By Duane Cronic
The 2011 edition of the Pickens High School football season will kick off this Thursday, August 18, at Pickens High Stadium with a scrimmage game against West Hall starting at 7 p.m. The Dragons just completed two weekend mini-camps as well as summer workouts. The Dragons will be a fairly young squad this year with only six seniors on the roster. They include Matt Stracener, Corey Evans, D.J. Williams, Ryan Neill, Jake Ledbetter and John Burmeister. Both offense and defense will have four returning starters, and with only six seniors, the Dragons will rely heavily on their underclassmen.
Entering his 19th year as the head coach for the Dragons is Steve Sewell who is excited about the upcoming season, stating, “We have had a very good off-season; the kids have worked hard and we are excited about the upcoming season.”
Above, Tanner Brumby (red jersey) will be leading the 2011 Dragon offense as the starting QB.
Evan Howell (center), of Blue Ridge Marble & Granite Company, hands down a marble slab freshly removed from the top left corner of the main face of the Pickens County Courthouse. Courthouse construction Project Manager Thurman Slone stands at right.
Testing resumed Monday morning to judge how tightly the marble face of the courthouse adheres after workers discovered last week that some marble near the roof edge came off too easily. Evan Howell and Terry Long, of Nelson's Blue Ridge Marble & Granite Company, went aloft two stories on a scissors lift around 9 a.m. as county workers watched from the courthouse lawn.
Howell and Long were up the courthouse face to pick down another piece of marble facing from the highest run at the wall's upper left edge. Last week, after a similar piece was found to be too easily loosened, yellow barrier tape went up on the terrace below. Monday's work was apparently to see how many other pieces of courthouse facing might be loosely in place. The marble facing dates from mid 20th century.
Battery-powered smoke detector alarms are available for free from Pickens County fire stations and the City of Jasper firehouse to county residents without an alarm at home. .
Alarms being given away were purchased on the initiative of Community Thrift Store founder, Don Russell, with funds generated through the Thrift Store, Pickens County Fire Chief Bob Howard explained.
"Each fire station, they have smoke detectors to give to folks that don't have one," Howard said. "All they need to do is just go by the station and just sign for one. Supplies are limited," he added.
At right, Firefighter Zack Petty of Marble Hill outside the City of Jasper Firehouse with one of the smoke detector alarms now available for free to county residents without one.
The Pickens County Animal Shelter re-opened Tuesday afternoon following a 14-day quarantine after a puppy left there was found to be carrying the parvovirus. No other animals at the shelter became sick outside of the puppy’s littermates.
Tuesday afternoon Deputy Brandi Strawn said the shelter is housing 121 animals looking for loving homes, 47 cats and kittens and 74 dogs and puppies.
“We’re all set and ready to adopt these animals to great homes,” Strawn said. “I’ve got some of the most loveable cats.”
Above, Shelter personnel in the Camp Road facility at an earlier date. The shelter re-opened yesterday with 121 animal awaiting adoption.
Strawn specifically mentioned two-year-old Laffy, a large, orange domestic short hair cat who is seriously in need of a new family.
“She’s been here for a while. She’s a good 12 pounds – she’s a big kitty,” Strawn said. “In the dog department I’ve also got a rat terrier mix named Mary. She’s full of energy and has a little bobtail. She’s very, very affectionate.”
Mary is approximately eight months old.
Strawn said anyone could find a pet appropriate for their needs – from young and feisty to older, calm pets.
“We’ve even got young animals that are very calm that would work well for senior citizens,” Strawn said. “We’ve got some lap cats that would just love to be petted and loved on.”
Shelter hours are Tuesday – Friday from 12-5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Next Saturday, August 27 is volunteer weekend where people of all ages are encouraged to come walk and spend time with the animals from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Steve Lowe, Joy House founder and executive director, takes a dunking, as part of the fun and games at their 10th anniversary celebration Saturday on the Christian ministry’s campus. More than 200 turned out for the day’s celebration.
“I’m humbled and excited. Humbled to see where the Lord has brought us from our beginnings in 2001 and to think about the teens and families the Lord has touched through these 10 years,” said Joy House founder Steve Lowe, marking a decade of helping families in North Georgia. “I’m excited to think about what the next 10 years hold as the Lord continues to heal teens and families.”
Lowe along with 200 supporters, former students and family participants celebrated the 10th year of the ministry Saturday at the campus with games, barbecue, Christian music and tours of the boys’ home, still under construction. The Joy House is located off of Cove Road, near the entrance to Bent Tree. Currently they operate with a completed girls home and temporary boys home.
Lowe said in the next year, they hope to finish the boys home so they can serve 16 teens at a time. They also work with teens on a non-residential basis in some stages of their program.
“I’m convinced that there will be a need for The Joy House and other ministries like it as long as we live in this broken world,” he said. “We look forward to continuing to grow this ministry under the Lord’s direction to be a beacon for hope and healing in our North Georgia community.”
Lowe said, the Joy House would like to say a special thanks to the many sponsors and volunteers who made this day possible.
“We are excited to see where the Lord has brought us in our first 10 years and look forward to these next 10 years of working to see teens and families restored,” he said.
For more information or to contribute to the ministry, www.thejoyhouse.org.