Right, Mamie and Mark Whitfield on the day the street in front of Jasper Banking Company was renamed in his honor. “Well they’re not supposed to do that until you die. I think somebody’s trying to give me a hint,” their daughter remembers Mark saying.
When an important man dies, how is he best remembered? An important man to Pickens County, Mark Whitfield passed away Jan. 12, leaving a long list of accomplishments tied to his decades of service through Jasper Banking Company.
Whitfield began at the bank in 1948, working part-time while still in high school. His job then included some coal stoking in winter to keep the bank heated. Later he became a teller. After two years away in the Army, Whitfield returned to the bank as a full-time employee. He is said to have worked every job in the place on his way to becoming chief executive officer in 1971, a job he held until Sept. 2010, when he retired without fanfare.
While Whitfield always performed as a man abundantly dedicated to his work, his motivation lay beyond profit totals or stars for his resume´. Working through a local bank, Whitfield used his clout as boss and his influence beyond the bank to serve the community at large.
From 1976 until his final illness, Whitfield served on the Pickens County Development Authority Board, working to bring industry and commerce into the county. He was an original director on the local hospital authority board that gained a county hospital for the community, a hospital since become Piedmont Mountainside Medical Center.
Jasper detectives working with the Marietta Police Department have arrested four suspects for an armed home invasion robbery at Mountainside Manor apartments January 3.
Police Chief Greg Lovell said through an anonymous tip, cooperation with the Cobb County agency and solid detective work, they were able to have everyone involved in the Jan. 3 crime arrested and in jail by Jan. 6.
“This was a major bust, something we don’t see here,” Lovell said. The chief stressed that this was an isolated incident with no ties to other crimes or reason for the general public to be alarmed.
Dr. Joe Wilber passed away Sunday, April 3rd, 2011
This particular Thursday the waiting room at Good Samaritan Health & Wellness Center is SRO––Standing Room Only. This Thursday is not unique. It’s like any other day at Pickens’ free medical clinic.
If you haven’t been, drive by Good Sam during their regular hours and see for yourself. The parking lot is almost always spilling over, cars teetering on grassy banks and rocky outskirts. Since opening nearly nine years ago, the free medical clinic has accumulated 6,800 patient files and has a staggering 14,000 patient visits a year during its limited hours of operation: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Some patients have appointments, but many of them don’t. They walk in with hopes of getting desperately needed medical care they can’t afford otherwise.
“We’re the largest practice in town,” said Dr. Joe Wilber, who was recruited by Drs. John Spitznagel and Al Hallum to help open Good Sam in 2002, and who has since volunteered at the clinic three to four days a week.
“The patients are very nice people with terrible bad luck,” he went on. “All of them are poor, and they have no health insurance, no Medicare, no Medicaid, and a lot of them are out of work, so we supply everything.”
By “everything” Dr. Wilber means primary medical care, dental care, eye examinations and glasses, mental health and diabetic counseling and X-ray and laboratory services.
Even the prescriptions are free.
If you went out after Christmas and burned your old wrapping paper and boxes, you broke the law -- burning any man-made items is illegal.
It is now illegal to use a burn barrel for any garbage; or burn any scrap building material including lumber.
The only thing legal to burn in Georgia backyards is natural vegetation and even this requires a permit and can’t contain limbs larger than six inches in diameter.
To put it bluntly, County Fire Marshall Curtis Clark says “Times have changed.”
Like something out of a Hitchcock film, the black birds menacing Jasper’s Piney Woods neighborhood for months may have finally met their match in Animal Control Officer Lonnie Waters.
“I’ve been working all month on the buzzards at Piney Woods,” Waters told city council members Monday night at the council’s first meeting of 2011. “We’re gaining ground though. It’s been nearly six days since we had one buzzard light out in a tree at Piney Woods.”