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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

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. 

Jasper Middle earns National BETA School of Distinction


By Eva Stanley

6th Grade 

JMS Beta Club member


Jasper Middle School now has a Junior Beta Club. This is Jasper Middle School’s first Beta Club as a fifth and sixth grade school. There are 117 Beta Club members. The club earned the National Beta School of Distinction for their large membership this year. 

Read more: Jasper Middle earns National BETA School of Distinction

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

Would Jesus Vape?


By Ben Mock

Mount Zion Baptist Church


What we celebrate at Christmas is a paradox - how God, who made man after His likeness, sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, that He might save us from death by dying Himself. Jesus was “found in fashion as a man” (Philippians 2.8) in order to lay down His life, that we might not continue to destroy ours. And yet, we remain the most self destructive creatures of all. 

Read more: Would Jesus Vape?