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Plants of the southeast: Maidenhair fern

plantmaidenhairBy John Nelson

     Botanists tend to be rather easy-going people, usually. They enjoy being outdoors on field trips and seeing interesting plants…and some botanists are known for an occasional and perhaps unusual sense of humor. My own long-suffering students over the years have been subjected, by me, to a wide variety of brilliant anecdotes and



excellent puns. (Well, that’s the way I think about them.) One of my little stories involves ferns: whenever we come up to a patch of them growing in the woods, I usually end up remarking that we must be in “Fern land” and that maybe we are near Helsinki. (I’ve got plenty more similarly excellent jokes, but maybe I’ll share them with you at a later time.)


     But seriously folks, ferns represent an extremely ancient plant lineage, easily dating back to the early “Carboniferous” period, some 345 million years ago, and well before the first dinosaurs. They and their relatives were instrumental in the development of vast deposits of coal as they died and decayed, and their legacy as a source of fossil fuels makes them extremely important, at least as far as human economy goes. And, from these deposits fossilized ferns are commonly encountered.

The Eastwood Roundup


Extras, fan talk of movie shoot that electrified Jasper



Above, the iconic Clint Eastwood wears a Chattahoochee Tech hat and stands with two of the school's employees.

     In what seemed like no time, the cast and crew of Clint Eastwood’s newest film rode into town and just as quickly saddled up their circus-like fleet of trailers and galloped off into the sunset.

     But during their two days here, Thursday and Friday of last week, the crew and celebrities made a big impact. Dozens of locals were cast as extras, a handful of people were allowed to go watch the filming, and folks who weren’t on the scene were probably talking about it.

     How could you not talk about it? It was Clint Eastwood. What other celebrity so perfectly meshes with folks in Pickens County. Only John Wayne could have topped him.


See this week's print edition or online edition for the full story.

Pickens ranks 27th in state by its graduation rate

    schoolslogo Pickens County ranks 27th out of 162 Georgia school systems for its graduation rate over the past year, based on revised figures released earlier this month.

This ranking puts Pickens in the top 20 percent of all school systems in the state and is an accurate assessment of local schools, according to Assistant Superintendent Tommy Qualls.

KPB, businesses and students team up for Earth Day


Above,  bags decorated by local students for this year's Earth Day.

Submitted by Diane Kinzer

Educational Coordinator

      Keep Pickens Beautiful is joining forces with local businesses, Pickens County school children, homeschoolers (via Pickens Public Library) and the students at Wildwood Christian Academy to celebrate Earth Day.

     Foothills IGA, Ingles, Jasper Drug, Kroger, Northside Pharmacy and  Piggly Wiggly donated bags for the students to decorate. These bags will be given out during the weekend of Earth Day, April 21 and/or April 22.

     KPB is participating in the “Earth Day Grocery Bags Project” that was started by Mark Ahlness, a 3rd grade teacher from Arbor Heights Elementary School in Seattle, Wa., in 1994. 

Citizens Academy offers peek into Sheriff's operations



     What's it like to wear a badge?

At left, Sheriff’s officers assist citizens as they fire fully-automatic M-16s.


     Wearing protective ear and eye gear, two dozen citizens peered over a steep embankment at the Pickens County Sheriff’s firing range for a demonstration most civilians never get to see.