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General news and features

Around the world cyclist details six years of pedaling

biker me riding past the buddhas

       Cruising past watching Buddhas in Thailand. The speaker said we should all tackle big adventures since we are all terminal cases. 

       Robert Hirsch keeps things pretty simple. He goes by just one name Hirsch; doesn’t have a cell phone, never uses social media - preferring pen and paper, doesn’t make more money than he needs for basic food/shelter and doesn’t give his age (which partially goes back to social ills from him being promoted several grades ahead in school).

In fact for six years he could list his schedule as simply ride bicycle.

[A part 2 of Hirsch speaking is scheduled at the library on March 1 at 6:30 p.m.]

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

American Legion seeks help for paralyzed veteran

vet needs help warren

       Parents Joe and Cola Weaver stand next to their son, National Guard veteran SP4 Warren Boyette, who was paralyzed on the left side of his body after suffering a stroke eight years ago. Severe swelling in his legs is requiring the family to seek treatment in Atlanta because of possible blood clots.  


By Suellen Reitz


Pickens County American Legion Post 149 is first and foremost all about vets helping vets.  Sometimes the help needed is more than one organization can handle. And at times like that…as it has often been said…“It takes the whole village.”

Such is the case for 56-year-old Warren Boyette, who suffered from a stroke eight years ago on Valentine’s Day that has left him totally paralyzed on the left side of his body making him fully dependent on his parents Joe and Cola Weaver. 

Two hospitalized in Ball Ground shooting

Cherokee County Sheriff's Office Press Release


            Cherokee County, Ga. February 12, 2018. Cherokee Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to 265 Flatbottom Trail in Ball Ground at 5:10am in reference to a residential alarm.  While the deputy was enroute to the residence a call was received by Cherokee County 911 advising of a person shot at the residence.  When deputies arrived on scene they located a male outside the residence with an injury to his face who was identified as Ronald Goss 53 years of age of Canton.  Deputies then began to check the interior of the residence and located a female, Tina Goss 48 years of age of Ball Ground, who had been shot.  Both parties were transported to the hospital where they remain.   Preliminary evidence indicates Mr. Goss forced entry into the home.  Cherokee Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division is currently investigating this incident.  Ronald Goss will be charged with Criminal Attempt to Commit Murder, Aggravated Battery FVA, Aggravated Assault FVA and Home Invasion.


See full story in this week's edition of the Pickens Progress. 

Bye, bye, bylaws: Former Econ. Director questions firing

city gerry

        At Monday’s Jasper City Council meeting, Gerry Nechvatal disputed the authority of the Economic Development Council  to fire him as the joint economic developer for Jasper and Pickens County.

        Former Pickens County Economic Development Director confronted the Jasper mayor and city council at their regular meeting  about the legality of his recent termination.   

The joint Pickens County and Jasper Economic Development Council (EDC) voted Jan. 24 to relieve Nechvatal of his duties – but it was unclear at that time if that council had the authority to take such action. According to Nechvatal, who wrote the council’s bylaws, they were not within their rights to remove him.   

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

Historic shift of power at city hall

Jim Looney replaces John Weaver as city manager



In an historic move with a standing-room-only crowd, the Jasper City Council put an end to the longtime unification of the mayor and city manger positions. 

At their Monday, Feb. 5 meeting, in a 3-1 vote, council appointed former council member Jim Looney to temporarily fill the position of city manager, which Jasper Mayor John Weaver has held since 1992. 

Separating these two positions surfaced last year when new council member Sonny Proctor brought up the issue at the January 2017 meeting. He has since argued that it is a conflict of interest that goes against the city’s original charter. 

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