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General news and features

Tater Patch Players' "Sylvia" runs through February 14


Greg playing with Sylvia, to Kate's dismay.
By Pat Jewell
Tater Patch Players

    After stating “The dog phase of our life is definitely over” Kate is shocked and angry when her husband, Greg, brings a stray home. Kate and Greg have raised their children and moved to the city, carving out a new life in their careers and social activities.  There is simply no room for a dog in their lives.

School janitorial supervisor arrested for multiple thefts


Some of the loot recovered by sheriff detectives believed to have been stolen from the local school system.

Sheriff Office press release 

   After completion of an investigation regarding thefts from the Pickens County Board of Education, detectives from the Pickens Sheriff’s Office have arrested Larry Ledbetter, a long time maintenance technician and supervisor over janitorial staff.

    Originally receiving a complaint that Ledbetter was doing outside work for individuals during work hours, school officials began investigating. Early into their investigation, it was determined that items were missing as well. At this time, Stacey Gilleland, the Director of Operations for the Board of Education, contacted the Sheriff Donnie Craig and a criminal investigation was launched.


New leadership at airport brings enthusiasm, forward momentum

“My goal is to push these projects into reality so we can start seeing a surplus,” said new authority chair

airport 2249A shot down the central taxiway of the 17-acre 'horseshoe" located beside the Pickens County Airport. The airport authority hopes to attract aviation related businesses to build hangars here.    

New leadership and a new engineering firm at the Pickens County Airport seem to have generated a renewed enthusiasm for development and expansion, with two big initiatives slated to happen this year.

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

County Environmental Health Manager retires after 30 years


    The longest-serving government employee in the county, Jan Stephens is retiring after 30 years. She is presented a plaque by Environmental Health Director Ray King.

    Jan Stephens is retiring this month after 30 years as the Environmental Health Manager for Pickens County. She was originally hired under commissioner Bill Quinton and, at her retirement, is one of the longest serving employees working out of the county offices.

Hammontree named STAR Student of Mountain Education Charter High School


     Shea Hammontree has been named the 2016 STAR Student of Mountain Education Charter High School.  The announcement is made by the Optimist Club of Jasper, local sponsor for the STAR Program.  Hammontree is the daughter of Miles and Beth Hammontree of Jasper.  She selected Mrs. Susan Anderson, teacher at Harmony Elementary School, as her STAR Teacher.