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General news and features

Few expected at polls for primary runoff


Early voting underway

            Local election employees are expecting few voters will turn out either in early voting which started Monday or for the July 22 primary election runoff.

            The only races on the ballot are:

            • GOP – For U.S. Senate J.H. “Jack” Kingston and David Perdue; for state school superintendent Michael L. Buck and Richard Woods.

            • Democrats – state school superintendent Alisha Thomas Morgan and Valarie Wilson.

            “It was low in the primary and we had school board on that,” said Elections Supervisor Julianne Roberts. In the May 20 primary, 4,301 Pickens voters cast ballots, giving a 26 percent turnout.

            Roberts said she considers all races important, but acknowledges these runoffs have drawn little attention locally,  which means even fewer people may come by to cast a ballot during the summer vacation than did in the primary.

            Early voting runs through July 18th at the Pioneer Road voting office; all the polling spots will be open on July 22nd. Roberts said there will be no Saturday voting for the runoff and the office will be closed for July 4th.

            For the runoff, voters who voted in the primary can only vote on the same party ballot. Voters who didn’t vote at all or voted non-partisan can vote in either runoff.

            The local elections office reminds voters that the recent changes in Georgia’s gun laws had no effect on polling places. Guns are still not allowed at polling places on election day.

            The secretary of state has a website with individual information for each voter on voter at “My Voter Page."

Worst road paved, more work ahead


County road crews resurfaced a short stretch of Henderson Mountain Road last Thursday as a result of the recent SPLOST referendum passage.

     To the delight of west end residents, last week county road crews started resurfacing a portion of Henderson Mountain Road many considered to be one of the worst spots in the county.
    But without recent passage of the SPLOST referendum that earmarks $14.4 million for roads projects the resurfacing would not have happened so soon.

Find out more about SPLOST-funded road project lists in the county and city of Jasper in this week's print or online edition.

Independent announces school board candidacy

Jennifer Jones Galligan, an attorney who resides in the Hill City area, filed a notice of candidacy with the Pickens elections office today to challenge incumbent Byron Long for school board Post 3. Long was unchallenged in the GOP primary. The election will be in the November.

Galligan must first collect signatures that are required for all independent candidates. She will need 830 signatures to make the ballot.

Independents have until tomorrow at noon to file their notices with the local office. Signatures are required by July 8th.

Nunn name still draws old-school Democrats


Photo/ Cameron Adams - Atlanta Street Fashion
    Old-time Democrats, like the gentleman on the front seat, came out for a mid-day political rally to show their support for Michelle Nunn, the daughter of Sam Nunn, who served 24 years in the U.S. Senate and was one of the last southern conservative Democrats. Michelle Nunn is now running to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate. She would be the state’s first woman senator.  

     The name Nunn still draws a Democrat crowd, even in this area of North Georgia identified as solid conservative Republican and TEA Party territory.

No jobs, high debt keep college grads dependent on parents



By Pam O’Dell
Capitol Reporter

    New results from a study reveal that many college graduates are unable to find a job that makes use of their four-year degrees. Over 50 percent of students who entered college after 2007 still require financial assistance from their parents according to answers given.
    The study, performed by the Norton School of Family and Consumer Services within the University of Arizona, followed 1,010 students for over 5 years. The study was funded by the National Endowment for Financial Education and the Citi Foundation.