Thirty students were sent home from Pickens Middle School Thursday following head lice inspections.
Speaking during a break in the monthly school board meeting last night, Principal Chris LeMieux said the school checked all students in grades 6 and 7, using the school nurse and others to assist, and that they were planning to continue the inspection in 8th grade today.
Students who were found to have lice or nits were sent home with directions from the nurse and then asked to return on Friday for a re-inspection.
The lice problem affected students in all grades and classes.
Although there have been lice problems at campuses before, PCMS faculty said they had never seen it this widespread among the student population.
“These critters don’t discriminate,” the principal said.
LeMieux said there had been problems at the first of school years in the past, but previously the outbreaks were restricted to only some classes.
LeMieux speculated that this year the problem was more widespread due to the number of kids attending summer camps. He said the outbreak could have started at one of the summer events and is now spreading with students back in the classroom
Attendance Officer Shelley Cantrell, also speaking during the break, said at this point, the overall situation at Pickens Middle, and to some extent at Tate Elementary, isn’t affecting attendance rates, but she is keeping a close eye on all the cases.
She said if the lice got a good head start on some student heads and infested their homes as well it can be difficult to eliminate them. Cantrell said the supplies for a full home treatment are fairly expensive. As attendance officer, she will provide supplies for families that can’t afford them and will even make home visits to offer input on eliminating the lice.
“It can be a real ordeal for families,” she said. “You can’t just treat the kid, you have to treat the whole family.”
She said families have to do more than wash the students’ hair. Sprays for furniture, washing all bedding and other precautions must be followed.
The letter noted, “Lice outbreaks are very common among school children. Head lice do not carry any disease, and their presence does not indicate a lack of cleanliness.”
LeMieux said the only real health concern is that they are irritating by the itching and “there are hurt feelings” among students found to have lice.
The principal said they used a microscope in the nurse’s office to show skeptical parents the lice from students’ hair.
Cantrell said if they clear the problem up with no new cases for 21 days, then they would likely have eliminated the problem from the campus.
Owner Hans Rueffert asks for support during transition
The second-generation owner of the Woodbridge Inn announced earlier this month that the historic restaurant/inn on the north end of Jasper’s Main Street is for sale.
Hans Rueffert, who purchased the Woodbridge with his wife, Amy, from his parents in 2009, said he had hoped to continue the traditions of the Woodbridge, but health problems have forced him to put the Jasper icon up for sale.
“I wrestled with the decision for three months before we put it on the market,” Rueffert said. “I grew up in the restaurant – literally. But my health has reached a point where there isn’t much choice.”
(Back L-R) Kerrie Lee, Kelsie Gilbert, Christina Farron, Makaila Caylor, Carly Culverhouse, Anslee Busby; (Front L-R) Peyton Williamson, Carson Veal, Lexi Bowen and Kati McClure with Governor Nathan Deal.
By Michelle McClures
Miss Pickens County Director
There is more to being a beauty queen than smiling and wearing a crown. It’s my (Miss Pickens County Director Michelle McClure’s) belief that pageants help girls build self- esteem, confidence, friendships and community involvement.
Miss Pickens County was rewarded for their volunteer work and community involvement at the Governor’s Office with a meet and greet with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. Thank you to Kerrie Lee, Kelsie Gilbert, Christina Farron, Makaila Caylor, Carly Culverhouse, Anslee Busby, Peyton Williamson, Carson Veal, Lexi Bowen and Kati McClure for showing involvement and pride in our community.
Miss Pickens County members have volunteered at fundraisers to benefit sick children and the needy. They donated time, money and support to public safety, volunteered time and talents to local nursing homes and collected and donated food to Pickens County food banks. I (Michelle McClure) and MPC Royalty will be presenting a check for new football uniforms to Pickens County Middle School at their annual tail gate party.
To request appearances and volunteers or to view upcoming pageants and events go to www.misspickenscounty.com
Work began on grading the new parking lot area for the courthouse approximately two months ago. Ultimate plans are for a lighted walkway to lead from the parking area near the Piggly Wiggly up Court Street to the courthouse.
Barring any unforeseen setbacks, county officials expect early stages of construction on the Pickens County Courthouse renovation to begin in spring 2012.
This announcement comes more than three years after the SPLOST passed in February 2008, when voters approved $17 million for courthouse renovations and another $2.7 million for parking and debt service for the courthouse.
According to Pickens County Courthouse Project Manager Thurman Slone, all department heads with the Pickens judicial system have signed off on tentative courthouse plans, or schematics, which were drafted by Bruce Jennings of JKH Architects.
“This is where we lay out the space for the rooms and offices to make certain everyone has adequate space for operations,” Slone said.
Pickens County Chief Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver, District Attorney Joe Hendricks, Chief Magistrate Judge Allen Wigington and Probate Judge Rodney Gibson have all signed off on these tentative plans, Slone said.
Sheriff Donnie Craig said he has met with Slone and Jennings regarding the schematics but that he has not yet signed off. Craig said he requested a copy of drawn plans for his review and that he plans to meet with Slone and Jennings in the next week.
Vered Kleinberger, director of Jasper-based Educational Excursions, recently received word that her non-profit could win $10,000 from the Pepsi Refresh Project --- but she needs help from you.
“I really love the concept of Pepsi Refresh because it’s the community supported projects that get funded,” she said. “They are chosen based on votes from the community rather than being chosen by a board of directors.”