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Rabies vaccinations save the day for Townsend Road dogs

Proud owners of eight dogs, Phillip and Julie Tippens sit on the porch of their home with some of the dogs which killed the rabid raccoon.Damon Howell / Photo


It was one of the “good stories” said Jan Stephens of the county Environmental Health Department.

A beloved group of family dogs killed a rabid raccoon without suffering injury. All the dogs were up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations, so booster shots were given, and all the animals are still running around the Townsend Road home of Phillip and Julie Tippens.

According to Ms. Tippens, her eight family dogs are a “wide variety” of rescue animals. Some were likely dumped at their residence. Others appear to have just shown up.

All the “funny mixed-up family” have been spayed/neutered and, most importantly in this case, properly vaccinated against rabies.

Ms. Tippens said, from her work in an emergency room, she knows rabies is a threat to humans and pets. She has always made a point to have her animals vaccinated.

Recently hired superintendent brings competitive streak to school achievement

Profile of Dr. Ben Desper


Dr. Ben Desper, along with his wife Laura, are looking for a home here during regular work trips the new superintendent of schools for Pickens County makes from his current residence in Bartow County.

The new superintendent must work through June in Bartow’s school system before starting here full time in July.

Desper, who is mixing house hunting with work to familiarize himself with the local schools, said his new home will preferably be near the school system’s central office.

In Floyd, Habersham and Bartow counties, where Desper has worked previously in education, he looked for “places where you can see the school from the house when the leaves are off the trees.”

 Read the rest of the profile of the county's new superintendent in this week's print edition now on sale.

Employment issues top barrier for healthy Pickens families

Organizers of a community assessment on families in Pickens County speculate that employment and job issues will be the number one need identified for the forthcoming five-year plan.

At a public input meeting Monday, representatives from different social agencies discussed the 2013-2018 Comprehensive Plan for the Advancement of Families and Children in Pickens County.

This effort will identify the top “barriers” families here face and will work to develop strategies to address these barriers  over the next several years.

Pickens Family Connections is hoping for a broad range of input, setting a goal of 500 completed surveys from all areas of the county.

“This thing can go in any direction people want,” said Matt Moore, director of Pickens Family Connections. “It just depends on the input.”

Woman arrested for falsely reporting kidnapping

Update: Woman who reported kidnapping arrested for filing false report

Lisa Bode, 44 years old of Ball Ground, who reported that she was kidnapped on Interstate 575 Monday afternoon was located overnight in Fannin County. After interviewing Bode investigators charged her with False Report of a Crime and Giving False Statements. She is currently in the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center with an $11,880.00 bond.

It appears Bode was dealing with numerous personal problems which lead to her fabricating the abduction story, according to a press release from the Cherokee Sheriff's office.


Cherokee County Sheriff Office Press release

Cherokee detectives are asking for assistance from the public in locating a kidnapping victim. Lisa Bode, 44 years old of Ball Ground, called Cherokee 911 at approximately 2pm today and told dispatchers she had been kidnapped after her car broke down on Interstate 575 near the Cherokee – Pickens County line.

Bode stated she was put in the trunk of a gold car by a white male who then drove her south on Interstate 575.

Bode’s black Ford Explorer was located on Interstate 575 southbound just inside Cherokee County. Anyone with any information is urged to call 911 or investigators at 770-928-0239. As this is an ongoing investigation, the 911 tape will not be released at this time.