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General news and features

A snapshot of Pickens’ veteran population

Learn more about our veterans in a special online data story





Click on the image above to link to the full online infographic. 

     The Veterans Administration recently announced it will open a clinic in Pickens County to provide medical services to veterans here and in surrounding areas. We thought it was worthwhile to take a look at the local veteran population and how it compares to other county, state, and national populations.  

     Using estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011-2015 American Community Survey, Lisa Schnellinger of NearMedia LLC  developed interactive digital graphics about Pickens County veterans, which can be found at These graphics include information about the veteran population size, education, salary, unemployment, disability and period of service.

American Community Survey data is an estimate, but is the most accurate and current information available for counties with small populations. The graphics include only data that is statistically significant when considering the margin of error.

Pickens caught in middle of latest growth trends


Areas in Georgia that are doing well now are projected to keep doing well and areas that are struggling will continue to lose job opportunities and population in the next decade, according to the speaker at last week’s Chamber of Commerce breakfast at Chattahoochee Technical College.

Pickens County is better-off than the counties who are struggling but not projected to see the robust growth that will mainly remain in metro-Atlanta and the surrounding counties.

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

Schools donate buses to Boys & Girls Club


Pickens County’s Boys and Girls Club of North Georgia recently received much-needed transportation assistance when the local school system donated two decommissioned buses to the club. According to Director Michele Brackin, the buses will allow the club to bring kids from Pickens High, Jasper Elementary and Jasper Middle School. Previously, kids from the high school and Jasper Middle were not served by the club due to lack of transportation.

“Last year when we opened the club we were able to utilize MATS buses to bring children from Hill City and Jasper Elementary,” Brackin said. “The school system brought kids from Harmony Elementary because our club was within their home district and we walked kids over from Pickens County Middle School. Unfortunately, there was no service for JMS or Tate or the high school.”

Qualifying for city elections August 21-25

Jasper, Nelson, Talking Rock seats up for grabs


The cities of Jasper, Nelson and Talking Rock all have council seats, and one mayoral seat, up for election this year, with qualifying to begin on August 21, 2017.   

These cities will hold a general election and one special election on November 7th to fill these seats. 

In the city of Jasper councilmembers Anne Sneve and Sonny Proctor are up for re-election. Qualifying costs $35.  

In Nelson, Mayor Larry Ray is up for reelection and councilmembers James Queen and Kelsey Riehl also have terms that will expire at the end of the year. The council seat for Tina Monaghan’s unexpired term is also up for grabs. Monaghan left her position as

Dragons ready to kick off 2017 season



By Michael Parker

Assistant Football Coach


As the summer workouts have now come to an end the beginning of football season is right around the corner, the Pickens Dragons are coming off a somewhat down season as they finished the season 5-6, after two straight 8-3 seasons, but did manage to make the state playoffs for the third consecutive season. Coach Parker said he was very happy with the way the team has worked since spring practice and he believes that the future is bright for the hometown Dragons.