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Two Flu-related Deaths Confirmed in North Georgia


    Dalton (GA) - The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed two
flu-related deaths in North Georgia. Of the current 19 confirmed
flu-related deaths in Georgia, these are the only two that have been

reported thus far for the North Georgia Health District, comprised of
Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties.
   Both of the deceased were middle-aged, and there is no evidence in the
Georgia Registry of Immunization Transactions and Services that either
of them had received an influenza vaccination.
   Health officials continue to stress the importance of getting a flu
shot and that anyone 6 months and older who has not yet gotten a flu
vaccination this season should get one now at their local health
department, through their healthcare provider or at a pharmacy that
provides flu shots.

Flu may be worst in past decade


     Piedmont Mountainside Hospital has seen multiple admissions for flu this season and the severity of those cases are worse than in previous years, according to emergency room doctor Dr. Larry Simpson.
    “The consensus in the emergency room is we’re seeing more flu cases than usual and the severity is worse than usual,” Dr. Simpson said.
     For the rest of this story see our print or online editions.

County to take out $6 million TAN

Budget overages led to diminishing fund/cash balances, according to report




     At their January work session, the board of commissioners accepted a bid from Regions Bank for a $6 million Tax Anticipated Note, or TAN, to help fund 2014 operations. 
    TANs are short-term loans, which for several years have been used by the Pickens government to cover operating expenses. They have also been the subject of much public criticism the past two years.
    TANs are typically originated in the beginning of January and must be paid off no later than December 31 of the same year.

See the rest of this story in our print or online editions.

Jasper man builds snow-making machine


                                                                                                                               Damon Howell / Photo

     One Fitts Road  family made the most of this week's arctic cold snap with their very own homemade snow-making machine. Kenny Lyman built the machine after his third-grade daughter Samantha begged him for snow.

We’ve had low temps, but not record breaking


By William Dilbeck
Progress Weather Contributor

    As you can imagine I've had several calls about the low temperatures that we have encountered and people are wondering what’s the lowest we have ever had in Jasper.
    Well it happened not so long ago in January of 1985. It was -14, on January 21, 1985.