Get Adobe Flash player


General news and features

Ghost hunter finds spirits in Cherokee removal fort


Ghost hunter and author Jeanne Wells at Fort Newnan in Blaine.

By Jeanne Wells

Author of forthcoming book on Georgia ghosts

The third smallest town in Georgia -Talking Rock - was originally part of the Cherokee Nation. Its name may have derived from a rock formation that echoed, or from the sound of water running over the rocks in the creek. 

The Cherokee who lived in the surrounding area were eventually taken and held at an “Indigenous Peoples” removal fort called Fort Newnan. Fort Newnan is located in a community near Talking Rock called Blaine. The Fort’s location itself is believed to have been near the town’s Masonic Lodge. Established in 1838, the fortification was set up as a detainment camp and was  used to round up the Cherokee before their long walk on the Trail of Tears. 

Find her Facebook page Spirits, Angels and Paranormal here

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


Friends, coach share memories of Pickens student killed in wreck

Jordan Simonds was the type of person “everyone wanted to know”  



Jordan Simonds knew how to touch everyone’s heart. “He was amazing,” says longtime friend. “He knew what life was about.” Photo courtesy of family

 Sixteen-year-old Jordan Matthew Simonds died Saturday, March 11 when the 2004 Jeep Liberty he was driving careened off an embankment on Salem Church Road.

Simonds, a PHS sophomore, was transported to Piedmont Mountainside Hospital and his 15-year-old passenger, Jed Groover, was taken by helicopter to Kennestone Hospital where he remains in intensive care. 

Trailer Trash: Roper Park trailer move swamped


Damon Howell / Photo

Debris scattered around the trailer at Roper Park. The county had hoped the trailer would have found a new home at the airport, but the move may never happen.



It appears the trailer at Roper Park may be heading for the dump instead of the airport.

The triple-wide trailer had served as the previous Boys & Girls Club building and earlier this year appeared destined to become a base at the airport. But slow work and rain may have doomed the project.

     The ramshackle mess now sitting between the baseball fields looks like something hit by a tornado with piles of wood, plenty of exposed nails, sheets of tin and other debris piled around it.

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

Applicants lining up to be Pickens superintendent



     The field of candidates for the schools superintendent position is much more crowded than expected, with 49 applications received by the school board before the February 28th deadline.

Currently, Dr. Charles Webb is serving as interim superintendent. He was hired on a six-month contract after Dr. Lula Mae Perry resigned on January 1st. Dr. Perry was initially hired as interim superintendent in 2013 to replace Dr. Ben Desper. A few weeks after taking office as interim, the school board at that time asked her to extend her initial contract.

Jasper native receives prestigious space science award


     Dr. Daniel T. Lindsey, a research scientist at NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service’s (NESDIS) Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR), received the 2016 NOAA-David Johnson Award on March 10.  The National Space Club and Foundation presented the award to Lindsey for his work with satellite imagery.

“I am honored to receive the NOAA-David Johnson Award,” Lindsey said. “I love working with satellite imagery, but I could not do any of this exciting work without the help from an incredibly talented team. So, I accept this award on behalf of them.”