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Is ethanol-free better?

Ethanol can destroy boats, antiques, small-engines, says repair shop owner


Don "Squirrel" Carlan pumping gas at West End General Store, where owner Danny Hyde recently started selling ethanol-free gas. Hyde labels the ethanol-free gas with a bright red arrow reading "100% Gasoline."

         Drive up to any gas pump in the state and you will see a sign that reads, “This product contains up to 10 percent ethanol.”

         After being federally mandated to reduce emissions and lower the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, ethanol-blends, which exploded on the market in 2009, now make up over 90 percent of gasoline sold in the states. E-10, a 10-percent ethanol/gas blend, is now considered the standard fuel while ethanol-free gas is a specialty fuel.

Keener named Investigative Ranger of the Year


     Catching poachers and other wildlife violators often involves lengthy criminal investigations and require diligence and dedication on behalf of conservation rangers. Cpl. James Keener, representing Pickens County, was named Investigative Ranger of the Year for demonstrating determination and devotion in his work, which included a complex case with more than nine individuals charged with violations. 

Hollyhocks - Keeping the past alive in Talking Rock







By David R. Altman

Progress Contributor

When Paulette Grizzle first saw the dilapidated house on Talonah Street in Talking Rock, she could see the potential. “It was pretty rough looking,” she said. “But I just knew that with a name like Hollyhocks in Talking Rock, it had to work.”  

That was 1994, and now, nearly 20 years later, Hollyhocks has become a popular shopping destination in north Georgia and an anchor of Talking Rock’s unique shopping experience.

Paulette and husband Mark bought the old house which was originally built in 1888 and turned one of the earliest Talking Rock buildings into its most well-known store. But it wasn’t easy.

“When we got here - it was hard to see the house as it was so overgrown by trees and shrubs,” said Mark. “In fact, we had a cottonwood tree actually growing through what is now the main room.”  

The aging house had no windows and a not many walls. “In fact,” Paulette said with a smile, “it was so bad, when my dad came to see it he told me ‘You’d better get your money back!’” 

Mark, a retired deputy fire chief from Cobb County, said the experience of rebuilding was a challenge. He says they did most of the work themselves. “We had to build the stairway to the second floor, as the only way up there in the beginning was by ladder,” he laughed.  


Youth Birding Competition registration open

youth birding

Georgia’s Youth Birding Competition turns 8 this year, and coordinator Tim Keyes is seeing plenty of evidence the event is making an impact for conservation.


            Keyes mentions early participants now studying biology in college and

former birding novices who as veterans are mentoring children in bird watching. “It’s been incredibly rewarding to watch that,” he said.


The rewards for competitors and organizers continue April 13-14, when the 24-hour statewide birdathon for teams varying in ages from kindergarteners to high school seniors returns.  The deadline to register is March 31. Complete details are at

Brumby 5th in PHS history named to All-State team



By Coach Parker
    Junior Tanner Brumby has been named to the 1st team All-State team as a punter by the Associated Press. The AJC has Brumby as an Honorable Mention as a quarterback. This is a great accomplishment! In the history of Pickens High School, Brumby is the fifth player to be named 1st team All-State and the first since 1982. Below are the Dragons who have made 1st team All-State according to
    Tanner Brumby, 2012; Scott Finch, 1982; Fred Anderson, 1972; Fred Anderson, 1971; Charlie Chastain, 1968