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Historic Woodbridge Inn up for sale

Owner Hans Rueffert asks for support during transition


The second-generation owner of the Woodbridge Inn announced earlier this month that the historic restaurant/inn on the north end of Jasper’s Main Street is for sale.

Hans Rueffert, who purchased the Woodbridge with his wife, Amy, from his parents in 2009, said he had hoped to continue the traditions of the Woodbridge, but health problems have forced him to put the Jasper icon up for sale.

“I wrestled with the decision for three months before we put it on the market,” Rueffert said. “I grew up in the restaurant – literally. But my health has reached a point where there isn’t much choice.”

State leaders call for special session for re-districting


Governor Nathan Deal with House Speaker David Ralston to his right signing earlier legislation. The governor, Ralston and other leaders have convened the state legislature Monday to work on re-districting.

From Governor's press office

Gov. Nathan Deal, joined by House Speaker David Ralston and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, today issued the call for the 2011 special legislative session. The special session is set to convene Monday, Aug. 15, at 10 a.m. and will include redistricting of the Georgia House and Senate and congressional districts, technical changes to next year’s TSPLOST referendum and ratifying the governor’s gas tax rate freeze.

“My aim is to sign into law fair maps that comply with the mandates that the federal government sets forth,” Deal said. “We will update our state and congressional legislative district maps to reflect the population changes documented in the 2010 Census, and we will  honor the sacred principle of ‘one person, one vote.’

“Working swiftly, as our maps require preclearance from the Department of Justice, we will also work to provide candidates and voters as much time as possible to prepare for the next election cycle and to keep costs down for Georgia taxpayers.”

Pickens beauty queens meet governor

(Back L-R) Kerrie Lee, Kelsie Gilbert, Christina Farron, Makaila Caylor, Carly Culverhouse, Anslee Busby; (Front L-R) Peyton Williamson, Carson Veal, Lexi Bowen and Kati McClure with Governor Nathan Deal.



By Michelle McClures

Miss Pickens County Director

There is more to being a beauty queen than smiling and wearing a crown. It’s my (Miss Pickens County Director Michelle McClure’s) belief that pageants help girls build self- esteem, confidence, friendships and community involvement.                                                

Miss Pickens County was rewarded for their volunteer work and community involvement at the Governor’s Office with a meet and greet with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. Thank you to Kerrie Lee, Kelsie Gilbert, Christina Farron, Makaila Caylor, Carly Culverhouse, Anslee Busby, Peyton Williamson, Carson Veal, Lexi Bowen and Kati McClure for showing involvement and pride in our community.

Miss Pickens County members have volunteered at fundraisers to benefit sick children and the needy. They donated time, money and support to public safety, volunteered time and talents to local nursing homes and collected and donated food to Pickens County food banks. I (Michelle McClure) and MPC Royalty will be presenting a check for new football uniforms to Pickens County Middle School at their annual tail gate party.

To request appearances and volunteers or to view upcoming pageants and events go to



Despite quarantine, all animals doing fine at animal shelter

Shelter to reopen August 16


All the animals at the Pickens County Animal Shelter are healthy and doing well, Deputy Brandi Strawn reported Tuesday morning, after a case of parvo last week caused a litter of puppies to be put down and the shelter quarantined until August 16. A puppy brought into the county animal shelter in late July was found to be carrying the virus.

“All of our animals are in good condition,” Strawn said. “We haven’t had any problems. Everybody’s healthy.”

Strawn said a litter of puppies came in late July and it was nine days before they showed any symptoms of an illness.

“They came in looking really healthy. They started showing symptoms and one of them passed away.”

Following testing, Strawn discovered Canine Parvo was to blame. The other puppies in the litter had to be put down, she said.

Strawn reported the incident to the Georgia Department of Agriculture whose officials requested she close the facility for 14 days, a standard procedure. Strawn said puppies at her facility are kept separate from others dogs, cats and kittens and there was likely no transfer of the virus from the puppies to any other animals being held there.

“I don’t think any of my animals are at risk because of where the puppies were kept,” she said. “It’s just a safety precaution more than anything. We will monitor the animals for two weeks to make sure no one else shows any symptoms.”

She said officials she spoke with at the agriculture department reported that a lot of shelters around the state are experiencing parvo outbreaks because of the heat and humidity.

“We get a lot of stray animals and these animals are piddling through whatever they can to eat. The parvovirus can lay dormant for five months. This heat is like a big Petri dish and it overwhelms these animals. They can carry the virus dormant in their bodies for 14 days.”

Canine Parvo is a contagious virus spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their feces, according to Wikipedia. It can be especially severe in puppies that are not protected by maternal antibodies or vaccinations. Symptoms of parvo may include diarrhea, vomiting, quick weight loss and lethargy. Straun said dogs or puppies also stop eating and drinking water.

The mortality rate for parvo is 91 percent if untreated and, Strawn said, it could be very expensive to treat. Canine Parvo is not transferable to humans.

Until the shelter opens on August 16 no one can come in to adopt an animal and no other animals can be taken in, she said.

“I want people to understand there’s nothing bad. It’s just a safety precaution. Our animals are healthy. We make sure we adopt out healthy animals. In the summertime it’s par for the course.”

Shelter hours are Tuesday – Friday from 12-5 and Saturday from 11-3.

Courthouse work underway by spring


Work began on grading the new parking lot area for the courthouse approximately two  months ago.  Ultimate plans are for a lighted walkway to lead from the parking area near the Piggly Wiggly up Court Street to the courthouse.


Barring any unforeseen setbacks, county officials expect early stages of construction on the Pickens County Courthouse renovation to begin in spring 2012.

This announcement comes more than three years after the SPLOST passed in February 2008, when voters approved $17 million for courthouse renovations and another $2.7 million for parking and debt service for the courthouse.

According to Pickens County Courthouse Project Manager Thurman Slone, all department heads with the Pickens judicial system have signed off on tentative courthouse plans, or schematics, which were drafted by Bruce Jennings of JKH Architects.

“This is where we lay out the space for the rooms and offices to make certain everyone has adequate space for operations,” Slone said.

Pickens County Chief Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver, District Attorney Joe Hendricks, Chief Magistrate Judge Allen Wigington and Probate Judge Rodney Gibson have all signed off on these tentative plans, Slone said.

Sheriff Donnie Craig said he has met with Slone and Jennings regarding the schematics but that he has not yet signed off. Craig said he requested a copy of drawn plans for his review and that he plans to meet with Slone and Jennings in the next week.