Library’s virtual service demands skyrocket during pandemic
Angela Reinhardt / Photo
Pickens Library Branch Manager Emma Ingle, wearing a custom Sequoyah Regional Library System face mask, gets book orders ready for pickup through their new contactless “Sidewalk Service.”
It couldn’t be called a stream of people by any stretch, but during the brief window I was at the Pickens County Library last week, two people picked up books curbside and two others returned books they had likely had since branches closed in March.
The building itself is still closed to patrons, but the local library and all branches in the Sequoyah Regional Library System have started to offer services as part of their phased reopening. Book checkouts are now being performed through a contact-free sidewalk service, and book returns are all done through the drop box.
By Beau Evans
Capitol Beat News Service
Supporters of the extremist “Boogaloo” movement were present at a protest Sunday in Athens amid ongoing demonstrations throughout Georgia against police brutality and racial injustice, according to Athens authorities.
State authorities warned Tuesday extremist groups and out-of-state agitators have infiltrated crowds during protests from Atlanta to Savannah since last Friday that at times devolved into scenes of property damage and confrontations with police, who in turn have fired tear gas cannisters and made hundreds of arrests.
Boogaloo supporters mark the first extremist group to be publicly identified by law enforcement officials in Georgia after days of intense protesting, including on Sunday night in Athens during which 32 people were arrested.
Their presence was noted in a memo sent by Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Cleveland Spruill, who called the Boogaloo movement an “extremist organization” that aims in part “to instigate race wars across America.”
The final week of early voting for the primary election is nearly over, with the last day to cast an early ballot Friday, June 5. Election day is the following Tuesday, June 9, but the hefty amount of absentee ballots could cause a delay to final counts.
The Pickens Elections & Registration Office issued 5,123 absentee ballots for this primary election, which includes the presidential primary and several state and local races. This is significantly more absentee ballots than the election supervisor has ever issued in the past, which was at most 500 prior to this election.
The Board of Commissioners working in consultation with PCRD staff and their advisory board will reopen PCRD operations to the public in stages. These efforts serve as a balance between ensuring safety and offering necessary services. The multiphase reopening will include the following:
•Roper Park remains open (activities must meet health guidelines).
•Summer Camp beginning June 1st (strict health guidelines in place and limited to 40 kids).
•The community center will open to the public beginning June 3rd. This will allow PCRD staff two days to start Summer Camp under new health guidelines before opening the building to the public. Once open the community center will operate on modified hours (M-F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m). These modified hours will allow staff time to properly clean and sanitize the facility. There will be health guidelines in place including that participants must bring their own equipment.
New Chief Magistrate Alan Morris is sworn in by Probate Judge David Lindsey, as Morris' son Luke holds the Bible.
Alan Morris was sworn in as the new Chief Magistrate of Pickens County Friday before a gallery of properly-masked and distanced family, friends and judicial circuit employees.
Speaking at the ceremony, Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver said she has known Morris for the 19 years he has worked in some capacity in the courts, beginning as a probation officer and then for the public defender’s office.