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Volunteer firefighters looking for more members


    Firefighters pull a hose to a window to extinguish flames inside a Cove area home last August. The strenuous nature of battling blazes requires many able-bodied volunteers.


    Pickens volunteer fire crews are looking for a few more good men and women to join their ranks. The eight departments in the county are all in need of additional “young able-bodied people who can fight fires.”
    Assistant Fire Chief Curtis Clark said the departments accept volunteers of all physical conditions to help with support-functions, but front-line firefighters are what they need.

Tractor Supply at old Blue Star?...and other Jasper news


     The old Blue Star building of East Church Street in Jasper. The building has been sitting empty for two years.

    At the most recent Jasper council meeting, Jasper Planning & Development Director Michael Castagna announced that the chain store Tractor Supply Co. has submitted site and renovation plans for the old Blue Star building on East Church Street.
    These plans must be approved by the city before further steps can be made by the agricultural supply store.

Water Park looking at Pickens County -- press release

Press Release from Pickens County Economic Developer Gerry Nechvatal

See complete story in tomorrow's print edition


The Economic Development Department at the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce has been approached by a development group that is working with a property owner and is exploring the feasibility of building a resort hotel, indoor/outdoor water park, and conference center on Highway Business zoned property located on State Route 136 Connector. As of now no plans have been filed with the county, but introductory meetings were held last week between the developer, county, and state officials.


As with all proposed projects, a review process will begin at Pickens County when plans are submitted and will include the involvement of all county departments in order to gauge the impact of the project and the suitability as it relates to the citizens of Pickens County.


Because this resort would be the first of its type in Georgia and potentially be a significant driver of tourism based economic development for the region in addition to the county, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Department of Community Affairs, as well as other state level agencies may need to become involved.


An independent study commissioned by the property owner and prepared by Hotel and Leisure Advisors, a noted Cleveland, Ohio based consulting group that has conducted over 200 studies of hotels with indoor water parks, as well as the success of Wilderness at the Smokies in Sevierville, TN indicate that a rural Northwest Georgia location for this type of resort may have merit.


This study also indicates that the proposed $130 million development will create over 900 jobs during construction and over 300 jobs when the resort opens, potentially growing to over 500 jobs within a ten year period. Additionally, 200 indirect jobs are projected to be created in the community according to the report.




PHS Culinary Arts 2nd in state


Three members of the PHS Culinary Arts team

  On March 15, Pickens High School FCCLA Culinary Arts team traveled to Athens, Ga., to compete for the state title. At the state competition the students prepared a meal of Chicken Alfredo with sliced mushrooms and blanched asparagus with a side garden salad. The competition was extremely tough and was composed of the top 2 teams from each of the 9 FCCLA regions around the state. PHS placed 2nd in the state.

Premier bluegrass group The Boxcars hit Canton this Sat


    The Boxcars, the 2012 International Bluegrass Music Association Instrumental Group of the Year, will perform at the historic Canton Theatre on Saturday, April 6 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are for reserved seating and are $20 each. Children under 6 are free. The Canton Theatre is located at 171 E. Main Street, Canton, Ga.

    Bluegrass fans won’t want to miss out on what many are lauding as the incredible musicianship of The Boxcars, an award-winning group that has quickly made waves in the bluegrass community.
    The Boxcars were founded in 2009 by Adam Steffey, nine-time International Bluegrass Music Association’s Mandolin Player of the Year, and John Bowman, who has played with Alison Krauss and who is married to Rebecca Isaac Bowman of the touring gospel group The Isaacs.
    “This is one of the top bluegrass groups around,” said Tim Moxley of the promotion company Shady Grove Events, which represents The Boxcars. “These guys have played with everyone, well, a lot of big names like Alison Krauss & Union Station, J.D. Crowe, and The Isaacs.”
    Members of The Boxcars have also played with well-known groups like New South, the Dan Tyminski Band, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and Mountain Heart, among others.
      The Boxcars will perform at the historic Canton Theatre on Saturday, April 6 at both 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Moxley said their opening acts will bring some local flavor to the performances.
    “The Bruce Weeks Family Band will open for the 5 p.m. show and BlueRoad will open the 8 p.m. show, and they’re both from the area,” Moxley said. “This is going to bring that local interest to the night. The Canton Theatre is a smaller venue with really good acoustics. It’s intimate and close and you are eyeball to eyeball with the performer. This is going to be a family program that everyone can enjoy and there’s not a bad seat in the house.”
    Moxley said this is the first “straight bluegrass” production for Shady Grove, which in the past has only represented gospel or gospel/bluegrass groups. Moxley said that while he is a little nervous about the transition, he is excited to have such a top-notch group performing for the first bluegrass show.
    Learn more about The Boxcars at
    Tickets are $20 per person. Children under 6 are free. You can purchase tickets for the event at
    Visit the Historic Canton Theatre at