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Habitat dedicates 15th home in Pickens




Groundbreaking ceremony group photo.

 By Bettina Huseby

Progress Contributor

Brandi Shelton will own the 15th Habitat for Humanity home in Pickens County. This was her third time to apply. 

HFH President Keith Scott deemed the Jan. 22 groundbreaking a transition point for Brandi and her five school-age children. Attending alongside Brandi were sons Wesley, Dylan, Winston and Austin. Their excitement could barely be contained. After slinging dirt with shiny gold shovels, the boys took off to explore the lightly wooded lot. They crunched through dried leaves to find the four stakes marking the corners of where their new home will sit. 

Scott watched them and said, “If you’re wondering why we do this, there is your answer.”


Minor flooding, "no major catastrophes" reported


            This house of Griffeth Ave, was one of a handful of problem areas reported to the county work crews Wednesday due to heavy rains.

            The water was reaching was up to the porch today but not going into the house as of mid-afternoon. A person at the residence said he has seen flood waters higherin this area.

            Pickens Road Department Supervisor Greg Collis said “minor flooding” had been the extent of calls today. He said there were only three downed trees cleared by county crews – although one did take down some power lines.

            “There were no major catastrophes, thank goodness,” said Collis Wednesday afternoon.

            Collis said Mineral Spring Road near Jasper and Evans Road in the west end have both been closed – mainly as precautions. They are expected to re-open tomorrow.

Pickens County E-911 Director Lee Sanders reported no significant damage, but said there were a few power lines downed in the northwest corner of Pickens on Bethel Road. She also reported one woman on Old Harbin Road, off of Cove Road, was relocated to a relative’s home due to rising water at her residence. “The water was coming up under the house,” Sanders said. “It was getting into the crawl space.”

            Sanders said there have been no significant accidents on the roadways as a result of the storms, as of 3 p.m. Wednesday.  

Bigfoot (Sasquatch, Yeti, Wooly Booger) lives?

Researchers, enthusiasts converge in Dahlonega for Bigfoot conference



Bigfoot art at the Midnight Walker's Southeastern Bigfoot Conference, held January 12-13 in Dahlonega.

    Driving to the Midnight Walker’s Southeastern Bigfoot Conference felt like entering a secret meeting in Shangri-La. Fog hung thick over Burnt Mountain all the way to Dahlonega, then hugged the lodge at R Ranch where the convention was held. 
    No one could see in or out. 
    The 100 or so attendees cocooned inside the building were getting situated for a weekend-long event that would bring Bigfoot experts, researchers, lecturers, and enthusiasts to the first ever Bigfoot convention in the southeast, held January 12 -13. 
    I took my seat, too, mulling over questions I would ask when it came time to interview. The sarcastic side of me wanted to invoke the spirit of The Daily Show and ask about things that only related to the 1987 film Harry and the Hendersons. Things like, “Do you think Bigfoot would gut laugh watching a monkey on television?” or, “Do you think John Lithgow could lure Sasquatch into a vehicle using only a sac of cheeseburgers?”
    I decided that wasn’t a good idea. Plus, I really was interested in what the presenters had to say because in my mind anything is possible, plus I know a guy who swears he had an encounter here in Pickens.
    See this week's print or online editions for the rest of this story.

Boggus Valedictorian at PHS, Shields Salutatorian


     Taylor Boggus (left) has been named the Pickens High School Valedictorian. Taylor is the daughter of Don and Jennifer Boggus.
    Boggus plans to attend Armstrong Atlantic State University to major in Rehabilitation Sciences and become a physical therapist
    Amber Shields is the Pickens High School Salutatorian. Amber is the daughter of Mary Ann Garner and Tim Shields,  and step-daughter of Tony Parker.
    Shields plans to attend the University of Georgia and major in Psychology, then go to med school and become a psychiatrist.

Is ethanol-free better?

Ethanol can destroy boats, antiques, small-engines, says repair shop owner


Don "Squirrel" Carlan pumping gas at West End General Store, where owner Danny Hyde recently started selling ethanol-free gas. Hyde labels the ethanol-free gas with a bright red arrow reading "100% Gasoline."

         Drive up to any gas pump in the state and you will see a sign that reads, “This product contains up to 10 percent ethanol.”

         After being federally mandated to reduce emissions and lower the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, ethanol-blends, which exploded on the market in 2009, now make up over 90 percent of gasoline sold in the states. E-10, a 10-percent ethanol/gas blend, is now considered the standard fuel while ethanol-free gas is a specialty fuel.