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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

Tate Elementary wins regional reading bowl


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.

County cracking down on illegal dumping





“We need to raise awareness and get this under control,” says county marshal



Shown are hundreds of pounds of trash at a large illegal dumpsite on Carns Mill Road off Hwy 515.

     In the last year Pickens County Marshal Jim Harvey has written 43 citations for illegally dumping trash inside county lines.

   Now Harvey is on a mission to inform the public about the seriousness of the problem and the potential severity of littering fines and imprisonment. He also wants to encourage people to report suspicious activity if they see it to aid in future investigations.

   “We need to raise awareness and get this under control,” he said. “It’s just getting completely out of hand.” Harvey says he has been so busy pursuing illegal dumpers that he has been unable to focus on his other primary responsibility as marshal, that of collecting delinquent taxes from pre-bill mobile homes, which is says is costing the county thousands of dollars.

You can more about Harvey’s efforts in this week’s print edition.

Accessibility of elections office questioned at commissioner’s meeting

Speaking at the January commissioner’s meeting, Pickens resident and Pickens County TEA Party Public Information Officer Nancy Davis expressed concern that the future location of the Pickens County Elections & Registration Office (shown above) is not “voter friendly.”

According to Elections Supervisor Julianne Roberts, the office will be relocated from the Pickens County Administration Building on East Church Street into a building on Pioneer Road, formerly the Hair Hutch, beginning March 21 of this year.

Roberts said the office will continue to conduct the same functions it currently serves, including voter registration and early voting.


“I am handicapped, and there is insufficient parking,” Davis said, adding that the majority of parking at the former Hair Hutch is on a slant, and further that when backing out from the building, voters will be pulling into a main road with heavy traffic from Chattahoochee Technical College.

Davis said Pickens has a large senior voting population she feels will have difficulty at the new building because of its limited parking.

“It could be used as early voting, but it’s not a precinct,” Jones reminded. “Voters still have to go to their polling places. It’s not like we’re segregating anybody out.”

Pickens County Attorney Phil Landrum, III said the county opted to relocate the office following an ethics complaint filed in 2009 in which the county was accused of violating the prohibition against campaigning within 150 feet of a polling place.

Raccoon attacks jogger in city park

Jasper officials seek info on any raccoon encounters in city


A raccoon attacked a jogger early Thursday morning, Jan. 28, in the Jasper City Park near the duck pond.


The small raccoon died after the jogger choked the animal to remove it from his pants leg and then held the animal to the ground using a broken umbrella a fellow jogger retrieved from a nearby trash can. A city police officer called to the scene noted the animal was dead when he arrived.


The incident left the jogger unscratched and city officials seeking more information on any other raccoon encounters in the city.


Jasper Animal Control Officer Lonnie Waters asked anyone that may have had contact with a raccoon in the park or the densely populated area around the park call Jasper City Hall at 706-253-9100.