Talk About Politics

***Speed Dating Format Used***

They talked about hobbies, about their favorite conversational topics, about the American dream, about their personality traits, about admired historical figures, and about family traditions.

According to the instructions, the 10 pairs of citizens gathered at the Oconee County Library on Saturday morning, and the others who joined the conversations during the following hour, were not to talk about politics.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Watkinsville Gives Up Seat On Oconee County Planning Commission On Initiative Of Former Mayor

***New Mayor May Reverse Action***

Watkinsville’s appointee to the Oconee County Planning Commission has informed the county that he will no longer be attending Planning Commission meetings after being told by former Mayor Dave Shearon that the city no longer wants a member on the Commission.

Shearon sent George Rodrigues, the city’s representative to the Planning Commission going back four mayors, a letter on Jan. 6 saying that the city has been handling its own zoning since 2008 and no longer benefits from representation on the county’s Planning Commission.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Oconee County Citizen Committees Begin Discussing Projects For 2021 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax Referendum

***For November Ballot***

Preparation for a vote this November on renewal of Oconee County’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax is underway.

County Administrator Justin Kirouac said he has asked county departments to develop projects lists and cost estimates and that the Board of Commissioners will discuss in February the schedule for creating the projects to be put before the voters in the fall.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Concerns About Election Security Dominate Oconee County Board Of Commissioners Town Hall Meeting

***New Voting Equipment Demonstrated***

The citizens who turned out for the Oconee County Board of Commissioners Town Hall meeting last Tuesday had a few questions for members of the Commission.

They wanted to know about the widening of Experiment Station Road, about plans for the new Watkinsville Library, about the planned detour route for construction of the multi-grade intersection of the Oconee Connector and SR 316, and about plans for broadband improvements in the county.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Watkinsville Council Agrees To Move Forward With Discussion Of Rezone For Former Southwire Property

***Plans Presented For Mixed-Use Wire Park***

The Watkinsville City Council on Wednesday authorized City Manager Sharyn Dickerson to move forward with creation of a development agreement for the former 66.6 acre Southwire property on Barnett Shoals Road.

The Council took the action following a presentation by developer Duke Gibbs and planner Bob Smith for what they are calling Wire Park.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

First Meeting Of New Mayor And Watkinsville Council Shows Efforts At Collaboration

***New Mayor Thanked Former Mayor For Service***

The first meeting of the Watkinsville Mayor and City Council last week got off to a very smooth start, and the good mood continued through the 13-minute-long session.

“I think congratulations are in order for Mayor Smith,” Council Member Brian Brodrick said at the beginning of the meeting, referring to newly elected Mayor Bob Smith, seated to his right.

Wallace Announces Campaign For House District 119 Seat; Johnson Schedules Campaign Launch For 117th House District

***Incumbents In Atlanta For Session***

Democrat Jonathan Wallace announced Monday that he will seek to regain his seat as the District 119 Representative to the Georgia House.

Incumbent Republican Marcus Wiedower defeated Wallace in the 119th in 2018 after Wallace defeated Wiedower and two other Republican candidates in a special election for the 119th seat in 2017.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Oconee County Voters Can See New Voting Equipment At Tuesday’s Town Hall Meeting

Announcement Made At Commission Meeting

Oconee County voters will get a chance on Tuesday to see a demonstration of the new voting machines that the county will use for the presidential primary on March 24.

Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell announced at the Commission meeting last Tuesday that the county will hold its January Town Hall meeting at 6 p.m. on this Tuesday at Oconee Veterans Park.