“We like to cheer people up and show them the world isn’t all meanness.”
By Bettina Huseby
J.H. and Johnnie Gail Allen began displaying Christmas lights to please their grandchildren, Sabrina, 12, Beverly, 10, and Cameron, 7. Every year for the past eight years it’s come out differently, mostly because Johnnie Gail can’t remember exactly what they did the year before. It’s understandable once you see the scope of their project.
Tonight, and every night through the New Year, you can go and see what 5 acres of lights really looks like. The Allens are glad when people drive by to look. The lights are on a timer, which runs from 5:30-10 p.m. on weeknights. Weekend hours run a bit later. It’s free to the public.
A UGA veterinarian changing the cast on Chief, a horse rescued by Equine Advocates of North GA. The local non-profit is holding a fundraiser at Sacketts this weekend, Dec. 15-16.
“It just blows my mind how hard she works for these horses,” said Cindy Decker, a Pickens-based jewelry artist who has decided to donate all her profits, every red cent, to Lynley Edwards and the Equine Advocates of North GA. “I’ve found my mission for my jewelry-making endeavor.”
Decker found a common love for horses in Edwards, who she says operates the non-profit in Ball Ground with a thunder in her soul and a gallop in her step.
Authorities Cracking Down During the Holidays To Avoid Increase in Traffic Fatalities
In recent years, Georgia has always used the holiday season to reinforce the state’s zero tolerance policy for impaired driving. If you’re over the limit, you’re under arrest. It’s that simple.
However, the end of 2012 has brought a new sense of urgency for Georgia besides battling the Christmas shopping crowds and making New Year’s resolutions. That’s because for the first time in 6 years, Georgia is on track to experience an increase in traffic fatalities. If fatalities maintain their current rate, the state will surpass last year’s total of 1,226 deaths on our roadways.
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By Steve Lowe, Exec. Director,
The Joy House
Our first Joy House banks are being returned back to us filled with change and there is still time for you to participate in our Change for Teens campaign. Let me give you some reasons to consider this.
This year has been one of expansion for The Joy House. Our new boys’ home and school was completed debt-free earlier this year. With this addition, we are now able to minister to more teens on-campus than at any time in our history. Additionally, the Lord opened the door for us to begin The Joy House Counseling Center as part of the ministry under the direction of our good friend, Garry Barber. Through the counseling center, we are touching 30 to 40 lives per month with the message of hope and healing found in Christ. Both our residential program and our counseling center services are based on the ability-to-pay. This is consistent with our philosophy of ministry; we will never refuse service to anyone because they can’t pay.
Our ability to provide services and make this a reality is because of our great friends and partners who financially support this ministry. By participating in our Change for Teens campaign, you are a part of sewing Christ’s love into the lives of every person who is touched through the ministry of The Joy House.
At the November commissioner’s meeting, the county amended their 2012 budget to reflect a $143,000 state grant received by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.
This grant, the HEAT Unit grant provided by the Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic, is meant to combat death and injures cause by impaired driving.
According to Pickens County Sheriff Donnie Craig, who spoke at the Thursday, Nov. 29 meeting, the county has begun to implement the program and is already seeing positive results.
The $143,000, Craig said, will pay for two fully equipped patrol vehicles and will also cover salaries of deputies driving the vehicles.
The sheriff said these deputies will be charged with patrolling secondary roads in the county. Craig noted that Pickens County has one of the highest rates of fatalities and serious injury rates of surrounding counties.
“We’re not just going to get out here and work 515,” he said. “We’re going to be working the backroads, out in Hill City, Cove Road and the roads out in the community, not just in the state routes, which we already have the state patrol working.”
Craig said in the first four days of the program, one of the department’s HEAT officers issued 70 citations, several of which involved illicit substances or drunk driving.
“Of those I think we had three or four DUIs as well as several drug arrests,” he said.
For more information about the program, and to find out which other counties in the state have HEAT officers, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org/heat.html.