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General news and features

Crackdown on Hwy. 515 issued for month of July

sheriff-crackdown 4604    Jasper Police Chief Greg Lovell, Pickens Sheriff Donnie Craig and Georgia State Patrol Post Commander Tim Nichols say their officers will begin “aggressive enforcement” of speeding and erratic driving on Highway 515 following two fatal wrecks.

     The heads of the three law enforcement agencies that patrol Highway 515 in this area announced Monday a crackdown on speeding and erratic driving that will run the entire month of July.
    The significantly increased patrols come after two fatalities occurred on the four-lane in Pickens County during June and reports indicate that accidents there have increased 53 percent this year over last year.

Shots fired at RaceTrac in wild early morning scene


 The rear window of this car was shot out in an early morning altercation at the RaceTrac. Photo/Jessica Fowler

 An updated version of this story "Road Rage leads to gunshots" is available at our e-edition and in this week's print edition, on sale now.

   A wild early morning scene unfolded at Racetrac Tuesday when the driver of a maroon Lexus fired several shots from a shotgun at another vehicle carrying an infant among the passengers.

   Amazingly, no one was injured and investigators have already identified the suspect.

   One witness at the gas pumps, Jessica Fowler, told the Progress she saw the cars chase each other around the busy convenience store parking lot while the driver in the Lexus, an older male, had a gun out the window. The driver fired at the vehicle whose passengers included two men, one woman and an infant.

Big change could double capacity at Good Sam

good-sam-files    Progress File Photo from earlier at Good Sam
    The Good Sam clinic may need more room for files. Changing to a Community Health Center model opens the door for expansion of services, staff and hours.

     The Good Samaritan Health & Wellness Center has already made exciting news this year, with the opening of their first modern building to serve the poor and medically underserved in the community.
    That was the first of three buildings that will eventually form a medical complex to continue their mission.
    But the construction may not be the most exciting news coming from Good Sam this summer. An administrative change to be implemented this fall could substantially increase the clinic’s ability to serve more patients and

Highly decorated K-9 “Flash” and handler join sheriff’s team


         It’s all business for the Pickens County Sheriff’s new K-9 Flash, pictured with handler Chris Tucker. Tucker and Flash relocated from Savannah to work at a more “community oriented” agency.

     Look, but don’t touch.
    Keep that in mind if you find yourself around Flash, Pickens County Sheriff’s new highly decorated K-9 just in from the Savannah-Chatham Police Department.
    “He’s not a social dog at all,” said Flash’s long-time handler Chris Tucker, a Pickens native who’s also highly decorated and also just in from the coastal law agency. “He doesn’t want to play or be a pet at all. He just wants to work.”
See this week's print or online edition for the full story.

Book binder keeps family treasures alive

book-binder 4185    Mike Grimes uses a press to adhere a new leather cover to a book in his Big Canoe workshop. As he spins the wheel the plate lowers and applies pressure to the book.
     In keeping with the motif of a trade that seems lost somewhere in the pages of history - tucked inside the same dusty chapter as shoe and boot repair - book binder Mike Grimes prefers his antique board cutter, book press and backing vice to modern bindery machines.

    “These work well for what I need to do with them,” says the Pickens resident and owner of TLC Book Restoration as he covers an old Bible with new leather. “Everything I do is handwork, so I don’t need the high-tech stuff.”
    Because he does things the old fashioned way Grimes’ workshop - the basement of his Big Canoe home - is much quieter than the National Library Bindery Company in Roswell where he worked for nearly 40 years.