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PHS Theatre presents The Drowning Girls

drowning girls

     The Drowning Girls, L-R: Katie Burdett, Hannah Hardison and Lila McArthur.

     Come out and support the back to back region one act drama champions from Pickens High School Theatre this Thursday, October 18 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, October 20 at 9 a.m.  The talented students will present the chilling true story of The Drowning Girls.

This gripping story unfolds as "the brides of the Bath,"  Katie Burdett, Hannah Hardison and Lila McArthur, reveal their tragic fates to the audience. The story is told from the perspective of the three victims of serial killer George Joseph Smith, played by Sean Little and is set in Victorian-era England.  

Read more: PHS Theatre presents The Drowning Girls

New businesses coming

business car wash

One of the many business that have joined the Pickens landscape, construction at Twin’s Car Wash is in full swing. Other new businesses run the gamut from funeral homes to laser tag centers to an “old-school” weightlifting gym. 


     Over the last few months the city and county have seen some increased activity in the business sector, with several new businesses now open or in some phase of the permitting and construction process. Here is a list of recent happenings in Jasper and the surrounding areas. The following are businesses that came to our attention through city hall, advertising, and other sources, and is not a comprehensive list. 


See list of some of the new businesses in town in this week's print or online editions. 

Meth cause of mother and infant death in Acworth

Cherokee Sheriff Press Release

   On July 17, 2018, Cherokee Sheriff’s deputies responded to a home on Cedar Mill Crossing in Acworth in reference to a “person down” call. When they arrived deputies discovered a 31-year-old female deceased on the sofa. Underneath the female, they found a deceased 8-month-old male infant. Also in the home was a 2-year-old female that was unharmed.

   The adult female was identified as Holly Whitley. There were no obvious injuries to Whitley or her infant son. An autopsy was conducted at the GBI Crime Lab. The “manner of death” for both the Whitley and the infant is listed as “accidental.” The “cause of death” for Holly Whitley was “Methamphetamine Toxicity.” The cause of death for the infant was “mechanical asphyxia.” In layman’s terms, Ms. Whitley died from a lethal amount of Methamphetamine in her system, her body came to rest on top of her infant which caused the child to smother, leading to his death.


Progress state races political forum Tuesday


The Pickens Progress will sponsor a political forum for state races on October 16th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Pickens County Administration Building in the Pickens Room.

The forum will feature races for the state legislature that include Pickens County:

• State Senate District 54 with incumbent Chuck Payne and challenger Michael Morgan.

• State House District 11 with incumbent Rick Jasperse and challenger Lee Shiver.

• Steve Gooch, running unopposed, in Senate District 51 will address the public.

The Progress’ Ball Ground correspondent Larry Cavender, who has received high marks for his handling of previous forums, will again moderate the event.

Elderly Ball Ground woman arrested for husband's murder

Cherokee Sheriff’s Office

Press Release

On April 1, 2018, the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office responded to a “person down” call at 3180 Ball Ground Road near Ball Ground. At that location, they found 76-year-old David Parton deceased inside his home. Parton’s wife, Betty Sue Parton, 74, of Ball Ground, reported her husband had fallen and hit his head. Parton had injuries consistent with a fall. Initially the cause of death was unknown. Parton’s body was sent to the crime lab for an autopsy.  

In July, the Medical Examiner at the Crime Lab contacted detectives with the sheriff's office about the death being suspicious. On the autopsy report, the Medical Examiner listed the manner of death as “homicide” and the cause of death as “blunt force trauma.” In September, detectives executed a search at the Parton home. On Tuesday, Oct. 9, detectives secured arrest warrants for Betty Sue Parton. She was arrested at her home and charged with Felony Murder, Elder Abuse, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Aggravated Battery. She remains in custody at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center without bond.