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Disease ends work of beloved Good Sam doctor

Dr. Joe Wilber passed away Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

This particular Thursday the waiting room at Good Samaritan Health & Wellness Center is SRO––Standing Room Only. This Thursday is not unique. It’s like any other day at Pickens’ free medical clinic.alt

If you haven’t been, drive by Good Sam during their regular hours and see for yourself. The parking lot is almost always spilling over, cars teetering on grassy banks and rocky outskirts. Since opening nearly nine years ago, the free medical clinic has accumulated 6,800 patient files and has a staggering 14,000 patient visits a year during its limited hours of operation: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Some patients have appointments, but many of them don’t. They walk in with hopes of getting desperately needed medical care they can’t afford otherwise.

“We’re the largest practice in town,” said Dr. Joe Wilber, who was recruited by Drs. John Spitznagel and Al Hallum to help open Good Sam in 2002, and who has since volunteered at the clinic three to four days a week.

“The patients are very nice people with terrible bad luck,” he went on. “All of them are poor, and they have no health insurance, no Medicare, no Medicaid, and a lot of them are out of work, so we supply everything.”

By “everything” Dr. Wilber means primary medical care, dental care, eye examinations and glasses, mental health and diabetic counseling and X-ray and laboratory services.

Even the prescriptions are free.

Thanks for checking out our new website


Welcome to the recently redesigned Pickens Progress newspaper's website. There are still a few areas where we are experimenting and will continue to make changes during the next several weeks. If you spot anything that you feel we should change or improve upon, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We hope you find this website a useful supplement to our weekly print edition. We will continue to give regular updates of news throughout the week that we feel the people of this community may need as well as some of the stories that appear in our print edition. We do not intend to put all our stories online each week, as that is what our print edition is for. This spring, we plan to offer an e-edition which will allow subscribers access to the entire contents of our weekly print edition online on the day it hits the news stands.

We hope to expand some of the interactive features of a website to allow uploads of ads and pictures for  news as well as post form and event information that can be downloaded or printed.

As to the message board, we are considering bringing back a different styled forum that will require names and valid e-mails to post on local topics. As for now we are going to see how the comments that can be posted on each article serve the needs of our online audience.

Again, we welcome feedback either through the comments here or with aThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jasper Artfest drawing artists and interest

By Linda Barnes

Publicity, Sharptop Arts Association

Last week more artists signed up for JASPER ARTFEST and we are excited in the growing community interest and enthusiasm.

Every week the applications increase in number. What a great event to happen on Main Street to showcase the arts.  Local artists ,as well as, artists from our neighboring states of Florida, North Carolina, and Alabama are signing up as well.  In case you haven’t heard, a juried art festival is being coordinated for Jasper.

The dates to remember are April 16-17, 2011.  Registration to exhibit is being held now. First come, first serve on space selection. Artist space 10x12  $75 until January 22... after that $95.

Food Concession $150  This non-profit venture is being developed with the hope to benefit artists, and all of the ‘arts’ in Jasper, and Pickens County.  This will be an event you don’t want to miss, as an exhibitor and/or attendee. For more information contact: Ron Barnes 678-520-6648, or Alan Young 706-276-3020. .




Four suspects arrested following Jasper home invasion

Jasper detectives working with the Marietta Police Department have arrested four suspects for an armed home invasion robbery at Mountainside Manor apartments January 3.

Police Chief Greg Lovell said through an anonymous tip, cooperation with the Cobb County agency and solid detective work, they were able to have everyone involved in the Jan. 3 crime arrested and in jail by Jan. 6.

“This was a major bust, something we don’t see here,” Lovell said. The chief stressed that this was an isolated incident with no ties to other crimes or reason for the general public to be alarmed.

Most backyard burning now illegal, says County Fire Marshall


If you went out after Christmas and burned  your old wrapping paper and boxes, you broke the law --  burning any man-made items is illegal.

It is now illegal to use a burn barrel for any garbage; or burn any scrap building material including lumber.

The only thing legal to burn in Georgia backyards is natural vegetation and even this requires a permit and can’t contain limbs larger than six inches in diameter.

To put it bluntly, County Fire Marshall Curtis Clark says “Times have changed.”