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Emergency crews urge caution with heat wave

Cooling center opens at Roper Park



Pickens County EMA will treat the next 72 hours as a potential heavy-call period with a heat wave expected to send temperatures into the triple digits.

Fire Chief Bob Howard said they would handle this as an operation, with additional manpower and will closely monitor the volume of calls coming into 911 to take further steps as needed.

The county will open the community center at Roper Park from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. through Sunday as a cooling station. Pets are not allowed. 

“We’ll have it as a place to come and sit and cool down,” he said.

The county will issue a code red alert on the heat wave, asking all residents to be very careful in the heat, drink plenty of water and don’t leave pets or kids in cars.


Howard said they had been in contact with staff at the senior center to see that elderly are covered with fans if they lack air conditioning. Howard said the people at the senior center said they were all covered they felt.

Of particular concern is the fair and other activities planned for the weekend. Howard said the city of Jasper crews will be monitoring the fair at Lee Newton Park for heat problems.




Beat the Heat with Tips from Pickens County EMA
and Ready Georgia

A scorching heat wave will arrive in earnest this weekend, with temperatures expected to soar into the triple digits in many parts of Georgia. Extreme heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the U.S, claiming approximately 400 lives across the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so it is best to prepare now to reduce your risk of heat-related illness.

Ball Ground man arrested for sex charges involving children

From Cherokee Sheriff's Office


Cherokee Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested a Ball Ground man Wednesday for sexually assaulting 2 juveniles under the age of five. Daniel Baxter, 27 years of age, is charged with 1 count of Rape, 2 counts of Aggravated Child Molestation, 2 Counts of Aggravated Sodomy, and 2 counts of Sexual Battery. The incident was reported to the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday.

Although not related, the victims were acquainted with Baxter. Detectives are unaware of any other victims at this time. Anyone who has children that have been around Baxter can call investigators at 770-928-0239 to report any concerns they may have.

Baxter remains in the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center without bond.

Pond owners warned about potentially deadly algae blooms

 UGA researchers tie toxic algae to cattle deaths in Gwinnett County


UGA graduate student Jamie Morgan tests the water in an algae-filled pond on Bill Atkinson’s farm in Dacula.


From UGA news service


University of Georgia researchers have determined that toxic algae killed four cows on a cattle farm in Gwinnett County. A recent perfect storm created the right conditions for a toxic algae bloom in ponds, they say, warning property owners to be vigilant about keeping livestock and pets out of water that has become discolored or opaque.

The toxic algae has been found in at least one other pond less than 10 miles from Atkinson Farms in Dacula, and researchers say it is very possible these are not isolated incidents.

Work continues on courthouse

Pouring of basement foundation footings at courthouse construction site, Friday, June 22. Old Crust restaurant building in background. Marble Courthouse Annex at left.


Installing underground utilities; preparing footings for the basement area; renovating the existing structure––so Courthouse Project Manager Thurman Slone characterized present progress of courthouse construction Thursday, June 21.

 That sounded somewhat understated, given a look and listen at the building site, then teeming with workmen and heavy equipment. Supplies arrived regularly by truckload, admitted through gates in the tall blue fence that partially hides activity going on inside.

See complete update on the work in this week's print edition or e-edition.


House set for demolition after owner completes without county building inspections or approvals

On May 21st, the county marshal, following orders from the county’s building and development department, asked tenants at a rental house on Reavis Mountain Road to move out within 30 days, as the house was condemned. This marks the first time a case involving building codes has ever reached the point of possible demolition in Pickens County. It did not happen quickly, as the inspections office has been familiar with owner Claude Beaver and this house since 2005 when construction began without a building permit.


See complete story in this week's print edition or e-edition.