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Tucker Observer: Dive bar requires vaccinations; elections heating up

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Tucker Observer: Dive bar requires vaccinations; elections heating up

Billy Bob’s New Secrets owner Walter “Bill” Brown. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Here’s a look at news from the Tucker Observer, a new website from Decaturish.com covering Tucker, Clarkston and Stone Mountain.

Some customers bolt after Tucker dive bar requires proof of vaccine to enter

Tucker, GA — A bar on Lawrenceville Highway is requiring patrons to show their vaccination cards and IDs upon entering.

It’s a decision that hasn’t gone over well with everyone who frequents Billy Bob’s New Secrets, the little dive bar tucked into a strip mall that’s become an unassuming watering hole for locals.

It’s owned by Walter “Bill” Brown, a man who has called Tucker home for 31 years. He said he’s taken flack for his decision to require proof of vaccination and has lost some customers over the decision, he said.

Running a food service business during a pandemic can be complicated, at times. But Brown said requiring vaccines was a simple call.

To read the full story, click here.

Man arrested after being accused of removing mayoral campaign signs in Tucker

Tucker City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Tucker, GA — An argument over the removal of campaign signs in Tucker ended in the arrest of one person on Friday afternoon, Sept. 17, at the BP station near Hugh Howell Road and US-78.

Dekalb County Police confirmed the arrest of Giancarlos Tsitsilianos, who was charged with simple battery and criminal damage in the first degree.

Tsitsilianos was allegedly removing signs for Tucker mayoral candidate Robin Biro when Smoke Rise resident Correll Bilbrew asked him to stop. Bilbrew had placed the signs one day prior with permission from the gas station owner, Malik Waliyani.

To read the full story, click here.

Report of campaign sign theft in Clarkston leads to arrest warrant for candidate

Candidate Dean Moore, left, filed a police report that led to a warrant being issued against Larry McClam, right.

Clarkston, GA — The Nov. 2 election in Clarkston just got hotter after the Police Department accused one candidate of stealing the campaign signs of another candidate.

The case stems from a report made by candidate Dean Moore regarding theft of his campaign signs. The Police Department has obtained a warrant against the accused, candidate Larry McClam, on a charge of theft by taking. But McClam maintains he is innocent and asked that Clarkston Police release the video footage that allegedly proves his guilt.

“The bottom line is, everybody is innocent until proven guilty,” McClam told the Tucker Observer. “Unfortunately, sometimes you’re guilty until proven innocent. I’m just looking forward to pleading my case. I never imagined you’d take all these resources off the street to get into a political race with no concrete proof. It’s important for this campaign for people to know the truth.”

To read the full story, click here.

Tucker Planning Commission denies part of Chick-Fil-A plan due to pedestrian safety

A site plan for a new Chick-fil-A on Hugh Howell Road

Tucker, GA — A proposal by Chick-Fil-A to relocate less than a quarter of a mile down Hugh Howell Road has drawn more questions than answers.

In a Sept. 16 meeting, Tucker Planning Commission reviewed the application to relocate the fast-food restaurant to 4435 Hugh Howell, at the corner of Rosser Terrace, the lot where Greater Good BBQ was formerly operating.

Plans show access from Hugh Howell Road would be closed, driving all traffic to one entrance/exit on Rosser Terrace.  The plans include widening of Rosser Terrace from Hugh Howell to the entrance. A traffic light is not proposed because Hugh Howell falls under the jurisdiction of Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).

To read the full story, click here.

Tucker City Council agrees to pay $1.2 million for land owned by Cofer family

City Council met on Sept. 27 for a work session, followed by a special called meeting.

Tucker, GA — The city of Tucker is purchasing four parcels of land for $1.2 million to add greenspace and trail access to downtown. City Council unanimously approved the deal after the third consecutive executive session for real estate purposes.

Main Street serves as the city’s prime event space for celebrations like Tucker Day, Taste of Tucker, Tucker Cruise-In, fireworks and more.

Adding the parcels at Second Avenue at Railroad is a step toward completing the Tucker Downtown Master Plan, which was adopted in December 2020. The vision is to create a walkable, active downtown that supports retail and office uses and enhances the connectivity and vibrancy of downtown Tucker, according to the Downtown Master Plan.

To read the full story, click here.

Major changes coming to Mountain Industrial interchange in Tucker

The intersection at Mountain Industrial Boulevard at US-78 has the highest number of traffic accidents in the city, Crash data shows nearly 1,000 accidents in a five-year period, resulting in 262 injuries at the intersection. The area is a known location for unsheltered people. Image obtained via Google Maps

Tucker, GA — An agreement with Tucker Summit CID could bring major changes to the Mountain Industrial Boulevard corridor.

At Tucker City Council meeting on Sept. 13, City Engineer Ken Hildebrandt detailed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) to redesign Mountain Industrial Boulevard at US-78. Proposed changes include realignment of on/off ramps at US-78, improvements to lighting and traffic signals, U-turn enhancements for tractor trailers and a median with landscaping between Greer Circle and Elmdale Drive. The IGA was approved unanimously.

“This will be the largest transportation project we’ve had since our inception,” said Hildebrandt.

The intersection at Mountain Industrial Boulevard at US-78 has the highest number of traffic accidents in the city, said Hildebrandt. Crash data shows nearly 1,000 accidents in a five-year period, resulting in 262 injuries at the intersection.

To read the full story, click here.

Robin Gomez departing as Clarkston City Manager, getting $62k severance

Robin Gomez. Photo obtained via the city of Clarkston

Clarkston, GA — Clarkston City Manager Robin Gomez will be leaving his position effective September 17.  Director of Planning and Development Shawanna Qawiy will be the interim city manager, pending her review of a contract with the city.

The announcement was made during the Sept. 7 City Council meeting. The reasons for Gomez’ departure are unclear. According to a copy of the separation agreement obtained by the Tucker Observer, Gomez will get a severance of $61,800.

Gomez confirmed the authenticity of the document, but said he couldn’t talk about why he’s leaving, whether he has a job lined up or what’s in the agreement.

“I can’t comment on anything related to the separation agreement,” Gomez said.

To read the full story, click here.

20 restaurants return to Main Street for Taste of Tucker

BriAnna, 10, and Mallory, 8, blow bubbles in the pop-up alley off Main Street during Tucker Day 2021 on Saturday, Sept. 4. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Tucker, GA — Taste of Tucker is returning to Main Street on Oct. 2 with local restaurants and live music from 1-6 p.m. About 5,000 people are expected to attend this year. Main Street will be closed to vehicles.

“After the last year and half, a somewhat return to normalcy and being able to support the community is very exciting. I can’t wait to be back on Main Street and see the community,” said Art Wood, founder of Taste of Tucker.

The event, 12 years running, is a fundraiser for Camp Kudzu, NETWorks Cooperative Ministry and Old Town Tucker Merchants Association. Camp Kudzu is especially important to the Wood family because one of their children lives with Type 1 diabetes.

To read the full story, click here.

The Tucker Observer is a new community news website owned by Decaturish.comWe provide locally sourced news about Tucker, Clarkston and Stone Mountain.

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