Mako Medical Adds Wednesdays to it’s Covid Testing Schedule

News
Mako Medical adds Wednesdays to it’s Covid Testing schedule in Pickens County.
Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, 12 January from 8 AM till 3 PM Free Drive Thru Covid Testing will be available at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 1036 Main Street, Jasper, GA 30143. This will be in addition to the Tuesday Covid Testing already in place and will continue both days until further notice.

Christmas Fun on the Farm

Community

Picture Day with Santa at Day’s Chevrolet in Jasper

Community

Come have your picture with Santa on Dec 11th from 1-3pm.  Please bring an unwrapped new toy for the Marine Corp Toys for Tots Campaign.

Tryouts for 11U ’22 Travel Team- Level A 12/11

Community, Dragon's Corner

Third Drug Trafficking Bust in One Month

Press Release

Missing Male Found Deceased

Press Release

BOC holds public hearing on broadband amendment

Community
Calhoun at broadband amendment public hearing

PICKENS, Ga. — The Pickens County Board of Commissioners hosted a public hearing on Oct. 21 to discuss adding an amendment to the Pickens County Joint Comprehensive Plan. The amendment would add a broadband element to the plan and aid in grant applications. 

Ethan Calhoun, assistant planning director for The Northwest Georgia Regional Commission, spoke to the board and public at the hearing. Calhoun first notes why the amendment is needed, “Most people today understand the importance of that [high speed internet or broadband] for recreation, to education, to local economies.” 

He then explained that the state worked to create a grant, and qualifications for the grant: “You have to set measurement, qualifying standards. One of those standards … it needs to be in the comprehensive plan.” Calhoun noted that while it’s not required, having the broadband element in the plan improves the county’s grant application. However, it will be a required aspect of the comprehensive plan in coming years. 

The amendment, as Calhoun explained, has three action items: adoption into the comprehensive plan, adoption of a broadband ordinance, and an application to become a broadband ready community. “Once those steps are done,” Calhoun says, “then the community will be eligible for applying for that grant money.” Using the grant money, the county will be able to expand service to the areas where current providers do not serve. 

During the meeting, Calhoun answered several questions from the board and the public. One county resident, who lives in an underserved area, came to discuss the process and emphasize the community’s need. ETC Chief Operating Officer Jason Smith was also in attendance, and gave a statement on behalf of ETC: “We would encourage you guys to really think solidly about this and go forward with it.” 

In the following Board of Commissioners meeting, the board voted unanimously to approve the amendment. 

Other Business 

During the meeting, the board proclaimed Nov. 7 as Retired Educators Day. 

The board also voted to withdraw Pickens County from the CRWSA, a group formed in 2008 to address drought issues. 

 

Pickens County Planning Commission Meet

Community, News

On Tuesday, August 9, 2021, the Board of Planning Commissioners met to discuss five new changes of zoning requests about a dozen people showed up for the meeting.

The meeting was to hear the request of the citizens requesting the changes and to express their recommendations to the county commissioners. The meeting opened at 6:00 pm and first on the agenda was the reading and approval of the previous meeting minutes which were approved by all without discussion and there was no old business. First on new business was Marcelle Bozeman from Four Mile Church Road in Ball Ground to request a change in zoning from Agriculture to Rural Residential for his parcel of four acres. Mr. Bozeman who was present spoke on behalf of his case and explained it was for a potential sale. There was no discussion from the commissioners and all voted for the re-zoning change.

The second request for a change in zoning came from Kevin Coombe from Hamrick Road, Talking Rock to change from Rural Residential to Agriculture. His request was due to having an equestrian farm which would require a costly soil and erosion test that was explained would needed to be done by an engineering firm.

It was also explained that if his 23.287 acres could be changed to rural it would not be required, by a costly engineering firm, and he would also be eligible for conservation status. The board approved unanimously to re-zone. Next on the agenda Susan Bozeman also from Four Mile Church Road in Ball Ground had her request to change the zoning on her parcel of 14.79 acres from Agriculture to Rural Residential and was approved.

The fourth request for change of zoning was from Bruce Johnson of Hwy 53 East, in Marble Hill to change from Agriculture to Rural residential and this was also approved by unanimous vote with no discussion. Final request on agenda came from Affordable Investments of Ludville Road in Jasper to change his parcel from Rural Residential to Suburban Residential. It was also explained that in that particular district of current homes it was currently a Suburban Residential community so he in fact would be complying with the current zoning.

He spoke stating that he had remodeled one of the homes and wanted to tear down the second home to build a new home for a family member. His request was also approved unanimously. It was also reiterated to those attending that these were recommendations only that would still need to be approved at the next County Commissioners meeting on August 19th.  There were no further board comments or public comments and the meeting adjourned at 6:40 pm.

 

Author

Pam Guenther

I am a native of N.H but more recently lived in Florida for most of my life recently moving to Georgia. I am a graduate of Concord, N.H. High School and also the N.H. tech Institute. I raised three children, my youngest being a Florida Highway Patrolman in Gainesville Fl. I love the mountain life and enjoy writing, walking, motorcycles and most outdoorsy activities. I love meeting new people and making new frineds because everyone has a story!

Pickens County Commissioners Hold Work Session

Business, Community, Pickens County Chamber
Pickens County Commissioners Becky Denney, Jerry Barnes and Board Chairperson Kris Stancil meet at the Commissioners work session

On Thursday August 5th the County Commissioners held at work session to discuss several items on their agenda. Department heads were on hand to give an update as to their work in progress and also general discussions. The meeting opened at 10:00 am and first on the agenda was an update on the library from Anita Summers.  Anita spoke about the additions to the library now in the remodeling phases and the current construction timelines. Ms. Summers explained that there would be about a three month delay into the beginning of the construction due to a supply shortage from the construction company. A steel supply needed for the upcoming construction was the cause for the setback. The library is currently using a mobilized unit and also is operating a ‘Grab and Go’ from the old Jasper High School. The library is still operating a free WiFi service out of the parking lot that visitors may utilize. Ms. Summers also explained that they are still striving to maintain the usual business hours for the library until the new building is completed.

Pickens County Commissioners hold work session.

Next on the agenda was an update from Parks and Recreation Manager Brian Jones who explained that over the summer the swimming pool at the Roper Park facility had almost full capacity in the pool on several days. The plan is also to begin a remodeling of the current park with more electrical lines installed for much needed improved lighting. Also on the agenda was to update parking facilities, walking trails, ball fields and storm water management. Commissioner Kris Stancil also stated that he had been working on better parking at the old High School to accommodate the summer and fall games so they could still continue such as soccer and football.  Mr. Jones also stressed the need for some better water and swimming facilities as the pool at the park was originally built in 1986.

Also on hand Road Department Director Kirk Anderson gave a summary of what was going on in his department. Numerous  new construction of roads and maintenance was ongoing and bids form new paving companies were coming in. There was also going to be a new stretch of guardrail to be put in alongside Twin Mountain Lakes. Mr. Anderson also received another project needing to be addressed recently at the Railroad crossing in Talking Rock which was needing an emergency repair. The crossing would need to be closed for several days as a result. Elrod Sloan, Pickens County Safety Director, also in attendance gave compliments to the Pickens County Animal shelter as well for the great job in caring for the animals and the cleanliness of the facility.

 

New Finance Director Charlene Bunch and co-worker Bill Wood, Director of Administration, discussed their new proposals for the choosing of a new audit company for the county. They were already interviewing several local and statewide audit companies for their experience and reputations. They said that they would have from November 1st to January 14 2022 in which to choose the new firm through the budget process.

Chairperson Kris Stancil added to the agenda the addition of a new issue concerning the recent spike in Covid cases and the other members also voted in favor to add this and address the issue in a later session.  Also; the panel agreed to look into modifying work policies for the county stating that during busy holiday seasons there were limitations in un-foreseen overtime for working crews. Commissioner Stancil noted that during winter months and holidays where employee may be limited to overtime pay because of the holidays were restricting those employees to receiving overtime pay. County workers who may have been called out such as on Christmas or other holidays and received just their regular pay is an issue that needed to be addressed.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:51 am and the commissioners began the ‘Called Meeting’ where shortly after went into Executive Session.

Author

Pam Guenther

I am a native of N.H but more recently lived in Florida for most of my life recently moving to Georgia. I am a graduate of Concord, N.H. High School and also the N.H. tech Institute. I raised three children, my youngest being a Florida Highway Patrolman in Gainesville Fl. I love the mountain life and enjoy writing, walking, motorcycles and most outdoorsy activities. I love meeting new people and making new frineds because everyone has a story!

Picken’s County Board of Elections and Registration Meet

Business, Community, Election, Feature News, News, Politics

The Picken’s County Board of Elections met by a virtual online meeting on July 29, 2021 at 6:30 PM.  The meeting was to discuss the new and old business on the agenda . Present at the meeting was Chairperson Joshua Tippens and four other Board members, Ellen Harrison, Barbara Balducci, Mike Carver and Rebecca Cantrel.   Also present was Ms. Stacey Godfrey who was recently elected as the new Superintendent of Elections and Voter Registration. There were several other participants to the virtual meeting as well.  The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and the approval of the minutes. First on the agenda was the adoption of the new by-laws which were voted in unanimously by all board members.

The Board then voted on the appointment of a new Vice-Chairperson and Joshua Tippens recommended Board member Mike Carver and also recommended was Rebecca Cantrel.   Board voted three in favor for Mr. Carver and one for Rebecca Cantrel. Next the panel discussed the new permanent location that would become Picken’s County new Voter location at the Municipal Courthouse in the back of the police station located at 55 Dixie Street, Jasper.   The board voted unanimously for the change in location. Next Mr. Tippens discussed the technical upgrades that would be required in the near future but would be unable to happen until early December. In the meantime they would look to outsource the equipment at other locations. The board approved the upgrading of the technical equipment up to $5,000 for staff workstations. Also on the table for upgrades was the phone system upgrade currently held with ETC and this was also approved at a four to zero vote.

 

Picken’s County Board members at a recent meeting

The board also voted on a new ‘all-in-one’ copy machine which they had received quotes on and decided to a 48 month lease. This was also unanimously approved and along with a network switch required for the new system to be installed through Eclipse Networks at a fee of around $1800. New employee Kay Hughes was also voted in as a new part time administrative assistant and would work no more than 29 hours per week.  There were no staff comments, no public comments but several of the board members did comment of what a terrific job Ms. Godfrey was doing in her new position. In her short tenure as Superintendent of Elections she had accomplished many new tasks and achieved a number of requirements including organizing all past meeting minutes, CES training as well as Cyber Security Training, working out problems with the software, updating registration records, updating addresses, working closely with the State of Georgia and taking all required training classes and more.

The meeting concluded at 6:55 pm.

Newly elected Superintendent Stacey Godfrey is pictured here (left)

Author

Pam Guenther

I am a native of N.H but more recently lived in Florida for most of my life recently moving to Georgia. I am a graduate of Concord, N.H. High School and also the N.H. tech Institute. I raised three children, my youngest being a Florida Highway Patrolman in Gainesville Fl. I love the mountain life and enjoy writing, walking, motorcycles and most outdoorsy activities. I love meeting new people and making new frineds because everyone has a story!

Pickens County Board of Education approves 2021-2022 budget

Dragon's Corner, News
budget

JASPER, Ga – The Pickens County Board of Education (BOE) discussed the proposed budget for 2021-2022 school year, as well as additional funds for Superintendent and bonus pay for contracted staff. There would be no significant changes to the current budget for the proposed $41,642.

The only thing currently not approved but is expected to be would be the federal art grant. The eleven new FY 20 federal grants range from $750 to $11 million. The art grant was the only grant still waiting to be signed. Ms. Smith also stated that every department was eligible to receive a grant as long as it was allowable but everything must be related to the ‘COVID’ pandemic. The school system is eligible to receive various grants ranging from $624 to 7.1 million dollars. but she went on to explain that no matter the amount of the grant they all required the same amount of paperwork.

budget

Amy Smith, Chief Financial Officer for the Pickens Education Board, explains the upcoming budget for the school year.

Amy Smith explained that even though the FY 20 grant came in late, it was still eligible to be used until June 2024.  All the grant money has to be reported annually and proven as to how it was used.  Their main goal was to get the students back to grade-level education. Many of the grants can also be used for transportation, food, instruction, and supplies.

During the public meeting, a handful of parents attended. One of the parents expressed a concern on whether or not any of the grants would be used for new HVAC systems for the schools.

Timothy Childree, a parent of one of the youngsters in the school system, expressed his concern about air quality. At that time Stacy Gilleland, Chief Operations Officer, explained that it had been looked into but was not needed at this time and the cost associated with the replacement of new units would not be cost-effective. The air quality was still at the expected level, and all equipment was in good working order.

Approved by the board was an increase in salaries (FY 22 salary schedule) for the non-technical staff employed in the education system, noting that to this date they had only received no more than an increase of $125 per year. Also approved by the board was FY 21 budget, approval of the spending resolution for August 2021, and approval of the FY 22 tentative budget. In addition, the board approved the funding of the “EdGenuity” online program for students grades 6 thru 12 at an estimated cost of $13,000. The panel also agreed to approve the cost of some surplus damaged tech equipment at one of the schools.

Also, present at the Board meeting was a group of six local high school students who received awards for their hard work and accomplishments in the field of Engineering and Biotechnology.  The students received awards from The Tech Student Association which recognized them in the tech field for their various achievements. Two of the awards were for ‘Bio-Tech Design’ and the ‘Chapter Team’ award among others.  The certificates were awarded by Destini Shope, Director of Community Engagements.

Destiny Shope, Director of Community Engagements, is seen here announcing the students’ awards.

Pickens High School Engineering Students receiving their award at yesterday’s meeting.

Chris Parker is seen here receiving his award at the meeting for writing the student handbooks.

Author

Pam Guenther

I am a native of N.H but more recently lived in Florida for most of my life recently moving to Georgia. I am a graduate of Concord, N.H. High School and also the N.H. tech Institute. I raised three children, my youngest being a Florida Highway Patrolman in Gainesville Fl. I love the mountain life and enjoy writing, walking, motorcycles and most outdoorsy activities. I love meeting new people and making new frineds because everyone has a story!

Charles Fendley Reelected GA Transmission Corp. Board Chairman

Business, Featured News, Press Release
Charles Felder reelected chairman

TUCKER, Georgia (May 21, 2021) — Charles R. Fendley of Jasper, Georgia was recently reelected as chairman of the Georgia Transmission Corp. Board of Directors.  In addition, he serves as Amicalola Electric Membership Corp.’s (EMC) chairman of the board.

Charles Fendley reelected chairman

Charles Fendley, Chairman Georgia Transmission Corp

In 2020, under Fendley’s leadership, Georgia Transmission:

  • Completed 85 capital projects, including the construction of more than 9.5 miles of transmission lines and 7 substations;
  • Adapted to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic — ensuring that we continued to deliver the reliable service our members expect and upon which millions of Georgians rely, all while also working to keep our associates safe;
  • Completed the multi-year effort to connect our member EMCs to our fiber optic network, allowing us to monitor and more securely operate our equipment remotely;
  • Continued monitoring developments — and making investments — in cybersecurity tools, training and protocols; and
  • Incurred no environmental violations and no lost-time incidents for the seventh consecutive year.

            “Georgia Transmission remains committed to providing the best in reliable, cost-effective service that our members expect and millions of Georgians rely on,” said Fendley. “The strong partnership between Georgia Transmission and Amicalola EMC helps ensure that we continue to meet that commitment regardless of unforeseen challenges, like a global pandemic.”

            The members of Georgia Transmission elected directors to three-year terms by a proxy voting process as part of their annual meeting in late March, which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cooperative elected officers to one-year terms at its April board meeting. Also elected as officers were Steve E. Rawl, Sr., vice chairman of the board, and Otis P. Jones, secretary-treasurer. Rawl is a Georgia Transmission member director and is first vice president of Okefenoke Rural Electric Membership Corp. Jones also is a Georgia Transmission member director and serves as chairman of the board of Jackson EMC.

 

About Georgia Transmission

Georgia Transmission Corp., a not-for-profit cooperative owned by 38 Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs), owns more than 3,500 miles of high-voltage transmission lines and more than 760 substations. These facilities deliver power to Georgia’s EMCs — including Amicalola EMC — providing electricity to more than 4.3 million Georgians. For more information, visit gatrans.com.

Family Connections April Newsletter

Announcements, Community, Non Profit, Press Release

April 19, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES AND RESOURCES – links to DPH, CDC and other statewide resources and information https://gafcp.org/coronavirus/

FERST READERS OF PICKENS COUNTY is looking for children under the age of 5 to register for the free FERST program!  If you are hosting an event, please contact Sue Appleton at [email protected] so she can attend to register children in person. Registration is also available on-line at www.ferstreaders.org.

CARES is available for food pickup on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00AM-12:00PM. Right now all you have to do is be a Pickens County resident and be in need to pick up a box of food once every 7 days. Bring your ID.  Volunteers are needed, please email if you would like to help. They are hosting a dedication to the new addition of the awning on May 6, 2021 at 6:00PM.  The 1st annual golf tournament is May 17th, 2021 at Crystal Falls, volunteers are needed.  If you can help, please email Beverly at [email protected].

 PICKENS COUNTY SCHOOLS has started Kindergarten Registration for the 21-22 year.  The link to register is on the school website, www.pickens.k12.ga.us .  Pickens County Schools is also excited to announce that Graduation for the Class of 2021 will be on Friday, May 21, 2021 and a traditional graduation ceremony is being planned.

NORTH GEORGIA FAMILY PARTNERS has kicked off their Blue Dress Campaign to raise awareness about protecting children from abuse.  If you are interested in helping in any way, please call June at 706.253.6488.  They will also be hosting a Pinwheelin- for Prevention Jeep Ride on May 2nd, 2021.

Please visit www.northgeorgiafamilypartners.org  for more information.

ACES is selling raffle tickets for Mother’s Day.  The prize will be for Practically Perfect Day Spa in Canton.  Tickets are $1.00 each.  Contact Erin if you would like any, [email protected].

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB is hosting a fundraising event on May 14-15th, 2021.  It will be a Jeep Ride and Show.  The Show n’ Shine will be on May 14, followed by a Jeep Ride on May 15, 2021.  There will be music, food trucks, raffles and prizes.  Contact the Club for more information at 706.253.2582.

  Please be sure to like and share our FACEBOOK page PICKENSCOUNTYFAMILYCONNECTION and our INSTAGRAM AND TWITTER pages at PICKENSFAMILYCONNECTION for continuing information.

COOL SPRINGS BAPTIST is continuing free groceries the 2nd Thursday of each month.  The next date will be May 13, 2021.  Their Hope for the Hungry Food Ministry is a drive thru event and there is no ID required.  Families will be given a box of non-perishable food at no cost.  Talking Rock First Baptist also offers the same Hope for the Hungry Food Ministry the 1st Thursday of each month as well.

GEORGIA CENTER FOR CHILD ADVOCACY and Region 1 Family Connection have partnered to offer FREE screenings of the movie Resilience, a documentary film about Childhood Adversity, toxic stress, and long-term health. Please register to attend https://bit.ly/Resilience1_April    The next virtual screening is April 27, 2021 at 11:00AM.

Family Connections Newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 1/24 – 1/31

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report and photos provided by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office. The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-70) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Pickens County. Those arrests are posted on 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.

New Location for COVID Vaccine in Pickens

Community, Featured News, Health, News

JASPER, Ga. – Beginning Monday, February 1, the North Georgia Health District (NGHD) announced that it would relocate its COVID-19 vaccine operations to the Pickens County Recreation Department.

“These changes will allow more people to be vaccinated, so that as additional vaccine becomes available, health department staff will be in position to vaccinate larger numbers of people,” says Jennifer King via press release. Interim health director Dr. Zachary Taylor says that this should be another positive step to rapidly and effectively administer the COVID-19 vaccine to even more members of our community.

This relocation does not affect the current Phase 1A that Pickens is mandated to follow. Meaning only healthcare workers (e.g., physicians, nurses, pharmacists, EMS, laboratory staff, environmental services, etc.), those working or living at a long-term care facility, or anyone 65 years and older and their caregivers are eligible for the vaccine.

Vaccine District 2

Army Spc. Angel Laureano holds a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., Dec. 14, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

Nearly 30,000 individuals residing in the NGHD have received the vaccine since the program was initiated on December 18. This figure is in conjunction with a drop of 1,500 current hospitalizations since Georgia’s record high on January 13 according to The COVID Tracking Project. While for some the vaccine was just the answer they were looking for, high demand has people on edge as they realize that appointments to obtain a vaccine are full. NGHD urges residents to regularly check the website or its social media for updates on appointments as they become available. Previous appointments that were made will be honored.

Residence in all but Whitfield County should note that only the Moderna vaccine is available to eligible patients.

The Pickens County Recreation Department is located off 1329 Camp Road in Jasper.

Times of operation will be Monday – Thursday: 8 AM – 12 AM and 1 PM – 3 PM. Friday will only be from 8 AM – 12 AM.

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 1/19 – 1/23

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report and photos provided by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office. The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-70) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Pickens County. Those arrests are posted on 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.

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