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A 26-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the killing of 22-year-old nursing student Laken Rile

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February 27th Podcast



Hello and welcome to the Athens News podcast, I’m Melissa Carter.  Your opinions on the murder of an Athens nursing student.  Plus, new research regarding links to homelessness and another crisis in our area.  But first…Here are your top stories brought to you by Drake Realty.



Athens News


A 26-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the killing of 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley, whose body was discovered near running trails on UGA’s campus.


Athens resident Jose Ibarra was apprehended, and authorities believe he acted alone, stating there's no further threat to the university.


According to University of Georgia Police Chief Jeff Clark, evidence suggests no prior relationship between the suspect and victim.


Riley, a former University of Georgia student, transferred to Augusta University’s College of Nursing.


This from ABC News.



Athens News


The University of Georgia honored the life of Laken Riley with a vigil Monday, at Tate Plaza on campus.


The vigil came as both UGA and Augusta University canceled classes on Friday in the wake of Riley's murder.


Authorities were alerted after Riley failed to return from her morning run on Thursday, leading to the discovery of her body near Lake Herrick with visible injuries.


Her funeral is scheduled for Friday.


This from the Athens Banner-Herald and the AJC.



Athens News

The Watson-Brown Foundation recently announced two significant staff changes at the historic T.R.R. Cobb House in Athens.

Sam Thomas, who has served as the curator of the historic house museum since 2006, will transition into a part-time role, while Ashleigh Oatts has been promoted to curator.

Tad Brown, President of the Foundation, expressed gratitude for Thomas's contributions and highlighted his ongoing role in research and writing during the leadership transition.

Meanwhile, Ashleigh Oatts, who has been with the Watson-Brown Foundation since 2015, has a bachelor's degree from Maryville College and a master's from Middle Tennessee State University.

She will be responsible for museum interpretation, conservation efforts, and organizing special events, while also continuing to oversee the Athens chapter of the Watson-Brown Foundation Junior Board.

This from the Athens Banner-Herald.


Social Media

From WSB’s Facebook page:


Students and parents demand the return of emergency blue lights, or call boxes, at the University of Georgia.


The campus, once a pioneer in installing them in 1988, removed the system in 2004 due to outdated technology.


Concerns for campus safety prompt calls for reinstatement:


Deana O'Bryant Burson

The problem with the boxes is that they have to wait at the box for the police to get there. If someone is chasing them, they need to keep running. There’s got to be a better way.



James Whitney

Because all students have cell phones and the boxes in Athens are never used. Ask the authorities.


Gary L. Tate

With so many Students on Campus they can't find a Jogging Partner. Plus have Protection to prevent being Harmed. That's Common Sense.


Billy Mac

cause coach needs a new practice field.




UGA News


New research from the University of Georgia sheds light on the critical link between homelessness and opioid overdoses.


Their study reveals that a 25% reduction in homelessness could potentially save nearly 2,000 lives from opioid overdoses, along with preventing hundreds of deaths from alcohol poisoning and cocaine overdoses.


Lead researcher David Bradford emphasizes the causal effect, urging for pragmatic policies to address homelessness and strengthen social safety nets.


With housing insecurity exacerbating the opioid crisis, the call for effective interventions becomes more urgent, particularly in the wake of increased evictions post the 2021 eviction moratorium.


This from the Red & Black.









UGA Sports


From the Red & Black and ESPN:

Georgia’s running backs coach Dell McGee has been hired as Georgia State’s new head football coach.

In basketball:  The Lady Bulldogs beat Florida over the weekend, 76-60, while Georgia’s men lost to Auburn, 97-76

Athens News

Over the weekend, the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement organized the Athens Run for Maud Walk for Justice event, commemorating the life of Ahmaud Arbery.

The event, held at Georgia Square Mall, saw participants running a symbolic 2.23 miles to mark the date of Arbery's tragic death.

Following the run, an information session shed light on Arbery's life and raised awareness about citizen arrest and hate crime legislation.

Arbery's passing sparked significant legislative reforms in Georgia, including an overhaul of the citizen arrest law and the passing of a bipartisan anti-hate crime bill.

These changes aim to address systemic injustices and increase penalties for hate crimes while requiring law enforcement to report such incidents.

This from the Red & Black.

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