By Dave Williams and Beau Evans
Capitol Beat News Service
ATLANTA - Georgia is joining a growing number of Republican-led states in cutting off federal unemployment benefits to incentivize out-of-work employees to return to their jobs.
Gov. Brian Kemp said in an interview with Fox News Thursday that the Georgia Department of Labor will stop issuing $300 weekly checks to jobless workers next month.
The governor’s remarks came three days after a coalition of statewide business organizations spearheaded by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce released an op-ed complaining companies can’t find workers for a growing list of job openings because unemployed Georgians are receiving more in state and federal jobless benefits than they could earn by going back to work.
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The outlined area is the just over 41 acres owned by Pickens County government. It includes Roper Park, the Pickens Community Center, ball fields, a track, and other facilities. The county is in early discussions with a design firm to create a “master plan” renovation concept. The Boys & Girls Club is inside this outlined area but not owned by the county.
In what many officials and members of the public see as being long-overdue, the county is taking first steps to renovate Roper Park which has been criticized being inadequate for the county’s needs.
“We’re an old park,” Pickens Recreation Director Brian Jones said speaking at the Thursday, May 6 commissioners’ work session. “[It] was built in the 70s and really kicked off in the 80s. The fencing is rusted. The parking lot is too small. We try to do our best to maintain and make sure the grass is mowed and keep the trash picked up…but there are some things we’re going to have to take a good look at and spend some money to on it to bring it up to standards.”
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The Pickens County Library in Jasper, located at 100 Library Lane, has released the first visual of construction plans for the upcoming renovation and expansion of its facilities projected to begin in June. Beginning May 17, the library will close to the public to prepare for the project, which is scheduled to last approximately 10-12 months. After the library closes, a temporary, limited-service library location called “Pickens Grab & Go” will be available inside the Mountain Education Charter High School building, located at 339 West Church Street. The Grab & Go location is anticipated to open to the public in early June.
Pickens County Teacher of the Year Carrie Stephens, pictured here with her husband, Paul. Stephens is a math teacher at Pickens High School and will represent Pickens County in the Georgia Teacher of the Year competition later this year.
By Larry Cavender
Several of Pickens County's finest teachers were honored Monday night at the annual Teacher of the Year Banquet held at the Appalachian Campus of Chattahoochee Technical College in Jasper.
From a group of six teacher of the year nominees, each representing their own respective schools, Carrie Stephens of Pickens High School was selected as the system's 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year.
In a message to parents from Pickens Superintendent Tony Young, emailed Tuesday, May 11, he announced the system will not offer a virtual option for the 2021-2022 school year.
“To all Pickens County School District families, virtual learning has presented a host of challenges for students and families in our system and across Georgia. The district has continually monitored data and engaged in conversations with students, parents, and administrators. Many of our students have struggled to satisfactorily complete the assignments offered through the Pearson platform. We want to provide our students quality learning opportunities and we are not able to do that virtually.
“Because of the challenges and concerns for our students and families, Pickens County School District will not offer full-time