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General news and features

GOP clarifies senior tax exemption ballot stance

       The local Republican Party clarified their stance on the options for an increased senior property tax exemption, noting they will hold several public comment sessions and work to develop a consensus on the wording before putting it on the May primary ballot for a non-binding straw poll vote.

       Pickens GOP Chairman William Bell said on August 1 that he wanted to clarify on behalf of the group that the GOP is not endorsing the Seniors for Change plan to give seniors an increased exemption on their school taxes, but that they are working to be sure the seniors group has access to the ballot to present their issue.

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

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Fall webworm nests popping up everywhere


Fall webworms place their webs on the end of branches of hardwood trees in late summer and fall.


They aren’t  spider webs that many say could indicate the type of winter we’re likely to have. No, indeed, all those webbed nests everyone’s been seeing in trees for the past few weeks belong to fall webworms.

According to County Extension Agent Rachel Wigington, fall webworms are caterpillars that turn into moths. And while she said they aren’t indicative of future weather, they are proof that we had a mild winter last year.

“The reason we are seeing so many right now is because we had such a mild winter and their population wasn’t (lost) with severe cold,” she said. 

Tater Patch’s Man of LaMancha opens this week


Kenneth Farmer / Photo

An ill Don Quixote (Alex Nawrocki) surrounded by (L-R) The Padre (Lamar Swindull), The Governor (Gary Boyles), The Housekeeper (Chelsea Walker), Dr. Carrasco (Charlie Cleneay) and his niece Antonia (Susan Gooch).


By Pat Jewell

Tater Patch Players

Get your tickets now for the Tater Patch Players presentation of Man of LaMancha. You can go to and select your date and seat.  The show opens Friday, August 11 at 7:30 p.m. Other show dates to choose from are August 12, 18, 19, 25, & 26 at 7:30 and August 20 and 27 at 2 p.m.  The theater is located at 95 Philadelphia Lane in Jasper.

Man of LaMancha brings a wide variety of feelings.  You will find despair, love, hatred, humor, and most of all, hope. The setting is a dungeon during the Spanish Inquisition. It is stark and dreary, as dungeons tend to be. Hopeless people watch as two new prisoners arrive.  With the two comes  life, fantasy, dreams and love. The prisoners are given a reprieve from everyday drudgery and dread for a

Enlighten Pickens inaugural meeting August 15


Danita Clark Able

    “Women of All Ages Embracing life in All Stages” is Enlighten Pickens. The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 15 at Madeline’s on Church Street at 11:45 a.m. Reservations are required, lunch will be served and a $15 donation will be collected.  

The guest speaker for the inaugural Enlighten meeting will be Danita Clark Able, an author, blogger, entrepreneur and advocate for women and children. Her memoir, Letters From A Whoremonger’s Wife, details her years as a victim of marital abuse. Physical, mental and financial abuse was part of her life for two decades. In 2009, she found herself divorced and penniless and dealing with an

First day of school gets A+ on traffic changes

end of first day of school

Angela Reinhardt / Photo

Jasper Middle School Assistant Principal Duane Cronic helps students find their buses on the first day of school Tuesday. There were major changes to traffic flow at JMS this year, which appear to have worked well on day one. Cronic and the school system’s Director of Operations Stacy Gilleland said the new traffic patterns worked wonders and significantly reduced congestion on Highway 53, especially during morning hours. PHS also changed parent pick-ups in the afternoon, with traffic flowing all the way around the high school. See page 10B for photos from the first day of school.