County finds funding for Jones Mountain Road slide

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JASPER, Ga. – The citizens of Pickens County breathe a sigh of relief today as County Commission Chairman Rob Jones shares information on funding for repairs of the damage that has shut down Jones Mountain Road close to two months ago.

Citizens have been avoiding the area since February 22, 2019, when the county closed the road after major storms washed out the ridge under the road and caused part of the pavement to crumble away. The road is still closed today, but Jones says this will change soon as the funding will allow them to move forward with a proposal from GeoStabilization International to reopen the road.

The county has secured $1.3 million in funding from the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank with the SRTA (State Road and Tollway Authority as well as an additional $500,000 from the state’s emergency LMIG (Local Maintenance Improvement Grant) to cover the estimated $1.8 million project. These estimations came when Chairman Jones called the event a “major disaster” in early March.

Jones says that additional companies have spoken with the county about their own proposals for the repairs. But utilizing these funds requires the project to meet and adhere to DOT guidelines. Additionally, operating under the emergency status for the county, they will not wait for a bid process that could take up another two months before any repairs begin. Instead, the county is moving forward under the proposal with GeoStabilization International.

While the road will take upwards of two months to fully repair, Jones reiterated his intentions, as he explained in the March Commissioners’ Meeting, to get the road open for use of a single lane within the next two weeks. As part of the proposal, this quick turnaround will address the extra 4.7 miles that both citizens and emergency services must travel to go around the slide area.

While some points of the project are still up for negotiations in the upcoming pre-construction meetings, Jones asserts that the funding will cover the entirety of the project. However, he did note that the county could reach into the $100,000 contingency funds should the need actually arise.

Jones noted that receiving the state funding would not have been possible without a major concerted effort. Pickens County Finance Director Faye Harvey in conjunction with state representatives Steve Gooch, Rick Jasperse, andChuck Payne worked alongside Emily Dunn on the State Board to make a last-minute push for state involvement to bring funds to relieve the citizens from such a major financial impact from this emergency.

Citizens of Pickens should begin seeing the repairs and construction beginning soon and in a matter of weeks, access through the entirety of Jones Mountain Road should be returned, if only a limited one lane access.

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Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 04/01 to 04/07

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.

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 03/24 to 03/31

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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.

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 03/18 to 03/24

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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.

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 03/12 to 03/17

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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.

Piedmont Mountainside named one of the Nation’s Top 100 Hospitals

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Piedmont Mountainside

Jasper, Ga. (March 11, 2019) — Piedmont Mountainside Hospital has been named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by IBM Watson Health. The study spotlights the top-performing hospitals in the U.S. based on a balanced scorecard of publicly available clinical, operational and patient satisfaction metrics and data.

“At Piedmont Mountainside, we share a commitment to providing unsurpassed medical care to all who need our services,” said hospital CEO Denise Ray. “We take our promise of making a positive difference in every life we touch seriously, and that’s why we’re so proud to be recognized as a Top 100 Hospital this year.”

Overall, the IBM Watson Health™ 100 Top Hospitals study found that the top-performing hospitals outperformed non-winning peer group hospitals in a variety of performance measures, including higher survival rates, fewer complications and infections, shorter length of stay, shorter emergency department wait times, lower inpatient expenses, higher overall profit margins and higher patient satisfaction.

Based on the results of this year’s study, Watson Health extrapolates that if all Medicare inpatients received the same level of care as those treated in the award-winning facilities:

  • More than 103,000 additional lives could be saved;
  • More than 38,000 additional patients could be complication-free;
  • More than $8.2 billion in inpatient costs could be saved; and
  • Approximately 155,000 fewer discharged patients would be readmitted within 30 days.

“At a time when research shows that the U.S. spends nearly twice as much on healthcare as other high-income countries, yet still has poorer population health outcomes , the 100 Top Hospitals are bucking the trend by delivering consistently better care at a lower cost,” said Ekta Punwani, 100 Top Hospitals® program leader at IBM Watson Health. “The hospitals on this list represent the current vanguard in value-based care and we applaud their commitment to quality.”

The Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals® study uses independent and objective research to analyze hospital and health system performance in 10 clinical and operational areas addressing: risk-adjusted inpatient mortality index, risk-adjusted complications index, mean healthcare-associated infection index, mean 30-day risk-adjusted mortality rate, mean 30-day risk-adjusted readmission rate, severity-adjusted length of stay, mean emergency department throughput, case mix- and wage-adjusted inpatient expense per discharge, adjusted operating profit margin, and HCAHPS score (patient rating of overall hospital performance). The study has been conducted annually since 1993.

For more information, visit www.100tophospitals.com.

About Piedmont Mountainside Hospital

Piedmont Mountainside Hospital – a 52-bed hospital, located in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains – dedicates itself to delivering unsurpassed medical care to the residents of Pickens. Gilmer and North Cherokee Counties and surrounding communities. We provide a range of services from cardiac rehabilitation and imaging to orthopedic services to cardiac catheterization and general surgery. Piedmont Mountainside offers intensive care, 24-hour emergency services with 18 beds and a fast track area.

At Piedmont Mountainside, we take pride in providing outstanding care and our record of accomplishment speaks for itself. In the past few years, Piedmont Mountainside has consistently ranked in the top five Atlanta hospitals in patient experience as well as received top marks for our commitment to patient safety by Leapfrog 7 consecutive times. Other awards received are the Press Ganey Partner of Choice Award, Best Place to Practice Award, 2011 Small Hospital of the Year, AJC’s 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Top Workplace, the Women’s Choice Award for Best in Obstetrics and Best in Patient Safety, and Business of the Year by the Gilmer Co. Chamber.

About IBM Watson Health

Watson Health is a business unit of IBM that is dedicated to the development and implementation of cognitive and data-driven technologies to advance health. Watson Health technologies are tackling a wide range of the world’s biggest health care challenges, including cancer, diabetes, drug discovery and more.

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Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 03/04 to 03/11

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.

Multi-Agency search ends with suspect capture

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(Photos provided by Pickens County Sheriff’s Office)

MARBLE HILL, Ga. – According to Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Captain Kris Stancil, a recent accident led to a drawn-out search and capture of one Richard Eric Duckett, 25.

Richard Eric Duckett

Richard Eric Duckett

The Pickens Sheriff involved support from four other agencies including GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation), Georgia State Patrol, the Gilmer Sheriff’s Office, and the Cherokee-Pickens multi-agency SWAT team.

Though they did eventually capture Duckett, what follows is the Pickens Sheriff’s Public Release about the events leading up to his capture.

During a bizarre twist of events, an accident that deputies responded to on Highway 53 East in Marble Hill Georgia on March 7th at approximately 10:30 pm, turned out to be an Aggravated Assault case. Upon arrival at an accident, deputies found the driver of one vehicle to be suffering from a gunshot wound to his leg. Another vehicle, a motorcycle, was also found wrecked with no driver in site.

Recognizing that this was more than an accident, deputies requested the assistance of detectives, the Georgia State Patrol and later the GBI Crime Scene Unit to respond as well.

What we have learned about this active case is that a domestic dispute erupted at a residence on Andiron Way in Marble Hill Georgia. During the dispute, Richard Eric Duckett (age 25) shot Roy Joseph Holloway in the right leg. After shooting Holloway, Duckett then fled the residence on a Yamaha Motorcycle. Holloway then got into a Lexus passenger car and began to chase after him.

As they traveled East on Hwy 53 East, Duckett lost control of the motorcycle and wrecked in the 10000 block of Hwy 53 East, near the J.M. Huber Corporation. Holloway then continued to travel East for approximately ½ mile before he wrecked the car near Pea Ridge Road.

Holloway was transported by ambulance and was treated for his injuries and released.

A search for Duckett began using the assistance of a Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office canine unit. Following a track and additional witness information, it was determined that Duckett had received a ride back to the residence at 18 Andiron Way. Once this information was obtained, detectives obtained a Search Warrant and Arrest Warrant for Mr. Duckett. Due to no one answering the multiple attempts to come to the door, the Cherokee-Pickens multi-agency SWAT team was requested to execute entry and conduct a search warrant.

During the execution of the search warrant, Mr. Duckett was not found in the residence but Patrick Scheibel (age 20) was arrested for Obstruction of Law Enforcement Officers.

Deputies continued to search for Duckett in the immediate area throughout the night.

On Friday, March 8th, deputies were called to a residence in the area of Duckett Lane for an individual requesting an ambulance due to a motorcycle accident. Upon arrival, they learned that the individual was Mr. Duckett. He had what appear to be non-life-threatening injuries and was transported by ambulance to an area hospital for treatment. Detective accompanied him on the transport.

This case is still being actively investigated to determine the events that led up to the shooting and to process the evidence obtained at the residence and in the vehicles.

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