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Some downtown trees just plain ugly, says tree board

A scraggly tree on Main Street illustrates the concerns of tree board members well. - Photo Damon Howell


Mike Denson, member of Jasper Tree Board: “Mayor, we need to talk about the trees on Main Street.”

Mayor John Weaver: “What’s wrong with them?”

Denson: “They’re ugly. But they do look better with lights at night.”

Tree Board member Kirk Garner: “They look like Charlie Brown Christmas Trees.”

Weaver: “A few are stressed, but they aren’t that bad.”

Members of the city tree board engaged in a lengthy discussion of all things arboreal with City Hall staff Thursday, ultimately reaching a decision that some trees along Main Street should be replaced.

Read full story in today's print edition now on sale.

End-of-life decisions focus of Senior Center series in March


A weekly series at the Pickens County Senior Center began today and continues through March looking at end-of-life decisions.

A handout for the class states, “It is hard to talk about dying, death and bereavement. Virtually everyone wants those conversations to have happened, but no one wants to have that conversation today.” The “life planning” series at the Senior Center, located on the east side of Lee Newton Park, Stegall Street, will make that conversation easier for families.

The series opened with the video On Our Own Terms,  a Bill Moyers documentary from PBS on dying.

Margaret Ognen, facilitator for the life planning series, said the public is welcome every week at the Senior Center. Each class-style presentation in the series begins at 9 a.m. and lasts an hour-and-a-half each Wednesday. Members of the public are welcome to bring a brown-bag lunch and to “enjoy lunch with other seniors in the community.”

Late notice prevented publicity about the class from being published in the Progress prior to the first series installment, but Ognen said anyone interested could view On Our Own Terms at the Pickens library. She said missing the video would not prevent attendees from benefitting from the remaining Wednesday sessions.

Ognen said the series will definitely run through the end of March and may continue into April.

Among topics to be covered are advanced directives; powers of attorney; and community services available.

Following the DVD used in the first session, guest speakers will address the group on their areas of expertise. Scheduled to appear on different weeks are a medical doctor, an eldercare lawyer and a chaplain. The series will allow plenty of time for personal stories and open discussion.

Ognen said this is a class-style format, and outside resources will be provided each week.

In addition to seniors, she thought the series would offer a lot of valuable information for caregivers of older parents.

One person who has lost both parents in recent years said she had picked up a lot of the information on her own, but it would have made everything much easier for her if family members had used these resources earlier.

Ognen said too often end-of-life planning doesn’t begin until the elder person is already in ICU at a hospital, surrounded by people they don’t know.

The public is welcome to attend the free weekly seminar.

Pool can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Tater Patch Players: "Having our own facility is a dream come true,” says member of acting troupe"

By Pat Jewell

Tater Patch member

The curtain will soon rise on a new era for the Tater Patch Players.

Their Board of Directors announced Friday that the troupe has purchased a building, off Old Philadelphia Road near the Walmart, that they will transform into a theatre that promises to be a crowning jewel of Pickens County.

At right:  Tater Patch Players members raise a toast at their new home off Old Philadelphia Road, near Walmart.

Jasper Police launch Facebook page

The Jasper Police Department launched a Facebook page this week because of the social network’s ability to both disperse and receive information.

Police Chief Greg Lovell said Facebook has proven to be a “valuable tool” for other police departments with investigation and a great avenue to provide information.

Lovell said he talked to other police chiefs who encouraged him to have an official page as other departments have seen important tips provided through the site and have used it to make regular updates on roads, weather and public safety information.

Wild Hog still footloose in residential area



This photo was taken with a trail cam on Monday, Feb. 21 at a Main Street residence in Jasper.

Update: As of March 2, the urban wild boar that is calling residential Jasper home was still roaming free. See this week's Progress to read about the challenges of capturing the wild pig that came to town.  


Some residents on South Main Street in Jasper have Porky on the brain after wild hogs have been spotted with a trail cam in the dense residential area.

     Nearly a week ago one homeowner noticed visible signs of the creatures. This resident said he found part of his yard destroyed, with the ground dug up and noticeable hog tracks near the site

     A trail cam was set up at the residence, which captured several images of the animal. There is some speculation from trappers, however, that there is more than one hog in the downtown area.

     We will be following this story through the weekend and will have a full version in next week’s print edition.