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General news and features

Boggus Valedictorian; Shields Salutatorian at PHS


     The Pickens County School Board met last week and announced Pickens High School’s 2013 Senior Class Valedictorian is Taylor Boggus (left), who maintained a GPA of 101.63 all four years of high school. Boggus plans to attend Armstrong Atlantic University in the fall.
    With a GPA of 100.62, the Salutatorian is Amber Shields. She will attend the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega on a full scholarship. Look for complete profiles of these two outstanding students in an upcoming edition of the Progress.
    See other awards and school board news on Page 16A of the print or online edition.

Development on Jekyll Island hinges on defining marshes





Spanish Moss hangs from trees around pristine parts of Jekyll Island if developers get their wish and marsh areas are counted as land, then more of the island will be opened for future use.



By Pam O’Dell


Capitol Reporter

The Jekyll Island Authority has asked the Attorney General’s office to weigh in on a task force’s recommendation that marsh not be considered in determining the island’s land base. The land measurement is significant because it determines, according to state law, the amount of development that can occur on the island. 


Hence, the determination on whether or not marsh is counted as land pits environmentalists and citizen activists against those who favor greater development on the island.  


Principal positions approved by board


            At their May meeting Thursday, the school board approved principal positions which saw Dr. Carlton Wilson move to Jasper Elementary and Assistant Principal Joetta Youngblood be officially named as principal at Hill City Elementary.

            Wilson, was a popular principal at Hill City Elementary from its opening until last year when he took time off to have double hip-replacement. During his absence, Youngblood acted as the principal there.

            School Board chair Wendy Lowe said both are highly regarded educators. She said Superintendent Ben Desper had discussed the positions with each and had made that recommendation to the board, which was approved last night. The board vote was only to hire Youngblood as a principal; the superintendent made the assignments

            All other schools will see the same principals returning.

            For more comments from the Superintendent on this move and a complete report on the lengthy meeting, see next week’s print edition.



Obstacles sought for 2013 Sheriff's JeepFest



     Above a jeep crosses obstacles set up for the 2012 Sheriff's Jeepfest. Organizers are seeking materials to use for this year's course.

     Organizers for the second annual Pickens Sheriff's JeepFest, September 6th-8th, are looking for raw materials to build obstacles for the four-wheeled participants to crawl over.



Bronze Star, Purple Heart vet helps other wounded heroes


    Nate Watson, a Pickens native, with the Purple Heart he was awarded after being wounded in Afghanistan. Watson nows helps other veterans with Georgia’s Wounded Heroes, a group he co-founded.


     After receiving both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with Valor for action in Afghanistan, Pickens County native Nate Watson has returned to Georgia to co-found an organization that will help other wounded veterans as well as police and firefighters.
    Watson, the son of Mike and Janie Watson of Jasper, graduated from Pickens High in 1997 and from North Georgia College in 2001. He worked in law enforcement for Cherokee County before deploying to northern Afghanistan in 2009.