General news and features
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In a sudden move, Jasper City Hall announced Thursday that the portion of the Jasper City Park containing the duck pond and walking trail would be closed for urgent repairs beginning later today (Friday, Aug. 25).
The repairs could take a month, according to a statement sent from city hall. The sports fields adjacent to the duck pond in the park will not be closed.
Jasper Mayor John Weaver said he went by the park earlier Thursday and started looking at everything that was broken, rotten, overgrown or just trampled following a summer of heavy use and realized they needed to take action immediately.
Heavy equipment will be needed around the walking paths and there is no way the work can be handled with people coming through he said.
Weaver noted that of prime concern are spindles holding up the handrails around the pond that are rotten and a safety concern.
The park, which includes a walking path, tennis courts, two playground areas and picnic areas sees heavy summer use all day, walkers using the mostly level paved path, while the picnic tables with nearby grills get regular weekend gatherings. The park also contains the best playgrounds in the county.
Weaver said the park is really pushed beyond its capacity with the number of users. He said when he started developing a work list he kept finding items that were in urgent need of attention, which prompted the immediate closing.
There are overgrown trees, the rotten spindles, the lake is leaking through a drain, we are going to need some heavy equipment to do the work “and I won’t even tell you about the sand in the playground.”
BY JOAN WILSON
The Sassafras Literary Exchange’s Adult Writing Contest has been extended through September 15. Be sure to enter before the deadline! Winners will be announced at the Pickens County Marble Festival the first weekend in October. Entries of 1,500 words or less of Fiction, Non-Fiction, or Poetry submitted by applicants 18 years old or older will be accepted.
The theme of this year’s contest is: “Marble through the Ages”. Submissions should mention marble and its history, influence, or use during any time period; past, present, or future. Creativity is greatly appreciated and valued by the judges. Use your imagination as any mention of marble will qualify.
The date, time, and place for the announcement of the winners will be given in the Pickens County Progress near the end of the contest.
The Rev. Ben Mock alongside North Main Street in front of Mt. Zion Church. Members of the church are seeking a stop sign and lower speed limit along the route.
Members of Mt. Zion Baptist Church on North Main Street are seeking measures to slow traffic along that route, following a fatal crash in front of their church last month.
The 400 member church has created a petition asking for a lower speed limit on the stretch of road from downtown Jasper to the intersection with Philadelphia Road. They are also requesting a stop sign at the intersection of Old Philadelphia Road and North Main.
The July 2 wreck that killed Kimberley Godfrey of Talking Rock did not involve church members, but is the latest of several serious wrecks in that section of road. The Rev. Ben Mock said it is difficult to get information on the total number of wrecks there, but he found seven listed on a 911 report, and church members remember others that involved serious injuries.
One of the other wrecks left a victim with permanent brain damage; another involved the nephew of a church member.
“The primary culprit is speed,” Mock said. “People coming out of Jasper come around that curve [where Old Philadelphia Road intersects] and they start picking up speed.”
“In a matter of seconds, your life could be changed forever. Will your iPhone be there for you when you need it?”
That’s a portion of the official description of a new iPhone app called iHelp+ (or iHelp Plus), which was developed by former Pickens County school board member Shane Neighbors and his business partner.
“My partner told me he read an article that said the fastest segment of smartphone users were people 50 plus, “ Neighbors said. “So we thought we should do something for the iPhone.”
The iPhone app is designed to alert a family member or monitoring company if you do not arrive at a destination due to an unforeseen accident. When triggered, the app provides a GPS location and a phone number for the closest 911 call center. iHelp+ also stores personal medical information, which is shared with first responders in the event of an emergency.
Jerry Barnes won the GOP’s nomination for the west Pickens commission seat in Tuesday’s runoff. He will face Democrat Sally Sue Bradley in the November Election for District 1 Commissioner.
The winner of that race will join Chairman Rob Jones and East District Commissioner Becky Denney as part of the first three member commission for Pickens County.
Barnes beat Marty Callahan 954 votes to 749 in the race. Barnes took 56 percent of the vote.
In the race for District Attorney, challenger B. Alison Sosebee won handily across the circuit, taking wide margins in both Fannin and Gilmer counties. There is no Democrat in the race, so Sosebee’s victory Tuesday assures that she will take the office in January.