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Two school principals announce coming departures

PHS' McDonald announces coming retirement;

JMS' Howell announces resignation at end of school year

Today PHS Principal Eddie McDonald announced to his staff by e-mail that he will be retiring at the end of the school year.  The school board also received a resignation letter from Jasper Middle School Principal Neil Howell today. The board will act on the two letters at their next board meeting in April.

            School Board Chair Wendy Lowe said the two are not related. She said it was just an odd coincidence that both came on the same day. She said McDonald had let them know earlier he had been considering retirement, though she said they had hoped he would remain at least another year.

            She said she had been caught by surprise by Howell’s resignation, which will be effective at the end of the school year.


Blanton sentenced in Ball Ground killing

    Emotions ran high in a Cherokee County Superior Court last week when the Ball Ground woman originally charged for killing her stepfather, then leaving the body to decompose before calling police, was sentenced to 10 years in jail.
    Andrea Blanton, 46, was arrested after the Cherokee Sheriff's office was dispatched in May of 2013 to perform a welfare check on her stepfather, James Minor Reece, 77.  Authorities found Reece dead and in an advanced state of decomposition at the home on Northridge Road in Ball Ground, later learning that Blanton lived with Reece and served as his primary caregiver.
    Reece’s body was sent to the GBI crime lab where evidence of strangulation was discovered.

     See this week's print or online editions for the rest of this story.

No decision on whether county will take over animal shelter

animalshelterVolunteers at the Pickens County Animal Shelter give a shelter dog vaccinations.



Animal shelter discussion tabled

    The board of commissioners tabled making a decision about taking on management of the county animal shelter until next month’s regular meeting. 
    Following requests from Pickens County Sheriff Donnie Craig, the commissioners’ office is considering taking over the Pickens County Animal Shelter, which is currently operated by the sheriff’s office. 

Cast your vote: Boys & Girls Club closer to winning $30,000



     Voters have until this Sunday to vote online for Jan Day, director of the Boys and Girls Club of North Georgia – Gilmer County, in the Health Mart Champions of Care Challenge. Day has advanced to the final round and if she wins has designated The Boys and Girls Club of North Georgia to receive the grant money. A vote for Jan could mean important work gets done for kids in our community here in Pickens.

State school superintendent forum Thursday

    nancyjesterNancy Jester is one of the state school superintendent candidates to speaking at this Thursday's forum.

     The Pickens County Retired Educators Association will host a forum for all state school superintendent candidates March 27 at 6:30 p.m. at Chattahoochee Technical College.