General news and features
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.
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.
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.
Northwest Ga. unemployment rate declines to 6.8 percent in March
The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region (which includes Pickens County) decreased to 6.8 percent in March, down five-tenths of a percentage point from 7.3 percent in February. The rate was 8.3 percent in March a year ago. Pickens County was on average with its own unemployment rate projected at 6.8 percent.
Joseph Mika Addis, 18, the boy charged with killing his step-father with a Samurai-style sword during an argument at a Preserve at Sharp Mountain home in November of 2012, was sentenced in a Pickens juvenile court last week to serve a maximum of two years at a state facility.
The sentence was handed out by visiting Judge Frank Fulford and places Addis in the hands of the Department of Juvenile Justice for a period of 34 months. Addis – who was 16 when the crime was committed - may be released after 12 months and placed on intensive supervision for the reminder of his sentence if he completes education goals created by the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Pick up the print and online editions for comments from the district attorney and family of the victim.