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General news and features

Bluegrass Festival will bring top bands here


By Suellen Reitz

True Bluegrass fans are anxiously awaiting the upcoming Bluegrass Charity Festival to be held here in Jasper on Mother’s Day weekend, May 8-10. Why?   Because this is anticipated to be one of the largest bluegrass gatherings in North Georgia, featuring some of the best bluegrass musicians known from the southeast. With only 6 weeks until show-time, we want to help those new to the bluegrass genre get to know our bands and the music they love to perform. 

This week, we meet one of the oldest continuing performing bluegrass bands from Georgia, Bullsboro. Now in their 44th year of plucking the strings, Bullsboro started as a bunch of young guys in Newnan Georgia under the name of  L&P Express. When members learned their home town of Newnan had originally been named Bullsboro, they changed the band’s name to Bullsboro Bluegrass Band, later shortening it to simply Bullsboro.

Fight in Ball Ground leads to shooting, arrest


Buddy Gene Hembree was arrested following a Ball Ground shooting.


From Cherokee Sheriff's Office

The suspect in the shooting last night on Jordan Road in Ball Ground has been arrested and booked into the Cherokee Adult Detention Center. Buddy Gene Hembree, 48 years old of Ball Ground, has been charged with Aggravated Battery. Hembree remains in custody in without bond.

Traffic stop, scuffle with deputies leads to drug arrests in North Cherokee

From Cherokee Sheriff’s Office 


 A Cherokee Sheriff’s deputy stopped a pickup truck Monday night on Lower Burris Road near Clayton Food Store. While talking with the passenger, Michael Hulsey, 44 years old of Canton, the deputy discovered Hulsey was in possession of Marijuana paraphernalia. The deputy attempted to handcuff Hulsey who attempted to flee. Another deputy also attempted secure Hulsey. During the struggle Hulsey struck one of the deputies in the face. A dog that was also in the suspect’s truck bit one of the deputies while attempting to arrest Hulsey.  Hulsey was able to break away from the deputies and fled into the nearby woods. With the assistance of a police K-9, Hulsey was captured hiding in the woods a short time later.

Water park resort deal still afloat



     A water park project proposed in Peachtree City, Ga. has no direct bearing on the Port Royal water park long in the works for Pickens County, according to local officials.

     Water park plans presented earlier this year by Great Wolf Lodge call for the conversion of a 38-acre tract with existing buildings into a water park and connected hotel in Fayette County.

Board ponders middle school’s fate


      The future of Jasper Middle School, formerly Pickens High, is up in the air after the school board recently voted to “phase out” the campus.    

     A unanimous vote by the school board at a called meeting Thursday could mark the beginning of the end for the Jasper Middle School building, which school officials say is overcrowded and in such poor condition renovations aren’t worthwhile.