Jones responds to Station 8 Issue

News

JASPER, Ga. – “We’re old country people. We always work on a handshake and a person’s word is his bond.” These were the words of Pickens County Commissioner Rob Jones when questioned about an outstanding issue of a water tank for what is known as the Wildcat Community.

A set area along the line of Dawson and Pickens Counties, the community stretches between and has shared in an Automatic Aid Agreement between the two. They are served by Dawson County Fire Station 8, a volunteer fire station that actually sits inside of Pickens County but is manned by Dawson.

A growing confusion from citizens is attempting to find a single point catalyst for tensions regarding the issue of the fire station, with some pointing to a missing extra water tank, and others pointing to a recent fire that destroyed a home on Burnt Mountain Ridge Road that was not responded to by that Fire Station.

Station 8 was constructed on Monument Road in 2008 by Pickens County in an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with Dawson County.

The questions and concerns over the station have grown so much that the community held a town hall over the issue involving both Dawson and Pickens County Officials to ask questions. Those questions include why it took so long for Fire Station 8 to respond to the fire on Burnt Mountain Ridge Road, why was Fire Station 8 not dispatched promptly since it is only 2.5 miles from the fire? Later in the meeting, the community did also ask what  became of the water tank the organizers say Dawson County promised to provide.

A question that Chairman Jones says isn’t an issue with him anymore because he knows where the issue stands now with Dawson. Jones did not comment on whether he believed the community still had an issue. Jones did also admit that he had no idea why Station 8 was not initially contacted in response to the recent fire.

He noted that as a Volunteer Fire Station, those at station 8 would not have directly engaged the fire, but would instead have been there to contain the fire, prevent it from spreading, ensured the safety of citizens in the vicinity, and preset the area so that when county firefighters did arrive, they could immediately engage the blaze with little setup work.

Pickens County Commission Chairman Rob Jones

Additionally, Jones noted that having volunteers familiar with the community helps expedite firefighter response to a location as they can help direct and guide the approach on back roads the firefighters may not know.

Jones also stated that during the two-hour town hall meeting he was questioned, “The question was asked of me at the end of the meeting, would Pickens County consider taking the station over?” Jones says that he answered by saying that if the community wanted Pickens to do it, they would.

However, Jones contends that he had no intentions for the Fire Station saying that he has trusted Dawson County over the years and had good relations with them with previous commissions. He said he did not want to “throw them out,” referencing Dawson County.

“My main concern is the safety and well-being of the people of Pickens County,” said Jones. He insisted that he wanted to continue with an Intergovernmental Agreement and the established Automatic Aid Agreement.

He went on to state, “I am not telling anybody up there that they don’t need to deal with Dawson County. I have never said, nor will I say that. That’s up to them.”

Another symptom of this rising issue came from Dawson County taking issue with Station members attending training in Pickens County. A fact that Jones said he offers to all volunteer fire fighters in the County as it is a training they must stay up-to-date with.

Still, Jones made note that volunteers are still volunteers. Working with them on their schedule is a part of the package according to Jones who said, “You have to work with them as well as they work with you. It’s not a one-sided game.”

He went on to specify that he does not tell these volunteers to attend Pickens County training saying, “If the individuals up there want to come to Pickens County for training, they can come to Pickens County for training. If they have training going on in Dawson County, they can go to Dawson County for training. We’re not telling them where to go.”

Jones said the State provides guidelines to go by on how to handle fires, those guidelines will match across counties.

During the Pickens County Commissioner’s work session, Jones stated that the county has been approached to take over the station and later confirmed they would be moving forward with that request.

With the Intergovernmental Agreement set in 2008 and an Automatic Aid Agreement in 2009, the station has been up for almost ten years. Taking on new volunteers is not something Jones wants as they move forward with taking control of the fire station. Jones said he didn’t care where they trained or which county they are from, “if you want to be a volunteer, we will proceed forward.”

It is an issue that Dawson County does not agree with. December has seen 13 volunteer firefighters resign in the face of directive from Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson to attend a mandatory training session.

FYN recently reported in a Dawson County Article, “Fire Station 8 volunteers a no-show at training submit their resignations:”

Thursday morning, Thompson summoned Lt. John Tarantini — who supervises Station 8 – to a meeting. “It was my intention to demote him back to support staff for failure to follow an order and insubordination,” Thompson said. “He declined to sign the paperwork and instead tendered his resignation.”

Tarantini also brought with him the resignation of the 12 other volunteers who work at Station 8, which Thompson accepted. That effectively closes the station for now. Station 6 on Hubbard Road in Big Canoe is the closest manned fire station to the Wildcat Community which lies in both Dawson and Pickens counties.

Additionally, Dawson County responded to their resignations and citizens concerns with a press release stating, ” In no way do the recent resignations of Station 8 volunteer support personnel members affect the ISO rating for this community, nor does it decrease the level of service provided.”

Jones has indicated during the County’s Work Session that the Board wants nothing to change between Pickens and Dawson counties moving forward.  He said, “We still want to do an Automatic Aid Agreement, if they so desire. Our main goal is for the protection and cooperation of the Citizens in the community. Wildcat Community, as they call themselves, has got money and time invested in that station. Pickens County does, too. And Dawson County does, also.”

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Coach Chris Parker Steps Down as Head Football Coach of Pickens County Dragons

All of TeamFYNSports

FYN learned this morning the head coach of Pickens County Dragons, Coach Chris Parker, has made a decision to step down.  He has plans to remain as the District Athletic Director as indicated in his release below.  Coach Parker had a winning season this year which made history for the Pickens County Dragons.  TeamFYNSports will interview Coach Parker soon to discuss the future goals for the program.  TeamFYNSports and the entire FYN staff wish Coach much success in his continuing role with these young athletes and the Pickens School system.

 

 

Jones publicly addresses Fire Station issue in Work Session

News

JASPER, Ga. – The Pickens County Board of Commissioners held their December work session for department updates. With nothing else but General Discussion on the agenda, no action was discussed for later this month.

However, one point arose as Chairman Rob Jones took a moment in general discussion to address Post Commissioners Becky Denney and Jerry Barnes about a rising issue on the eastern side of Pickens County. Though nothing was set for specifics, Jones noted he wanted to get training sessions for Authority Boards in the county. With some Boards able to bond and perform other tasks in the county, Jones said he wants the people on these boards to know “what the process is and what it does to the tax base of the county or city.”

Jones also took time to address (25:25 in video) a rising issue in Pickens as he spoke pubicly that the Board has been approached about taking control of a Fire Station on Burnt Mountain. The issue has been rising between Dawson and Pickens Counties over the recent months. Dawson County Fire Station 8 is located inside of Pickens County and operated under an intergovernmental agreement. The area served by this volunteer fire station actually reaches across both counties.

Jones noted he still wants to maintain the automatic aid agreement between the two counties even as the Board goes forward with requests from several in the area. Jones stated, “Our main goal is for the protection and cooperation of the citizens in that community.”

Stay with FYN as we sit down with Rob Jones to speak about the rising issue between the two counties.

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Pickens BOC approves Sunday Sales

News

JASPER, Ga. – A Special Called Meeting saw the Pickens County Board of Commissioners approve a resolution to officially adhere to election results from November.

The Sunday Sales question on Novembers ballot resulted in 63.55% approval, that’s 8,205 votes. Though election results showed the county’s wishes, it still had to be approved by the Board. Though almost a formality, the election results were followed with a 3-0 vote by the Commissioners to approve the resolution.

Effective immediately after the vote, Chairman Rob Jones clarified with County Attorney Philip Landrum that this allows the sell of spirits on Sundays with a few notable exceptions including holidays like Easter Sunday and Christmas. This will be allowed from 11 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.  on Sundays.

Though the county already has resolutions for beer and wine, this resolution allows for the sales of distilled spirits.

 

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Georgia Election Run-Off Results

Election 2018

 2018 Georgia Election Run-Off Results

Tonight marks the run-offs for election races in Georgia, these results are unofficial until approved by the Secretary of State.

 

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 756,016 votes   51.97%

John Barrow (D) – 698,770 votes   48.03%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 749,805 votes   51.83%

Lindy Miller (D) – 696,957 votes   48.17%

 

 

Check for local results by county here:

 

Gilmer

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 4,337 votes   83.13%

John Barrow (D) – 880 votes   16.87%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 4,250 votes   81.79%

Lindy Miller (D) – 946 votes   18.21%

 

Pickens

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 4,408 votes   84.01%

John Barrow (D) – 839 votes   15.99%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 4,325 votes   82.70%

Lindy Miller (D) – 905   17.30%

 

Fannin

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 3,522 votes   81.89%

John Barrow (D) – 779 votes   18.11%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 3,454 votes   80.57%

Lindy Miller (D) – 833 votes   19.43%

 

Dawson

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 3,985 votes   85.83%

John Barrow (D) – 658 votes   14.17%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 3,939 votes   85.02%

Lindy Miller (D) – 694 votes   14.98%

 

White

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 4,063 votes   82.78%

John Barrow (D) – 845 votes   17.22%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 3,960 votes   80.82%

Lindy Miller (D) – 940 votes   19.18%

 

Union

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 4,246 votes   80.92%

John Barrow (D) – 1,001 votes   19.08%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 4,108 votes   78.65%

Lindy Miller (D) – 1,115 votes   21.35%

 

Towns

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 2,161 votes   79.95%

John Barrow (D) – 542 votes   20.05%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 2,105 votes   78.22%

Lindy Miller (D) – 586 votes   21.78%

 

Murray

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 2,699 votes   88.99%

John Barrow (D) – 334 votes   11.01%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 2,691 votes   88.84%

Lindy Miller (D) – 338 votes   11.16%

 

Lumpkin

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 3,378 votes   78.47%

John Barrow (D) – 927 votes   21.53%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 3,337 votes   77.89%

Lindy Miller (D) – 947 votes   22.11%

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Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 11/01 to 11/30

Arrest Reports

PCSO arrest report/photos provided by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office. The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-70) allows for www.fetchyournews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Pickens County. Those arrests are posted on www.fetchyournews.com for viewing pleasure. Please remember that all individuals listed have been arrested and charged, however, they are presumed innocent until guilt has been proven in a court of law.

 

Plane collides with vehicles injuring two

News

Jasper, Ga. – A small plane has collided with multiple vehicles at the Pickens County Airport today, November 28, causing minor injuries to two.

Photo Courtesy of Pickens County Airport

Photo Courtesy of Pickens County Airport

Public Information Officer Kris Stancil of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office stated that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a government agency, would be conducting the interviews and investigations on why the crash occurred, but the Sheriff’s Office was called to assist with the incident.

Stancil said that at this time, it appears the plane may have lost control at some point in its landing process and “clipped another parked plane on the runway and then drove into, actually three different vehicles that it made contact with. One took the brunt of the front of the plane more than any of the others.” Stancil did note that the vehicles were unoccupied resulting in the two in the plane being the only injuries from the accident.

Stancil said the two people only received minor injuries and are being treated now for those injuries.

As for the three vehicles, the plane had veered off the runway and struck them near a garage. Stancil said that while one took the plane’s impact head on and another received significant damage including busting out the windows, the third vehicle only received scrapes and minor damage. Authorities were able to move the third vehicle from the scene.

Though Stancil said that no major fires erupted after the accident, he did note that fuel had been spilled onto the pavement. One plane was reported to have been delayed for take-off at the time of the accident.

At this time, NTSB is taking over the investigation of this unusual incident.

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