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General news and features

Crackdown on Hwy. 515 issued for month of July

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    Jasper Police Chief Greg Lovell, Pickens Sheriff Donnie Craig and Georgia State Patrol Post Commander Tim Nichols say their officers will begin “aggressive enforcement” of speeding and erratic driving on Highway 515 following two fatal wrecks.

     The heads of the three law enforcement agencies that patrol Highway 515 in this area announced Monday a crackdown on speeding and erratic driving that will run the entire month of July.
    The significantly increased patrols come after two fatalities occurred on the four-lane in Pickens County during June and reports indicate that accidents there have increased 53 percent this year over last year.

Two sheriff investigations have Russian connections

    It goes without saying that Pickens sheriff investigators don’t see many Russian connections to their work. Detective April Killian said it was bizarre to see two unrelated cases this month, both with ties back to Russian financial criminals.
    In the first case, a 65-year-old Pickens woman unwittingly became involved in a Russian credit card fraud/stolen merchandise scam.

   To read the rest of this story, see our e-edition.

A look back at July 4 in Jasper

From greased poles to greased pigs



A scene shot from the second story window of The Edge Building looking down on the courthouse lawn in the early 70’s.

     What do a greasy pole climb, a fat person contest and “the man with the monkey and the man with the crow” all have in common?
    According to a schedule in a 1958 edition of this publication [printed in its entirety on page 17A] they were some of many quirky events at what was arguably Jasper’s first July Fourth celebration, hosted by the Jasper Lion’s Club. 
    “It was the biggest event of the year,” said Lawton Baggs who served with the local Lion’s chapter for over four decades beginning in 1974. “People came from all over to have a good time.”

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

Hwy. 53 plans threaten homes in Marble Hill


    Six Pickens homeowners and one business would be displaced and several more homeowners affected by a Ga. DOT passing lane project in Marble Hill if work proceeds as presented Thursday during an open house.
    Maps presented at the public hearing June 18th at Foothills Community Church had big red dots marking homes that are in the way of the proposed passing lanes or that lie so close to the work they would not be inhabitable.

See full story in the print and online editions.

UPDATED: Fatal wreck on Highway 515

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Ricky Maddron, an “outstanding young man” was killed on his way to work Monday on Highway 515.

[Click here to read our editorial on the need for Highway 515 dangers to be addressed.]
    Hwy. 515 was shut down for five hours Monday morning following an early morning wreck that killed Ricky Lee Maddron, 34, of Ellijay. This marks the second fatal wreck along the Pickens County stretch of the highway this month. 
    Maddron was killed when his 2010 Chevy Impala crashed into a concrete truck on Hwy. 515 around 5:24 a.m. Maddron was driving south along the highway. Georgia State Patrol authorities say speed was likely a factor in the accident.