The Pickens Progress will sponsor a political forum for state races on October 16th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Pickens County Administration Building in the Pickens Room.
The forum will feature races for the state legislature that include Pickens County:
• State Senate District 54 with incumbent Chuck Payne and challenger Michael Morgan.
• State House District 11 with incumbent Rick Jasperse and challenger Lee Shiver.
• Steve Gooch, running unopposed, in Senate District 51 will address the public.
The Progress’ Ball Ground correspondent Larry Cavender, who has received high marks for his handling of previous forums, will again moderate the event.
Cherokee Sheriff’s Office
On April 1, 2018, the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office responded to a “person down” call at 3180 Ball Ground Road near Ball Ground. At that location, they found 76-year-old David Parton deceased inside his home. Parton’s wife, Betty Sue Parton, 74, of Ball Ground, reported her husband had fallen and hit his head. Parton had injuries consistent with a fall. Initially the cause of death was unknown. Parton’s body was sent to the crime lab for an autopsy.
In July, the Medical Examiner at the Crime Lab contacted detectives with the sheriff's office about the death being suspicious. On the autopsy report, the Medical Examiner listed the manner of death as “homicide” and the cause of death as “blunt force trauma.” In September, detectives executed a search at the Parton home. On Tuesday, Oct. 9, detectives secured arrest warrants for Betty Sue Parton. She was arrested at her home and charged with Felony Murder, Elder Abuse, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Aggravated Battery. She remains in custody at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center without bond.
The three-member board of commissioners held a wide-ranging monthly work session last Thursday, quickly running through a number of topics before slowing down to talk speeding.
As a response to citizen concerns by Commissioner Becky Denney, public works personnel had been asked to price some flashing signs that show motorists’ speeds.
There have been resident concerns in the area around Tate Elementary over the velocity of traffic, especially big trucks descending the steep section of Highway 53.
Georgia Milestones scores from the 2017-2018 school year have been released by the Georgia Department of Education. While there are many areas where Pickens County students improved over last year, there are some areas that need attention.
The 2017-2018 school year was the fourth time students took the Georgia Milestones test, which replaced the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT). Georgia Milestones scores are used to assess the mastery of Georgia Performance Standards. Milestone scores include End of Grade (EOG) tests for grades 3-8 and high school End of Course (EOC) tests.
Students are placed in one of four levels of learners in the Georgia Milestones: (1) Beginning, (2) Developing, (3) Proficient and (4) Distinguished. Students who score in the Proficient or Distinguished categories have demonstrated mastery of content for their grade and are considered on track to be college and career ready. The goal is to have students operating at the Proficient Learner level or above.
By Larry Cavender
"Bizarre" is the way an obviously frustrated Planning Commission member Jim Fowler described their meeting Monday. Fowler said, "I didn't see this on tonight's agenda."
In what was supposed to be a meeting for public input and discussion on possible changes to Chapter 67 of the Pickens County Code of Ordinances concerning land use and zoning, the meeting quickly shifted to the question of property rights when Pickens resident Julie Klusty addressed the commission.