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WYYZ brings Texaco Country Showdown to Jasper

Country musicians, sign up now for your chance to get on the road to stardom


     Think about it like Star Search, only for country music.

     Similar to Ed McMahon’s classic TV talent show, The Texaco Country Showdown has helped launch the careers of household names like Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, Billy Ray Cyrus and Brad Paisley.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month


Pinwheels for Prevention marks 374 reports in 2011

     A single pinwheel can spin many times in seven minutes. Seven minutes is the length of time that passes before another child in Georgia is abused or neglected.

     Please observe the Pinwheels on the Annex West  lawn to represent the 374 reports of child abuse or neglect made last year to the Pickens Department of Family and Children’s Services. The goal of Pinwheels for Prevention is to show the community the alarming number of children who are harmed daily in their own backyard. Pickens Family Partners encourages all citizens concerned about the well-being of our children to support Pinwheels for Prevention by purchasing pinwheels at various locations on April 28.

     We hope this visual reminder of the incidents of child abuse and neglect will show everyone how important it is to make preventing child abuse before it starts a priority for everyone in Pickens County. These pinwheels will remind us that healthy children and healthy families are a shared responsibility. It takes all of us working together to stop child abuse before it starts.

     The pinwheel has become a symbol of Prevent Child Abuse nationwide not only in April but all year long. To volunteer or for information please call 706-253-6488 or visit

At left, Prevent Child Abuse members with some of the pinwheels.

First Baptist's Re-enactment draws crowd to Main Street


“A Walk with Christ,” a Re-enactment of Jesus’ Final Walk presented Friday evening on Main Street by members of the First Baptist Church of Jasper. A large crowd followed the re-enactor carrying the wooden cross from the courthouse to the church where a brief service was held.

This is one of many Easter events, including other church services and egg hunts planned this weekend. See this week’s print or e-edition for a complete listing.

Bald eagle populations are soaring in Georgia.



     According to preliminary results, Department of Natural Resources aerial surveys in January and March documented 158 occupied nesting territories, 116 successful nests and 190 young fledged.

     The totals are up from last year’s 142 nesting territories, 111 successful nests and 175 eaglets.

     The number of bald eagle nests in Georgia is steadily climbing, underscoring the rebound of our national bird from near-extinction through much of its range 40 years ago. Nests numbered in the single digits in Georgia when survey leader Jim Ozier started searching for them more than two decades ago.

     This comeback was powered in part by Georgians who support the Georgia Wildlife Conservation Fund through their state income tax returns.  As this year’s tax deadline nears, those who haven’t filed are encouraged to contribute $2 or more to the Wildlife Conservation Fund - line 26 on Form 500 or line 10 on Form 500EZ.

     Giving 2 wildlife benefits more than 1,000 Georgia plant and animal species listed as species of conservation concern, including bald eagles, which are continuing to nest in new areas across the state.

Photos courtesy of Georgia DNR

Eastwood movie providing new dug outs for Jasper ball field

Shoot underway at Jasper City Park



Global Builders project manager Jason Craft holds a working drawing for baseball dugouts now under construction at Jasper’s City Park as part of the movie set for motion picture scenes to film there in mid-April. The structures will be permanent.


By the time you read this, Global Builders, a restoration and construction company based near Nelson, should be at work building two new baseball dugouts at Jasper’s City Park. The structures will be more than just a fresh space to stable a ball team. They are among field improvements to ready the diamond as a movie set for the Clint Eastwood film slated to shoot scenes in Jasper this April.

   Global won the contract earlier in March to build the dugouts on the larger diamond at Jasper's City Park, where filming is to take place. Not mock-ups but real dugouts, the two movie structures will remain for park use after filmmakers pack up and roll away. All of this is according to Jason Craft, project manager and leader in business development for Global.

   "We have to have the project completed by the sixth of April," Craft said. "And they're gonna shoot the 12th and 13th of April."

   The diamond for the film, the lower ball field nearer the Duckpond, is to be reworked with new drainage in addition to the new dugouts, Craft said. The City of Jasper demolished existing dugouts prior to the start of new construction.

“The two new ones will be in their place,” Craft said. “We're doing all the new construction.”

Concrete-floored, the new ball team bunkers will be three stair steps below grade. Their sub-ground aspect adds some traditional dugout authenticity. For the movie, the structures are supposed to be part of a baseball diamond at a  lower middle class high school, Craft said. Eastwood plays an aging baseball scout come to survey some talent.

Global expects to have a crew working every day, rain or shine, from now until the 6th of April. "We have just over a week to complete the project," Craft said.

   In that time, concrete floors and steps will be poured. Concrete block walls will rise, capped at each dugout by a 2 x 6-supported shed roof, shingle covered. Open all across the front, both dugouts will have three poured concrete steps descending along the whole front opening, Craft detailed. But a padded, two-rail safety barrier along the front of each dugout will block access except near the railing ends.

   Craft said this padded safety railing will lend something for ball players to lean on, as if that could figure into a scene somewhere. The key is to have everything camera ready by show time.

   "We could have up to 10 people working on the site every day for a week," Craft said. Global employs its own in-house carpenters, he said. "We'll sub out the grading and all the concrete. We'll do the roof and all the carpentry."

Global president, Jonathan Schooler served as contact, Craft said, to S & K Pictures of Norcross, a company working with the movie director to have sets in place and ready when cameras roll. Global vice president for operations, Brian Bloom priced the job and with Craft prepared the proposal that won the bid and gained the project for Global. Global bested three competing companies in winning the job, Craft said.

    "We're pretty proud of this one," he said. "We're working closely with the city [of Jasper]. They're holding our hand through all of this."

   The movie, to film here mid-April, is titled Trouble with the Curve. Eastwood plays an ailing baseball scout in his twilight years with his daughter along for one last recruiting trip. Amy Adams plays the daughter. Justin Timberlake plays a rival scout who falls for her. John Goodman plays Pete Klein, another scout not ready to accept that Eastwood's character is ready for retirement.

    Concerning the now seasoned star of the film, Craft sounded of the same mind as the Klein character. "Clint Eastwood, he's not an actor. He's a legend," the construction boss said. "They're shooting for two days, so I'm sure the man will spend the night here somewhere."

    Craft said one of the film's art directors advised him Eastwood may alight on the baseball diamond by helicopter the day shooting begins.

   "Clint Eastwood doesn't ride in a car," Craft smiled, suggesting any standard conveyance would be out of the question for the larger than life film star.

 "He reminds you of watching movies with your dad or granddad,” Craft said. “He's just a legend, man. He's the best.”