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General news and features

Work continues on courthouse

Pouring of basement foundation footings at courthouse construction site, Friday, June 22. Old Crust restaurant building in background. Marble Courthouse Annex at left.


Installing underground utilities; preparing footings for the basement area; renovating the existing structure––so Courthouse Project Manager Thurman Slone characterized present progress of courthouse construction Thursday, June 21.

 That sounded somewhat understated, given a look and listen at the building site, then teeming with workmen and heavy equipment. Supplies arrived regularly by truckload, admitted through gates in the tall blue fence that partially hides activity going on inside.

See complete update on the work in this week's print edition or e-edition.


Tai Chi comes to North Georgia



Instructor Mike McElwee doing Tai Chi with students at Lee Newton Park. Tai Chi and Qigong are said to have many health benefits.

     Fred Crimi was diagnosed with cancer before he began practicing Tai Chi or Qigong.

     Now Crimi, like many students of the ancient Chinese practices, says that without including the eastern modalities into his treatment regimen his healing would not have progressed as satisfactorily.

     Crimi had a metastatic tumor on his left frontal lobe, he suffered from aphasia, underwent full brain radiation, and later was diagnosed with lung cancer, but Crimi is now cancer free and feeling positive about his future.

Four injured in Marble Hill crash



Four people were injured in a two-car wreck Friday on Highway 53 in Marble Hill. Two of those hurt were airlifted in separate helicopters after the collision in a section of curves east of the Huber marble plant.

Accident reports from the Georgia State Patrol indicated that an Oldsmobile driven by Sandra Summers of Cumming crossed the centerline and the driver lost control as she tried to correct. The Oldsmobile hit a Toyota Camry driven by Ashley Murphy of Ball Ground.

Summers received head injuries and was taken by lifeflight to the Atlanta Medical Center. Her 17-year-old daughter was also injured and taken by lifeflight to Atlanta Medical Center with broken bones and lacerations.

Murphy and a third passenger with Summers were taken by ambulance to a hospital.

Tim Nichols, the commander of the Georgia State Patrol Post in Jasper, said  all occupants were wearing seatbelts and airbags deployed properly.

The passengers who were transported by helicopter were first driven to the IGA grocery store parking lot. Highway 53 remained closed for about an hour and a half while crews worked to free the injured occupants and clean up the wreckage.

Jones, Weaver go head to head at forum





At last night's commissioner debate, held at the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce, commission chair candidates Rob Jones and Wesley Weaver went head to head about key issues in the county. In next week's full story on the debate we will do fact checking on some of the accusations made, and cover other comments from District 1 and District 2 candidates.


Man arrested for child molestation at Jasper Park

 A 49-year-old man has been arrested and charged with sexually molesting a 13-year-old at the edge of the woods of the Jasper City Park Thursday, June 14.

The incident happened as the teen and another friend were “hanging out” with a group that included other teens and adults in the park about 5 p.m., said Jasper Police Chief Greg Lovell.           

George M. McTaggart, 49, of Jasper is charged with one count of molestation and one count of enticing a minor. McTaggart was homeless at the time of the incident, but has lived in the Jasper area for years, according to police officers. Jasper Police Detective Matt Dawkins said McTaggart was a regular visitor to the park and had a police record, but nothing related to sex crimes or crimes against children.