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General news and features

Is this the drought of the century?


Larry Cavender / Photo
    Although Old Glory is clearly visible, the distant mountains are only barely visible and the sun struggles to shine through the smoke in this photograph taken last week looking west from the parking lot of Jasper United Methodist Church.

By Larry Cavender

    Is Pickens County, as well  north Georgia, in the midst of the "Drought of the Century?" When you can count on one hand the number of times it has rained since spring, with an outdoor burning ban in effect and lawns turning brown and fall crops dying, and with a smoky haze engulfing the area from wildfires caused by the extremely dry conditions, most people might answer a resounding, "Yes!"

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Community Thanksgiving Service November 22nd


Mark Prado

  By Ralph C. Barker
President Pickens County Ministerial Association
    Each Thanksgiving the Pickens County Ministerial Association (PCMA) holds a community-wide Thanksgiving service. This annual nondenominational service is open to everyone in the community. This year's service is scheduled for Tuesday evening, November 22nd at 7 p.m.
    This special service will be held at Mt. Zion Baptist Church located on North Main Street in Jasper.

Missing Preserve man case goes cold


Ben Thebaut has been missing since Oct. 16.

     The disappearance of a retired surgeon from the Preserve at Sharp Mountain gated community remains a priority for the sheriff’s office, but the case has gone cold since Ben Thebaut was reported missing October 16th.
    Sheriff spokesman Kris Stancil said Monday he is aware that some people are finding it hard to accept that efforts to find the 79-year-old have not produced a single lead, but that is the situation.

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For most people: wildfire smoke symptoms more annoying than dangerous

lg fire nifc 2016-11-11


A USDA Map shows active forest fire throughout the Southeast as of November 11.

        Wildfires that have burned thousands of acres in north Georgia’s Cohutta Wilderness Area are sending blankets of smoke to surrounding counties. According to medical professionals, everyone should be on guard but sensitive groups should take most precaution.

         If you have an underlying lung disease Dr. Tamim Al-Kharrat of North Georgia Pulmonary Medicine in Jasper advises his patients to take similar precautions as they would with heavy smog – more common in urban areas.

Rep. Graves Applauds Georgia Cyber Security

Washington, D.C. –Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) congratulated U.S. Army Cyber Command and Fort Gordon – which hosts the Cyber Center of Excellence and will soon host Army Cyber Command headquarters – on all of its Cyber Mission Force teams reaching Initial Operating Capability, the point at which all units can execute their fundamental mission while still building more advanced capabilities.tom-graves

“This is a major milestone for Fort Gordon, Georgia’s military community and, most importantly, our national defense,” said Rep. Graves. “As a member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, I’ve worked to secure funding for this critical mission, and I will continue fighting to ensure it receives the resources necessary to become fully operational.”