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Waterfest features river race, canoe-a-thon and prizes




More than $4000 in prizes will be up for grabs in the Coosa River Basin Initiative’s WATERFEST XIII Canoe-a-thon, Canoe & Kayak Race and Canoe & Kayak Tug-O-Wars set for May 3-4 at Rome’s Ridge Ferry Park.


Registration is underway for the Race and Tug-O-Wars, and CRBI supporters are already competing against one another in the Canoe-a-thon—a fundraising competition in which participants vie for a host of prizes, including a new canoe from Johnson Outdoors, a $300 gift certificate to Cedar Creek Park, vacation getaways from the Villas at Coosawattee, clothing and products from Patagonia and much more.


CRBI has set a goal of raising $10,000 through the Canoe-a-thon. In 2012, Canoe-a-thon participants raised more than $6,000. More information about the Canoe-a-thon and registration for the Race and Tug-O-Wars is available at or by calling 706-232-2724.


Participants in the 13-mile Blue Sky Outfitter River Race on the Oostanaula set for May 4 can choose to enjoy a leisurely float down the river or paddle hard to record the fastest time and win gift certificates from the outdoor clothing and equipment retailer in Rome and Cartersville. Registration fees are $40 for solo boats and $50 for tandem boats.


“This is a beautiful section of the Oostanaula, and if you don’t have a boat, we’re providing complimentary canoes and kayaks to the first participants to register and reserve boats,” said Joe Cook, CRBI Executive Director & Riverkeeper. 


The Canoe Tug-O-Wars on May 4 pit four-person co-ed teams against one another in CRBI’s mammoth Cedar Creek Park Tug-O-War Pool.  In the adult division, teams will compete for a $200 cash prize. A special division for Boy Scout troops is also planned. Registration fees for adult teams are $80, and $20 for Scout troop teams.


Kayak Tug-O-Wars will kick off WATERFEST XIII Friday May 3 with matches in six youth divisions and two adult divisions. Registration for Kayak Tug-O-Wars is $5 per person and includes a raffle ticket to win a new Old Town Rockport canoe from Blue Sky Outfitter in Rome.


Raffle tickets to win this canoe valued at $575 can also be purchased at Blue Sky Outfitter in Rome and Cartersville, at CRBI and online at The drawing will be held at WATERFEST.


WATERFEST XIII will also include an environmental fair featuring live reptile shows and exhibits by Southeastern Reptile Rescue, educational exhibits, children’s activities, food and the Environmental Quiz Bowl competition for area elementary schools. Admission to the Fair is free.


The event begins with Kayak Tug-O-Wars on May 3 from 5-8 p.m. followed on Saturday, May 4, with the Environmental Fair opening at 10 a.m.


WATERFEST is sponsored by The Ridge 95.7, WLAQ, Blue Sky Outfitter, Cedar Creek Park, Soymet Biodiesel, Pirelli, International Paper, Harbin Clinic, Marglen Industries, Georgia Power, The Villas at Coosawattee, SCANA Energy, Terra Renewal, AMEC, Johnson Outdoors, Mount Vernon Mills, and WSB-TV’s Family 2 Family affiliates.


CRBI is a 501c3 non profit organization and member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. Its mission is to inform and empower citizens to protect, preserve and restore North America’s most biologically diverse river basin.


Gas down about 30 cents from same time last year



Prices still high compared to 21st century historical values







CHICAGO, April 3 -- Consumers in the U.S. saw gasoline prices steam to a record average price in February, but the motor fuel market cooled considerably in March. Contrary to public perception, average first quarter 2013 gas prices averaged below 2012 numbers, GasBuddy reported today. 

In fact, Americans paid about 30cts gal less for gasoline in the most recent Easter Weekend than they paid over the same period in 2012. Gas prices averaged just over $3.64 gal on Good Friday and may dip further in coming days. Consumers paid just over $3.93 gal on Easter Weekend last year. GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan estimates that each penny per gallon translates into about $3.6 million per day in cost differences based on typical demand numbers. Hence, consumers are saving about $108 million each day when current costs are compared to last year.

Farmers' Market open for the season

See photos and coverage from first weekend in this week's print edition


One of last year’s vendors selling some peaches.

By Jenny Fellenbaum
For the Market

    Fourteen years ago a seed was planted in this community by Kathy Bell. That seed, now the Jasper Farmers’ Market, has grown because of your support.  With “soil” provided by the hard work of Kathy and the first class of Pickens Co. Master Gardeners, “water” provided by a variety of vendors and “sun” provided by you the customer, this seed has blossomed into an established Saturday morning event. “Thank you” is all I can say. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s definitely heartfelt.

Double homicide suspect killed in Canton shootout

From Cherokee Sheriff’s Office

On Thursday night at approximately 10:20pm Cherokee Sheriff’s deputies were given a G.B.I. lookout for a suspect in a double homicide in Union County. At approximately 11 p.m. deputies located the vehicle that was listed in the lookout. A traffic stop was conducted on Toonigh Road near Morgan Road. The suspect was not inside the vehicle, however, deputies discovered that the suspect was armed and traveling on foot in the area. They received additional information that he was possibly headed to Swan Lane in Canton.

            Deputies were stationed around Swan Lane and made contact with the suspect at approximately 1:23 a.m. Friday morning. The suspect displayed a firearm and refused to comply with a deputy’s command to drop the weapon. Both the deputy and the suspect fired their weapons. The suspect was shot and pronounced dead on the scene. The deputy was not harmed.

            At this time the name of the suspect will not be released. 

Talking Rock water park resort discussed


    An indoor/outdoor water park, 400-room hotel and conference center is in the early stages of talks among developers, the county, and economic development council. 

     County officials recently heard plans for a proposed $130 million indoor/outdoor water park and 400-room resort hotel slated for Talking Rock, a development which could bring hundreds of jobs to the area.
    The tourism impact of this development would also completely change the face of Pickens County’s economy. However, the commissioner representing west Pickens said he has already heard serious concerns from his constituents.

     For comments from local leaders, including the economic developer, the west district commissioner and members of the economic development council see our print and online editions.