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Rise in cremations may signal weakening traditions


    Kevin Roper, owner of Roper’s Funeral Home stands in the urn room, where he offers families a choice of many options for the keeping of their passed loved one.
     For much of our history, Pickens countians, like many throughout the South, have shunned cremation for loved ones, opting instead for a traditional Christian burial where their bodies are laid to rest in consecrated ground.
    But, that trend is changing as more people than ever are choosing cremation.
    “Currently we are handling around 70 cremations a year,” said Kevin Roper of Roper Funeral Home and Crematory. “In the past couple of years cremation has represented about 50 percent of the total calls we receive.”

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Gas down another 7 cents a gallon at pump


Georgia, July 1- Average retail gasoline prices in Georgia have fallen 7.0 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.34/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 5,883 gas outlets in Georgia. This compares with the national average that has fallen 5.7 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.50/g, according to gasoline price website

Including the change in gas prices in Georgia during the past week, prices yesterday were 22.9 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 9.0 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 13.6 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 12.9 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago. 

"After an impressive surge abated several weeks ago, we're seeing gasoline prices decline nicely," said Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "One in five states currently has at least one gas station with gasoline under $3/gallon: South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Ohio, Texas, New Mexico, Virginia, Indiana, and Michigan all have at least one station statewide under $3. The national average is likely to continue its decline this week as retail prices catch up to the decrease in wholesale gasoline prices," DeHaan said.

About GasBuddy

GasBuddy operates and over 250 similar websites that track gasoline prices at over 140,000 gasoline stations in the United States and Canada. In addition, GasBuddy offers a free smartphone app which has been downloaded over 25 million times to help motorists find the lowest gasoline prices in their area.

Pickens courthouse project on the home stretch


    While the commission board wants to have everything on the exterior of the courthouse completed in time for July 4th festivities, rain has hampered paving.

    After nearly a year-and-a-half of heavy equipment, torn up pavement and piles of dirt and construction materials marring up Jasper’s Main Street, the SPLOST-funded Pickens County Courthouse project is coming in for the home stretch with the grand opening to be held sometime in August.


Explosive class at Jones Mountain shooting range




Damon Howell/photo     

Law enforcement officers attended a class on explosive devices including live detonations at the sheriff shooting range on Jones Mountain Friday.

        The class featured numerous explosions, the loudest of which set off car alarms 100 yards away.

  Above, officers look at the remnants of a filing cabinet blown up with "sheet" explosives.