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General news and features

Disrespectful Youth group wants tax change, “but not this way”

Group encourages public to vote for “Option 1” for senior tax exemption 

disrespectful youth sign

Signs in support of Option 1 -- no change in the senior tax exemption - have been popping up around town with early voting underway.

     A group of Pickens County residents, now with a social media presence of over 2,200, wants to put the breaks on proposed changes to property tax exemptions for seniors, which they say are uninformed, hasty, and could endanger the public school system. 

     See story in this week's print or online editions


Earth Day Paddle showcases beauty of Dawson Forest



Angela Reinhardt / Photo

Kayakers floating down the Etowah River for Mountain Conservation Trust’s Earth Day on the Etowah Paddle. 

It was around 10 a.m. the Saturday before Earth Day. Kayaks and canoes in a kaleidoscope of colors poured into the takeout site at Kelly Bridge in Dawson County, where they would soon be loaded onto shuttles and sent upstream with their owners/renters. 

The weather was shaping up to show off mother nature at its finest, an ideal scenario for Mountain Conservation Trust of Georgia’s Earth Day on the Etowah Paddle that would take participants nearly 10 miles through Dawson Forest’s Wildlife Management Area. It was sunny, and despite it being a brisk 40 in the morning temps would get into the 70s by afternoon. The land trust’s director George Kimberly was busy checking people in when my party of three arrived. He told me attendance was up an impressive 300 percent, from 10 participants last year - the first year the event was held - to over 30.

After boats were stacked and secured on trailers, we got a rundown of what to expect from the Appalachian Outfitters shuttle service rep, followed by a safety lesson from a couple there as guides.

Flyover Country: Excerpt from Progress contributer's new book

TEA party Larry Cavender

Pickens Progress Contributer Larry Cavender


By Larry Cavender


[An excerpt reprinted from the book, The World Turned Upside Down: A forgotten man's view of our fractured and upturned world - now on sale at the Pickens Progress office and at]


What exactly is "flyover country"?

Often, flyover country is a term used disdainfully by the liberal elites of the eastern and western coasts as that broad swath of nothingness they traverse when they spend hours on a plane commuting between the liberal outposts of the northeast and the left coast.

Sometimes, the term is used synonymously with the word heartland which means "the central part of the United States...."

Sheriff’s office adds trucks to patrols

sheriff truck

One of the new trucks in the sheriff's fleet. 

The Pickens Sheriff office’s shift supervisors rolled out in Chevy trucks earlier this spring -- the first time the office has used trucks in their patrol fleet.

The office is using one Chevy 1500 truck per shift, primarily in a utility roll, driven by the shift supervisor. Sheriff spokesman Kris Stancil said they had recognized for years the need for vehicles that could be used to deliver pylons, barricades, remove items from a roadway or transport evidence.

The office has four of the four-wheel-drive trucks – one per shift. Each shift has four officers in the Ford Explorer patrol vehicle that the office began using several years ago.

In theory, there is a sixth officer on patrol in one of the aging Crown Victorias still in use, but Stancil said due to limited manpower they rarely have a full shift. Other Crown Vics are used for courthouse transportation and non-patrol duty. Most of these older vehicles have well over 200,000 miles on them, Stancil said.

Veterans Memorial park moving along


Work at the veterans park located at Lee Newton Park is moving along. Memorial bricks to be laid at the park can be purchased for $125. Learn more at

Submitted by Frank Leist, 

President/Chair of the

Pickens County Veterans Memorial Park, Inc.


Pickens County Veterans Memorial Park, Inc. (PCVMP) is moving along with some of the weather clearing up this month.  They say, “Three days rain will empty any sky.” Okay, so isn’t always true. But consider, we live in Georgia. We are moving forward, our flagpole has been installed and when the rain breaks the brick work for the monument for our branches of services will be installed next. So, continue to hope for clear weather in the coming weeks and our veteran’s memorial will be completed.