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General news and features

Jones, Weaver go head to head at forum





At last night's commissioner debate, held at the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce, commission chair candidates Rob Jones and Wesley Weaver went head to head about key issues in the county. In next week's full story on the debate we will do fact checking on some of the accusations made, and cover other comments from District 1 and District 2 candidates.


Man arrested for child molestation at Jasper Park

 A 49-year-old man has been arrested and charged with sexually molesting a 13-year-old at the edge of the woods of the Jasper City Park Thursday, June 14.

The incident happened as the teen and another friend were “hanging out” with a group that included other teens and adults in the park about 5 p.m., said Jasper Police Chief Greg Lovell.           

George M. McTaggart, 49, of Jasper is charged with one count of molestation and one count of enticing a minor. McTaggart was homeless at the time of the incident, but has lived in the Jasper area for years, according to police officers. Jasper Police Detective Matt Dawkins said McTaggart was a regular visitor to the park and had a police record, but nothing related to sex crimes or crimes against children.

Leash law to be enforced --- effective immediately


One of these two dogs that killed a neighbor’s pet in the Magnolia Station subdivision of Jasper may have to be destroyed. This case unleashed the city's new aggressive enforcement of their leash law.

     The City of Jasper will begin vigorously enforcing the state’s leash law, effective immediately, following an “informative hearing” on a dangerous dog case at the Jasper City Council meeting Monday night.

     Jasper Mayor John Weaver said the city has been dealing with dogs running loose for too long inside the city limits––for at least twenty years––and it’s time to force owners to control their animals.

     “We are going to control animals in Jasper from this day forward,” Weaver told the council, city hall staff and others at the meeting.

     See the print or online edition to read more about the dangerous dog case and the ramped up enforcement of the Jasper leash law.

This poop stinks - Some manure can kill garden plants


Tomato plants owned by area gardener Andy Kippenhan. Kippenhan says the plants on the right were treated with contaminated manure from a local stable and died as a result of herbicide carryover. The plant in the photo to the left is a healthy tomato plant not treated with the contaminated manure.

     Sure, you can smell it a mile away, but do you really know where your manure came from?

     Gardeners know that the key to cultivating strong, healthy plants is good soil rich in nutrients. One of the ways gardeners achieve this is by adding manure to their compost or by applying it directly to garden beds. But local gardener Andy Kippenhan, who learned about the stinky side of manure the hard way, warns that farmers and gardeners should ask about the source before applying it to garden vegetable or flower beds.