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Public up in arms over proposed tax hike


Commissioners Rob Jones, Becky Denney and Jerry Barnes look over figures at last Thursday's public hearing on taxes. They are expected to vote on the increase this week.


 The public made it clear they do not approve of a proposed tax hike to give the county an additional 13 percent in operating funds during two meetings at the county administration building Thursday. The meeting was required for any government seeking a tax increase, with a final hearing this Thursday, Sept. 15, at 5 p.m. and the commissioners expected to pass the increased millage in a meeting directly afterwards at 5:30 p.m.


   This move would raise the county millage to 8.2, up from 7.22 last year.

   If approved, the tax hike would give the county $11.2 million in taxes to fund the 2016 budgets, up from $9.8 million last year.

   Both the morning and evening public hearings ran around two hours before Commission Chair Rob Jones brought them to ends with speaker after speaker indicating they were fed up with property tax increases.

   Local business owner Ralph Fitts said during the morning meeting that every time the public comes to a meeting here it’s a tax increase. “When does it stop?” Fitts asked. “Where is that line that enough is enough?”

Comedy program to benefit Reinhardt Women’s Leadership Program


     Enjoy a side-splittingly hilarious show at Reinhardt’s beautiful Falany Performing Arts Center while helping to empower young women.
    Tennessee native Leanne Morgan is bringing her comedy show to Waleska to help raise funds for the University’s new leadership program for women.  The Reinhardt Women’s Leadership Program is aimed at empowering young women and giving them opportunity to interact with successful, strong women from across the state of Georgia. Ten freshmen are selected each year to participate and receive scholarships for their involvement.

Dog comments have public howling

Commissioner Jones says he was misrepresented
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Above, Forrester, a pit bull at the Pickens County Animal Shelter who was recently adopted to Bartow County.

    Comments made by the commission chair over adoption policies for pit bulls, German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers has created an uproar among dog lovers and confusion over how the county shelter handles these breeds.   
    Chair Rob Jones is now saying his comments last week were misconstrued and that he was misrepresented on social media, denying that he ordered any euthanizations for those breeds. 
See full story in this week's print or online editions.

Asphalt repair continues on Hwy. 53

      JASPER, Ga. - Georgia DOT advises motorists on State Route (SR) 53 in Pickens County that a maintenance crew will resume this morning its work on repairing and deep patching the deteriorating asphalt spots on this highway.  Work will proceed daily Tuesday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and will force pacing traffic on the state route. This maintenance operation and the lane closure it necessitates are weather permitting and subject to change.
      It is the Georgia DOT policy to repair and maintain Georgia interstates and state highways promptly, efficiently and economically using well-planned activities such as deep patching, proper equipment, and skilled and dedicated employees. Prompt repair of small asphalt pavement defects has significant impacts on reducing maintenance costs. Deep patching which will be used in this maintenance operation is one of the methods Georgia DOT uses to repair deteriorated, settled, cracking and dislodged pavement. The technique is much less expensive than other methods. As used by GDOT, deep patching provides a reasonable measure of roadway repairs and reduces maintenance costs.  
      DriveAlert ArriveAlive calls attention to an alarming increase in roadway fatalities across Georgia, many resulting from preventable crashes and distracted driving.DriveAlert ArriveAlive implores motorists to buckle up; stay off the phone and no texting; and drive alert. Visit #ArriveAliveGA
    For more information about Georgia DOT, visit   For information on the Department of Transportation, visit  You also may follow us on ( and Twitter (

Steamboats on the north Georgia Rivers


By Alice Chapman Newgen
Contributing writer
    Steamboats were a fairly common mode of transportation in the 1800s traveling up and down rivers that were wide and deep enough to carry them to cities and towns along the riverbanks. Flatboats carried cargo including whiskey, pork, vegetables, and furs to many marketplaces before steamboats became more popular. These flatboats would occasionally transport passengers to various destinations.