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General news and features

PHS band, football and cheer mix it up

sports fun day

Damon Howell / Photo

A cheerleader beating a drum, a football player tooting a trumpet, and a band member pushing a blocking sled — All of these things were seen at Pickens High School last Thursday as approximately 175 students gathered on the practice field to get a new perspective on football games and all they entail. The three groups used one practice day to familiarize themselves, hands-on, with what each one does to create the high school football game experience for fans. PHS Athletic Director Chris Parker said the students are together all summer, practicing for the upcoming season, so this gives them a day off of practice before the school year begins. More pictures on page 20A of the print or online editions.

GSP retracts crash findings: Motorcycle rider not at fault


        Craig Wooten, center, after returning home from Grady Memorial Hospital where his leg was amputated. 


       The Georgia State Patrol has retracted their original incident report that found a motorcycle driver at fault for a crash that caused him to lose a leg. 

Craig Wooten, 68, was travelling by motorcycle along Pea Ridge Road on June 25th when he was struck by a Ford F-150 driven by Thomas Lynn Marlow, 24, Jasper. 

According to the original GSP report, Wooten was at fault for the crash as he “failed to maintain his lane and struck the left side [of the truck],” but GSP Post Commander Tim Nichols said a second review of the incident found Wooten not at fault. 

Mt. Zion youth in Ghana for mission work



On Sunday, July 23, the congregation of Mt. Zion Baptist Church gathered to give a prayerful sendoff to 15 teens and leaders, bound for Ghana, West Africa. The group, led by Youth Pastor Tony Ramirez and his wife Cindy, will be partnering with church planting missionaries Ryan & Joy Owen, from Rome, Georgia, for a week of hands on ministry. Mt. Zion has a strong commitment to global missions, supporting over 100 missionary families around the world. For more information about our family focused programs and activities, just visit, or contact our office at 706.692.6315. Mt. Zion is located at 1036 N. Main in Jasper.

Ball Ground man charged in fatal crash



Tyler Callahan

Press Release Cherokee County Sheriff's Office - Cherokee County, Ga. August 4, 2017. Cherokee Sheriff’s Office Traffic Enforcement Unit has charged Tyler Callahan 21 years of age of Ball Ground after the investigation of a single vehicle accident that occurred April 1, 2017 which killed a passenger the vehicle, Tyler Land.  Callahan has been charged with Vehicular Homicide in the First Degree, Vehicular Homicide in the Second Degree, DUI Drugs, and Weaving over the Roadway.  He is currently being held in the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center on a bond of $31,917.

Man who killed two-year-old girl to stay in prison for life, no parole, rules Supreme Court



A man convicted of killing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter in Effingham County will remain in prison for life with no chance of parole under an opinion today by the Supreme Court of Georgia.

While Kevin Johnson argued that the evidence was insufficient to support his murder conviction, a unanimous court has found otherwise. “Contrary to Johnson’s contention, the evidence was plainly sufficient to enable a rational trier of fact to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Johnson was guilty of the crimes of which he was convicted,” Justice Britt C. Grant writes in today’s opinion.