Athens News Matters

Fridays at 1PM and again Sundays at noon.

For years, Athens News Matters has been a vehicle to connect listeners with the stories that matter from Athens and around Northeast Georgia. In July 2019, the program was relaunched in a new format, an hour of content, including the panel of commentators which has been a mainstay of Athens News Matters, but adding more stories, features, interviews, and more.

The Athens News Matters team:

Hosts: Alexia Ridley and Chris Shupe

Senior Producer: Martin Matheny

Segment Producers: Alex Vanden Heuvel, John Slights

Contributors: Dr. James Cobb, Cathy Bradberry, Michael Cardin

Host Alexia Ridley

Host Chris Shupe

The vulture is not a creature that’s typically celebrated. Despite that, Athens-Clarke County has been doing it for six years. Chris Shupe speaks with Mason Towe, organizer of the Recycling Division’s Vulture Fest, a celebration of “nature’s cleanup crew” and their place in the local ecosystem.

Athens-Clarke County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution of support for “immigrants, undocumented residents and the Latinx community” last week. Alexia Ridley spoke with local immigration activist Beto Mendoza, who was there to read the resolution along with Mayor Kelly Girtz.

Friction is growing between some members of the Clarke County Board of Education and school district administrators, as an ethics complaint filed against some board members could threaten the district’s accreditation. Board President LaKeisha Gantt addressed the apparent dysfunction in the Clarke County School District.

Tensions continue to rise between Clarke County School Board members and administrators, with dueling ethics complaints filed against School Superintendent Demond Means and unnamed members of the Board of Education. WUGA’s panel of journalists discuss the problems in the Clarke County School District.

Panel members also discuss Georgia's two upcoming U.S. Senate races in 2020--one for Johnny Isakson's seat, vacated after he stepped down last month, and for David Perdue's seat, which is up for a second term.

This week on Athens News Matters, allegations and counter-allegations of ethics problems in the Clarke County School District. School Board President LaKeisha Gantt weighs-in. Plus, an advocate for migrants speaks up on a recent resolution passed by the ACC Commission. And, we'll learn about an upcoming festival that honors nature’s cleanup crew, the humble vulture. Listen Back Below.