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General news and features

Youth Birding Competition registration open

youth birding

Georgia’s Youth Birding Competition turns 8 this year, and coordinator Tim Keyes is seeing plenty of evidence the event is making an impact for conservation.


            Keyes mentions early participants now studying biology in college and

former birding novices who as veterans are mentoring children in bird watching. “It’s been incredibly rewarding to watch that,” he said.


The rewards for competitors and organizers continue April 13-14, when the 24-hour statewide birdathon for teams varying in ages from kindergarteners to high school seniors returns.  The deadline to register is March 31. Complete details are at

Wolfscratch Farms: Organic farm grows more every year


Wolfscratch owner feeding chickens and Guinea Fowl “the bug squad.”

Bettina Huseby
Progress contributor

    I found Jamie Rosenthal out standing in his field talking on his cell phone. He wasn’t alone. From behind him came a confusion of black and white polka-dotted guinea fowl, headed directly for me. What a relief it was when they turned left and began furiously pecking at bugs in the garden.
    “We haven’t seen a tick anywhere since we got them. Our family dogs are pest-free,” Jamie said. “Guinea fowl are bug-eaters.  Of course, we hand-pick bugs too.” They make limited use of an organic pesticide made from ground-up chrysanthemums.

Mollie Shaw named PHS 2013 STAR Student


By Reeder Burch

    Mollie Shaw, a high school senior, has been named the 2013 STAR Student of Pickens High School. The announcement is made by the Optimist Club of Jasper, local sponsor for the Pickens STAR program. Shaw, daughter of Tom and Maggie Shaw, selected Mrs. Debbie Grimes as her STAR Teacher.
    The PAGE Student/Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program, now in its 55th year, is sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Foundation, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Department of

Brumby 5th in PHS history named to All-State team



By Coach Parker
    Junior Tanner Brumby has been named to the 1st team All-State team as a punter by the Associated Press. The AJC has Brumby as an Honorable Mention as a quarterback. This is a great accomplishment! In the history of Pickens High School, Brumby is the fifth player to be named 1st team All-State and the first since 1982. Below are the Dragons who have made 1st team All-State according to
    Tanner Brumby, 2012; Scott Finch, 1982; Fred Anderson, 1972; Fred Anderson, 1971; Charlie Chastain, 1968

Track Pickens resident on Georgia to California run

Jack Fussell wants to raise $250,000 for Alzheimer’s Association

Talking Rock resident Jack Fussell with the stroller he is carrying in his across-the-country run.
  A few months ago the Progress interviewed Jack Fussell, a Talking Rock man who set a goal for himself to run across the country alone to raise money for Alzheimer’s.
    Fussell, who became known in the area for losing over 100 pounds running up and down the stairs at Amicalola Falls, set off on his 3,419 mile journey on January 12, and you can now track his progress by visiting either his Facebook page or his website.