At Grandview at Gateway, new homes are popping up and being sold at a quick pace. Another two developments are also in some stage of construction along Highway 515 south of Jasper.
o describe where we sit on the development scale, Green Suttles, the joint Jasper/Pickens County economic developer, used an analogy of a grass fire with the metro area as the center and expanding outward. “I would say right now the edge of this grass fire is Ball Ground,” Suttles said in an April interview.
To add some figures to this, Suttles points out Gwinnett County has more than 900,000 people; 204,000 in Hall County and 258,000 in Cherokee County. “Now move over one inch on the map,” he said. His meaning that just barely moving your finger on a Georgia map puts you from dense population over to Pickens (population around 30,000).
Both Pickens and Dawson counties are still mostly rural but just a slight movement in the neighboring populations and numbers will rise dramatically, he said.
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On May 1, a ban on outdoor burning begins in 54 Georgia counties, primarily in the northern half of the state. Affected residents are asked to refrain from burning yard and land clearing debris during the hot summer months because smoke can negatively impact the state’s air quality by contributing to high ozone levels. These conditions have been linked to lung and heart disease in humans.
“The restrictions are required by the state Environmental Protection Division,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Protection Chief Frank Sorrells. “By limiting outdoor burning, fewer chemicals and particle pollutants are released into the air.” The burn ban is in effect until September 1 in the following counties: Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Bibb, Butts, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Columbia, Coweta, Crawford, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gordon, Gwinnett, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lumpkin, Madison, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Oconee,
Paulding, Peach, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Putnam, Richmond, Rockdale, Spalding, Troup, Twiggs, Upson, Walker and Walton.
A scene from the last Independence Day celebration, held in 2019. COVID forced a cancellation, but the Lions Club says everything is set to return to action this year.
The Jasper Lions Club this week announced the return of their annual Fourth of July celebration, which like all other big events was cancelled last year due to COVID.
“We are so excited to be hosting the 4th of July festivities,” said Jasper Lions President Leslie Miller. “We missed it so much in 2020, and being able to bring our decades-long tradition back feels like a big step forward to things getting back to ‘normal.’”
The local civic group has hosted Fourth of July festivities since 1939, barring one year during WWII and in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to bring the event back in 2021 was made a couple of weeks ago, and the Lions are going full steam ahead to get prepared.
“After the governor lifted restrictions and we spoke with the city we started coming up with our plan,” Miller said.
photo/ Kyle Frantz Photography
STAR Student Brett Menard and STAR Teacher Christine Westbrook.
Submitted by Jasper Optimist Club
Pickens High School senior Brett Menard has been named the school’s 2021 PAGE STAR Student. The Optimist Club of Jasper, the local STAR program sponsor, announced the honor. Menard selected Christine Westbrook as his STAR Teacher. Mrs. Westbrook has taught for 27 years and currently teaches Honors and AP Biology at PHS. She is married to Ricky Westbrook.
Brett is the son of Mark and Michelle Menard of Jasper and he has one brother, Nick Menard. He earned the recognition as the STAR Student for academic achievement and performance on the SAT.
Tater Patch Players is back in full swing with their upcoming comedy romp A Funny Little Thing Called Love by the comedy writing trio of Jones, Hope, and Wooten. This show is a comedy romp that's reminiscent of shows like Carol Burnett. The play leads us around the world, following a romantically enchanting full moon.
This comedy might give audience members some romantic ideas, but it's guaranteed to give everyone an evening of laughs. The play's first scene is set in a busy San Francisco TV newsroom where romance and more put in a very unexpected appearance. Chelsea Walker, Nancy Loy and Tater Patch newcomer Derek Perry kick off the laughs. Quickly, we move on to Dallas. The title of the second scene is “The Lone Star Ladies Justice Brigade.” Alex Nawrocki plays a wanna-be Romeo who finds himself with too much romance for one man – even a Texan. Nancy Loy, Kim Martin, Phyllis Zerkle and Nan Nawrocki are the Texas ladies who deliver some rib-tickling “tough love.”