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General news and features

Memorial Day ceremony Monday at Sunrise Memorial

memorial day 2015

A shot from a previous Memorial Day ceremony.



A Memorial Day ceremony will be held at Sunrise Memorial Gardens on Monday, May 28th at 10 a.m. 

The ceremony will feature guest speaker Lt. Col. Gerald D. Hodge, retired U.S. Army and historian, and a poignant bell ringing for Pickens County residents who died in conflict. 

Fifty-six white crosses representing Pickens County’s fallen soldiers will also be on display on the graveyard’s hill at the roadside. 

The public is invited to spend this Monday morning honoring the country’s fallen heroes. Sunrise Memorial Gardens is located at 364 East Church Street in Jasper. 

State patrol urges caution, safety for Memorial Day traveling



     ATLANTA—The Georgia State Patrol is making final preparations for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Troopers will be on full patrols, concentrating on impaired drivers and seat belt violations. The travel period is 78 hours long, and officially begins on Fri., May 25, at 6 p.m., and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Memorial Day, Mon., May 28. 

     In 2017, during a similar 78-hour travel period, the Georgia State Patrol investigated 452 traffic crashes over the Memorial Day weekend. The crashes resulted in 274 injuries and six people losing their lives. In addition to the traffic crash investigations, troopers arrested 255 people for driving under the influence, while issuing 9,433 citations and 11,862 warnings. 

     “Travel with caution and put safety first this weekend,” said Colonel Mark W. McDonough, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. “Traffic will be heavier than usual as graduation ceremonies, special holiday events, and vacation travelers will add to the regular weekend traffic patterns. Also, be prepared should rain make driving conditions hazardous,” he said. 

     Make sure that everyone in your vehicle is buckled up and that children are properly restrained. Don’t text and drive, obey the posted speed limit, and do not drive impaired. If you know that you will be consuming alcoholic beverages, plan ahead to have a designated driver. “These are some of the best steps we all can take to prevent serious injury and fatal crashes,” said Colonel McDonough. 

     During the Memorial Day travel period, the Georgia State Patrol will again be participating in the national mobilization of the ‘Click It, or Ticket’ program. State troopers will be working alongside sheriffs’ deputies and police officers to enforce Georgia’s seat belt laws and to educate the public on the importance of wearing seat belts while traveling in motor vehicles. This program is coordinated in Georgia by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. 

     The holiday traffic fatality count will be updated throughout the travel period on the Department of Public Safety’s Twitter account:


Local election results

Green wins school board; Raffield wins Jasper council; Runoff for commission; Senior exemption stays as is


Tucker Green

 Tucker Green wins school board. 

        Voters in Pickens County decided that with senior tax exemptions, the status quo is just fine. Option 1, no change,  took about 400 more votes (2,648 to 2,274), winning with roughly 54 percent in the combined Republican and Democrat straw poll results. (Final vote totals were delayed by a problem with a  voting machine card in Ludville and could change very slightly, but not enough to affect any outcome.)

In the contested races:

• Political newcomer Tucker Green, a college student, won a seat on the school board, handily defeating incumbent Byron Long 2,626 to 1,392.

Saturday’s PHS graduation rain protocol discussed


Graduation program, interview with Valedictorian and Salutatorian, senior salutes, and a class photo with a list of graduates, all in a pull-out section, pages 13-16A


With a sketchy forecast for graduation this Saturday at 9 a.m., Pickens High School Principal Chris Wallace said at this point “all we can do is pray for no rain.” 

The school system has been working at a fever pitch to have Dragon Stadium’s $1.7 million SPLOST-funded renovations - which include a new artificial turf, video scoreboard, new track, and upgraded lights - completed in time for the commencement ceremony. 

House may be condemned in ‘Disgustingly filthy’ animal abuse case

animal cruelty

Credit / County Marshal photo

Animal control officers and a veterinarian had to wear HazMat suits to enter the residence where some dogs were roaming loose and others were trapped in rusty cages. A father and son have been charged with cruelty to animals and proceedings are underway to condemn the house.

Law enforcement officers and the responding veterinarian say  the recent animal abuse case in the Twin Mountain Lakes area is one of the worst they have seen in decades. 

According to a press release from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to tip from a concerned resident and discovered a scene like something out of a horror movie. Upon arrival, officers found partially buried dog corpses and several dogs roaming the premises. 

After obtaining a search warrant, deputies and detectives were forced to wear breathing apparatuses to enter the home due to the odor of decay and fecal matter. 

       See this week's print or online editon for full story.