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General news and features

Cove Road man arrested for murder


The GBI has arrested Arnold Hoyt Griffith, Jr., of Cove Road for murder  but few details have been released.

   The Pickens sheriff’s office confirmed he was arrested on November 9 and the GBI is continuing to investigate with other arrests possible.

   Lt. Kris Stancil said the arrest is not from a recent death.

   “This is not a new case, not a recent death,” Stancil said.  “The victim is not from this area.”

   Stancil said investigators had looked at this before but never had enough information to move forward.

   “This is from new information on a previous case,” Stancil said. Stancil said the victim had never been reported missing by family.

   The name of the victim has not been released, but Stancil reiterated the male victim is not local. He said they are having trouble notifying family members, which is delaying release of that information.


Stancil said they do not believe this person had ever been reported missing anywhere, but definitely had never been reported missing in this area.

            No further information is being released until the GBI has completed more of their investigation.(Book-in photo from Pickens Jail)  



Is this the drought of the century?


Larry Cavender / Photo
    Although Old Glory is clearly visible, the distant mountains are only barely visible and the sun struggles to shine through the smoke in this photograph taken last week looking west from the parking lot of Jasper United Methodist Church.

By Larry Cavender

    Is Pickens County, as well  north Georgia, in the midst of the "Drought of the Century?" When you can count on one hand the number of times it has rained since spring, with an outdoor burning ban in effect and lawns turning brown and fall crops dying, and with a smoky haze engulfing the area from wildfires caused by the extremely dry conditions, most people might answer a resounding, "Yes!"

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Community Thanksgiving Service November 22nd


Mark Prado

  By Ralph C. Barker
President Pickens County Ministerial Association
    Each Thanksgiving the Pickens County Ministerial Association (PCMA) holds a community-wide Thanksgiving service. This annual nondenominational service is open to everyone in the community. This year's service is scheduled for Tuesday evening, November 22nd at 7 p.m.
    This special service will be held at Mt. Zion Baptist Church located on North Main Street in Jasper.

Missing Preserve man case goes cold


Ben Thebaut has been missing since Oct. 16.

     The disappearance of a retired surgeon from the Preserve at Sharp Mountain gated community remains a priority for the sheriff’s office, but the case has gone cold since Ben Thebaut was reported missing October 16th.
    Sheriff spokesman Kris Stancil said Monday he is aware that some people are finding it hard to accept that efforts to find the 79-year-old have not produced a single lead, but that is the situation.

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For most people: wildfire smoke symptoms more annoying than dangerous

lg fire nifc 2016-11-11


A USDA Map shows active forest fire throughout the Southeast as of November 11.

        Wildfires that have burned thousands of acres in north Georgia’s Cohutta Wilderness Area are sending blankets of smoke to surrounding counties. According to medical professionals, everyone should be on guard but sensitive groups should take most precaution.

         If you have an underlying lung disease Dr. Tamim Al-Kharrat of North Georgia Pulmonary Medicine in Jasper advises his patients to take similar precautions as they would with heavy smog – more common in urban areas.