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100 pooches turn out for 3rd annual dog days


By Matt Moore

On April 16 at Lee Newton Park, over 100 dogs had a great day of games, treats, camaraderie and attention and appreciation from humans at the 3rd Annual Dog Day in the Park.

Dog Day was sponsored by the Pickens County Anti-Drug Coalition (PCADC) and the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office to showcase the joy and fun that dogs bring to humans and to raise funds to support substance use prevention network for youth that the community has developed over the past several years.

Fortunately, there was a “dog whisperer” at Dog Day and he was able to interview some of the dogs to find out how they enjoyed their special day and what they thought about all of the activities and events of the day.

“I have never had so much fun in all my life,” exclaimed Sidney. “There were six different games that I could play and I won delicious treats at each game. I have never eaten so much in my life!”

Sidney thought he was just going to get a low-cost rabies shot from Pickens Animal Rescue. “But when I saw all those fun things to do, I begged my owner to let me stay and we stayed all day.”

Bolo’s favorite game was “Find the Treat.” “They hid the treats under pillows, in a box with crushed newspaper and in a rolled up towel. I found the treat every time. They said that I was the fastest treat finder of the day.”

Sheba loved the agility course. “I knew how to do it so I showed the other dogs how to weave around the cones.”

Toto was nervous about jumping through the hoop. “But when I saw that treat on the other side, I went for it. I even learned to step over the hoop when they raised it a few inches.  I couldn’t figure out how to jump through the higher hoop though. My owner needs to work with me on that.”

Zoey liked the Kissing Booth for dogs. “A lot of us dogs like to kiss people, especially nice people. There was this friendly, happy man named Fergie who had a big smile who was sitting there waiting for dogs to lick his face. What fun!”

Winston said that he loved the Dog Parade. “Since I am such a big, handsome dog, they let me lead the Parade. The owners sang Who Let the Dogs Out, my favorite song, as we marched around the park to the cheers of the crowd. What a grand time.”

Sidney enjoyed all the toys that were given.  Every dog who entered the contests received a toy.

Moxie was nervous about entering the Best Trained category of the dog contests. “I have not been around a lot of people before, so I was a little scared.  But I did my routine and the crowd loved it. I didn’t win but my owner and I were so proud.”

“I really love my owner,” explained Oreo. “She has grey and dark hair, and so do I. That is why I am so glad that we came in second place in the dog/owner look-alike. Woody and his owner won first place.  They had a great camouflage look.”

The Dog Show and Dog Contests at 1 p.m. were the highlight of the day. Everyone marveled at the dog skills, the owner/dog relationships and the unique dog personalities and characteristics.

Here are the winners.

Best Trained: 1st, Sidney; 2nd, Bolo; 3rd, Sheba; Best Groomed – 1st, Max; 2nd,Faith; 3rd, Berwyn; Best Dressed – 1st, Zoey; 2nd, Toto, 3rd, Tiny;  Dog/Owner Look-Alike – 1st, Woody and Keith; 2nd, Oreo and Margy; 3rd, Toto and Jennifer; Best Tail Wagger – 1st, Rilsy; 2nd, Oreo; 3rd, Freckles;  Most Vocal – 1st, Bolo; 2nd, Genesis; 3rd, Josie;.

Cutest Puppy – 1st, Chocolate; 2nd, Brownie; 3rd, Brutus; Squishiest Face – 1st, Zoey; 2nd, Tommy; 3rd, Freckles; Longest Tail – 1st, Becket; 2nd, Christina; 3rd, Wilson;  Tallest Dog – 1st, Becket; 2nd, Wilson; 3rd, Booger; Shortest Dog – 1st, Zoey; 2nd, Marbles; 3rd, Bobo.

“The Pickens County Anti-Drug Coalition and the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office thank all of the organizations, individuals, sponsors and donors who helped to make Dog Day in the Park such a fun and exciting event for our canine friends,” says Greg Mason, PCADC president. “It is a lot of fun to get a lot of dogs together to see the many different things they do that are so entertaining and engaging for all of us.”

Cove Road re-opens following rockslide


Updated Sunday -- Cove Road re-opens. Cove Road was re-opened about 4:30 p.m. despite earlier statements that concerns over future slides might delay re-opening into next week.

See next week's Progress for comments from elected officials on long-range plans.

Earlier Story

In an inspection of the Cove Road rockslide site Sunday morning, Jasper Mayor John Weaver said motorists should prepare for Cove Road to remain closed all day. He said most likely it would still be closed Monday and could remain closed indefinitely due to other hanging rocks above a road that serves as a main traffic artery for east Pickens County. "We're going to have to do an evaluation of the potential for other slides," the mayor said. "There are a lot of other big rocks up there."

Commissioner Rob Jones in later comments from the scene, was more optimistic that the road could be opened sooner. The commissioner said they will definitely have the rocks removed from the roadway by dark on Sunday and he thought it might could be opened by Monday.

Offering guidance in the early morning assessment was Pickens County Marshal Jim Harvey, who comes with more than 20 years experience with blasting and quarrying all across the southern United States. Harvey pointed out several other cracks and seams in the stone walls of the steep north bank of the S turns-section of road that pose potential threats.

Several large sections of rock could be seen overhanging the road near the site of the large rockslide Saturday.

Original story 

A landslide about 10 p.m. has closed Cove Road at the steep S-turns near Longswamp Creek.

Commissioner Rob Jones said the no one was injured nor any vehicles damaged, but the road is mostly covered with earth and rocks from the steep banks.

The road will be closed Sunday morning as road crews begin work clearing it. The county was moving in equipment Saturday night. City of Jasper crews are assisting with the clean-up.

Power service may also be affected.

Sheriff's office investigating church break-in

Press Release from Donald E. Craig, Sheriff
Pickens County Sheriff’s Office


On Sunday, April 17, 2011, our office received a report that a local church had been broken into. After an investigation, it was determined that someone entered into the church over the weekend by breaking a door. The individual, or individuals, then removed several expensive sound equipment items from the facility. Detectives from our office were able to locate several clues and will continue to work on this case from all available leads.

Please remain vigilant in monitoring your businesses, homes and churches to ensure that you do not become a victim of similar acts. We will continue to extra patrol our churches while we continue this investigation. If you have any information that you believe would assist in determining who these offenders may be, please contact the Criminal Investigations Division at 706-253-8935.

Cherokee Sheriff seeks info on missing Ball Ground man

Updated Monday 4-18

Press Release from 

Cherokee County Sheriff's Office


Canton, Cherokee County, Ga. April 15, 2011. The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office is seeking assistance from the public in locating a missing Ball Ground man.  Stephen Lyon, 48 years old, was last seen on March 6th. He is believed to be traveling on foot. Mr. Lyon has brown eyes, is approximately 6’2” and weighs 260 pounds. If anyone has seen, spoken to, or knows the whereabouts of Mr. Lyons, they are urged to contact investigators at 770-928-0239.

A spokesman from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office said Lyon is just considered missing, not sought for an investigation, and his family is concerned.