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General news and features

Business movin' & shakin' on Main Street

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       There’s a lot of action right now in the downtown Jasper landscape, where numerous businesses are either opening for the first time, changing ownership, or moving to new locations. By mid April an existing downtown business is moving into the old Hallmark store, above, which hasn't been inhabited in several years. Get the scoop on what's going down with downtown businesses in this week's print or online editions. 

76 arrested in operation "Southern Impact II" targeting child sex crimes

 

GBI Press Release 

 

   Decatur, GA – A total of 76 people were arrested and 13 children were rescued or identified as victims during a mutually coordinated operation between eight (8) southeastern states. The joint, proactive operation, Operation Southern Impact II, was coordinated by nine (9) Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces in those eight states and focused on persons who possess and distribute child pornography and those who are sexually exploiting children in other ways using technology and the internet. 

   The planning for Operation Southern Impact II began approximately 4 months ago and culminated in 2 days of investigative actions to include search warrant executions, undercover operations, and arrests in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. A total of 222 law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies participated in the operation.

 

     The arrestees, ranged in age from 17 to 72.  Some of their occupations included postal worker, non-profit employee, small business owner, store clerk, mechanic, daycare administrator, pastor, construction worker and magician.   During the operation, 136 search warrants were executed and 100 knock and talks were conducted in those eight (8) states. During those search warrants and knock and talks, 736 digital devices were previewed and 1,255 digital devices were seized.  Of those devices seized, 235 were mobile phones.  These investigative actions resulted from both reactive cases such as cybertips received by each ICAC Task Force from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and proactive cases such as peer-to-peer investigations and proactive, on-line undercover investigations. 

Seniors want “meaningful” tax cuts

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        Seniors seeking increased school tax exemptions gathered  at the Jerusalem Community Center Thursday for the first of three meetings to hear the latest research from their leaders and re-affirm that they won’t be satisfied without “meaningful”  cuts to their property taxes.

Group leader Charlotte Williamson began by presenting a detailed recap of the efforts to determine what the impact of reducing the property taxes on seniors would be on the other taxpayers left to make up the shortfall in school funding.

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

Guns are no joking matter on school campuses

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There have been 11 investigations into possible threats about guns or violence at the Pickens Middle School campus and three or four at the Pickens High campus since the shooting on February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 

None of the local investigations turned up any credible evidence of actual intentions to carry out violence by the students.

Interestingly, there have no reports of similar threats at the Jasper Middle School during the same time.

School Superintendent Carlton Wilson said at this time in America there is heightened sensitivity to violence and a zero tolerance attitude that allows no leeway for a young student who utters any word about guns or violence in jest or in anger.

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

Shamrock Stroll Saturday Downtown: 0.5K race to help Reinhardt students from Jasper

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Reinhardt University wants you to “party for a cause” this Saturday at the inaugural Shamrock Stroll in downtown Jasper. As part of their A Day for Pickens, a fundraiser that has raised over $30,000 since July 1st for Pickens County students who attend Reinhardt, the Shamrock Stroll is both designed as a celebration and recognition of Reinhardt University’s benefits for local students. 

“We wanted an event to raise recognition for Reinhardt and to bring together a group of people in the downtown area,” said Dale Morrissey, director of Development and External Relations at Reinhardt University. “We hope everyone comes early and shops and eats in downtown.”