General news and features
Update Wednesday, Nov. 9, the drought continues and fire crews are busy responding to calls from residents in the Worley Crossroads, Tatum Road and Salem Church areas who reported smoke. Crews says there is a good bit of smoke but are finding nothing burning. There is a clear smell of smoke in downtown Jasper as well. It is believed the smoke drifted from the Cohutta Wilderness area fire. The above map shows the Fire Danger Rating as of November 26.
A complete outdoor burning ban was announced Thursday to include all campfires and fireworks. It will remain in place until significant rains fall.
The announcement, made by Pickens Fire Marshal Curtis Clark during a commissioners' work session, stated that no one should burn any yard waste or any debris outside until we have had soaking rains. The City of Jasper indicated they will enforce the same ban.
Noise at Rocco’s, New Year’s party also discussed at council meeting
Responding to extreme drought conditions that threaten water supplies across north Georgia, Jasper City Council approved $30,000 for a pump test on a well that could provide a new resource in the future.
Jasper Mayor John Weaver said the well, which is located on private property, could be a “potential high water producer.”
Pickens County Schools Director of Operations Stacy Gilleland recently spoke to the school board about the difficulty they are having hiring and keeping qualified bus drivers – a problem systems across the state face.
“If we have to add two more routes this year I don’t know what I’ll do,” Gilleland said. “Kids are going to be getting home later and picked up earlier. We’ve got the fleet. We’ve got the equipment. We’ve got everything we need but the personnel. It’s just crazy. But if you go to any county you see this big sign, ‘bus drivers needed.’ It’s not just here.”
SUMMARIES OF RECENT OPINIONS
FROM GA. SUPREME COURT
Published Monday, November 7, 2016
Please note: Opinion summaries are prepared by the Public Information Office for the general public and news media. Summaries are not prepared for every opinion released by the Court, but only for those cases considered of great public interest. Opinion summaries are not to be considered as official opinions of the Court. The full opinions are available on the Supreme Court website at www.gasupreme.us .
SHEARD V. THE STATE (S16A1291)
A man who has already served nearly 20 years of a life prison sentence has had his murder conviction reversed under a decision today by the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Elliot Sheard, who was found guilty in 1998 by a Fulton County jury for his role in the stabbing death of Charles Elder, is entitled to a new trial, Justice Carol Hunstein writes for a unanimous court. Because critical parts of the transcript from his trial have never been found, Sheard was effectively denied his right to appeal, and “where the missing transcript prevents adequate review of the trial below, a new trial is warranted,” the opinion says.
Indictment also challenged as being too vague
Attorneys representing Mark Miller, the jailed Jasper lawyer charged with dozens of counts of financial fraud and theft, filed motions in Pickens superior court last week asking to move this case along and for another shot at bail for their client.
Attorneys Scott Poole and Ross Grisham also filed a motion challenging the indictment accusing Miller of more than a $1 million in fraud/theft as being too vague.