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General news and features

Moore raises the bar, wins state pole vault

2018 PHS Track Olivia Moore PV Championship at State

     Olivia Moore clears the bar at 13’ 7” to bring home the 4A Gold medal in the event at last week’s 4A State Track & Field Meet at Berry College in Rome.    

      PHS Senior Olivia Moore was some kind of wonderful at the 4A State Track & Field Meet at Berry College’s Vallhalla Stadium this past week as the standout athlete launched herself over 13’ 7”in the Pole Vault competition to beat long time nemesis Alex Potts of Woodward Academy (12’0”). Moore brought home yet another PHS state championship in the event following Tyler Craig (2013) and Kyle Tidwell (2017) who also stood atop the #1 position on the state podium in the Pole Vault event. Moore also placed 4th in the 100M Hurdles (15.59) to bring home some more state medal hardware. Moore’s prowess in track & field has led her deservingly to an athletic scholarship at Georgia Tech for the coming year.

Economic growth emerges as top issue at candidate forum

candidate forum school board

photo/Dan Pool

School board incumbent Byron Long’s response draws a laugh from challenger Tucker Green during the forum last week. Early voting is underway now.

        At the candidate forum hosted by the Pickens Progress Thursday, seven candidates from the three contested local races responded to questions from moderators and members of the public. 

If public officials and candidates’ family members are taken out of the count, attendance was disappointing as there were only a handful of people from the public present.   

Across the board, candidates expressed their love for the Jasper and Pickens County and desire for the community to be the best it can be. There were many overlapping platforms from candidates, who were all cordial during the forum.

         See full story in this week's print or online editions. 

Two brothers take on Great Wall marathon

great wall marathon2

Alexander Goble, left, and his brother Taylor after completing a grueling half-marathon on the Great Wall of China.

By Alexander Goble

“Beijing is like a crucible in which one cannot but be transformed.” An apt description of the city where I've found a second home, attributed to Mao Zedong no less, but the saying works for any foreign city one might live in. I find it a more appropriate description for the Great Wall Marathon, a race that occurs each April, falling on April 15th this year.

The marathon bills itself as "the most beautiful great wall, the most difficult marathon", running through a mountainous area 125 kilometers Northeast of Beijing called JinShanLing. If my Chinese was right (it's often wrong) I heard that there were about 1,300 runners this year from all around the world. We all stood near the starting line waiting for the "game" (as the Chinese translate it) to start and watched with amusement as the government representatives gave stuffy announcements for almost 10 minutes following a

Rolling along - mountain bike park opens

bike group

        An enthusiastic crowd of mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners, bee keepers, birders and outdoor lovers were on hand to officially dedicate the first trails at the Talking Rock Nature Preserve Saturday.


The increasingly-popular mountain bike trails in the Talking Rock Nature Preserve were officially dedicated Saturday with a ceremony on a day that also featured guided hikes and demo bikes.

Jon’s Trail was named in honor of local cyclist Jon Hudgens who died last year; another section of trails was named Nitro North and Nitro South to recognize Ken “Nitro” Nix who led the trail-building work.

The event Saturday was a dedication of the trails, but not a ribbon cutting said Bill Jones, the executive director of Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land. Jones said there are still quite a few options being explored for the 211-acre tract on Carns Mill Road, across Highway 515 from Biguns Barbecue.

Updated: Final Draft of comprehensive plan available

The updated final draft of the plan is now available at the county's website.



The long in the works comprehenisve plan update has produced a first draft copy of the work, that was sent to those who had attended stakeholder meetings for the update of county plans.

The draft of the comprehensive plan compiled by the state is a starting point, said county planning director Richard Osborne. Osborne cautioned there are quite a few areas where it is important to remember this is still in rough draft form. He said there was some copy/paste by the state that will be fine-tuned on several points to reflect accurately the status quo of Pickens County.



Please review the earlier attached draft comprehensive plan which includes the 2013-17 list of accomplishments and 2018-22 community work programs for each jurisdiction. If you would like to review a hard copy, come see me in the county admin building at 1266 E. Church St or call me 706-253-8852 and I’ll be glad to print out a copy for you.