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World Championship Fisherman brings home another trophy




 The Fountains with a couple of big catfish they caught this year. Lonnie Fountain, right, was named the Bass pro Shop Big Cat Quest winner for a fifth time. 

Lonnie Fountain was recently named the Bass Pro Shop Big Cat Quest winner for a fifth time. Fountain won the points championship  in the catfish tournament.

Fountain has fished all over the country including spots in Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama and Missouri. 

His biggest catch this year was a 68 pound catfish. The largest fish he’s ever caught was a 138 pounder that came out of Wilson Lake in Alabama. 

“I like going to different places and meeting new people - and getting a hold of a 60 pounder,” Fountain said. 

Fountain’s partner for the past 7 years has been his son David Bruce, 18. A more recent addition over the past two seasons is his nephew Jonathon Chastain, 14. 

“Lonnie and David have two walls in my living room loaded down with trophies and plaques,” said Dawn Fountain. “They are very dedicated to fishing.”

Fountain is sponsored by Bottom Dwellers Tackle.


16-year-old charged with murder following family argument

Updated - The 16-year-old suspect charged with murdering his step father Friday made his "First Appearance Hearing"  in court Monday morning. Chief Judge Brenda Weaver cleared the court as the suspect is considered a minor at this time. It is expected that the court will order psychological evaluations during the hearing.

The case may be transfered to superior court during this hearing, removing the suspect's juvenile status.


 Original story.

A 16-year-old Jasper juvenile male is charged with murder following the stabbing death of his step-father Friday in the Preserve at Sharp Mountain gated community.

            Sheriff Donnie Craig said the juvenile stabbed his step-father with a sword, later identified as a “Dha” (similar to a samurai sword) following an argument over a relatively minor issue around midnight Friday. The deceased has been identified as Christopher Todd Allen, 36. The name of the suspect is being withheld.

The 16-year-old is in custody at the Juvenile Detention Center in Dalton. He was arrested at the scene after a relative called 911. The family was living in the basement of relatives’ house in the gated community.

            Craig said the juvenile, a former PHS student being homeschooled currently, was not known to be troubled or have past issues based on the initial investigation.

            Craig said he didn’t believe that the young man had any martial arts training. “They had a collection of replica (swords),” he said.

            The step-father was found by deputies still alive with a large wound in his abdomen. He was transported by Pickens EMS to Kennestone where he died in surgery.

            The young man was initially charged with aggravated assault, later changed to murder when his step-father died.




Marble Company records moved to historical archive


Pictured (l to r) are John Edwards, Commissioner Rob Jones and Lawton Baggs thumbing through Georgia Marble Company records at the old marble jail on Camp Road. 


After sitting dusty and forgotten for decades, records and artifacts from the Georgia Marble Company are now finding a proper home at the Department of Museums, Archives & Rare Books at Kennesaw State University. 

“I’m really pleased they are going to be in such good hands with professionals who know how to handle them,” said John Edwards, member of a local committee charged with finding a way to preserve the documents. 

Last Tuesday, November 13, boxes and boxes of the old Georgia Marble records, including promotional items, advertisements and personnel records were transported from the old marble jail on Camp Road to Kennesaw State, where the long process of archiving and documenting would begin. 

Former CFO had county months behind paying bills

 Questions about county credit cards arise, audit expected next week 

      According to Pickens County Commissioner Rob Jones, the county’s transitional audit, which is over two weeks behind schedule, should be completed by the end of the Thanksgiving period.
    The audit is being performed following the resignation of county finance officer Mechelle Champion, who left office at the height of controversy surrounding the recent county property tax increase. During public hearings regarding the tax increase, members of the public had pointed questions for Champion regarding the accuracy of her work.
    The county has now hired a new finance officer, Faye Harvey, longtime CFO from Gilmer County. The commissioner has said it is “good business” to perform an audit of the county’s finance office while transitioning from one CFO to another, and a similar audit is now underway in Gilmer, he said.
     See the print or online edition for the rest of this story.

Ga.’s unemployment declines to 8.7 percent

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 8.7 percent in October, down three-tenths of a percentage point from 9.0 percent in September. The jobless rate was 9.7 percent in October a year ago. 

“The unemployment rate dropped because we had an increase of 36,000 new jobs, which is the largest September to October job increase ever,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “That job growth pushed the number of jobs in October to the highest level in any month since December of 2008.”

There were 3,971,700 jobs in October, up nine-tenths of a percentage point, from 3,935,700 in September. The growth came in retail trade, up 8,000; education and health care, up 7,000; professional and business services, up 6,000; state and local public schools, up 5,000; leisure and hospitality, up 3,000; technology, up 2,400; construction, up 1,700; financial services, up 900; and manufacturing, up 700. 

“While manufacturing gained 700 jobs during the month, it’s more important to note that the industry has gained 10,500 jobs in the last year,” Butler added. 

Georgia gained 68,000 jobs, or 1.7 percent, from 3,903,700 in October 2011. Additional growth sectors over the year include: professional and business services, up 25,500; retail trade, up 14,000; education and health care, up 13,000; food services and drinking establishments, up 9,400; and technology, up 3,600.  

Georgia’s labor force continued to increase, climbing to 4,793,540 in October, up by 17,438, or four-tenths of a percentage point, from 4,776,102 in September.  The state’s workforce totaled 4,734,487 in October 2011.   

“Our labor force has grown consistently over the past year, indicating that Georgians are more optimistic about finding a job, and fortunately, we’ve had the job growth necessary to put these people to work,” said Butler.

The number of initial claims rose 11,931 to 51,495 in October; however, the number of claims is down by 4,370, or 7.8 percent, from 55,865 in October 2011. Most of the October increase came in manufacturing, trade, administrative and support services, and construction. 

The number of long-term unemployed workers declined for the sixth consecutive month, dropping 2,100 from September to 206,700 in October. The long-term unemployed—those out of work for more than 26 weeks—make up 49.4 percent of those unemployed in Georgia, the lowest percent in slightly more than two years.  

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