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Foster parent classes to begin in March

By Angela Reinhardt

Staff writer

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Following a recent Progress article about the dire need for foster parents in Pickens, a handful of families have stepped forward with plans to attend upcoming orientation and training classes – but there’s still room for more.

“We’ve had five or six families call since that article,” said Pickens DFCS employee Carla Poole who works strictly with foster parents. “But it’s a long process so they haven’t been approved yet. They’ve got to attend orientation, IMPACT classes, which are once a week for eight weeks, then they need background checks and home evaluations.”

If all of those potentials are  given the stamp of approval by DFCS, it will double the number of foster homes in Pickens, which currently stands at six.

American Pickers coming to area



Mike Wolfe doesn’t just believe “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” No. Wolfe embodies dumpster diving. For him, garbage gleaning is an art; one he continues to perfect each week on HBO’s hit show “American Pickers,” which airs on the History Channel. And pretty soon, Wolfe and buddy Frank Fritz could be gracing the back roads and barns of rural Cherokee County, if we’ve got enough “rusty gold” to get them here!

Truck crashes into Hwy. 53 home

truck in house

See complete story with comments from those in the house and from Ga. State Patrol  in this week's print and e-editions.


Hwy. 53 East  is closed Monday morning after 18-wheeler overturned and slammed into a house along the route. Amazingly, there were no serious injuries. The truck driver was injured with a possible broken arm, according to an official on the scene.

  The truck ended up in the bedroom of person who had already gone to work. Other people were home but on a different side of the house.

  Cleanup is underway and is expected to last through mid-morning.





Optimists present STAR profiles

See two page spread in this week's Progress for a profile of all the STAR students for 2015.


The Optimist Club of Jasper will host the annual STAR Banquet on Thursday evening, March 5. The banquet will be held at 7 p.m. at Chattahoochee Technical College, 100 Campus Drive, Jasper.   

Ms. Cathy Cox, president of Young Harris College, will be the guest speaker for the 2015 Banquet. This year the Optimists will recognize the PHS STAR Student and Teacher along with nine STAR finalists.  Each student and teacher was given a questionnaire and below you will find responses from each of this year’s STARs.

The STAR Student for 2015 is Andrew Haygood and he chose Mr. Michael Oubre as his STAR Teacher.

optimist star profile

Deputy on paid leave for an incident that involved the shooting of a neighbor’s dog

 Sheriff Office press release

On February 9, 2015, a report was filed with the Pickens Sheriff’s Office involving an off duty deputy shooting his neighbor’s dog.

The original complaint was immediately referred to the Internal Affairs Unit of the Pickens Sheriff’s Office. In addition to the active Internal Affairs Investigation, Sheriff Donnie Craig has requested the assistance of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney Office to complete an independent criminal investigation as well.

The deputy involved in the incident was Deputy Blake McFarland. Deputy McFarland’s assignment with the Pickens Sheriff’s Office was in the Uniform Patrol Division as a Canine Handler. Deputy McFarland has remained on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the internal and criminal investigation.

We can confirm that the shooting did not involve the use of an agency issued weapon. Due to the active nature of the investigation, no additional details will be released until it is completed.