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Athens News Matters for October 21, 2023

Like police departments around the state and the country, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department is short of officers – in the case of ACC, some 50 sworn cops and another 17 communications officers.

But, that might change in the coming years, thanks to a $1.65 million dollar grant from the state of Georgia, which police officials plan to use to provide a $10,000 dollar hiring bonus to new officers.

WUGA’s Alexia Ridley sat down with ACC Police Chief Jerry Saulters to talk about the new hiring bonuses and the challenges of policing in Athens-Clarke County.

Jeff Fallis is wrapping up his two-year term as the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission’s inaugural Poet Laureate, which he spent fostering appreciation for poetry in underserved parts of the community through public readings, workshops and cultural events meant for senior citizens, at-risk youth and more.

Fallis, a University of Georgia Franklin College Instructor, has lived in Athens since 1995 and is known for his readings, co-curating the VOX Reading Series, educating students of all ages and penned the introduction for a collection of poems by John Seawright.

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!
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.
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