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General news and features

Nelson audit filled with oversights, failed accounting and possible embezzlement


Council will hold special meeting Jan. 21

to address a financial house in disorder


By Ralph Dennis, Contributing Writer

The 2015 audit for the city of Nelson has been delivered. It is not a good one. Ten matters of errors or discrepancies were cited.

This audit, filled with problems found in the city’s books, will be presented to the council at a special meeting on Thursday, January 21, for the purpose of receiving the presentation and explanation from the auditing firm of Welch, Walker & Associates. The meeting is at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

Most of the problems cited were tied to poor or non-existent record-keeping, making it hard to trace where funds from the city had actually gone. 

Read our story this week at our e-edition or in the print copies.

See complete audit report. (Findings being on page 32 of lengthy document.)

Mountain bike concept plan funded for Talking Rock Nature Preserve

  “We want to do this right,” says land trust director

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The entrance to the Talking Rock Nature Preserve, a short distance from Hwy. 515 in Whitestone. The public is welcome to walk on the property but no trails are marked yet.


The Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land, Inc. and the Ellijay Mountain Bike Association have teamed up to fund a professional concept design plan for a mountain bike trail at the Talking Rock Nature Preserve, 211 acres located in north Pickens.  

The concept plan will be completed by International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)’s Trail Solutions division, an international leader in single-track trail development with hundreds of successful projects around the globe. 

Amicalola EMC announces scholarships for high school students


        Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Amicalola EMC Scholarship program and the 2016 Washington Youth Tour program. 

Seniors who live in an Amicalola EMC household and plan to attend college may apply for scholarships. 

Patrols beefed up at Antioch/515


The intersection of Antioch Church Road and Highway 515. 


      In direct response to a forum regarding a proposal to install a concrete median at Antioch Church Road and Highway 515, Jasper’s mayor has increased police presence at the intersection.

Several dozen Talking Rock residents, business owners and leaders spoke in adamant opposition to GDOT’s proposition, which would force right turns off of Antioch Church Road onto the four-lane. 

Leaders see 2016 as positive year for growth

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Angela Reinhardt / Photo
Things are looking up for economy, local leaders believe. They are definitely aiming high at the recently relocated Get to the Pointe Dance Studio that opened this month.
    After several years of stagnant growth, city and county leaders say they see a light at the end of the tunnel, citing a welcome economic uptick in 2015 they expect to gain momentum in 2016.
    At a recent Family Connections meeting, Jasper Mayor Weaver said he believes the area is on the cusp of a growth wave that will “wash over us, wash over Blue Ridge and bounce back and wash over us again.” Weaver