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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

Sheriff named Citizen of the Year, Bojangles top business at Chamber’s Winter Ball

citizen of the year

Craig named citizen of the year (l-r): Chamber Director Amberle Godfrey, Sheriff Donnie Craig with wife, Tina, and children, Ashley and Tyler at the Chamber’s Winter Ball Saturday at the Tate House.

Staff reports


Sheriff Donnie Craig was named the Pickens Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year at the business group’s Winter Ball Saturday at the Tate House. Bojangles won Business of the Year and Michelle Logan was named as the group’s Ambassador of the Year.

Read more: Sheriff named Citizen of the Year, Bojangles top business at Chamber’s Winter Ball

Mountain Lions? Not here, says DNR

       cougar or bobcat

MOUNTAIN LION OR NOT? This photo was taken with a trail camera at the Pickens Airport on Jan. 4. Initially it was thought to be a mountain lion, but research and a DNR biologist show it’s a bobcat, which is commonly mistaken for a mountain lion. 


        I got the tip last weekend – a “mountain lion” was spotted at the Pickens County Airport.

The following Monday I contacted airport manager Randy Thomason. Yes, he told me, they saw two big cats and sent me a black-and-white photo from a trail cam on the property. 

“It’s a mountain lion?” I asked. 

They weren’t sure, but said they thought so.

The photo Thomason sent me showed an animal that, to a reporter untrained in such things, could very well have been a mountain lion. Over the years, I’d heard more than a few rumors about them being spotted in the area. 

Read more: Mountain Lions? Not here, says DNR

Animal Rescue board members resign after state investigation

New board seeks volunteers, vows to continue serving community



The Georgia Department of Agriculture’s investigation into allegations made against Pickens Animals Rescue has been closed, with the rescue group now on probation and two longtime board members asked to resign.   

On July 10th, the Georgia Department of Agriculture issued an administrative order for disciplinary action against Pickens Animal Rescue Ranch. The state agency sought to revoke their license after accusations were made that they knowingly took animals who had owners and adopted them out illegally. According to the Department of Agriculture, in Georgia the only entities that can legally adopt out stray animals are local animal controls. 

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

County gets head start on icy winter roads

brine IMG 3740

Damon Howell / Photo


      The county was busy last Wednesday morning mixing the first batch of brine with their newly-installed equipment. The system will allow the county to produce their own salt solution in-house, which means they can make as much as they need to treat Pickens County roads before storms hit. In years past, brine would be trucked in from other counties— causing roads to ice over before it could be delivered. Director of Utilities Phillip Dean (pictured) said the new equipment makes it possible to get a jump on predicted storms as soon as they hit Alabama.

Read more: County gets head start on icy winter roads