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General news and features

Scouting opportunities abound in PIckens



Above, Boy Scouting Troop 288

     Happen to be a parent of a middle school or high school aged youth with a hankering for the kind of adventures available through a Scouting program? What follows is a list of Scouting groups active in this county with some details of each group.
      Pickens County has three Girl Scout troops for girls middle school age or above. Four Boy Scout troops operate here, with young men, ages 11 through high school, participating. In addition, two coed Scouting groups are also at work here: Venturing Crew 288 out of Hill City and Explorer Post 800, a law enforcement post, sponsored by the Pickens County Sheriff's Office.
      Scouting opportunities begin as early as kindergarten for girls and at age 7 for boys.
      To learn about Scouting groups available to girls younger than middle school, contact Jennifer Clark (service unit director for Mountain City Girl Scouts of Pickens County) at 770-833-4754.
      To learn about Scouting opportunities available to boys younger than 11, contact Carlton Wilson (Boy Scouting's district commissioner for Cherokee and Pickens counties) at 770-402-9105.


Ball Ground man arrested for sex charges involving children

From Cherokee Sheriff's Office


Cherokee Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested a Ball Ground man Wednesday for sexually assaulting 2 juveniles under the age of five. Daniel Baxter, 27 years of age, is charged with 1 count of Rape, 2 counts of Aggravated Child Molestation, 2 Counts of Aggravated Sodomy, and 2 counts of Sexual Battery. The incident was reported to the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday.

Although not related, the victims were acquainted with Baxter. Detectives are unaware of any other victims at this time. Anyone who has children that have been around Baxter can call investigators at 770-928-0239 to report any concerns they may have.

Baxter remains in the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center without bond.

House set for demolition after owner completes without county building inspections or approvals

On May 21st, the county marshal, following orders from the county’s building and development department, asked tenants at a rental house on Reavis Mountain Road to move out within 30 days, as the house was condemned. This marks the first time a case involving building codes has ever reached the point of possible demolition in Pickens County. It did not happen quickly, as the inspections office has been familiar with owner Claude Beaver and this house since 2005 when construction began without a building permit.


See complete story in this week's print edition or e-edition.

Work continues on courthouse

Pouring of basement foundation footings at courthouse construction site, Friday, June 22. Old Crust restaurant building in background. Marble Courthouse Annex at left.


Installing underground utilities; preparing footings for the basement area; renovating the existing structure––so Courthouse Project Manager Thurman Slone characterized present progress of courthouse construction Thursday, June 21.

 That sounded somewhat understated, given a look and listen at the building site, then teeming with workmen and heavy equipment. Supplies arrived regularly by truckload, admitted through gates in the tall blue fence that partially hides activity going on inside.

See complete update on the work in this week's print edition or e-edition.


Tai Chi comes to North Georgia



Instructor Mike McElwee doing Tai Chi with students at Lee Newton Park. Tai Chi and Qigong are said to have many health benefits.

     Fred Crimi was diagnosed with cancer before he began practicing Tai Chi or Qigong.

     Now Crimi, like many students of the ancient Chinese practices, says that without including the eastern modalities into his treatment regimen his healing would not have progressed as satisfactorily.

     Crimi had a metastatic tumor on his left frontal lobe, he suffered from aphasia, underwent full brain radiation, and later was diagnosed with lung cancer, but Crimi is now cancer free and feeling positive about his future.