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General news and features

School board cuts taxes

schools-general-fund-chart

Pickens County schools general fund. Revenue source comparison, FY01 to FY18. **FY17 & 18 figures based on budgeted revenue.

        Following a vote to lower the millage rate by the school board earlier this month, the Progress sat down with Superintendent Carlton Wilson and school finance director Amy Smith.

This marks the largest rollback in the millage rate in seven years and the second straight year of cuts.

The tax rate for 2017 was approved at 15.66 mills, down from 15.98 last year and from 16.1 mills the four years prior.

        In terms of local tax dollars (mostly from property taxes) the schools will budget to collect $21,416,418 for 2017, only slightly lower than the amount collected last year, but almost $900,000 lower than the amount collected 2012, when they budgeted for $22.3 million in local taxes.

        See full story, which includes comments from the schools finance officer and superintendent, in this week's print or online edition. 

Clean up underway after Irma

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On Thursday Clean up crews continue clearing downed trees across the county this morning after Irma's high winds raged for much of Monday night. Schools remained closed Thursday and many areas of the county were still without power.

Reports from the County Emergency Operation Center was that east Pickens, along Cove Road (pictured above) took the worst of the damage, but that there was damage in all sections of the county.

Safety tips for downed power lines

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Downed powerlines on Grandview Road Tueday morning. 

 

     Strong winds that blew through Pickens County last night, Monday, Sept. 11th and downed numerous trees and powerlines. Here are some safety tips from Georgia Power about what you should do if you see a downed powerline. 

 

Stay away from downed power lines. Always assume a downed power line is live and life-threatening. Keep children and pets away from downed lines. Do not attempt to remove a person or animal caught in power lines. Call 911 for help. Do not attempt to remove tree limbs or any other object from a downed line. If you see a downed line, call your electric company or your police or fire department to have the downed line barricaded until it can be repaired. Warn others to stay away.

 

Never drive over a downed line or under a low-hanging line. Beware of downed lines touching a vehicle. Stay away from the vehicle and the line. If a power line hits your car while you're inside, stay put and wait for help. If the car catches fire, then jump clear without touching metal and the ground at the same time. Shuffle away keeping both feet on the ground.

 

Just released, "Haunted North Georgia"

New book coming just in time for Halloween

 

haunted-north-ga

Photo/ historypress.com

   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.

Catheads to buttermilk: The business of biscuits

biscuit-maker

BIG, FLUFFY, AND DON’T SCRIMP ON THE BUTTER - Biscuit Maker owner Bambi Winfrey and her crew bake hundreds of biscuits from the carry-out only location every morning. Breakfast biscuits are sold to hungry, on-the-go customers at convenience stores, restaurants, and fast-food chains across the county.

Damon Howell / Photo

 

Just before 9 a.m. on Friday, Betty McCoy, the cook at West End General Store, was filling orders as quickly as they came in. Fresh eggs were cracked. Bacon sizzled on the flat iron. A hot pan of cathead biscuits was coming out of the oven. 

A few customers got their breakfast on a plate and bellied up at tables inside, but most stood in line at the register to take their foil-wrapped rations to go. 

The scene mimicked so many other convenience stores and fast food chains in the morning – a frenzied rush of people who want to eat breakfast quickly before the work day, coupled with old timers and early risers who’d rather sit and enjoy. Each meal is different – some have tenderloin, some country ham, others bacon and eggs or gravy - but the common thread is the biscuit, a point of culinary pride for Southerners that evokes passionate discussion and clear-cut opinions about what makes one good. 

Only a few generations ago biscuits were made at home by women, a mom or grandma, but the landscape has changed