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January 2021
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Jasperse to chair state house transportation committee

By Dave Williams
Bureau Chief
Capitol Beat News Service

ATLANTA - The Georgia House of Representatives got some new committee chairmen Wednesday, as the chamber’s Committee on Assignments promoted some committee chairs to more prestigious chairmanships left vacant by departing members.


Rep. Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper, will move over from the House Education Committee to chair the Transportation Committee. Former Transportation Committee Chairman Kevin Tanner, R-Dawsonville, left the House last year in an unsuccessful run for Congress.

The Ways and Means Committee, which handles all tax legislation, will now be headed by Rep. Shaw Blackmon, R-Bonaire. He will take over from former Rep. Brett Harrell, R-Snellville, who lost his bid for re-election last fall.

Read more: Jasperse to chair state house transportation committee

Economist: Georgia employment, consumer spending still strong despite pandemic

By Dave Williams
Bureau Chief
Capitol Beat News Service
 ATLANTA - The unusual nature of the current pandemic-driven recession has put Georgia in a stronger economic position than could have been expected otherwise, the state’s chief economist said Tuesday.
   Georgians have received so much money from the coronavirus relief bills Congress has passed that personal income is actually higher than before the pandemic struck last March, Jeffrey Dorfman told state lawmakers at the start of three days of hearings on Gov. Brian Kemp’s $27.2 billion fiscal 2022 budget plan.
    “People have more money than they had before,” Dorfman said. “People have the money to spend. They’re just waiting until it’s safe to do so.”

Read more: Economist: Georgia employment, consumer spending still strong despite pandemic

American Legion organizes 100th birthday celebration

lucille griffith

Damon Howell / Photo

WWII veteran Lucile Griffith McMullen kindly accepted a little party Monday morning, complete with ice cream cake and a quilt made from the local chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution.


By Jim Brescia and Suellen Reitz

American Legion Post 149


COVID-19 has forced us to alter our lives in so many ways. It is doubtful that things will ever be “normal” again. But some things are too important to allow them to yield to the pandemic. Celebrating someone’s 100th birthday is something that is worthy of a creative solution that allows us to celebrate without ignoring the restrictions imposed upon us to curtail the spread of the disease.

American Legion Post 149 here in Pickens County joined forces with the Daughters of the American Revolution Sequoyah Chapter to honor Alice Lucile Griffith McMullen (Miss Lucile to those who know and love her) on her 100th birthday. Lucile was sworn into the Army as a second lieutenant on January 31, 1945 and has been a member of Post 149 for 13 years.

Read more: American Legion organizes 100th birthday celebration

PHS wrestling heads to first state playoffs in 15 years

sports wrestling Region Duals

     Dragon wrestlers and coaches at the Region Dual tournament last weekend. The team will compete in the State Dual Tournament this weekend at Jefferson High School.

     The Pickens Wrestling team competed in the Region Dual tournament over the weekend. The Dragons first match was against Cedartown. The team scored a 55-18 victory bolstered by pins from CJ Murphy, Chase Nelson, Mason Powell, and Zak Price.

In the next round, the team faced off against Northwest Whitfield who had placed fourth in the state tournament the previous year. While the team fought hard, a few missed opportunities led to a 53-18 defeat. 

The next dual against Southeast Whitfield would determine whether the Dragons would proceed to the state playoffs. 

Read more: PHS wrestling heads to first state playoffs in 15 years

Swapping superintendents enrages parents, public

   school board supt meeting

     The school voted (3-2) to make Tony Young, in vest at right, the interim superintendent, at a meeting Monday. They voted to negotiate to “modify” the contract of Dr. Rick Townsend, who had been serving as superintendent by the same margin. Townsend’s empty chair is at far left.

     While not explicitly terminating Pickens Superintendent Dr. Rick Townsend, the school board has voted three to two to authorize their attorney to “negotiate to modify” his contract. They then voted to name Tony Young interim superintendent.

Board Chair Sue Finley, along with Steve Smith and Aaron Holland, were in favor of making the change at the top; Tucker Green and Tommy Gartrell opposed the change.

The changing of superintendents, yet again, did not sit well with the public and 50-60 people turned out to oppose the decision at the Monday, January 18th meeting. The vocal group created enough concern that a contingent of backup deputies from the sheriff’s office arrived and were stationed around the room with deputies eventually closing the doors to push out members of the public who did not get seats in the socially-distanced board meeting room.

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