Get Adobe Flash player


Pickens teen starts company to stop online bullies: AceRift apparel the “antitoxin to gaming”

 53719208 640117716442546 7443923891635879936 n


Pickens teen “Ace” Rift, who experienced real-life bullying in school, has launched Ace Rift apparel to help stop toxic behavior in online gaming and raise awareness about how to stop and recognize bullying in schools. Visit his website at where you’ll find shirts, hoodies and hats that help promote his mission.     

Rewind to a time where playing video games with friends meant you had to be in the same physical space they were in, likely sitting on the couch next to one another. A little healthy trash-talk was part of the fun. 

But with video games and their shift to online platforms players rarely play face-to-face these days. Just as we see on social media, where people feel emboldened to be cruel and say things they wouldn’t say in person, there is a population of online gamers that spoil the fun for everyone with a bad attitude and corrosive presence. They cuss, throw games, name call and slur, and engage in a variety of other types of behavior that has earned them the unenviable name “toxic.” 

Read more: Pickens teen starts company to stop online bullies: AceRift apparel the “antitoxin to gaming”

Pickens GOP results thrown out: Do-over convention April 6

gop meeting

A scene from the Pickens GOP Mass Meeting and Convention held eariler this month that has been ruled invalid by the state and which must now be held again. 


         At a hearing Sunday, March 17 in Gainesville, the Georgia 9th District GOP declared the Pickens County GOP’s Mass Meeting and Convention void following complaints that it did not follow proper procedure. 

As a result of the 9th District GOP’s findings, all executive committee elections held during the Pickens GOP’s Convention on Saturday, March 9 are nullified. A new Mass Meeting and County Convention must be held for the Pickens County Republican Party, but this time the 9th and 14th District GOP committees will run the show (Pickens County is split between those two districts). The Pickens GOP will not be involved in organizing, registration, procedural process, or executive committee elections. 

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

From school board: Junior High renovations, Dr. Robert Keller honored for "substantial donations," breakfast challenge

school IMG 9096

At last week’s school board meeting, Dr. Robert Keller was recognized for his outstanding school support. The board also discussed upcoming PJHS renovations and a hugely successful breakfast week challenge. 


Bids for Phase I renovations at Pickens Junior High School  came in nearly a half-million dollars lower than the original budgeted price, with work to begin immediately and be completed by the beginning of next school year. 

Read more: From school board: Junior High renovations, Dr. Robert Keller honored for "substantial...

“Supreme volunteer” Jesse Hunter wins Golden Deed

golden deed

The retired teachers recognized tireless volunteer Jesse Hunter with their Golden Deed award.


  The Pickens Retired Educators Association named volunteer extraordinaire Jesse Hunter as the 2019 Golden Deed winner for his tireless work in the community and his dedication to supporting education.    

Hunter was announced as this year’s winner at a banquet held Wednesday, March 13. 

Pickens Retired Educators Chair Pat Denney outlined Hunter’s extensive volunteer record, and read a portion of his nomination letter. Hunter’s nominator called him a “Pickens County resident with

Read more: “Supreme volunteer” Jesse Hunter wins Golden Deed 

Shamrocking on Main St.

stroll front

photo/Dan Pool

Sparkles the dog leads (l-r) Kelly Byers, Margy Lohman and Barbara Byers in the second annual Shamrock Stroll in downtown Jasper Saturday. The fun .5K walk benefited Pickens students who attend Reinhardt University. See more photos of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities on Page 18A in thisweek's print or online editions. 


Staff Reports

Reinhardt’s second annual Shamrock Stroll .5K was held Saturday, March 16th in downtown Jasper to a great turnout supporting the Pickens Scholars program, which provides scholarships for Pickens students attending the Waleska-based private school.

“We were very pleased with the day’s event,” said Dale Morrissey, senior director of constituent engagement for Reinhardt. “We extended the stroll this year to Main Street so we could grow. We had

Read more: Shamrocking on Main St.