Get Adobe Flash player


Ammunition leads to lock down at JMS, but all clear after search


    The empty hallway of Jasper Middle School after the campus was put on lock-down. Ammunition was found in a bathroom of the school on Tuesday, Jan. 8.

Principal, Sheriff discuss lockdown in today's Progress and e-edition 

Sheriff department press release

Earlier today (Tuesday), some ammunition was located inside one of the student bathrooms at Jasper Middle School. A student immediately notified school officials and a decision was made to implement all safety precautions. These procedures included locking down the school campus and calling in law enforcement to investigate.
The Pickens Sheriff’s Office joined with Board of Education personnel, the Jasper Police Department, the Georgia State Patrol, and the Jasper Fire Department to check the school. In addition, a K-9 unit from the Woodstock Police Department was contacted and responded to assist in searching the school. This unit specializes in locating any form of explosive, similar to that found in ammunition.
A thorough search of the school was made in addition to checking each student. Law enforcement officers did not locate any items of concern.
As a precaution, an alert message was sent to all parents of JMS students notifying them of the incident and advising that students could be picked up. The investigation into how the ammunition was placed in the bathroom is ongoing and is being conducted by Pickens Sheriff’s Office Detectives and JMS staff. 


Second fire of the year destroys Big Ridge home




Firefighters were called to Big Ridge Road in Ludville during the early morning hours Tuesday, January 8 but it was too late to save a home, according to Fire Marshal Curtis Clark. 

No one was injured in the blaze, but it was a total loss, Clark said.  Fire crews from Pickens County Fire and Rescue, Grandview, Hinton, and Talking Rock responded to the rental home. See more details in tomorrow's print and e-editions.



Online retailers should be collecting sales tax in Ga.



Beginning December 31, out-of-state retailers who sell merchandise to Georgia residents through commission-based Internet links are legally required to collect state and local sales taxes. The Georgia Retail Association - the trade group representing the state’s retail businesses – said the arrival of “e-fairness” in 2013 would bring a new era of growth to e-commerce.

The new law means that large online retailers – such as – who reach customers through “affiliate” websites based in Georgia, must collect sales tax on their transactions. The change means that Georgia’s retailers are gaining a level playing field with remote sellers, who until this year were not required to collect sales tax.


Paddlers to brave Etowah on Polar Bear Paddle, Jan. 12



Paddlers make their way through downtown Rome on the Etowah River during last year’s Polar Bear Paddle


Dozens of paddlers from across the state are expected to convene Jan. 12 at Dixon Landing on the Etowah River for Rome’s annual Polar Bear Paddle.

The six-mile paddle from Dixon Landing at Grizzard Park to Heritage Park in downtown Rome provides a view of Rome from the river, including encounters with Native American fish weirs and other historic sites.

 Complimentary canoes and kayaks are available while they last. Pre-registration is required. Participants can register online at or by calling CRBI recreational outreach volunteer Alan Crawford at 706-237-0917 or CRBI at 706-232-2724. There is no cost to participate in the paddle.

New commission board scoping $1million in cuts




Commissioner call for expanded audit, see e-edition or this week's Progress.


Pickens County Board of Commissioners (l-r) - Jerry Barnes, Chairman Rob Jones and Becky Denney        

     At their first official work session as a board, Pickens County’s new commission members immediately got down to business, vowing to slash the budget by $1 million after new CFO Faye Harvey said earlier this week the county is in dire straits.  

         District Commissioners Becky Denney and Jerry Barnes, as well as commission chair Rob Jones, all said cutting the county’s $19 million budget is a top priority for the upcoming year, and that they plan to change the FY 2013 budget through budget amendments.

“We know what we have to do on our part,” said District 2 Commissioner Becky Denney, who noted that the commissioner’s office would be responsible for $500,000 of those cuts.

         The new commission board also discussed adopting an updated Emergency Management Ordinance, appointments for the Pickens County Board of Assessors and other local boards, caps on the amount the commission chair can spend in emergency situations, road paving, and routine business such as new meeting times.