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Collins meets with White House to discuss prison reform

“The Prison Reform and Redemption Act paves the way for healthier people to build stronger, safer neighborhoods at a time when Congress and the White House have the opportunity to be agents of positive change in this space.”


WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) met with White House leaders Thursday to discuss plans to lower recidivism rates among federal offenders through vocational and other programs. Collins introduced the Prison Reform and Redemption Act this July and has been an active voice among conservatives working for prison reform.

Jared Kushner, a senior advisor to President Trump, led the meeting, which included Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), among others. As part of the small group of elected officials invited to offer legislative solutions, Collins said that Washington owes it to Americans to make progress on the issue.

Safety at heart of school hurricane closures

"Don't Panic, Fall Break is safe," says superintendent

fire crews work on stom cleanup


photo/ Tom Gray

County fire crews assess roads earlier this week. As of Thursday, 19 county roads were still  closed.


 At the monthly school board meeting Thursday evening, Superintendent Carlton Wilson discussed the closure  of county schools for the week due to the hurricane.

 Wilson said even for the Friday closure, after meeting with road crews and power company officials, many county roads were still considered impassable for school buses and there were still many homes without power.

 Wilson said as of Thursday afternoon, 19 county roads were still technically closed.

  He also said there were “dangerous situations” out there with downed power lines along roadsides where students would be boarding buses.

 Wilson offered the assurance that fall break (scheduled to start Monday) is safe. He noted they would be “hung and shot” if they tried to change that without more notice. He said possibly they would adjust winter break but they would a decision well before that  vacation in February 19-23, 2018.

  He said people should not “panic. We’ll make any decision well in advance.”

  At the end of Thursday’s meeting, school board member Sue Finley commended Wilson’s decision to cancel classes for the week. “Thanks for making safety a priority,” she said.




Blaze engulfs south Pickens home


photo/Angela Reinhardt

A Pickens County fireman battles a Wednesday morning fire off Highway 108. 


     Pickens County crews responded to a structure fire just before 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 13th on Eaton Road, just off Highway 108. 

     The fire engulfed the double-wide mobile home, and the structure is being considered a complete loss. At least one person was in the home when the fire started from a front bedroom, but she was able to get out of the residence with no serious injuries. 

      City of Jasper fire crews provided backup. 

Attorney General warns about hurricane relief scams



ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr is warning consumers to be on the lookout for scams in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.


Bogus Charities


     Seeing or hearing about the devastation caused by a natural disaster evokes our sympathies and our desire to help those affected. Unfortunately, scammers realize this and do not hesitate to take advantage of people’s heightened emotions. They may pose as reputable charities soliciting donations and target consumers through unsolicited emails, telemarketing calls or by knocking on their doors. They often create legitimate-looking websites that have similar names as actual charities, sometimes even using the actual logo of a reputable relief organization. To make sure you are donating to a legitimate charity, our office recommends the following tips:

Just released, "Haunted North Georgia"

New book coming just in time for Halloween




   Haunted North Georgia will be available for purchase in early October.


By David R. Altman

Books & Writers Editor


If you’re always looking for a good ghost story—even one you can check out for yourself--there’s a new book coming in October that will be right down your alley.

It’s called Haunted North Georgia, written by author Jim Miles of Warner Robins, and it’s part of a three-book series about ghost stories from each of Georgia’s 159 counties.

This book is an easy read. In fact, for those young adult readers who might want to do a book report on the topic of ghost stories, Miles has made it very easy.

The north Georgia edition actually covers more than what most of us consider north Georgia, as it conveys stories from Rockdale County to Cobb County and, yes, those counties closer to home, including Pickens, Gilmer and Fannin.