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General news and features

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.

Rep. Tom Graves Named ‘Hero of Main Street’

graves hero

(l-r)David French, Senior Vice President of Government Relations for the National Retail Federation, presents Rep. Graves with the “Hero of Main Street” award along with Charles Miller, Group Vice President for Government and Public Affairs at Macy’s, Inc., December 7, 2016.

   Washington, D.C. – Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) received the “Hero of Main Street” award from the National Retail Federation for his support of legislation critical to the retail industry. Rep. Graves is part of a bipartisan group honored for their support on a wide range of issues including trade, infrastructure investment, tax reform and labor issues.

   “It’s an honor to be named a ‘Hero of Main Street,’” said Rep. Graves. “The retail industry is a vital part of Georgia’s economy, and I’m proud to support free-market policies that help retailers in our communities thrive.”

Missing man (Petti) found deceased

missingman petti



UPDATE - the Pickens Sheriff reported on their Facebook page last night that Mr. Petti had been found deceased near his residence. The case remains under investigation.


Pickens deputies are combing the wooded areas near Pickens High School Friday for a missing 54-year-old who lived in the area and was reported missing on December 3rd.

   Sheriff Donnie Craig emphasized that the search did not affect the school, nor students. They are concentrating in the wooded areas near the school.

   Robert "Bob" Petti, of Scenic View Drive, had been missing for several days and it was originally believed he may have left his residence in a vehicle with someone else.

   But his cell phone was discovered on the ground in the area, leading to the search of the vicinity.

   Sheriff Craig said there no reason to suspect foul play. He said Petti was known to have some medical issues and they are searching the area near the school in the event he had gone out walking from his home and suffered a medical problem.

NOTE: this was the second missing person case in the county this year; the first one involving a missing man from the Preserve at Sharp Mountain is still ongoing.


PHS principal resigns, Dr. Chad Flatt to serve as interim principal


Press Rease from the Pickens County School District

     Jasper, GA - The Pickens County School District announces the resignation of Mr. Shane Purdy as Principal of Pickens High School (PHS). Mr. Purdy previously served the district as Principal of Jasper Middle School. 

     "An unsuspected an unsolicited opportunity presented itself. After careful consideration, I felt it was the best decision for my family and me,' state Shane Purdy. "I wish to thank to Board of Education for allowing me the privelage to serve my community. It has truly been an honor."

     Dr. Chad Flatt, current Assistant Principal of Curriculum, Instruction, and Counseling, will serve as interim principal until a permanant principal is named. 

Dr. Chad Flatt, above, will serve as interim PHS Principal.