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Ga.’s Zero DUI Tolerance Takes on Urgency

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.

Expect more patrolling on secondary roads




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


Local church holds forum on social media


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.


16-year-old murder suspect will likely be released on bail this week

    addisjoseph        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.


• Read extensive details from the incident report, in our e-edition

 • Original online story here

• Psychological evaulation of 16-year-old murder suspect ordered in first court appearance

• Further Details released in samurai sword slaying



Deck the halls with PHS poinsettias



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.