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Ga. parks offer online leaf tracking



Fort Mountain State Park, Chatsworth at left. Nearby Amicalola Falls is also considered a top leaf-looking destination.

Every October, Georgia’s forests become a brilliant blanket of red, orange and gold, inspiring leaf peepers to pull out their cameras and lace up their hiking boots. To help track the changing leaves and plan autumn getaways, Georgia’s State Parks will launch Leaf Watch 2012 beginning October 1 at

Whether hiking, biking or simply driving country roads, travelers can check Leaf Watch 2012 for advice on where and when to find the best color in Georgia’s state parks. They can read updates from park rangers, get safety tips for hiking, and browse event calendars. Last-minute availability for cabins, yurts, campsites and lodge rooms in the state parks will also be posted.


Films shot in Ga. generate $3 billion this year

Entertainment industry economic impact in Georgia up nearly 30 percent


Films like Trouble With the Curve, some of which was shot in Jasper, are contributing steadily to the state's economy.

ATLANTA, September 24, 2012 — The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), announced today that Georgia-lensed productions generated an economic impact of $3.1 billion in the state during FY12 (July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012), a 29% increase from FY11.

“The 2012 fiscal year saw record investment in the state by the entertainment industry, with more than $879.8 million in direct spending,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Cummiskey. “The film industry’s impact will have a lasting effect on Georgia’s economy for years to come.”

See story on Trouble With the Curve opening in this week's print and e-editions.


Ga. unemployment at 9.2 percent, as jobs increase


ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 9.2 percent in August. The rate is unchanged from July, when the preliminary 9.3 percent rate was revised to 9.2 percent. The jobless rate was 9.9 percent in August a year ago. 

“The unemployment rate has stabilized after two months of increases,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Georgia continues to have respectable job growth, which is a good sign. While more than one-half of the monthly growth in August came from seasonal education workers returning to their jobs, what’s more encouraging is the fact that the August-to-August growth in the last year is the most we’ve had since 2007.” 

The number of jobs rose by 25,100, or six-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,914,100 in July to 3,939,200 in August. While 15,200 of those jobs resulted primarily from workers returning to local public and private schools following seasonal layoffs, there was new growth in some industries. Health care and social assistance grew by 4,400; professional and business services by 2,400; manufacturing by 1,600; trade, transportation, and warehousing by 1,500; and construction by 1,000. 

Powerball rolls out $200M jackpot for Wednesday


ATLANTA – Powerball will carry an estimated $200 million jackpot to a single annuity winner for Wednesday’s drawing as the excitement grows in Georgia.

The jackpot has grown since Aug. 18 and has rolled 11 times.

Powerball offers two payment options: the $200 million jackpot prize paid over 29 years in 30 graduated payments, or the cash option, which is approximately $128 million. Powerball tickets are $2 per play.

As with all other Georgia Lottery games, proceeds from Powerball will benefit education in the state of Georgia. Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $13.6 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. More than 1.4 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.2 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.


Draw Date: Sept. 26, 2012

Estimated Jackpot Amount: $200 million
Annuity Amount: Jackpot prize paid over 29 years in 30 graduated payments
Cash Option Amount: Approximately $128 million
Cost to Play: $2 per play; an additional $1 per play to add the Power Play multiplier
Drawings: 11 p.m. (ET) every Wednesday and Saturday
Overall Odds of Winning Any Prize: Approximately 1:32
Odds of Winning Jackpot Prize: Approximately 1:175 million
Date Jackpot Began Rolling: Aug.18, 2012
Number of Rolls: 11
Last Winning Jackpot Ticket: Aug. 15, 2012 – $337 million jackpot (Michigan winner)
#1 Powerball Jackpot: Feb. 18, 2006 – $365 million jackpot (Nebraska winner)

For more information on the Georgia Lottery Corp. and Powerball, please visit: and

The 4-H and Master Gardeners fall plant sale underway

By June McKenzie

Plant sale coordinator


plantsale            In response to requests from many of our spring plant sale customers, the Pickens 4-H and Master Gardeners are holding a fall plant sale this year. Planting perennials in the fall enhances the root growth and general establishment of a healthy plant and helps maximize the growth in the first year, especially under the extreme heat and dry conditions that have become normal for our region the past several years.

            Fewer plant sales at this time of year enable us to get our choice of desirable plants and our growers continue to support us with very favorable pricing. The sale will follow the traditional format of our spring sale: Prepaid orders from the set list of plants will be taken up to Oct. 12 and pick-up of the plants will be on Saturday, Oct. 20, or Monday, Oct. 22.

            The plant sale will feature a large variety of ornamentals including winter blooming camellia’s. Yuletide camellia blooms from November into January, with very festive red flowers and a golden yellow center. They would be a great addition to your holiday decorations. Red twig dogwood branches not only give you color in the winter garden through the gray winter days, but can also be used in your floral designs. Also included in the sale is our usual selection of berry plants, including blueberries and blackberries etc.

            Details of our sale including plant varieties and growing requirements can be obtained by calling the Pickens County Extension office in Jasper at 706-253-8840 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We will be happy to mail detailed sale information upon request. Order forms and plant photos can also be obtained by visiting pickens

            All proceeds from the sale will support the Pickens 4-H and Master Gardener’s projects.