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Jasper non-profit selected for Pepsi Refresh contest


Vote and help Educational Excursions get $10,000

Vered Kleinberger, director of Jasper-based Educational Excursions, recently received word that her non-profit could win $10,000 from the Pepsi Refresh Project --- but she needs help from you.

“I really love the concept of Pepsi Refresh because it’s the community supported projects that get funded,” she said. “They are chosen based on votes from the community rather than being chosen by a board of directors.”

120 turn out for community prayer

More than 120 people turned out for a community prayer Saturday at Pickens High stadium. The Rev. Ron Rucker, who opened the ceremony, said it was a non-political event to pray for the "crisis affecting this country."

Following remarks by several preachers and public officials, those in attendance broke into small groups to pray individual prayers. See a complete report from Rev. Diane Hale, one of the organizers in this week's print edition.

Gas prices fall slightly

Georgia, August 1- Average retail gasoline prices in Georgia have fallen 1.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.71/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has increased 1.1 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.70/g, according to gasoline price website

Including the change in gas prices in Georgia during the past week, prices yesterday were $1.12/g higher than the same day one year ago and are 26.5 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 13.2 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 95.5 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.


GasBuddy operates,, and over 225 other local gasoline price-tracking websites that follow prices at over 125,000 gasoline stations in the United States and Canada. GasBuddy also uses Facebook ( Twitter (, and phone apps to keep motorists ahead of changing gasoline prices. was named one of Time magazine's 50 best websites and to PC World's 100 most useful websites of 2008.

To mark 9/11 anniversary, Jasper business owner and son prepare for Atlanta to New York bike ride


Freedom riding father and son. Jon Hudgens and his son, Ian, plan to join a group composed mostly of firefighters riding to New York on bikes to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.


A Jasper business owner and his son have the distinction of being the oldest and youngest participants in the Freedom Ride – a 1,035 mile bicycle ride leaving Atlanta August 26 and rolling into New York in time to commemorate the Sept. 11 attacks.

Jon Hudgens and his son Ian are both signed on as riders in the crew that began planning with just a simple idea of two firefighters making the ride with little accompanying fanfare to mark the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks which destroyed theTwin Towers.

The simple idea hatched by Mike Palmeri, owner of Cartecay Bike Shop in Ellijay, and a fellow Atlanta firefighter has since taken off .

“It’s something that has gained a life of its own,” said Hudgens, who owns the Art of Hair on Cove Road.

The elaborate multi-day event has around 20 participants, including other riders (mostly fire fighters), plus an array of support personnel and sponsors.

Hudgens, at 62 is the oldest, said he had been “somewhat talked into it” by a fellow biker – the coercer has since dropped out. But once on board, Hudgens got excited by the challenge and the trip. Hudgens noted he hadn’t had a real vacation in a decade and why not take off and spend more than a week on two-wheels heading to New York. His son, Ian, the youngest rider at 22, got excited hearing his dad planning for it and even though Ian wasn’t a road cyclist decided he would join in.

9/11 flag stops at Ingles

A surprisingly large crowd braved extremely hot temperatures in the asphalt parking at Ingles Friday afternoon to catch a glimpse of the historic 9/11 flag.

The flag was transported in a Gilmer County Fire truck and will be taken on to Ellijay for a weekend of different events following the stop in Jasper.

Many firefighters from the surrounding area turned out to show support. This flag, which was originally flown at Ground Zero, had been repaired and patched following the September 11 attacks.

When it completes the different tours, the flag will have been to all 50 states and then housed in a 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero.