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General news and features

Popular school principal on leave after recall forces second hip replacement




For Hill City Elementary Principal Dr. Carlton Wilson, this holiday season will be one of recovery after he undergoes revision surgery to replace two metal hips that have been recalled for high failure rates and unwanted side effects. 

“When I found out about all of the symptoms of this, that upset me,” Wilson said the day before one of the metal-on-metal hips he had installed over four years ago would be replaced. “But when I found out that the company knew about all of this a year and a half before they put the first one in, that made me kind of angry.”

DePuy, a Johnson & Johnson company, manufactured the hips and there are now hundreds of lawsuits that have been filed against DePuy. Questions have also arisen about the way in which the hips gained approval for manufacturing. 

Worldwide over 93,000 people have received this variety of hip implant, and it is estimated that over 40,000 of those patients are in the U.S. 

Above, Hill City  Elementary School Principal Carlton Wilson


16-year-old charged with murder following family argument

Updated - The 16-year-old suspect charged with murdering his step father Friday made his "First Appearance Hearing"  in court Monday morning. Chief Judge Brenda Weaver cleared the court as the suspect is considered a minor at this time. It is expected that the court will order psychological evaluations during the hearing.

The case may be transfered to superior court during this hearing, removing the suspect's juvenile status.


 Original story.

A 16-year-old Jasper juvenile male is charged with murder following the stabbing death of his step-father Friday in the Preserve at Sharp Mountain gated community.

            Sheriff Donnie Craig said the juvenile stabbed his step-father with a sword, later identified as a “Dha” (similar to a samurai sword) following an argument over a relatively minor issue around midnight Friday. The deceased has been identified as Christopher Todd Allen, 36. The name of the suspect is being withheld.

The 16-year-old is in custody at the Juvenile Detention Center in Dalton. He was arrested at the scene after a relative called 911. The family was living in the basement of relatives’ house in the gated community.

            Craig said the juvenile, a former PHS student being homeschooled currently, was not known to be troubled or have past issues based on the initial investigation.

            Craig said he didn’t believe that the young man had any martial arts training. “They had a collection of replica (swords),” he said.

            The step-father was found by deputies still alive with a large wound in his abdomen. He was transported by Pickens EMS to Kennestone where he died in surgery.

            The young man was initially charged with aggravated assault, later changed to murder when his step-father died.




Marble Company records moved to historical archive


Pictured (l to r) are John Edwards, Commissioner Rob Jones and Lawton Baggs thumbing through Georgia Marble Company records at the old marble jail on Camp Road. 


After sitting dusty and forgotten for decades, records and artifacts from the Georgia Marble Company are now finding a proper home at the Department of Museums, Archives & Rare Books at Kennesaw State University. 

“I’m really pleased they are going to be in such good hands with professionals who know how to handle them,” said John Edwards, member of a local committee charged with finding a way to preserve the documents. 

Last Tuesday, November 13, boxes and boxes of the old Georgia Marble records, including promotional items, advertisements and personnel records were transported from the old marble jail on Camp Road to Kennesaw State, where the long process of archiving and documenting would begin. 

Tipton wins teacher of year



Teachers of the year from all schools were recognized at a banquet Monday night at the Young Life Camp.

In the end, Jacqueline Tipton, an interesting art teacher at Hill City Elementary originally from Los Angeles, was named the Pickens County Teacher of the Year. See more about her and comments from the banquet in our print edition and e-edition now on sale.


Above, front row, are the teachers of the year from each of the schools: Jenni Shoffer, Jasper Elementary; Jacqueline Tipton, Hill City; Leah VanDoran Jasper Middle; Amanda Neighbors, Tate; Jennifer Blankenship, Harmony; Angela Quarles, Pickens High; and Marla Callahan Pickens Middle.

Back row are principals from each of the schools: Nonnie Weeks, Carlton Wilson, Neil Howell, Deb Longshore, Sherry Martin, Eddie McDonald and Chris LeMieux.


Tech upgrades planned for Pickens campuses

“Just like adults, when students want to know something they google it. They don’t march down to the library,” says administrator


    JMS Math Team -- Pictured (l-r) Bethany Carver, parents Jacqueline and Mickey Carver; Olivia Fountain, parents Cynthia and Mark Fountain; Miles Gregg, parents Edie and Dennis Gregg; John Hendricks, parents Kaye and Joe Hendricks; and Garrett Thompson, parents Amy and Christopher Thompson. They are pictured with teachers Carol Wilson (right) and Tammy Duncan and Principal Neil Howell.
    Math team members not pictured: Katherine Densmore, parents Mary Katherine and Chris Densmore; Peyton Harrington, parents Suzanne and Donnie Harrington; Thomas Pinson, parents Judy and Brian Pinson 

     Pickens school campuses will see technology upgrades rolling out this spring based on reports given at the school board meeting Thursday.