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General news and features

Tax Digest in the works


     Continuing to work on the values of property in the county for the 2013 digest, the tax assessors’ office anticipates no problem meeting the state deadline for submission, which is August 1, but did not indicate it would be ready any time significantly sooner.
    Despite school officials regular public comments that they can’t finish their budget until the digest numbers are released, Chief Tax Assessor Roy Dobbs points out (and the state Dept. of Revenue confirms) that digest numbers are not due to the state until August 1.

See the print or online editions for the rest of this story.

Pickens sheriff investigating death of Woodstock K9 unit

Pickens sheriff officers are investigating the death of the Woodstock Police Office's K9 dog that died at its handler house in Pickens County.

According to a news release from the Woodstock Police Office, the canine, Spartacus, a Belgian Malinois, was found dead inside the patrol car around 9 p.m. Monday at the officer's home here in Pickens County. The apparent cause of death was heat stroke from being left in the car too long.

The handler whose name has not been released was known as a dedicate animal handler. His first K9 partner lived in retirement at his family home.

“Titanic violin” on display in Pigeon Forge

Famous violin survived historic RMS Titanic sinking and belonged to storied  Titanic bandmaster, Wallace Hartley 

Pigeon Forge, Tenn. – For the first and only time in the United States, the iconic violin, depicted in Titanic-themed movies and actually used by Wallace Hartley on board Titanic, will be on display at the Titanic Museum Attractions in Pigeon Forge, TN, and Branson, MO,  announces Titanic Museum Attractions’ owner, John Joslyn.

This storied artifact wase unveiled to the American public  at Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge earlier this year.  It will remain there until Saturday, July 27 before it travels to the Titanic Museum Attraction’s sister-location in Branson.  It will be on display in Branson, Thursday, Aug. 1 through Thursday, Aug. 15 prior to it traveling back to England where it will be auctioned off by Henry Aldridge and Son on Saturday, Oct. 19.

Widely regarded as the world’s leading experts in the sale of RMS Titanic memorabilia, Henry Aldridge and Son have unparalleled experience in auctioning the rarest memorabilia ever to be offered and describe the Hartley Violin as “the Holy Grail.”

Legislature did little to slow foreclosure crisis


By Pam O’Dell,
Capitol Reporter

    Two Studies confirm what now appears obvious: The Georgia General Assembly did very little to prevent or address the residential foreclosure crises.
Acts of Omission: The Immergluck Study
    In 2011, researchers Dan Immergluck of the School of Regional Planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Frank Alexander, Urban Housing Expert within Emory’s School of Law, co-published research entitled: Legislative Responses to the Foreclosure Crises in Non-Judicial States.        


 The study reveals that Georgia ranked high in the number of foreclosures, but ranked low in its response to the foreclosure crises.


    During a phone interview, Alexander deemed Georgia’s failure to address the crises as an “unfortunate loss of opportunity to halt the economic destruction of huge portions of the state.”        

Alexander gave credit to some legislators who persistently put forth “reasonable bills to stop the bleeding” but noted that House and Senate leadership did not assist in their passage.
    Legislative records show that although numerous bills were filed in order to address the crises, almost all failed to pass the Georgia House and Senate.        

One exception was SB531, which made modest changes to recording and filing requirements and extended the foreclosure period from fifteen to thirty days. (Georgia has one of the shortest foreclosure process periods in the nation-often taking less than forty-five days from start to finish).

Regional ministry delivering lunches to students in need


     Volunteers prepare to deliver around 100 lunches Monday to Pickens County children who are thought to be in need as part of a MUST ministries program serving Pickens County for the first time this year.


By Laiken Owens
intern reporter

    A north metro ministry with 18-year record of providing food to hungry children in the summer, began running routes delivering lunches in Pickens County this week. For the first week, they were delivering to 100 kids but this number could rise with strong community donations and volunteers.
    MUST Ministries teamed up with Community Christian Fellowship to bring students in need lunches during the summer.