See updated stories from our Sports Page. Columnist Tommy Gartrell and the PHS Dragons' Lair News on the new coach in this week's print or e-edition.
Pickens High School will have a new face leading the football program next year. The man behind the face is Mr. Chris Parker. Coach Parker was recommended by Principal Eddie McDonald and Superintendent Dr. Ben Desper to take on the role of Head Football Coach, and a physical education teacher at the high school. Coach Parker comes to Pickens from Chapel Hill High School in Douglas County Ga. Before his tenure at Chapel Hill, Coach Parker was the offensive coordinator at Sequoyah High School in Cherokee County.
Coach Parker is planning on traveling to Jasper next week to meet with students that are interested in playing football next year. Mr. McDonald and Athletic Director Kyle Rasco would like to extend a special “thank you” to the search committee for all the diligent work on this project.
See more on this story in next week's print edition.
If proposed cuts at the state level are fully instituted, the Burnt Mountain Center in Jasper, which provides work training to adults with developmental disabilities, would “dwindle away over the next couple of years,” according to statements from the center director Tuesday.
Executive Director Debbie Rooker said that up to $270,000 of the center’s $900,000 yearly revenue coming from the state Medicaid program could be cut under current state budget proposals.
“The new budget will rip us apart,” she said. “There is no way we can provide services.”
Rooker said if the state’s new funding model is enacted, the Burnt Mountain Center would eventually have to close the doors on its 39-year-old program, located on Pioneer Road. She estimated that would not happen at once, but by two years out, “we would dwindle away.”
The Burnt Mountain Center, which has served the mentally handicapped of north Georgia since 1973, is not alone on the chopping block.
•When the courthouse is completed, it will be 50,000 sq. ft. larger than the original courthouse, which was 16,000 sq. ft. total.
•Approx. 13 parking spaces will be lost in the downtown area due to construction and reworking of the streetscape, but it is estimated between 120 to 130 spaces will be added in the new parking area behind the Piggly Wiggly.
•According to Commissioner Robert Jones, a portion of the property the county purchased beside Pioneer Road may be used for a judicial center in the future.
•Demolition of the rear leg of the courthouse will begin this week.
Following a presentation from Pickens County Commissioner Robert Jones, the Jasper City Council approved closure of a portion of Depot Street that will be used as a staging area during renovations on the courthouse.
Jones, speaking at the regular Jasper Council meeting held Jan. 18, offered a general overview on progress of the SPLOST-funded courthouse project, detailed the county’s proposed traffic flow changes around the courthouse and requested the council close Court Street and a portion of Depot Street, the roads that run parallel to one another on either side of the courthouse.
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For a second time, Jasper’s planning commission denied a request by Trust Company of Kansas to have over 30 acres surrounding Green Valley Farm Road along Hwy. 515 re-zoned from residential to general commercial. The city council will hear the recommendation at their February 6th meeting before making a final decision.
The property came under fire about the possible rezoning because, although it sits along the county’s main highway, it surrounds a residential area that saw its first homes constructed more than 25 years ago. After being denied the zoning change in 2010 when council members brought up concerns that restrictions and covenants already in place on the property would preclude the change to commercial zoning, representatives for Trust Company of Kansas took the issue to court where a judge ruled the covenants were not applicable to their property.
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From poetry to show tunes to a dramatic monologue to a 14-year-old and her band, Sharptop Arts Association’s maiden Open Mic Night would have had a hard time bringing out better performers or a better crowd for a first event.
Last Friday, Jan. 13 the homey, art-filled SAA building on D.B. Carroll Street in Jasper was transformed into a cozy coffee house type setting, with nearly every chair in the crowd filled and every slot in the open mic section of the show spoken for.
Pictured, performers Zach Davis and Steve Moore