Lee Becker

MEMBER FOR 4 years 35 weeks


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Bed, Bath & Beyond, Party City get building permits in Oconee County

I posted the story about the move of these two retailers on my blog on Sunday, the 25th.

See more about financial issues facing Oconee County as a result of development here:

The county will begin paying $700,000 per year next March to pay off the debt for bringing Caterpillar to the area.


posted @ Saturday, January 31, 2015 - 09:36

Athens businessman purchases Jennings Mill Country Club

Bell came before the Oconee County Board of Commissioners in September and identified himself as the future owner of Jennings Mill.

Oconee County is planning a sewer line along McNutt Creek, which runs through the course. The course straddles the creek, which forms the border for the two counties. Parts of the course are in both counties.

Readers also might be interested in the decision of Presbyterian Homes of Georgia to locate a retirement center in Oconee County. It also was considering a Clarke County site.


posted @ Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 08:31

Lack of Internet access has Oconee residents lining up for an explanation

For additional news about what is going on in Oconee County, go to


posted @ Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 06:42

Kroger to host ribbon cutting for new Athens Fuel Center

For a little background on this Kroger gas station and on other development in this commercial sector of Oconee County, go to:

posted @ Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 07:19

Wilkes takes close win over Hale in Oconee County commission race

Readers might be interested in additional perspective on this race and on results of other voting in Oconee County. Here are relevant links:

posted @ Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 09:55

Jody Hice, Mike Collins to debate today in Watkinsville

For details on the format go to posting from Thursday of last week.

posted @ Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - 04:27

Three-county road works planning continues as federal funding remains in question

Readers interested in more detail about the Mars Hill Road widening project in Oconee County can go to this link below. Included is a video of county Public Works Director Emil Beshara giving an overview of what will happen next.

posted @ Sunday, July 6, 2014 - 07:48

Oconee commission incumbent faces challenge by former commissioner

For a more detailed story on the stands taken by the two candidates and for a lengthy video interview with each, go to:

posted @ Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 06:42

2015 county budget up for approval today

Oconee County commissioners also will take action on the FY15 budget at their meeting tonight. A review of the budget is at:

The commissioners also will consider a rezone request for a piece of property tucked into an island created by SR Loop 10, SR 316 and the new Oconee Connector. That story is at:


posted @ Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 06:55

Local officials work to keep political signs out of rights of way

For another story on signs in Oconee County, go to:

posted @ Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 09:44

Athens Farmers Market returns with sights set on expansion

Oconee Farmers Market also launches its season on Saturday. Approximately 30 vendors are expected to set up stalls around the courthouse in downtown Watkinsville, beginning at 8 a.m. The market runs until 1 p.m.

posted @ Friday, April 4, 2014 - 07:25

Oconee commissioners opt to delay sales tax vote

Stories about both of the meetings referenced here, with a video clip of Commissioner Margaret Hale's stated concerns, can be found here:

posted @ Sunday, March 9, 2014 - 07:57

The Editor's Desk: Plan of Watkinsville not dependent on SPLOST

The proposal for Watkinsville was put forward as a counter to the proposal for a $25 million courthouse. Many of the people at the meeting on Monday did not understand that. Readers may find this piece and some of the links in it helpful for an understanding of the politics playing out over the courthouse.


posted @ Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 14:49

Athens-Oconee Patch website's future in limbo following company-wide layoffs

A little background and additional information about the changes are here:

posted @ Friday, January 31, 2014 - 07:51

The Editor's Desk: Checking out Plan of Watkinsville, checking in on hedgehog bill

A picture of the village green proposed as well as of the existing space is on my Oconee County Observations blog,

The story also contains links to the web site for the project and background information on the discussion about the future of the courthouse in Watkinsville.


posted @ Friday, January 31, 2014 - 07:48

Epps Bridge Centre developer encourages mixed-drink sales in Oconee

I have a small video clip of Bishop's comments and some background information on Oconee County's experience with liquor referendums here:


posted @ Friday, January 24, 2014 - 10:09

Best Buy gets permits to move to Epps Bridge Centre

I posted a story on my blog on Jan. 8 about the move by Best Buy.
See details at

posted @ Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 08:01

Golden Chick open in Watkinsville

Golden Chick is more than a mile from Watkinsville, just east of the intersection of Hog Mountain Road and US 441. Here's another story about chickens in the county:

posted @ Friday, November 15, 2013 - 14:15

Caterpillar on track for Nov. 1 assembly line goal

Athens-Clarke County and Oconee County have discovered major problems with Orkin Drive, the roadway leading to the Caterpillar plant.

posted @ Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 07:04

Pier 1 opens at Epps Bridge Centre

The Oconee Connector, mentioned in this report, will connect to a widened Mars Hill Road, running initially to Butler's Crossing and then on to Watkinsville. GDOT has delayed awarding bids on the project for five months because Oconee County has not yet purchased rights of way. See:

posted @ Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 09:33

Bogart cancels November election

Same situation in Watkinsville and North High Shoals. I guess those cities didn't send out a press release.

posted @ Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 07:37

New owner of Georgia Square Mall promises customer-driven changes

Last week I posted occupancy data on Epps Bridge Centre here:

posted @ Sunday, September 8, 2013 - 07:18

Stores set opening dates for Epps Bridge Centre

For details on the GDOT contract, go to

posted @ Friday, September 6, 2013 - 22:18

Georgia Square mall sold to offshore investor, Atlanta developer

Here is some background on the new mall in Oconee.

posted @ Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 06:01

Community gardens, Classic Center ice rink, among Tuesday topics for Athens-Clarke County commission

For a preview of the Tuesday Oconee County Board of Commissioners meeting, go to :

posted @ Monday, September 2, 2013 - 08:00

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  • Andrew

    Blog: Watching movies by myself

    Summary:  I'm not saying it's lonely to be a movie critic, but we often find ourselves seated alone in an empty theatre when we're watching new stuff. I know people who say they won't go see anything unless they have at least one other person to go with, but I've always enjoyed having the place to myself. I'm not saying it's lonely to be a movie critic, but we often find ourselves seated alone in an empty theatre when we're watching new stuff. I know people who say they won't go see anything unless they have at least one other person to go with, but I've always enjoyed having the place to myself. read more

  • Jim

    No cartoons on racism

    As you might imagine, the vast majority of the editorial cartoons available these days for publication through the syndicate which supplies cartoons to the Athens Banner-Herald/OnlineAthens are addressing the situation in Ferguson, Mo., where the fatal shooting of a black teen by a white police officer has touched off a number of demonstrations -- some peaceful, but many not at all peaceful, with tear gas fired by police officers and gunshots fired by some protester. read more

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