Jeanne Davis

Assistant Producer/Athens News Matters

Our panel breaks down the week in news and politics, discussing local and state eviction relief, potential redistricting lawsuits, and more.

The science of disease modeling can give public health officials clues about how far and how fast diseases like the coronavirus might spread, and how severe they might be.

Omicron is yet another variant of COVID-19, and researchers and public health officials are actively working on figuring out more information on this new twist in the ongoing saga of the Coronavirus.

While public health officials are working to track where the virus is, other researchers are looking ahead modeling the future of the disease and its spread.

According to a report published today by Bloomberg News, Black Georgians who lost their jobs during the pandemic were more likely than White ones to be denied unemployment benefits.

In the year following the beginning of the pandemic, 2.25 million people applied for unemployment benefits in Georgia.

But the Georgia Department of Labor ruled that 800,000 of these were invalid, based on standards that require people work for employers participating in the unemployment system and that individuals make enough money to file claims.

This week's panel - Chris Dowd and Gwen O'Looney - sits down with WUGA's Alexia Ridley to discuss the week in news and politics. The panel discusses the latest in local redistricting, the retirement next year of CCSD Superintendent Xernona Thomas, and the future of an early learning center as time ticks away on a federal funding deadline.

The Athens Clarke County Commission voted last night to approve new commission district maps to submit to the state government for approval.

The motion passed 6-3 with commissioners Mike Hamby, Ovita Thornton and Alison Wright opposing.

While Commissioner Wright objected to the map’s changes to her district, Commissioners Hamby and Thornton objected to the map-making process, which they said was rushed.

Hamby states: 

Final decisions on the maps, however, are up to state lawmakers, who are expected to take up redistricting after the new year.