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Morning headlines: Board of Elections to decide on special election

Stephen Fowler
GPB News

The Clarke County Board of Elections is holding a special called meeting today. A public comment period will be open before board members decide when to hold a special election to fill the District 2 seat vacated by Mariah Parker.


Commissioners look at limits on Airbnb rentals

A committee of Athens-Clarke County Commissioners has opened the door to greater control over the number of short-term rentals, like Airbnbs.

The Commission’s Government Operations Committee met Monday to begin discussing how to address the growing number of short-term rentals in Athens, which some say is having a negative impact on an already-stretched amount of housing stock in the county.

"I think whichever method we go, the the angle here has to be putting some kind of cap on the number of short term rentals, which I know it makes it a little challenging illegal, but I feel like that's the real pressing matter here," said District 5 Commissioner Tim Denson.

Commissioners discussed a variety of possible fixes, including requiring short-term rental owners to have a homestead exemption on the property they rent out and making changes to the county’s zoning laws. Commissioners and staff will continue working on a draft plan in coming weeks, but it is unclear when such a plan might be finalized.

Ossoff to lead hearing on prison deaths

A US Senate Subcommittee chaired by Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff will hold a hearing Tuesday to discuss what they are calling an undercount of prison and jail deaths by the federal Department of Justice.

The 2013 Death in Custody Reporting Act requires the Department of Justice to count and describe deaths in the nation’s jails, as well as state and federal prisons.

Today, the DOJ is six years past the deadline for publishing the next death in custody report. The Justice Department is collecting data, though, even if Senate investigators say they are not doing it well.

A ten-month investigation by the Senate’s bipartisan Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found the DOJ undercounted nearly 1,000 prison deaths in a single year and most of the time missed basic demographic and cause of death information.

Braves swat Nats, 5-2

And in sports, the Atlanta Braves cruised to a 5 – 2 win over the Washington nationals last night; they play again tonight at 7:20. The Braves remain one game out of first place in the NL East.

Martin Matheny is WUGA's Program Director and a host and producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters.' He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on WUGA and GPB Classical. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.
Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!
Grant came to public media after a career spent in newspaper photojournalism. As an all platform journalist he seeks to wed the values of public radio storytelling and the best of photojournalism online.
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