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Athens Clarke County Cast: Embezzlement Scandal, Kyron Zarco Day, and a New Control Tower at Ben Epps Airport

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Welcome to another episode of the Athens-Clarke County Cast, proudly listed as one of Feedspot’s Top 20 Georgia News Podcasts. I’m your host, Melissa Carter. In this episode, we bring you the latest news stories from around Athens, brought to you by Drake Realty.

**Athens News**

Embezzlement at Integrity Foods Inc.** A local company, Integrity Foods Inc., specializing in chicken products, has accused a former employee of embezzling over $3 million. The company discovered falsified records which the employee used to divert funds into personal accounts over six years. Following an internal investigation, the Athens police became involved on May 22nd. While the employee has been fired, it remains uncertain if they will be taken into custody or what charges might be filed.

**Kyron Zarco Day Declared**

The Athens-Clarke County Commission has designated June 18th as Kyron Zarco Day to honor the 3-year-old boy tragically killed in a gang-related shooting earlier this year. This resolution, adopted last week, addresses the root causes of gun violence and gang activity in the community. Four alleged gang members have been indicted in connection with his death, facing charges including malice murder and aggravated assault. The commission’s resolution commits to prioritizing gun and gang violence prevention in future budgets and calls for community collaboration to support at-risk youth.

 **New Control Tower for Athens-Ben Epps Airport**

Athens-Ben Epps Airport has selected a site for its new control tower, set to begin construction within the next 18 months to two years. This project is part of a $500 million FAA initiative to replace aging towers at 31 smaller U.S. airports. Airport Director Mike Mathews announced the new tower, budgeted at $2.5 million, will be on a 1-acre site behind the current tower. The new structure will stand 90 to 95 feet tall, about 30 feet taller than the existing tower, and feature a larger control cab. Whether the new tower will display the University of Georgia's "Super G" emblem is still under discussion.

Tune in for more detailed coverage and insights on these stories, only on the Athens-Clarke County Cast!

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