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For a day, cancer survivors get royal treatment

Look Good…Feel Better helps build confidence with beauty makeover

cancerPictured, Pickens program volunteers Amy Leake (top) and Nancy Unzicker during a makeover presentation. 

“One of the hardest things about going through chemo is losing your hair,” said Pickens’ Look Good…Feel Better organizer Tanya Kyle, who lost her own hair to chemotherapy treatment nearly 30 years ago.

“Your hair is part of being female, and when you start to lose it, it is just devastating,” she said.

The American Cancer Society’s Look Good…Feel Better program was established to help support women who are not only struggling with the energy, appetite and strength-robbing effects of cancer, but who are experiencing low self-confidence because of the physical changes that often accompany active chemo treatment.

“I love this program,” said Kyle. “I love it because for one day you forget about your troubles and woes. Even if you don’t go out much, when you walk by the mirror and you’ve lost weight or your hair is falling out, you don’t feel good about yourself.

Large fire destroys several acres in Nelson area




Press Release from the Cherokee County Fire Department

Above, the brush fire near Old Nelson Rd in Cherokee County    Photo/Angela Waagen

    Feb. 23, 2011 --- Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services and Georgia Forestry responded to a large brush fire that occurred yesterday on Old Nelson Road in northern Cherokee County.

     A caller contacted Cherokee County E-911 to report that approximately ¼ acre was on fire and it was getting close to the trees. Cherokee County firefighters responded to the scene and requested assistance from Georgia Forestry to help contain the fire. Georgia Forestry made breaks around the fire to keep it from spreading.

Fictional thriller set in Pickens

Christian novelist brings mystery and romance to a place once called home

wake the sleeping lady book


In Carolyn Koontz DeArteaga’s world the line between reality and fiction is like a blurry watercolor, where characters cherry pick from real-life people, and imaginary streets and landscapes dovetail with places in three-dimensional time and space.

In DeArteaga’s new novel, Wake the Sleeping Lady, she transports us to a Pickens County that exists one step removed from our own plane of reality. Many elements are left in tact, such as The Woodbridge Inn, Oglethorpe Mountain and the charms of Appalachian culture, but she spends plenty of time flexing her creative muscles, replacing Jasper with the small mountain town of Windy Ridge and substituting other well-known landmarks with ones that dip their toes into the imaginary.

County in search of volunteer firefighters


Proud volunteers of the Hinton Fire Department, photographed March 2008.

With the ongoing reliance on volunteer firefighters here, County Fire Chief Bob Howard has initiated a recruitment drive to gain new volunteers. The reason is straightforward, he said.

Even with full-time paid firefighters in place today, Pickens County still depends heavily on volunteer firefighters to make a response when fire breaks out.

The county fire department runs on a 24-hour basis (with professional firefighters manning two county firehouses round the clock) by relying on a total of just five paid firefighters per shift, explained Howard.

Backing that small core of professionals is a long roll of trained volunteers who also respond to fight fire whenever the call comes down, the chief said.

Stan Barnett named Citizen of the Year



At right, Stan Barnett

The Pickens County Chamber of Commerce crowned Stan Barnett the 2011 Pickens County Citizen of the Year on at the Tate House during Chamber’s annual winter ball event.

Barnett, who was in attendance at the event, expressed his appreciation to a packed house of curious spectators. Barnett, 76, has served many local organizations over his 15 years as a resident of Pickens County. He managed the Pickens County Thrift Store for five years and remains an active member of several charitable and non-profit organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Mountain Conservation Trust of Georgia, and Keep Pickens Beautiful. Stan currently serves as an Auxiliary courtesy golf cart driver at Piedmont Mountainside Hospital.