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GOP clarifies senior tax exemption ballot stance

       The local Republican Party clarified their stance on the options for an increased senior property tax exemption, noting they will hold several public comment sessions and work to develop a consensus on the wording before putting it on the May primary ballot for a non-binding straw poll vote.

       Pickens GOP Chairman William Bell said on August 1 that he wanted to clarify on behalf of the group that the GOP is not endorsing the Seniors for Change plan to give seniors an increased exemption on their school taxes, but that they are working to be sure the seniors group has access to the ballot to present their issue.

     See full story in this week's print or online editons.              

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Ball Ground man charged in fatal crash



Tyler Callahan

Press Release Cherokee County Sheriff's Office - Cherokee County, Ga. August 4, 2017. Cherokee Sheriff’s Office Traffic Enforcement Unit has charged Tyler Callahan 21 years of age of Ball Ground after the investigation of a single vehicle accident that occurred April 1, 2017 which killed a passenger the vehicle, Tyler Land.  Callahan has been charged with Vehicular Homicide in the First Degree, Vehicular Homicide in the Second Degree, DUI Drugs, and Weaving over the Roadway.  He is currently being held in the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center on a bond of $31,917.

Celestial Event to Eclipse School Day for Pickens Students and Staff

photo/NASA website
Press Release from Keith Petty of the Pickens County School System      
On August 21, a once-in-a-lifetime event, a total eclipse of the sun, will occur over much of the United States, including North Georgia.  While only Rabun and Stephens Counties, in the northeast corner of the state will experience the centerline of  totality, Pickens County will experience 97% coverage, still quite a spectacle in itself.  Given the timing and rarity of the upcoming sun show, Dr. Carlton Wilson, superintendent of Pickens County schools, has declared the day a school holiday for all students and employees.

Read more: Celestial Event to Eclipse School Day for Pickens Students and Staff

VA clinic coming to Jasper


The VA clinic coming to this East Church Street spot, near Save-A-Lot, is expected to serve 6,000 veterans a year. It is slated to open in 2018.

The Atlanta VA Health Care System has entered into a lease agreement with AFTK, LLC that will bring a new VA clinic to Pickens County by next year. 

According to Greg Kendall, Atlanta VA Medical Center public affairs officer, the Pickens County VA Clinic will provide primary care and mental health services to veterans in Pickens, Dawson, Cherokee, Gilmer, Lumpkin and surrounding counties. 

     See full story in this week's print or online editions.