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A-CC Commissioners meet, Oglethorpe Co hosts town hall

A-CC Commissioners meet, Oglethorpe Co hosts town hall

Athens-Clarke County Commissioners meet this afternoon: they will go behind closed doors to consider nominations to various local boards, committees, and authorities. It’s a noon-hour session at City Hall.  The Athens Airport Authority meets this afternoon: it’s a 3 o’clock session in the Flight Center at Athens-Ben Epps Airport.  There is an afternoon meeting of the Classic Center Authority: it’s set for 4 o’clock at the Classic Center in downtown Athens.    A town hall meeting is on tap for tonight in Oglethorpe County: the 7 o’clock session in the Oglethorpe County High School cafeteria will focus on the County’s latest tax assessments.   Add the Commerce City Council to the list of local governing bodies that has finalized a city budget: the latest Commerce city spending plan, set to kick in with the July 1 start of the fiscal year, checks in at $29.3 million. Council members say they expect to be able to fund the budget without any increase in the property tax rates in Commerce.   The Hall County School Board, meeting last night in Gainesville, gave final approval to a Hall County School District budget. The $270 million plan will require an increase in the Hall County property tax rate.

Hall Co arrest raises concerns about vaping

Hall Co arrest raises concerns about vaping

Police said they found dozens of cartridges of THC oil when they pulled over a teen for speeding.  Investigators with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office told Channel 2's Richard Elliot the 17-year-old driver had processed marijuana and dozens of THC oil cartridges inside his car when they pulled him over last week. “As the parent of a teenager, I’m concerned,” Hall County Deputy Lt. Scott Ware told Elliot. Law enforcement officers across the state say they’re seeing more kids vaping dangerous substances, including THC oil. THC is the chemical in marijuana that causes a high. Ware said the Sheriff’s Office arrested Christian Diaz after they found 44 vaping cartridges full of THC oil. There were so many, they didn’t just charge him with possession, they charged him with felony intent to distribute. “What we’ve seen locally, and I think in other counties, kids have actually had to go to the hospital based on adverse reaction from vaping,” Ware said. Channel 2 Action News was there last month when a South Paulding High School sophomore got sick after vaping what they thought was THC oil. In March, we covered a story about a Butts County teenager who vaped THC and collapsed. Kelly Bagwell used to teach high school in Hall County and has two teenage sons. Her boys don’t do it, but she says she’s seen kids of all ages vaping. “It’s an epidemic,” Bagwell said. “It’s really common. It’s all the way down to middle school. It’s not just a high school epidemic.' Other parents said they were glad to hear about the arrest and wonder if more may be coming. “I’d like to know where he got it. I mean, somebody around here is obviously manufacturing it,” parent Carolyn Nooney told Elliot. “He has it all coming to him, you know? You get caught, you have that much on you,” said Marvin Olson. Diaz is currently out on bond. Deputies told Elliot that they took the THC cartridges to the state crime lab for testing.

Gone With the Wind mansion up for sale in Newton Co

Gone With the Wind mansion up for sale in Newton Co

A huge antebellum mansion is on the market in Newton County, may be one you've seen before if you're a fan of the film 'Gone with the Wind.' The movie wasn't shot there but the house has a strong connection to the film. 'I don't remember the first time I ever saw it, but I know it was always my favorite house in the area,' said homeowner Nicole Munn. The 10,000-square foot mansion was built in 1836. About 100 years later, it became the inspiration for a home out of the pages of Margaret Mitchell's iconic novel. 'It's amazing. We didn't know that when we bought the house,' Munn said.  The famed author saw a photo of the house in the 1939 Atlanta Journal. She sent it to the producers of the film and it became the inspiration for the home of Ashley Wilkes, Twelve Oaks, which is what the Munns call it today. The mansion on Monticello Street in Covington can take one's breath away. The home that Munn and her husband, John, saw wasn't quite so pleasant. 'There were boarded-up windows. There were at least 30 busted windows we replaced. There was water damage on every floor. One of the porches was being held up by one last nail that hadn't rusted away. It was in really bad shape,' Nicole Munn said. But it was worth saving. A few million dollars later, the Munns made it into an award-winning bed-and-breakfast.  'It's beautiful, of course. But the feeling you get when you walk in the door, that's what we'll miss. Hopefully, it'll treat the next person the same way,' John Munn said. Yes, the Munns are selling.  But are they through with restoring historic mansions? Fiddle dee dee. 'We might have some other business ideas in our future. But we're ready to move on to the next chapter and let someone else love this house,' Nicole Munn said.

Feds say Rep. Hunter used campaign money for extramarital affairs In a flurry of motions by prosecutors and lawyers for indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), government attorneys submitted to a federal judge a number of examples of how Hunter allegedly used money contributed to his campaign to instead pay for romantic outings with a series of women who were not his wife. 'Shortly after he arrived in Washington, Hunter began to use funds contributed to the Duncan D. Hunter for Congress Campaign to carry out a series of intimate relationships,' a new document filed on Monday detailed for a federal judge. 'At trial, the evidence will demonstrate that Hunter improperly used campaign funds to pursue these romances wholly unrelated to either his congressional campaigns or his official duties as a member of Congress,' prosecutors said in a 'statement of facts.' Stating there was a 'voluminous nature' of evidence against Hunter, the document set out an image of a Congressman who had affairs with lobbyists and Congressional staffers, paying for their meals, trips, and nights on the town with campaign funds. 'In March 2010, for example, the couple took a weekend “double date” road trip to Virginia Beach with their friends, one of whom was also a congressman. Hunter spent $905 in campaign funds to pay for the hotel bar tab and room he shared with (Individual-14) that weekend,' the documents related. The documents listed evidence about Hunter's relationships with: + Individual 14 - a lobbyist,  + Individual 15 - a staffer who worked in the office of a member of the House leadership,  + Individual 16 - a staffer in his Congressional office,  + Individual 17 - a lobbyist,  + Individual 18 - a lobbyist. The court submission sometimes left little to the imagination, as it noted Hunter engaging in 'intimate personal activities' with these individuals, which was not related to his campaign or duties as a lawmaker. The release of the information by prosecutors came as lawyers for Rep. Hunter asked the judge in the case to exclude a number of pieces of evidence, as Hunter has alleged he is the victim of a political persecution. 'The investigation of Congressman Hunter by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California began shortly after his public endorsement of candidate Trump,' Hunter's lawyers wrote in one of a series of evidence challenges, alleging that two prosecutors involved in the case were supporters of Hillary Clinton. 'Any explanation the Government gives now for initiating the investigation of Congressman Hunter should be viewed with total skepticism through the lens of their attempts to cover up the partisan political activities of the prosecutors that initiated the investigation,' lawyers for Hunter added.