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General news and features

Development on Jekyll Island hinges on defining marshes





Spanish Moss hangs from trees around pristine parts of Jekyll Island if developers get their wish and marsh areas are counted as land, then more of the island will be opened for future use.



By Pam O’Dell


Capitol Reporter

The Jekyll Island Authority has asked the Attorney General’s office to weigh in on a task force’s recommendation that marsh not be considered in determining the island’s land base. The land measurement is significant because it determines, according to state law, the amount of development that can occur on the island. 


Hence, the determination on whether or not marsh is counted as land pits environmentalists and citizen activists against those who favor greater development on the island.  


Principal positions approved by board


            At their May meeting Thursday, the school board approved principal positions which saw Dr. Carlton Wilson move to Jasper Elementary and Assistant Principal Joetta Youngblood be officially named as principal at Hill City Elementary.

            Wilson, was a popular principal at Hill City Elementary from its opening until last year when he took time off to have double hip-replacement. During his absence, Youngblood acted as the principal there.

            School Board chair Wendy Lowe said both are highly regarded educators. She said Superintendent Ben Desper had discussed the positions with each and had made that recommendation to the board, which was approved last night. The board vote was only to hire Youngblood as a principal; the superintendent made the assignments

            All other schools will see the same principals returning.

            For more comments from the Superintendent on this move and a complete report on the lengthy meeting, see next week’s print edition.



Obstacles sought for 2013 Sheriff's JeepFest



     Above a jeep crosses obstacles set up for the 2012 Sheriff's Jeepfest. Organizers are seeking materials to use for this year's course.

     Organizers for the second annual Pickens Sheriff's JeepFest, September 6th-8th, are looking for raw materials to build obstacles for the four-wheeled participants to crawl over.



Bronze Star, Purple Heart vet helps other wounded heroes


    Nate Watson, a Pickens native, with the Purple Heart he was awarded after being wounded in Afghanistan. Watson nows helps other veterans with Georgia’s Wounded Heroes, a group he co-founded.


     After receiving both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with Valor for action in Afghanistan, Pickens County native Nate Watson has returned to Georgia to co-found an organization that will help other wounded veterans as well as police and firefighters.
    Watson, the son of Mike and Janie Watson of Jasper, graduated from Pickens High in 1997 and from North Georgia College in 2001. He worked in law enforcement for Cherokee County before deploying to northern Afghanistan in 2009.




Nominations sought for Ga. historic places in peril

ATLANTA, April 10 - The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation is seeking nominations for its 2014 list of 'Places in Peril,' an annual accounting of the state's 10 most endangered historic places. The list is designed to raise awareness about Georgia's significant historic, archaeological and cultural resources, including buildings, structures, districts, archaeological sites and cultural landscapes that are threatened by demolition, neglect, lack of maintenance, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy. The submission deadline is Monday, June 3; the list will be announced in October.


Historic properties are selected for listing based on several criteria:

  • Sites must be listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places or the Georgia Register of Historic Places.
  • Sites must be subject to a serious threat to their existence or historical, architectural and/or archaeological integrity.
  • There must be a demonstrable level of community commitment and support for the preservation of listed sites.
How to Nominate a Site: 
Please visit
 for a nomination form. Additional information about past 'Places in Peril' sites can also be found on our website. Nominations must be postmarked or e-mailed no later than Monday, June 3.
Sites that have been placed on previous years' lists have includedthe Cowen House in Acworth, which was sold and rehabilitated through The Georgia Trust's Revolving Fund program; the Wren's Nest, home of folklore writer Joel Chandler Harris in Atlanta, which has undergone extensive restoration since its 2007 listing; Bibb Mill in Columbus, which was destroyed by fire just weeks after it was placed on the 2009 list; Old Hawkinsville High School in Pulaski County, which won a Preservation Award from the Trust in 2011; and Mary Ray Memorial School in Coweta County, which won a Preservation Award from the Trust in 2012.


Celebrating 40 years, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation is one of the country's largest statewide, nonprofit preservation organizations. The Trust is committed to preserving and enhancing Georgia's communities and their diverse historic resources for the education and enjoyment of all.


The Trust generates community revitalization by finding buyers for endangered properties acquired by its Revolving Fund and raises awareness of other endangered historic resources through an annual listing of Georgia's 10 "Places in Peril." The Trust helps revitalize downtowns by providing design and technical assistance in 102 Georgia Main Street cities; trains Georgia's teachers in 63 Georgia school systems to engage students in discovering state and national history through their local historic resources; and advocates for funding, tax incentives and other laws aiding preservation efforts.


To learn more about The Georgia Trust and the Places in Peril program, visit