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General news and features

Report from the Capitol -- Bills that survived crossover day

By Pam O'Dell,

Capitol Reporter


The Georgia State House heard forty-one bills within twelve hours last Thursday. Ending at 9:31 pm, the infamous “Cross-over Day” (the 30th day of the legislative session and the last day in which a bill must pass either chamber or die) went two and a half hours short of its constitutional limit of midnight. With only ten more legislative days ahead, we have some idea of what may be permanent policy changes for the year with a couple of caveats: Bills that ‘died’ are often resurrected upon being amended to a ‘live’ bill and, bills are often ‘gutted’ in order to provide a ‘vehicle’ for another bill that failed to pass on time (thereby losing their intended value).


Safe Carry Protection Act: HB 512-   Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper (117-56)

Picken’s hometown boy worked hard on what may be the gun bill of the year. The Georgia Carry bill does away with prohibitions against licensed gun owners carrying firearms in churches, bars, unsecured government buildings and some areas of college campuses. Another- NRA-backed- bill passed the Senate but ‘the talk in the hall’ (of the capitol) is that the Senate version will probably be incorporated into the House bill (letting all know who has more political clout at the capitol among the gun-rights groups).

Tough choices loom as school board opens budget process


     The school board opened the FY14 budget work with a clear message from the finance director that further cuts are coming to already depleted budgets.
    In their first budget workshop of the year, school finance director Amy Burgess told all five members of the board and many principals and administrators that the board has two options: either raise revenue with a property tax increase which won’t be

Hood Road park work underway



City of Jasper crews took advantage of the warmer and drier weather Friday to work on a new park in the Hood Road area north of downtown.

The city is using an industrial blower connected to the long metal tube (seen at the front of the pile) to pump air into the brush to make it burn hotter.

When the photo was taken, the city employees were just beginning work. Once the fire gets going, there should be little smoke as the constant flow of air makes the flames hotter and quickly gets rid of the moisture, which causes the heavy smoke.
Mayor John Weaver said the winds on Friday allowed them to burn as the smoke that was created blew back into the 62 acres of woodland for the park.


See complete story on the forthcoming park, "New Jasper park to be big on trees, trails" in this week's print and e-edition.


Tater Patch’s Grace and Glorie continues run


     Deb Heimler (l) and Pat Northcutt (r) discuss the finer points of a country breakfast in Tater Patch Players’ next production.    Grace and Glorie opens Friday, March 7, at 7:30. This funny and moving play will be shown at 7:30 on March 7, 8, 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 7:30 and March 10 and 17 at 2. Tickets are $15 for adults and $14 for seniors and students.
    They may be bought at the box office beginning one hour before showtime or online at  Questions or problems, call 706-253-2800 and leave a message.

Jasperse introduces gun law legislation

Bill will increase the number of places Georgians can carry firearms


A major new piece of Second Amendment legislation was introduced last week in the Georgia General Assembly by State Rep. Rick Jasperse, who represents Pickens County. The legislation would increase the number of places Georgians can carry firearms, including churches, bars and college campuses.

            "We're trying to open up some places where the rule followers can go,” said State Rep. Rick Jasperse. “This is not about making us a more armed society. It allows the rule followers to take care of themselves if they need to."


            H.B. 512, known as the “Safe Carry Protection Act,” was introduced by Jasperse. It would also allow men and women over the age of 18 who are serving in the military or have been honorably discharged from the military to be able to purchase a gun.

See additional reporting on  Safe Carry Protection Act in this week's print edition.