Get Adobe Flash player


General news and features

New commission board scoping $1million in cuts




Commissioner call for expanded audit, see e-edition or this week's Progress.


Pickens County Board of Commissioners (l-r) - Jerry Barnes, Chairman Rob Jones and Becky Denney        

     At their first official work session as a board, Pickens County’s new commission members immediately got down to business, vowing to slash the budget by $1 million after new CFO Faye Harvey said earlier this week the county is in dire straits.  

         District Commissioners Becky Denney and Jerry Barnes, as well as commission chair Rob Jones, all said cutting the county’s $19 million budget is a top priority for the upcoming year, and that they plan to change the FY 2013 budget through budget amendments.

“We know what we have to do on our part,” said District 2 Commissioner Becky Denney, who noted that the commissioner’s office would be responsible for $500,000 of those cuts.

         The new commission board also discussed adopting an updated Emergency Management Ordinance, appointments for the Pickens County Board of Assessors and other local boards, caps on the amount the commission chair can spend in emergency situations, road paving, and routine business such as new meeting times.



VanGoghs hosting snowman contest




    Audrey Webb and Kathe Hall with a sample snowman.

     Now that winter has officially arrived, VanGoghs owner Kathe Hall plans to brighten the short, dark days with a town filled with snowmen, regardless of whether we actually get any snow.
    Hall came up with the idea to sponsor a snowman contest as a way to bring people and some cheer into downtown during bleak winter days.


City of Jasper worker wins $100K lottery prize


ATLANTA – The excitement is overflowing for one city of Jasper worker since plunging into a Georgia Lottery prize in time for the New Year. Terry Howard, who works for the city’s water department, won a $100,000 top prize playing the instant game Jumbo Bucks Bingo.


Howard claimed his prize Monday at the Georgia Lottery District Office in Dalton.


“My girlfriend suggested I get one of them,” said Howard, 47. “I purchased it and scratched it at home.”


Chevron Food Mart, located at 850 S. Main St. in Jasper, sold the lucky ticket.


“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I feel good.”


The father of three anticipates adding on to his home and paying off bills with his windfall.


Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $13.8 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. More than 1.4 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.2 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.


For more information on the Georgia Lottery Corp., please visit: and

N. Georgia College to host Holocaust exhibit


Series of lectures, events planned to coincide with January to March run of exhibition



A book burning in Opera Square, Berlin, May 10, 1933. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Musuem/NARA

 — North Georgia College & State University is hosting the traveling exhibition "Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings" produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The exhibition, which runs from Jan. 17 to March 15 at the university's Library Technology Center, and accompanying lecture series are free and open to the public.

The exhibition opening is set for 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22 in the Library Technology Center. That evening, internationally known scholar Dr. Deborah Lipstadt, the Dorot professor of modern Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Emory University, will present the keynote address in the Hoag Student Center auditorium. A reception and book signing will be held 4:30-5:15 p.m. in the great room, located in the student center, prior to the 6 p.m. keynote address.

Schools and other groups are invited to schedule a Friday tour of the exhibition. Tour reservations are currently being accepted and must be requested at least seven days in advance. To schedule a tour, contact Ms. Bonnie Morris,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or 706-864-1521.


Rec. Dept. to host The Dirty Dozen competition


Rec. Department to host yearlong competition – for adults

By Laiken Owens

Intern reporter

Beginning in January, the Pickens County Rec. Department will be sponsoring a year-long event, “The Dirty Dozen.” It will be a team competition, with one competition every month. These events will be geared towards the adults of Pickens County and are planned as fun competition.

This is the first time the recreation department has tried something like this – a fun adult program, so the first year may be somewhat of a trial run.

If there aren’t enough teams that sign up, the monthly events will be open for groups to get together and come compete only in the events they choose without needing to field a team for the whole year.

Joe Herman, the interim recreation department director, said he thought this format of set teams competing in very different sports one day each month would be a great way to get people involved in a friendly competition. He said people who dominate the softball events may find themselves outmatched when the soccer month rolls around.