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Editorials - Pickens Progress Online


Gov. Deal’s legislation regulating video poker machines awaiting signature

Opponents say convenience store casinos should be banned, not taxed

By Pam O’Dell,

Capitol Reporter

                  Governor Nathan Deal’s bill to regulate and tax class B gaming machines passed the Senate last Thursday ­­­35 to 16.  Class B machines are the video games often lining the back wall of convenience and liquor stores. The bill has passed the House and will likely be signed by the Governor.

     It was evident from hours of debate that few senators liked the bill. However, a no vote for a bill belonging to the Governor usually has considerable political consequences for any legislator.  Opposing senators from both parties created an atmosphere of confusion and obstruction, throwing up more than ten amendments - intended to communicate their displeasure -before finally voting along party lines.

    HB 487 puts the Georgia Lottery Corporation in charge of enforcing gaming law and gives the lottery up to ten percent of the proceeds of Class B machine profits to fund colleges and Pre-K programs.

Rep. Graves and Rep Collins: "Why We’re Still Working To Stop Obamacare"



By Rep. Tom Graves and Rep. Doug Collins

      We remain optimistic that Obamacare can and will be repealed. While the 2012 election results and the Supreme Court decision might seem to suggest otherwise, it’s important to remember that the law has just begun to take effect. In fact, Obamacare won’t be in full force until 2014.


Star Banquet to recognize academic success




The 2013 STAR Banquet is set for Feb. 28, at Chattahoochee Technical College.

The Optimist Club of Jasper is the local sponsor of the STAR Program.

Mollie Shaw has been named the 2013 STAR Student of Pickens High School and she chose Debbie Grimes as her STAR Teacher.



Students - sitting (l-r): Eleanor Boothe, Elizabeth Ray, Mollie Shaw - 2013 STAR Student, Christopher Leicht, Taylor Boggus, Amber Shields, Rebecca Hyatt, David Lee, Brett Robertson, Gabriel Lott; teachers (l-r): Marcia Wright, Lynn Cantrell, Debbie Grimes - 2013 STAR Teacher (not pictured), Gail Culbreth, Tammy Duncan, Kevin Jacobs, Rodney Martin, Will Nix, Angela Quarles, Tony Young.


Steven Wilkie – PHS Teacher and Yearbook advisor / PHOTO


See complete story in this week's edition.


Pickens/Gilmer alumni football game coming up


The Pickens and Gilmer alumni football game will be held Saturday, March 9, at 7 p.m. at Huff Mosley Stadium in Gilmer County.

It is very important that you buy presell tickets. Half of the money goes to Pickens Touchdown Club and JYSA. We do not get any of the money from the gate, it goes to Alumni Football USA. Tickets are available at Jasper Drugs, Community Bank and Pickens Alumni players. Come out and support your players from the ’80s to 2011. Kids under 6 get in free.


Sen. Gooch Named Chairman of Transportation Committee



Sen. Steve Gooch (R- Dahlonega) has been named Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee for the 2013 - 2014 term by the SenateCommittee on Assignments.


“A strong transportation infrastructure is needed in order to encourage economic development investment and expansion in Georgia. As a former DOT board member and previous secretary of the Senate Transportation Committee, I have been involved in many discussions about the transportation needs of Georgia, and I am looking forward to continuing those discussions with my Senate colleagues,” said Sen. Gooch.


[See article on a recent talk with Senator Gooch and State Rep. Rick Jasperse in this week's print and e-edition now on sale.]