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Tate is revitalized

New businesses bring back old memories for residents


photos/ Angela Reinhardt

Mimi’s Eats & Treats owner Sherry Schillaci, left, and John Bell assist customers during lunch. Mimi’s is one of several new businesses in Tate that have brought new foot traffic - and new life - to the Pickens community. 


      Rewind a few years and the heart of the Tate community, the intersection at highways 53 and 108 locals call “the Tate four way,” was a ghost town - a shadow of a place that once bustled with activity. The strip of buildings that housed the Allred & Jordan Drug Co. and soda fountain for a half a century, a Piggly Wiggly grocery store, a bus stop, and the old Post Office were vacant. The train depot was by most accounts an eyesore – dilapidated and succumbing to the elements.  

     But in what could be likened to the planets aligning in favor for the tiny unincorporated community, the area has been revitalized by builders and business owners who wanted to see it thrive again. A new soda fountain and drug store modeled after the old Allred & Jordan Drug Co. strikes a familiar, nostalgic chord, while it and other new businesses bring a renewed sense of pride for Tate residents. 

Read more: Tate is revitalized

Sheriff investigating weapon threat at PHS



     We are aware of a social media post made today which stated that a student planned to bring a weapon to the High School on Friday. The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating this matter. We will update you with any information we receive from the Sheriff as it becomes available. As always, the safety of our children is our number one priority. 

     Information will be posted on the Pickens County School District website at, the Infinite Campus parent portal, district social media sites, and sent to local media. 

“To Honor the Animal” After hitting a bear, man goes the distance to see life not wasted


photo from passing motorist

The bear hit on Cove Road October 20th.

“What do you want to do with her?” was a question that initially perplexed Jim Pickett after running over a bear on Cove Road mid-morning Saturday, Oct. 20th.

Pickett, who was almost back home after dropping his wife off at work, said he had never even vaguely considered what to do with a bear carcass, like one he was suddenly responsible for.

The driver had been pretty sure the bear was killed almost instantly on the section of Cove Road just east of Dollar General, and with Pickett recovering from foot surgery he had his truck’s On-Star system report the accident while he directed traffic around the carcass laying in a shady area.

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

Jasper Verizon store robbed at gunpoint

verizon store

While armed robberies are rare in this area, this Verizon store has been hit twice.


         Authorities are looking for the sole suspect in an armed robbery that recently occurred at the Verizon Wireless store in Jasper.

According to Jasper Police Lt. Matt Dawkins, a black male wearing a ski mask and navy blue hoodie robbed the store on Saturday, Nov. 3. Dawkins said the suspect tied up an employee with zip ties and stole around 30 phones from the Old Philadelphia Road location. 

     See full story in this week's print or

online editions. 


Sheriff seeks more spending in 2019 but disputes $1.1 million claim


Pickens Sheriff Donnie Craig and the board of commissioners at the recent budget meeting.


     Sheriff Donnie Craig disputed accounts by the board of commissioners that he was seeking more than a million dollars in additional property taxes this year in two follow-up interviews conducted last week. 

Craig said he initially submitted a higher budget [seeking $661,000 over his 2018 spending] as a starting point for discussions with the commissioners. 

“The sole purpose was not to demand the $1.1 million like the front page [of last week’s Progress] made it look like,” he said. “The reason I put the $661,000 was to present our true numbers to put everything in there. I knew we would negotiate and cut it back.”

         See the rest of this story in this week's print or online editions.