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Articles By Author - Gabriel Khouli


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


Kroger helps give back

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

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


Couple sues neighbors, deputies

When they tried to get into their newly-purchased Newton County home the evening of April 19, 2012, Jean-Joseph and Angelica Kalonji were held at gunpoint by their next-door neighbors and eventually arrested by Newton County Sheriff's deputies.

April 15, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Mansfield council OK's '14 budget

Mansfield officials have big plans for the city, and they hope they'll be able to make more progress with a clearer financial picture after approving Monday a $1.07 million budget for 2014.

April 15, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


County studies Salem Rd zoning more

County officials want to make sure they're on the same page when it comes to future development in the Salem Road area, so they're placing a temporary ban on some zoning requests.

April 06, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


GOP hosting candidate meet-and-greet

Newton County residents planning to vote in the Republican primary May 20 will have a chance to meet and question several candidates in one place at the Newton County Republican Party's April 15 political rally.

April 06, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


County talking to grant writing co.

Newton County is getting closer to hiring a firm to write grants to seek out more state and federal funding.

April 02, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


BOC not behind Henderson SPLOST plans

County Commissioner J.C. Henderson wanted to move forward with purchasing land to expand some existing parks and build some new ones using 2011 SPLOST money, but his fellow commissioners weren't on board with his plan Tuesday.

April 01, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


State superintendent forum Friday

With Common Core's place in Georgia schools being hotly debated and education being linked ever closer with business needs and the health of the economy, Georgia's state school superintendent race has no shortage of pressing issues.

April 01, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Tips that could help get a job at Baxter

While state and local officials celebrated breaking ground on a training center that will serve Baxter International and help recruit future bioscience industries, area residents want to know how they can get a shot at one of Baxter's high-quality jobs.

April 01, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


BioScience training center breaks ground

Officials celebrated construction starting on the Georgia BioScience Training Center, a facility set to open in early 2015 that will both help train future Baxter International employees and be used to recruit other life sciences industries to Georgia.

April 01, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


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Archive By Author - Gabriel Khouli


Residents speak out against budget cuts

The Board of Commissioners held their final budget work session Monday night, and residents and county department heads used the opportunity to let the board know they opposed the proposed $5.25 million of cuts to this year's budget.

May 25, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


FUMC pays shelter’s $5,000 utility deposit

In March, the Covington First United Methodist Church paid the $5,000 utility deposit owed to the City of Covington by the Garden of Gethsemane Homeless Shelter, said Rev. Clara Lett.

May 23, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


Main Street will not get more money

After nearly a month of back and forth, the city council formally voted, unanimously, Thursday night to not raise Main Street Director Josephine Kelly's salary nor add part-time help.

At a special called meeting, City Manager Steve Horton informed the council that the Main Street Covington Board of Directors had never officially voted to approve a raise, nor an extra position, and that the county was not going to be able to fund its 50 percent share of either.

May 21, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


County to switch health insurance; save $300,000

In order to save nearly $300,000, the Newton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to switch the county's health insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield to Cigna.

The vote will end the county's 15-year relationship with Blue Cross and will move the county from a self insurance pool to a fully insured plan with Cigna. The Cigna plan will cost $6.54 million and the exact savings is $297,388.36. A fully insured plan from Blue Cross would have cost nearly $7.12 million.

May 21, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


County to switch health insurance; save $300,000

In order to save nearly $300,000, the Newton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to switch the county's health insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield to Cigna.

May 21, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Parade for local troops to be held June 6

The Covington-based National Guard troops will be officially welcomed home June 6, beginning with a parade around the square at 1:15 p.m.
Most of the 131 members of Bravo Company will march from the Covington Armory to the square, followed by an event in front of the Historic Courthouse, said Josephine Kelly, director of Main Street Covington.
Kelly said she and the National Guard are still working on the event details, but all elected officials and some military dignitaries will be invited to the homecoming celebration. There will be an invocation, followed by speeches from the military and ...

May 21, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


General Mills cuts ribbon for new plant

The amplified voices noticeably echoed in the mammoth 1.5 million square-foot distribution center, but the message was clear: General Mills is ready for business.
The ceremonial ribbon was cut Wednesday, and the first shipment of General Mills goods will be delivered to the Social Circle plant Monday.
"It took us less than six months to close the deal. In less than 11 months we've broken ground. They're ready for operation," said W. Morris Jordan, chairman of the Development Authority of Walton County. Project Southeast has found its home.
Walton County Chairman Kevin Little said county residents should ...

May 21, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Social Circle


The place to be: bringing industry to Newton County

This is final story in a six-part series examining the history and economic effects of industry in Newton County. This final part discusses the county's continuing efforts to attract new business.

May 19, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Covington City Council briefs - May 19

Water and sewer rate increase

May 19, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


County may have to cut many jobs to avoid tax increase

If the county does not raise the millage rate, it may have to cut nearly 100 employees - a sixth of its workforce - based on early projections. Even if the commissioners do raise the millage rate to the rollback rate, from 9.73 mills to 10.9 mills, they will still likely have to cut more than 70 employees.
These preliminary budgets have not been voted on and won't be official until late June. However, that's the stark reality facing the Newton County Board of Commissioners, as they head into their second straight of year of cutting millions from ...

May 19, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


60th reunion for the Newton County High School’s first graduating class

Together again: The first ever graduating class of Newton County High School, after the school system consolidation, celebrated its 60th anniversary Monday afternoon at the Oaks Golf Course. The 1950 graduating class originally consisted of 103 members. Around 40 classmates attended Monday's event to catch up and reminisce, and to honor their 33 deceased classmates. Betty Jaynes was named the class mascot because of her integral role in founding the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. She had been ruled ineligible to join the existing BCA because she was a woman. She was elected into both the Georgia and Virginia ...

May 16, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Farm tour shows county’s riches

Several county officials went on a tour of some of Newton County's most successful farms Saturday, learning about some of the intricacies of fruit, cattle and hay farms.

May 16, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Miracle League announces art contest winners

The Special Olympics ended last week, but the Miracle League of Newton County is committed to providing recreational opportunities to children with special needs year round.

May 14, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Tandem bike rally brings county revenue

Newton County residents may see nearly 100 tandem bikes riding around this weekend, and some local businesses will see thousands of extra dollars enter their registers.

May 14, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Council consensus to up Main Street funding

The Main Street Covington program is going to be expanding, and the consensus of the Covington City Council is that Director Josephine Kelly deserves a 5 percent raise.

May 12, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


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