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Articles By Author - Gabriel Khouli


Covington to lower property tax rate

Editor's note: The article "City joins rail case, OKs budget" in Wednesday's newspaper contained a reporter's error regarding the millage rate, and this article was written, in part, to correct that error and clarify the situation.

June 21, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Covington's fire ISO rating improves

Covington residents could be seeing some savings on their homeowners insurance in coming years thanks to the city's fire protection rating improving.

June 21, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Homeless shelter could need $18K to replace ACs

Covington's homeless shelter has been staying open by scraping together enough funds to pay its monthly $6,000-plus utility bills, but now that three of its air conditioning units have failed, the shelter needs an even bigger cash infusion.

June 19, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Small part of Wheat St. to close

The part of Wheat Street between Industrial Boulevard and Hazelbrand Road will be closed to through-traffic for construction starting July 1.

June 19, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Hoax caller tells NCSO 5 hostages in apt.

Investigators are looking for the person who pranked called the Newton County Sheriff's Office Tuesday night and said five hostages were being held in the Summerset Apartment complex off Salem Road.

June 17, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Khouli's parting words: thank you, I'm sorry

I'm leaving The Covington News, and I want to say thank you. (People accuse me of writing long; how's that for a short intro?)

June 17, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


BOC still mulling budget options

A week after the Newton County Board of Commissioners seemed to be on the verge of reaching a budget consensus, concerns about public safety, particularly high turnover rates in both the sheriff's office and fire department, prompted the board to take another look at beefing up funding.

June 17, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


City joins rail case, OKs budget

The city of Covington is joining a group of landowners seeking payment for the property it owns along the abandoned Norfolk Southern.

June 17, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Business owners may opt in to self-tax

Does U.S. Highway 278 have anything that makes it special? Many people don't think so, at least, not yet.

June 14, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


City fires in supposedly vacant structures

The Covington Fire Department hasn't had to fight many house fires lately, but two of the most recent fires occurred in supposedly vacant buildings.

June 14, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Traffic delays possible for water line work

Covington residents could see traffic delays south of the square and in the Old Monticello Street area during the next year as work begins on replacing more than 26,000 linear feet of city water lines, some of which are more than 100 years old.

June 13, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Liquor store plan spurs talk about corridors

A proposal to put a new package store on the Covington Bypass Road has spurred an in-depth discussion about the future of the city's commercial corridors and what they will and should look like, with some officials' modern vision for the future clashing with others' views of what's realistic.

June 12, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Covington’s Wildwood subdivision purchased

The partially-built Wildwood subdivision off the Covington Bypass Road has been purchased by a developer who plans to move forward where other developers have stalled out.

June 10, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


BOC: Rental policy at Nelson Heights center should change

County commissioners agreed Monday night that extra steps need to be taken when the Nelson Heights Community Center is rented out to ensure there's no repeat of the May 30 "Bounce Dat Ass Part II" party that ended up with gun shots reportedly being fired in the air by a car passing by the center.

June 10, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


County nears budget consensus

County commissioners appeared to be close Monday to reaching a consensus on next year's budget, agreeing to lower the millage rate (informally called the property tax rate) from its current 11.54 rate to somewhere around 11, a change that would save a $150,000 property owner around $30 a year in county taxes.

June 10, 2014 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


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Archive By Author - Gabriel Khouli


A new hope for Nelson Heights

As he snipped the red, celebratory ribbon, District 4 Commissioner J.C. Henderson officially opened the Nelson Heights Community Center, completing a dream several years in the making.

"Most people know that even though it's been appointed as being my idea, it's not. It's really your idea," Henderson told the assembled crowd that packed the new center. "When we first started thinking about the 2005 SPLOST, we wanted to go out to people who lived in the community and ask for your ideas, your opinions. What do you want? What's your vision?"

September 01, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Covington council has honest discussion about diversity

The City of Covington is taking steps to increase diversity in both its work force and list of contractors, following a candid discussion at the city council's strategic planning retreat, spurred by Councilwoman Hawnethia Williams' concerns.

The city will post job openings and project bids in non-traditional locations, including community centers, churches and post-secondary schools, according to City Manager Steve Horton who discussed the matter with Personnel Director Ronnie Cowan after Monday's session.

August 31, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


NHCC has grand opening

The Nelson Heights Community Center was packed to the brim Sunday afternoon, showing just how many people had played a part in bringing the project to life during the past decade.

Representatives from the Newton County Board of Commissioners, Newton Recreation Commission, City of Covington, Washington Street Community Center and other groups attended to celebrate the grand opening of a center they hope will help revitalize the Nelson Heights and Green Acres neighborhoods.

August 30, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


Covington council continues strategic planning process

The City of Covington's staff has completed many of the goals previously set by the city council, but council members said they still had trouble communicating with each other, particularly during controversial issues.

August 29, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


Lendmark, BB&T donate more than $6,000 to shelter

The Garden of Gethsemane Homeless Shelter aims to be Covington's safety net, the place that prevents those who have lost everything from falling through society's cracks.

August 29, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Community center at Nelson Heights celebrates grand opening today

The grand opening of the long-awaited Nelson Heights Community Center will take place today from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the center, located at the intersection of Laseter and Puckett streets.

August 29, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Buyers look at McIntosh building

The prominent, 16,684-square foot McIntosh Commercial Bank building, with its towering Georgian-style columns and red brick masonry, is available and is already soliciting interest, according to George Bartelme, an Atlanta broker with CB Richard Ellis.

August 27, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Business


Nuclear knowledge

The nuclear power-producing Plant Vogtle is surprisingly calm for the middle of a weekday, a constant hum providing a static backdrop. There's fairly little activity, though a number of bullet-proof guard towers and a barbed wire fence exterior belie the apparent serenity.

August 27, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Popeyes closes; CharterBank moves out of McIntosh

A couple of local businesses have left Covington recently as the effects of the recession continue to linger amidst the hope of an economic turnaround.

August 25, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


SteelCo builds school in five weeks

SteelCo President Shane Millwood was laughed at, derided and told he simply couldn't do it - that didn't stop him from essentially building a school in five weeks.

August 25, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Business


Council hires new airport employee, consulting firm

The Covington City Council approved a couple of changes to the Covington Municipal Airport.

August 22, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


NCSS looking into buying local produce

The Newton County School System would love to buy fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers, but it remains to be seen whether a grouping of local farmers would be able to provide enough food for 16,000-plus students at a reasonable cost.

August 22, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Aug. 23-28 declared “B.C. Crowell Week”

A single story couldn't contain the life of B.C. Crowell, and the leaders of Porterdale decided a single day just wasn't enough time to honor him. Porterdale paid tribute to one of its most famous sons Friday, when Mayor Bobby Hamby signed a proclamation declaring the upcoming week of Aug. 23-28 as "B.C. Crowell Week."

August 22, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Porterdale


Council: Main Street Covington may go fully under city control

The Covington City Council gave its consensus Monday to explore the possibility of bringing the Main Street Covington program entirely under city control.

August 22, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


City considers strict building regulations in Walker’s Bend

The Covington Redevelopment Authority and residents in Walker's Bend want to see only high-quality structures built in the subdivision to aid in its revitalization and protect the city's significant investment in the area.

August 20, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


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