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February 2020
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“Fractured” school board moves ahead

school board

Angela Reinhardt / Photo

Cheryl Sams, right, was one of four people who spoke vehemently against the board’s decision to remove Dr. Carlton Wilson. Dozens of others attended to show their disappointment in three board members’ move.   


A heated crowd turned out for the first board of education meeting of the year, where the public slammed three board members for forcing former Superintendent Dr. Carlton Wilson to resign.

Public speakers at the meeting, who are just a few of the throngs of Pickens residents who have come out in support of Wilson, accused  board members Tucker Green, Joeta Youngblood, and Donna Enis of not acting in line with the desires of their constituents, of being unclear about their reasons for letting Wilson go, for being non-transparent, and for costing taxpayers thousands of dollars. 

The tension ramped up right out of the gate, when interim superintendent Dr. Charles Webb called for nominations for chairperson. Tucker Green was re- elected with board members Enis and Youngblood voting in favor of his appointment. One member of the public was heard saying “sickening” after he was re-elected to the position. Enis was elected vice chair. 

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

Ga. highest court rules on standard for "irreparably corrupt" youth


Published Monday, January 13, 2020


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 upheld the life-without-parole prison sentence given to a young man who was 17 years old when he and another young man murdered a friend to “see how it feels to kill someone.”

In appealing his convictions and prison sentence to the state’s highest court, attorneys for Dakota Lamar White argued that the trial court erred in allowing in as evidence his confession to law enforcement officials and in sentencing him to life without parole. His attorneys argued that the State should have had to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the juvenile offender was “irreparably corrupt” and therefore eligible for the extreme sentence. Instead, the trial court found the youth was “irreparably corrupt” based upon a “preponderance of the evidence,” which is a lighter standard of proof.

Read more: Ga. highest court rules on standard for "irreparably corrupt" youth

Big changes in city hall as new mayor takes seat, longtime attorney replaced

jasper council members

      Jasper’s new Mayor Steve Lawrence, center, with (L - R) council members Sonny Proctor, Kirk Raffield, John Foust, Anne Sneve, Jim Looney, and Jasper City Manager Brandon Douglas at the swearing-in ceremony.  

       There were no shortage of changes at city hall on Monday, Jan. 6 when Steve Lawrence led his first council meeting as Jasper’s new mayor. Not only was the city’s top elected official a new face after 27 years, but council hired a new lead attorney and replaced their CFO with an interim. 

The January council meeting was just a few days after Lawrence and three council members – Jim Looney, Kirk Raffield, and John Foust - took the oath of office at a swearing-in ceremony on Friday, Jan. 3.  All elected officials were sworn in by Pickens’ Chief Magistrate Judge Allen Wigington. 

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

Commission chair says it’s “hands off” with school board

       Commission Chair Rob Jones said last week that allegations that he had any input into school board issues or the termination of former superintendent Carlton Wilson are “ludicrous.”

In a separate interview, he was seconded by school board chair Tucker Green who called any belief that he mingles his school board work as the chair to his part-time job as the county public information officer as “silly.”

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


All in the family — Historic induction at Sequoyah DAR

Genealogy research crucial part of organization


Sequoyah Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution welcomed 13 new members at their most recent meeting. Pictured are (L - R) - Virginia Barkley, Katie Cagle, Anna Stevenson, Bay Cagle, Patsy Daniel, Carolyn White, Elizabeth "Snookie" McKinnon (seated), Kathy Ciomek, Debra Peal, Liv Taylor, sisters Sara Johnson and Nancy Orr, and Gina Haines. 


     As I listened to Annie Gunnin, registrar for the Sequoyah Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, discuss the research that led to the recent induction of a family of six women, it became glaringly apparent that genealogy is a skill that requires tenacity, precision, and creative thinking to build the most accurate picture of history.  

  Gunnin spent a month piecing together the branches of a family tree back from lifelong Pickens resident Patsy Daniel several generations to a Mrs. Jane Trail West, a female patriot from the Revolutionary War. 

Read more: All in the family — Historic induction at Sequoyah DAR