PICKENS COUNTY, Ga. — The Pickens County Board of Commissioners met on May 19, 2022. At their meeting, Fire Chief Tim Prather was given the time to recognize two employees who recently received licenses to serve as paramedics. Chairman Stancil also gave a recognition to Pickens County sports teams, and the commissioners voted to fill two positions.
During the commissioners’ meeting, Chief Prather recognized firefighters Zachary Robinson and Zachary Licona who recently finished the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Paramedic Program. Prather emphasized the time Licona and Robinson dedicated to becoming licensed paramedics, “I don’t think there’s ever enough said about the paramedic program and what these guys go through. The program itself is about 1200 hours.” He also read a letter of commendation that was presented to both paramedics. “Although I have never attempted this program,” Prather said, “I am fully aware of the time, preparation, commitment, dedication, and physical demands required to complete this program successfully.” He continued, “It is with immense pleasure and honor that I offer you this letter of commendation for a job well done.”
Prather also noted that their licensure had already been used to benefit the community. He added that one paramedic had already responded to a heart attack call, saying the survivor is “alive today because of that training.”
Continuing recognitions, Chairman Kris Stancil recognized the Pickens County High School teams that reached the state championships or playoffs including baseball, competition cheer, volleyball, wrestling, basketball, girls’ golf, cross country and track, girls’ tennis, soccer, and Esports. Stancil said they “definitely want to recognize and honor every member of everyone of those teams, but like I say, we don’t have a room big enough in the county to bring all of these students and their families in.”
After the retirement of the county’s current commercial building inspector, the commissioners approved an agreement that will allow the chairman to fill the position. The board also took action to appoint a Democrat to the Pickens County Board of Elections. Stancil first noted that the elections board must have two Republican members and two Democratic members. He explained that one current member, Democrat Barbara Balducci, is leaving the county. The commissioners filled that position until the term expires in January 2026.
Pickens High School will be closed to employees and staff on Monday, March 23, for a deep cleaning after an employee who worked on campus reported flu-like symptoms.
Chris Wallace, principal, stated in a press release:
“A PHS employee who worked on campus last week reported flu-like symptoms to me on Saturday. After consultation with our
superintendent and health services director, I feel it best as a precautionary measure to further restrict the number of people entering the building while it is being properly cleaned.”
He went on to say they would take proper precautions and to deep clean, the Pickens High campus will be closed
to all employees and visitors Monday, March 23rd.
“Our campus access plan is currently under review. Any changes made to this
plan will be communicated once determined,” the statement continued.
Schools are currently closed until March 31. Read the story here.
PICKENS COUNTY, Ga – Pickens County School Resource Officers (SRO) searched a student’s vehicle on Thursday, Jan. 9, after receiving a credible report from a Pickens County High School (PCHS) teacher, and found a BB gun inside the car.
Pickens County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) have released the following details.
SRO actively investigated the possibility of a student allegedly making threats to kill another student throughout the day. While this investigation was underway, a teacher overheard students stating that the same student involved in the other incident had a gun at the school.
The gun turned out to be a BB gun, but it was very realistic in appearance. The image attached is of the gun. In addition, ammunition for another handgun was found, but the weapon that it belonged to was not in the vehicle.
Following the investigation, the student was charged with Disorderly Conduct.
In 2019 alone, there were over 40 active shooter incidents that occurred in schools throughout the United States. PCSO has promised that any time they receive information related to threats or weapons with school, they will always take that threat seriously and investigate every incident.
This isn’t the first time in the 2019-2020 school year that PCHS has received school shooting threats. A student issued threats over social media in fall of 2019.
Image courtesy of PCSO.
PICKENS COUNTY, GA – On Thursday, Oct. 17, Pickens County School (PCS) Administrators learned that a Pickens High School Student threatened to a school shooting on social media.
The threat was a photograph posted to Instagram and featured students in a classroom with two software-simulated handguns pointed at them. The photographer is holding the virtual guns and commented on the image, ” finna get my kd up.”
The “kd” refers to kill/ death ratio and is commonly found in games that involve shooting other players or killing computer-generated characters to progress. It represents kills divided by deaths, so if a player has 1o kills and 5 deaths, their K/D ratio is 2.
School Resource Officers (SRO) immediately began an investigation into the event, and the 16-year-old student is being charged with terroristic threats as a juvenile.
Sheriff Donnie Craig stated, “A lot of kids may think that they are using social media to be funny and causing no harm, but we will have zero tolerance for threats being made against our students.”
Pickens County Sheriff’s Office released a statement that they are very proud of the students for immediately bringing this to the attention of law enforcement to ensure that everyone remains safe.
This is the second instance of threatened gun violence by a PCS student within a week. The first instance occurred off school property, and the student posted that those who signed a petition against transgender bathrooms would make good target practice. This individual has already been charged for his social media posts.
It’s not known at this time if Thursday, Oct. 17’s shooting threat is connected to the transgender bathroom issue that has riled the community since last week.
Photo courtesy of Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.
JASPER, GA – In a statement issued on Oct. 16, Pickens County Schools (PCS) announced that the district is returning to its original bathroom procedure due to safety concerns for the students.
Girls will go into the girls’ bathroom, boys will use the boys’ restroom, and transgendered students will have the option to use the teacher’s lounge or nurse’s bathroom.
Last week, PCS changed its bathroom procedure to allow students to use whichever bathroom that they identify with. The issue was met with extensive resistance in the community. Almost 50 members of the community spoke out about their feelings surrounding the issue to the Board of Education on Monday. Oct. 14.
In its statement, PCS said:
There have been many serious safety concerns raised in the past few days. School board members, staff, and students have been threatened due to the administration’s implementation of Adams vs. St. John’s County School District. There have been death threats, student harassment, and vandalism of school property. The District understands and acknowledges that it has the responsibility to protect its staff and students. However, the District has concerns that it may not be able to meet these recently increased demands.
Therefore, the District shall return to bathroom procedures in place at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year until it can consult with law enforcement and other safety professionals so that these concerns may be addressed.
PCS asks that all of its stakeholders exercise patience and discretion until these matters can be resolved.
Additionally, Superintendent Dr. Carlton Wilson stated:
“This is not a Pickens County issue. It is not a north Georgia issue or a southern issue. This is a national
issue and it is ripping apart the very fabric of public education making it virtually impossible for schools
to do what they are supposed to do – educating our children.
We are calling for strong leadership at the state level, as well as the national level, as schools and communities continue to grapple with issues like fighting expensive lawsuits and diverting valuable resources from what should be our only focus – educating our children.”
Fetch Your News will bring you updates to the decision as the story develops.
FetchYourNews.com and FYNTV.com would like to send out a special congratulations to the graduating seniors! In honor of your big day we have created a tribute video to the entire class of 2018! Check out our Facebook page the day after graduation for photos from the entire day.
Congratulations Class of 2018!
The Dragons of Pickens County High School held their annual youth wrestling cam on Thursday and Friday in the old gym at the school. With right at 21 young athletes aspiring to become a part of the Dragon youth program, Coach Tippens and his staff welcomed several current and former student athletes to assist in teaching various skills and techniques to the campers.
Leading the camp in the instruction was former Dragon Koby Milner. Entering his Sophomore year at Reinhardt University, Milner was excited to be able to pass down a few of the skills and techniques that he has performed very well through his high school career and first year of college. Koby Milner is a very decorated wrestler with three State Championships, chose to be a member of the Dapper Dan Team and in his freshman year at Reinhardt he brought home a Appalachian Athletic Conference Championship.
Even though several of the camp attendees had never experienced the mats before this camp, every one showed focus and dedication to learn what was being taught. By the end of the final day of the camp, each and every one were putting the techniques together to show they had grasp the ideas and methods of competitive wrestling.
Coach Tippens and the program should be excited for the future of Dragon wrestling as these young athletes continue to learn and get better.
It was with great sadness FYN shares the following release. Please remember the family, teammates, school, and friends in your prayers.
Pickens County Georgia, March 11, 2017: Saturday afternoon, a tragic automobile accident claimed the life of 16-year-old Jordan Simonds. Along with Jordan, a passenger was also injured and had to be flown to Kennestone Hospital.
The accident only involved one vehicle and it occurred on Salem Church Road. The Georgia State Patrol Responded and is conducting the investigation into the accident at this time. Jordan was a Sophomore at Pickens High School and played on the PHS Football team. We are asking our community to keep the Simonds family, in your thoughts and prayers.
We would also like to ask that everyone pray for the students and staff at Pickens High School as well. School officials are going to have additional counselors on hand at Pickens High School on Monday to assist with any grieving students. The passenger was also a juvenile and he was alert and speaking with First Responders on the scene.
There will be an informal gathering/vigil tonight March 12th , at the stadium to honor Jordan and his family at 7:30 pm. All are welcome.
According to information received earlier tonight, October 7th 2016, bond has been set for Daniel Culbreth in the amount of $25,000. Culbreth is currently trying to make bond as of 10pm Friday night according to Pickens County Sheriff’s office. Bond Conditions are as follows: (See Below)
Mr. Daniel Culbreth, a math teacher at Pickens High School, was arrested on Thursday night (October 6, 2016) for Computer Exploitation of Children and Sexual Assault by Persons with Supervisory Authority. Culbreth, also a PCHS running back coach was arrested for DUI of alcohol in 2015. (see arrest/booking report below).
The arrest came during an investigation into inappropriate communications with a student. Led by Detective Steven Holmes of the Pickens Sheriff’s Office, who also serves as an agent for the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, detectives began following up on a tip that Mr. Culbreth had been using the popular teen social media app Snapchat to communicate with female students.
According to the information received by detectives, the content of some of his communication was highly inappropriate. After receiving and verifying this information, Pickens Sheriff’s Office Detectives executed a search warrant on Mr. Culbreth’s Snapchat account and found this information to be true.
Mr. Daniel Culbreth, a math teacher at Pickens High School, was arrested on Thursday night (October 6, 2016) for Computer Exploitation of Children and Sexual Assault by Persons with Supervisory Authority. Culbreth, also a PCHS running back coach was arrested for DUI of alcohol in 2015. (see arrest/booking report below). The arrest came during an investigation into inappropriate communications with a student. Led by Detective Steven Holmes of the Pickens Sheriff’s Office, who also serves as an agent for the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, detectives began following up on a tip that Mr. Culbreth had been using the popular teen social media app Snapchat to communicate with female students. According to the information received by detectives, the content of some of his communication was highly inappropriate. After receiving and verifying this information, Pickens Sheriff’s Office Detectives executed a search warrant on Mr. Culbreth’s Snapchat account and found this information to be true.
Numerous Pickens High school students were identified in the content of Mr. Culbreth’s Snapchat account. The content indicates that Culbreth had engaged in inappropriate conversations with several students. As a result, search warrants were obtained which led to additional information being gathered. This information together with multiple interviews with students verified Mr. Culbreth had multiple cyber relationships with students and had a physical relationship with at least one student.
Once verified, Mr. Culbreth was arrested without incident and is currently being held at the Pickens County Adult Detention Center. He is awaiting a First Appearance Hearing before a Judge to determine if bond will be set.
Detectives are also examining all evidence, and additional charges may be forthcoming.
Sheriff Donnie Craig stated, “In cases like this, nobody wins.” He went on to explain, “Yes, we may have made a good arrest, but a number of teenage girls have been made victims by someone that we, as parents, have entrusted to care for them.”
The Pickens Sheriff’s Office is urging parents to be very proactive in knowing how their kids are using social media. Detective Steven Holmes urges parents to “know who your kids are talking to and what they are sending over these sites.” If you believe that your child may have been a victim of inappropriate communication with Mr. Daniel Culbreth, you can contact the Criminal Investigation Division of the Pickens Sheriff’s Office at 706-253-8935.
If you would like to learn more about what you can do to prevent your child from becoming a victim of internet crimes, please visit http://www.gaicactaskforcecom.
The ASVAB will be given to all juniors on Friday, Feb. 5th. This test is a career aptitude test. Any senior who wishes to take the ASVAB needs to sign up in the counseling office by Thursday, Feb. 4th.
The COMPASS exam will be given at PHS on Thursday, Feb. 11th. Anyone wishing to do Move On When Ready this summer or next year at Chattahoochee Tech should sign up in the counseling office by Feb. 10th. Any senior who is planning to attend Chattahoochee Tech next fall and has not taken the COMPASS exam should also sign up. The test is free to Move On When Ready Students. Seniors who need to take the test should see Mrs. Headrick in the counseling office for instructions.
The Pickens High School Dragons wrestling team, traveled to Gilmer High School to take part in the Area 7-AAAA Duals tournament. While the Dragons did not qualify for the State Tournament, Pickens did pick up a win over Southeast Whitfield, routing the Raiders 48-15. (more…)
Congratulations to the PHS TSA Chapter on successful participation at the Georgia TSA (Technology Student Association) State Leadership Conference! (more…)
The Pickens High School Hall of Fame has inducted its second class, with six new members making up the class of 2014, three teams and three individuals. The 1950, 1951, and 1954, girls’ basketball teams from Pickens County High School, were the three teams. Carlos Hampton (95’), Alison Thomason (Loggins) (00’), and Jeremiah Boswell (01’), were the individual inductees. All members of the 2014 class were associated with Pickens County basketball. (more…)
Pickens County residents were honored last evening with a performance by Pickens High School’s marching band, the Pride of Pickens. The award-winning group provided the concert “Give Back to the Community” as a gift. (more…)