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Georgians stand with native water protectors

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 Alaskan Natives Canoe into Protectors Camp. Pickens resident Ben Jones of Whitestone Farm travelled to Standing Rock to protest construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. He has started a GoFundMe page, Portable Camp for Earth Protectors, to support the cause.

 

By Glen Law and Ben Jones

    A new war has emerged in the past years, one that so far has had corporate and governmental interest on one side and the Earth with all her living relatives on the other side. Pollution from oil spills, nuclear power plant meltdowns, and fracking have ruined the quality of lives for people around the globe and have permanently destroyed thriving ecosystems.

Big Canoe artist’s unusual career turns

Not just a painter of bears

feight-painting    “The Picnic of the Pavilion Party”  -  Inspired by  Renoir's painting in 1882 “Luncheon of the Boating Party.” Feight said it represents “as the river flows continuously, our moment for love and a sense of grace is now.” Click here for a short film that brings this painting to life.
    Feight is a director of the Eagle’s Nest park on Mt. Oglethorpe where this painting was done. Look for this story online to see a link to an accompanying video.

    John Feight, the Big Canoe artist, may be most recognized locally for his “Blackie” series which can be found in regular rotation at the Black Bear Pub inside the gated community.
    What viewers may not realize about the artist behind humorous paintings of a black bear in various historical scenes (an ursine Forrest Gump), is Feight has an impressive body of non-bear art, including a show in Paris, a

Tax hike not sitting well

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The Pickens County Board of Commissioners look over numbers at a recent hearing on the proposed tax increase.

     The public made it clear they do not approve of a proposed tax hike to give the county an additional 13 percent in operating funds during two meetings at the county administration building Thursday.
    The meeting was required for any government seeking a tax increase, with a final hearing this Thursday, Sept. 15, at 5 p.m. and the commissioners expected to pass the increased millage in a meeting directly afterwards at 5:30 p.m.
    This move would raise the county millage to 8.2, up from 7.22 last year.
See full story in this week's print or online edition, including a by-the-numbers interview with CFO Faye Harvey.

Property taxes going up 10.4%

Commissioners trim slightly following public furor
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    Commission Chair Rob Jones listens to a question Thursday on the property tax increase, as Becky Denney and Jerry Barnes look on.
    Speaking from the audience at the final hearing on a county property tax increase, Edwin Weaver told how he had gone to the grocery store to buy six steaks.
    When the clerk told him he lacked the cash, he agreed he didn’t have the money but that “it is in my budget.” You don’t get the steaks without the money, he said, telling the commissioners the county needs to start eating ground beef instead of steak we can’t afford, to a roomful of applause.
See full story in this week's print or online editions.

Old Jail ghosts appear happy with discovery

Future ghost tour planned during the Marble Festival
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The Murray County Paranormal Investigations team at a ghost hunt in the Old Jail on Friday, Sept. 9.

    It was well past the witching hour, but the low-hanging half-moon, stained an appropriately spooky shade of amber, had brazenly positioned itself outside my windshield on the drive home --- celestial residue from the paranormal experience I’d just had with a group of ghost hunters.
    Earlier that night, one of the Edwards twins - both members of the Murray County Paranormal Investigations team that conducted a hunt at the Old Jail and the Quinton-Kirby Cabin in downtown Jasper – educated me. He said a “paranormal” experience doesn’t necessarily mean contact was made with the spirit world.

See full story in this week's online and print editions.