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Patriotic folks needed for Veterans Day Parade


By Suellen Reitz


American Legion Post 149 is looking for patriotic folks who want to show their support of veterans by marching or entering a float in the Parade honoring our veterans November 11 in downtown Jasper. If you have ever wanted to march down Main street or ride on your own float while being cheered by happy onlookers on the street corners and sides of the parade route…now is your chance to shine.

There is no charge for entering the parade. The only request is when registering you give parade coordinators the name of float or marching group. Registration can be made online at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Questions should be directed to Steve Whitt at the same email address or the Legion hotline number 706- 253-1715

Parade participants will form up at 9 a.m. behind the Jasper United Methodist Church on Spring Street with the kick off time starting at 10. The route will go down Main and turn past the Court House onto Stegall where all of Jasper Elementary School Students and their teachers will be cheering as they hold up their patriotic posters.  The route will end at Lee Newton Park for a special tribute to all of our veterans, past and present.

Special music sure to have everyone wanting to move their feet to the patriotic beat will be performed by Pickens High Marching band.  The granddaughter of U.S.  Army Veteran Ron Wheeler, Miss Andrea Layne will sing the National Anthem followed by the reading of names of all fallen veterans from Pickens.  Veterans Day finale will feature a special patriotic message given by U.S. Army Major Donovan Duke.

Major Duke, currently assigned as an assistant Professor of Military Science at the University of North Georgia, was deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm; four deployments to Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and two deployments to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.  Enlisted at age 17 in 1989, Duke received his commission in 2005 upon graduation from Fort Benning Officer Candidate School.  Highly decorated, some of MAJ Dukes awards include: Bronze Star w 3OLC; Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal w/2OLC, and Army Commendation Medal with Valor.

Come show our veterans the support they deserve and take part in Jasper’s Veteran Day Celebrations.  Bring your friends and wave your flag proudly as you walk down Main Street as part of the parade or just as a supporting fan.  

Let’s make Veterans Day 2016 one to be remembered.


Miller's counsel seeks bond and speedy trial

Indictment also challenged as being too vague


Attorneys representing Mark Miller, the jailed Jasper lawyer charged with dozens of counts of financial fraud and theft, filed motions in Pickens superior court last week asking to move this case along and for another shot at bail for their client. 

Attorneys Scott Poole and Ross Grisham also filed a motion challenging the indictment accusing Miller of more than a $1 million in fraud/theft as being too vague.

See complete story in this week's print edition.

Smoke from large fires drifting into Pickens

All clear locally, but remain vigilant, says fire marshal

  If you are smelling smoke today, it is probably drifting into Pickens County from surrounding areas.

   Fire Marshal Curtis Clark said Monday morning there is nothing burning here at this time, but “we’ve got fires all around - in Gilmer, Cherokee and a large woodland fire in the Cohutta wilderness area.”

   He said even in the areas where they have the fire contained, it is so dry the decayed matter in the ground and roots are still smoldering and it’s impossible to put them out completely. He said they could spring back to life two days later as the ground is so dry.

   While you may have a faint smell of smoke all day, Clark urges anyone who believes they see or smell heavier smoke to call 911 immediately to give crews the chance to get a jump on anything before it can ignite.

  The fire marshal reminded the public there is a burning ban in place across north Georgia due to the drought.

  There have only been a few incidents where Clark has responded to outdoor burning.

  “Fortunately people here are heeding all the warnings,” he said. He said residents in Pickens have also been very good about calling in the little things so they can be contained quickly as the drought has all the woodlands at risk.

  Clark said in his career as a fire fighter and fire marshal he has never seen conditions this prime for fires in the woods.


Schools struggle to keep bus drivers, food service employees

bus-drivers-sign 1772


Pickens County Schools Director of Operations Stacy Gilleland recently spoke to the school board about the difficulty they are having hiring and keeping qualified bus drivers – a problem systems across the state face.   

“If we have to add two more routes this year I don’t know what I’ll do,” Gilleland said. “Kids are going to be getting home later and picked up earlier. We’ve got the fleet. We’ve got the equipment. We’ve got everything we need but the personnel. It’s just crazy. But if you go to any county you see this big sign, ‘bus drivers needed.’ It’s not just here.”

Campfire restrictions in place in some wilderness areas

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (Oct. 28, 2016) – Effective immediately, there is a campfire restriction on multiple Georgia Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD).


“Due to the lingering and continued drought conditions, there is elevated risk of wildfire in north and central Georgia,” said John Bowers, Chief of WRD Game Management. “Suspending the use of campfires on WMAs minimizes the risk of dangerous wildfires that threaten public safety and our forest resources. This action is consistent with the policy recently established for National Forest Lands by the USDA Forest Service and is supported by the Georgia Forestry Commission.”


Until further notice, hunters and visitors to the WMAs named below must refrain from building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire (note: commercially available fuel stoves are excluded from restriction):


Allatoona, Arrowhead, B.F. Grant, Berry College, Blanton Creek, Broad River, Buck Shoals, Clybel, Conasauga River, Coosawattee, Coosawattee – Carter’s Lake, Crockford-Pigeon Mountain, Dawson Forest, Elbert County, Fishing Creek, Hart County, J.L. Lester, Joe Kurz, Lower Broad River, Lula Bridge, McGraw Ford, Oconee, Otting, Paulding Forest, Pine Log, Rich Mountain (state-owned tracts), Sheffield, Soap Creek, West Point, Wilson Shoals and Zahnd.


WMAs located on Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest land are subject to the fire restriction policy established by the USDA U.S. Forest Service, which dictates that campfires are restricted to developed recreation areas only, and confined within receptacles designed for fire in developed campsites. More information can be found at


For more information on Georgia WMAs, visit