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A local man’s “giant leap for mankind"

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Billy Childers relaxing at his home in Ball Ground. Childers worked for 41 years with the space program including the Apollo moon landings and the Space Shuttle Program.

By Larry Cavender
Contributing writer

    "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Those memorable words were declared by Neil Armstrong 47 years ago this week when he first set foot on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969 as the commander of Apollo 11. A local connection to Armstrong, the moon landing, and many other NASA space missions is a Ball Ground resident who worked with the space program for forty-one years.

Jasper mayor discusses downtown plans

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The mayor believes making Main Street one way only,  going north, will create more of a friendly, shopping environment in downtown.

     Many downtown business owners in mid-June voiced opinions on potential plans to improve Jasper’s traffic flow, a project currently on the drawing board with paid consulting firm Kimley-Horn.
    Missing from that presentation, however, was a plan advocated by Mayor John Weaver, who vocally complained at the meeting that some of the displayed plans were impossible to build.
See full story with comments from Jasper Mayor John Weaver and a full map in the print and online editions.

Beaver opens 4th Bojangles restaurant Friday

"I’m thinking about biscuits all the time. Every day except Easter and Christmas I think about biscuits," said franchise owner

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     Beaver is set to open her fourth Bojangles restaurant this Friday in Towne Lake. Beavers is pictured with her family and management team at her flagship Jasper location. From left - Trent Holden, sister-in-law and training manager; Kasea Mashburn, sister; Roger Stroupe, district manager; Kristal Beaver; Peige Payne, field marketing manager; and Dusty Mashburn, brother and training manager.


    “It’s a miracle story and I just want Him to get all the glory,” said Kristal Beaver, owner of the Jasper Bojangles and who this Friday will open her fourth restaurant, this one in Towne Lake. Beavers, who credits all of her success to God, has additional locations in Riverstone and Hickory Flat.

Publisher plans to file civil suit in open records case

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Appalachian Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver

     Per the request of Appalachian Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver, the district attorney has dropped three felony charges against Fannin Focus publisher Mark Thomason and his attorney Russell Stookey in a case that has drawn criticism from media and First Amendment rights groups across the nation. 

See full story in this week's print or online edition, which includes comments from Fannin Focus publisher Mark Thomason.

Canning plant needs preservation

Get the lowdown on putting up your produce
canning-plant-buildingThe Pickens County Canning Plant: This non-descript building behind Jasper Middle School has served thousands of customers since it was built in 1967. 


    The Pickens County Canning Plant ledger from 1965 - now a yellow-paged antique with entries written in a dying cursive hand – shows one customer who processed 188 cans of green beans in a single visit. Total cost: $16.92.
    Joe Wright, the current high school agriculture teacher who runs the facility during summer months, crunched the numbers.