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General news and features

Local Filmmaker hits the ground running

Video for country music star, moves Shane Godfrey's work  to national audience




A one-man film crew, Shane Godfrey at work. He does all the filming himself and edits on his kitchen table. His first music video was considered CMT quality.

Filmmakers and artists are expected to toil undiscovered for years before they catch a big break.

   For Pickens County’s Shane Godfrey, a former grader, pipeline contractor and a current reserve deputy, his emergence to a national audience came quickly with a country music video this winter.

Rabies Case Reported in Pickens

From North Ga. Health Department

Jan Stephens of Pickens County Environmental Health recently announced that a local dog had to be euthanized after fighting with a rabies infected raccoon.

 “When the raccoon wandered into the carport of a home in the Hobson Creek area on January 21, the homeowner’s dog fought with it and ran the raccoon up a tree,” said Stephens. “The owner then shot the raccoon and called our office the next day.”

Is ethanol-free better?

Ethanol can destroy boats, antiques, small-engines, says repair shop owner


Don "Squirrel" Carlan pumping gas at West End General Store, where owner Danny Hyde recently started selling ethanol-free gas. Hyde labels the ethanol-free gas with a bright red arrow reading "100% Gasoline."

         Drive up to any gas pump in the state and you will see a sign that reads, “This product contains up to 10 percent ethanol.”

         After being federally mandated to reduce emissions and lower the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, ethanol-blends, which exploded on the market in 2009, now make up over 90 percent of gasoline sold in the states. E-10, a 10-percent ethanol/gas blend, is now considered the standard fuel while ethanol-free gas is a specialty fuel.

Keener named Investigative Ranger of the Year


     Catching poachers and other wildlife violators often involves lengthy criminal investigations and require diligence and dedication on behalf of conservation rangers. Cpl. James Keener, representing Pickens County, was named Investigative Ranger of the Year for demonstrating determination and devotion in his work, which included a complex case with more than nine individuals charged with violations. 

Hollyhocks - Keeping the past alive in Talking Rock







By David R. Altman

Progress Contributor

When Paulette Grizzle first saw the dilapidated house on Talonah Street in Talking Rock, she could see the potential. “It was pretty rough looking,” she said. “But I just knew that with a name like Hollyhocks in Talking Rock, it had to work.”  

That was 1994, and now, nearly 20 years later, Hollyhocks has become a popular shopping destination in north Georgia and an anchor of Talking Rock’s unique shopping experience.

Paulette and husband Mark bought the old house which was originally built in 1888 and turned one of the earliest Talking Rock buildings into its most well-known store. But it wasn’t easy.

“When we got here - it was hard to see the house as it was so overgrown by trees and shrubs,” said Mark. “In fact, we had a cottonwood tree actually growing through what is now the main room.”  

The aging house had no windows and a not many walls. “In fact,” Paulette said with a smile, “it was so bad, when my dad came to see it he told me ‘You’d better get your money back!’” 

Mark, a retired deputy fire chief from Cobb County, said the experience of rebuilding was a challenge. He says they did most of the work themselves. “We had to build the stairway to the second floor, as the only way up there in the beginning was by ladder,” he laughed.