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700 attend "Wizard of Oz" production

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                                                                                                                                 Photo by Melissa Bradley
     In one scene of Hill City Elementary's production of "The Wizard of Oz" this past Friday, April 25, Dorothy walks through a forest of trees with the friends she picks up along her journey. The trees, pictured above, were played by several Hill City students dressed in brown and green with leaf crowns and apples. See this week's Progress for a full cast photo of the 90 students who participated, and a write-up about the production --- on sale Wednesday.

Across America on a bicycle, the journey begins

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Mike McGhee on his fully-loaded touring bike during his last training ride.

When Progress readers last heard from Mike McGhee, the retired veterinarian had just completed hiking the Appalachian Trail – completing the four-month trek had been one of his “bucket list” goals in retirement.

That was in 2012.

Now McGhee, who operated Wayside Animal Clinic before selling it a few years ago, is departing this week for the next major item on his bucket list – a coast-to-coast bicycle trip across America.

 

Early voting underway

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    Pickens voters may begin casting ballots at the Pioneer Road election office beginning Monday, April 28 in early voting for the May 20 Primary Election, with one local commissioner seat (for Pickens’ western district); two school board seats and a SPLOST referendum up for decision.

Jasperse's gun bill signed into law

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Gov. Nathan Deal signs GA House Bill 60 into law at the ETC Pavilion in Ellijay Wednesday. Also pictured, from left, are Georgia House Rules Committee Chairman John Meadows, District 68 Rep. Dustin Hightower, District 30 Rep. Emory Dunahoo Jr, District 11 Rep. Rick Jasperse (who represents Pickens County and sponsored the legislation commonly referred to simply as "the gun bill") and GA House Speaker David Ralston. 

Coverage courtesy of Michael Andrews, Ellijay Times Courier

Gov. signs FY 15 budget with big education increase

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From Governor's Communications office

 

Gov. Nathan Deal today signed into law the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, which takes effect upon the start of the fiscal year on July 1 and includes the largest single year increase in k-12 funding in seven years. The FY 2015 budget expects the economic growth Georgia has seen since emerging from the Great Recession to accelerate and includes an estimated revenue increase of 3 percent, or $602.5 million, over the Amended FY 2014 budget. This marks the fourth year in a row the governor has successfully and conservatively balanced the state’s budget without raising taxes and while providing for long-term strategic investments necessary to keep Georgia competitive in the global economy.