Night of Lights Parade shines - The 5th annual Night of Lights parade wound along Main Street Saturday night as throngs of people were on hand for the arrival of the jolly old man from the North Pole. Ross Galbreath, president of the Jasper Merchants Association who sponsored the night's festivities, said three times as many people as last year showed up for entertainment that featured not only Santa and beautifully lighted floats but also the talents of several local choirs and musicians. "It was beautiful," Galbreath said. "This year we had a great turnout and the weather was amazing. Now next year if we can get it even better with no wind we'll be fine." Galbreath said the Jasper Merchants Association was pleased to have been able to showcase local talent. "We had the PHS chorus and the JMS chorus, a community gospel Christmas choir and a group called the Jasper Young Singers. We also had a great turnout as far as participation for the parade."
Best of Show and 1st Place went to Hollywood FX/North Georgia Acting Company/Get To the Point Dance for their float "Welcome Home for the Holidays". Second place was awarded to Green Heating and Cooling and featured a soldier coming home for the holidays. Third place went to the Pickens Chamber of Commerce and the "Chamber Chicks" for their float advocating shopping locally
A minute after he was born, Cody Jones stopped breathing. Twenty years and more than 60 surgeries later, Cody is a junior at Pickens High School and making the best of life.
Although he was delivered following a normal, full term pregnancy, Cody faced, among other things, a rare lung disease and a severe heart condition that forced him to have open-heart surgery when he was just three weeks old.
“We stayed at Kennestone for three weeks and then went to Egleston, and they found out what all was wrong with him,” said his mother, Angie Jones.
Born in 1991 to Mark and Angie Jones, Cody spent his first five and a half months in a hospital, before being sent home on oxygen and a ventilator. When he left the hospital, his parents and older sister Haley weren’t given much hope, the mother said.
Over the years, things didn’t improve as doctors discovered more and more medical issues.
“Really I couldn’t count the number of surgeries he’s had – it’s 60 plus. He’s got a rare lung disease called bronchomalschia and a heart condition. His open-heart surgery when he was three weeks old was his first surgery. He’s been in and out of Egleston the whole 20 years since he was born.”
Cody now has a trachostophy and uses an oxygen tank during the day fitted with a speaking valve.
“We’ve always called him our miracle,” Jones said.
Top county and judicial officials held a more than two hour meeting with architect Bruce Jennings Friday to go over plans for the massive courthouse project slated to begin within the next few weeks.
The exact start date for demolition of a portion of the downtown courthouse has not been set, but comments at the Friday meeting indicated plans are nearing completion.
Officials present, including Commissioner Robert Jones, Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver and Sheriff Donnie Craig, agreed to hold one more meeting between Christmas and New Year’s Day with all judicial department heads who will be housed in the new building. There was discussion that a number of other county/judicial officials might be on vacation at that time, but when all present said they could attend, Project Manager Thurman Slone was asked to arrange the meeting.
Architect Jennings said he requested that meeting so everyone involved could be in the same room to go through every detail presented on blueprints.
“Healthy” and “holiday cooking” mix about as well as oil and water, but last Thursday the staff at Piedmont Mountainside Medical Hospital busted open that oxymoron with tips for a sugar-free, sodium-free yuletide meal perfect for diabetics or others with dietary restrictions.
The sounds and smell of cooking rosemary and garlic permeated the hospital cafeteria, where Chef “Sam,” along with a hospital dietician, physician and a local pharmacist were on site to demonstrate cooking and field questions from the room of Dinner and Discussion participants.
With parents and others here alarmed following the grisly abduction and murder of a 7-year-old in neighboring Canton, the Pickens County Sheriff took time Tuesday to discuss the crime and what can be done to keep children safe.
Sheriff Donnie Craig emphasized that nothing like the savage killing of the child in a Canton apartment complex had ever occurred in Pickens County, nor had Canton ever recorded a violent crime against a child like this before.
Craig said word his office has received from Canton law enforcement is that leads indicate the crime was likely committed by someone living nearby and familiar with the apartment complex and was not necessarily a threat here.[Editor's Note Friday update: this did turn out to be the case as a maintenance man was arrested].
Sheriff Craig said this shocking incident should be a wake-up call to everyone for taking precautions to ensure that their children or any children in their community remain safe.
“We may have sat back and said things like this only happen in Fulton or DeKalb counties,” the sheriff said. “But this is a prime example of it happening right in our own backyard. We, as parents, need to take responsibility for keeping our kids safe.”
Craig said this type of crime is hard to prevent from law enforcement agencies without an active community keeping watch.