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General news and features

More details emerge in bizarre murder-for-hire case


Morgan Miles Morris

     Seventeen-year-old Pickens High student Morgan Miles Morris was arrested August 16th after meeting an undercover officer posing as a potential assassin to negotiate the murder of two PHS students.
     Morris is being charged as an adult with Criminal Solicitation to Commit Murder. He remained in jail with no bond set at press time. A mental evaluation has been ordered for him.

See full story, including comments from the head of the criminal investigation division, in this week's print or online edition.

Schools’ Milestones scores a mixed bag


     Georgia Milestones scores from the 2015-2016 school year have been released by the Georgia Department of Education. The good news is Pickens’ scores improved over the previous year, but local results are hit and miss when it comes to meeting the state average.
     See full story in this week's print and online editions, including comments from the school board chair and the director of learning.

$1 million suit filed over PHS b-ball team


     John Curry, Pickens resident and father of a former PHS student, has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the Pickens County School System, alleging administrators have “maliciously ignored reports and complaints” about the boys’ basketball program.

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

Troy Marrs talks reptiles, vivariums and following your passion

earths-eco-reptiles 0644

Earth’s Eco Reptiles and Amphibians founder and owner Troy Marrs with family dog Ma’ma Lou. Marrs and his wife Shannon renovated the shop space at 98 Dean Goss Road, Jasper, directly off of Highway 515 (next to Shiloh Baptist Church). They have two children, Kirby, four, and Rowan, two.

Troy Marrs grew up in Canton and now lives in Ball Ground. After considering a career in criminal justice, Marrs decided to blaze his own path. He recently founded Earth’s Eco in Jasper, which takes a natural approach to raising reptiles and amphibians through all organic enclosures called vivariums.

Attorney Mark Miller pleads not guilty

But sees new charges and no bond
Mark-Miller---PickensMark Miller booking photo.

    Jasper attorney Mark Miller pleaded not guilty Tuesday to numerous financial theft and fraud charges before a visiting judge in Pickens court, but the hearing revealed that Miller will face at least two more sets of theft charges.
    Miller was denied bond for the foreseeable future in the court action Tuesday. Judge Richard Winegarden said he did not feel comfortable letting Miller out on bond. He noted specifically that Miller’s law office escrow account only has a balance of $225, which sounded suspiciously low and the judge questioned if there might be other funds elsewhere.

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