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General news and features

Library materials budget down to zero

No budget increase could mean cuts to staff, hours



    From left, Joann Forrest and James Moore say they use the Pickens library computers nearly everyday. Cutting hours could negatively impact residents such as these.

    Ann Dobson, chair of the Pickens County Library Board of Trustees, recently told commissioners if the library doesn’t get an increase in their 2016 budget, reduction of staff and library hours will be next on the chopping block.

It's official: Tom Cruise movie to shoot in area


Actor Tom Cruise poses for a picture at the Cherokee airport during an earlier scouting trip for a movie set to shoot in Ball Ground and south Pickens.


By Larry Cavender,

Ball Ground correspondent

  Ball Ground is the chosen one! At the regularly scheduled meeting of the Ball Ground City Council on Thursday evening, City Manager Eric Wilmarth announced that shortly before 6 p.m., Ball Ground officials were notified that the city had been selected by a movie production company as a location for several scene's in the upcoming movie, Mena, starring Tom Cruise.

   Speculation had been running rampant over the past several weeks that Ball Ground might be used for location filming in the movie. After several weeks of visits by a location scouting team and especially after a surprise visit to the town a couple of weeks ago by Cruise himself, rumors had been circulating that a decision was close. It is now official.

Resident calls for gunfire ordinances

“I’m scared for my safety,” resident says after vehicle window shattered by bullet


Pickens County Seal

Pickens resident Peggie Bauer said her residentially-zoned property feels like a shooting range, thanks to a neighbor’s target practice on an adjacent parcel. 

“I’m scared for my safety,” Bauer told commissioners at their most recent work session  Thursday, April 2. “I’d like to bring this county into the 21st Century. You need to protect your citizens.”

        See the print or online editions for the rest of this story. 


Is this the year to start a vegetable garden?


Learn more about starting a vegetable garden in the special section in this Wednesday's Progress.


By Eric Hill,

Autumn Hill Nursery

The controversy over genetically modified foods as well as the use of pesticides and other chemicals on commercially grown food is in high gear.  

Are GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms) a good thing? Are the chemicals used really safe? Where did the food come from, and are the regulations in that country as strict as ours?  

With all the information available from so many different sources it’s hard to know who to believe. Our government is watching out for our health, but they don’t always get it right, and it often takes years, even decades to realize.  

Bluegrass Festival will bring top bands here


By Suellen Reitz

True Bluegrass fans are anxiously awaiting the upcoming Bluegrass Charity Festival to be held here in Jasper on Mother’s Day weekend, May 8-10. Why?   Because this is anticipated to be one of the largest bluegrass gatherings in North Georgia, featuring some of the best bluegrass musicians known from the southeast. With only 6 weeks until show-time, we want to help those new to the bluegrass genre get to know our bands and the music they love to perform. 

This week, we meet one of the oldest continuing performing bluegrass bands from Georgia, Bullsboro. Now in their 44th year of plucking the strings, Bullsboro started as a bunch of young guys in Newnan Georgia under the name of  L&P Express. When members learned their home town of Newnan had originally been named Bullsboro, they changed the band’s name to Bullsboro Bluegrass Band, later shortening it to simply Bullsboro.