REVISED -- Pickens voters followed statewide trends fairly closely in the presidential primary vote yesterday giving Newt Gringrich 55 percent of the 5,137 votes cast here.
Statewide unofficial results showed Gingrich with a slightly lower winning percentage at about 50 percent of the votes. Gingrich who represented Georgia in Congress for 20 years was considered the likely victor going into the race in this state, which awards all it delegates to the top finisher.
The unofficial results in Pickens County were:
Newt Gingrich 2,759 votes (55 percent); Mitt Romney 1,183 votes (23 percent) Rick Santorum 797 votes (16 percent) Ron Paul 280 votes (6 percent).
None of the other candidates received more than 10 votes here.
Crews began demolition on the Pickens County Courthouse Friday afternoon, tearing a large hole in the rear leg of the l-shaped structure. The entire rear portion will be demolished and a new and much larger addition will be constructed. The front portion of the building will be renovated. The project is expected to be completed in 18-24 months.
“More a stupid choice than a violent tendency,” says sheriff
The two Pickens High School students involved in the pipe bomb case did not have any plans to use it on other students, the school or any public area, according to the investigation of Pickens sheriff officers Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Sheriff Donnie Craig said this was more a case of “a stupid decision than a violent tendency.” Craig and a contingent of uniformed officers were on campus Thursday to answer questions and re-assure students and parents that everything at the high school “was as normal as possible.”
Craig said the two students, both 17-year-olds, have been arrested in connection with the small pipe bomb that was discovered after one student returned home from school Wednesday with it.
The sheriff said it was a case of one kid “basically tinkering and another kid thinking it was pretty cool.”
The first student brought it to school to give to the second student who had planned to take it home and “see what it would do,” the sheriff said.
“There were no threats and no plans, [for using it against other students],” the sheriff said.
Sheriff officers and nearby agencies thoroughly searched the school, buses and the residences of both students Wednesday night but didn’t find any other explosive materials.
Craig described the pipe bomb as a fairly simple, small device that would have been ignited by lighting a fuse.
“The only person that would have been hurt was the kid trying to set it off,” the sheriff said.
The sheriff said any member of the community could call his office at 706-253-8900 if they had further questions or concerns.
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The Pickens Sheriff Office announced Thursday morning that a second student had been arrested with charges stemming from the pipe bomb that was found at the residence of a Pickens High student Wednesday afternoon.
A press release from the sheriff Thursday morning stated, "The device was located at the residence of a student of Pickens High School. Deputies arrived at the residence and identified what appeared to be a pipe bomb. It was discovered that one student made the bomb at home and brought it to school to give to the other student who was planning on taking it home to detonate it on his parent’s property."
Authorities arrested both students. Both students, age 17, are currently being held by the Pickens Sheriff’s Office and charges are pending in the case."