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Anger over proposed 9 percent tax increase grows


After being pressed and berated by more than 50 citizens for two hours Friday in the final hearing on a proposed 9-percent property tax increase, Commissioner Rob Jones agreed to give the budget one more look before making it official. Above, Commissioner Rob Jones presents finer points of the budget to a crowded meeting last Friday.
Jones told the crowded mid-morning gathering of citizens angry over the higher tax rate that there is little left to cut, “but we’ll go back and see what we can do.”

The citizens in attendance had a lot to say, including calling for a 20 percent cut in all county department spending. See the rest of the this story in our print and e-edition now on sale.


Also in our print and e-editions: Final chance for cuts not encouraging, says Jones


See previous story from our August 30 edition, Tax Hike Too Much, citizens tell commissioner

Grandview to be lowered for work, monitoring


   With state dam officials on hand, members of the Grandview Lake Company opened a single 8-inch valve Tuesday morning, starting a gradual lowering of the scenic lake.

   Peter Wilcox, president of the Grandview Lake Company, said they will lower the water level about 8 feet to allow more detailed monitoring of the earthen dam built in 1946.


See details on the work in our print edition and e-editions now on sale

Deadline draws close for local writing contest



The Sassafras Literary Exchange’s Adult Writing Contest has been extended through September 15.  Be sure to enter before the deadline! Winners will be announced at the Pickens County Marble Festival the first weekend in October.  Entries of 1,500 words or less of Fiction, Non-Fiction, or Poetry submitted by applicants 18 years old or older will be accepted.

The theme of this year’s contest is: “Marble through the Ages”.  Submissions should mention marble and its history, influence, or use during any time period; past, present, or future.   Creativity is greatly appreciated and valued by the judges.  Use your imagination as any mention of marble will qualify.

The date, time, and place for the announcement of the winners will be given in the Pickens County Progress near the end of the contest.

Sheriff's Office goes hi-tech

     Submit tips, view localized crime report map


     Have you ever wondered how safe your neighborhood really is? Or would you like the option of giving police tips on your Android or iPhone?

     Now that the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with and, Pickens residents can do just that by accessing free crime reports for their area or by submitting anonymous tips through their mobile devices.

     CrimeReports provides official sex offender information, crime events and incident information for Pickens County and surrounding areas.

     “Providing reliable, timely information to our citizens is one of our top priorities, because an informed public is a safer public,” says Pickens County Sheriff Donnie Craig. “Partnering with CrimeReports gives us the ability to keep the public informed on a regular basis as to what is going on in the community.”

     By downloading the free iPhone app you can filter crimes by location, address, crime type and date, and view them on an easy to read map that displays a different colorful icon for each crime. Registered sex offenders are also displayed on the map.

     Click on the icons to find details about each crime, including the date and charge.

     For information or for the free app download visit Using your smart-phone, scan the QR Code on the page to be directed to the app store.

     Citizens without a mobile device can access the map on the sheriff’s website as well.

     Tip Submit mobile is an app that allows citizens to submit anonymous tips to the sherriff’s office with the convenience of a mobile app.

iPhone, iPad, and Android users can download the free app from app stores. Just search TipSubmit, download and install. Then select Pickens County Sheriff’s Office as the agency and set your password.

     The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 706-253-8900.

Tax hike too much, citizens tell commissioner



At the first two of three public hearings held on a county tax increase, around 50 citizens told Commissioner Rob Jones last week they want to see the county cut spending instead of raising taxes.

Business and property owner Ralph Fitts was among those commenting both Thursday and Friday at hearings. Fitts said during the Friday hearing, “People in business and people paying taxes are suffering and have tried to cut back,” he said. “But I don’t think anyone in government realizes the extent we businesses have cut back and what we have done.

“Government has grown to an entity that it’s not cutting back at the same speed we are in business. What you are doing in government is not comparable to what we are doing in homes and businesses.”

With many of the same faces showing up to comment on the proposed 9 percent tax increase for Pickens County at the two meetings, Commissioner Rob Jones reiterated earlier statements that he had no choice but to raise the millage rate this year. Jones said the recent court ruling against the county over the tax exempt status of the Young Life camp cost $400,000, and also that declining property values played a part in forcing him to raise the millage rate by .64 mills to a total county millage of 6.9.

Jones pointed out that the county has not raised taxes in several years.