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Jones discusses challenges of three-person board


Commissioner Jerry Barnes, Commission Chair Rob Jones and Commissioner Becky Denney.

     Commission Chairman Rob Jones estimated it will take four to six months to get used to the changes involving the three-member commission that replaced the sole commissioner form of government on Jan. 1.
    Jones, who served as the final sole commissioner in Pickens County, said there are a lot of restrictions involving open meetings they are treating very cautiously.


Flu Reaches Epidemic Level In Ga.


GA Department of Public Health Officials 

Urge Georgians To Get Flu Shots


ATLANTA – The state of Georgia is now in the midst of a flu epidemic.

 The flu is hitting Georgia harder this year than it has in nearly a

decade.  Flu activity is widespread throughout the state and the number

of flu related hospitalizations is high.  So far, two adult, flu-related

deaths have been reported in Georgia.


“We are seeing some decrease in flu activity, but we are still at

epidemic level and the flu is unpredictable,” says Patrick O’Neal,

M.D., director of the Division of Health Protection, Georgia Department

of Public Health. “We are getting reports of more severe flu effects

in neighboring states, including the number of deaths.  Peak flu season

typically does not happen until late January or early February so we may

not have seen the worst yet.”  The most recent flu report may also be

affected by doctors’ offices being closed for the holidays and people


Ammunition leads to lock down at JMS, but all clear after search


    The empty hallway of Jasper Middle School after the campus was put on lock-down. Ammunition was found in a bathroom of the school on Tuesday, Jan. 8.

Principal, Sheriff discuss lockdown in today's Progress and e-edition 

Sheriff department press release

Earlier today (Tuesday), some ammunition was located inside one of the student bathrooms at Jasper Middle School. A student immediately notified school officials and a decision was made to implement all safety precautions. These procedures included locking down the school campus and calling in law enforcement to investigate.
The Pickens Sheriff’s Office joined with Board of Education personnel, the Jasper Police Department, the Georgia State Patrol, and the Jasper Fire Department to check the school. In addition, a K-9 unit from the Woodstock Police Department was contacted and responded to assist in searching the school. This unit specializes in locating any form of explosive, similar to that found in ammunition.
A thorough search of the school was made in addition to checking each student. Law enforcement officers did not locate any items of concern.
As a precaution, an alert message was sent to all parents of JMS students notifying them of the incident and advising that students could be picked up. The investigation into how the ammunition was placed in the bathroom is ongoing and is being conducted by Pickens Sheriff’s Office Detectives and JMS staff. 


August UFO captured in cell phone photo


Ivy Ridge resident Robin Franklin pointing at the spot in the sky where he and a group of friends spotted a strange flying object in mid August. Franklin, who worked at Lockheed and on the Apollo space project, said he doesn't believe in aliens, but "can't wrap his mind around" the aircraft he saw. To see a photo Franklin took of the craft and to hear his description, see this week's print or online edition of the Progress.

Follow this link to read our editorial about the recent Pickens UFO sightings.

Second fire of the year destroys Big Ridge home




Firefighters were called to Big Ridge Road in Ludville during the early morning hours Tuesday, January 8 but it was too late to save a home, according to Fire Marshal Curtis Clark. 

No one was injured in the blaze, but it was a total loss, Clark said.  Fire crews from Pickens County Fire and Rescue, Grandview, Hinton, and Talking Rock responded to the rental home. See more details in tomorrow's print and e-editions.