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General news and features

Jasper candidates sound off on growth, parks, and downtown


Jasper Council candidates (l-r) Doug Patterson, Dr. Sonny Proctor, Ryan O’Dea and Anne Sneve at Monday’s forum.


A Jasper City Council forum held Monday revealed that candidates have platforms that overlap in many areas, with issues like controlled growth, downtown revitalization, improved parks and recreation, more entertainment, job creation, and collaboration as top priorities. 

Two council seats are up for grabs. Incumbent Anne Sneve, who is running for a third term, faces challenger Ryan O’Dea, a 15-year resident of Pickens County. Incumbent Dr. Sonny Proctor, who is running for his first full term after filling one year of an unexpired term, is running against native Pickens County resident Doug Patterson. 

The election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 7. Early voting began Monday.  

Town’s top historic attraction closed most days

Volunteers aging out 


The Old Jail at the north end of Jasper’s Main Street.

The Old Pickens Jail on Main Street was slated to be open for self-guided tours the weekend of the Marble Festival, but festival-goers who arrived around 2:30 on Saturday were met with a locked door on one of the few days  the historical landmark is open.  

The problem was a shortage of volunteers from the Marble Valley Historical Society, the non-profit that maintains the county-owned building. The few volunteers the 37-year-old organization does have are getting older and many have health issues. That Saturday, for example, the jail was manned with four volunteers in the morning but two had to leave. The rest of the afternoon was handled by member Bob Perdue and his wife who wasn’t feeling well. 

Pickens native hired as Bent Tree general manager


 Bent Tree’s new GM Tom Fowler


        Tom Fowler, a Pickens native, has been hired as the general manager of the Bent Tree community, a place where he worked more than 20 years ago on the golf course.

Fowler began working on the Bent Tree golf course while in high school during the late 1980s and later worked as the assistant pro there during the 1990s.

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

Tiny home trend reaches north Georgia


Angela Reinhardt / Photo

  People lined up to get a peek inside at the Tiny Home Mountain Festival in Ellijay on September 23 and 24. Tiny homes are gaining popularity across the country. 

Last weekend a slew of tiny houses descended on Ellijay in the aptly-titled Tiny Home Mountain Festival, the first of its kind in this area. 

Over the course of the two-day event, people were invited to get up close and personal with a trend that’s anything but tiny, now the subject of several popular television shows like Tiny House Hunters, Tiny House Nation, and Tiny House, Big Living.

Festival goers, which included tiny house advocates and people there to feed their curiosity, toured tiny homes on wheels and tiny homes that could be built on foundations. Prices ranged from around $15,000 for a 500-square-foot shell, to models that were exquisitely crafted and fully-furnished with a price tag of over $100,000. The homes utilized innovative ways to save space, from folding wall tables, to pocket doors, to a machine that’s a washer and dryer in one. 

Two injured on haunted hayride

Owners “heartbroken” about accident, want to regain public’s trust


         According to a Pickens County Sheriff’s Office report, two people were injured in an accident at Devil’s Shadow Haunted Hayride at approximately 9:15 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14. 

The report states that a trailer carrying passengers came loose from a tractor and crashed into a tree. The responding officer states that when he arrived the trailer was “sitting upright with the rear end sitting against trees,” and that a Charles Amos and Mary Amos Williams were sitting at the rear of the trailer. They were the only  injured persons noted in the incident report.

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