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General news and features

Laying groundwork for Veterans Park

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Damon Howell / Photo

The future Veterans Memorial Park in Pickens County made headway Monday evening with Cub Scout pack #84 and Master Gardener Larry Brogdon sprucing up the area in Lee Newton Park. The Scouts used the opportunity to help the veterans and to log community service time. Representatives from local veterans groups North Ga. Mtn. Marine Corps League Detachment 1280, American Legion Post 149, and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 47 were present to see the project move along. Plans are to have a stone memorial for each branch of the military with the names of those who gave their lives in combat, surrounded by sitting benches and a brick walkway. Jim Elrod of American Legion Post 149 said, “We did this to let everyone know we are going to do this project.” If you would like to donate to this project, call 706-253-0501 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A photo of the whole group can be seen on Page 7A in the print and online editions

Is spring water safe to drink?


The spring that is north of town, on Burnt Mountain Road has been in use for many years, by locals and those from far away who would make the trip to Jasper just for the spring water.

By Paul Pugliese,

Ga. Extension Service


Question: Should we have the water we collect and drink from a popular roadside spring tested?

Answer: There are a number of roadside springs scattered throughout north Georgia that are popular among local residents. Many folks enjoy drinking “natural” spring water because it reportedly tastes better than municipal water sources.  The main difference in taste may be the presence of natural minerals such as calcium in the water and the lack of chlorination treatment. However, just because it tastes better doesn’t mean that it is safe to drink nor does it provide any perceived health benefits. In fact, quite the opposite is true since these spring water sources are not tested or treated.  

Dog saves woman from burning home

         Luger    The Ryals say their dog Luger is responsible for saving Lisa’s life by alerting her to the blaze. The family lost everything in their Christian Way mobile home in Talking Rock last week. You can donate to the family at or at an account set up in their name at Community Bank of Pickens County. 

         Luger, the 135-pound German Rottweiler, took being man’s best friend to a whole new level last week when he saved his owner from a fire that destroyed her and her husband’s home and all their belongings. 

“I’m so blessed to be alive,” said Lisa Ryal, who was laughing and smiling despite the 2nd and 3rd degree burns covering her face, hands and feet. “It could have been so much worse. If Luger hadn’t made all that noise I wouldn’t have woken up. I was sleeping good that day.”

See full story in this week's print or online editions. 

Judge to play lawyer in "Inherit the Wind"

Tater Patch Players production begins first week in May



Keith Galligan, a real life judge, will play a lawyer in the Tater Patch Players  upcoming Inherit the Wind. He is shown with his kids Eli, Stella and Owen.


The Scopes “Monkey” Trial (formerly known as The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes) began in 1925 after a high school teacher violated a law that made it illegal to teach evolution in the classroom.  

The trial attracted some of the most powerful attorneys in the country and created a media firestorm in the tiny Tennessee town of Dayton. It went on to become one of the most famous trials in U.S. history and was fictionalized in the 1955 play Inherit the Wind, which the Tater Patch Players will bring to stage this May. 

Commercial growth underway

The Progress looks at four different projects that will have an impact on the town


     Pickens County is a small community, so when dirt starts moving people notice and want to know what’s going on. This week we look at a few construction projects happening around town, including medical offices, a gun range, a church and an auto repair/tire shop. See the full story in this week's print or online editions.