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Deputy on paid leave for an incident that involved the shooting of a neighbor’s dog

 Sheriff Office press release

On February 9, 2015, a report was filed with the Pickens Sheriff’s Office involving an off duty deputy shooting his neighbor’s dog.

The original complaint was immediately referred to the Internal Affairs Unit of the Pickens Sheriff’s Office. In addition to the active Internal Affairs Investigation, Sheriff Donnie Craig has requested the assistance of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney Office to complete an independent criminal investigation as well.

The deputy involved in the incident was Deputy Blake McFarland. Deputy McFarland’s assignment with the Pickens Sheriff’s Office was in the Uniform Patrol Division as a Canine Handler. Deputy McFarland has remained on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the internal and criminal investigation.

We can confirm that the shooting did not involve the use of an agency issued weapon. Due to the active nature of the investigation, no additional details will be released until it is completed. 

Homes still without power -- but crews making progress

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From Amicalola EMC Thursday morning

Our outages have now dropped to 3299 from an earlier report of 4441. Of those, we currently have outages in 177 different locations.

We currently have crews working in the following areas:


Pickens County: Bent Tree, Duckett Ln, Lankford Dr, Hwy 53- Broken pole, Afton Road/ Burnt Mountain

Dawson County: Hwy 136 E, Hwy 9 S, Seed Tick, Frank Bruce, Chastain Mill Road/ Paradise Dr, Hwy 183 & Hwy 53 Intersection, Amicalola Dr/ Fern Valley, New Hope Church area, Sweetwater-Juno Rd, Antioch Ch.

Reinhardt names Dr. Kina Mallard as 20th president


On behalf of the students at Reinhardt University, Alex Bryant (left), president of Student Government Association, presents Dr. Kina Mallard, Reinhardt’s 20th president, and her husband, Steve Dietz, with an engraved door knocker to welcome the two to their new home.


On Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, the Board of Trustees of Reinhardt University in Waleska, Ga., announced the selection of Dr. Kina S. Mallard as the institution's 20th president during a press conference in the Science Center atrium. She was chosen by a vote of the full board on Feb. 10, and she will assume the office on July 1, 2015. Her selection completed a thorough seven-month search.

PHS wrestler Koby Milner wins state


Koby Milner took the 4A title at 106 pounds and he did so in dominating fashion.


Heading into this past weekend’s GHSA State Wrestling Tournament, it had been ten years since the Pickens County Wrestling Team had seen one of its wrestlers get his hand raised in the finals. That wait came to an end this past weekend at the Macon Centreplex as Sophomore Koby Milner won the Dragon’s first state championship of any kind in the last decade. Milner took the 4A title at 106 pounds and he did so in dominating fashion.

   Milner has had one of the great seasons in Pickens Wrestling history. He lost only three times all year. Two of those losses came to Bryce Davis of Creekview, who won the 106 pound state title for 5A. “He has consistently been our best wrestler all year,” stated Head Coach Grady Flanagan. “In addition to his ability on the mat, Koby is also very humble and willing to work with other wrestlers. He is like having another coach in the room.” Aside from his three losses, Milner racked up 43 wins this season and added to his already impressive list of medals six more individual tournament titles, an area championship, and now a state championship.

See complete story in next week's Progress.


Be wary of thieves posing as IRS agents and tax preparers, UGA expert says

IRS will not initiate contact by phone or email


Athens, Ga. – Tax season is the time to be vigilant about identity theft, said Laura Heilman, a security awareness training and education manager in UGA’s Enterprise Information Technology Services office.