Get Adobe Flash player


Four friends come together to lose 250 pounds



By Betty Kossick

Progress Contributor

Two Jasper couples look a lot different in 2012 than they did a year ago. How does almost 250 pounds less sound? That’s how much four friends lost among themselves, since they formed a support group with other friends to lose weight.

Diana Garber, who facilitates CHOICES, an acronym for Choosing Healthy Options in Challenging Everyday Situations, said, “Some church members approached me about starting a weight loss program.” She shared that they combined ideas to come up with a challenging moniker, rules of participation, a pledge, logo and membership requirements. With a no-fee program plan in place, they opened it up to other church members and the community in January 2011.


Joe and Lezah Stevenson (right) “When we first started, Joe looked at me and said, ‘I want to lose weight and make healthy choices so that I can live longer - because I love you.’ Our love for each other is our motivation.”

Jon and Diana Garber(left) have found that a favorite walking spot is around the duck pond at Jasper City Park. They said the time zips by when they exercise together.


State announces partnership with Google for small businesses

Georgia’s small enterprises will receive free website and online tools to establish internet presence


Gov. Nathan Deal today announced a partnership with Google that will bring free websites to small businesses throughout Georgia. “Georgia Get Your Business Online” will help drive economic growth by giving Georgia businesses the tools and resources to establish a website, find new customers, and grow.

“This new initiative will help grow small businesses in Georgia and provide business owners a valuable resource at no cost,” said Deal. “One of the best ways we can help our economy expand is to help Georgia businesses increase their visibility online.”

Georgia Get Your Business Online is an easy, fast and free way for Georgia businesses to get online. For the next year, participating Georgia businesses can go to to get a free website as well as free tools, training and resources to help their business succeed online. Google is partnering with Intuit to provide its popular Intuit Websites offerings that include an easy-to-build website, a customized domain name and free web hosting for one year.

Dixie Swim Club continues run at Tater Patch Theater


From review in last week’s print edition: This play is hilarious. The dialog is terse and witty, and the casts’ pace and delivery is impeccable. Audience members kept up a near constant chuckle punctuated by deep belly laughs. Also, don’t be fooled by the all female cast; this is no chick flick transported to the stage. The perspective is feminine, but the themes are universal. And, the poignant moments are presented without sentimentality. This production of The Dixie Swim Club is thoroughly enjoyable. There will be performances over the coming two weekends for you to judge for yourselves.

If you are going:

There is one Sunday matinee remaining at 2 on Feb. 19.  The other shows are at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 17, 18, 24 and 25. All performances are at the Tater Patch Players Theater at 95 Philadelphia Lane, which is off Old Philadelphia Road near Wal-Mart. The ticket prices are $15 for adults, $14 for seniors (age 60 and over) and $13 for students. Reserved seat tickets are on sale now on the group’s website at Seats will also be available starting an hour before show time at the box office. This year, group rates are being offered for parties of 20 or more.  Check the website or call the theater at 706-253-2800 to get more information.

Plane crashes in Jasper

Video from security camera shows plane crash

Video courtesy of security camera at Pueblo Cantina supplied by Pickens Sheriff


Photo/Jeff Warren


Officials look over a Cessna 150 at rest after an emergency landing just south of Highway 53 but short of the Pickens County Airport runway. According to unconfirmed information gathered from officials at the scene, two men test-flying the plane after purchasing it Friday morning at the airport, experienced engine trouble as they looped back toward the runway.

Gov. Deal: January revenues up

taxrevenueThe state of Georgia’s net tax collections for the month of January 2012 totaled $1.57 billion, an increase of $11 million or 0.7 percent compared to January 2011. Through seven months of FY2012, net revenue collections totaled $9.8 billion year-to-date, an increase of $420 million or 4.5 percent compared to the same YTD period last year.

The following changes within the various tax categories contributed to the net revenue increase in January:
Individual Income Tax: Individual Income Tax collections for January 2012 totaled $881.5 million, up from $866 million in January 2011, for an increase of $15.5 million or 1.8 percent.

The following notable components within Individual Income Tax account for the increase:

•      Individual Income Tax refunds issued (net of voided checks) were down $(22.5) million or -28.7 percent

•      Individual Withholding payments were up $37 million or 5.1 percent over last year

•      Individual Tax Return payments were up $19 million compared to last January

•      Individual Income Tax Estimated payments were down $(63) million or -28.9 percent

Sales and Use Tax: Net Sales and Use Tax collections for January 2012 totaled $519 million, up from $503 million in January 2011, for an increase of $16 million or 3.2 percent. Gross Sales Tax collections were up $43.5 million over the previous year with a total of $978.5 million for the month. The monthly Sales Tax Distribution to local governments totaled $456 million, which was an increase of $33 million or 7.8 percent over last year.

Corporate Income Tax: A couple of large Corporate Income Tax refunds resulted in very low net Corporate Tax revenue as January 2012 dipped $(24.5) million or -90.5 percent, down from $27 million in January 2011.

The following notable components within Corporate Income Tax make up the decrease: 

•      Corporate Tax refunds issued (net of voided checks) were up $(33.5) million over last year

•      Corporate Income Tax Return payments were up $20 million compared to last January

•      Corporate Estimated Tax and S-Corp Tax payments were down a combined $(11) million

Brian Robinson

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Stephanie Mayfield

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(404) 516-5376