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General news and features

Just released, "Haunted North Georgia"

New book coming just in time for Halloween




   Haunted North Georgia will be available for purchase in early October.


By David R. Altman

Books & Writers Editor


If you’re always looking for a good ghost story—even one you can check out for yourself--there’s a new book coming in October that will be right down your alley.

It’s called Haunted North Georgia, written by author Jim Miles of Warner Robins, and it’s part of a three-book series about ghost stories from each of Georgia’s 159 counties.

This book is an easy read. In fact, for those young adult readers who might want to do a book report on the topic of ghost stories, Miles has made it very easy.

The north Georgia edition actually covers more than what most of us consider north Georgia, as it conveys stories from Rockdale County to Cobb County and, yes, those counties closer to home, including Pickens, Gilmer and Fannin.

Emergency crews prepare for downed trees, power outages; County opens storm shelter

           Ahead of the worst of the weather impact from Hurricane Irma, expected to hit Pickens County around 5 p.m. today, Monday, Sept. 11th, emergency crews are preparing for high winds, downed trees, power outages and minor flooding.

            “The worst of it will happen between 5 and 11 tonight,” said Pickens County EMA Director John Nicholson. “We are asking that people be where they’re going to be by five and shelter in.”

            Nicholson said predictions for this area are for sustained winds of 35 m.p.h. and gusts up to 45 m.p.h. During that same time period two inches of rain are expected.

Schools closed Monday and Tuesday due to hurricane concerns


School District statement on Hurricane weather closures --  Due to inclement weather conditions,the Pickens County School District will be closed tomorrow, Monday, September 11th TWELVE MONTH EMPLOYEES REPORT AT NORMAL TIME. Schools will also be closed on Tuesday, September 12. Twelve month employees will be contacted late Monday as to whether they will be required to come to work on Tuesday. All school activities, including athletic events and after-school programs, will be canceled.

Information will be posted on the Pickens County School District website at, the Infinite Campus parent portal, district and school websites and social media sites, and sent to local media. 


Grand Jury also not convening tomorrow, Tuesday

Due to Pickens County Schools closing the Grand Jury set to convene on Monday September 11th will not appear Monday or Tuesday September 11th and 12th due to possible inclement weather. They will need to call the jury info line (which is our regular number 706-253-8763) Tuesday September 12th after 6 pm for their instructions for Wednesday jury service?
Juvenile Court also canceled for Monday
Pickens County Juvenile Court has been canceled for Monday, September 11th due to the possibility of inclement weather. All cases will be rescheduled at a later date when determined by the court. If you have an attorney please stay in touch with him/her. 

Harvey Relief efforts in Jasper



Volunteers are collecting supplies for Hurricane Harvey victims at Lee Newton Park in Jasper. Volunteers, headed by a group from Trinity Tabernacle, will be there today until noon taking donations and back every day but Sunday until the truck is full. They are hoping to expand hours if more volunteers to help load supplies come forward. "We want this to be a real community effort," said one of the volunteers Roger Jenkins.

Supplies needed include linens, clothing, school supplies, toys, bath products and more. 

Judd Voyles, who organized the efforts said, "Stand in your yard and look at your house and imagine water all the way up to the roof, that's what those people out there are dealing with."

Voyles has made contacts with churches in the affected area that will distribute the donated items. He is providing the trailer and will drive the load out himself.

Staying safe while hunting deer from a tree stand


        Statistics each year reveal that almost half of all hunting incidents are due to falls or other safety issues with tree stands, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.    

Following are recommended tips for keeping you safe while utilizing tree stands for hunting:

•When using a non-climbing portable or ladder stand, hunters should securely fasten the stand to the tree and install ladders or steps according to the manufacturer’s directions.

•Hunters should ALWAYS wear a Fall-Arrest System (FAS)/Full Body Harness during ascent and descent.  Be aware that single strap belts and chest harnesses are no longer recommended and should not be used.  Failure to use a FAS could result in serious injury or death.