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Outdoor festival venue put on hold for Long Branch area

     Owners of an under-construction entertainment/festival venue in far west Pickens County have been delayed on receiving permits for the facility after the county planning commission tabled a “conditional use request,” pending more information.

     Planning board members generally seemed in favor of Long Branch Entertainment’s plans for an outdoor festival site on the far western reaches of Pickens County but said the owners/operators had to provide “some meat to the bones” of their plans for security, traffic control, crowd size estimates and parking.

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

Grandview farm family loses home to fire



A second roof that was built over an original roof hampered efforts to suppress this fire at a Grandview area home Monday.


A home belonging to Kip and Michelle Foster, owners of Dig-It Farms on Grandview Road, was destroyed by fire early Monday.

No one was injured in the July 9 blaze which is being blamed on a shop fire that moved into the attached residence.

Assistant County Fire Chief Curtis Clark said crews had several challenges stopping the blaze. The fire had a good start when responders arrived slightly after 4:20 a.m.

See more of our coverage this week in our e-edition or print editions now on sale.

The family has put up more information on a Facebook page. Search for Foster Family House Fire.

PHS students rock out as “Pipe”


PHS students Nick Jacobs, Cole Millsap, Johnny Stecovich, Elliot Gallagher and Chandler Youngblood make up the rock band Pipe.

By Laiken Owens

PHS student reporter

     Each teen has their own talent, but there are five teens in Pickens that have put their talents together to form a band. This rock n’ roll band is titled “Pipe.” The guys say they don’t remember exactly how the band started when they were in fourth grade, but they are glad it did. Their original name for the band was “Mental Toilet Forks,” but decided that may not be the best possible name.

     Pipe says although they are a rock band, each member has their own inspiration for playing, varying from punk to heavy metal. So who exactly are the masterminds behind Pipe? These rockin’ PHS students are Nick Jacobs, Cole Millsap, Johnny Stecovich, Elliot Gallagher and Chandler Youngblood. Nick is the guy up front; he is the lead vocalist, who also plays guitar. Millsap is a stellar musician who plays the keyboard and guitar. Mr. Youngblood is the man on the bass, who also helps out with vocals. Johnny is the go to guy who plays guitar, controls the talk box, and is also a vocalist. Elliot rocks out on what else other than, the drum.

Pickens man killed in four-wheeler crash

 A Pickens man was killed in a four-wheeler wreck Sunday night.

According to sheriff and Georgia State Patrol incident reports, Adam Chumley, 28, of Edwards Road, died as emergency crews were rushing him around midnight from a wreck site to Piedmont Mountainside where a helicopter was waiting to transport him to a trauma facility.

State Patrol Trooper Travis Roberts said that Chumley was driving the four-wheeler on Moore Road near the intersection with Bryant Road when he left the roadway and struck a ditch embankment. Trooper Roberts said the impact jerked him and the four-wheeler to the right where he hit a tree and overturned, also hitting a mailbox. Chumley’s body was found within a few feet of the overturned ATV.

Sushi plus vodka equals new trend in dining



As cool as they come, Czar Ice Bar has a 4-inch thick and 27- foot long solid ice bar top surrounded by hundreds of vodkas from around the world.


The Czar Ice Bar, in Buckhead’s Andrews Entertainment area,  derives their offerings on the initially odd-sounding pairing of sushi and more than 300 vodka selections.

Stephen de Haan, president of Andrews Entertainment District, said he wasn’t aware of any other restaurant that paired as chief offerings the Japanese food with the Russian drink. But, de Haan, who has been exploring food and drink since  a high school paper on alcohol, said vodka and sushi make sense for the palate -- vodka’s clean finish goes well with the sushi.

The Czar Bar blends a décor of Imperial Russia (paintings of Czar Nicholas and Peter the Great) with modern  furnishings and a hand-painted, lighted ceiling.

At Czar, de Haan strikes the perfect balance between restaurant and lounge. The 4-inch thick and 27-foot long solid ice bar top surrounded by hundreds of vodkas from around the world mix to make the Russian-inspired surroundings hip, yet with comfortable living room seating.

Many of Czar’s vodka offerings originate from Russia, which is famous for the drink, but with over 300 varieties other countries help round out the list. Czar also features around 15 infused vodkas they create in-house.

While Russian and Scandinavian countries are represented well on the libation list, Japan is the sole inspiration for the food. Master Sushi Chef Saito Saito was begged out of retirement to open Czar and de Haan said he is “the creative magician behind our sushi masterpieces.” Born in Fuku-Shima Ken, Japan, Saito is one of only a handful of “Master Chefs” in the United States.

No newcomer to unique and interesting restaurants, de Haan, also operates Prohibition in the same area, a 1920s inspired speakeasy where entrance is only granted to those who know the secret number. In speakeasy style, Prohibition  has no signage with an ultra cool secret entrance (and we’re not telling).

Czar Ice Bar is located at 56 East Andrews Drive, Atlanta.



At right,  Every drink is a history lesson with bartender Tom McGuire at Prohibition in Atlanta. The bartender talks  origins of drinks as he hand chips ice from 300 pound blocks that supply the speakeasy inspired location.