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December 2020
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COVID-19 vaccine poised for mid-December roll out in Georgia, says Governor Kemp



By Beau Evans

Staff Writer

Capitol Beat News Service


Georgia is gearing up to distribute the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to health-care workers and the state’s elderly residents in the coming weeks once federal officials approve the vaccines for emergency use.

  Gov. Brian Kemp said Monday he expects health-care workers and nursing home residents in the state to start receiving vaccines in the second or third week of December, noting several state agencies have been preparing to move quickly on distribution as soon as the initial vaccine shipments arrive.

Read more: COVID-19 vaccine poised for mid-December roll out in Georgia, says Governor Kemp

Chester’s bad day: “Tough as nails” dog with nose for trouble doing fine following rescue

       front chester and vet tech

       Wayside Animal Hospital / Photo

Poor Chester - The 11-year-old dog that got his head stuck in a dryer vent is pictured with Animal Care Assistant Elizabeth Collins. Collins works with Wayside Animal Clinic through the Work Based Learning Program at Pickens High School. 

       Chester, an 11-year-old terrier mix owned by a local family, had a really bad day last week when he got his head stuck in a dryer vent.

“It was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen in my entire career,” said Dr. Lyn Lewis, owner of Wayside Animal Clinic. Dr. Lewis has been practicing for 18 years. 

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

Lawmakers seek special session for voter ID changes before Senate runoffs


By Beau Evans
Staff Writer
Capitol Beat News Service

   A group of Republican state lawmakers are calling for the General Assembly to hold a special session ahead of the Jan. 5 runoff elections for U.S. Senate to consider changes to Georgia’s voter ID laws amid testiness over the recent presidential contest.
    State election officials have said a second recount of the Nov. 3 presidential election that began Tuesday likely will not include inspecting signatures on absentee ballot envelopes, which allies of President Donald Trump have demanded since his loss to President-elect Joe Biden in Georgia.
    In Georgia, county election officials verify mail-in voters by matching the signatures they are required to make on ballot envelopes with their signatures on file from when they registered. The envelopes are then separated from the actual ballots to protect voter privacy, making it tough to re-match those signatures later.
   Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office has repeatedly said state and local officials have found no evidence so far of any widespread fraud in this month’s general election. Raffensperger has, however, advocated for tightening the state’s voter ID laws.

Read more: Lawmakers seek special session for voter ID changes before Senate runoffs

Holiday 2020 Preview: Christmas parade, toy programs, New Year’s

nativty ceremony


 The Pickens Community new Nativity scene was lit Saturday afternoon in a brief ceremony at the courthouse. Those participating were the Rev. Max Caylor, Mayor Steve Lawrence, Commissioner Becky Denny, Marla Renner organizer of funding, Christmas carols leader Casey Ferguson and Commission Chair Rob Jones. The nativity was set up just in time for the Night of Lights Christmas parade Saturday, Dec. 5. 

It’s been said the only constant is change – and 2020 has been a proven testament to the famous quote. This year’s local holiday festivities are no different, with organizers being forced to drastically change protocol or cancel all together. Here’s the latest on local events and Christmas programs. If you know of other programs taking place, e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be included in a future edition.


Read more: Holiday 2020 Preview: Christmas parade, toy programs, New Year’s

Boy Scouts complete Eagle projects at Our Lady of the Mountains

front left to right Peyton Franco and Jake Anderson

     Peyton Franco and Jake Anderson (l-r) completed an impressive area for the Catholic Church on Refuge Road as their Eagle Scout projects.


From Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church

Becoming an Eagle Scout is a major accomplishment that requires the candidate to “plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or their community.” 

For their Eagle Scout project, local Scouts Peyton Franco, son of Jose and Alana Franco, and Jake Anderson, son of Marc and Dana Anderson, chose to build a beautiful stone firepit with amphitheater

Read more: Boy Scouts complete  Eagle projects at Our Lady of the Mountains