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Editorials - Pickens Progress Online


Winners of Sassafras Adult Contest Announced


The winners of the Sassafras Adult Writing Contest were:
First Place = Searching for Clayton Fain by Travis McDaniel
Second Place =  Marble, Our Giant by Juanita T. Wilkie


First Place =The Dance at Bougival by Jack Fay
Second Place = Buck by Jack Fay
First Place = The Latin Stone by Alexander Goble
Second Place = Harvest by Fred Manget

Jasper monument gets touch up

Jacob Bozeman from the Jasper city crews  applies touch-up paint to the Oglethorpe Monument on the corner of Main Street in Jasper Thursday morning. The crews said the marble monument relocated to Jasper from Burnt Mountain about 10 years ago is still in good condition, but needed to have some brown spots cleaned up. The monument originally marked the starting point of the Appalachian Trail on Burnt Mountain, before the trailhead was moved to Springer Mountain many years ago.


On Sept. 8th, the Ga. State Society Daughters of American Colonists will host a ceremony at this monument. See more details about the ceremony on our calendar page.

Former UGA cheerleader named nation's poet laureate


Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia is celebrating the recent appointment of Natasha Trethewey as the U.S. poet laureate for 2012-2013. Trethewey earned an undergraduate degree in English from UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences in 1989, before pursuing a master’s degree in poetry from Hollins University and an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.Along with her UGA alumna status, Trethewey has several other UGA connections.

The UGA Press published her 2010 memoir “Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” a personal profile of the devastation of hurricane Katrina in her home region.  The book, recently published in paperback, also is available as an ebook from the UGA Press.Trethewey credits Robert Penn Warren, another UGA Press author, among the inspirations for her work both in poetry and prose.

Warren’s “Segregation: The Inner Conflict of the South,” which the UGA Press reissued in 1994, served as a model for “Beyond Katrina.” Coincidentally, Warren was the last U.S. poet laureate to hail from the South.In addition to publishing with the UGA Press, Trethewey is a contributor to The Georgia Review, UGA’s internationally recognized quarterly journal of arts and letters.

5k organizer 200 pounds gone and counting

     5krayweightloss    Stephanie Ray after losing 215 pounds.


Stephanie Ray keeps it in her pocketbook, an old photo of herself at 500 pounds.

     “It’s my motivation,” she said. “I keep that handy.”

     Ray’s scale now reads 285, a whopping 215 pounds less than her peak weight.


 “I like to say I’ve lost a whole fat person,” she said over breakfast, which consisted of a small bowl of fruit, grits, eggs and one slice of toast.

     Ray said her weight began spiraling out of control after she got a desk job at a local auto body shop and quit going dancing with friends. Five years ago, when the near crippling effects of such excessive weight gain became too much, Ray took the first steps towards her weight loss journey. Since then the Pickens resident has lost every single pound the old-fashioned way, with healthy diet and exercise.

     To date, Ray has participated in fifteen 5k road races and is proud she has shaved off over 20 minutes from her race time in the past year. The Catching the Cure 5K is coming on September 8th, thanks to Ray's work.

     “My first 5K was 1 hour and 20 minutes,” Ray said. “The last one I did was 58 minutes and 45 seconds. There are still people faster than me, but I’m moving along. I just stick my headphones on and go.”

     In addition to walking three miles, four days a week, Ray is now enrolled at an area gym and attends a weekly healthy eating class called CHOICES at Jasper Seventh-Day Adventist Church and School. Each week, she and other participants learn how to eat well and have a weekly weigh-in to keep them on track.

Tax-exempt status revoked for some Pickens non-profits


    There are over 11,000 Georgia non-profits that have lost their tax-exempt status since March 2010, and a handful were from Pickens.

    But because those revocations were automated, with no notification sent to the organization, it is likely the non-profits on the chopping block didn’t even know they lost their status. Many of those organizations are small with all-volunteer staffs, and, according to the IRS, most non-profits bumped off the charity rolls are believed to be either dissolved or defunct.

Read the rest of this story in our print or e-editions now on sale.