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General news and features

Rep. Graves Votes to Return Control of Education to States, Local Communities and Parents

tom-gravesWashington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) voted for and the House passed the Conference Report to Accompany S. 1177 – Every Student Succeeds Act, bipartisan legislation that fixed differences between education bills that passed the House and Senate earlier this year. The bill replaces No Child Left Behind (NCLB) while prohibiting any federal involvement in Common Core.

“As the husband of a teacher and the father of three middle and high school students, I know that a one-size-fits-all education doesn’t work,” said Rep. Graves. “And after hearing from 14th District educators and administrators for years, I know we have far too much federal involvement in education, from high-stakes testing to Common Core.”

Jasper Lions offer free vision screenings for kids


photo/Jasper Lions Club
    Jasper Lions Club volunteer Joy Huddleston performs a vision screening on a child at Country Kids Daycare in Jasper on Monday, Nov. 16. The local group can now provide the voluntary vision screening at no cost for kids age six months to six years.

    Speaking at the Lions Club International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio in 1925, the iconic Helen Keller challenged the civic group to be “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.”
    Since that time, Lions Club International has been dedicated to eradicating blindness with their glasses programs, indigent access to eye surgery, and most recently free vision screenings for children that some local clubs - like the Jasper Lions - have implemented.

Letters From Santa program begins

Santa’s Personalized Response to Your Child’s Letter


    NORTH POLE — Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus — and the Postal Service can help you prove it when Santa replies to your child’s letter, complete with a North Pole postmark.
    Here are the steps for your child to get a letter back from Santa:

GoFundMe page set up for family who lost everything to fire


    Little was salvaged from last week’s Lawson Federal Road blaze, which the county marshal said was started from a laptop that was left plugged in for too long. The family did not have insurance and is now trying to pick up the pieces. Visit their GoFundMe page “Help Pat and Lamar after house fire” to make a donation. A second GoFundMe page has also been set up for the family here.
    No time is a good time for a fire to destroy your home and all your belongings, but losing it all near the holidays seems to make things a little harder.
    “All my son’s Christmas toys we’d bought burnt up, and money I had put away for Christmas burnt up,” said Vicki Frost, who recently moved into the east Pickens residence of future in-laws Lamar and Pat Sneed, along with fiancé Mike and four-year-old son Tyler. “But you know, I can

Teens in no rush to take the wheel


Taking the wheel - Teens are waiting later than age 16 to get their licenses. PHS Seniors Abbie Sawyer (driver’s seat); and passengers Hanna Braswell, Savannah Laney, and Sadie Cornett now have their licenses but many teens are postponing the rite of passage until later in high school or beyond.

By Suzy Price
Intern reporter
     The number of teenagers with their driver’s license has declined as much as 20 percent since 1983, according to a study done by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
    This national decline is evident locally. The number of parking permits sold to student drivers at Pickens High School has fallen drastically since the 2000s. In 2014, PHS lost their driver’s education program, a class that had allowed students to take driving training during school hours.