Informational Press Release – Pickens County School System

Community, Dragon's Corner

July 10, 2018

Dear Parents,

As we embark on an exciting new school year, we are always looking for ways to enhance the

education of our students as well as assist parents in their beginning of the school year

preparations. Because of this, the Pickens County School System is pleased to announce for the

upcoming school year, our schools will provide the classroom supplies that your child will need

to complete his/her school work. While consumables such as paper, pencils, hand sanitizer, etc.

will be provided by the school, parents are free to purchase additional items such as backpacks,

lunchboxes, etc. if they choose.

We are looking forward to a positive year filled with many educational experiences for each

and every student enrolled with us. We hope that providing students with the supplies they need

will help accomplish this goal.

Dr. Carlton Wilson
Superintendent of Pickens County School System

Two arrested for cruelty to animals

Press Release

JASPER, Ga. – Following a tip from a concerned citizen Monday, May 21, 2018, deputies responded to a residence in the Twin Mountain Lake area of Pickens County. Upon their arrival, deputies observed the partially buried corpses of multiple dogs and observed several additional dogs coming in and out of a residence that appeared to be abandoned.

Upon obtaining a search warrant, deputies and detectives were forced to wear breathing apparatuses to enter the home due to the odor of decay and fecal matter throughout the residence. During the execution of the search warrant, deputies discovered two other dogs living in crates found inside the home. Additional dogs were found to be roaming in and out of the home. According to detectives, every horizontal surface of the home was covered with fecal matter and filth.

During the investigation, detectives were able to learn that the residence belonged to Thomas Lamar Raye and that it had been vacated months before the welfare check. Deputies also learned that James William Raye, the son of Thomas, had been “caring” for the animals by feeding them.

While on scene, a local veterinarian was requested to come to the scene along with Animal Shelter employees from Pickens County, the Pickens County Marshals Office, and Pickens County Fire and EMS. In addition, animal control officers from Cherokee County responded to assist in the capture of the remaining dogs at large. The local veterinarian stated that this case of abuse was the most “disgustingly filthy” that he had witnessed in 20 years.

Four of the dogs that were able to be captured were evaluated by veterinarians and found to all have hookworms and roundworms. All dogs are currently in the care of the Pickens County Animal Shelter and being treated for their ailments. Traps are still remaining at the residence to attempt to rescue any remaining dogs that were unable to be caught on site.

Detectives were able to obtain arrest warrants for both James and Thomas Raye for two felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and four misdemeanor counts of Cruelty to Animals. Both have been arrested and are held at the Pickens County Adult Detention Center awaiting a first appearance hearing before the judge to determine bond amounts and conditions.

Pickens County Schools announces make-up days

Dragon's Corner, News

JASPER, Ga. – Pickens County Schools Superintendent Dr. Carlton Wilson announced in a press release on the school system’s website Saturday, Jan. 20, three scheduled make-up dates in February for missed school days as a result of recent winter weather.

We are very concerned with the academic time our students have missed during this very difficult winter. Our 2017-2018 school calendar includes three weather make-up days during Winter Break in February.

After much consideration, we have made the decision to make up three of of the 12 days our students have missed. The make-up dates are as follows:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018
  • Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018
  • Friday, Feb. 23, 2018

If we continue to miss school days for inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances, we will have to consider the option to make up days during our 2018 Spring Break.

As always, our first priority is the safety and best interest of our students.

According to the Pickens County Schools website, the Pickens County Schools 2018 spring break mentioned in Wilson’s statement occurs Monday, April 2, through Friday, April 6.

Continue to follow FetchYourNews throughout the winter for the latest weather coverage and school, business and office closings.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

 

Author

Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Safety maintenance work continues in Pickens County

Press Release


JASPER, Ga. – A Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) maintenance crew resumes today its work on replacing the obliterated and damaged reflective raised pavement markers on state Route 136 in Pickens County.  Work will proceed daily Tuesday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. This maintenance operation and the lane closures it necessitates are weather permitting and subject to change.

Georgia DOT maintains over 2,000 lane-miles in northwest Georgia. Relatively harsh winters and snowplows used to clear the region’s interstates and state routes from snow and ice present a challenge to the DOT crews who are charged with maintaining lane markers on the roads.   These crews follow Federal Highway Administration standards for markings and do their best to keep up. They also work almost continuously re-striping faded markers and replacing missing reflective raised pavement markers. Still, the volume of traffic on the highways, snow removal in the winter and sunny summers all weigh heavily on the durability of the lane markers.

Benton MacKaye Trail Association Press Release

Community

PRESS RELEASE:

The Benton MacKaye Trail Association (BMTA) is seeking volunteers to help with trail maintenance for an upcoming work trip.

According to Barry Allen, Georgia work trip coordinator for the BMTA, a work trip is planned for Saturday, Dec. 9, on a section of trail near Fall Branch Falls in Fannin County. This month’s Georgia work trip will focus on completing the re-route at Fall Branch Falls. Allen stated there are a few more steps needing to be installed, which will require hauling timbers, along with a 50-foot section of trail to dig. Also, a number of water diversions just upstream from the falls will be put in place.

Allen hopes to have work completed for the day around lunchtime and mentioned he would bring his grill with him if the weather is nice to grill some burgers and brats for a post-work lunch.

All work trip participants are asked to wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeve pants and shirts, work gloves and, for cold-weather trips, multiple thin layers that can be easily shed one at a time. Also, a daypack for storing food, water or other items is always a good idea for work trips. Food and water are not supplied by the BMTA on work trips; however, tools are provided by the Association. The BMTA recommends workers to bring at least two liters of water for the trip.

Those interested can meet either at The Iron Bridge Café and General Store on Aska Road across from Shallowford Bridge, at 8:00 a.m. or at Fall Branch Falls at 9 a.m.

The Benton MacKaye Trail spans three states – Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina – and nearly 300 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Davenport Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is enjoyed by thousands of hikers and outdoor enthusiasts each year.

For anyone with questions or needing further information, contact Barry Allen at bmtabarry@gmail.com or 770-294-7384.

Benton MacKaye Trail Association (BMTA) Press Release

Community

PRESS RELEASE:

The Benton MacKaye Trail Association (BMTA) is seeking volunteers to help with trail maintenance for an upcoming work trip.

According to Barry Allen, Georgia work trip coordinator for the BMTA, a work trip is planned for Saturday, Nov. 25, on a section of trail within the Big Frog Wilderness Area in Tennessee. Blowovers and downed trees will be the focus of the work trip, and Allen hopes to assemble a team of six to seven sawyers to work the trail south of Forest Service Road 221. Participants in this trip can expect about a five-mile out and back hike, Allen said.

Depending on the turnout and the number of certified crosscut workers, a second team may work another section of the BMT that follows Dry Pond Lead Trail north to Kimsey Hwy. (FS 68). Allen stated this section has not been worked in over a year and will likely also need lopper work even if only a few trees are down. This section is four miles one way and is a gradual uphill climb.

All work trip participants are asked to wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeve pants and shirts, work gloves and, for cold-weather trips, multiple thin layers that can be easily shed one at a time. Also, a daypack for storing food, water or other items is always a good idea for work trips. Food and water are not supplied by the BMTA on work trips. The BMTA recommends workers to bring at least two quarts of water for the trip.

Those interested can meet either at The Home Depot in Blue Ridge, Georgia, at 8:30 a.m. or at Thunder Rock Campground eight miles west of Ducktown, Tennessee, off of U.S. Hwy. 64 at 9 a.m.

The Benton MacKaye Trail spans three states – Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina – and nearly 300 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Davenport Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is enjoyed by thousands of hikers and outdoor enthusiasts each year.

For anyone with questions or needing further information, contact Barry Allen at bmtabarry@gmail.com.

Dragonflies Birthdays & Events Ribbon Cutting Press Release

Community

The Pickens County Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate Dragonflies Birthdays & Events on their ribbon cutting for their business.

Dragonflies is introducing a unique approach to events in the north Georgia area. While they specialize in children’s birthday parties, they are excited to offer a variety of services that are easily customized to fit your needs.

Dragonflies offer a venue that is affordable to fit any budget. If you are looking for a place to host an anniversary party, bridal or baby showers, meetings, reunions and intimate weddings, they are the place!

For more information on Dragonflies Birthdays & Events and many other businesses that are members of the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce, please give us a call at 706-692-5600 or visit our website at www.pickenschamber.com.

“Operation Rattlesnake” Targets On-line Child Predators

Press Release

“Operation Rattlesnake” Targets On-line Child Predators

Decatur, GA (10/10/17) – As a result of a proactive undercover investigation coordinated by the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit (CEACC), the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, and the Hall County District Attorney’s Office, five (5) people were arrested over a four-day period beginning Thursday, October 5, 2017.  Those arrested were charged with O.C.G.A. 16-12-100.2, Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 2007.  Additional charges may be forthcoming.

“Operation Rattlesnake” was a four-day proactive effort centered in Hall County, GA.  The operation took several months of planning.  The arrestees, ranging in age from 23 to 58, traveled from areas around metro Atlanta with the intent to meet a child for sex.  One person that was arrested was a registered sex offender with previous convictions for child molestation and statutory rape.

The goal of “Operation Rattlesnake” was to arrest persons who communicate with children on-line and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex.  In addition, the operation targeted those that are willing to exploit children by purchasing sex with a minor. On-line child predators visit chat rooms and websites on the internet, find children, begin conversations with them, introduce sexual content and arrange a meeting with the children for the purpose of having sex.  The children these predators target are both boys and girls.  Since 2014, the Georgia ICAC Task Force has arrested over 100 people in similar operations.  

Over the course of the multi-day operation, investigators had almost 300 exchanges with subjects on various social media or internet platforms. More than 60 of those were exchanges in which the subject initiated contact with whom they believed to be a minor and directed the conversation towards sex. In some of those cases, the subject introduced obscene or lude content, often exposing the minor (UC) to pornography or requesting the child take nude or pornographic images for them. More than 170 exchanges involved websites used for dating, socializing, or even websites used for classified advertisements.  Although some websites promote themselves as being for “adults-only” it is not uncommon for law enforcement to work cases in which children access these sites, establish profiles claiming to be older, and then find themselves vulnerable to victimization, harassment, blackmail, or assault. More than a dozen subjects were identified as communicating simultaneously with multiple investigators posing as minors. Such activity confirms what investigators uncover conducting these types of investigations: that many predators specifically seek out minors on such websites to groom them as potential victims for sexual contact.

Along with those agencies who participated in the planning and coordinating of the operation, eleven (11) additional law enforcement agencies participated in “Operation Rattlesnake” as members of the Georgia ICAC Task Force. These agencies were:

    1. Brookhaven Police Department
    2. Coweta County Sheriff’s Office
    3. Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office
    4. Gainesville Police Department
    5. Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center (GISAC)
    6. Hall County Solicitor’s Office
    7. Hall Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad
    8. LaGrange Police Department
    9. Oakwood Police Department
    10. Richmond County Sheriff’s Office
    11. Roswell Police Department

The proactive on-line investigation was a coordinated effort among the participating law enforcement agencies to combat this activity.  Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch stated, “This operation is a prime example of interagency planning and cooperation.  I am proud that we were able to host the task force at our facility to carry it out.  Moreover, I hope that these arrests send a loud and clear message: the exploitation of children will not be tolerated in Hall County.  We look forward to working with the ICAC task force whenever needed to stop these predators. Hall County is a great community and we will work relentlessly to ensure that it remains a safe place for our children.” GBI Special Agent in Charge, and Commander of the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, Debbie Garner remarked “The Hall County Sheriff’s Office is one of our most active member agencies.  We appreciate their daily efforts to combat child exploitation.  This type of cooperation and collaboration is invaluable in the effort to keep our children safe from predators who seek to harm them.  This successful operation was a partnership between all the agencies involved. We will continue to aggressively work together to protect our children.”  

The following were arrested and charged in Hall County as part of “Operation Rattlesnake”:

  1. Melo Hairapetian, W/M, Morris, IL, 28 years of age, construction worker
  2. Baribefe Monkpe, B/M, Lawrenceville, GA, 23 years of age, employment unknown
  3. Anthony Jordan, W/M, Newnan, GA, 37 years of age, unemployed
  4. Drake Cook, W/M, Athens, GA, 23 years of age, retail store employee
  5. James Herndon, W/M, Flowery Branch, GA, 58 years of age, pharmacist

The Georgia ICAC Task Force is comprised of 200+ local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, other related criminal justice agencies and prosecutor’s offices.  The mission of the ICAC Task Force, created by the U. S. Department of Justice and managed and operated by the GBI in Georgia, is to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in developing an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases. This support encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, prevention and community education. The ICAC Program was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the internet, the proliferation of child pornography, and the heightened online activity by predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims. By helping state and local law enforcement agencies develop effective and sustainable responses to online child victimization and child pornography, the ICAC program delivers national resources at the local level.  Arrests made by the Georgia ICAC Task Force have been steadily increasing over the last 3 years.  In 2014, the GA ICAC Task Force made 196 arrests.  The Georgia ICAC Task Force made 244 arrests in 2015, and in 2016, the Georgia ICAC Task Force made 340 arrests. The Georgia ICAC Task Force has made over 2,000 arrests since its inception in 2002.  

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