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General news and features

Rec. Dept. to host The Dirty Dozen competition


Rec. Department to host yearlong competition – for adults

By Laiken Owens

Intern reporter

Beginning in January, the Pickens County Rec. Department will be sponsoring a year-long event, “The Dirty Dozen.” It will be a team competition, with one competition every month. These events will be geared towards the adults of Pickens County and are planned as fun competition.

This is the first time the recreation department has tried something like this – a fun adult program, so the first year may be somewhat of a trial run.

If there aren’t enough teams that sign up, the monthly events will be open for groups to get together and come compete only in the events they choose without needing to field a team for the whole year.

Joe Herman, the interim recreation department director, said he thought this format of set teams competing in very different sports one day each month would be a great way to get people involved in a friendly competition. He said people who dominate the softball events may find themselves outmatched when the soccer month rolls around.

Updated:CFO Faye to stay

Harvey to remain County CFO       alt   



Commissioner Rob Jones announced Monday afternoon that County CFO Faye Harvey will remain on the job. Harvey had earlier given her resignation but was persuaded to take time to think about it over the holidays.

Jones and Harvey met on Friday and talked over the situation. Harvey informed Jones that she would would decide by Monday. 


Jones said this takes a lot of pressure off the county to find a new CFO and work to achieve additional budget cuts at the same time.


The exact reason Harvey initially resigned is not known. Jones said in an earlier story that it had caught him by surprise as he wasn't aware of any specific issue.

Harvey's resignation letter contained no specifics and she has not publicly discussed the situation.


See updates later on this website.



Earlier story



Faye Harvey at the December commissioner's meeting. Last week Harvey announced her resignation as

Pickens County CFO but is reconsidering.

       It was announced at the December Commissioner's Meeting that Faye Harvey, who was hired by the county in October to replace Mechelle Champion, sent a resignation letter to Commissioner Rob Jones last week stating she would resign effective Wednesday, Dec. 26.

     At the meeting Jones said Harvey gave no specific reason for her resignation, but in a follow-up interview Jones told the Progress the new CFO was reconsidering her resignation.

    For full details from the interview view our e-edition or pick up a print edition ---- on sale now.

Horse lover finds new mission through Ball Ground rescue


    A UGA veterinarian changing the cast on Chief, a horse rescued by Equine Advocates of North GA. The local non-profit is holding a fundraiser at Sacketts this weekend, Dec. 15-16.

     “It just blows my mind how hard she works for these horses,” said Cindy Decker, a Pickens-based jewelry artist who has decided to donate all her profits, every red cent, to Lynley Edwards and the Equine Advocates of North GA. “I’ve found my mission for my jewelry-making endeavor.”
    Decker found a common love for horses in Edwards, who she says operates the non-profit in Ball Ground with a thunder in her soul and a gallop in her step.

Dying man’s open house draws people from near, far


    Former radio station owner Mark Hellinger with Toby, a dog recently adopted from the county shelter. Hellinger is again opening his home during the holidays to any and everyone.

  At his home near the southern county line, Mark Hellinger, the former owner of  two radio stations here, sat wrapped in a “Snuggie” blanket behind a microphone stand and other audio equipment, with a long line of pill bottles beside him last Wednesday.
    When asked if the microphone is hooked up, the 38-year broadcast journalism veteran, says, “Oh, hell no. I figured I’ll die sitting in this chair and I want to die behind a microphone.”

Retailers pleased with holiday sales

Average to above average turnout despite down economy


     Daisy Boutique owner Peggy Rabin wraps a present at her downtown store. Statewide, retailers expect to see a slight increase in Christmas shopping this year.

Local retailers are reporting healthy sales during the post-Thanksgiving shopping period and that’s good news for Pickens stores who, like others across the state, often make a large percentage of their annual sales during the Christmas shopping season.
    According to the Georgia Retail Association, holiday sales in December are expected to increase between 3 and 4 percent this year and local store owners and managers say they have been pleased with traffic in their shops so far.