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General news and features

Plans for chicken houses ruffle feathers

Proposal of 12 mega poultry houses meets opposition

at planning commission meeting
chicken-house-satellite    The red outlined parcel has been proposed for new poultry houses. Many surrounding homeowners spoke in opposition to the plan at Monday’s planning commission meeting.   

     Hearing from more than 20 speakers Monday opposed to a rezoning request needed to bring 12 “mega” chicken houses to Carlan Road, the planning commission decided to slow things down, tabling the issue for a month.
See the print or online editions for full story.


Library materials budget down to zero

No budget increase could mean cuts to staff, hours



    From left, Joann Forrest and James Moore say they use the Pickens library computers nearly everyday. Cutting hours could negatively impact residents such as these.

    Ann Dobson, chair of the Pickens County Library Board of Trustees, recently told commissioners if the library doesn’t get an increase in their 2016 budget, reduction of staff and library hours will be next on the chopping block.

It's official: Tom Cruise movie to shoot in area


Actor Tom Cruise poses for a picture at the Cherokee airport during an earlier scouting trip for a movie set to shoot in Ball Ground and south Pickens.


By Larry Cavender,

Ball Ground correspondent

  Ball Ground is the chosen one! At the regularly scheduled meeting of the Ball Ground City Council on Thursday evening, City Manager Eric Wilmarth announced that shortly before 6 p.m., Ball Ground officials were notified that the city had been selected by a movie production company as a location for several scene's in the upcoming movie, Mena, starring Tom Cruise.

   Speculation had been running rampant over the past several weeks that Ball Ground might be used for location filming in the movie. After several weeks of visits by a location scouting team and especially after a surprise visit to the town a couple of weeks ago by Cruise himself, rumors had been circulating that a decision was close. It is now official.

Resident calls for gunfire ordinances

“I’m scared for my safety,” resident says after vehicle window shattered by bullet


Pickens County Seal

Pickens resident Peggie Bauer said her residentially-zoned property feels like a shooting range, thanks to a neighbor’s target practice on an adjacent parcel. 

“I’m scared for my safety,” Bauer told commissioners at their most recent work session  Thursday, April 2. “I’d like to bring this county into the 21st Century. You need to protect your citizens.”

        See the print or online editions for the rest of this story. 


Is this the year to start a vegetable garden?


Learn more about starting a vegetable garden in the special section in this Wednesday's Progress.


By Eric Hill,

Autumn Hill Nursery

The controversy over genetically modified foods as well as the use of pesticides and other chemicals on commercially grown food is in high gear.  

Are GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms) a good thing? Are the chemicals used really safe? Where did the food come from, and are the regulations in that country as strict as ours?  

With all the information available from so many different sources it’s hard to know who to believe. Our government is watching out for our health, but they don’t always get it right, and it often takes years, even decades to realize.