Tax-free weekend boosts downtown Gainesville boutiques

With the new school year only days away, businesses all along the downtown Gainesville square were flooded by shoppers this weekend, every one of them in search of stylish deals provided by the Georgia’s sales tax holidays, held Saturday and Sunday.

Throughout the weekend boutiques and shops like Dress Up, District 101, Image and J.R. Crider’s had their hands full helping people of all ages find new clothes for school and work.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Hailey Pugh, a sales associate at Dress Up Boutique. Pugh was one of the many Dress Up employees that worked all day Saturday, on what they consider to be one of their busiest days of the year.

“As one of the most trafficked stores, we see a lot of people throughout the week. But this weekend we saw all of our favorite customers, plus a ton more people,” Pugh said.

She says that they haven’t looked at exactly how well the business did over the weekend yet, but that a large majority of their inventory had been sold out on Saturday.

But even some smaller stores on the square saw a big bump in sales and customer interest over the weekend. Some stores like District Clothing Co. used additional sales above and beyond the tax-free days to draw people in. Janet Watkins, a veteran employee at District Clothing Co., said that by mid-day Saturday, the small corner store had seen more than 50 additional customers and that they had made nearly a dozen sales above the normal Saturday average.

“Actually, it’s been pretty good with our sale going on. A lot more than we expected for (Saturday),” Watkins said.      

She said that normally the shop only staffs one employee on weekend days, but that in preparation for the busy days, they had added another employee.

J.R Crider’s Clothing and Apparel, another clothing shop off the square, decided to go a different route, ignoring the tax-free weekend and instead doing a “Christmas in July” sale that offered 25 percent and 40 percent off on a variety of items.

But beyond boutiques and clothing shops on the square, other businesses and restaurants did not fare so well.

According to employees at Inman Perk, business through the weekend was unaffected by the shopping frenzy, and if Avocados Restaurant co-owner Albert Lunalover is right, the tax-free weekend may have actually hurt his sales.

“Yesterday for lunch was slow, abnormally so, even today too,” said Lunalover from the almost empty dining room of his downtown restaurant on Sunday.  

Lunalover reasoned that even though people were out in the square all day, many may have been reluctant to spend more money on dining out after shopping for clothes.

“Hopefully the stores did OK, though,” Lunalover said. 

Tax-free weekend boosts downtown Gainesville boutiques

Muslims go to Catholic Mass in France, Italy for solidarity

ROUEN, France (AP) — Muslims in France and Italy flocked to Mass on Sunday, a gesture of interfaith solidarity following a drumbeat of jihadi attacks that threatens to deepen religious divisions across Europe.

Muslims go to Catholic Mass in France, Italy for solidarity

Missing 12-year-old girl has contacted mother

A 12-year-old Hall County girl last seen Wednesday morning has made contact with her mother from a blocked telephone number, according to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.


Brooklyn Smith “told her mother that she is with friends and is OK,” a press release issued Sunday states.


The sheriff’s office “has reason to believe that Brooklyn is with her biological father,” the release says. “However, we are exploring all possibilities.”


The investigation “remains active and ongoing,” and the sheriff’s office “is working diligently to assure that Brooklyn is safe and is located (as soon as possible).”


Anyone with information regarding the case can call Hall County Central Communications at 770-536-8812. Callers may remain anonymous.


Brooklyn was last seen before 2:30 a.m. Wednesday by her mother at her Hall County home getting into a dark-colored passenger car, potentially an early model of a Ford Taurus, authorities have said.


“She is considered to be at risk and believed to be in the metro Atlanta area,” according to an earlier news release.

Missing 12-year-old girl has contacted mother

Ricciardo: “Mejor es ganar, pero un segundo y un tercero está muy bien”

El australiano Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), que festejó su Gran Premio de Fórmula Uno número cien con un segundo puesto en el de Alemania, dijo hoy en Hockenheim que “mejor es ganar”, pero que “un segundo y un tercer puesto (el de su compañero holandés Max Verstappen) está muy bien”.

Ricciardo: “Mejor es ganar, pero un segundo y un tercero está muy bien”

Belasteguín y Lima obtienen su sexto título de la temporada en Gran Canaria

El argentino Fernando Belasteguín y el brasileño Pablo Lima, pareja que ocupa el primer puesto en el ránking del Circuito Mundial de Pádel, se han adjudicado hoy la primera edición del Abierto de Gran Canaria, tras superar al andaluz Francisco Navarro y al argentino Carlos Gutiérrez por 6-0 y 6-4.

Belasteguín y Lima obtienen su sexto título de la temporada en Gran Canaria

El COI considera a Río lista para los JJOO a cinco días de la inauguración

El presidente del Comité Olímpico Internacional (COI), Thomas Bach, aseguró hoy que, pese a los desafíos de última hora que pueden aparecer y a sólo cinco días de la ceremonia inaugural, Río de Janeiro está lista para organizar unos “grandes” Juegos Olímpicos.

El COI considera a Río lista para los JJOO a cinco días de la inauguración

Alonso: “Estoy contento con la primera parte del año”

El español Fernando Alonso (McLaren-Honda), doble campeón del mundo de Fórmula Uno, que concluyó duodécimo este domingo en el Gran Premio de Alemania, disputado en el circuito de Hockenheim, comentó tras la carrera que está “contento con la primera parte del año”.

Alonso: “Estoy contento con la primera parte del año”

Djokovic quiere seguir siendo la bestia negra de Nishikori

Novak Djokovic y Kei Nishikori disputarán la final del Masters 1000 de Toronto, último torneo antes de los JJOO de Río de Janeiro, en la que el serbio intentará seguir siendo la bestia negra del japonés al que ha vencido las últimas ocho veces en las que se enfrentaron en los últimos dos años.

Djokovic quiere seguir siendo la bestia negra de Nishikori

Hamilton se va de vacaciones tras reforzar liderato en casa de Rosberg

El inglés Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) reforzó su liderato al frente del Mundial de Fórmula Uno tras ganar este domingo en Hockenheim el Gran Premio de Alemania, donde su compañero y rival alemán Nico Rosberg, que falló en la salida, no pasó de un cuarto puesto que le deja a 19 puntos de su antagonista.

Hamilton se va de vacaciones tras reforzar liderato en casa de Rosberg