By Diane Wagner
Legislation banning the use of cellphones while driving is being drafted for the upcoming Georgia General Assembly session and, this time around, Rep. Eddie Lumsden expects wide support.
Texting while driving was banned in 2010, but the Armuchee Republican — who serves on the House Distracted Driving Study Committee — said the compromise bill failed to stem the rise of accidents with injuries or fatalities.
“The texting law is really ineffective,” Lumsden said Wednesday. “The penalties aren’t stringent enough and there are many loopholes.”
Holiday Gift Guide:
While some local retailers reported better than normal Black Friday sales this year, others said Small Business Saturday brought more people into their stores. And overall, retailers said they are seeing similar numbers from last year.
An interesting observation made by two downtown merchants was that out-of-town shoppers made a noticeable impact in their holiday weekend sales.
At the Bargain Barn, Cynthia Spriggs said their advertised firearm specials left them “quite pleased” with Black Friday results. Spriggs said they were up a little from previous years at this point in the holiday season.
Angela Reinhardt / Photo
Pickens High School’s special education students take turns adding ingredients to make a batch of cookie dough for the Dragon Snack program, funded in part by the state’s Innovation Fund Tiny Grant.
On a recent afternoon, the smell of fresh baked cookies filled the Dragon Snack Shack at Pickens High School, where special education students were busy measuring, pouring, and mixing up the week’s batch of goodies - oatmeal peanut butter cookies.
“We’ll do muffins, cookies, and other types of treats each week,” said special ed teacher Diane Hicks, who along with teacher Darya Schmidt wrote and received a $6,500 grant through the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement for their Dragon Table program, which has four project areas where special ed students develop a variety of life and business skills.
A shot from one of the downtown New Year's Eve celebrations hosted by the City of Japser.
The Jasper Merchants Association is working to salvage the New Year’s Eve celebration after the city council voted to not fund it at their last meeting. However, the volunteer group knows it won’t be easy to get the party started.
“It’s not a done deal,” said the merchant’s vice president Kirk Raffield. “I’m not going to say we are going to have one, but we will go before the council and petition them to let it occur.” Be sure to see our editorial this week, "Time is of the essence with New Year's Eve decision.
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Mike McGhee on his touring bicycle after riding the perimeter of the nation.
Mike McGhee cruised back into town Thursday on his bicycle after a 13,334-mile trip around the perimeter of the United States, saying that it was mostly fun.
Arriving a month ahead of schedule after departing on January 1, the Jasper cyclist was on his third bicycle and had spent a month recuperating after being hit by a truck in Texas on March 6 (which destroyed bike #1).
Looking back over the many days, McGhee described the trip as fun - doing something he enjoyed and visiting towns where he could have the occasional beer and a good meal and find lodging when he needed it.
“I got to see stuff, talk to people,” he said. “It’s a simple lifestyle; you know exactly what you are going to do the next day.”