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General news and features

Highly decorated K-9 “Flash” and handler join sheriff’s team


         It’s all business for the Pickens County Sheriff’s new K-9 Flash, pictured with handler Chris Tucker. Tucker and Flash relocated from Savannah to work at a more “community oriented” agency.

     Look, but don’t touch.
    Keep that in mind if you find yourself around Flash, Pickens County Sheriff’s new highly decorated K-9 just in from the Savannah-Chatham Police Department.
    “He’s not a social dog at all,” said Flash’s long-time handler Chris Tucker, a Pickens native who’s also highly decorated and also just in from the coastal law agency. “He doesn’t want to play or be a pet at all. He just wants to work.”
See this week's print or online edition for the full story.

Book binder keeps family treasures alive

book-binder 4185    Mike Grimes uses a press to adhere a new leather cover to a book in his Big Canoe workshop. As he spins the wheel the plate lowers and applies pressure to the book.
     In keeping with the motif of a trade that seems lost somewhere in the pages of history - tucked inside the same dusty chapter as shoe and boot repair - book binder Mike Grimes prefers his antique board cutter, book press and backing vice to modern bindery machines.

    “These work well for what I need to do with them,” says the Pickens resident and owner of TLC Book Restoration as he covers an old Bible with new leather. “Everything I do is handwork, so I don’t need the high-tech stuff.”
    Because he does things the old fashioned way Grimes’ workshop - the basement of his Big Canoe home - is much quieter than the National Library Bindery Company in Roswell where he worked for nearly 40 years.

County out third planning and development director in under a year

Pickens County Seal    While he would not release details at this time, Pickens Commission Chair Rob Jones confirmed Monday, July 6 that Alberto Torres is no longer employed by the county as planning and development director.  

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


Georgia high court upholds hit man murder conviction


Published Monday, July 6, 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 upheld the murder conviction and life prison sentence of Chiman Rai, a native of India, who was convicted in Fulton County of hiring a hit man to murder his daughter-in-law, Michelle “Sparkle” Reid Rai.

            In today’s unanimous opinion in this high-profile case, Justice Carol Hunstein writes for the Court that the evidence at trial “was sufficient to enable a rational trier of fact to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Rai was guilty of the crimes of which he was convicted.”

Two sheriff investigations have Russian connections

    It goes without saying that Pickens sheriff investigators don’t see many Russian connections to their work. Detective April Killian said it was bizarre to see two unrelated cases this month, both with ties back to Russian financial criminals.
    In the first case, a 65-year-old Pickens woman unwittingly became involved in a Russian credit card fraud/stolen merchandise scam.

   To read the rest of this story, see our e-edition.