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General news and features

Pickens unemployment lower than region at 5.7 percent





     ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced Wednesday that the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region in July was 6.5 percent, up two-tenths of a percentage point from 6.3 percent in June. The rate in July 2014 was 8.4 percent.

No contested races in Talking Rock, one council seat will see race in Jasper

Qualifying continues through Friday in Nelson


City election qualifying has ended this afternoon for Jasper and Talking with only one contested race.

In Talking Rock, Randy Banks has qualified for Mayor. Incumbent Carol Opdenhoff did not seek another term.

Morgan Southerland qualified for Town Council – Post 3, Talking Rock. The seat was formerly held by Mayor Opdenhoff’s husband Charles.

Incumbent Jessica Wells has qualified for Town Council – Post 5.

With no contested races, there will be no election held for Talking Rock this November.


Mayor unopposed; one council race in Jasper

For Jasper Mayor,  longtime incumbent John Weaver was the only candidate to qualify.

Council members Jim Looney, John Foust, Jr. are running unopposed.

Incumbent Tony Fountain will face challenger Kirk Raffield.


Nelson - Tina Monaghan has qualified for City Council as of Wednesday. Two other seats are open. Qualifying runs through Friday.


New DNR maps show where the wild things are

    Species range guide, more info online


     Scientists, students and backyard naturalists can now explore, within seconds, the range and more of Georgia’s most rare animals and plants.
A new Georgia Wildlife Resources Division web portal blends the agency’s data on occurrences and natural communities with interactive maps to document the in-state ranges of more than 1,250 species, from coldwater darters to velvet sedge.

Beware of rental home scam

    A professional scammer recently tried turning a real for sale listing of a local home into a bogus rental listing to cheat people out of their cash.
    When Don Martin of Torrey Mountain Properties posted a listing of a Jasper home for sale on the First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS) site, he hoped to sell the home quickly. 

Guns as Good as Gold

Firearm purchases skyrocket during uncertain times

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    Josh Fitts of Appalachian Gun & Pawn demonstrates how to load a Ruger Scout  Rifle. The Fitts family, who owns the store, says the most popular guns are Glocks, Smith & Wessons and Rugers. In just two days the store sold 12 guns.

     A report released last month from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms showed a massive spike in national firearms manufacturing in recent years, which more than doubled since 2008 and more than tripled since 2001.
    Local gun shop sales and weapons carry permit issuances echo national figures, showing a consistent rise over the last few years.
     See the print or online edition for the full story.