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From Big Lick to sound horsemanship

Trainer now puts horse first



photo/family photo

For Carl and Tammy Bledsoe the horse comes first. After a life training horses in the controversial “Big Lick” style, Carl now utilizes “sound,” natural horsemanship, which focuses on the horse’s natural instincts and the philosophy that horses do not learn best through fear or pain. Here, the Bledsoes at the premier horse expo WNY Equifest in March where they were featured presenters. They taught about the natural gait of the Tennessee Walking Horse, the most common horse used in Big Lick training.  


     A few years ago, second generation “Big Lick” horse trainer Carl Bledsoe’s life looked much different than it does today. Bledsoe, who achieved wealth and success showing Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horses, went from making over $17,000 a month to next to nothing before having to rebuild his world.

     While to many the “Big Lick” is a beautiful and elegant gait, Bledsoe, who now works from his Marble Hill farm MadiLaney Ranch, said the exaggerated high-step is achieved using inhumane methods. 

Defense delays bond hearing in child cruelty case



Janet and Neil Farrell are led out of a Pickens Superior Courtroom today. Their defense attorney sought a delay in the hearing as they had only been on the case since the night before. Full coverage of the hearing now available in this week's edition. 


Defense attorneys for Neil and Janet Farrell asked for a continuation in the bond hearing scheduled today for the couple facing numerous child cruelty charges for the treatment of their 18-year-old daughter.


The couple was charged after the daughter ran away and investigators grew suspicious during the search before locating her 15-miles away.

Attorney Scott Poole, of Grisham and Poole, representing Neil Farrell told the court that it is unusual to delay a bond hearing, but they had only been engaged the night before and they were not prepared to move ahead this quickly. Poole said there are also a lot of people who want to speak on the couple's behalf, but they need time to arrange this.

18 years after son killed in wreck with illegal immigrant

Family continues fight for tougher immigration laws

dustin inman

Inman says that his favorite picture of Dustin is the last picture ever taken of his son. 

By Rosa Willis

Intern reporter


With Father’s Day already passed, many barbecues, fishing days and family parties have passed as well. For most fathers, the day is full of joy and celebration, but for Billy Inman, the holiday hasn’t been like that in 18 years.

Inman lost his son Dustin on Father’s Day weekend in 2000. Inman, his wife and his son were traveling to Hiawassee for a family cookout when they were rear-ended in Ellijay at a stoplight by a car going roughly 62 m.p.h. The Inmans’ car was crushed into the vehicle directly in front of them, killing Dustin,16, on impact and leaving Ms. Inman paralyzed.

Carpentry program launched at Chattahoochee Tech in Jasper

Carpentry Program Bill Mullis CTC

     Chattahoochee Technical College Instructor Bill Mullis is working to help launch the college’s new carpentry program this fall at the Chattahoochee Tech Appalachian Campus in Jasper.

      Chattahoochee Technical College is offering a new Carpentry diploma program and a Certified Construction Worker certificate program beginning this fall at the college’s Appalachian Campus in Jasper. 

“We see a big need in the community for this program,” said Diane Geis, Chattahoochee Tech Associate Dean of Technical Studies. “They’re having a hard time in the construction industry finding workers with these skills. Students in this program can learn the foundation of carpentry and develop the skills necessary for successful employment as an entry-level carpenter or skilled construction worker.”

County finances in good shape



The Pickens County government received a glowing report from auditors at this month’s commissioners’ meeting, with the county showing low debt and steadily increasing reserves.

Highlights of the FY 2017 report include: 

•General Fund revenues exceeded expenditures by $651,000, with expenditures down by $63,000 over 2016.

•General Fund revenues were up four percent over the previous year, due in large part to a $731,000 increase in taxes collected. Of that increase, property tax collections were up $212,000. County CFO Faye Harvey said some years property tax collections come in late and are credited to the next year.  Sales tax was up $258,000, and a financial institution tax of  $145,000 was collected that was owed the county from previous years. The insurance premium tax was also up $99,000.