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Jones wins re-election as commission chair

Incumbent Commission Chair Rob Jones handily won re-election Tuesday, making him the longest sitting top official in the modern history of this county.

Jones has previously won twice as sole commissioner and this marks twice as the commission chair. He defeated Bill Newton three of the times, including Tuesday where Jones took 2,384 votes to Newton’s 1,598.  Jones received 60 percent of the votes cast.

Following the outcome, Jones said “his job” is what he credits for his long popularity with voters. He said he has always worked hard for the county and treated everyone fairly and he believed that voters recognize that.

Jones said he felt “very blessed that the people have kept me in office.”  

Jones called this race heated and stressful on his family and county employees. He said comments made by others in the campaign had been “unacceptable.”

The election saw one of the lowest turnouts in any major election in the county as far back as poll watchers could recall with slightly less than 4,000 of the nearly 20,000 registered voters casting ballots. Exact turnout figures were not available on Tuesday.

In other races: the school board post 1 will see a runoff with Katherine White taking 44 percent of the vote against Mike Cowart's 39 percent. Larry Cantrell got 17 percent. White had 1,692 votes to Cowart’s 1,514.

Darrin Satterfield handily won the office of tax commissioner with 77 percent of the vote (2,830 votes) to David Leister’s 23 percent (852).

Mark Godfrey also won by a wide margin in the coroner race taking 72 percent of the vote (2,700 votes) over Bradley McKinney’s 27 percent (1,026).

In an odd quirk, as of election night, 45 votes remained not included in the official tally as a problem with one card in a machine could not be entered into the system.

Election officials noted that there were not enough votes there to affect any outcome. The “corrupt” card shut down the count for some time while officials worked on the machine and card.



Duncan resigns as Chamber president


Search underway for replacement


     Statement from Pickens County Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors - Denise Duncan resigned as President of the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce effective Friday, May 20, 2016. The Board of Directors would like to express our appreciation for Denise's service to the Chamber, its members, and our community and we wish her well in her future endeavors. Members of the board will work with current staff on an interim basis to handle the day-to-day operations and to ensure that members’ needs are being met. A committee will be formed to begin a search to fill this position. We ask for the patience and the support of our members during this transition, and we pledge to take this opportunity to make the Chamber developed by Denise's leadership even better.


Opioid epidemic in N. Ga. prompts congressman to offer resource guide for families


     Congressman Collins shared a comprehensive addiction resources toolkit to help families in the Ninth District of Georgia and across the state to address the issues associated with opioid addiction. The guide is now available through the Congressman’s district office in Gainesville, and on the Congressman’s website.

McDonald's facelift inside and out

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Damon Howell / Photo
Hold the mayo - Renovations to completely update the interior and exterior of the Jasper McDonald’s are expected to last four weeks.

    An Egg McMuffin will have to wait a few weeks at your local Jasper McDonald’s. The long anticipated construction began early Monday morning as the facility was surrounded by contractors and equipment. This landmark local gathering spot was originally constructed in 1989 and has received several renovations during its tenure as a hub for the community and supporter of local athletics, clubs, scout troops, and churches. 

Pickens’ buses safest in state

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Damon Howell / Photo
    Pickens Schools Bus Shop & Fleet Supervisor Tracy Allday, right, with his trusted team of technicians. Pictured are (l to r) Nathan Hamby, Joel Collis and Shane Chadwick, with Allday.

    Pickens parents who send their children to school on a bus can rest assured they’re in good hands, because the local system was the top ranking bus fleet in terms of safety in Georgia this year.
    “This is a great accomplishment,” Pickens Schools Director of Maintenance and Operations Stacey Gilleland told the school board at their recent meeting, May 12th.