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Archive By Author - Gabriel Khouli


Newborn celebrates schoolhouse grand opening

The Town of Newborn celebrated the grand opening of its historical schoolhouse Oct. 2 with free lunch and music. Several residents from near and far came back to reminisce about their experiences as students, including Mary Formo, who traveled all the way from Washington.

Formo made the cross-country trip because she spent a few years of her childhood here on a 70-acre farm. She remembers skipping school and hiding in the honeysuckle with her best friend Anne.

October 09, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Digest Drop

Newton County governments might have to slash budgets by another 12 percent to 15 percent next year because of zero growth and a new state bill designed to have property tax assessment valuations reflect actual sales prices on homes.

Newton County Chief Tax Assessor Tommy Knight said Tuesday that a natural decline in property values will account for about 5 percent of the drop. An additional 7 percent or 8 percent decline will be caused by S.B. 346, which requires local governments to appraise property at the price it was sold, including foreclosures and short sales.

October 08, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Covington declared Camera Ready

State officials said Thursday that they view Covington as the model of a film-friendly community and will be promoting Newton County more aggressively than ever as the state seeks to increase its entertainment market share.

October 08, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


National GOP donating to Scott

Austin Scott, the Republican candidate for the Eighth Congressional District, is getting a boost from the national party in his campaign against Democratic incumbent Jim Marshall.

October 08, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Parking ordinance temporarily suspended

Nearly every car owner who lives in Covington is violating the city's current parking ordinance, simply by parking a car outside their home, if that car weighs more than 2,000 pounds.

October 06, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Electricity prices to increase statewide in 2011

Utility customers across the state will get more bad news in 2011, as electricity prices are expected to increase.

Covington residents can expect to pay around 7 percent more for electricity, because the City of Covington will have to pay its provider, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, a similar increase. The cost for customers will not come in the form of a rate increase, but will instead be passed on through the power cost adjustment, or PCA, which is designed to pass increased market costs on to customers.

October 06, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


Candidates discuss the issues in campaign forum

Newton County's future political leaders espoused their ideas on the issues Tuesday night at a combined forum put on by The News and the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce.

October 05, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Covington council to meet tonight

The Covington City Council has a packed agenda Monday night, including discussions about the city's 2011 SPLOST project requests, 2011 power costs, a previously proposed parking ordinance and whether to allow outdoor burning in the city.

Covington submitted an estimated $17 million in SPLOST projects, including $5 million for replacing water infrastructure, $3 million for a new city hall building and $2.6 to widen Industrial Boulevard. The council did not receive a list of the projects ahead of time and some members expressed opposition to the city hall request in particular.

October 04, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


Covington City Council’s Monday agenda packed

The Covington City Council has a packed agenda Monday night, including discussions about the city's 2011 SPLOST project requests, 2011 power costs, a previously proposed parking ordinance and whether to allow outdoor burning in the city.

October 03, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


Don't forget: Candidate forum at 6:30 tonight

Candidates in state and country races will discuss the issues at 6 tonight in a forum at the Covington Branch Library on Floyd Street.

October 03, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Election


Cold Winter, Hot Summer, High Bills

The period of day after day of 90-degree high temps appears to be over and Joy Cason is one of thousands of utility residents breathing a sigh of relief.

October 03, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Leadership Collaborative reboots effort to implement 2050 plan

A large group needs to keep lines of communication open.

So, members of Newton County's Leadership Collaborative, a group of officials from business, schools and various government entities, agreed Wednesday that they want to have more meetings as a group and to keep in closer touch through e-mail.

October 01, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Covington gets downpayment assistance housing grant

Covington received a nearly $300,000 state grant Thursday to boost revitalization efforts in Walker's Bend by helping buyers with their down payments.

The Covington Redevelopment Authority has purchased several vacant lots in Walker's Bend off Ga. Highway 81 and plans to partner with local builders to construct smaller, energy efficient homes. The $300,000 grant from Community Home Investment Program will go toward downpayment assistance when these homes are sold.

October 01, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


$160 million in SPLOST projects submitted

Newton County and its five municipalities turned in their SPLOST wish lists recently, and county commissioners are now tasked with cutting down $160 million in requests to an approximately $55 million final list. For a full list of project see the attached PDF.

The special local option sales tax is an optional 1 percent sales tax that is collected specifically to pay for capital projects, normally infrastructure and buildings. Newton County has had four SPLOTS previously, with the first one being passed by voters in 1987 to build Lake Varner.

October 01, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


County breaks ground on Fairview park

When Wendy Rodriquez arrived in Fairview Estates in 2003, the subdivision was in its formative stages and was a lonely place for an 8-year-old girl.

October 01, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


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