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General news and features

Supreme court rules use of home for venue in violation of zoning


Please note: Opinion summaries are prepared by the Public Information Office for the general public and news media. Summaries are not prepared for every opinion released by the Court, but only for those cases considered of great public interest. Opinion summaries are not to be considered as official opinions of the Court. The full opinions are available on the Supreme Court website at .

New park the ‘deal of the century’ for Pickens County

park-map      The 211-acre park on Highway 515 will be ready for hiking and birding visitors shortly with plans for disc golf and mountain biking in the works.

     Without much advanced notice, the 211-acre Talking Rock Nature Preserve has come into being on the west side of Highway 515 at the Pickens/Gilmer line.
    The Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land (STPAL) bought the property and established permanent protective deeds for it and, following three years of work, is ready to welcome the public. Present plans call for half the property to be used as a disc (Frisbee) golf course and half for mountain biking trails, with birding throughout the area.

     Find out more about the Talking Rock Nature Preserve in this week's print or online editions.

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