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Jasper Banking Company closed by FDIC; operating now as Stearns

Jasper Banking Company, Jasper, Georgia, was closed today by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Stearns Bank National Association, St. Cloud, Minnesota, to assume all of the deposits of Jasper Banking Company.

State banking officials arrived in a fleet of cars right at closing time to lock the bank. It had been speculated for some time that Jasper Banking Company, one of the oldest businesses in the community was going to be closed. One of the officials entering the bank said it is important for people who have money in the local bank to know that their deposits are safe. She said that anyone with Jasper Bank checks can continue to use them.

The three branches of Jasper Banking Company will reopen on Saturday as branches of Stearns Bank National Association. Depositors of Jasper Banking Company will automatically become depositors of Stearns Bank National Association. Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship in order to retain their deposit insurance coverage up to applicable limits. Customers of Jasper Banking Company should continue to use their existing branch until they receive notice from Stearns Bank National Association that it has completed systems changes to allow other Stearns Bank National Association branches to process their accounts as well.


Updated: See statement from JBC Banchsares below

A look at the history of Grandview Lake


     A hard-working man with some large ideas, W.H. "Bill" Jones, of Pickens County, played a major role in bringing Grandview Lake into existence. Jones grew up in the hollow now flooded by the lake. As a young man, he quarried an area just below where the old boathouse stands today.

     "He grew up right in here, taking out flagstone," recounted Jones' daughter, Peggy Petty. "He went to Atlanta and worked for Firestone. Saved about $1,000. He saw a little girl get run over down there and said, ‘I'm going back to the mountains.’"

     Returned to the Grand View community (the name was two words then), Jones went back to flagstone quarrying. "Making about a dollar a day," Petty said. "He'd haul that flagstone to Marietta, and he'd haul it to DeLand, Florida."

Read the rest of this story in our online or print editions.

New students encouraged to register before first day


Above, parents register their students for bus transportation at Open Registration for new students, held last Wednesday, July 18.

     Parents with students new to the Pickens County school system filled tables and chairs at the board of education office last week during Open Registration, which officials say was busier than usual.
      Assistant Superintendent Tommy Qualls reported that 120 new students signed up to attend school in Pickens, including 29 new high schoolers, but he says the final student count for the system will not be known for a few weeks. 


$15 million marijuana grow found in Gilmer


Above, two suspects apprehended for a four-acre marijuana grow in Gilmer

Taken from a Drug Task Force press release

     Thursday, July 19, agents with the Zell Miller Mountain Parkway Drug Task Force, along with Gilmer County deputies and other state agencies, discovered nearly four acres of marijuana during their annual marijuana flyover of a wooded area of Gilmer County not far from the Highway 136/Highway 52 area.


Three Bodies Recovered from Yellow Creek area fire - UPDATED


From Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services

     Canton, Cherokee County, Ga. July 18, 2012 - The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office responded to a house fire at approximately 3:35 am Wednesday morning. When they arrived at 818 Spriggs Trail in Ball Ground, the spilt level home was fully engulfed and had already collapsed. After Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services put out the fire, 3 bodies were located deceased inside the home.

     The bodies have not been identified. The home belongs to 49 year old Ricky Norrell and his 46 year old wife Darlene. They lived at the home with their 19 year old daughter Lindsey. At this time investigators are unable to definitively conclude that the bodies are that of the Norrells, however no one has had any contact with them today and it appears likely that in fact it is them.

     Sheriff’s Office investigators and Fire Department investigators remain on the scene. At this time the cause of the fire is unknown.