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Jasper Council talks sports, audit, animal control

Jasper Youth Sports Association is gearing up for their 2011 season with practices beginning later this month. Here girls participate in the cheer camp at the old gym at Jasper Elementary School. Both cheer and football camp run the week of July 11 through July 15.


According to city officials, there are still a few days left to register your five to 12 year old for cheerleading and football through their youth sports program.

“We want as many children to play as can play,” said Jasper Youth Sports Association President Joe Nold in a later interview. “As long as they register by the end of the week they’re good to go.”

According to Nold, the city sports program has seen an increase in cheerleader registrations and a decrease in football registrations for this season.

“We’ve got about 102 for cheerleading and about 130 for football,” he said. “That’s up about 20 for the cheer and down about the same for football.”

Nold noted that because of recent fund-raising efforts the association has been able to replace out-of-date equipment.

“Last year we spent $15,000 on new helmets, and this year we spent $9,000 on shoulder pads,” he said. “When I started here we had equipment that was 10 to 15 years old.”

Cost for the program is $150 per participant for football and $140 for cheerleading, and there are hardship scholarships available to those who qualify.

Statebound! Pickens 8U All-stars off to Eastman

The Pickens team will begin state tournament play this week.


Congratulations to the 8U girls All-Star team! They are going to the state tournament in Eastman, Ga., starting July 7. Best of luck to these girls who have worked so hard.

Team members: Sarah Parks, Adeline Fitts, Caroline Carver, Beverly Crouse, Jayd Hamby, Kayla Jones, Brooke Taylor, Sarah Morris, Payton Green, Morgan Krastes, Ashtyn Jones, Madelyn Elrod and Kensley Essig.

Coaches: Matthew Parks, Trent Green, Sandy Essig, Kevin Jones, Frank Morris and Alex Jordan.

A special thank you to all the sponsors.


Bank of Ozarks CEO discusses expansion plans

George Gleason, chairman and CEO of the Bank of the Ozarks, took a break to talk with the press by phone from his hotel room in Gainesville June 21st during a week the bank’s entire board of directors spent touring recently acquired Georgia facilities.

The Bank of the Ozarks, which began in 1903 in Jasper, Arkansas, has added 30 branches in Georgia to their Little Rock based operation through a series of FDIC acquisitions of failed banks. Included in those was Chestatee State Bank with its Marble Hill (Foothills) office.

Gleason said Georgia now accounts for roughly one-third of Bank of the Ozarks operations with 300 of its 1,100 employees in Georgia. He said the week-long series of bank tours and meetings gave directors firsthand knowledge of the business climate in Georgia – a state where they are planning aggressive acquisition and expansion.

Gleason has been chairman and CEO of Bank of the Ozarks since1979, when, as a 25-year-old attorney, he bought a controlling interest in the bank which at that time had a handful of employees and $28 million in assets.

In 1994 the Bank of the Ozarks, (a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, symbol OZRK) began expansion throughout the Southeast. It now has locations in Arkansas, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Florida.

Gleason said he considered it important that his entire board spend time in Georgia to understand what he called the environment for “aggressive expansion.”


Read more about what Mr. Gleason had to say in this week's print edition.


Ga. Gas prices continue downward trend

Georgia, July 5- Average retail gasoline prices in Georgia have fallen 0.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.45/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has increased 0.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.57/g, according to gasoline price website

Including the change in gas prices in Georgia during the past week, prices yesterday were 87.0 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 15.2 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 19.8 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 84.0 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.


GasBuddy operates,, and over 225 other local gasoline price-tracking websites that follow prices at over 125,000 gasoline stations in the United States and Canada. GasBuddy also uses Facebook ( Twitter (, and phone apps to keep motorists ahead of changing gasoline prices. was named one of Time magazine's 50 best websites and to PC World's 100 most useful websites of 2008.