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Volunteers needed to open VA office

 

 

Vets

 Pickens County veterans at a Memorial Day observance in 2008

"We are going to open," said Kirk Kondos, the man leading the effort to establish a VA-assisted veterans information and referral office for Pickens County. The idea of locating such an office here has been projected since last August when VA representative Ron Hackney visited Jasper to inform local veterans and interested others of the possibility.

A veterans information and referral office (a VIRO) is a county-based office manned by volunteers with the mission of advising United States military veterans on where and how to apply for benefits through the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.

 

There is a VA hospital on Clairmont Road in Decatur and a VA office at the same location that assists veterans in applying for all types of veterans' benefits, Hackney explained in August, but a VIRO in Pickens County could connect local veterans to information on VA services they seek while saving them the drive to metro Atlanta.

Triple whammy impacts thrift store donations

Thrift_store

 

Shelves at the Community Thrift Store on Cares Drive sit empty after Christmas, the sluggish economy and winter storms.

 

The Pickens County Community Thrift Store was already feeling the pinch of families still reeling from Christmas debt and an unfriendly economy. Then came the “White Christmas snows” followed by the post-Christmas ice storms that locked down the area for days.

“This after-Christmas period is traditionally a slow season for donations,” explained Thrift Store founder Don Russell.  “But factor in the economy and the weather and our intake is way down.”

Clean out…a cure for winter blues:

With more of winter’s freezing winds just around the corner, the need for warm clothing has never been greater. Russell suggests that this might be a good time to clean out the attic or closets, bag up those items people have been meaning to get rid of, and bring them to the Thrift Store. “If people have items they mean to donate, the time to do it is right now,” he emphasized.

Store still offers a good selection of bargains:

Two dead in home invasion

Press Release from Sheriff Donnie Craig

Wednesday at approximately 12:25 a.m., the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home invasion on Longswamp Church Road. Upon arrival, it was found that one person was dead on the scene from apparent gunshot wounds. Her husband also had multiple gunshot wounds and was transported immediately to Kennestone Hospital in Kennesaw Georgia. Once at the hospital, the second victim was also pronounced dead.

 

At this time, names are not being released until family members can be contacted.

 

Detectives from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office are working a joint case with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations at this time.

 

Sheriff Craig said he will release more informatin as it becomes available.

Above, the Pickens Coroner vehicle and a GBI crime scene unit at the home of a double slaying Wednesday in the Longswamp Church area.

 

Chronology of All Stories on case

Chronology of other stories:

 Two Dead in Home Invasion-- February 9, 2011

Son in Law Arrested in Double Murder Wednesday --   February 9, 2011

Son in Law confessed to GBI agent in double murder case, according to first court hearing-- February 11, 2011

Death Penalty Sought for Ben Thomas Abbott -- June, 15, 2011 print edition for full story 

Abbott pleads not guilty to in-laws’ murder September 2011

Abbott shows no remorse -- reprint from Times Courier

Son-in-law arrested in double murder Wednesday

Press Release from Sheriff Donnie Craig

On February 9, 2011 at approximately 12:25 am, the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home invasion on Long Swamp Church Road in the east side of Pickens County. Upon arrival, it was found that one person was dead on the scene from apparent gunshot wounds. Her husband also had multiple gunshot wounds and was transported immediately to Kennestone Hospital in Kennesaw Georgia. Once at the hospital, the second victim passed away.

The victims were Raymond Campbell, age 55, and Cynthia Campbell, age 53.


The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office began working a joint case with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations immediately. Through the investigation, an arrest has been made. Ben Thomas Abbott, the son-in-law of both victims, has been charged with two counts of Murder at this time.



Due to the nature of an ongoing investigation, we are not able to release any more information, stated Sheriff Donnie Craig.

 

Chronology of other stories:

 Two Dead in Home Invasion-- February 9, 2011

Son in Law Arrested in Double Murder Wednesday --   February 9, 2011

Son in Law confessed to GBI agent in double murder case, according to first court hearing-- February 11, 2011

Death Penalty Sought for Ben Thomas Abbott -- June, 15, 2011 print edition for full story 

Abbott pleads not guilty to in-laws’ murder September 2011

Abbott shows no remorse -- reprint from Times Courier

Tate Elementary wins regional reading bowl

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Students from Tate Elementary's reading bowl team celebrate their first place finish at the regional level Saturday.

The team competed against schools from across North Georgia by answering questions on books from a list used by all teams.

The team from Pickens High finished second at the high school level of the competition on the same day.

Both teams will advance to the next round in the statewide competition.