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General news and features

Let's get ready for some football Pickens County

PHS Dragons' Preview in this week's edition



The 2012 edition of the Pickens High School football team will begin their season this Friday evening at Fannin High School.

The team will be lead by first year Head Coach Chris Parker who has already received an accolade from the Atlanta Journal Constitution naming him “best hire in AAAA.”

See complete story in this week's print or e-edition.

Bluegrass championship to bring top act to Jasper



Above, the Lonesome River Band, which will be headlining the Georgia State Bluegrass Championship in October.

     In the world of bluegrass, few groups are better known or more widely respected than The Lonesome River Band.

     This year, the award-winning ensemble will headline the 1st annual Georgia State Bluegrass Championship, the newest and most exiting addition to the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce’s Georgia Marble Festival, held every October at Lee Newton Park.

Mother of two fighting stage 3 melanoma cancer



At left, Angela Walker, 31, with her family. Earlier this year Walker was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma.

“Dear Mom… I hope your arm fills so much better…I can’t wait until you get feeling better. I hope you have a wapid wecovery mommy. I love you mommy.”
     That’s part of a letter Angie Walker’s daughter Madysen (age 8) wrote for her mother back in April, just a few months after Walker was diagnosed with a stage 3 malignant melanoma.
      Now, six months and three surgeries later, the Pickens mom has been forced to quit her job waiting tables, because five days a week she travels to Kennesaw for treatment of the skin cancer that can be deadly if not detected early. 


Ball Ground fire hides homicides/suicide

Gunshot wounds found to wife and daughter


From Cherokee County Sheriff's Office



The three bodies found in the remains of the house fire on Spriggs Trail last month in Ball Ground have been identified. The medical examiner at the GBI Crime lab confirmed that the bodies were that of Ricky Norrell, his wife Darlene and their daughter Lindsey. The cause of deaths for Darlene and Lindsey have been listed as homicide. Both had gunshot wounds to the head. Ricky’s cause of death has been listed as a suicide.

Ricky Norrell’s body was mostly consumed in the fire. However, the remains of a .22 caliber rifle were found near his body. In addition, the Medical Examiner’s findings were consistent with Ricky Norrell dying from a head wound – believed to be a gunshot wound. Facts and circumstances of the deaths lead investigators to conclude that Ricky Norrell shot his wife Darlene and daughter Lindsey before taking his own life. The investigation into the cause and origin of the fire continues. "At this point, we will be making no further comment on this matter," stated the press release from Lt. Jay Baker of the

Cherokee Sheriff’s Office.

Edible Jasper grows another garden

ediblejasperBy Vered Kleinberger

     Container gardening can be tricky. Join us at Harvest Café to learn about soil composition and plant choice as we build the next Edible Jasper garden.

     Harvest Café has many, many containers bordering the windows of their building and asked the Edible Jasper crew to help them out. On Saturday, August 4, from 6-8 p.m., we’ll host a workshop focusing on building soil in the containers.  Come learn lots and help expand the edibleness of our community.

     Edible Jasper was begun as a Sustainable Pickens project by community members who wanted to learn more about easily growing edible plants. They have gotten together to edibly landscape Jasper while learning gardening techniques and plant selection. If you haven’t been to a meeting or workshop in the past, we look forward to meeting you at the Harvest Café soil workshop.

     Be sure to check out our other edible installations in the Pickens Progress parking lot, at 61 Main and at VanGoghs Hideaway. Harvest Café is next, with the Law Offices of Edwin Marger to follow once the summer heat has passed. Visit www. for details or call 770-605-2451 if you have any questions.

See you on August 4 at 6 p.m. at Harvest Café as you help Edible Jasper grow. Feel free to bring snacks, beverages and friends.