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Bridge over Talking Rock Creek to be named for Lou Chastain

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     The late Lou Chastain of Pickens County will be honored Friday, Oct. 7, at 10 a.m., when the State Highway 136 bridge spanning Talking Rock Creek north of Blaine is officially named in memorial.

     Chastain was well-known here as Georgia DOT's area engineer serving Pickens, Gilmer, Fannin and Cherokee counties.

Together, couple navigates blindness

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Rumerys start support group for visually impaired

Being married can be challenging enough, but imagine adding blindness to your list of marital hurdles.

Keep that in mind the next time you drive through Jasper. If you keep your eyes peeled, you might just see Bronwyn and Scott Rumery walking up Main Street with guide dogs Jadyn and Duke leading the way.

The Rumerys, who were both blinded by a degenerative eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), spend their days doing a multitude of tasks they say many “sighted” people don’t realize can be accomplished by the blind.

Now the couple is taking steps to help support the visually impaired in the area and educate others about the disability.

“Other than driving, we can do everything seeing people can do, we just do it a lot slower,” said Scott, who met his wife Bronwyn on an Internet site dedicated to RP back in 2003.

Pictured, Scott and Bronwyn Rumery with guide dogs Jadyn and Duke. The Rumerys live in Jasper with their daughters Elizabeth and Makayla.­

New Progress column looks at plants of the Southeast

Water-shield,” Brasenia schreberi

By John Nelson, curator

A.C. Moore Herbarium, South Carolina

Frequently the leaves and stems of a plant will prove to be just as fascinating as its flowers. This is a plant like that, and it is a native, aquatic species.

Except for its leaves, the entire plant grows below the surface of water, most often in quiet lakes and millponds or sometimes creeks. In the Southeast, it is most commonly seen in ponds on the coastal plain and in the sandhills, but it also grows in the mountain lakes. This species is actually quite common in many places around the world now. You generally need to do some wading to get up-close and personal with it, unless you have a canoe or kayak.

The leaf blades, dark green or sometimes purplish, are shaped like little footballs with rounded ends. Each blade is attached to a very long leaf stalk at its center, rather than at its edge, and botanists say that the leaf is thus “peltate,” in architecture something like an umbrella with its handle. What is more interesting is that the lower surfaces of the leaves, and for that matter, all the submersed parts of the plant, are thickly coated with a crystal-clear, mucilaginous jelly. Because of this, it is something of a challenge to handle the plants: they are really quite slippery. This mucilage on the stems and leaves may serve some purpose, but we don’t exactly understand what it might be.

Five things you didn't know about Casual Classics Concert Series

Montanaskies

Above, Montana Skies, who will launch this season of the Casual Classics Concert Series in Jasper. Learn more about Montana Skies at http://montanaskiesmusic.com

Next Monday, Sept. 26 the Classic Concert Series is kicking off its sixth, and perhaps most powerful season with the unique cello/guitar duo Montana Skies (pictured to the left). 
According to concert manager Suzanne Shull, there is now a growing interest in the series. Shull says an average crowd at the New Lebanon Presbyterian Church on Bent Tree Drive falls between 100 and 150, and the patron-base for the series has widened significantly.

 

Hiking trails on Burnt Mountain open

Above, members of the Mountain Stewards trail crew at a bridge they constructed in the Burnt Mountain Preserve. The Stewards have recently completed three new hiking trails on the county-owned property.

 

The public is invited to attend the grand opening celebration for three new hiking trails at the Burnt Mountain Preserve, all recently completed by the Mountain Stewards.

Next Friday, Sept. 23, at 10 a.m. the county will hold its grand opening celebration at the trailhead kiosk, located on the right side of Hwy 136 East headed toward the Dawson County line. The kiosk is located just before the first overlook.