By Casey Parker
The regular basketball season may be over, but look out for the All-Stars from the Pickens Rec. Dept.
Rec. Dept. Director Melinda Logan said, "The season went great, with the exception of all the snow causing cancellations.”
Games for the All-Star teams start next Thursday Feb. 17, lasting until Saturday Feb. 19.
The school board has a hired an outside company to “assist” with their search for a new superintendent of Pickens County schools, following a called meeting last week.
School Board chairperson Wendy Lowe announced at the close of their regular meeting Thursday that they would use King and Cooper, a company that has worked on 27 superintendent searches in Georgia, to help find a replacement for Mike Ballew, who retired at the end of last year.
The board decided to use the outside company to help notify other school systems in Georgia and surrounding states of the vacancy as well as complete background checks of potential candidates at the called meeting.
Board Member John Trammell made clear at the regular meeting that the board is using this firm to "assist" not lead in the hiring process.
Lowe discussed how King and Cooper will be used in a followup interview. The board has also prepared a document "Superintendent of Schools Job Qualifications."
See a complete story on the superintendent search in tomorrow's print edition.
Pickens County veterans at a Memorial Day observance in 2008
"We are going to open," said Kirk Kondos, the man leading the effort to establish a VA-assisted veterans information and referral office for Pickens County. The idea of locating such an office here has been projected since last August when VA representative Ron Hackney visited Jasper to inform local veterans and interested others of the possibility.
A veterans information and referral office (a VIRO) is a county-based office manned by volunteers with the mission of advising United States military veterans on where and how to apply for benefits through the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.
There is a VA hospital on Clairmont Road in Decatur and a VA office at the same location that assists veterans in applying for all types of veterans' benefits, Hackney explained in August, but a VIRO in Pickens County could connect local veterans to information on VA services they seek while saving them the drive to metro Atlanta.
Shelves at the Community Thrift Store on Cares Drive sit empty after Christmas, the sluggish economy and winter storms.
The Pickens County Community Thrift Store was already feeling the pinch of families still reeling from Christmas debt and an unfriendly economy. Then came the “White Christmas snows” followed by the post-Christmas ice storms that locked down the area for days.
“This after-Christmas period is traditionally a slow season for donations,” explained Thrift Store founder Don Russell. “But factor in the economy and the weather and our intake is way down.”
Clean out…a cure for winter blues:
With more of winter’s freezing winds just around the corner, the need for warm clothing has never been greater. Russell suggests that this might be a good time to clean out the attic or closets, bag up those items people have been meaning to get rid of, and bring them to the Thrift Store. “If people have items they mean to donate, the time to do it is right now,” he emphasized.
Store still offers a good selection of bargains:
Students from Tate Elementary's reading bowl team celebrate their first place finish at the regional level Saturday.
The team competed against schools from across North Georgia by answering questions on books from a list used by all teams.
The team from Pickens High finished second at the high school level of the competition on the same day.
Both teams will advance to the next round in the statewide competition.