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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


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


Churches join to make an impact on community

It was warm Saturday at First United Methodist Church's Change the World, Impact The Community Day, but Jeff Martin was cold for a good portion of it. The minister of youth at First Baptist had the pleasure of manning the dunk tank and he took the plunge several times – whether the children around him actually hit the mark or not.

May 09, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


Census workers visiting homes in person

Hundreds of U.S. Census workers will be canvassing Newton County neighborhoods until the end of July, in an effort to reach any local address that did not return a 2010 Census form.

Local Census official Gloria Solomon said with the recent employee additions, approximately 400 census workers have been hired to work in Newton County for the Census, creating a temporary influx of much-needed income to local residents.

May 09, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


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