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General news and features

Beloved Tate tree “gone with the wind”


George Armstrong/photo

The Chinkapin Oak located in front of the Tate House is recognized by the Georgia Forestry Commission as a Champion Tree, which means it is the largest known of its species in the state. The tree, which blew down on May 20th, is listed as being 82 feet high with a circumference of 222 inches, and having an average diameter crown spread of 112 feet when it was measured on June 13, 2012. The Chinkapin Oak is a native tree in Georgia.

         A Chinkapin Oak that many consider to be one of the oldest of its kind in the country was blown down by winds on May 20th, leaving many residents lamenting the loss of an iconic tree that witnessed hundreds of years of local history.  

     See full story in this week's print or online editions. 

Where are all the mosquitoes coming from?



Raymond King

District Director of Environmental Health, North Georgia Health District


For mosquito control around your home, your time and money are usually best spent killing mosquito larvae on and around your property.  Many homeowners only focus on killing adult mosquitoes and ignore the mosquito larvae, which are easier and less expensive to kill. By all means, kill adult mosquitoes but don’t forget about where they came from.

The mosquitoes biting you probably came from the larvae in standing water on your own property or a nearby neighbor’s property.  The two species that can carry the Zika virus, the Asian

Pot-bellied pig craze didn't die in the 90s

Rescuer calling for education, foster homespot-bellied-pigs

     Pot-bellied pigs Bonnie and Clyde have been in the care of the Whittling family in Ball Ground for the last year after they were saved from the slaughterhouse. One local rescuer said pot-bellied pigs often end up unwanted because their owners don’t realize how large they get.  


If everything goes as planned, Bonnie and Clyde, a pair of pot-bellied pigs, will get a new home soon.  

“About a year ago my father-in-law got them from some friends who decided they didn’t want them anymore,” said Ball Ground resident Nicholas Whittling. “They were going to kill them and take them to the processing place and he didn’t want that. His health isn’t great anymore and he can’t care for them.” 

Fortunately, the Whittlings were recently contacted by a potential adoption family, but Nelson resident Victoria Bragg - potbelly pig rescuer and board member with Forgotten Angels Rescue & Education Center - said not all pigs are as lucky as Bonnie and Clyde. 

Chest Pain Center named for Thrift Store founder

thriftstore-IMG 6333

     Honoring the founder of a community institution -  (l-r) Dr. Moiz Master, Medical Director at Piedmont Mountainside; Don Russell, Thrift Store founder; Dr. Rose Spillane, member of Piedmont Mountainside Hospital Board and hospital CEO Denise Ray. The hospital will name their new Chest Pain Clinic in honor of Russell.


Piedmont Mountainside Hospital will name their Chest Pain Center in honor of Don Russell, the founder of the Community Thrift Store – an institution that has contributed millions to area non-profits made by the sale of donated second-hand items.

Public input sought about possible school starting times


Submitted by Dr. Carlton Wilson, Pickens County Schools Superintendent


The Pickens County School District is reviewing school times for the 2017-2018 school year. We would like public input for this decision.


Current School Start and End Times: