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Bald eagle populations are soaring in Georgia.



     According to preliminary results, Department of Natural Resources aerial surveys in January and March documented 158 occupied nesting territories, 116 successful nests and 190 young fledged.

     The totals are up from last year’s 142 nesting territories, 111 successful nests and 175 eaglets.

     The number of bald eagle nests in Georgia is steadily climbing, underscoring the rebound of our national bird from near-extinction through much of its range 40 years ago. Nests numbered in the single digits in Georgia when survey leader Jim Ozier started searching for them more than two decades ago.

     This comeback was powered in part by Georgians who support the Georgia Wildlife Conservation Fund through their state income tax returns.  As this year’s tax deadline nears, those who haven’t filed are encouraged to contribute $2 or more to the Wildlife Conservation Fund - line 26 on Form 500 or line 10 on Form 500EZ.

     Giving 2 wildlife benefits more than 1,000 Georgia plant and animal species listed as species of conservation concern, including bald eagles, which are continuing to nest in new areas across the state.

Photos courtesy of Georgia DNR

First Baptist's Re-enactment draws crowd to Main Street


“A Walk with Christ,” a Re-enactment of Jesus’ Final Walk presented Friday evening on Main Street by members of the First Baptist Church of Jasper. A large crowd followed the re-enactor carrying the wooden cross from the courthouse to the church where a brief service was held.

This is one of many Easter events, including other church services and egg hunts planned this weekend. See this week’s print or e-edition for a complete listing.

Print/e-edition only

easteregghunt2Easter events plentiful – There is no shortage of egg hunts, special church services and other Easter related activities going on this week. Check out the print or e-edition for ads and articles that will point your bunny ears in the right direction.


Find out who made the grade – A complete list of all honors and principal’s list recipients is printed in on Page 5B of this week’s edition.


Sniper rifle in Nelson? – The City of Nelson recently purchased a sniper rifle to use during hostage situations. Full story page 1A.

Follow this link to sign up for the e-edition

Eastwood movie providing new dug outs for Jasper ball field

Shoot underway at Jasper City Park



Global Builders project manager Jason Craft holds a working drawing for baseball dugouts now under construction at Jasper’s City Park as part of the movie set for motion picture scenes to film there in mid-April. The structures will be permanent.


By the time you read this, Global Builders, a restoration and construction company based near Nelson, should be at work building two new baseball dugouts at Jasper’s City Park. The structures will be more than just a fresh space to stable a ball team. They are among field improvements to ready the diamond as a movie set for the Clint Eastwood film slated to shoot scenes in Jasper this April.

   Global won the contract earlier in March to build the dugouts on the larger diamond at Jasper's City Park, where filming is to take place. Not mock-ups but real dugouts, the two movie structures will remain for park use after filmmakers pack up and roll away. All of this is according to Jason Craft, project manager and leader in business development for Global.

   "We have to have the project completed by the sixth of April," Craft said. "And they're gonna shoot the 12th and 13th of April."

   The diamond for the film, the lower ball field nearer the Duckpond, is to be reworked with new drainage in addition to the new dugouts, Craft said. The City of Jasper demolished existing dugouts prior to the start of new construction.

“The two new ones will be in their place,” Craft said. “We're doing all the new construction.”

Concrete-floored, the new ball team bunkers will be three stair steps below grade. Their sub-ground aspect adds some traditional dugout authenticity. For the movie, the structures are supposed to be part of a baseball diamond at a  lower middle class high school, Craft said. Eastwood plays an aging baseball scout come to survey some talent.

Global expects to have a crew working every day, rain or shine, from now until the 6th of April. "We have just over a week to complete the project," Craft said.

   In that time, concrete floors and steps will be poured. Concrete block walls will rise, capped at each dugout by a 2 x 6-supported shed roof, shingle covered. Open all across the front, both dugouts will have three poured concrete steps descending along the whole front opening, Craft detailed. But a padded, two-rail safety barrier along the front of each dugout will block access except near the railing ends.

   Craft said this padded safety railing will lend something for ball players to lean on, as if that could figure into a scene somewhere. The key is to have everything camera ready by show time.

   "We could have up to 10 people working on the site every day for a week," Craft said. Global employs its own in-house carpenters, he said. "We'll sub out the grading and all the concrete. We'll do the roof and all the carpentry."

Global president, Jonathan Schooler served as contact, Craft said, to S & K Pictures of Norcross, a company working with the movie director to have sets in place and ready when cameras roll. Global vice president for operations, Brian Bloom priced the job and with Craft prepared the proposal that won the bid and gained the project for Global. Global bested three competing companies in winning the job, Craft said.

    "We're pretty proud of this one," he said. "We're working closely with the city [of Jasper]. They're holding our hand through all of this."

   The movie, to film here mid-April, is titled Trouble with the Curve. Eastwood plays an ailing baseball scout in his twilight years with his daughter along for one last recruiting trip. Amy Adams plays the daughter. Justin Timberlake plays a rival scout who falls for her. John Goodman plays Pete Klein, another scout not ready to accept that Eastwood's character is ready for retirement.

    Concerning the now seasoned star of the film, Craft sounded of the same mind as the Klein character. "Clint Eastwood, he's not an actor. He's a legend," the construction boss said. "They're shooting for two days, so I'm sure the man will spend the night here somewhere."

    Craft said one of the film's art directors advised him Eastwood may alight on the baseball diamond by helicopter the day shooting begins.

   "Clint Eastwood doesn't ride in a car," Craft smiled, suggesting any standard conveyance would be out of the question for the larger than life film star.

 "He reminds you of watching movies with your dad or granddad,” Craft said. “He's just a legend, man. He's the best.”

Ball season in full swing after Opening Day




     Saturday marked the first day of baseball/softball/t-ball season for the Pickens County Recreation Department. Hundreds of spectators watched the opening day ceremony, which included a first pitch by longtime Rec. Dept. supporter and cancer survivor Jamie Fleming and the annual parade of 37 teams from 11 divisions. The event was held at Roper Park. Approximately 390 children signed up this year. Games began Monday night and will continue through late May. Several games are scheduled for Thursday night, so put on your ball cap and head to the park in support of Pickens County youth sports. See page 18B for photos of last Saturday’s event. For more Opening Day photos check out the print edition or follow this link to sign up for the e-edition.