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General news and features

3,419 miles and counting

Talking Rock man to run across country for Alzheimer's


Jack Fussell has set a goal of running from Georgia to California beginning in January. He will use a stroller similar to this one on his journey.  

     Invoking the spirit of Forrest Gump, Terry Fox and Ashley Kumlien, Talking Rock resident Jack Fussell has decided he wants to run all the way across the country – by himself. 
    “I was an insurance agent and was on the road a lot and ate all the wrong things - fast food, McDonald’s. I was pretty heavy for 25 years,” Fussell said, who peaked at nearly 300 pounds before having a serious health issue that encouraged him to lead a healthier life.     

Barnes win commission race; Troglin wins tax comish



Jerry Barnes easily won the west Pickens commission seat, while incumbent Sharon Troglin won a tight race for tax commissioner in the two local races on Tuesday’s ballot.

Barnes handily defeated democrat Sally Sue Bradley to join Becky Denney and Commission Chair Rob Jones as the first multi-member board of commissioners. Barnes took 84 percent of the votes from the western district.

Barnes said following the vote Tuesday,  that the seven months of campaigning including the primary and this race had been tough, but he looks forward to getting to work. He cited the courthouse project and budget issues as top priorities.

“We’ll have folks with different ideas coming together,” he said. “I believe we can make a difference.”


   In the other local race, Sharon Troglin, who ran as an independent, defeated former Nelson Mayor David Leister running as a republican, 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent. Troglin finished with 6,235 to Leister’s 5,778. 

Pickens voters showed a strong preference for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama in the presidential race  with the challenger taking 83 percent of the 12,671 cards cast here.

Pickens voters also gave wide margins of victory to the the two Republicans in the congressional races here with Tom Graves and Doug Collins winning handily.



Is a bad winter approaching for southeastern U.S.?



Pickens Fire Chief Bob Howard does not claim to be a weatherman. But, “I do listen to the professionals and the consensus is this could be a bad winter,” Howard said last week.

The meteorologists that Howard follows predict this winter could be similar to the snowy, icy and cold conditions the southeastern United States saw in the late 1970s.

For anyone too young to remember back that far, it would be like two years ago when Pickens County was hit with a series of winter storms – but slightly worse is expected this year.

Read entire story in our print and e-editions, now on sale

Counterfeit merchandise ring busted in Jasper


Scores of contraband watches and purses were seized from an Acworth man who planned to sell the fake goods to buyers he contacted through Craigslist.  From left, Sgt. Pat Seals, Corp. Brandon Duncan, Sheriff Donnie Craig, and Det. Marc Phipps look over the merchandise at the Criminal Investigation Division office.




People hoping for a fake Rolex or Louis Vuitton purse this Christmas may be disappointed after Pickens Sheriff officers working with corporate investigators took a large haul of the counterfeit luxury items off the streets last week. See complete story in our e-edition.



Hiking Safety Tips from Georgia’s State Parks




ATLANTA, October 5, 2012  --  No one ever plans to get lost in the woods, but it does sometimes happen.  Each year, Georgia’s park rangers spend numerous hours searching for hikers who did not return on time, slipped on waterfalls, got off the trail or encountered other problems.  

“Most of the time, our guests are just running late or they’ve gotten slightly off course,” said Danny Tatum, manager of Tallulah Gorge State Park and chief of the Department of Natural Resources’ Search and Rescue Team.  “And sometimes they’ve forgotten to call home.  But occasionally people really are in a bad situation and need help from rescue personnel.”

With so many people heading to the mountains for leaf watching this fall, park rangers have offered the following tips for a fun and safe journey.  To find trails ranging from easy, paved paths to more challenging hikes,