Get Adobe Flash player


Synthetic drugs not fake


“Ever see anyone smoke tobacco in a pipe like this?" Deputy Jim Van Alstine asks. Pipes like this and some other convenience store products are more likely used for illegal drugs, the deputy said.

Products sold legally in convenience stores more dangerous than real drugs, says drug expert

In January, a Pickens County  deputy responded to a medical call from a group of four teens in Pickens County.

Based on the officer’s reports as discussed by Sheriff Donnie Craig last week, one of the teens had passed out, and another panicked and called an ambulance. When the deputy arrived, three of the teens were lethargic with headaches and vomiting. The one who had passed out had come to but was still suffering health issues. One of the group had left and was trying to push a motorcycle down a busy road. He later told a deputy he had been too impaired to ride.

All four teens were taken to the hospital.

They told the deputy they had been smoking Mad Hatter.

You can find the rest of this story in our print edition, or follow this link to sign up for our online edition.

Optimist Club presents 2012 STAR Students and Teachers

star-studentsThe Optimist Club of Jasper will host the annual STAR Banquet on Thursday, Feb. 23. The banquet will be held at 7 p.m. at Chattahoochee College, 100 Campus Drive, Jasper. Anyone interested in attending the banquet should contact Reservation Coordinator Rodney Buckingham by e-mailing him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Banquet tickets are $22 per person and the dinner will be catered by the Woodbridge Inn.

Rick Jasperse, Georgia House of Representatives District 12, will be the guest speaker.

This year the Optimists will recognize the PHS STAR Student and Teacher along with 9 STAR finalists. Each student and teacher was given a questionnaire, and below you will find responses from each of this year’s STARS.

The STAR Student for this year is Reuben Burnley and the STAR Teacher is Mr. Patrick Gallagher.

School board approves calendar for next two academic years

Vacation times will change in future years


The school board approved calendars for the next two academic years at its February 9th meeting.

After looking at more than 15 options, the board was presented the top two choices favored by staff at their meeting last week for both the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 academic years. The board ended up choosing calendars that differ from this year’s calendar for vacation days and school ending dates. This year’s calendar follows a format pretty consistent with recent years.

Stories in print/e-edition only

deerprotestDeer kill protested – With bright red signs that read “Please Help Us Stop the Slaughter,” Bent Tree residents recently protested the deer kill slated to happen later this month. Page 3A.

Financial troubles threaten Air Force career – Airiel Green says a defaulted student loan and bankruptcy linked to an abusive past marriage may keep her from getting security clearance in the Air Force, which would make her lose her GI Bill and leave her with no funding for school. Page 6A.

Restaurant scores - Want to know how your favorite restaurant fared in cleanliness and sanitary food preparation? Check out the restaurant scores found in this week's edition.

To sign up for our e-edition follow this link.


Physician Assistants to “Prescribe” Healthy Hikes In Georgia’s State Parks


      Everyone knows that exercise is one key to being healthy, but not everyone enjoys going to the gym.  Georgia’s State Park system has teamed up with the Georgia Association of Physicians Assistants (GAPA) to make healthy living a bit more fun.  Through the new “Rx for Fitness” Program, physician assistants can prescribe healthy hikes in the great outdoors, and patients can turn in their “prescriptions” for free park passes.
      “Rx for Fitness” is part of the State Park system’s new Tons of Fun Fitness Challenge which encourages citizens to use outdoor recreation as part of their regular exercise.  Park visitors may find that exploring a canyon is more fun than a step machine, and that hiking along a waterfall burns more calories than a treadmill.  The parks also offer less traditional exercise, like lake swimming, geocaching and disc golf.  Even some state historic sites offer walking trails in beautiful settings.
Members of GAPA will be able to help their patients in a new way, by identifying those who need more exercise and suggesting they go for a hike.  By trading their “prescription” for a free pass, patients will not need to pay the $5 parking fee on their first visit.  Those who decide that regular hikes can help them meet weight-loss goals can choose to buy an Annual ParkPass.

     “We are so excited to offer a new and unique way of showcasing the benefits of outdoor recreation,” said State Parks Director Becky Kelley.  “When exercise is fun, people tend to stick with it for much longer.  It becomes part of their daily lives, and they have a better sense of wellbeing.  Another benefit of visiting state parks is being able to bring your friends and family along with you.”

     “Rx for Fitness” will launch today at the GAPA winter meeting.  It is funded byThe Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation.

     “Rx for Fitness is a creative way to give more kids and families access to healthy outdoor activities,” said John Bare, vice president of the Blank Family Foundation. “Better fitness is a walk in the park.”

     To learn more about the new “Rx for Fitness” program, visit  The website also offers free advice from a personal trainer and nutritionist, healthy recipes, a health journal and more.  To explore all of Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites, visit