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Valedictorian and Salutatorian named at Pickens High School

During Thursday’s school board meeting, Michael Land was recognized as this year’s valedictorian for Pickens High. Jessica Bell was recognized as the salutatorian.

Besides the valedictorian and salutatorian, students involved with reading bowls, academic teams, the high school band and Pickens Middle School basketball were recognized.

PHS Principal Chris Williams said involvement in extra-curricular activities leads to and helps build success in school.

“There is a direct correlation between extracurricular activities and academic performance,” Williams said in a follow-up interview. “Anything that is positive and challenges them after school correlates into success in the classroom.”

Read more about these exceptional youth in our print edition on sale at these locations.

Above, Valedictorian Michael Land and Salutatorian Jessica Bell receive recognition plaques during Thursday’s school board meeting.

Japan relief fund established at First Baptist Church of Jasper

Dr. Jimmy Lewis, pastor at First Baptist Church of Jasper, announced Sunday in the morning worship service that a fund for disaster relief in Japan has been established after the earthquake/ tsunami there last week.

Gifts to the disaster relief fund will be channeled through the Baptist World Aid.  Dr. Lewis said he had talked to Dr. Paul Montacute at Baptist World Aid and learned that a specially trained disaster relief team is already on the ground in Japan.

“I have confidence in the Baptist World Aid ministry and I am confident the offering will be used to meet the needs of the people of Japan,” Dr. Lewis said.

If you would like to make a contribution to Disaster Relief in Japan, you may send a check to First Baptist Church of Jasper Japan Disaster Relief, 198 East Church Street, Jasper, Georgia 30143.


Library receives first KPB recycling award

Keep Pickens Beautiful has given out their first recycling award to the Pickens County Library.  The library is a charter member of our program and has consistently high numbers of recycling every month. Between April 2010 and December 2010 the total numbers of bags of recycling (plastic bottles and aluminum cans) was over 258. The library also recycles paper, books and magazines.

In that same time period, almost 1,000 30-gallon bags of bottles and cans have been recycled by our partner businesses who participate in our program.  For a break down of the business names and numbers visit our Web page at

L-R: Debbie Robinson, Beth Baughman, Donna Harrington, Olivia Hattan-Edwards and Sharon Harp.


Series on end of life decisions continues Wednesdays at senior center

In our culture, death is something we rarely talk about. What we want at the end of our lives and what our culture provides for are vastly different.

Because of this imbalance a Wednesday morning series at the Pickens Senior Center, on Stegall Drive near Lee Newton Park, is focusing on educating the elderly and teaching their caregivers about how to provide for their loved ones' wishes during the final stages of life.

The series begins at 9 a.m. each and will continue through the end of March.

“I hope by the end of the workshop people will see “hope” in the word hospice,” said Margaret Ognen, facilitator of the four-week program that deals with end-of-life decisions and the quality of life you can and should expect during that time. “Hospice can give hope to so many,” she said.

Education SPLOST passes

In a very low turnout, voters here approved the continuation of the one-cent sales tax to fund education with 57 percent of the ballots in favor of the SPLOST.

Unofficial results from Tuesday's election showed 811 votes in favor of the SPLOST with 609 people voting against the sales tax.

The election saw less than 10 percent of the registered voters cast a ballot. 

See updates later on this site.