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Man on sex offender list arrested after entering Tate Elementary campus

Bruce Lee Daniell


    photo/Pickens Sheriff's Office Book-In Photo

Bruce Lee Daniell

      A man on the Sex Offender Registry has been arrested after he gained access to the Tate Elementary campus. According to school officials, Bruce Lee Daniell, 57, Dawsonville, Ga., said he was on campus looking for a job. He was escorted to the front office by school officials, who ran his driver's license and learned he was on the Sex Offender Registry after he had already left the building. A warrant was issued for Daniell's arrest and he has since been taken into custody. Surveillance footage from the school shows that he did not have any direct contact with students, according to Pickens County school administrators. See press releases from the Pickens County Sheriff's Office and Pickens County School system below: 


     Press Release Pickens County Sheriff's Office : Detectives have been able to track down and arrest Bruce Lee Daniell, age 57-year-old male from Dawsonville Georgia, after he entered Tate Elementary School earlier today in Tate Georgia. 

     Following up on an investigation that began after a Tate Elementary staff member noticed a suspicious male in the hallway of the school around 9 am (please see the attached Media Release from the Pickens County Board of Education), deputies were able to verify that the suspicious male was a registered sex offender that had conditions that would prevent him from being allowed on school property. 

     Upon review of the security camera systems, Mr. Daniell first attempted to enter the locked door at the front of the school. When he found that they were locked, he walked to the East entrance to the main building and found that it had not closed all the way. He then entered the school and walked the main hall to a restroom on the other end of the main facility. Mr. Daniell entered the restroom and remained there for approximately 2 minutes. During this time, 4 students entered the restroom, but Mr. Daniell never attempted to contact them. After the fourth student entered, Mr. Daniell exited to the hallway where a staff member contacted him. 

The male told the staff member that he was there to attempt to find employment and she escorted him to the office. Once at the office, a School Resource Officer, based on the information that he was looking for a job, made a copy of his identification and then escorted him to his vehicle. Following his departure, the School Resource Officer conducted an inquiry of his identification and learned that he was a convicted sex offender. 

      An immediate search of the areas around the school was completed by Pickens Sheriff’s Office deputies but his vehicle could not be located. Deputies also contacted Dawson and Cherokee Counties to have them check for the individual. 

     Detectives were then able to secure arrest warrants for Mr. Daniell for the Offense of Felony Restrictions for Sexual Offenders (OCGA 42-1-16) and Burglary (16-7-1). Mr. Daniell was arrested at his residence in Dawson County and transported to the Pickens County Adult Detention Center. 

     Detectives are continuing to investigate this case to determine the reason for him to be at the school and are continuing to work closely with the Pickens County Board of Education in the case. 

    Press Release Pickens County Schools - Jasper, Georgia – An incident occurred this morning at Tate Elementary School where at approximately 9:06 a.m., a male individual gained access to the building. After being in the building for 5 minutes, he was confronted by office personnel, at which time he was escorted to the office. A photocopy of his ID was obtained. School personnel ran his ID information and discovered that the male subject is listed on the sex offender registry.

    Due to the upgraded security camera system, district staff can confirm that the subject had no direct interactions with students. Warrants have been issued for his arrest and an ongoing investigation continues with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.

     We want to assure all parents and our community that we take these situations seriously. We must all work together as a community of students, parents and school personnel to keep our campuses safe. Our number one goal is to provide a safe and secure environment for all students and staff, and we will continue to remain vigilant in our efforts.

   If you have any questions, please contact the district office at 706-253-1700.

Pickens teen starts company to stop online bullies: AceRift apparel the “antitoxin to gaming”

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Pickens teen “Ace” Rift, who experienced real-life bullying in school, has launched Ace Rift apparel to help stop toxic behavior in online gaming and raise awareness about how to stop and recognize bullying in schools. Visit his website at where you’ll find shirts, hoodies and hats that help promote his mission.     

Rewind to a time where playing video games with friends meant you had to be in the same physical space they were in, likely sitting on the couch next to one another. A little healthy trash-talk was part of the fun. 

But with video games and their shift to online platforms players rarely play face-to-face these days. Just as we see on social media, where people feel emboldened to be cruel and say things they wouldn’t say in person, there is a population of online gamers that spoil the fun for everyone with a bad attitude and corrosive presence. They cuss, throw games, name call and slur, and engage in a variety of other types of behavior that has earned them the unenviable name “toxic.” 

Read more: Pickens teen starts company to stop online bullies: AceRift apparel the “antitoxin to gaming”

“Supreme volunteer” Jesse Hunter wins Golden Deed

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The retired teachers recognized tireless volunteer Jesse Hunter with their Golden Deed award.


  The Pickens Retired Educators Association named volunteer extraordinaire Jesse Hunter as the 2019 Golden Deed winner for his tireless work in the community and his dedication to supporting education.    

Hunter was announced as this year’s winner at a banquet held Wednesday, March 13. 

Pickens Retired Educators Chair Pat Denney outlined Hunter’s extensive volunteer record, and read a portion of his nomination letter. Hunter’s nominator called him a “Pickens County resident with

Read more: “Supreme volunteer” Jesse Hunter wins Golden Deed 

Pickens GOP results thrown out: Do-over convention April 6

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A scene from the Pickens GOP Mass Meeting and Convention held eariler this month that has been ruled invalid by the state and which must now be held again. 


         At a hearing Sunday, March 17 in Gainesville, the Georgia 9th District GOP declared the Pickens County GOP’s Mass Meeting and Convention void following complaints that it did not follow proper procedure. 

As a result of the 9th District GOP’s findings, all executive committee elections held during the Pickens GOP’s Convention on Saturday, March 9 are nullified. A new Mass Meeting and County Convention must be held for the Pickens County Republican Party, but this time the 9th and 14th District GOP committees will run the show (Pickens County is split between those two districts). The Pickens GOP will not be involved in organizing, registration, procedural process, or executive committee elections. 

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

From school board: Junior High renovations, Dr. Robert Keller honored for "substantial donations," breakfast challenge

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At last week’s school board meeting, Dr. Robert Keller was recognized for his outstanding school support. The board also discussed upcoming PJHS renovations and a hugely successful breakfast week challenge. 


Bids for Phase I renovations at Pickens Junior High School  came in nearly a half-million dollars lower than the original budgeted price, with work to begin immediately and be completed by the beginning of next school year. 

Read more: From school board: Junior High renovations, Dr. Robert Keller honored for "substantial...