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Popular school principal on leave after recall forces second hip replacement




For Hill City Elementary Principal Dr. Carlton Wilson, this holiday season will be one of recovery after he undergoes revision surgery to replace two metal hips that have been recalled for high failure rates and unwanted side effects. 

“When I found out about all of the symptoms of this, that upset me,” Wilson said the day before one of the metal-on-metal hips he had installed over four years ago would be replaced. “But when I found out that the company knew about all of this a year and a half before they put the first one in, that made me kind of angry.”

DePuy, a Johnson & Johnson company, manufactured the hips and there are now hundreds of lawsuits that have been filed against DePuy. Questions have also arisen about the way in which the hips gained approval for manufacturing. 

Worldwide over 93,000 people have received this variety of hip implant, and it is estimated that over 40,000 of those patients are in the U.S. 

Above, Hill City  Elementary School Principal Carlton Wilson


Optimist Club announces Annual Essay Contest



Submitted by Matt Moore

The Optimist Club of Jasper is now accepting entries for the annual 2012-13 Optimist Essay Contest where interested youth can write on the topic How Can I help My Friends Realize Their Value?

The Pickens County winner will receive a $150 cash prize and will be entered in the Georgia Optimist District Contest with a $2,500 college scholarship for the Georgia winner.

Interested youth should contact Matt Moore, Essay Contest chair, at 770-597-4534. 

Students at Pickens High School who would like an entry form and directions for the Contest may contact Debbie Roper who is an English teacher at the school. Entry forms are also available at the Pickens County Library. 

The deadline for entry is Jan. 16.


16-year-old charged with murder following family argument

Updated - The 16-year-old suspect charged with murdering his step father Friday made his "First Appearance Hearing"  in court Monday morning. Chief Judge Brenda Weaver cleared the court as the suspect is considered a minor at this time. It is expected that the court will order psychological evaluations during the hearing.

The case may be transfered to superior court during this hearing, removing the suspect's juvenile status.


 Original story.

A 16-year-old Jasper juvenile male is charged with murder following the stabbing death of his step-father Friday in the Preserve at Sharp Mountain gated community.

            Sheriff Donnie Craig said the juvenile stabbed his step-father with a sword, later identified as a “Dha” (similar to a samurai sword) following an argument over a relatively minor issue around midnight Friday. The deceased has been identified as Christopher Todd Allen, 36. The name of the suspect is being withheld.

The 16-year-old is in custody at the Juvenile Detention Center in Dalton. He was arrested at the scene after a relative called 911. The family was living in the basement of relatives’ house in the gated community.

            Craig said the juvenile, a former PHS student being homeschooled currently, was not known to be troubled or have past issues based on the initial investigation.

            Craig said he didn’t believe that the young man had any martial arts training. “They had a collection of replica (swords),” he said.

            The step-father was found by deputies still alive with a large wound in his abdomen. He was transported by Pickens EMS to Kennestone where he died in surgery.

            The young man was initially charged with aggravated assault, later changed to murder when his step-father died.




World Championship Fisherman brings home another trophy




 The Fountains with a couple of big catfish they caught this year. Lonnie Fountain, right, was named the Bass pro Shop Big Cat Quest winner for a fifth time. 

Lonnie Fountain was recently named the Bass Pro Shop Big Cat Quest winner for a fifth time. Fountain won the points championship  in the catfish tournament.

Fountain has fished all over the country including spots in Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama and Missouri. 

His biggest catch this year was a 68 pound catfish. The largest fish he’s ever caught was a 138 pounder that came out of Wilson Lake in Alabama. 

“I like going to different places and meeting new people - and getting a hold of a 60 pounder,” Fountain said. 

Fountain’s partner for the past 7 years has been his son David Bruce, 18. A more recent addition over the past two seasons is his nephew Jonathon Chastain, 14. 

“Lonnie and David have two walls in my living room loaded down with trophies and plaques,” said Dawn Fountain. “They are very dedicated to fishing.”

Fountain is sponsored by Bottom Dwellers Tackle.


Former CFO had county months behind paying bills

 Questions about county credit cards arise, audit expected next week 

      According to Pickens County Commissioner Rob Jones, the county’s transitional audit, which is over two weeks behind schedule, should be completed by the end of the Thanksgiving period.
    The audit is being performed following the resignation of county finance officer Mechelle Champion, who left office at the height of controversy surrounding the recent county property tax increase. During public hearings regarding the tax increase, members of the public had pointed questions for Champion regarding the accuracy of her work.
    The county has now hired a new finance officer, Faye Harvey, longtime CFO from Gilmer County. The commissioner has said it is “good business” to perform an audit of the county’s finance office while transitioning from one CFO to another, and a similar audit is now underway in Gilmer, he said.
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