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General news and features

Distracted driving, opioid issues will generate discussion under Gold Dome

State Representative Rick Jasperse previews legislative session




With Georgia on solid ground with revenue, the legislative session opening this week will see lawmakers looking at how to improve the Peach State. 

In a preview of the session, State Rep. Rick Jasperse (District 11) said, “We’ll be looking at how to make Georgia a better place. We want to continue to see Georgia as a great place to do business and to live.”

The state budget is the number one issue, reaching into all other areas of government. From schools to prisons, it falls back on the budget as to what the state can do, said Jasperse, who has represented Pickens County in the state’s House since 2010.

Don't let pipes freeze - and steps to take if they do

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Submitted by Justin Tomczak 

Issues Management/Media Relations

State Farm


What's worse than a major home maintenance disaster? Try several major home maintenance disasters at once. When a house's water pipes freeze, the situation is not as simple as calling a plumber. A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the immediate potential for mold.

Frozen water pipes are a problem in both cold and warmer climates, affecting a quarter-million families each winter, and it can happen in homes with both plastic and copper pipes. It's all too common, especially considering this damage is largely preventable.

Rash of overdoses shows heroin could be gaining foothold in suburbs

OpioidsAppendix-- graphs on page 6-6


On December 15th, a Pickens deputy used his issued naloxone injector to revive an overdose victim, likely saving his life. On December 16 this happened again with another deputy using the voice-prompts with the Evzio opiod emergency injection kit to bring around someone who had overdosed.

Deputies here, have been carrying Narcan (naloxone) injection kits since 2016 and have three uses where someone who had overdosed was brought back to consciousness, preventing what could have been three overdose deaths. 

In the past month another two people (brothers) both overdosed on the same day with one brother being dropped off at the Hinton Fire Department unresponsive and the second brother found unresponsive in the parking lot of the QuikTrip on Highway 515. Both survived after being taken to the hospital.

Big Canoe’s Potts Mtn. property off table for future development

1,378 acre tract put in permanent conservation status

Potts Mountain Investors LLC property2                                                           Atlantic Coast Conservancy/ Photo

This Potts Mountain property, shown above, is now permanently protected.

         In a move with far-reaching implications, 1,378 acres comprising the Potts Mountain section of Big Canoe was placed into permanent conservation status in December.

Phil Landrum III, the attorney for the Atlantic Coast Conservancy as well as Pickens County, confirmed that Potts Mountain Investors, LLC had put all the property into a conservation easement. Landrum said the easement, which restricts development there to only five potential  homesites, had been signed and recorded in both Pickens and Dawson counties.

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

Weaver not re-appointed city manager



In a 3-1 vote, Jasper City Council has expressed their intent to hire councilmembrer Jim Looney as interim city manger until a permanant replacement for Mayor John Weaver can be found.    


    In what could be called the beginning of the end of an era, Jasper City Council has voted their intent to separate the roles of city manager and mayor. 

The vote came during their January council meeting, where council member Jim Looney was selected to serve as interim city manager until a permanent replacement can be found. Looney was not formally appointed that night, but council said they plan to hire him next month after he tenders his resignation as a city council member. 

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