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Concern over accidents at Twin Mountain Lakes

 

Railroad crossing on Twin Mountain Lake Road near the water, where a driver ran off the left side of the road last December and nosed into a deep ditch against the railroad embankment.

 

Twin Mountain Lake Road resident Christy Young phoned the Progress office Tuesday, Dec. 13. As she talked on the phone, she was watching a wrecker haul a crashed vehicle back into the road near her home, she said.

A Chevrolet Blazer had drifted out of a curve as it approached a railroad crossing headed downhill. The vehicle hit the ditch on the near side of the rails and stuck. A wrecker was called to pull it out.

Speed was involved in the accident, Young said. It was not the first such accident she had seen around there, she said. A previous one occurred near the same place, Young said. A truck that time.

"Flying," she said. "Couldn't make the curve, hit a tree and not the lake."

Young said speeders are a problem on her road. "There's a sign at the top of the road telling the speed limit, but they don't seem to care," she said, meaning motorists who ignore the limit: 20 miles per hour. She had previously contacted the Sheriff's Office to ask for speed enforcement on her road, Young said.

TEA Party meeting on gun control draws packed crowd

 

Jeff Anderson of Georgia Carry addresses a packed TEA Party meeting last week at Chattahoochee Tech.

When he was 38 years old, Jeff Anderson was nearly robbed in his car in Athens, Ga.

Anderson, who is now a lifetime member of the state gun rights advocacy group, Georgia Carry, told the Pickens County TEA Party last week that he averted the attack by flashing the handgun that had been tucked in his glove box since the early 1990s.

That day, he said, changed his life.

“That night I found Georgia Carry on the Internet when I was looking for Georgia gun laws,” Anderson told the packed house at Chattahoochee Technical College, “because I knew I wasn’t going to be lucky the next time. I was 38 at the time and never voted in my life and wasn’t signed up to vote.

“Georgia Carry encouraged me to get to know my representatives and ask them out to lunch and get these laws changed,” he said.

 

Read more from the meeting in our print edition now on sale or our e-edition.

PHS hires new football coach

See updated stories from our Sports Page. Columnist Tommy Gartrell and the PHS Dragons' Lair News on the new coach in this week's print or e-edition.
  Pickens High School will have a new face leading the football program next year. The man behind the face is Mr. Chris Parker. Coach Parker was recommended by Principal Eddie McDonald and Superintendent Dr. Ben Desper to take on the role of Head Football Coach, and a physical education teacher at the high school. Coach Parker comes to Pickens from Chapel Hill High School in Douglas County Ga. Before his tenure at Chapel Hill, Coach Parker was the offensive coordinator at Sequoyah High School in Cherokee County.

Coach Parker is planning on traveling to Jasper next week to meet with students that are interested in playing football next year. Mr. McDonald and Athletic Director Kyle Rasco would like to extend a special “thank you” to the search committee for all the diligent work on this project.

See more on this story in next week's print edition.

State budget cuts could close doors at Jasper’s Burnt Mountain Center

 

If proposed cuts at the state level are fully instituted, the Burnt Mountain Center in Jasper, which provides work training to adults with developmental disabilities, would “dwindle away over the next couple of years,” according to statements from the center director Tuesday.

Executive Director Debbie Rooker said that up to $270,000 of the center’s $900,000 yearly revenue coming from the state Medicaid program could be cut under current state budget proposals.

“The new budget will rip us apart,” she said. “There is no way we can provide services.”

Rooker said if the state’s new funding model is enacted, the Burnt Mountain Center would eventually have to close the doors on its 39-year-old program, located on Pioneer Road. She estimated that would not happen at once, but by two years out, “we would dwindle away.”

The Burnt Mountain Center, which has served the mentally handicapped of north Georgia since 1973, is not alone on the chopping block.

 

 

Courthouse project to close streets

 

Courthouse Facts:

•When the courthouse is completed, it will be 50,000 sq. ft. larger than the original courthouse, which was 16,000 sq. ft. total.

•Approx. 13 parking spaces will be lost in the downtown area due to construction and reworking of the streetscape, but it is estimated between 120 to 130 spaces will be added in the new parking area behind the Piggly Wiggly.

•According to Commissioner Robert Jones, a portion of the property the county purchased beside Pioneer Road may be used for a judicial center in the future.

•Demolition of the rear leg of the courthouse will begin this week.

Following a presentation from Pickens County Commissioner Robert Jones, the Jasper City Council approved closure of a portion of Depot Street that will be used as a staging area during renovations on the courthouse.

Jones, speaking at the regular Jasper Council meeting held Jan. 18, offered a general overview on progress of the SPLOST-funded courthouse project, detailed the county’s proposed traffic flow changes around the courthouse and requested the council close Court Street and a portion of Depot Street, the roads that run parallel to one another on either side of the courthouse.

Follow Read More to see more views of courthouse project.