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Saturday’s PHS graduation rain protocol discussed


Graduation program, interview with Valedictorian and Salutatorian, senior salutes, and a class photo with a list of graduates, all in a pull-out section, pages 13-16A


With a sketchy forecast for graduation this Saturday at 9 a.m., Pickens High School Principal Chris Wallace said at this point “all we can do is pray for no rain.” 

The school system has been working at a fever pitch to have Dragon Stadium’s $1.7 million SPLOST-funded renovations - which include a new artificial turf, video scoreboard, new track, and upgraded lights - completed in time for the commencement ceremony. 

Local election results

Green wins school board; Raffield wins Jasper council; Runoff for commission; Senior exemption stays as is


Tucker Green

 Tucker Green wins school board. 

        Voters in Pickens County decided that with senior tax exemptions, the status quo is just fine. Option 1, no change,  took about 400 more votes (2,648 to 2,274), winning with roughly 54 percent in the combined Republican and Democrat straw poll results. (Final vote totals were delayed by a problem with a  voting machine card in Ludville and could change very slightly, but not enough to affect any outcome.)

In the contested races:

• Political newcomer Tucker Green, a college student, won a seat on the school board, handily defeating incumbent Byron Long 2,626 to 1,392.

Updated: substitute charged over gun at school

Updated information from Pickens Sheriff press release 


Substitute Teacher Charged After Bringing A Handgun To School

Pickens County Georgia, May 16, 2018: Earlier today, at approximately 10:00 am, our office was notified of an incident involving a substitute teacher that had a handgun in her purse at Harmony Elementary School. As we were notified, the Substitute had already been relieved from her classroom and sent home by school officials.

During the investigation, it was determined that several students in the First-grade class, that Ms. Julie Gungl was teaching, had observed the pistol and brought it to her attention. She then notified school administration. The handgun was a 9mm Springfield and according to Ms. Gungl, it was unloaded at the time. She stated that she forgot the weapon was in her purse upon entering the school.

After completing the investigation, detectives have charged Ms. Gungl with Possession of a Weapon within a School Safety Zone. Due to the fact that Ms. Gungl had a Georgia Concealed Weapons Permit, this charge is a misdemeanor. Throughout the investigation, Ms. Gungl has remained very cooperative and turned herself into the Pickens Sheriff’s Office Adult Detention Center.

She has been released after posting bail that was set at $1,000.



substitute teacher with gun

Book in photo from jail



Previous press release

Press Release from Pickens County Schools Superintendent Dr. Carlton Wilson - 

     May 16, 2018  - Today at Harmony Elementary School, a female substitute teacher brought a handgun to school in her purse. The purse was open, and the handgun was observed by several students while in the purse. The handgun was never removed from the purse. The substitute teacher informed the staff at that school of the handgun. She was relieved of her duties and sent home. She is a substitute teacher employed by a contracted service company and will not be allowed back in our school system. The District immediately notified the Pickens County Sheriff, and he is conducting an investigation. The District would once again like to thank the Pickens County Sheriff and his staff for their continued cooperation and support. 


2 arrested in "disgustingly filthy" animal cruelty case


Inside the home where officers found dog corpses and several other neglected dogs on the premises. 


Media Release from Pickens Sheriff


     Pickens County Georgia, May 21, 2018: Following a tip from a concerned citizen, deputies responded to a residence in the Twin Mountain Lake area of Pickens County. Upon their arrival, deputies observed the partially buried corpses of multiple dogs and observed several additional dogs coming in and out of a residence that appeared to be abandoned.

Memorial Day ceremony Monday, May 28



A Memorial Day ceremony will be held at Sunrise Memorial Gardens on Monday, May 28th at 10 a.m. 

The ceremony will feature a guest speaker and poignant bell ringing for Pickens County residents who died in conflict. White crosses for all Pickens County’s fallen soldiers will also be on display on the graveyard’s hill at the roadside. 

The public is invited to spend this Monday morning honoring the country’s fallen heroes. Sunrise Memorial Gardens is located at 364 East Church Street in Jasper.