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General news and features

Mother of two fighting stage 3 melanoma cancer



At left, Angela Walker, 31, with her family. Earlier this year Walker was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma.

“Dear Mom… I hope your arm fills so much better…I can’t wait until you get feeling better. I hope you have a wapid wecovery mommy. I love you mommy.”
     That’s part of a letter Angie Walker’s daughter Madysen (age 8) wrote for her mother back in April, just a few months after Walker was diagnosed with a stage 3 malignant melanoma.
      Now, six months and three surgeries later, the Pickens mom has been forced to quit her job waiting tables, because five days a week she travels to Kennesaw for treatment of the skin cancer that can be deadly if not detected early. 


Ball Ground fire hides homicides/suicide

Gunshot wounds found to wife and daughter


From Cherokee County Sheriff's Office



The three bodies found in the remains of the house fire on Spriggs Trail last month in Ball Ground have been identified. The medical examiner at the GBI Crime lab confirmed that the bodies were that of Ricky Norrell, his wife Darlene and their daughter Lindsey. The cause of deaths for Darlene and Lindsey have been listed as homicide. Both had gunshot wounds to the head. Ricky’s cause of death has been listed as a suicide.

Ricky Norrell’s body was mostly consumed in the fire. However, the remains of a .22 caliber rifle were found near his body. In addition, the Medical Examiner’s findings were consistent with Ricky Norrell dying from a head wound – believed to be a gunshot wound. Facts and circumstances of the deaths lead investigators to conclude that Ricky Norrell shot his wife Darlene and daughter Lindsey before taking his own life. The investigation into the cause and origin of the fire continues. "At this point, we will be making no further comment on this matter," stated the press release from Lt. Jay Baker of the

Cherokee Sheriff’s Office.

Edible Jasper grows another garden

ediblejasperBy Vered Kleinberger

     Container gardening can be tricky. Join us at Harvest Café to learn about soil composition and plant choice as we build the next Edible Jasper garden.

     Harvest Café has many, many containers bordering the windows of their building and asked the Edible Jasper crew to help them out. On Saturday, August 4, from 6-8 p.m., we’ll host a workshop focusing on building soil in the containers.  Come learn lots and help expand the edibleness of our community.

     Edible Jasper was begun as a Sustainable Pickens project by community members who wanted to learn more about easily growing edible plants. They have gotten together to edibly landscape Jasper while learning gardening techniques and plant selection. If you haven’t been to a meeting or workshop in the past, we look forward to meeting you at the Harvest Café soil workshop.

     Be sure to check out our other edible installations in the Pickens Progress parking lot, at 61 Main and at VanGoghs Hideaway. Harvest Café is next, with the Law Offices of Edwin Marger to follow once the summer heat has passed. Visit www. for details or call 770-605-2451 if you have any questions.

See you on August 4 at 6 p.m. at Harvest Café as you help Edible Jasper grow. Feel free to bring snacks, beverages and friends.

Tyler Craig finishes 2nd in Jr. Olympics Pole Vault

    Tylercraigjrolympics       Last weekend, Tyler Craig finished second in the top pole vaulting competition in the nation for his age group at the Junior Olympic National Championships.

The rising senior at PHS finished with a top height of 15 feet 11 inches, the same height as the winner Connor Foxworth of Alabama. Craig had more missed attempts leaving him in second.

Jasper Banking Company closed by FDIC; operating now as Stearns

Jasper Banking Company, Jasper, Georgia, was closed today by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Stearns Bank National Association, St. Cloud, Minnesota, to assume all of the deposits of Jasper Banking Company.

State banking officials arrived in a fleet of cars right at closing time to lock the bank. It had been speculated for some time that Jasper Banking Company, one of the oldest businesses in the community was going to be closed. One of the officials entering the bank said it is important for people who have money in the local bank to know that their deposits are safe. She said that anyone with Jasper Bank checks can continue to use them.

The three branches of Jasper Banking Company will reopen on Saturday as branches of Stearns Bank National Association. Depositors of Jasper Banking Company will automatically become depositors of Stearns Bank National Association. Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship in order to retain their deposit insurance coverage up to applicable limits. Customers of Jasper Banking Company should continue to use their existing branch until they receive notice from Stearns Bank National Association that it has completed systems changes to allow other Stearns Bank National Association branches to process their accounts as well.


Updated: See statement from JBC Banchsares below