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Mark Miller denied bond in theft, fraud case

Miller   Jasper attorney Mark Miller was denied bond after a lengthy hearing today, Monday, June 27th in the Pickens County Courthouse.

See full story on bond hearing and Miller's defense attorney's comment in this week's Progress.

   Miller recently spent 10 days in the Gilmer jail on contempt charges and now faces a barrage of financial transaction card fraud charges, identity fraud, theft by deception, theft by conversion, and theft by taking charges here in Pickens County. He was also charged with exploitation and intimidation of disabled adult, elder person or resident. He is also accused of "racketeering activity" for the crimes. He was arrested Friday afternoon by Gilmer County deputies at his home and was being transferred to the Pickens jail, according to a statement from the Pickens sheriff about 3:30 p.m.

         Prior to denying bond, visiting Judge Richard Winegarden said he questions Miller’s “thought processes” and considers him a flight threat and a threat to the property of potential victims, as well as displaying the potential to commit additional felonies if not incarcerated.  

   The charges presented to the grand jury came from work by Pickens sheriff and district attorney investigators and the GBI. An FBI agent was also listed as a witness before the grand jury.

   The charges are the result of a year-and-a-half-long investigation, according to Sheriff Donnie Craig.

 

Joy House plans to expand

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    Entering their 15th year, Joy House founder Steve Lowe said he has never seen a bigger need for the Christian ministry operating a residential program for teens and a non-residential counseling program.
    “We have been inundated with calls,” Lowe said in an interview earlier this month.  “Something has happened, more people know about us. Our homes are full and we have a waiting list.”

Salaries bring split vote to school budget

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     The tentative schools budget passed by a slim 3-2 margin at the Thursday, June 16 school board meeting, with board members Daniel Bell and Delaine Lewis casting a no vote based mainly on salary issues with two positions in the system.

See the full story including comments from Bell and Lewis in this week's edition.

Petition opposes possible Dollar General

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    Dollar General is interested in a site on Cove Road at the corner of Grandview Road, which has many nearby residents in a panic over the possibility.

     A group of residents are up in arms over the possibility of a Dollar General being built at the corner of Grandview Road and Cove Road, with a petition circulating that has garnered hundreds of signatures as of press time.
    The uprising against the discount store comes just six months after the Pickens County Planning Commission denied a request for a parcel on the other corner of Grandview and Cove roads to be rezoned for the purpose of developing a Dollar General.

See the full story in this week's print or online edition.

Kids at Roper Park must have supervision under new policy

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When school is in session, many Pickens County Middle Schoolers walk through this culvert to get to Roper Park after they are dismissed from school --- but many of the kids are unsupervised and it has created a big problem, according to the rec director.

     Commissioners swiftly and unanimously voted to beef up rules regarding unsupervised minors at Roper Park, a situation the recreation director said was “spiraling out of control.”
    Beginning on August 1, all kids under the age of 16 will be required to have supervision at Roper Park by an adult 18 years or older. This includes all playing fields, tracks and the Pickens County Community Center. Signage will be placed around the park to alert park goers of the new policy. 

See the full story including comments from rec director Brian Jones in this week's edition.