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General news and features

Vietnam Vets honored at DAV meeting


     Pickens veterans of the Vietnam war being recognized (l-r): Robert Reitz, Russell Pendley, Michael O'Rear, Ron Caraway, Kiriko Kondos, James Reid, J.T. Swisher, Gene Teague, Daniel Fink, James Hefner, Charles Gillette, Joseph Ledbetter, and Eddy Washington.


By Hank Hollensbe
Progress contributor

    On March 20, the effort by Pete Wheeler, Georgia Commissioner of Veterans Service, to recognize the services of veterans of the Vietnam war culminated in the proclamation by Governor Nathan Deal that each of the 234,000 Georgia veterans of that war should be honored with a Certificate of Honor for meritorious services and that organizations throughout the State should assist in the holding of appropriate presentations.

Tatum Acres events have nearby residents up in arms

Updated -  See response from Tatum Acres owners in the July 2 e-edition.tatum-acres



Screenshots of Tatum Acres website. While saying the venue is simply a barn and cabin for rent, the website of Tatum Acres boasts wedding and gathering images. Neighbors are not happy with the noise from the property.

     For residents who live near Tatum Acres an east Pickens farm that was denied the permits to host commercial gatherings last year, the music can’t die a day too soon.
    At least a dozen Big Canoe residents and others with property adjacent to the farm attended Thursday’s commissioners’ meeting to air their grievances about noisy events they say are being held at Tatum Acres without appropriate permits and licenses.

See full story in the print and online editions.



New K-9 officer Flash sees first action


Pickens Sheriff Press Release

Pickens County Georgia, June 19, 2015: On Thursday, June 18th, shortly after 1:00 pm, Deputy Chris Tucker and K-9 Flash had the opportunity to track through the woods of the Twin Mountain Lake area in search of an individual who had fired a weapon during a Domestic Dispute.

Around 1:00 pm, Deputies responded to the area of Twin Mountain Lakes Circle after the 911 center had received a domestic dispute call. According to the caller, 2 men had been arguing and fighting and one had fired a handgun. Upon arriving at the scene, deputies learned that the individuals who had been fighting were Tommy Voyles and Tony Childers. Speaking with numerous witnesses, deputies were able to determine that Voyles was the individual that had fired the handgun into the air while threatening Childers.

Dead tree removal in Jasper



City of Jasper crews and a county inmate work detail began removing dead landscape trees from along Main Street Friday.

   They were able to remove two dead and one badly leaning tree Friday. Because of the hand-digging around the bases, as well as the electrical, water lines, sprinklers and other utilities, the project is slow going.

   Jasper Mayor John Weaver said it may take a week or more depending on schedules and other work. He estimated that 7-10 of the trees will be removed.

   According to the mayor trees planted in the sidewalks actually have a limited a lifespan. New trees will be planted. Weaver said he will consult a professional on the species for re-planting. He did not have a timeline on planting.

Ball Ground man wins $12,500 in lottery "second chance"

lottery MarkSlaker

Georgia Lottery winner Mark Slaker, right, is pictured with his wife, Denise, their two daughters and Georgia Lottery spokesman John Crow.


ATLANTA – A Ball Ground father has won an extensive prize from the Georgia Lottery. Mark Slaker won a $12,500 prize from being selected as a grand prize winner in the Georgia Lottery’s Play It Again Reloaded Second Chance Promotion.