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Bringing nutcrackers to life – life size, that is!


 Pickens residents Johnny and Pat Denney with their larger-than-life nutcrackers, which Johnny builds at his workshop. These nutcrackers bring joy to the Denneys and their family and friends during the holidays.

            There’s almost nothing that evokes the holidays more than a nutcracker, those stately, colorful wooden men that, according to legend, protect homes and serve as messengers of good will to families who have them. 

            Most of these figures are fairly small in stature, with a levered mouth just big enough to crack nuts popular during the holidays – hickory, pecan, and walnut. But one Pickens man has brought the nutcracker to new heights with a series of giant – sometimes life size – versions of the classic German toy. 

Read more: Bringing nutcrackers to life – life size, that is!

Control light and Christmas cactus will bloom

Christmas Cactus

UGA Cooperative Extension experts say that the secret to Christmas cacti producing beautiful blooms lies in how much light the plant receives. Place these plants in a room with only natural light exposure near a window, ensuring that artificial lights stay off at night. 


By Paul Pugliese



December 21 officially marks the winter solstice, when areas in the Northern Hemisphere have the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

A few popular plants given as holiday gifts include Christmas cacti, poinsettias, kalanchoes and chrysanthemums — plants whose flowering is perfectly timed to the shorter days experienced this time of year. 

In many plants, the initiation of flower buds depends upon the amount of daylight the plants receive. The plant response to day length is called "photoperiodism." Some plants will flower as day length gets shorter, while others flower as day length gets longer. Some plants are neutral, where day length does not influence flowering directly. 

Read more: Control light and Christmas cactus will bloom

We’re rich y’all, say statistics: Pickens ranks 13th in the state for personal income


     Pickens County is the 13th richest county in the state for personal income, according to recently released 2017 data by the U.S. Department of Commerce. With annual average incomes of $45,717, Pickens also leads our northwest region of the state for personal income with residents here earning $8,355 more annually than the next-highest earning county in our 15-county region.  

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

Commissioners say yes to the wedding venue


Conceptual image of the wedding venue planned for Talking Rock Road, as presented at the planning commission meeting.

In a rare move, the Pickens Board of Commissioners voted to approve a conditional use permit for a proposed wedding/events venue, going against the planning commission’s recommendation.

At their Thursday, Dec. 20 meeting, commissioners approved the conditional use permit requested by Stacey Bagwell and Mike Ware for a 33.6-acre tract at 3155 Talking Rock Road. The property owners plan to construct a 6,500-square-foot, $300,000 building for weddings and other gatherings. 

Read more: Commissioners say yes to the wedding venue

Parker leaves head coach position, Nelson named new top coach

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Jeff Nelson with wife Leigh and daughters Ashley and Amanda. Not Pictured daughter Anna.

       The Pickens Dragons football program will have a new but familiar face leading the way in 2019. Defensive coordinator Jeff Nelson was approved last week by the Board of Education after previous head coach Chris Parker announced that he would be taking a position at the county office in which he continues as the county’s athletic director and assumes additional responsibilities. 

Read more: Parker leaves head coach position, Nelson named new top coach