General news and features
The Roper Park siren, along with all other tornado sirens in the county, are tested the first Wednesday of each month at noon. Tornado sirens go off when a tornado warning is issued or if a storm is capable of producing 80 m.p.h.+ winds.
In an effort to improve severe weather warnings for Pickens residents utilizing outdoor facilities at Roper Park, the county has recently installed a new grant-funded tornado siren near the covered picnic area.
Pickens County Chief Bob Howard says warnings such as sirens and the CodeRED phone system are instrumental to public safety, and in light of the tornado that devastated Moore, Okla. on Monday he stresses the importance of preparedness for severe weather events.
The Pickens Recreation Department at Roper Park is getting set for the summer with their own weekly day camps, numerous sports camps offered at the community center and the opening of the swimming pool.
Recently hired county parks and recreation director Brian Jones said the pool should open on May 27. However, Jones cautioned that the pool is at least 30 years old and problems reviving it for summer use from winter downtime has delayed previous openings.
A Washington based group in favor of gun control has sued the town of Nelson over its recent ordinance that requires homeowners to maintain a firearm.
The suit was filed Thursday in the North Ga. District Court in Gainesville by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and was addressed to Mayor Pro-Temp Johnathan Bishop and all the members of the council. It seeks relief and an injunction from the ordinance.
The papers that were e-filed stated, “This complaint seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to vindicate the rights of the plaintiff, Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence (“Brady Center” or “Plaintiff”), and its membership to be free from an illegal and unconstitutional requirement imposed by the City of Nelson (“Defendant,” “City,” or “Nelson”) in the State of Georgia that all “Heads of Households,” an undefined term, residing within the city limits maintain a firearm with ammunition...
The lawsuit furthermore stated, “Although the United States Supreme Court’s recent decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), and MacDonald v. Chicago, 651 U.S. 3025 (2010), guarantee law-abiding, responsible citizens the right to possess a firearm in the home for self-defense, the Second Amendment does not require – or permit the government to require – individuals to possess firearms. Rather, the Second Amendment recognizes that individuals can determine how best to defend their homes and families, including by choosing not to bring a firearm into the home. This lawsuit is brought to protect that fundamental liberty, and to prevent its unconstitutional infringement.”
See local reaction and more in next week's print edition.
Drivers unharmed in Highway 53 accidents
Three horses were killed after being hit by vehicles on Highway 53 West near Big Ridge Road last night in a string of three separate accidents.
None of the occupants to the vehicles were injured.
The accidents all occurred within a half mile of each other over a short span of time, but with the windy road, officers at the first collision could not see the other wrecks.
According to Pickens Sheriff Office spokesman Kris Stancil four horses got out of the same pasture and wandered onto the road about 4:30 a.m.
The fourth hourse was herded back into the pasture after it was discovered running loose. Deputies had already responded to the first call when the other two accidents occurred.
A pickup truck over-turned either after striking one of the horses or trying, unsuccessfully, to avoid it. One of the other vehicles was a transfer-truck. The third vehicle, also a pickup truck, only suffered minor damage, according to sheriff reports.
In an interview this morning, Stancil said the owner of the horses was notified and came immediately to the scene. No charges are pending.
Stancil said a livestock owner would be charged criminally only if it is shown that the animals were running loose because of neglect.
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The Pickens Sheriff is asking for help with a missing juvenile, Lucus Hollingshead.
Lucus Hollingshead, 15, was last seen on Caylor Farm Road in Pickens County. He is thought to be in the Dawson or Hall County areas after having run away, according to a Sheriff Office spokesman.
Lt. Kris Stancil said in an interview Saturday morning that the youth is not thought to have been abducted, nor is he thought to be in danger. Investigators believe he is with friends or relatives based on his past history, according to Stancil.
Investigators are working with other counties to check residences of his acquantances. He has been missing for about a week, according to sheriff office reports.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911 immediately.