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2011 Miss Georgia Marble Pageant Sept. 10


Plans are now being finalized for the 2011 Miss Georgia Marble that is to be presented Saturday, Sept. 10, and begins at noon. There will be a rehearsal and “late registration” Wednesday, Sept. 7, at the Pickens Chamber of Commerce building beginning at 6:30 p.m. So, for those that do not make the early entry deadline, you can register that Wednesday night and will be the last opportunity to sign up. For any additional information please contact Tim Prather at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Old post office to house court offices during renovation

old-post-officeAt his most recent meeting, Commissioner Robert Jones announced plans to relocate several court offices while renovations are underway at the Pickens County Courthouse.

The county will lease the old federal building/Jasper post office for 24 months at $5,000 per month. The building is located beside West Church Street between Mark Whitfield and Richards streets, across from the Burnt Mountain Trading Company.

The building, owned by Old Towne Developers, LLC, will temporarily house the probate office, the magistrate office, the district attorney’s office, county probation, a small office for the Pickens County Sheriff, and Pickens County Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver’s office. It will also contain a small courtroom and an area designated for visiting judges.

Above, the building in downtown Jasper where court offices will temporarily be located during courthouse renovations.

Jones said these offices will be relocated around November of this year.

According to Jones, the County Annex Building will remain operational during renovations, expected to begin in spring of 2012.

Redistricting divides Pickens in Ga. Senate and Congress



Pickens County will be split among two districts in the state senate and in the U.S. House of Representatives under re-apportionment maps set for approval this week by the state legislature.

The state senate will vote on the re-drawn maps this week. The house has already voted approval. The re-apportionment maps made significant changes to district lines at all levels across the state to accommodate the growing Georgia population.

State Senator Steve Gooch  and State Rep. Rick Jasperse who represent Pickens County both said they doubted much will change from the proposed maps presented last week with only some “minor tweaking” still in discussion this week.

Jasper hiker completes Appalachian Trail


McGhee-App-trailLongtime Jasper veterinarian Mike McGhee completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail on August 19th.

Here’s a look at his hike on the 2,181 mile trail by the numbers:

• 143 days - total number of days on the trail.

• 20 days  - spent not hiking at all.

• 15 miles  - overall daily average. This figures in the days spent not hiking.

• 27 miles – longest single day.

• 4 pairs - shoes used, favorite pair were trail runners, not hiking boots. Each pair had been bought and broken in prior to starting and sent ahead to mail spots along the trail.

• 20 pounds - usual weight of pack first day out of a town. As food was eaten it would get lighter each day until resupplying.

• 39 pounds – weight lost on trail. McGhee started the hike at 189 pounds and finished 150.

• 10 bears sighted – Five in New Jersey, four in Virginia, 1 in Vermont

Story on mother of autistic child generates overwhelming response


“I can’t keep up with everything that’s been happening,” said Kelly Ingram, who was featured in an article in last week’s edition of the Progress.

In the article Ingram described her emotional and spiritual journey raising her autistic son, Bradley.

“People have read that and the article is everywhere,” she said. “I’m getting Facebooked and emailed from people I don’t even know.”