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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


Land for public park in Fairview purchased

After eight months of public discussion and around 20 meetings, Newton County has finally purchased the 18.14-acre lot in Fairview Estates, planned for a public park, as well as 11 houses in various neighborhoods.

The 12 properties cost a combined $1.05 million. Newton County received $1.74 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program money, with $1.1 million allocated for purchasing properties. The county expects to purchase one more house with its remaining $43,350. The rest of the NSP money will go toward house rehabilitation, creation of the park, homeowners assistance and administration costs.

January 31, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


County closer to stopping private landfill

The Supreme Court of Georgia ruled in Newton County's favor Monday, ending a 12-year old lawsuit against Newton County that brings the county one step closer to preventing a private landfill from opening.

January 31, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Repairers thanks community for its holiday season support

Repairers of the Breach had another busy holiday season handing out toys, clothes and food to families in need. CEO Shirley Smith said it couldn't have been done without the support of numerous groups around Newton County.

January 31, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Wynne may not have to run in 2010 election

Although District Attorney Ken Wynne may have to wait until July to be sworn in as a Alcovy Circuit Superior Court judge, he likely won't have to worry about running for reelection this November.

January 29, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Mentoring makes a difference

David Burke may have had five fathers growing up, but he never had that one stable male influence in his life.

January 29, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


On the issues

If elected, Republican gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel plans to continue to cut the state budget, promote entrepreneurs and small businesses, lower the state's tax burden and endorse more technical school education and corporate-educational cooperation.

January 27, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Community activist speaks about gang prevention

Most kids join gangs for one reason: money. Clint Bryant, who is involved with preventing gang activity in Augusta, said the best way to keep teens and young adults on the straight and narrow is to provide them with decent paying jobs.

January 27, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


MIT grad named chair of FaithWorks non-profit

Former MIT graduate Kendra Boone was elected as the next chairman of FaithWorks, following in the footsteps of founder Bob Furnad.

January 27, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


City honors Howard for 16 years on council

John Howard always said he would remain active after retiring from the city council, but he didn't ever expect it be in the form of Covington's newest police officer.

January 24, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


DCA finds no fault with county’s NSP

As far as the Georgia Department of Community Affairs is concerned, Newton County has not violated any Neighborhood Stabilization Program rules.

January 24, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


DA’s office recuses itself from Henderson case

District 4 Commissioner J.C. Henderson adamantly denies the charge of battery that resulted in his arrest on Oct. 10, but a preliminary hearing to discuss the case has been delayed.

January 24, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


City to get $75,000 more in NSP money

Because of recent success, the city of Covington is receiving an additional $75,000 in Neighborhood Stabilization Program money from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

January 22, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


County revenue down, depts. cut expenses

The county's finances appear to be holding steady, according to the second quarter financial report discussed at Tuesday's Board of Commissioner's meeting.

January 22, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Haiti: Of great magnitude

Frank Penley spent all day trying to put his week's worth of experiences in Haiti down on paper. He wrote and rewrote. Finally he threw it all away.

January 22, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Councilman Whatley says media portrayal of retreat unfair

Councilman Mike Whatley spoke out Wednesday night against recent criticism directed toward the city council for their decision to have their annual retreat at Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa. Whatley said he thought media and public portrayal of the decision was unfair. His full speech is below:

January 21, 2010 | Gabriel Khouli | Covington


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