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General news and features

Board of Education speaks out about senior tax exemption

“Opportunity School District” also denounced by board

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     For at least the second time in the last year a representative of Pickens Seniors for Change - an advocacy group for senior property tax exemption - petitioned the school board to help seniors from being “taxed into poverty.” 
    “We don’t get raises in Social Security,” Lee Williamson told the board at their Thursday, Oct. 21 meeting. “We were promised in December a panel would be formed to discuss this and so far I’ve heard nothing.”

See full story in this week's print or online editions, including comments from the board about their opposition to the "Opportunity School District" referendum.

5-year-old ‘doing well, considering’ after dog bite

     progress squareA five-year-old girl who was bitten on the face, cheek and neck by a dog her family had just adopted from the county animal shelter is “doing well” her father said Thursday morning.
    John Ellison, of Hobson Road, said his daughter was bitten by the dog 45 minutes after bringing him home from the shelter Tuesday, Oct. 11th. The girl was released from Scottish Rite Thursday morning.

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

One killed in tour bus, tractor-trailer wreck

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Damon Howell Pickens Progress/photo

The driver of a tour bus was killed and more than 30 passengers injured after the bus and a tractor-trailer collided on Highway 515 at Whitestone Road, just across the Gilmer County line mid-morning Thursday.

The Ellijay Times Courier reported, "A tour bus heading north on Highway 515 collided with a semitruck pulling out of Whitestone Road. Capt. Frank Copeland of the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office said one of the injured was transported by helicopter, the rest by ambulance."

All medical units from Pickens and Gilmer counties responded to transport those injured from the bus.

Traffic on Highway 515 in both directions was backed up for most of the morning.

 

Teacher pay in Pickens reported as the ninth highest in state

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     At a recent meeting of the Pickens County Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Lula Mae Perry referenced an article published in the AJC back in August titled “Teacher Pay in Georgia: Which Georgia school system pays teachers most?” The article ranked Pickens with  the ninth highest paid teachers in the state, on average.
     Dr. Perry and the board appeared pleased with the ranking and expressed their support for teachers. The Progress followed up with a few questions to find out a little more about why teachers here make about $4,000 more annually than the state average of $54,750, and to learn how teacher pay is calculated.
     See this week's print or online edition for full story.

Spooky assignment: investigate pet cemetery rules planning director told

Planning commission approves unusual Highway business to residential request


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The property in red has been recommended to be rezoned to residential by the planning commission.


    Planning and Development Director Richard Osborne got an assignment Monday that is very appropriate with Halloween approaching – research pet cemetery rules.
    Osborne told the planning commission at their October meeting that he had been contacted by Stanley Morris, of Philadelphia Road, inquiring about the county’s position on a pet cemetery.