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Pilgrim Baptist in Nelson hosts special speaker for Black History Month


Minister Joseph T. Howard.

Submitted by Rev. John H. Brown, Pastor 


      On Sunday February 22, please join Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, Nelson, Ga., as we celebrate Black History Month. The keynote speaker will be Minister Joseph T. Howard. The service will start at 11:30 a.m.

A look down the the original Hwy. 5


   A cotton gin near the original Highway 5.

By Larry Cavender

Contributing Writer

      Bisecting Pickens County from south to north is a road familiar to all local travelers, Highway 515. Of course, this traffic artery has not always existed, and before the completion of 515 in the 1980s, the main means of moving traffic through the county was another road also familiar to Pickens countians, State Highway 5, or as it is now known, Old Highway 5. 

State revenues up 3 percent in January


Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Georgia’s net tax collections for January totaled $1.86 billion, an increase of $53.9 million, or 3 percent, compared to January 2014. Year-to-date, net tax collections totaled $11.47 billion, which was an increase of $570.75 million, or 5.2 percent, compared to the previous fiscal year, when net tax revenues totaled almost $10.9 billion through seven months. Year-to-date gross tax revenues, before refunds and distributions to local governments, totaled $14.88 billion, which was an increase of $834 million, or 5.9 percent, compared to the year-to-date total of $14.05 billion in January 2014.


The changes within the following tax categories made up the majority of January’s net tax increase:
Individual Income Tax:  Individual Income Tax collections for January totaled approximately $1.06 billion, down from $1.07 billion in January 2014, for a decrease of $12.75 million, or -1.2 percent.


The following notable components within Individual Income Tax account for the net decrease:

•      Individual Withholding payments were down $18.75 million, or -2.2 percent

•      Individual Income Tax refunds issued were up $41 million, or 221.3 percent

•      Estimated payments were up nearly $31.5 million, or 16.3 percent 
•      All other Individual Tax categories including Income Tax Return payments were up $15.5 million


Sales and Use TaxGross Sales Tax collections deposited during the month totaled $1.02 billion, which was an increase of $77.25 million, or 8.2 percent, compared to FY 2014. Furthermore, net Sales Tax collections increased nearly $45.75 million, or 9.1 percent, compared to the previous year, when net Sales Tax totaled $498.75 million. The adjusted distribution of sales tax to local governments totaled $474.75 million, which was an increase of $31 million over last year’s distribution. Refunds of overpayments increased just $0.5 million year-over-year.

Corporate Income Tax:  Corporate Income Tax collections for January increased nearly $2 million, or 13.9 percent, compared to last year, when Corporate Tax revenues totaled almost $14 million.

The following notable components within Corporate Income Tax combine to make up the net increase:
•      Corporate Tax refunds issued were down roughly $1.75 million, or -10.1 percent

•      Corporate Income Tax Return payments increased $2.85 million, or 119 percent

•      Estimated payments were down $4.5 million, or -16.8 percent

•      All other Corporate Tax categories, including S-Corp and Net Worth payments, increased $1.9 million


Optimist STAR Banquet recognizes students and teachers


L-R:  (Students Seated/Teachers Standing) Brad Rutledge/Sue Gibbons, Kyle Watters/Bobby Timms, Johnson Collins/Joe Wright, Jesse Brooks/Christi Hobgood, Andrew Haygood/Michael Oubre (STAR Student & Teacher), Olivia Parker/Nikki Towery, Savannah Friedman/Gail Culbreth, Abygayle Gibson/Lisa Payne, Kari Henke/Robbie Cheatham and Ryan Evans/Lynn Cantrell. 


Submitted by Reeder Burch

      The 2015 STAR Banquet is set for Thursday evening, March 5, at Chattahoochee Technical College. The Optimist Club of Jasper is the local sponsor of the STAR Program. Andrew Haygood has been named the 2015 STAR Student of Pickens High School and he selected Mr. Michael Oubre as his STAR Teacher.

The PAGE STAR (Student Teacher Achievement Recognition) Program begins each year in participating high schools throughout Georgia when the STAR Student is named and chooses a STAR Teacher to share in this recognition. The students and teachers are honored by their schools and receive recognition in their communities from one of the more than 165 statewide civic organizations and businesses that serve as local sponsors for the STAR Program.  

Veterans Memorial Park in the works

Vet. groups meet to strengthen ties



Marine Corps League Det. #1280 Commandant Jacob Clark, American Legion Post #149 Commander Ron Wheeler and Wayne Poore (Marine Corps League and the American Legion) survey what they hope will be the site of a Veterans Memorial Park. The site is at the corner of Lee Newton Park, close to the Pickens County Senior Center. Inset: An artist rendering of the Veterans Memorial Park in the works.  


       For the men and women sitting around this particular table on this particular day, honoring veterans is serious business.

     Representatives of local veterans groups weren’t in uniform, but hats and sweaters with seals gave affiliations away. The Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion and the Marine Corps League were all bellied up, as well as the Jasper Lions Club - the civic group that has organized the Veterans Day