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General news and features

Ellijay man hits big on lottery - for third time

 $1 million win follows previous $100K, $150K wins


ATLANTA – A third Georgia Lottery win is lighting up the holiday season for an Ellijay man who, most recently, has won a $1 million prize. James Griffies, 56, played the instant game 50X The Money to win his top prize.
The $1 million windfall is Griffies’ second this year, having first won $150,000 playing Fantasy 5 in May. He also won $100,000 in 2005 playing another Georgia Lottery instant game.

Children here mostly fare well but neglect & abuse still high

child abuse chart

From Pickens County Quality of Life for Children and Families -- See full Family Connections report

Children and families in Pickens County fare much better with education and finances than the average family in Georgia, but also see a higher ratio of child abuse and child neglect here as compared to the state, based on discussion at the Pickens Family Connections collaborative meeting December 10th.

At their year-end gathering, speakers from the courts, schools and social service groups presented figures on the problems here as part of the “Pickens County Quality of Life for Children and Families” report.

Wrongful death suit filed in Helen shooting


       This is the bench where authorities found Pickens resident Glenn Patrick Lampien after he accidentally discharged a handgun. After shooting Lampien through the hand, the bullet traveled across the street and killed tourist May Ariam. 

        The family of the Helen, Ga. tourist killed by Pickens resident Glenn Patrick Lampien in an accidental shooting this past summer has filed a wrongful death suit in the Superior Court of Pickens County.  

Groundbreaking at Boys and Girls Club


A good crowd turned out this afternoon for the groundbreaking of the Boys and Girls Club's new teen/youth center today. The building will sit behind the community center in Roper Park.

Above, Don Russell, a founding member of the Boys and Girls Club of North Georgia, addresses the crowd. See next week's issue for more information on this great local program.

Vernie Jones Ford sells to Shottenkirk Auto Group

vernie jones sell


Pictured from left are General Manager Jamie Mundth, Owner Greg Shottenkirk with Jim Jones Sr. and Jim Jones Jr.

    Shottenkirk Auto Group, an Iowa based multi-franchised company, purchased Vernie Jones Ford Co. Inc. and will rename the Ford franchise Shottenkirk Ford.

Vernie Jones Ford was founded by Vernie Jones in 1969 and officially became a franchised Ford dealer in March of 1970. Jim Jones Sr. took over as Dealer Principal and General Manager in 1985 accompanied by his sister, Mary Bryant, as Office Manager. He was later joined by his son, Jim Jones, Jr., as New and Used Car Sales Manager. 

Jim Sr. would like to thank the community and their loyal customers throughout the years and hope they will continue to support Shottenkirk Ford and the familiar faces at the Jasper location.