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General news and features

Now is the time to protect your home from wildfires

“What would we do if a Gatlinburg hit our community?” said  Firewise coordinator  


Firewise Communities Brochure


Firewise Communities USA recommends homeowners in wildland-urban areas implement the “Zone Concept,” which offers tips for protecting the home in the “home ignition zone” that extends up to 200 feet in high hazard areas. 

A May 4th fire that burned 100 acres in Gatlinburg served as an unwelcome reminder of the devastating, deadly blaze in the same Tennessee town last November. 

The big Gatlinburg fire, a perfect storm of high wind, ample fuel and persistent drought conditions, destroyed over 2,400 homes and killed at least 12 people. Last fall, leaders of Wildcat Community, Inc. – a consortium of eight communities in the area off Burnt Mountain Road that straddles the Pickens/Dawson line – used the Gatlinburg fire and fires in north Georgia as momentum for revitalizing and restructuring their Firewise Task Force, which focuses on wildfire safety awareness, prevention and education. 

Ga. high court rules Six Flags liable for attack on visitor waiting for bus



Published Monday, June 5, 2017


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 reinstated a $35 million jury award given to a young man left permanently brain-damaged from a beating he received while waiting for a bus after visiting Six Flags Over Georgia.

Missing woman found

Updated -- Woman has been found alive.



missing woman search



Updated -- Woman was found about noon alive.


 Original story -- Search and rescue personnel from the Pickens and Gilmer sheriff’s offices, EMS, fire crews and the DNR are continuing a search for a Gilmer woman last seen at the scenic overlook on the southbound lanes of Highway 515 Sunday night.

Beloved Tate tree “gone with the wind”


George Armstrong/photo

The Chinkapin Oak located in front of the Tate House is recognized by the Georgia Forestry Commission as a Champion Tree, which means it is the largest known of its species in the state. The tree, which blew down on May 20th, is listed as being 82 feet high with a circumference of 222 inches, and having an average diameter crown spread of 112 feet when it was measured on June 13, 2012. The Chinkapin Oak is a native tree in Georgia.

         A Chinkapin Oak that many consider to be one of the oldest of its kind in the country was blown down by winds on May 20th, leaving many residents lamenting the loss of an iconic tree that witnessed hundreds of years of local history.  

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

Where are all the mosquitoes coming from?



Raymond King

District Director of Environmental Health, North Georgia Health District


For mosquito control around your home, your time and money are usually best spent killing mosquito larvae on and around your property.  Many homeowners only focus on killing adult mosquitoes and ignore the mosquito larvae, which are easier and less expensive to kill. By all means, kill adult mosquitoes but don’t forget about where they came from.

The mosquitoes biting you probably came from the larvae in standing water on your own property or a nearby neighbor’s property.  The two species that can carry the Zika virus, the Asian