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DNR plans to relocate unwanted Jasper bear





A black bear that has been frequenting a street in Jasper is beginning to cause concern with residents who live there.

As a result, Jasper Animal Control Officer Lonnie Waters says the Department of Natural Resources has set a trap on Summit Street, which runs behind Pueblo Grill off W. Church Street.

According to Waters, the bear has been aggravating residents for weeks by digging through garbage and entering patios and porches. While no aggressive behavior has been reported, Waters said residents want the animal removed.



A bear trap that has been set by the DNR off of Summit Street in Jasper.


Mother of two fighting stage 3 melanoma cancer



At left, Angela Walker, 31, with her family. Earlier this year Walker was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma.

“Dear Mom… I hope your arm fills so much better…I can’t wait until you get feeling better. I hope you have a wapid wecovery mommy. I love you mommy.”
     That’s part of a letter Angie Walker’s daughter Madysen (age 8) wrote for her mother back in April, just a few months after Walker was diagnosed with a stage 3 malignant melanoma.
      Now, six months and three surgeries later, the Pickens mom has been forced to quit her job waiting tables, because five days a week she travels to Kennesaw for treatment of the skin cancer that can be deadly if not detected early. 


Ball Ground fire hides homicides/suicide

Gunshot wounds found to wife and daughter


From Cherokee County Sheriff's Office



The three bodies found in the remains of the house fire on Spriggs Trail last month in Ball Ground have been identified. The medical examiner at the GBI Crime lab confirmed that the bodies were that of Ricky Norrell, his wife Darlene and their daughter Lindsey. The cause of deaths for Darlene and Lindsey have been listed as homicide. Both had gunshot wounds to the head. Ricky’s cause of death has been listed as a suicide.

Ricky Norrell’s body was mostly consumed in the fire. However, the remains of a .22 caliber rifle were found near his body. In addition, the Medical Examiner’s findings were consistent with Ricky Norrell dying from a head wound – believed to be a gunshot wound. Facts and circumstances of the deaths lead investigators to conclude that Ricky Norrell shot his wife Darlene and daughter Lindsey before taking his own life. The investigation into the cause and origin of the fire continues. "At this point, we will be making no further comment on this matter," stated the press release from Lt. Jay Baker of the

Cherokee Sheriff’s Office.

New courthouse above ground


                                                                                                                                             Jeff Warren / Photo
Thursday, 9 a.m., August 2––A trackhoe and bobcat backfill dirt along sealed concrete walls of the new courthouse basement as a remote-control packer (wheeled bug behind bobcat) tamps earth, its operator following three paces behind. Work continues on the wide grid of reinforcing steel bar, soon to be the core of the coming story’s poured concrete floor.


4,400 expected when schools open Tuesday



See this week's print or online edition for full back-to-school coverage.

Cooling down a hot band - After a long all-day practice under the summer sky Wednesday, July 25, marching on a sun-fried parking lot where the working temperature hung close to 100, the Pickens High School band stood in need of some relief. Their tunes were smokin’. Their feet nearly, too. Luckily, Band Director Michael Oubre had phoned the fire department. An engine and crew arrived from the Tate firehouse around 5 p.m. After mounting a water cannon atop the pumper truck, a stalwart fireman commenced a group hosing (on cue) at 5:30. Cool spray arched high and long, descending on musicians down range like a gift heaven sent.