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Grading could begin at Dollar General site this week

UPDATED November 2 -- Grading equipment is on site and erosion control work being performed ahead of grading.

 

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Hundreds of Pickens residents have been up in arms about the proposed Dollar General on Cove Road, but permits are now in place for the project to move forward.

     According to Pickens County Planning & Development Director Richard Osborne, grading is expected to begin at the end of this week at a Dollar General site at the corner of Cove and Grandview roads. 

     Osborne said his office issued land disturbance permit for the project on October 20. 

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

“Big push” turns up no clues for missing man

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    More than 110 trained volunteers covered 800 acres in a “big push” to find a missing 79-year-old Preserve hiker Saturday.

        One person described the area inside and around the gated Preserve at Sharp Mountain subdivision as “just searched to death.”
    And still not one clue to the whereabouts of Ben Thebaut, a 79-year-old retired surgeon who left his home on October 16 to go hiking and has not been seen since.

No trace of missing Preserve man

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Friday Morning Update -- The sheriff spokesman said no trace of Mr. Thebaut had been found as of late Thursday. They are planning a large grid style search, beginning Saturday using trained volunteers from around the state. The public should be advised they will be using the Old Lawson Chevrolet building on Highway 515 as their staging area, command post if anyone notices a large law enforcement presence there over the weekend. The sheriff also released a Missing flyer, see bottom of this article.

 

     At press time Tuesday, the last known sighting of Ben Thebaut, a 79-year-old resident of the Preserve at Sharp Mountain, was him waving at a neighbor when he left on a hike Sunday afternoon.
    He was reported missing later that day by his wife when he did not return home.  Since then dozens of emergency responders and trained volunteers from here and neighboring areas have spent countless hours combing the trails in the large gated subdivision, using bloodhounds and helicopters with special heat-sensing scanners.
    But not one clue to Thebaut’s whereabouts had been found as of press time.
    “It’s a strange one,” said Sheriff Spokesman Kris Stancil. “We have not turned up anything.”

Understanding the different drought indicators for Pickens County

 By Rachel Wigington,

County Extension Agent

 (October 19, 2016) As the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and the local water departments in the counties continue to work together on water-related issues, we have discovered that there are two entities that monitor drought levels throughout the state – the National Drought Mitigation Center and the Environmental Protection Division.

The National Drought Mitigation Center developed the Drought Monitor to keep the public informed of changes in drought and provides measures that the public can take to prepare and ease the societal vulnerability.

Board of Education speaks out about senior tax exemption

“Opportunity School District” also denounced by board

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     For at least the second time in the last year a representative of Pickens Seniors for Change - an advocacy group for senior property tax exemption - petitioned the school board to help seniors from being “taxed into poverty.” 
    “We don’t get raises in Social Security,” Lee Williamson told the board at their Thursday, Oct. 21 meeting. “We were promised in December a panel would be formed to discuss this and so far I’ve heard nothing.”

See full story in this week's print or online editions, including comments from the board about their opposition to the "Opportunity School District" referendum.