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Does Pickens need a Cemetery Preservation Commission?

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Damon Howell / Photo

Greg Trammell wants the county to establish a volunteer commission that would create a log of all cemeteries and maintain abandoned gravesites. 

 

Just a few days ago, on March 20th, the University of Georgia reinterred the remains of over 100 bodies found unexpectedly during the multi-million-dollar expansion of an academic building on campus. 

The skeletal remains were discovered by construction workers back in November of 2015. Archaeologists determined the graves to be part of the Old Athens Cemetery, which operated as a public cemetery throughout the 19th century. The construction site was on an older portion of the cemetery where slaves were buried.

New girls basketball coach named

Successful coach brings state playoff experience to Dragonettes

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   Brandon Thomas will be replacing retiring head coach Donna Enis as the ’Nettes coach next year.

 

The Pickens County School District announces the hire of Brandon Thomas as the new leader of the girls basketball program. Coach Thomas returns to Pickens County, where he was a teacher and a coach from 2005—2010.

This past season, Coach Thomas completed his 17th year in coaching, the last seven as head coach for the highly successful girls varsity squad at Winder-Barrow High School. During the 2015—2016 season, the Lady Doggs ended with an overall record of 26-7, earning 2nd place in the 5A State Tournament. His coaching achievements include:

Apparent murder-suicide under investigation

sherifflogoOn Tuesday, March 21st, deputies responded to an address on Burgess Road West in Jasper Georgia. The caller had advised that he had found his tenant in his home and he was not conscious. After arriving, deputies found 2 individuals in the home that were deceased.

During the initial investigation, it appears that a Mr. Perry Wayne Hightower killed Ms. Brenda Castleberry and then committed suicide. Hightower, 59 years old, was in a relationship with Ms. Castleberry, 62 years old. 

The caller revealed that he had went to the home with a family member of Ms. Castleberry after they had not heard from her for a short period of time, which was rare. 

Now is the time for real county planning, says Magistrate

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Magistrate Judge Allen Wigington is leading an effort for more serious long-term planning for county government. Here, he addresses the board of commissioners on the subject at a recent meeting.

 

What is Pickens County going to look like in five years? Ten?  

A group of the county’s elected officials say without a clear long-term vision the future could be ruled by reactionary government instead of foresight and thoughtful planning.   

Speaking at the most recent commissioners’ meeting, Pickens County’s Chief Magistrate Judge Allen Wigington said the time is now for leaders and the public to begin work on a plan that will include internal governmental operations such as budgeting,  as well as a larger vision for the community and also economic development. 

See what else this group has planned in our print and e-editions.

Latest Details: Deputy shoots man charging him with pipe after imploring him to stop and drop it

 "Don't make me shoot you," deputy implores before shots fired

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A still-frame from dashboard video of encounter where a deputy shot Gary Lee Castle after he continued charging with a pipe despite numerous warnings.

 

Pickens Deputy Sgt. Travis Curran shot a man charging him brandishing a metal pipe around 1 a.m. Tuesday following a traffic stop on Lincoln Street. [Original report.]

Gary Lee Castle, 54, who lived on Lincoln Street where the shooting took place, was hit twice in the abdomen and  once in the arm by the 17-year-veteran deputy firing the sheriff’s office standard .40 caliber Glock pistol. Curran hit Castle with all three shots fired. 

Castle, who did not lose consciousness, was taken by helicopter to an Atlanta trauma center where he was listed in critical but stable condition Tuesday about noon.

A dashboard video from Curran’s patrol car clearly shows the events leading up to the shooting but not the shooting itself. 

See all the latest details in this week's print or e-edition.