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General news and features

GOP clarifies senior tax exemption ballot stance

       The local Republican Party clarified their stance on the options for an increased senior property tax exemption, noting they will hold several public comment sessions and work to develop a consensus on the wording before putting it on the May primary ballot for a non-binding straw poll vote.

       Pickens GOP Chairman William Bell said on August 1 that he wanted to clarify on behalf of the group that the GOP is not endorsing the Seniors for Change plan to give seniors an increased exemption on their school taxes, but that they are working to be sure the seniors group has access to the ballot to present their issue.

     See full story in this week's print or online editons.              

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Fall webworm nests popping up everywhere


Fall webworms place their webs on the end of branches of hardwood trees in late summer and fall.


They aren’t  spider webs that many say could indicate the type of winter we’re likely to have. No, indeed, all those webbed nests everyone’s been seeing in trees for the past few weeks belong to fall webworms.

According to County Extension Agent Rachel Wigington, fall webworms are caterpillars that turn into moths. And while she said they aren’t indicative of future weather, they are proof that we had a mild winter last year.

“The reason we are seeing so many right now is because we had such a mild winter and their population wasn’t (lost) with severe cold,” she said. 

Celestial Event to Eclipse School Day for Pickens Students and Staff

photo/NASA website
Press Release from Keith Petty of the Pickens County School System      
On August 21, a once-in-a-lifetime event, a total eclipse of the sun, will occur over much of the United States, including North Georgia.  While only Rabun and Stephens Counties, in the northeast corner of the state will experience the centerline of  totality, Pickens County will experience 97% coverage, still quite a spectacle in itself.  Given the timing and rarity of the upcoming sun show, Dr. Carlton Wilson, superintendent of Pickens County schools, has declared the day a school holiday for all students and employees.

VA clinic coming to Jasper


The VA clinic coming to this East Church Street spot, near Save-A-Lot, is expected to serve 6,000 veterans a year. It is slated to open in 2018.

The Atlanta VA Health Care System has entered into a lease agreement with AFTK, LLC that will bring a new VA clinic to Pickens County by next year. 

According to Greg Kendall, Atlanta VA Medical Center public affairs officer, the Pickens County VA Clinic will provide primary care and mental health services to veterans in Pickens, Dawson, Cherokee, Gilmer, Lumpkin and surrounding counties. 

     See full story in this week's print or online editions.