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General news and features

District 54 Senate seat to be decided in January 10 runoff

Elections supervisor blames bad timing for dismally low voter turnout


Pickens County is divided into two Georgia State Senate Districts. The local elections supervisor said this can cause confusion among voters. Only the half in purple is voting in the runoff election underway.


Just 168 of the 6,672 active registered Pickens County voters in Georgia State Senate District 54 cast votes in the special election last Tuesday, Dec. 13th, a dismal 2.52 % turnout. 

Pickens County Elections Supervisor Julianne Roberts said the election’s timing was terrible, and that it was planned quickly when Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Sen. Charlie Bethel (R-Dalton) to the State Court of Appeals judgeship just weeks after he was reelected to the senate in November.    

Two charged in axe murder



Christopher Byers (left) and Arnold Griffith, Jr. booking photos from the Pickens County jail.


        A second man has been charged with murder in connection with a body that had been hidden in the Cove Road area since the summer of 2014.

Christopher Irving Byers, 32, of Lower Tails Creek Road in Ellijay, was indicted by a Pickens grand jury for murder last week as a co-defendant with Arnold Hoyt Griffith, Jr. 58, of Cove Road, who was arrested for murder on November 9.

See full story in this week's print or online editions. 


Jasper family shot at in road rage incident


     Press Release Cherokee County Sheriff's Department - Cherokee Sheriff's detectives are investigating a road rage incident that occurred Saturday night at approximately 10pm on Reinhardt College Parkway north of the Hwy. 5 Connector in Canton. A couple from Jasper and their teen age grandson were traveling north on Reinhardt College Parkway when a car that they had pulled out in front began firing shots at their vehicle. The victim reporting hearing several shots. No one in the victim's car was injured.
      Detectives recovered a round from what appeared to be a large caliber weapon from the victim's vehicle. The suspect's vehicle has not been identified.  Anyone that has any information related to or possibly witnessed this incident is urged to call 911.

Pickens beats state averages on latest school scores

CCRPI1    Results of the 2016 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) released Thursday, Dec. 8 show all Pickens County schools with increased scores, barring one school that maintained the same well-above-average score from 2015.
    In total, schools increased by a combined 40 points with the entire system receiving an increased average score of five points, which is well above increases expected by the state. Pickens schools’ average score for 2016 is 78.3, up from 73.2 last year. Speaking at the regular school board meeting Thursday, Dr. Lula Mae Perry said the state wanted to see between a half point to one point increase in the system.

Another $275K in stolen funds alleged

Miller faces even more charges



Jasper attorney Mark Miller

      Counsel for Mark Miller had sought a hearing Friday to again request bond for the jailed Jasper lawyer and to also challenge indictments against him on the grounds they are too vague.

But the hearing ground to a halt after two hours with the court unable to take any substantive action in the complicated case involving dozens of charges of financial fraud and theft and a growing list of victims who were former clients of the well-known attorney.

See the full story in this week's print or online editions.