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Taxi passenger found with drugs, gun, money

money and meth

Pickens Sheriff’s Office / Photo

Meth, Xanax, marijuana, a firearm and a load of cash were seized at the traffic stop.


     In what is possibly the first traffic stop of a taxi in Pickens County, a deputy found the passenger in possession of drugs, scales commonly used for selling drugs, a handgun, two knives and $1,432 in cash Feb. 23.

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

Landslide destroys stretch of Jones Mountain Road

   jones mtn road awash

      Due to heavy rainfall last week, a portion of Jones Mountain Road washed away during a mudslide. Pickens crews were on the scene Friday taking note of many trees that had slid down the hill, wiping out the hillside and a water main.

Damon Howell / Photo


A landslide from the frequent heavy rains over the past week took down trees, earth and a portion of Jones Mountain Road Friday, closing it for at least a month and likely longer.

Commission Chair Rob Jones said, “When the trees gave way, it took out everything.”

No homes are in the section where the landslide occurred but a water line running beside the road was ripped apart. The county was originally alerted to trees down in the road, but when crews arrived, they saw the extent of the damage and immediately closed the route.

Read more: Landslide destroys stretch of Jones Mountain Road

The metal detecting detective

metal spike

Dan Pool / Photos

Matt Rice is a Pickens Sheriff detective during the week and launches his own investigations into the history of old home places and other potential historical sites on the weekends. Shown above with a rusty file found near a collapsed building in Marble Hill.

Beep, beep, beep. Everywhere you step with a metal detector at the Old Jail on Main Street the device signals something underfoot. Some bit of iron or steel or maybe an old coin just waiting to be uncovered or not -- apparently there are a lot of lines and pipes running under that spot so you can’t go digging wildly.

In fact, there are so many indications of metal items it becomes pointless trying to guess which spot might hold the rare historical item and which is a 1970s pop-top.

Matt Rice, a metal detecting detective, recommends we abandon this site for places that can be handled better by a single person in an afternoon - though he acknowledges there is likely something of value causing his Garrett metal detector to light-up in at least one or two of the multitude of signals.

Read more: The metal detecting  detective 

Power outages linger in county

        An update provided by Pickens Emergency Services showed that Thursday morning, power outages still lingered in several areas of the county. 

            A Tuesday night storm created widespread outages and downed several trees and powerlines. County, city, and power crews have worked over the last day to restore service and clear roads. Additional power outages occurred Wednesday night with continued heavy rains.

Read more: Power outages linger in county 

A look into racing's local roots

No. 5

     Race cars line the front straight and stretch through turns 3 and 4 at Dixie Speedway. The dirt track in Woodstock will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary, and under the ownership of racing promotor Mickey Swims, Dixie Speedway has thrived over the past four decades. The track still hosts stock car racing every Saturday night from the spring to the fall of every year. (Photo courtesy of Dixie Speedway.)


By Larry Cavender

Contributing writer


With last week's running of the Daytona 500, NASCAR kicked off its 71st season. This week, NASCAR moves closer to home with a 500 mile race set for Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia just south of Atlanta.

Last week, the Pickens County Progress documented stock car racing's early rural, Southern roots, and although there are no superspeedways located in the immediate north Georgia area, racing also took root locally at about the same time NASCAR began to flourish.

Read more: A look into racing's local roots