The Oconee Veterans Park dog park is in need of improvements and although Oconee County took home a $25,000 grant for the project recently, a community survey wish list revealed the project will cost more like $35,000.
Oconee County finished second last year in a nationwide contest sponsored by PetSafe, according to an article in the Oconee Enterprise. Oconee took home a $25,000 grant for improvements to its dog park. But, the park is in need of water stations, fountains trees for shade, and more.
Due to the budget, Parks and Recreation has set a goal to collect an additional $10,000 from an upcoming dog walk.
The Dash for Dogs 5K is scheduled for Sunday, May 15 at Oconee Veterans Park. Race day registration begins at 1 p.m., a 2K fun walk starts at 2 p.m., and the 5K at 2:30 p.m., according to the article.
Walkers who want a T-shirt can pay $20 by May 2 or $25 after the race. Registration without the T-shirt is $15 by May 2 or $20 the day of the race. Go to active.com to register.
Sponsorship for the Dash for Dogs 5K are due by April 27. The available levels include “Fido favorite,” $200; “ball bouncer,” $125; and “belly rub love,” $50. The first two guarantee a logo across the back of the T-shirt. The latter sponsorship gets the name of the company or individual printed in alphabetical order, according to the article.
A concept design for the dog park enhancements was finalized and submitted to PetSafe last month an Athens Banner-Herald article reads.
When Oconee County learned it won the award, about 304 people provided the feedback for priorities for the dog park. The ABH reports construction is expected to begin in July.
The new design also includes improved parking and sidewalks leading to a centrally located shade structure and three fenced areas. Each area will house the water stations and concrete pads to avoid mud, according to the ABH article.
Leisure Services locations in Athens offer almost 20-acres of off-leash areas across the county. Memorial Park offers a wooded landscape, a meadow environment is available at Southeast Clarke Park, and a number of private dog parks are available for rent at Sandy Creek Park.
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The Athens-Clarke County police spearheaded a human trafficking investigation that led to the arrest of seven people and recovered two under-aged victims, according to an article in the Athens Banner-Herald.
The weekend investigation led authorities in Georgia and Florida to a motel in west Athens.
The two suspects who were arrested in Athens were identified as David Jaquile Freedom Hightower, 22, of Sandy Springs and Aaron Dimetre Staley of Covington, also 22. According to ABH, they were each charged with two counts of human trafficking, two counts of pimping a prostitute under 18 years old, and two counts of armed robbery.
The Athens-Clarke County Police Department were acting on a call from someone in New York who said their 16-year-old relative contacted them and said she was being sold for sexual favors, the ABH reports. She told them she would be with her captors at Days Inn on North Finley Street, Lt. Jeff Clark, commanding officer of the Sex Crimes unit told the ABH.
Police went to the motel and found the girl and two of her alleged pimps, Clark said in the article. During the investigation officials learned another girl who was being prostituted left the motel in the company of additional suspects. They were possibly headed to Florida, according to police.
Athens-Clarke Police, along with assistance from the Florida Highway Patrol and Florida Department of Law Enforcement, recovered the second juvenile and five more suspects were arrested. The suspects are now facing extradition to Athens, according to the article.
Sex Crimes Unit detectives were also assisted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Human Trafficking and the Athens-Clarke County Uniform Patrol Division.
“The officers and investigators were relentless in their efforts to apprehend these criminals, getting them off the streets before any further crimes could be committed against these juveniles and so that no other child is harmed,” Clark said to the ABH.
In October, a nationwide human trafficking sting run by the FBI resulted in charges against five men arrested in Gainesville, according to an article in the Gainesville Times. The operation resulted in the recovery of 149 underage trafficking victims and the arrest of 153 pimps nationwide.
The men allegedly offered money for sex to an undercover agent posing as a 14-year-old, according to arrest warrants. Seven child victims were recovered in Georgia, according to the article.
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Although an unofficial holiday, multiple local restaurants celebrated Pi Day yesterday. Last year's Pi Day was extra special, because the year and day and month (3/14/15) all configured to constitute the first four places after the decimal point in the beloved mathematical constant, according to NBC News. This year was only slightly less special: It was "Rounded Pi Day," since the number in fifth place after the decimal is 9 – hence, 3.1416.
The unofficial holiday is celebrated because the date (3/14) corresponds with pi, a mathematical constant. Pi has been calculated to more than 1 trillion digits after the decimal point in the number 3.14, according to the Red and Black.
A few of the local restaurants that celebrated Pi Day according to the Red and Black included: Pouch, located within walking distance of the University of Georgia, offered Pouch Pies for just $3.14 all day; Your Pie also offered various combos, pizzas and beer for $3.14; and DePalmas offered various discounts for Pi Day as well.
According to NBC, National Pi Day isn’t just a geeky celebration for mathematicians, but an event officially recognized by the House of Representatives. And, along with the word "hypotenuse," "pi" is one part of math class that people actually remember past the age of 10.
Pi is an infinite number (usually represented as 3.14) with no repeating pattern, and is most commonly used to calculate the circumference of a circle.
By measuring circular objects, it has always turned out that a circle is a little more than 3 times its width around. In the Old Testament of the Bible (1 Kings 7:23), a circular pool is referred to as being 30 cubits around, and 10 cubits across, according to piday.org. The mathematician Archimedes used polygons with many sides to approximate circles and determined that Pi was approximately 22/7. The symbol (Greek letter “π”) was first used in 1706 by William Jones. A ‘p’ was chosen for ‘perimeter’ of circles, and the use of π became popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737.
Officially, National Pi Day is meant to "recognize the continuing importance of National Science Foundation's math and science education programs." So, basically it's a chance for discounted food and goods.
And if you need any more reason to geek out about March 14, according to ABC News, it was Albert Einstein's 137th birthday.
If you missed National Pi Day, don’t fret. It comes around every March 14. And while Pi Day often offers consumers pizza and pie for discounted prices, there’s always St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, where green beer will likely be flowing.
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An Athens brewery finds out this week whether or not Athens officials will bring a case against it or not.
Creature Comforts Brewery is facing a potential fine or suspension of license after a police report was filed last month based on an anonymous tip claiming the brewery is not giving away tours, but is giving away free alcohol, according to an Athens Banner-Herald article.
The possible legal action against the brewery comes succeeding it being named one of Georgia’s Small Business Rock Stars.
Following the anonymous tip, a sergeant with Athens-Clarke County Police who handles alcohol law enforcement decided to investigate the claim, according to the article.
Sgt. Laura Lusk attended a Creature Comforts Brewery event and was in fact given free alcohol, but was not instructed on when a tour would take place. Lusk said in the police report that she went to one bar and received a 6-ounce glass of beer and then to another and got the same, but there was no indication or signs of any tours going on during her time at the event, according to the article.
Georgia Senate Bill 63, which went into effect on July 1, states breweries are allowed to sell guided distillery tours of their manufacturing space, which allows the consumer free tastings of up to 36 ounces for consumption on the premises and the ability to leave with a free, sealed souvenir of “malt beverages with a total liquid capacity that does not exceed 72 ounces.”
In order to do the tasting and receive the complimentary alcohol, customers must go on a tour. Section 8 of the bill states breweries can have promotional and educational tours “free of charge or for a fee,” which can include free tastings, but the bill also states “free souvenirs shall only be provided after the brewery tour and only to individuals who have attended a brewery tour on the same calendar day.”
The bill also states that free tastings and food may be provided before, during, and after a brewery tour.
The county attorney’s office is reviewing the case for a potential administrative hearing on charges against the establishment’s license, according to Athens Banner-Herald. Athens-Clarke County Attorney Bill Berryman told Atlanta TV station 11 Alive that he will make a decision on what to do this week.
Creature Comforts, located at 271 West Hancock Avenue in Athens, is in a 13,000 square foot historic warehouse building in downtown Athens. The building was originally built in the 1940s as a Chevy dealership and later became Snow Tire Co., before Creature Comforts took over.
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Kevin “Chappy” Hynes will challenge incumbent Sheriff Scott Berry in the 2016 election.
According to the Oconee Enterprise, Hynes is most well known as the previous Fellowship of Christian Athletes chaplain of the University of Georgia football team. He is also married to Mark Richt’s sister.
The mission of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is to challenge coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ.
Hynes currently serves as chaplain to the UGA basketball team, and until recently he was a reserve deputy and chaplain for the Oconee County’s Sheriff’s Office, according to an Oconee Enterprise article.
Hynes said to the Oconee Enterprise he hopes to bring “a fresh model of leadership, a renewed vision and a motivated mission” to the Sheriff’s Office.
Hynes has law enforcement experience dating back to the 1990s, where he served in Florida. He earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice and later a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies. He also served with the United States Marine Corps.
Hynes graduated from the Athens Police Academy in 2013, where he earned top cadet and top shot honors, according to the article.
Hynes told the Oconee Enterprise he believes his education in military and law enforcement combined with his many years of experience on campus gives him a unique perspective on leadership.
“As your sheriff I will hold those who choose to break the law accountable,” he said in the article. “While maintaining the compassion to serve those who are victims of a crime.”
Scott Berry has 35 years of combined experience including five consecutive terms as Sheriff. He also served as the president of the Georgia Sheriff's Association.
The Oconee Patch published a profile of Berry’s career in 2012. According to that article, during Berry’s term as Sheriff he has nearly doubled its force of deputies and jail beds. Officers are also now trained in-house, and several employees serve in leadership roles where they influence other sheriff's offices across the state.
Berry told the Oconee Patch at that time, there is no substitute for experience.
“I've done it. I've made the tough decisions. I have allocated the resources for the Sheriff's Office to keep our citizens safe. Everything else is just talk,” he said.
According to the article, Berry took office in 1993 after a career as a police officer in Norcross and the University of Georgia and later as an investigator with the Clarke County District Attorney's Office. He pursued a career in law enforcement following in the footsteps of his father, who was an FBI agent.
As Sheriff, Berry has had to keep up with new trends in law enforcement as the county grew. The expansion of retail development and growth of the Internet have brought more incidents of shoplifting, identity and property crimes to the county.
Under Berry's administration, a new jail opened to house the rising number of inmates after voters approved the use of about $4 million from a sales tax referendum to fund construction, as well as administrative offices and E-911 center. The total cost of the project was $12 million.
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