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Articles By Author - Gabriel Khouli


Property tax rate likely to drop in FY15

Commissioners got some good news Tuesday night at their budget work session, including learning their health insurance bill will be at least $339,660 lower and seeing rising property values that would allow the board to make good on its promise to lower the millage rate.

April 22, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Council unsure how to use Legion Field

Covington City Council members are still unsure whether they want to allow Legion Field on Mill Street to be rented for private events and whether they want to charge a fee or simply a refundable deposit.

April 22, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Chamber still seeking Main Street head

The Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce is on its second search this year to try and find the next director for Main Street Covington – after its first two finalists backed out for personal reasons in late February/early March – and chamber president Hunter Hall is confident one of the remaining two finalists will work out.

April 22, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


Gazebo, square plan voted down by council

The proposed Covington gazebo is a no go.

April 21, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


Deputy arrested for child molestation

A former Newton County deputy was arrested Monday for allegedly inappropriately touching a child multiple times between 2006 and 2011.

April 21, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


BOC working on budget to drop tax rate

With a goal of lowering the county's property tax rate, after raising it last year, the Newton County Board of Commissioners is set to kick off its part of the budget process in earnest and officials will be looking for ways to cut costs and increase revenue.

April 21, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Bear spotted south of Newborn

A large bear was spotted south of Newborn this week, and the Jasper County man who initially reported the bear says there is evidence it's hanging around, but an official with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said real concern doesn't set in until a bear starts damaging property or stops showing fear.

April 19, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Smart Growth’s political forum Monday

Early voting for the May 20 Primary begins Friday, and local group Smart Growth Newton County is giving residents a chance to hear from all the local and state candidates facing opposition this year.

April 19, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Kroger helps give back

The next time you buy your groceries part of the proceeds could go to your favorite nonprofit.

April 18, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Monday is voter registration deadline

Monday is the voter registration deadline for anyone who wants to vote in May 20 Primary Election.

April 18, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Gazebo gets committee’s support

The hotly-debated gazebo proposed to be built on the Covington square was sent to a committee this week for more citizen and business owner feedback.

April 17, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Farm Bureau hosting meet and greet

Ask the candidates some questions and enjoy some homemade strawberry ice cream May 1 at the Newton County Farm Bureau's candidate meet and greet.

April 17, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Sinking soil replaced at armory

Covington's National Guard armory is getting a nearly $1 million upgrade, including replacing the collapsing soil under the parking lot which has caused sinkholes to form and has caused one corner of the armory to sink.

April 15, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Mansfield still trying to set election date

Mansfield officials are still trying to pick dates to hold a special election to permanently fill the mayor's seat, which was vacated when Estona Middlebrooks resigned from the position March 6.

April 15, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Mansfield settles wrongful termination

Former longtime Mansfield city clerk Pat Mullins accepted a $14,000 settlement from the city stemming from her claim of wrongful termination after she was fired in 2012.

April 15, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


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Archive By Author - Gabriel Khouli


Touch of Country says goodbye to the square

In May 1997, Harold Duren purchased the old City Pharmacy on the northeast corner of the square as a shop for his handmade wooden furniture. However, the first people to knock on his doors weren't furniture customers; they were residents who wanted to know if he would continue to operate the popular soda fountain in the store.

June 20, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Business


CPR Saturday at DeKalb Tech a success

Becky Beavers hopes that one day Newton County will be the safest place to live in the U.S. The director of education at Newton Medical Center recently partnered with DeKalb Technical College to restart the CPR Saturday program, where local residents can learn CPR for free from trained professionals. She hopes Newton County will be able to catch Seattle, in which one out of every four residents is trained in CPR.

June 20, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Employees cut after rollback budget approved

Pink slips, sad goodbyes and voices on the edge of tears greeted dozens of county employees during the two days following the approval of the $46.3 million rollback rate budget by the Newton County Board of Commissioners Tuesday.

June 18, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


BOC approves rollback budget; see attached budget documents

The Newton County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 to approve a $46.3 million budget, which will use the 10.9 rollback millage rate, and cut about 50 employees. The board won't officially adopt the 10.9 rollback rate until the July 6 BOC meeting because the budget now has to be re-advertised in The News for a minimum of 14 days.

Commissioners Mort Ewing and Tim Fleming voted against the budget, and both expressed preference for the 9.73 millage rate budget which would have been a $43.5 million budget.

June 16, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Prior millage rates tell interesting history

There has been a lot of discussion about the rollback millage rate and whether the county should approve it. Although it's called the rollback rate, the 10.9 rate would obviously be higher than the current 9.73 rate.

However, the 10.9 rate is the rate necessary to bring the county the same amount of property tax revenue as it collected the year before. Property tax revenue in this past fiscal year was projected to be nearly $27.7 million, around 57 percent of the budget.

June 15, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Breaking down recent state bills

Tuesday was the deadline for Gov. Perdue to sign or veto the remaining bills from the 2010 Georgia legislative session and many bills could affect local residents and governments.

Below is a description of some of the recently signed bills. To read any bill, visit www.legis.state.ga.us/ and type in the appropriate bill number in the upper right hand corner.

June 13, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Water authority, Covington to increase water rates

As the county increases its wholesale water rates, its customers, the city of Covington and the Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority, are raising their rates too.

June 11, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


Moving work in house could save 21 county jobs

The county could save as many as 20 jobs, by cancelling its service contract for the county's recycling centers and reallocating existing employees to take over that work.

June 11, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Fire closes I-20 eastbound past exit 98

Two Newton County Fire Department crews are working a small brush fire on Interstate-20, between exits 98 and 101, which has closed down eastbound traffic.

Deputy Chief Tim Smith said the crew hoped to have the fire put out and everything cleaned up before rush hour.

June 09, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Welcome home

Handshakes, hugs and a few tears greeted the dozens of Covington-based National Guard troops who triumphantly returned home after a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

June 09, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Redevelopment Authority to buy additional lots

The Covington Redevelopment Authority is planning to purchase nine more lots in the Walker's Bend subdivision as it continues efforts to revitalize that area.

June 09, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Project Adventure closing down

Project Adventure Kids, a non-profit organization focusing on the rehabilitation of at-risk children and teen-aged drug abusers and sex offenders, is closing down its 16 area group homes and treatment facility on Elks Club Road.

June 09, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Homecoming celebration held for troops

Handshakes, hugs and a few tears greeted the dozens of Covington-based National Guard troops who triumphantly returned home after a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

June 06, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


BOC remains uncertain about the budget

Newton County simply won't have enough revenue to operate its proposed FY2011 budget at the current 9.73 millage rate, even if it cuts 100 jobs and raises various fees.

June 06, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


B Company welcomed home locally

The grandfather of Covington's Bravo Company is retiring after a combined 37 years in the armed services.

June 06, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


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