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Schools issue statement on sexual assault investigation


   This morning Pickens School Superintendent Lula Mae Perry issued a statement concerning the investigation of a possible sexual assault at Pickens Middle School, first reported yesterday.

   Parents of PCMS students were notified by a letter about the possibility of an assault that may have occurred on campus last week. The letter was sent home with students yesterday. The letter was distributed near the end of the school day.


   Perry’s release stated, “At this time, we do not know if the alleged assault occurred on or off campus as there is still an active and ongoing investigation,” she stated in the e-mail sent  Wednesday morning.


   The e-mail stated the school personnel will not comment further due to the ongoing investigation.


   “If it is determined that this assault occurred on campus, I promise you the school district will work with Sheriff Donnie Craig and the GBI to understand how and why this could happen,” Perry stated in the e-mail.

   Perry stated that until they understand the situation better, the teachers and school resource officers may seem “overprotective.” She asked parents to bear with them during this difficult time and they appreciate the support and understanding.


Forensic audit questions aired in public comments


     Following the August 28 Grand Jury recommendations that called for a forensic audit of county finances from 2005 to the present, county commissioners were faced with questions and concerns from residents at their most recent meeting Thursday, Sept. 19.
     Pickens resident Gary Copeland, who has been vocal about cutting waste from the county budget after a proposed tax increase last year, said despite being fiscally conservative he wants to see the county pony up funding for a forensic audit “and put this to rest,” he said.

     See this week's print or online editions for the rest of this story.


Renovated courthouse dedicated



The county courthouse is the center of all southern towns, Judge Brenda Weaver told the crowd who assembled to officially dedicate and re-open the new Pickens Courthouse on Main Street today. Tours of the $16 million facility are available until 6 p.m. this evening.

Other speakers included Commission Chair Rob Jones and Attorney General Sam Olens. See complete story in this week's print edition.

Possible school sexual assault being investigated


A letter went home to parents Tuesday from the school Superintendent saying that school officials were notified by the county sheriff’s office that a student at Pickens County Middle School may have been sexually assaulted by another student last Thursday, Sept. 19th.


Georgia’s unemployment declines to 8.7 percent

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 8.7 percent in August, down one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.8 percent in July. The rate was three-tenths of a percentage point lower than 9.0 percent in August a year ago. The decline follows three consecutive months of rate increases. 

“The primary reason the rate dropped is that we had a significant reduction in layoffs, in fact, the fewest since September 2007,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Also, we had a small increase in the number of jobs.”