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Catch the buzz at head-shaving event

Brian Rittenberry to perform at childhood cancer fundraiser


    Jasper firefighters (l-r) Zeb McAllister, Ryan Payne, and Chief Steve Roper. Not pictured are firefighters Trevor Beavers and Zack McAllister. All five will shave their heads for childhood cancer.


   Jasper Fire Chief Steve Roper admits the five firemen who agreed to shave their heads to raise money for childhood cancer aren’t going look much different after the job is done.

Watchdog done with spending criticism


     One of the county’s largest businessmen, who has moved into the role of a government watchdog, said he is going to “lay to rest” his criticism of county finances after 18 months of questioning unearthed much worse conditions than the the commissioner’s office would originally acknowledge.

Blanton sentenced in Ball Ground killing

    Emotions ran high in a Cherokee County Superior Court last week when the Ball Ground woman originally charged for killing her stepfather, then leaving the body to decompose before calling police, was sentenced to 10 years in jail.
    Andrea Blanton, 46, was arrested after the Cherokee Sheriff's office was dispatched in May of 2013 to perform a welfare check on her stepfather, James Minor Reece, 77.  Authorities found Reece dead and in an advanced state of decomposition at the home on Northridge Road in Ball Ground, later learning that Blanton lived with Reece and served as his primary caregiver.
    Reece’s body was sent to the GBI crime lab where evidence of strangulation was discovered.

     See this week's print or online editions for the rest of this story.

Two school principals announce coming departures

PHS' McDonald announces coming retirement;

JMS' Howell announces resignation at end of school year

Today PHS Principal Eddie McDonald announced to his staff by e-mail that he will be retiring at the end of the school year.  The school board also received a resignation letter from Jasper Middle School Principal Neil Howell today. The board will act on the two letters at their next board meeting in April.

            School Board Chair Wendy Lowe said the two are not related. She said it was just an odd coincidence that both came on the same day. She said McDonald had let them know earlier he had been considering retirement, though she said they had hoped he would remain at least another year.

            She said she had been caught by surprise by Howell’s resignation, which will be effective at the end of the school year.


Cast your vote: Boys & Girls Club closer to winning $30,000



     Voters have until this Sunday to vote online for Jan Day, director of the Boys and Girls Club of North Georgia – Gilmer County, in the Health Mart Champions of Care Challenge. Day has advanced to the final round and if she wins has designated The Boys and Girls Club of North Georgia to receive the grant money. A vote for Jan could mean important work gets done for kids in our community here in Pickens.