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The Great Gatsby: Don’t let the new movie fool you, it’s still one of the greatest books

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By David R. Altman

Books & Writers Editor

If you’ve never read The Great Gatsby, or even if you read it back when you didn’t enjoy it, you owe it to yourself to read it again. And, I beg of you, please don’t go see the new movie until you have read the book. To experience F. Scott Fitzgerald, you must read his work. 

At seventeen, I was more interested in reading Ernest Hemingway and Robert Frost than I was in understanding F. Scott Fitzgerald or T.S. Eliot. That wasn’t because I had a high school English teacher who pushed one author over another; Ms. McNair was extraordinary, encouraging us to read anything we loved, and each of us, as 11th graders, did just that, becoming odd among our classmates not because we liked certain authors but because we simply liked to read.  

4-H program to be seriously impacted by cuts

Rep. Jasperse calls BOE plans to cut funding “short sighted”

 

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If the school board cuts funding to the Pickens County 4-H as they have indicated at recent budget workshops, programs offered to students will be “seriously impacted,” according to the 4-H manager. 

“That’s what’s been proposed, cutting us,” said Pickens County 4-H Manager Clarcy Kirby. “Until we get the tax digest the school board can’t make the final decision, but the school is funding 50 percent of our program assistant position and benefits for that position, so if the cuts go through that will go down to a part-time position.”  

 

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School Superintendent Desper announces retirement

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[UPDATED: The school board held a called meeting Thursday. Following a lengthy executive session, it was announced that their attorney would handle details involved in finding an interim-superintendent who could quickly assume the top position in the system and the board would begin planning a search for a permanent replacement.]

 

In an e-mail to school board members yesterday, Superintendent Ben Desper announced his retirement, effective at the end of June.

            He was wrapping up his second year serving as the superintendent for Pickens schools (see Progress story when he was hired). His contract had been extended for several additional years last year.

            School board chair Wendy Lowe confirmed that the superintendent had announced his retirement in a brief interview Wednesday. She said it did not come as a complete surprise to board members but there were issues that will be discussed in a meeting later this week.

            Lowe said the board will need to decide how to proceed but she anticipated they would follow the same procedure as when Desper was hired – to first name an interim and then conduct a search for a replacement.

 

            With the budget not finalized for this year, Lowe said it is important to have someone in the office to keep things moving, but she noted that with an experienced finance director, they shouldn’t have any added difficulties wrapping up the budget process.

 

 

See complete story in next week's print edition.

 

 

 

No foul play suspected in death of Mineral Springs man

 

 

Jasper police officers found the body of a 69-year-old Mineral Springs Road resident in his home Sunday after relatives from out of the area called with concerns that they had not been able to get in touch with him.

 

Police Chief Greg Lovell said Monday they had sent the body to the crime lab as a standard procedure, but officers feel confident it was a medical condition that killed James Wall.

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