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Boggus Valedictorian at PHS, Shields Salutatorian

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     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.

Bigfoot (Sasquatch, Yeti, Wooly Booger) lives?

Researchers, enthusiasts converge in Dahlonega for Bigfoot conference

 

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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.

Keener named Investigative Ranger of the Year

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     Catching poachers and other wildlife violators often involves lengthy criminal investigations and require diligence and dedication on behalf of conservation rangers. Cpl. James Keener, representing Pickens County, was named Investigative Ranger of the Year for demonstrating determination and devotion in his work, which included a complex case with more than nine individuals charged with violations. 

Is ethanol-free better?

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

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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.

Youth Birding Competition registration open

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Georgia’s Youth Birding Competition turns 8 this year, and coordinator Tim Keyes is seeing plenty of evidence the event is making an impact for conservation.

 

            Keyes mentions early participants now studying biology in college and

former birding novices who as veterans are mentoring children in bird watching. “It’s been incredibly rewarding to watch that,” he said.

 

The rewards for competitors and organizers continue April 13-14, when the 24-hour statewide birdathon for teams varying in ages from kindergarteners to high school seniors returns.  The deadline to register is March 31. Complete details are at www.georgiawildlife.com/youthbirdingcompetition.