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Two die in Wednesday wreck

Two people died last Wednesday night when the car they were driving left the road and hit a tree in the west end of Pickens County near the Gordon County line.
Tony Patterson, 51, of Fairmount and Marla Mayhan, 41, of Waleska were killed in a single car accident while headed east on Hwy. 53 West near Edwards Road. According to Captain Frank Reynolds with the Pickens County Sheriff's office, the 1966 Nova went down an embankment and struck a tree. Both passengers were ejected from the vehicle and died on impact, he said.
The accident occurred Wednesday night, Reynolds said but the wreck wasn't found until Thursday morning.
"A man living near the scene heard something around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night and went outside the following morning and discovered the wreck," Reynolds said.
According to Reynolds, speed was likely a factor in the accident. The Georgia State Patrol investigation continues.

Local Mr. Smith goes to Washington to talk climate change

Jasper resident Todd Smith, of Citizens Climate Lobby, with Rep. Tom Graves at his DC office.

Submitted by Citizens

Climate Lobby

Concerned that climate change is making the world unlivable, members of the Atlanta chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby traveled to Washington this week to ask members of Congress to put a price on carbon that would begin the transition away from fossil fuels.

Participants at the 2011 Citizens Climate Lobby International Conference in Washington say the flooding along the Mississippi and the increasing number of severe storms in recent months are an indication that we’re running out of time.

For decades, climate scientist have warned us that the warming of our atmosphere will increase the likelihood of severe weather events. “A warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, dries things out faster and holds more energy,” says Jasper resident Todd Smith a member of the Citizens Climate Lobby chapter of Atlanta.

The increased rate of severe weather events over the last few years simply validates what the scientists have been saying. What most people don’t realize is that along with changing our climate, the release of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels is absorbed into our oceans making them more acidic. This increase acidity is threatening the coral reefs and small creatures that make up the base of the oceans food chain. The great news, Mr. Smith says, is that with the right legislation, we can protect both citizens and business from the price increases as we transition to a sustainable economy.  “At the same time we are addressing climate change, we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs here in our communities, clean our air and water, and pass on a better world to our children.”

Tragedy unfolded at Nelson Depot a century ago


Above, The Nelson Depot (no longer standing).

By Jeff Warren, staff writer

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Wander into the Bethesda Church cemetery at Nelson, and you will find it: a statue of a winged angel standing in benediction over a single grave. Not of local stone, the angel (it is said) was carved in Italy from Carrara marble and imported.                        

It stands atop a pedestal of native Georgia marble inscribed with an Italian name. Other than the angel and some other Italian graves close by, there is little to clue modern Nelson visitors that the town's population once included many Italian families.

Inspiration in small, mysterious packages


Believe. Smile. Simplify. Do the kindest things in the kindest ways.

Motorists in the Jasper area may have felt their heart grow three sizes after driving by these uplifting nuggets now bolted to area stop signs.

But for us, the signs conjure up more questions than they answer. Who put them there? And why?

Following a close inspection of the five signs newspaper staff have spotted, we proffer they all originated from the same person or persons, aiming at injecting a little positive thinking in today’s cynical, hardened world.

Continuity in the signs’ physical and thematic attributes led us to this conclusion. Beyond the messages having a similar variety of Hallmark sentimentality, all of the signs are metal, lightweight, and brownish-colored on the back. And on the bottom right-hand corner there are little white tags that have been scratched off to varying degrees of precision.

On three, those stickers were removed to the point that none of the text was legible, but a discerning eye can make out a few letters on one, leading us to all we know for certain about the mysterious Jasper messages: they were originally purchased from Hobby Lobby and they were made in China.

Not nearly enough to crack the case.

To date we have spotted two at the intersection of Refuge Road and Camp Road, one at the intersection of South Main Street and E. Sellers Street,  the corner of Holly and Spring Streets and the last at the intersection of Camp Road and A.W. Lawson Road.

Another report has it that there was another sign placed at the intersection of Burnt Mountain Road and Cove Road, which came loose and fell to the ground. Our source told us that after picking up the message he noticed some writing on the back, which said something to the effect of “take me if you want me.”

It did not fit the other pattern, but was a positive sign left in a public spot.

We can’t quite remember when we noticed our city was being tagged by the devotional version of a graffiti artist, and we don’t quite know if these are the only of their kind in town, but we know we like them.

While there is a part of us that would like to uncover the identity of Jasper’s optimist incognito, we feel it might be best that those of you who have information to keep it to yourselves.

Some things, we think, are better left unknown.


E. coli "always a threat in lakes and rivers," experts say




 As the summer heats up, we often run to our favorite swimming hole for some relief. But experts say when we swim in lakes, rivers and streams we need to be aware that no matter how clean the water may appear, "Recreational Water Illnesses" like E. coli are always a threat.

After the family of a 10-month-old Pickens boy told us he contracted the E. coli bacteria at a Gordon County lake, we spoke with local health and environmental professionals to get some insight into ways we can keep our families safe this swimming season. See complete story in this week's print edition. Now on sale at convenience stores throughout the area.