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General news and features

Main Stop Market burglary work of professionals, police say


    Plywood covers the door of Main Stop Market after it was smashed during a robbery on July 13th.

    It took four robbers less than three minutes to break in and make off with the safe from Main Stop Market, in the early morning hours of July 13th.
    Jasper Police Sgt. Matt Dawkins said the work appears tied to a criminal group that has committed a rash of commercial burglaries in north Georgia including Lumpkin County, Cherokee County, Gainesville, Cleveland and Dalton, primarily at convenience stores.

A local man’s “giant leap for mankind"


Billy Childers relaxing at his home in Ball Ground. Childers worked for 41 years with the space program including the Apollo moon landings and the Space Shuttle Program.

By Larry Cavender
Contributing writer

    "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Those memorable words were declared by Neil Armstrong 47 years ago this week when he first set foot on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969 as the commander of Apollo 11. A local connection to Armstrong, the moon landing, and many other NASA space missions is a Ball Ground resident who worked with the space program for forty-one years.

Jasper mayor discusses downtown plans


The mayor believes making Main Street one way only,  going north, will create more of a friendly, shopping environment in downtown.

     Many downtown business owners in mid-June voiced opinions on potential plans to improve Jasper’s traffic flow, a project currently on the drawing board with paid consulting firm Kimley-Horn.
    Missing from that presentation, however, was a plan advocated by Mayor John Weaver, who vocally complained at the meeting that some of the displayed plans were impossible to build.
See full story with comments from Jasper Mayor John Weaver and a full map in the print and online editions.

Beaver opens 4th Bojangles restaurant Friday

"I’m thinking about biscuits all the time. Every day except Easter and Christmas I think about biscuits," said franchise owner


     Beaver is set to open her fourth Bojangles restaurant this Friday in Towne Lake. Beavers is pictured with her family and management team at her flagship Jasper location. From left - Trent Holden, sister-in-law and training manager; Kasea Mashburn, sister; Roger Stroupe, district manager; Kristal Beaver; Peige Payne, field marketing manager; and Dusty Mashburn, brother and training manager.

    “It’s a miracle story and I just want Him to get all the glory,” said Kristal Beaver, owner of the Jasper Bojangles and who this Friday will open her fourth restaurant, this one in Towne Lake. Beavers, who credits all of her success to God, has additional locations in Riverstone and Hickory Flat.

Publisher plans to file civil suit in open records case


Appalachian Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver

     Per the request of Appalachian Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver, the district attorney has dropped three felony charges against Fannin Focus publisher Mark Thomason and his attorney Russell Stookey in a case that has drawn criticism from media and First Amendment rights groups across the nation. 

See full story in this week's print or online edition, which includes comments from Fannin Focus publisher Mark Thomason.