General news and features
An aerial shot of Japser from the Highway 515 and Highway 53 intersection into downtown.
“There’s nothing to do in Jasper.”
“Why don’t we have a LongHorn or a movie theatre?”
“Blue Ridge and Ellijay have so much more. What’s wrong with people here?”
Anyone who lives in Pickens County has heard these complaints or made them themselves. The Progress talked to a few local leaders and key players about economic development here to address why Jasper seems to have been “skipped,” and what, if anything, should be done about it.
See this week's print or online editions for comments from the Jasper Mayor, the Pickens County Commission Chair and Economic Development Director, a developer and more.
Cherokee Sheriff’s detectives have arrested the former Waleska City Manager Aimee Abernathy, 43 years old of Cartersville, following a 4 week investigation into missing city funds. Abernathy is accused of making fraudulent payroll payments to herself in an excess of $14,000.00 during the almost 5 years she served as city manager. Abernathy is also accused of using the city’s Master Card and Staple’s account for personal purchases totaling approximately $8,000.00.
Abernathy, who resigned her position in late October 2015, turned herself into deputies at the Cherokee Adult Detention Center Thursday afternoon. Abernathy is charged with 2 counts of Felony Theft by Taking. She remains in custody with a $60,818.00 bond.
This is an ongoing investigation and additional charges are possible.
Hannah Kilpatrick has been named the 2016 STAR Student of Pickens High School. The announcement is made by the Optimist Club of Jasper, local sponsor for the Pickens STAR Program. Kilpatrick is the daughter Rex and Beverly Kilpatrick of Jasper. She has selected Mrs. Christine Westbrook as her STAR Teacher.
Council will hold special meeting Jan. 21
to address a financial house in disorder
By Ralph Dennis, Contributing Writer
The 2015 audit for the city of Nelson has been delivered. It is not a good one. Ten matters of errors or discrepancies were cited.
This audit, filled with problems found in the city’s books, will be presented to the council at a special meeting on Thursday, January 21, for the purpose of receiving the presentation and explanation from the auditing firm of Welch, Walker & Associates. The meeting is at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.
Most of the problems cited were tied to poor or non-existent record-keeping, making it hard to trace where funds from the city had actually gone.
Read our story this week at our e-edition or in the print copies.
See complete audit report. (Findings being on page 32 of lengthy document.)
“We want to do this right,” says land trust director
The entrance to the Talking Rock Nature Preserve, a short distance from Hwy. 515 in Whitestone. The public is welcome to walk on the property but no trails are marked yet.
The Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land, Inc. and the Ellijay Mountain Bike Association have teamed up to fund a professional concept design plan for a mountain bike trail at the Talking Rock Nature Preserve, 211 acres located in north Pickens.
The concept plan will be completed by International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)’s Trail Solutions division, an international leader in single-track trail development with hundreds of successful projects around the globe.