By Dave Williams
Capitol Beat News Service
ATLANTA - Gun shop owner Andrew Clyde handily defeated state Rep. Matt Gurtler Tuesday in a runoff for the Republican nomination for Georgia’s 9thCongressional District seat.
Clyde, who led Gurtler 56% to 44% with 70% of the vote counted, will face Democrat Devin Pandy in November in the contest to succeed U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, who is leaving the House to run for the U.S. Senate.
While Clyde has never run for public office, he touted his experience suing the Internal Revenue Service successfully in 2013 after the federal agency confiscated more than $940,000 from his company. He subsequently testified before Congress in support of legislation prohibiting the IRS from seizing legally earned money.
After an on again, off again, on again schedule since March, the Pickens County Recreation Department is now open regular hours – but the rec director is preparing for abrupt changes if there is a local spike in COVID-19 cases.
Speaking at the July commissioner’s work session, director Brian Jones reported the facility is now open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“That’s the biggest thing I want to get out,” he said. “We’re just not seeing the foot traffic like we did pre-COVID.”
In addition to low foot traffic, he told commissioners summer camp, which recently wrapped up, was “disappointing.” They capped participation at 40 kids a day due to COVID restrictions, but they didn’t average more than 20 children a day. Popular morning pickleball activities have also seen a decline in participation.
Damon Howell / Photo
The city has roped off the sidewalk around this vacant Main Street business until a safe solution can be found for falling bricks.
Chicken Little may think the sky is falling near 57 South Main Street, but according to Jasper officials falling bricks are the real threat.
The potential danger of more loose bricks has forced the closure of a portion of sidewalk and parking spots near Spring and Main streets.
Jasper’s Development Manager Lonnie Waters said that last Friday, August 7, a few bricks and some mortar dislodged from a building’s facade and fell onto the sidewalk. The builiding is not occupied now, previously housing Main Street Fitness. Waters said he was unsure if anyone witnessed the falling bricks, but they were found on the ground and reported to city hall.
Angela Reinhardt / Photo
Construction at “Grandview at Gateway” off Highway 515 just north of 108 is underway. This is one of many active development projects in the county.
County and city planning leaders say their building departments are going full steam ahead, with an increase in interest from people who want to move or develop in Pickens. There are currently several residential projects underway, as well as some commercial developments and solicitations of interest.
“As everybody can tell…there’s a whole lot going on in Pickens County Georgia,” Pickens’ Chief Tax Appraiser Roy Dobbs said at the August commissioners work session. “Each week as the deeds come through from the clerk’s office and the surveys come through - it’s a hotbed of activity.”
During the same meeting, Pickens’ Planning & Development Director Justin Kilgore discussed activity in his department.
“Planning and development is running full steam on permitting,” he said.
See full story in this week's print and online editions.
By Beau Evans
Capitol Beat News Service
Georgia hospital and health-care leaders pushed a top U.S. health official and U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler Monday for more federal funding amid a recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
At a roundtable talk in Atlanta, representatives from the state’s largest hospitals and nursing-home associations detailed growing concerns over maintaining care and curbing infections due to tight finances, difficulty procuring test kits and health disparities in minority communities.