Get Adobe Flash player


General news and features

PHS forms partnership with school in Belarus


   Steven Wilkie/photo
    Members of the Dragons’ Lair high school newspaper staff interview the delegation from Belarus and PHS staff about the partnership which may one day be expanded to include teacher and student exchanges.

By Laiken Owens
PHS student reporter

    Pickens High School is beginning a new program with a school that is not so familiar to this county or country. PHS has recently announced a partnership with Byelorussian School #36, located in Gomel, Belarus. The two schools hope this relationship will allow students to learn about each other’s country, culture, and what the youth do around the world.
     Another goal of partnering is to “form a friendship between us, to learn from each other,” said Ms. Ivanovna, Principal of the Byelorussian School.

Artists, sponsors wanted for Jasper ArtFest


Click on the ArtFest flyer above to be redirected to their website.     

     Despite being plagued by sketchy weather the first two years, Jasper ArtFest organizers are going full steam ahead planning the third annual art event, held the third weekend in April. 
    “We aren’t trying to make money on this,” said Ron Barnes, ArtFest head organizer. “This is something for the community, to support the arts community and bring people into town to enjoy what we have in Jasper.”

Follow this link to find artists applications and sponsorship forms.

Jones discusses challenges of three-person board


Commissioner Jerry Barnes, Commission Chair Rob Jones and Commissioner Becky Denney.

     Commission Chairman Rob Jones estimated it will take four to six months to get used to the changes involving the three-member commission that replaced the sole commissioner form of government on Jan. 1.
    Jones, who served as the final sole commissioner in Pickens County, said there are a lot of restrictions involving open meetings they are treating very cautiously.


Flu Reaches Epidemic Level In Ga.


GA Department of Public Health Officials 

Urge Georgians To Get Flu Shots


ATLANTA – The state of Georgia is now in the midst of a flu epidemic.

 The flu is hitting Georgia harder this year than it has in nearly a

decade.  Flu activity is widespread throughout the state and the number

of flu related hospitalizations is high.  So far, two adult, flu-related

deaths have been reported in Georgia.


“We are seeing some decrease in flu activity, but we are still at

epidemic level and the flu is unpredictable,” says Patrick O’Neal,

M.D., director of the Division of Health Protection, Georgia Department

of Public Health. “We are getting reports of more severe flu effects

in neighboring states, including the number of deaths.  Peak flu season

typically does not happen until late January or early February so we may

not have seen the worst yet.”  The most recent flu report may also be

affected by doctors’ offices being closed for the holidays and people


Ammunition leads to lock down at JMS, but all clear after search


    The empty hallway of Jasper Middle School after the campus was put on lock-down. Ammunition was found in a bathroom of the school on Tuesday, Jan. 8.

Principal, Sheriff discuss lockdown in today's Progress and e-edition 

Sheriff department press release

Earlier today (Tuesday), some ammunition was located inside one of the student bathrooms at Jasper Middle School. A student immediately notified school officials and a decision was made to implement all safety precautions. These procedures included locking down the school campus and calling in law enforcement to investigate.
The Pickens Sheriff’s Office joined with Board of Education personnel, the Jasper Police Department, the Georgia State Patrol, and the Jasper Fire Department to check the school. In addition, a K-9 unit from the Woodstock Police Department was contacted and responded to assist in searching the school. This unit specializes in locating any form of explosive, similar to that found in ammunition.
A thorough search of the school was made in addition to checking each student. Law enforcement officers did not locate any items of concern.
As a precaution, an alert message was sent to all parents of JMS students notifying them of the incident and advising that students could be picked up. The investigation into how the ammunition was placed in the bathroom is ongoing and is being conducted by Pickens Sheriff’s Office Detectives and JMS staff.