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Test bores needed at courthouse to look at suitability of site

Commissioner Robert Jones announced he has contracted for test bores to be drilled around the courthouse property in downtown Jasper as part of “the pre-planning” for future construction and expansion of the Main Street marble landmark. Jones’ announcement came as part of a very brief May commissioner’s meeting Thursday, May 26.

The county signed an agreement with Moreland Altobelli Associates, Inc. for “geotechnical drilling sub-surface investigation.”

The cost of the work is $5,400 and Jones said it is necessary  to determine the suitability of the site for future construction. Jones said in this case, the sub-surface work is important, as it is known the Main Street location has held earlier buildings and may hide old “coal-bins,” unknown utility lines or other buried structures.

Jones said seeing if there is anything buried around the courthouse property that may have to be removed or dealt with in some other way will be important as an architect begins designing an expansion of the marble courthouse.

Plans call for six test holes, with the deepest going 36 feet. Jones said infrastructure and buried utilities aside, it is important to check the condition of the soil as the county continues to plan for a courthouse renovation project, budgeted as a $17 million item in a sales tax referendum approved by voters in 2008.

Civil War Reenactment at Resaca

Small arms popped. Banners rippled. Cannon thundered. Smoke massed and drifted. Canteens tipped skyward and cavalry mounts lathered as late May sun burned down near Resaca during two Civil War reenactment battles last weekend.

Action took place on a portion of the original Civil War battlefield of Resaca, a rolling wide open space at the end of Chitwood Road north of the village.

On both days, reenactors authentically demonstrated Civil War era military units in action, though battlefield maneuvers could not be said to mimic historic battle action from the original battle of nearly a century and a half ago. This time, the Rebs won on Saturday, the Yanks prevailed Sunday.

Southbound, a CSX freight train broke the spell of antiquity Sunday afternoon just before the field fell silent with cessation of hostilities around 3 p.m. In the quiet, two distant buglers echoed Taps across the killing fields.

A windswept silence followed. Applause sounded and faded away, leaving wool-clad armies to traipse homeward under the continuous whirr of massed cicadas.



See more Civil War Re-Enactment Pictures

Recently hired superintendent brings competitive streak to school achievement

Profile of Dr. Ben Desper


Dr. Ben Desper, along with his wife Laura, are looking for a home here during regular work trips the new superintendent of schools for Pickens County makes from his current residence in Bartow County.

The new superintendent must work through June in Bartow’s school system before starting here full time in July.

Desper, who is mixing house hunting with work to familiarize himself with the local schools, said his new home will preferably be near the school system’s central office.

In Floyd, Habersham and Bartow counties, where Desper has worked previously in education, he looked for “places where you can see the school from the house when the leaves are off the trees.”

 Read the rest of the profile of the county's new superintendent in this week's print edition now on sale.

Rabies vaccinations save the day for Townsend Road dogs

Proud owners of eight dogs, Phillip and Julie Tippens sit on the porch of their home with some of the dogs which killed the rabid raccoon.Damon Howell / Photo


It was one of the “good stories” said Jan Stephens of the county Environmental Health Department.

A beloved group of family dogs killed a rabid raccoon without suffering injury. All the dogs were up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations, so booster shots were given, and all the animals are still running around the Townsend Road home of Phillip and Julie Tippens.

According to Ms. Tippens, her eight family dogs are a “wide variety” of rescue animals. Some were likely dumped at their residence. Others appear to have just shown up.

All the “funny mixed-up family” have been spayed/neutered and, most importantly in this case, properly vaccinated against rabies.

Ms. Tippens said, from her work in an emergency room, she knows rabies is a threat to humans and pets. She has always made a point to have her animals vaccinated.

Employment issues top barrier for healthy Pickens families

Organizers of a community assessment on families in Pickens County speculate that employment and job issues will be the number one need identified for the forthcoming five-year plan.

At a public input meeting Monday, representatives from different social agencies discussed the 2013-2018 Comprehensive Plan for the Advancement of Families and Children in Pickens County.

This effort will identify the top “barriers” families here face and will work to develop strategies to address these barriers  over the next several years.

Pickens Family Connections is hoping for a broad range of input, setting a goal of 500 completed surveys from all areas of the county.

“This thing can go in any direction people want,” said Matt Moore, director of Pickens Family Connections. “It just depends on the input.”