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April 2017
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General news and features

Mountain Wisdom Camp offer chance for kids to grow in natural setting

Young women’s empowerment camp coming to Pickens County;

Young men's camp held in backcountry




Camp Wisdom mixes fun with self-growth for kids, discussing questions like what makes a hero with young men and addressing self-image issues with the separate girls camp.



With 26 years working with teens and 14 years leading camps for young people, Ellijay resident Jay Zipperman believes now more than ever, kids need an opportunity to be in nature to grow, gain confidence and detox from the digital world.

Zipperman’s Mountain Wisdom Camp offers a Young Mens’ Ultimate Adventure, July 10-15, on Tray Mountain, near Hiawasee for boys 12-17. And a Discover You, Young Women’s Empowerment Journey, July 18-23, for ages 12-17. This year the young women’s camp will be at 12-Stone Farm in Talking Rock. 

Laying groundwork for Veterans Park

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Damon Howell / Photo

The future Veterans Memorial Park in Pickens County made headway Monday evening with Cub Scout pack #84 and Master Gardener Larry Brogdon sprucing up the area in Lee Newton Park. The Scouts used the opportunity to help the veterans and to log community service time. Representatives from local veterans groups North Ga. Mtn. Marine Corps League Detachment 1280, American Legion Post 149, and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 47 were present to see the project move along. Plans are to have a stone memorial for each branch of the military with the names of those who gave their lives in combat, surrounded by sitting benches and a brick walkway. Jim Elrod of American Legion Post 149 said, “We did this to let everyone know we are going to do this project.” If you would like to donate to this project, call 706-253-0501 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A photo of the whole group can be seen on Page 7A in the print and online editions

Lion's Health Fair April 22

Health Fair

     On Saturday, April 22nd the 34th annual health fair will be held at Chattahoochee Tech beginning at 7 a.m. till 11 a.m. The Jasper Lions Club, Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, Georgia Mountains Hospice, and Chattahoochee Tech work together to provide this service to our community. Admission is free. 

Blood profiles are available for $25 by Piedmont Mountainside Hospital staff.  You will get the most accurate results if you come early, do not eat and enjoy breakfast with us after your blood work is drawn. Men may also get a PSA test performed for an additional $10. Georgia Mountains Hospice provides a breakfast of biscuits, pastries and juice, etc.  

FREE screenings include hearing, vision, glucose, cholesterol, scoliosis, EKG, Ht.- Wt., pulse ox, and women’s wellness screenings. We have had people learn they were diabetic, have high blood pressure, need hearing aids and glasses. An EKG discovered a young person needed a pacemaker. 

Is spring water safe to drink?


The spring that is north of town, on Burnt Mountain Road has been in use for many years, by locals and those from far away who would make the trip to Jasper just for the spring water.

By Paul Pugliese,

Ga. Extension Service


Question: Should we have the water we collect and drink from a popular roadside spring tested?

Answer: There are a number of roadside springs scattered throughout north Georgia that are popular among local residents. Many folks enjoy drinking “natural” spring water because it reportedly tastes better than municipal water sources.  The main difference in taste may be the presence of natural minerals such as calcium in the water and the lack of chlorination treatment. However, just because it tastes better doesn’t mean that it is safe to drink nor does it provide any perceived health benefits. In fact, quite the opposite is true since these spring water sources are not tested or treated.  

Dog saves woman from burning home

         Luger    The Ryals say their dog Luger is responsible for saving Lisa’s life by alerting her to the blaze. The family lost everything in their Christian Way mobile home in Talking Rock last week. You can donate to the family at or at an account set up in their name at Community Bank of Pickens County. 

         Luger, the 135-pound German Rottweiler, took being man’s best friend to a whole new level last week when he saved his owner from a fire that destroyed her and her husband’s home and all their belongings. 

“I’m so blessed to be alive,” said Lisa Ryal, who was laughing and smiling despite the 2nd and 3rd degree burns covering her face, hands and feet. “It could have been so much worse. If Luger hadn’t made all that noise I wouldn’t have woken up. I was sleeping good that day.”

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