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False snow alarm allows test run of county’s brine-making machine

brine spraying on cove road

The county spread 18,000 gallons of their own brine Monday ahead of an expected snow. While the weather took a turn for the better, the test run was still judged a success.

The first snow of the season turned out to be less of a snow, more of a wet mess  – but the winter weather “event” still gave the county an opportunity to test its new brine making equipment with “better than expected” results. 

“It went extremely well,” said Pickens Commission Chair Rob Jones. “Much better than expected.” 

In just four hours on Monday morning, crews put down 18,000 gallons of brine on dozens of the busiest county roads. They started treatment on school property, the hospital, county buildings, and moved on to

Read more: False snow alarm allows test run of county’s brine-making machine

Inclement weather, early let-out How’s your child getting home?

school snow


From Pickens Schools


Now that it seems we have definitely entered into winter, the Pickens County School District wants to make sure you are aware of how we will proceed in case of inclement weather. Our number one priority is to make sure our students and staff are safe.


Early release/dismissal

At the beginning of every school year, each parent completes a form where a choice is made regarding what your child will do in case school is released early. Should school ever be released early, your child will go home based on your selection on the form. Following this procedure allows us to account for all students and make sure they are safe, which is the most important part of what we do.

Read more: Inclement weather, early let-out How’s your child getting home?

Governor presented with Tate marble nameplate

governor name plate


Former Pickens bank president Dennis Burnette and Polycor plant manager Catherine Fortin present Georgia governor Brian Kemp with a marble nameplate.

Submitted by Dennis Burnette


Following his inauguration, Governor Brian Kemp was presented with the official nameplate for the governor of the state of Georgia. The nameplate is solid white Georgia marble and inlaid with the state seal and lettering in gold leaf. The lettering reads, “Brian P. Kemp, 83rd Governor State of Georgia.” 

The presentation was made by Catherine Fortin, manager of Polycor’s Georgia Marble in Tate, and Dennis Burnette, a retired banker and former resident of Pickens County.

Read more: Governor presented with Tate marble nameplate

Ball Ground 99 percent sure on 100-acre nature preserve

ball ground nature preserve map

         The location of the original 50 acres that will hopefully become a part of the Ball Ground Nature Preserve is shown here on this map (marked by diagonal lines, just right of center).  Planned access will be from both Calvin Farmer Park and Roberts Lake Road, which intersects Gilmer Ferry Road near the Wheeler House. The preserve will extend to the rear of properties located in the Preserve at Long Swamp subdivision east of town.


By Larry Cavender

Contributing writer


"There are a lot of moving parts and dotted lines have not yet been signed," said Ball Ground City Clerk Karen Jordan about the possibility of the town getting a nature preserve. When she was asked the chances of such a valuable asset coming to the community, Jordan replied, "I'm 99.9 percent sure it will happen."

In a recent statement released by City Manager Eric Wilmarth, he stated, "Mayor Roberts and the Ball Ground Council have identified the acquisition of additional greenspace and park land as a top priority for the city." He added, "We are working towards accomplishing those goals and we have made significant progress in our efforts to add two additional 50 acre tracts of permanent greenspace to the city parks inventory."

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


Do you know when to stop? A look at school bus transportation in Pickens

Transportation 1-15-19-2

By Destini C. Shope, Director of  Community Engagement & Public Relations

Pickens Schools

Have you noticed the 30,000 pound, 40 foot object with flashing lights throughout the county? If you have driven around the county in the early mornings or afternoons, then you have most likely encountered this monstrosity of a vehicle carrying our children – it’s a school bus. In Pickens County, school buses transport nearly 3,000 students each day and drive over 12,000 miles daily.  PCSD drivers and monitors have over 981 years of service combined. We are fortunate to have such devoted drivers.  

Being a school bus driver doesn’t go without its challenges, but at the forefront of every drivers

Read more: Do you know when to stop? A look at school bus transportation in Pickens