General news and features
Work begins on the Pickens County Courthouse. Last Friday, Dec. 16 workers were seen staging the building with scaffolding before removing the marble slabs.
Just after his regularly scheduled meeting, Pickens County Commissioner Rob Jones held a public hearing for the proposed 2012 budget.
No members of the public attended the Thursday, Dec. 15 hearing, but Pickens County’s Finance Officer Mechelle Champion was on hand to discuss changes in the figures over last year.
The total proposed budget for 2012 is $19,313,000 on the revenue side, down about $2.5 million from the $21.8 million budget in 2011.
“The majority of the decrease is coming from the community center,” Champion said. “We won’t be building a community center in 2012.”
Georgia, December 19- Average retail gasoline prices in Georgia have fallen 7.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.12/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has fallen 4.3 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.23/g, according to gasoline price website GeorgiaGasPrices.com.
Including the change in gas prices in Georgia during the past week, prices yesterday were 26.8 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 14.4 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 13.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 26.4 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.
"Gas prices across much of the nation continue their downward move, bringing the national average for a gallon down to its lowest level since late February," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "While some motorists are thinking these falling gasoline prices are nice, I'll unpleasantly remind them that gasoline prices will still set record highs this Christmas across much of America- motorists have never seen average prices this high on Christmas. As prices typically reach a low point during early winter, this sets up a troubling start to 2012 in terms of gasoline prices. Summer gasoline prices typically are 80-120 cents per gallon higher than where prices stand around Christmas," DeHaan said.
Damon Howell / Photo
An insurance adjuster measures the remnants of a house which caught fire early Monday morning on Carlan Road.
In a stunning twist, the county fire marshal said late Wednesday, the blaze on Carlan Road which destroyed a home and threatened a family’s lives appears to have been intentionally set.
Assistant Fire Chief Curtis Clark, who also serves as the fire marshal, said, “We are ruling this was an intentionally set fire and a criminal act against the homeowners.”
The fire was reported at 1:14 a.m. Monday when a Pickens deputy on routine patrol spotted the front porch of the Carlan Road home in flames.
From North Ga. Health District
An unvaccinated Boxer belonging to a family on Damascus Road tested positive for rabies on December 6. As a result, environmental health officials had to recommend post rabies exposure treatment to people who most recently handled the dog before it was euthanized on December 5.
Almost thirty people were evaluated for rabies exposure in this case because the dog had been present during a Thanksgiving family gathering in Pickens County. There was no indication of exposure to those persons; however, six other people, including two veterinary technicians and four family members, were considered potentially exposed. Five have begun post-exposure rabies treatments, but one family member has declined to undergo post-exposure preventive treatments.
A minute after he was born, Cody Jones stopped breathing. Twenty years and more than 60 surgeries later, Cody is a junior at Pickens High School and making the best of life.
Although he was delivered following a normal, full term pregnancy, Cody faced, among other things, a rare lung disease and a severe heart condition that forced him to have open-heart surgery when he was just three weeks old.
“We stayed at Kennestone for three weeks and then went to Egleston, and they found out what all was wrong with him,” said his mother, Angie Jones.
Born in 1991 to Mark and Angie Jones, Cody spent his first five and a half months in a hospital, before being sent home on oxygen and a ventilator. When he left the hospital, his parents and older sister Haley weren’t given much hope, the mother said.
Over the years, things didn’t improve as doctors discovered more and more medical issues.
“Really I couldn’t count the number of surgeries he’s had – it’s 60 plus. He’s got a rare lung disease called bronchomalschia and a heart condition. His open-heart surgery when he was three weeks old was his first surgery. He’s been in and out of Egleston the whole 20 years since he was born.”
Cody now has a trachostophy and uses an oxygen tank during the day fitted with a speaking valve.
“We’ve always called him our miracle,” Jones said.