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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.



Paddlers to brave Etowah on Polar Bear Paddle, Jan. 12



Paddlers make their way through downtown Rome on the Etowah River during last year’s Polar Bear Paddle


Dozens of paddlers from across the state are expected to convene Jan. 12 at Dixon Landing on the Etowah River for Rome’s annual Polar Bear Paddle.

The six-mile paddle from Dixon Landing at Grizzard Park to Heritage Park in downtown Rome provides a view of Rome from the river, including encounters with Native American fish weirs and other historic sites.

 Complimentary canoes and kayaks are available while they last. Pre-registration is required. Participants can register online at or by calling CRBI recreational outreach volunteer Alan Crawford at 706-237-0917 or CRBI at 706-232-2724. There is no cost to participate in the paddle.

New commission board scoping $1million in cuts




Commissioner call for expanded audit, see e-edition or this week's Progress.


Pickens County Board of Commissioners (l-r) - Jerry Barnes, Chairman Rob Jones and Becky Denney        

     At their first official work session as a board, Pickens County’s new commission members immediately got down to business, vowing to slash the budget by $1 million after new CFO Faye Harvey said earlier this week the county is in dire straits.  

         District Commissioners Becky Denney and Jerry Barnes, as well as commission chair Rob Jones, all said cutting the county’s $19 million budget is a top priority for the upcoming year, and that they plan to change the FY 2013 budget through budget amendments.

“We know what we have to do on our part,” said District 2 Commissioner Becky Denney, who noted that the commissioner’s office would be responsible for $500,000 of those cuts.

         The new commission board also discussed adopting an updated Emergency Management Ordinance, appointments for the Pickens County Board of Assessors and other local boards, caps on the amount the commission chair can spend in emergency situations, road paving, and routine business such as new meeting times.



Online retailers should be collecting sales tax in Ga.



Beginning December 31, out-of-state retailers who sell merchandise to Georgia residents through commission-based Internet links are legally required to collect state and local sales taxes. The Georgia Retail Association - the trade group representing the state’s retail businesses – said the arrival of “e-fairness” in 2013 would bring a new era of growth to e-commerce.

The new law means that large online retailers – such as – who reach customers through “affiliate” websites based in Georgia, must collect sales tax on their transactions. The change means that Georgia’s retailers are gaining a level playing field with remote sellers, who until this year were not required to collect sales tax.


City of Jasper worker wins $100K lottery prize


ATLANTA – The excitement is overflowing for one city of Jasper worker since plunging into a Georgia Lottery prize in time for the New Year. Terry Howard, who works for the city’s water department, won a $100,000 top prize playing the instant game Jumbo Bucks Bingo.


Howard claimed his prize Monday at the Georgia Lottery District Office in Dalton.


“My girlfriend suggested I get one of them,” said Howard, 47. “I purchased it and scratched it at home.”


Chevron Food Mart, located at 850 S. Main St. in Jasper, sold the lucky ticket.


“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I feel good.”


The father of three anticipates adding on to his home and paying off bills with his windfall.


Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $13.8 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. More than 1.4 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.2 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.


For more information on the Georgia Lottery Corp., please visit: and