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Campfire restrictions in place in some wilderness areas

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (Oct. 28, 2016) – Effective immediately, there is a campfire restriction on multiple Georgia Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD).

 

“Due to the lingering and continued drought conditions, there is elevated risk of wildfire in north and central Georgia,” said John Bowers, Chief of WRD Game Management. “Suspending the use of campfires on WMAs minimizes the risk of dangerous wildfires that threaten public safety and our forest resources. This action is consistent with the policy recently established for National Forest Lands by the USDA Forest Service and is supported by the Georgia Forestry Commission.”

 

Until further notice, hunters and visitors to the WMAs named below must refrain from building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire (note: commercially available fuel stoves are excluded from restriction):

 

Allatoona, Arrowhead, B.F. Grant, Berry College, Blanton Creek, Broad River, Buck Shoals, Clybel, Conasauga River, Coosawattee, Coosawattee – Carter’s Lake, Crockford-Pigeon Mountain, Dawson Forest, Elbert County, Fishing Creek, Hart County, J.L. Lester, Joe Kurz, Lower Broad River, Lula Bridge, McGraw Ford, Oconee, Otting, Paulding Forest, Pine Log, Rich Mountain (state-owned tracts), Sheffield, Soap Creek, West Point, Wilson Shoals and Zahnd.

 

WMAs located on Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest land are subject to the fire restriction policy established by the USDA U.S. Forest Service, which dictates that campfires are restricted to developed recreation areas only, and confined within receptacles designed for fire in developed campsites. More information can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/conf/alerts-notices.

 

For more information on Georgia WMAs, visit www.georgiawildlife.com/Hunting/WMAnews.

Uncool trick: Halloween slasher hits Arbor Hills home

halloween-slasherAn Arbor Hills residents got a nasty trick, no treat, this Halloween when her front yard inflatables were vandalized early Thursday morning. She is shown cleaning up her destroyed decorations accumulated over the past 20 years.

 

The Arbor Hills home of Joan Anderson was vandalized around 3 a.m. Thursday morning, October 27th when someone slashed four of her Halloween-themed yard decorations. The perpetrator has yet to be apprehended but did approximately $500 in damage to the home’s decorations - which have been accumulated over 20 years and are put up each year for the enjoyment of neighborhood kids.

Grading could begin at Dollar General site this week

UPDATED November 2 -- Grading equipment is on site and erosion control work being performed ahead of grading.

 

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Hundreds of Pickens residents have been up in arms about the proposed Dollar General on Cove Road, but permits are now in place for the project to move forward.

     According to Pickens County Planning & Development Director Richard Osborne, grading is expected to begin at the end of this week at a Dollar General site at the corner of Cove and Grandview roads. 

     Osborne said his office issued land disturbance permit for the project on October 20. 

     See full story in this week's print or online editions.

County considers another budget increase

Proposed budget to be presented at next work session
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Pickens County Commissioners Rob Jones, Becky Denney and Jerry Barnes during a recent millage rate hearing.
    Following heated public outcry last month when commissioners raised the millage rate to fund their 2016 budget, hearings last week to discuss the 2017 budget indicate commissioners may raise the county’s budget by $1.5 million next year.
    For three days last week, commissioners heard requests from county department heads for 2017. According to Faye Harvey, the county’s chief financial officer, the proposed 2017 budget is $25,375,000, a 6.5 percent increase over the approved 2016 budget of $23,824,000.

See this week's print or online editions for full story.

“Big push” turns up no clues for missing man

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    More than 110 trained volunteers covered 800 acres in a “big push” to find a missing 79-year-old Preserve hiker Saturday.

        One person described the area inside and around the gated Preserve at Sharp Mountain subdivision as “just searched to death.”
    And still not one clue to the whereabouts of Ben Thebaut, a 79-year-old retired surgeon who left his home on October 16 to go hiking and has not been seen since.