Georgia Ag Commissioner Gary Black launches Senate campaign

Featured News, Featured Stories
Gary Black

JEKYLL ISLAND, GA – Gary Black, Georgia’s Agriculture Commissioner who received more votes than any candidate for U.S. Senate or Governor in 2018 and 2014, today launched his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Raphael Warnock.

“Warnock and Biden promised to ‘fundamentally change America,’” Black said. “They’re five months into it and job growth and opportunity are down, inflation, debt and gas prices are up, the Middle East is back at war. Satisfied? Or sickened? I fundamentally object. I’ll stand in the gap and say the wave comes this far, and no further.”

A longtime champion of agribusiness — Georgia’s largest economic driver — Black has made the “Georgia Grown” brand one of the most successful marketing efforts of its kind in the nation.

Black was a founding member of President Trump’s rural and agriculture advisory group started in June of 2016. He also hosted President Trump in a visit with Georgia farmers hit hard by Hurricane Michael and worked with the administration to utilize China tariff money on expanded marketing efforts in Taiwan. He was a vocal backer of Congressman Doug Collins’ Senate campaign last year.

He received more votes than any candidate for U.S. Senate or Governor of either party in Georgia in 2018 and 2014.

Biography of Gary Black

Gary W. Black has championed innovation, solutions, support, and growth in Georgia’s largest industry for over 40 years.

Gary grew up on his family’s beef cattle farm in Commerce, GA where he and his wife Lydia also raised their children, Ward and Caroline. He is a University of Georgia graduate, and a past president of the college’s alumni society.

Under Gary’s leadership, the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s divisions for information technology, animal health, homeland security and food safety have garnered national acclaim. Commissioner Black has led innovation in domestic and international promotion through the renowned Georgia Grown branding program, helping Georgians start businesses and expand markets. Since taking office in 2011, Gary has also improved the department’s fiscal responsibility and performance, as well as strengthened career paths for employees.

Gary Black is a Leadership Georgia Pattillo Award recipient and the 2017 Georgia Trend Magazine Georgian of the Year. He currently serves on advisory committees for the United States Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency and the Export Import Bank of the United States.

Gary and Lydia continue to raise commercial beef cattle at Harmony Grove Farms, and serve together in various ministries at Maysville Baptist Church.

Ralston and leadership issue Israel statement of support

News, Press Release

ATLANTA – Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones (R-Milton) and the leadership of the House Majority Caucus issue the following statement in support of Israel:

“In the last two days, more than 1,000 rockets have been fired at innocent men, women and children in Israel. The Israeli people are being attacked by Hamas terrorists bent on killing as many civilians as possible. It is appalling, and it must end.

“We send our love and prayers to our friends in Israel — a nation that remains one of the most loyal and important allies the United States has ever known. May God protect them and keep them safe.

“We call on the White House to denounce these barbaric acts of terrorism and to rally the peace-loving nations of the world in defense of Israel and its people.”

            The House Majority Caucus leadership team includes Majority Leader Jon Burns (R-Newington), Majority Caucus Chairman Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin), Majority Whip Trey Kelley (R-Cedartown), Majority Caucus Vice Chairman Micah Gravley (R-Douglasville) and Majority Caucus Secretary-Treasurer Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe).

Burn ban goes into effect Saturday, May 1

Community, Press Release
burn ban

On May 1, a ban on outdoor burning begins in 54 Georgia counties, primarily in the northern half of the state. Affected residents are asked to refrain from burning yards and land-clearing debris during the hot summer months because smoke can negatively impact the state’s air quality by contributing to high ozone levels. These conditions have been linked to lung and heart disease in humans.

“The restrictions are required by the state Environmental Protection Division,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Protection Chief Frank Sorrells. “By limiting outdoor burning, fewer chemicals and particle pollutants are released into the air.” The burn ban is in effect until September 1 in the following counties: Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Bibb, Butts, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Columbia, Coweta, Crawford, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gordon, Gwinnett, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lumpkin, Madison, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Peach, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Putnam, Richmond, Rockdale, Spalding, Troup, Twiggs, Upson, Walker and Walton.

While campfires and barbecues are exempt the burn ban, the risk of wildfire in Georgia is always a concern. An increase in the number of wildfires has been recorded in March and April, with 860 wildfires burning almost 5,500 acres across the state. Escaped burning is the leading cause of wildfire in Georgia.

Residents in counties not included in the annual burn ban will continue to be required to secure a burn permit from the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) before conducting any outside burning. Permits can be requested online at GaTrees.org or by calling the local office of the GFC.

“Georgia’s 25 million acres of forestland serve a giant air purifier,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Tim Lowrimore. “We can help them do their work by recognizing the burn ban and enjoying the many benefits Georgia’s trees and other natural resources give us in summer and all year long.”

For more information about the burn ban, the many benefits of trees, and services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit GaTrees.org.

Feature image courtesy of Georgia Forestry Commission.

Kelvin King announces campaign for U.S. Senate in Georgia

News, Press Release
Kelvin King

Marietta, GA – Today, Kelvin King announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate in Georgia. King, a Georgia native, proud veteran, Republican activist, and successful business owner, had the following to say about his campaign.

“Republicans in our state are at a crossroads. We’ve seen what’s at stake in our country. The Biden Administration is currently wrecking our economy, creating a crisis at our border, and systematically dismantling every bit of the “America First” agenda implemented over the last four years. Career politicians, woke corporations, and the cancel culture are all empowered while our families and small businesses are left to pay the price. As the GOP, we have to decide right now if we are knocked down or knocked out. Personally, I am ready to take back our state and fight for the future of our country!

Many of you across Georgia know my wife, Janelle, and me. I am a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, a proud veteran, and the owner of a successful construction company. At the same time, my story includes being born to a teenage mother, raised in a single parent home, and overcoming the challenge of poverty. Statistically speaking, I shouldn’t have made it. I truly am a product of the American dream, which makes me the fiercest defender of freedom, opportunity, and American exceptionalism.

I believe our nation deserves better than President Biden and his weak leadership, just as I believe our state deserves better than Senator Warnock’s divisive far left representation. This election for the U.S. Senate is bigger than you and me. Georgia truly is ground zero for taking back our country. Let’s win for America.”

Kelvin King was born in Macon, GA and raised in Mableton, GA. His mom, Janet, was a teenager when she had Kelvin. His mother, at a young age, had the courage to leave an abusive marriage, becoming a single mother to two children, Kelvin and his younger sister Tameisha. Kelvin spent most of his childhood in a single parent home and they oftentimes struggled to make ends meet. Though he became the man of the family early, his mother and grandmother worked hard to instill in him the values needed to grow into a successful young adult. It was these values he credits with earning him an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy where he was an All-Conference football player.

Kelvin graduated from the Academy and served 5 years in the Air Force as a Contracting Officer. He made the rank of Captain before deciding to leave the military and transition to corporate America. Upon completion of his service, he returned to Georgia to begin building his life as a civilian. He worked in procurement, business development and eventually became the General Manager of an international construction firm where he achieved numerous honors including being named to the Top 20 Under 40 in ENR Magazine and Manager of the Year in his company. After several years in this role, he decided to save enough money to start his own construction firm, Osprey Management. Kelvin’s firm has twice been named the fastest-growing business by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Kelvin is married to Janelle who serves as a panelist and commentator on Fox 5 Atlanta’s “The Georgia Gang.” The two of them have been entrenched in Georgia politics as leading conservative activists and are passionate about spreading the Republican message throughout the minority community. They founded “Speak Georgia”, a 501c3 organization designed to educate and provide resources to the community directly from subject matter experts.

The Kings attend the Church of the Apostles and in their free time enjoy cooking out with friends. Kelvin is also the proud father of a fellow Air Force veteran Christian Ward – GO AIR FORCE!

Rep. Clyde to Take Metal Detector Fine Case to Federal Court Following Rejected Appeal

News, Press Release
andrew clyde bills metal detectors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Andrew Clyde released the following statement on April 12th, 2021:

“I recently learned that the formal appeal of my fines incurred as a result of refusing to comply with
Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s unconstitutional placement of metal detectors at the entrance to the floor of the
House of Representatives was rejected. This now provides the legal standing which I needed to challenge
this unconstitutional resolution.

Another aspect that greatly concerns me is the unequal enforcement and selective manner these fines have
been implemented, as noted in House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis’ letter to Acting
Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett on February 10, 2021 noting the existence of closed-circuit footage
providing irrefutable proof that Speaker Pelosi bypassed her own screening procedures.

While my team and I continue to await an announcement of a fine levied on the Speaker, we are preparing
for the next stage of this fight. I will take my case to federal court where I am confident justice will be
served.”

State employees and teachers paid parental leave passes General Assembly

News, Press Release, State & National
paid parental leave

ATLANTA – Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) and State Representative Houston Gaines (R-Athens) announced that House Bill 146 received final passage in the General Assembly today. House Bill 146 provides three weeks of paid parental leave as a new benefit to full-time state employees and teachers. This is the Georgia’s first paid parental leave benefit for state employees and teachers.

“This paid parental leave benefit speaks to our hardworking state employees and teachers and tells them that we value their contributions and the sacrifices they make to serve our citizens,” said Speaker David Ralston. “I commend Representative Gaines for taking the lead on this important initiative which demonstrates our unyielding commitment to families and giving children the best possible start in Georgia.”

This new paid parental leave benefit would provide some 245,000 state employees and teachers with three weeks of paid leave upon the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child. It applies to all employees with six months of creditable service regardless of the employee’s gender. It is limited to once in any 12-month period. This benefit does not impact the employee’s accrued leave or rights under any family medical leave policy.

“I am proud that this legislation received such overwhelming bipartisan support in the General Assembly,” said Rep. Houston Gaines. “We know this benefit will make a difference in the lives of young families across our state. This is a pro-family, pro-jobs bill that will set the right example in the nation’s #1 state for business.”

Co-sponsors of House Bill 146 included Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta), Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones (R-Milton), Rep. Marcus Wiedower (R-Watkinsville), Rep. Bonnie Rich (R-Suwanee), and Rep. Terry England (R-Auburn). House Bill 146 was carried in the State Senate by President Pro Tempore Butch Miller (R-Gainesville).

Speaker David Ralston announced a paid parental leave benefit for employees of the Georgia House of Representatives in July 2019. That benefit went into effect in January 2020. The State Senate implemented a similar policy at that time.

House Bill 146 now goes to Governor Brian Kemp for his consideration. More information about House Bill 146 may be found here.

Georgia Expands COVID Vaccine Eligibility

News, Press Release

Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and Governor Brian Kemp today announced the state will expand its vaccine eligibility March 15, 2021, to include adults aged 55 and older, individuals with disabilities, and certain medical conditions.

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are already eligible for vaccination. This expansion now includes disabilities caused by an injury (e.g., traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury), a disability due to a longstanding condition that could cause vision loss, nerve damage or loss of a limb, or a disability due to illness such as ALS or multiple sclerosis.

The medical conditions referenced are:

  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Heart Conditions
  • Immunocompromised State
  • Liver Disease
  • Neurologic Conditions
  • Overweight and Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Thalassemia

To find a vaccine location near you or to schedule an appointment, log on to https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine. For individuals aged 16 and 17 who are in an eligible population for vaccination, Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved for these ages. Please schedule an appointment at CVS or Walgreens or at one of the GEMA mass vaccination sites to ensure Pfizer vaccine is available to you.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook.

Rep. Andrew Clyde formally appeals fines incurred for refusing to abide by Capitol’s metal detectors

News, Press Release
Fines

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Andrew Clyde (GA-09) released the following statement regarding his appeal of fines incurred resulting from his refusal to abide by Speaker Pelosi’s unlawful placement of magnetometers outside the entrance to the Floor of the House of Representatives:

“Today, with the assistance of my private counsel, I appealed the fines I incurred as a result of my refusal to abide by Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s unconstitutional placement of magnetometers in front of the entrance to the Floor of the House of Representatives. Per House Resolution 73, which established this ridiculous break in Congressional precedent, I filed my appeal with the House Ethics Committee.

While my name formally appears on the documentation, I am filing this appeal symbolically on behalf of my constituents in the Ninth Congressional District of Georgia, because it is their vote that is being impeded by Speaker Pelosi’s egregious actions.

As I have said before, the installation of the magnetometers is part of the Democratic Party’s ongoing attempt to treat Republicans as a threat when no such threat exists. The ongoing militarization of Capitol Hill, including the placement of metal fencing, razor wire, and the deployment of National Guard troops, are also part of this perverse strategy. The Democratic Party’s motive in crafting this narrative is to silence us through fear and intimidation, with the ultimate goal being the creation of domestic terrorism legislation and a political litmus test for all elected officials, public servants, and members of the Armed Forces. Make no mistake, Democratic Party leaders would rid anyone who does not agree with their fringe ideology from public service and the political sphere if given the opportunity.

I look forward to continuing the appeal process, and I trust the Committee will review my case with the same fairness and due process they will surely afford the Speaker once her fine for allegedly breaking her own rule is processed.”

Feature image courtesy of the Associated Press.

GBI Investigates Officer Involved Shooting in Pickens County

News, Press Release
officer involved shooting

Jasper, Georgia (February 9, 2021) – On Monday, February 8, 2021, at approximately 2:45 p.m., the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office to conduct an officer involved shooting investigation.

 

The investigation indicates that at approximately 2:30 p.m., the Pickens County 911 Center received a request for a welfare check on a man that was expressing suicidal thoughts at a residence on Dianne Street.  The man was reportedly armed with a replica gun and expressed a desire to die at the hands of law enforcement.  The man was identified as Chris Childers, 46, of Jasper, Georgia.

 

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office responded to the residence to check on Childers, when they encountered Childers armed with a gun. Repeated verbal commands were given to Childers to drop the weapon. Childers put the gun down and then picked the gun up again, at which time he was shot by the responding deputy.  The deputy and an additional responding deputy rendered aid until EMS could arrive.  Childers was ultimately transported to an area hospital for treatment.   The GBI determined that the weapon Childers was armed with was a PFM16 CO2 powered BB pistol, which has the appearance of a standard firearm.

 

Once the GBI investigation is complete, the case will be provided to the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney for review.

 

 

https://gbi.georgia.gov/press-releases/2021-02-09/gbi-investigates-officer-involved-shooting-pickens-county

 

 

This is the 7th officer involved shooting that the GBI has been requested to investigate in 2021.

Pickens County Man Arrested for the Sexual Exploitation of Children

News, Press Release
sexual exploitation

Jasper, GA (February 8, 2021) – On Thursday, February 4, 2021, Pickens County resident, Danny Wright, age 57, was charged with one count of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material) and three counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material) by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit. The GBI CEACC Unit began an investigation into Wright’s online activity after receiving a Cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding the possession and distribution of suspected child pornography by Wright via the internet. This investigation led to a search warrant at Wright’s home in Jasper, Georgia, and the arrest of Wright on February 4, 2021. The GBI was assisted in the execution of the search warrant by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office. Evidence from the search warrant conducted on February 4, 2021, led to additional criminal charges against Wright on February 5, 2021. On February 5, 2021, Wright was charged with Child Molestation and Invasion of Privacy.

Wright is currently in custody at the Pickens County Jail.

This investigation is part of the ongoing effort by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, housed within the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, to identify those involved in the child pornography trade. The ICAC Program, created by the U.S. Department of Justice, 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.

Anyone with information about other cases of child exploitation is asked to contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit at 404-270-8870. Tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS(8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.

Sen. Steve Gooch Assumes Additional Duties in State Senate

News, Press Release

ATLANTA (January 25, 2021) | Recently, Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega) received his committee assignments for the 2021 legislative session.

Sen. Gooch will serve as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Vice Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, and as a member of the Ethics, Finance, Reapportionment and Redistricting, and Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee. Additionally, Sen. Gooch will serve as an Ex- Officio member of the Rules and Natural Resources and the Environment Committees.  Sen. Gooch will also continue to serve as the Senate Majority Whip.

“I am grateful for the Lt. Governor’s office and the Senate Committee on Assignments for allowing me to serve our community, as well as our state, through these committee appointments,” said Sen. Gooch. “This session will be unlike any other that we have experienced and will require careful, responsible leadership, particularly when it comes to our state budget. I am honored to have an opportunity to lend my experience to the service of our state through these committees, as well as through my role as the Senate Majority Whip.”

“Sen. Gooch, as well as all members receiving committee assignments, have proven their ability to provide meaningful solutions to issues citizens face across the state,” said Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan. “Sen. Gooch brings a host of experience and knowledge to each committee he serves on and I look forward to continuing to work alongside him as he works tirelessly to advance policies in the best interest of all Georgians.”

The first session of the 156th Georgia General Assembly convened on January 11, 2021, at the Georgia State Capitol.

More Georgians to Become Eligible to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

News, Press Release
remdesivir covid-19 vaccine

Atlanta – Governor Brian Kemp and Commissioner Kathleen Toomey, M.D., M.P.H.,  announced plans to add adults aged 65 and older, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and first responders to the current group of individuals eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Healthcare workers and staff and residents of long-term care facilities are already in this highest priority group. The expanded administration of the vaccine is expected to begin within the next two weeks provided there is adequate vaccine supply available.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for prioritizing vaccination. States have the flexibility to tailor these recommendations based on their specific needs and available vaccine.

“Following the expert guidance of Dr. Toomey, the CDC, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Georgia will move to expand Phase 1a vaccination criteria within the next two weeks to include the elderly, law enforcement officers, firefighters and first responders – provided the state continues to receive adequate vaccine supplies,” said Governor Kemp. “We will continue to monitor the administration efforts of our public health workers and partners in the private sector, and the supply chain of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to ensure eligible Georgians are vaccinated without delay.”

“Different areas of the state are completing Phase 1a at different times based on the number of healthcare workers and LTCF residents and staff they have to vaccinate,” said Commissioner Toomey. “This expansion of 1a eligible vaccination criteria will allow vaccine to be administered as quickly as possible to our most at-risk populations in terms of exposure, transmission and severity. It also gives healthcare providers and public health staff time to plan and work with local communities across the state to ensure safe and efficient deployment of limited vaccine supplies.”

It is critical that even as vaccine becomes available to more people, all Georgians must continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently. While the COVID-19 vaccine is 95% effective in preventing illness in the individual being vaccinated, it is not yet known if the vaccine fully prevents person to person transmission or asymptomatic infections.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook.

UPDATED INFORMATION REGARDING TRANSITION TO DISTANCE LEARNING

Dragon's Corner, News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    December 16, 2020
UPDATED INFORMATION REGARDING TRANSITION TO DISTANCE LEARNING

Jasper, Georgia – The district is providing additional information regarding our COVID-19 numbers within the system
along with details about meals and information from schools.
• Pickens County School District has seen a spike in cases within the school district. There are currently
(2:45 p.m. on 12/16/20):
o 451 individuals in quarantine or isolation
o 30 individuals who are positive for COVID-19
o 25 individuals who are awaiting test results
• Of the 451 individuals, 37 are employees and approximately 32 of those individuals would require a
substitute. It would be extremely difficult to adequately cover these positions. The numbers reported
above represent cases related to COVID-19 and do not include those who might be absent for other
reasons. The total number in quarantine/isolation represents close to 10% of our school district
population.
• Pickens County School District is the largest employer in our area. Seeing first-hand the sudden spike
in numbers of positive cases within the system, we believe that remaining open would continue to
increase the burden on our local healthcare providers.
Here is a comparison from yesterday morning to this afternoon:

Date Positive Cases Total Q/I Total Employees out
7:30 AM
12/15 13 270 17
2:45 PM
12/16 30 451 37

• Christmas is important to our school staff and students. All elementary schools along with Jasper
Middle School will host their classroom Christmas parties on Friday, January 8th. If your child did
not bring their gifts, ornaments, etc. home with them yesterday, teachers will be reaching out
between now and Friday. If you have questions, you may call your child’s school.
• Meals for students: Bus Routes (see attached schedule) and curbside service (11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.)
at all schools will be available on Thursday ONLY. Students will receive meals for Thursday and
Friday.
• If you have any questions, please reach out to your school administrator or the district office.

Lunch Buses
12/17/2020
Bus S76: Mountainside Manor Apartments (264 Bill Hasty Blvd, Jasper GA) (Load lunches @HES)
Bus S56: Foothills IGA Market (70 Foothills Pkwy, Marble Hill GA) (Load lunches @TES)
Bus S77: Hinton Milling (9272 GA-53, Jasper GA) (Load lunches @HCE)
Bus S57: Old Twin Tanks (Henderson Mountain Rd @ Hwy 53 W.) (Load lunches @JMS)
Bus S58: North Ave @ Pickens St. (11:15) (Load lunches @PHS)

Mount Calvary Apartments (11:25-11:35)
Cherokee Trail @ Cherokee Wood Hollow Drive (11:50 – 12:00)
Lawsons Landing-Bridle Path Drive @ Brigadier Ct. (12:05 – 12:15)
Eagles Nest-Eagles Perch Rd. @ Eagles Nest Trail (12:20 – 12:30)
Bus S59: Mineral Springs Rd. N. @ Diane St. (11:10) (Load lunches @PJHS)

Bethany Rd. @ Danburg Ct. (11:25)
Bethany Rd. @ Moorings Run (11:35)
Mountain Lake Dr. @ Ridge Dr. (11:55)
Ridge Dr. @ Ridge Crest (12:05)
Henderson Woods Dr. @ S. Woods Court (12:15)
Bus S 47: Twin Mountain Lakes (11:15-11:30) (Load lunches @JMS)
Hood Rd. @ Hannah Ridge Apartments (11:35-11:40)
Gennett Dr. @ Hood Park Dr. (11:45-11:50)
Birch St. @ small complex just past Woodbridge Inn (11:55-12:00)
Forest Glen Apartments (12:05-12:10)
Library Lane (12:15-12:30)

Bus S46: Hobson Road (from Philadelphia to Whispering Waters) (11:15-11:30) (Load lunches @HCES)

Whitetail Dr. @ Little Doe (11:35-11:40)
Daisy Lane @ Hobson Dr. (11:45-11:50)
Mill Creek Dr. @ Mill Creek Pond (11:55-12:00)
Whispering Waters Dr. @ Whispering Pebble Trail (12:05-12:10)
Lance Rd to Mountain Laurel Dr. (12:15-12:25)
Jones Rd. to Hidden Creek Rd. (12:25-12:30)

Pickens County Man Arrested for the Sexual Exploitation of Children

News, Press Release
sexual exploitation

Jasper, GA (December 3, 2020) – On Wednesday, December 2, 2020, Pickens County resident, Christopher Blackstone, age 41, was charged with (3) counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material) in violation of O.C.G.A 16-12-100(b)(8) by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit. The GBI CEACC Unit began an investigation into Blackstone’s online activity after receiving a Cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding the upload of suspected child pornography by Blackstone via the internet.  A search of Blackstone’s home and electronic devices produced evidence that led to the arrest of Blackstone on December 2, 2020.

Blackstone is currently in custody at the Pickens County Jail.

This investigation is part of the ongoing effort by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, housed within the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, to identify those involved in the child pornography trade. The ICAC Program, created by the U. S. Department of Justice, 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.

Anyone with information about other cases of child exploitation is asked to contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Unit at 404-270-8870.

Tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS(8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.

https://gbi.georgia.gov/press-releases/2020-12-03/pickens-county-man-arrested-sexual-exploitation-children

Secretary of State unveils new absentee ballot request portal

News, Press Release
absentee ballots

ATLANTA-Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger unveils a new online portal to make it easier for Georgia voters to request absentee ballots for the November elections. Georgia voters with a driver’s license or state ID card will now be able to request an absentee ballot entirely online.

“Georgia is constantly searching for new and innovative ways to expand access to the ballot and uphold the integrity of the vote,” said Raffensperger. “We are encouraging Georgia voters who are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 threat to use our new online absentee ballot request portal to request absentee ballots safely and securely from their computers or phones. This new tool will help counties stay on top of the several million absentee ballot requests expected in November.”

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has developed a website that will allow Georgia voters to request an absentee ballot entirely online. Georgia voters will be able to request their ballot via the portal using their first and last name, date of birth, county where they are registered, and Georgia State ID or Georgia Driver’s License number. Voters will get a confirmation email that their request has been entered into the system. Also, voters can monitor their ballot status on My Voter Page.

The portal is available herehttp://www.securevotega.com/secureabsentee/

Absentee ballots requested for the November 2020 presidential election cannot be sent out before September 15.

In the past, Georgia voters had to download and print an absentee ballot request, then scan and email it or put it in the mail. This new portal saves voters effort and postage and will increase confidence that the request has been received by county elections officials. It also makes it easier and faster for county election official to process absentee ballot requests by minimizing the possibility of data entry errors.

While the State ID or driver’s license number provide a secure safeguard for requesting ballots, the ballots themselves will still be verified by matching the voter signature to their signature on file upon submission. A record 1.6 million absentee ballot requests were received for the June primary, inundating county elections officials. This portal will make processing the large number of absentee ballot requests expected for the November election easier for county election officials to process quickly and accurately.

Elections Supervisor urges early voting in face of Coronavirus

Election, News

JASPER, Ga. – Pickens County Elections & Registration Supervisor Julianne Roberts issued the following statement today urging citizens to take advantage of early voting ahead of the March 24 election day.

She stated:

Pickens County Board of Elections & Registration would like to encourage all voters to take advantage of Advanced Voting at this time. Due to concerns from the coronavirus (COVID-19), we anticipate that the time required to vote in the upcoming Presidential Preference Primary on March 24th will be significantly increased. To avoid longer wait times, we strongly encourage you to vote early at 83 Pioneer Rd during regular office hours (Mon-Fri) 8-5. The Saturday Voting will take place at the Elections Office from 9-4 on March 14th.

Julianne Roberts, Supervisor
Pickens County Elections & Registration

Back to Top