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General news and features

Nelson sued over mandatory gun ordinance

            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.


Three horses killed in three wrecks

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.


Sheriff office asks for help with missing juvenile


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.



See photos and more.


Boggus Valedictorian; Shields Salutatorian at PHS


     The Pickens County School Board met last week and announced Pickens High School’s 2013 Senior Class Valedictorian is Taylor Boggus (left), who maintained a GPA of 101.63 all four years of high school. Boggus plans to attend Armstrong Atlantic University in the fall.
    With a GPA of 100.62, the Salutatorian is Amber Shields. She will attend the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega on a full scholarship. Look for complete profiles of these two outstanding students in an upcoming edition of the Progress.
    See other awards and school board news on Page 16A of the print or online edition.

Development on Jekyll Island hinges on defining marshes





Spanish Moss hangs from trees around pristine parts of Jekyll Island if developers get their wish and marsh areas are counted as land, then more of the island will be opened for future use.



By Pam O’Dell


Capitol Reporter

The Jekyll Island Authority has asked the Attorney General’s office to weigh in on a task force’s recommendation that marsh not be considered in determining the island’s land base. The land measurement is significant because it determines, according to state law, the amount of development that can occur on the island. 


Hence, the determination on whether or not marsh is counted as land pits environmentalists and citizen activists against those who favor greater development on the island.