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Early voting underway



    Pickens voters may begin casting ballots at the Pioneer Road election office beginning Monday, April 28 in early voting for the May 20 Primary Election, with one local commissioner seat (for Pickens’ western district); two school board seats and a SPLOST referendum up for decision.

Gov. signs FY 15 budget with big education increase


From Governor's Communications office


Gov. Nathan Deal today signed into law the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, which takes effect upon the start of the fiscal year on July 1 and includes the largest single year increase in k-12 funding in seven years. The FY 2015 budget expects the economic growth Georgia has seen since emerging from the Great Recession to accelerate and includes an estimated revenue increase of 3 percent, or $602.5 million, over the Amended FY 2014 budget. This marks the fourth year in a row the governor has successfully and conservatively balanced the state’s budget without raising taxes and while providing for long-term strategic investments necessary to keep Georgia competitive in the global economy.

Jasperse's gun bill signed into law


Gov. Nathan Deal signs GA House Bill 60 into law at the ETC Pavilion in Ellijay Wednesday. Also pictured, from left, are Georgia House Rules Committee Chairman John Meadows, District 68 Rep. Dustin Hightower, District 30 Rep. Emory Dunahoo Jr, District 11 Rep. Rick Jasperse (who represents Pickens County and sponsored the legislation commonly referred to simply as "the gun bill") and GA House Speaker David Ralston. 

Coverage courtesy of Michael Andrews, Ellijay Times Courier

Price at the pump continues to rise in Ga.

gaspumpGeorgia, April 28- Average retail gasoline prices in Georgia have risen 4.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.68/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 5,883 gas outlets in Georgia. This compares with the national average that has increased 2.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.65/g, according to gasoline price website

Including the change in gas prices in Georgia during the past week, prices yesterday were 32.2 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 29.2 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 12.9 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 16.5 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago. 

"While the national average has risen for the 12th straight week, it is likely nearing a peak," said Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "Gas price increases have continued since early February but are likely nearing an end as oil refineries conclude seasonal maintenance, and the switchover to summer gasoline is nearing completion. Meanwhile, oil inventories are at their highest ever level as reported by the Energy Information Administration, which cited crude oil stocks at a record high of 397.7 million barrels, which should help propel oil prices lower in coming weeks as some storage facilities near capacity. For motorists, the peak to retail gasoline prices is likely very near, with some relief to follow in coming weeks as pressure eases on factors that drive gasoline prices, " DeHaan said.

About GasBuddy

GasBuddy operates and over 250 similar websites that track gasoline prices at over 140,000 gasoline stations in the United States and Canada. In addition, GasBuddy offers a free smartphone app which has been downloaded over 25 million times to help motorists find the lowest gasoline prices in their area.

Unemployment declines in region

 Northwest Ga. unemployment rate declines to 6.8 percent in March

March2014-unemployment The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region (which includes Pickens County) decreased to 6.8 percent in March, down five-tenths of a percentage point from 7.3 percent in February. The rate was 8.3 percent in March a year ago. Pickens County was on average with its own unemployment rate projected at 6.8 percent.

See Full unemployment report.