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A dog-gone great grand opening.

Pickens Animal Shelter held its grand opening Saturday.

The community was able to tour the shelter and see the occupants. Chief deputy Joe McDonald said, Pickens inmates did all of the work, and built all of the kennels from scratch.Lieutenant Wayne Cooley and inmates spent 40,000 man hours working to make this shelter possible. 

 Project Manager/Animal shelter director Christina Voyles helped order supplies and talked to vets about necessary precautions. She has also presuaded people to drive from out of state to adopt animals. In 2010 Voyles save rate for animals was 57 percent. Shelter hours are: Monday-closed, Tuesday-12 to 5, Wednesday-12 to 5, Thursday-12-5, Friday-12 to 5, Saturday-11 to 3 and Sunday-closed. For more information contact 706-253-8983

PHS sends three to Coaches Invitational track and field meet

PHS Track & Field athletes Megan Dixon (girls’ pole vault), Tyler Craig (boys’ pole vault), and Justin Weaver (3200 meter run) competed over the past weekend at the Coaches’ Invitational at Georgia Tech, all having made the limited field of competitors because of their top performances in prior meets.  Since the meet was a combined high school and college event, there was a lot of exciting action to watch.

Above, Tyler Craig eases himself over the bar at 12’6” at last Saturday’s Coaches’ Invitational which was held at Georgia Tech’s track. Craig finished 7th in the competition, and is now credited with the new PHS school record in the event.

See reports from other spring sports in this Wednesday’s print edition.

Japan relief fund established at First Baptist Church of Jasper

Dr. Jimmy Lewis, pastor at First Baptist Church of Jasper, announced Sunday in the morning worship service that a fund for disaster relief in Japan has been established after the earthquake/ tsunami there last week.

Gifts to the disaster relief fund will be channeled through the Baptist World Aid.  Dr. Lewis said he had talked to Dr. Paul Montacute at Baptist World Aid and learned that a specially trained disaster relief team is already on the ground in Japan.

“I have confidence in the Baptist World Aid ministry and I am confident the offering will be used to meet the needs of the people of Japan,” Dr. Lewis said.

If you would like to make a contribution to Disaster Relief in Japan, you may send a check to First Baptist Church of Jasper Japan Disaster Relief, 198 East Church Street, Jasper, Georgia 30143.


Valedictorian and Salutatorian named at Pickens High School

During Thursday’s school board meeting, Michael Land was recognized as this year’s valedictorian for Pickens High. Jessica Bell was recognized as the salutatorian.

Besides the valedictorian and salutatorian, students involved with reading bowls, academic teams, the high school band and Pickens Middle School basketball were recognized.

PHS Principal Chris Williams said involvement in extra-curricular activities leads to and helps build success in school.

“There is a direct correlation between extracurricular activities and academic performance,” Williams said in a follow-up interview. “Anything that is positive and challenges them after school correlates into success in the classroom.”

Read more about these exceptional youth in our print edition on sale at these locations.

Above, Valedictorian Michael Land and Salutatorian Jessica Bell receive recognition plaques during Thursday’s school board meeting.

Series on end of life decisions continues Wednesdays at senior center

In our culture, death is something we rarely talk about. What we want at the end of our lives and what our culture provides for are vastly different.

Because of this imbalance a Wednesday morning series at the Pickens Senior Center, on Stegall Drive near Lee Newton Park, is focusing on educating the elderly and teaching their caregivers about how to provide for their loved ones' wishes during the final stages of life.

The series begins at 9 a.m. each and will continue through the end of March.

“I hope by the end of the workshop people will see “hope” in the word hospice,” said Margaret Ognen, facilitator of the four-week program that deals with end-of-life decisions and the quality of life you can and should expect during that time. “Hospice can give hope to so many,” she said.