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Pickens job situation better than counties to the north


Northwest Georgia’s jobless rate increases to 9.8 percent in January

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced this week that the preliminary unemployment rate in Northwest Georgia rose to 9.8 percent in January, up three-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 9.5 percent in December. The jobless rate in Northwest Georgia in January a year ago was 11.3 percent.

Metro Athens had the lowest area rate at 7.1 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 12.7 percent.

See full size chart on following page

School meal prices going up as lunchrooms remain self-sufficient

Non-resident students, finances, bus driver training,  among other subjects discussed

Above, the JMS Future Cities team receives reconition. Numerous other groups were also saluted by the board during their monthly meeting. See all the students who were honored on Page 14A of our print or e-edition.

School Nutrition Director Emily Hanlin presented to the board slightly higher student meal prices next year as the school cafeterias work to remain a self-sufficient operation. They are also under obligation to meet state requirements that will require a hike in the prices.

The cost increase which would only affect the average student $30 over an entire school year were approved by the board.

Re-zoning narrowly approved despite Arbor Hills opposition

In an upsetting turn of events for many property owners in the Arbor Hills subdivision, the Pickens County Planning Commission narrowly approved the rezoning of a parcel at the corner of Talking Rock Road and Lumber Company Road from Rural Residential to Highway Business.

The owner of the property, Donal Dorsey, sought the Highway Business classification in order to build a convenience store or some other similar commercial endeavor on the parcel, he stated in his rezoning application.


Read complete story in our print edition or e-edition now on sale.

Pickens native named commander of Jasper State Patrol Post


Sgt. First Class Tim Nichols, a lifelong resident of Pickens County, now serves as commander of the local State Patrol Post.


Tim Nichols, a Talking Rock native with 22 years of service with the Georgia State Patrol, took over as the commander of the State Patrol post in Jasper this January.

Sgt. First Class Nichols comes to this post after serving as commander of a 26-trooper unit of motorcycle officers who patrolled mostly busy interstate roads inside I-285 in Atlanta. Nichols commanded that detail since its creation in May 2006.

Statewide plastic bag recycling program has drop offs in Jasper

bagsrecycling‘A Bag’s Life’ Campaign Offers Education, Website, App

To Help Locate 750 Retail Drop-off Sites for Plastic Bags and Wraps Statewide

(Atlanta) – February 28, 2012 – Georgia today joined the “A Bag’s Life” recycling education movement which helps consumers find nearly 750 grocery and retail store drop off sites for their plastic bags and wraps statewide.  Legislators, recyclers, retailers and government officials gathered at the capitol to announce participation in the awareness campaign, which provides a website ( with a zip code locator app and social media outreach.

The site showed Kroger and Walmart, both in the Highway 515 corridor in Jasper as recycling spots here.

Georgia Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Mike Beatty joined State Senator Ross Tolleson and State Representative Lynn Smith, who each chair their legislative Natural Resources Committees, and students from metro Atlanta schools in kicking off A Bag’s Life. Officers with the Georgia Food Industry Association, the Georgia Recycling Coalition and Keep Georgia Beautiful also spoke in favor of the public-private partnership.

A Bag’s Life, through quirky messaging like “Don’t treat me like trash” and “Gimme a second chance,” encourages consumers to reduce, reuse and recycle their free grocery bags. It also reminds people that other bags like those used for dry cleaning, newspapers and bread, as well as wraps and films used on products like paper towels or bottled water also can be dropped off at many retailers for recycling.

“While recycling plastic bags and wraps is a shared responsibility, retailers recognize they must take a leadership role in the state’s recycling policies,” said Kathy Zuzava, president of the Georgia Food Industry Association. “Most of our members already have established plastic bag and wrap recycling in their stores. A Bag’s Life simply takes those efforts one step further by making it easy for customers to locate the nearest recycling opportunity at their favorite local retailer.”

Nationwide, plastic bag and wrap recycling is on the rise, reaching a record high of nearly 972 million pounds in 2010 — an increase of 50 percent since 2005 — according to a report released last month by Moore Recycling Associates, Inc on behalf of the American Chemistry Council. In the past five years, recycling of plastic film grew seven times faster than recycling overall, according to EPA data.

“By taking the extra time to bring our bags and wraps back to the store to be recycled, we are giving that bag a second chance to be made into something else like outdoor decking, park benches, or even new bags,” said Gloria Hardegree, executive director of the Georgia Recycling Coalition. “By remembering this simple step, we can make a significant difference in reusing and recycling these valuable plastic resources.”

The plastic bag icon on the website is designed to take on a life of its own, smiling when it’s happy, frowning when it’s not. Website copy suggests that individuals should step up and do their part to address litter and waste rather than blame the bag if it’s not being recycled or reused.

“This program demonstrates what public and private groups can do when they work together,” said Sarah Visser, executive director of Keep Georgia Beautiful. “Individually, if each one of us takes this extra earth-friendly step to remember to recycle our bags, we can reduce litter in our communities and yield tremendous results.”

About A Bag’s Life

A Bag’s Life is a public education campaign that unites non-profits, business, community and government organizations around the common goal of promoting the three R’s as they relate to plastic bags — reduce, reuse and recycle.  Partners include Keep Georgia Beautiful, the Georgia Recycling Coalition, the Georgia Food Industry Association, SP Recycling, Trex Company and the American Chemistry Council.

Caption, Georgia Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Mike Beatty joined State Senator Ross Tolleson and State Representative Lynn Smith, who each chair their legislative Natural Resources Committees, and students to kick off a statewide plastic bag recycling program.