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General news and features

Rocky relationship unfolds between planning commission and wedding venue

tatum-acres-map-color   The large square is the center is Tatum Acres, where the planning commission made a recommendation to allow a wedding/special venue off of Cove Road. A large group of Big Canoe homeowners, whose gated community extends to the right and top of the site on the map, voiced disapproval. The issue will next head to the board of commissioners who will make a final decision.

Like a romance off to a rocky start, a wedding/special events venue on Cove Road and the planning commission gingerly stepped into a relationship Monday night.
    The planning commission agreed to support Tatum Acres’  special permit request, but not til death do they part. In fact, they loaded up their recommendation with numerous conditions and a promise of one slip-up and it’s over.
See full story in this week's print or online editions.

282 acres added to Burnt Mountain Preserve

County, Mountain Conservation Trust partner to protect Narrow Gate tract


    The area in red is the recent 282-acre addition to the Burnt Mountain Preserve.

    A partnership between the Pickens County Government and the Mountain Conservation Trust has led to the recent acquisition and conservation of over 282 acres that adjoin the Burnt Mountain Preserve, a passive recreation area permanently protected from development and part of the scenic view from the lower overlook on Highway 136.   

Pilot killed in plane crash


plane crash


A plane crash killed a student pilot tonight near the Jasper airport. The plane came to rest within feet of the Hometown Home Health building on Salem Church Road. No one else was on board and no one on the ground was injured.

            Early reports from the scene indicate it was student pilot who was not from Pickens County in a Tomahawk plane. [Updated, the name of the pilot was released by the coroner after the family was notified Thursday night, as Michael Joseph Hughes, 21, of Blairsville.]

            The scene has been secured by local emergency crews until federal aviation officials can arrive. The call came in at 6:30 p.m.

On Friday, officials from the FAA were expected at the scene.


Lee New sworn in as Drug Task Force Commander


L-R: The Drug Task Force Control Board Members:  B. Alison Sosebee, District Attorney; Larry Callahan, Chief of Police of East Ellijay; Dane Kirby, Sheriff of Fannin County; Lee New, Commander of Drug Task Force; Donnie Craig, Sheriff of Pickens County.  Not pictured is Stacy Nicholson, Sheriff of Gilmer County.


On October 5, Mr. Lee New was sworn in as the new Commander of the Zell Miller Mountain Parkway Drug Task Force by the Honorable Brenda S. Weaver, Chief Judge of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit. The Drug Task Force combats illegal drug activity in Fannin, Gilmer and Pickens counties and is supported by each of the Sheriff’s Offices and the Appalachian Judicial Circuit Office of District Attorney.

Life sentence for man who murdered transexual prostitute upheld by Supreme Court


Published Monday, October 5, 2015

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 .

    The Supreme Court of Georgia has reversed the judgment against a Dodge County man who was convicted of intimidating court officers and animal cruelty.
In today’s unanimous opinion, Presiding Justice P. Harris Hines writes for the Court that the acts of intimidation against the court officers did not constitute “true threats” of violence and therefore were protected by the First Amendment’s right to free speech.