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.
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16-year-old Joseph Addis, who is charged with murdering his stepfather with a samurai sword on November 23, will likely be released on bail to the home of his grandparents in the Preserve gated community following a Wednesday hearing.
The house where he will be held under 24/7 supervision of his grandmother is the same place he is accused of stabbing his step-father Christopher Allen, 36, a single time with the rusty, old sword following a family argument. Marcie Allen, the wife of Christopher and mother of Addis, told detectives that the stabbing occurred following a family fight where the older Allen had tried to slap the juvenile. The mother said during a cell phone conversation in front of a deputy that Allen had regularly been abusive.
Judge Brenda Weaver indicated that she would grant bail unless something unexpected came up in psychological exams from Addis’ in-take at the Youth Detention Center in Dalton, or in a conversation the judge requested with the psychologist if the report is not available.
Judge Weaver announced her intention following a lengthy and at times tense hearing Wednesday where the victim’s mother testified along with Addis’ grandparents.
The witnesses all described Addis as extremely withdrawn and in need of counseling. During the hearing it was also announced by the District Attorney’s office that they opposed any bail release where Ms. Allen and her son could “collaborate,” as they are looking at possible charges against Ms. Allen in the death of her husband. Read more in next week's print edition.
Walk through the door of the Agriculture Education Program’s greenhouse on the campus of Pickens High School and your breath is almost taken away by the intense burst of color. Horticulture students enrolled in the program at PHS have been busy since the early part of the school year pampering poinsettias in preparation for the upcoming holiday season. With the right combination of light, temperature and tender-loving-care, the plants can be coaxed into providing a blast of reds, pinks and various other colors for the Christmas season.
The greenhouse will open its doors to the public starting on Wednesday, Dec. 5, for the public to purchase the poinsettias. You can visit the green house from 2-4 each day for as long as the poinsettias last.
If you have further questions contact Joe Wright at PHS at 706-253-1801.
Mt. Zion Baptist Church Pastor Ben Mock and Pickens County Corporal Chris Leake
Follow this link to read "The Believer's Guide to Facebook" by Rev. Mock
At a forum Sunday night at Mount Zion Church on the dangers of social media, Corporal Chris Leake with the Pickens Sheriff’s office advised parents to use today’s technology to their advantage, teach kids how to behave civilly on social media sites, and above all never post anything your grandmother wouldn’t approve of.
Cast of The Miracle Worker prepping for the show.
By Pat Jewell
Tater Patch Players
The Tater Patch Players will open their production of The Miracle Worker this week at the Tater Patch Players Theater. The play has a lot of historical value as well as being dramatic and, at times, funny. We first see the 19-month-old Helen surrounded by her mother, father and a doctor. Until this time, Helen was a healthy, active toddler, but the disease left her deaf and blind. Helen was born in Tuscumbia, Al., in 1880. We get an idea of the date the events take place from Aunt Ev who states that “the war is over and there is Yankee money.” The Keller homestead, Ivy Green, is typical for middle class at the time, if not a little battle scarred. Captain Keller, Helen’s father, served in the war and is the editor of the local newspaper. Kate is his second wife with Helen being her first child.
Also from Aunt Ev we learn that the Kellers are related to Robert E. Lee. This is true, as Captain Keller’s mother was a second cousin to the famous General. Kate’s father, Charles Adams, fought in the Civil War and became a Brigadier General.
Aunt Ev is indignant when someone named Sullivan and from Boston was sent to teach Helen. She shows that she has knowledge of news from outside the Tuscumbia area by mentioning John L. Sullivan. John was an undesirable to Aunt Ev because he was a heavyweight boxer. He won his Gloved Boxing World Championship in 1887.
Annie Sullivan was sent from the Perkins Institute for the Blind in South Boston where she studied. Helen later attended the school. Keller went on to other schools including Cambridge School for Ladies and she later attended Radcliff where she became the first deaf blind person to receive a BA degree. Helen learned Braille and sign language. She could read lips by touch and learned to speak.
Annie played a huge role in Helen’s life. She went from being a teacher, to a governess, to a companion. Annie followed Helen around the country and she and her husband John assisted Helen in writing her first book. Helen became an author, political activist, speaker and advocate for the blind. She lived to be 87 years old.
The story of Helen’s early life in The Miracle Worker is indeed factual. They did have servants. There was a servant girl named Martha who learned quickly to communicate with Helen. The lapse of time between Annie’s arrival and Helen’s breakthrough is about a month. Other interesting facts are sprinkled throughout the play.
The actors and crew have worked hard to make this the best theater experience for you. Just in time for the Christmas season, the troupe brings you this heartwarming drama. The show dates and times are Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 6, 7 and 8 at 7:30 and Sunday 2 p.m. matinees on Dec. 2 and 9. Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $14 for students and seniors. They may be purchased in advance on line at www.taterpatchplayers.org or at the box office beginning one hour before curtain time.