500 pounds of fireworks in 700 shells light up the town
Matt Owings is loading two of the 700 shells to be used in the spectacular aerial display.
By Max Caylor
It is 10:05 p.m. on the night of July 4th and Chad Sweat, the crew leader of Pyro Shows said, “I am about to go boom.”
He was preparing to fire 500 pounds of fireworks across the dark evening skies of Jasper to conclude the Independence Day celebration coordinated by the Lion’s Club of Jasper.
The 700 shells had been loaded in their mortar racks and were ready to be shot from the Lawson pasture just west of the old PHS football field and across from Newton Park.
Sweat used a wood framed firing board to manually ignite each rack of fireworks by flipping a toggle switch.
People gathered in bank, church, cemetery, and school parking lots and on the side of any road where they could view the dazzling pyro display. The impressive 15 minute aerial display was sponsored by Entegra Bank and Goss Equipment at a cost of $10,000.
The three-man crew from Pyro Shows from Lafollette, TN needed most the day to setup for the evening show. The company has almost 50 years experience and puts on about 1,000 shows each year with over 400 being around July 4th. Other Pyro affiliates are located in Alabama and Texas.
“We offer pyro technician training leading to licensing and becoming a professional Pyro,” said James Woods the southeastern sales manager for the company. Pyro Shows has produced the Jasper fireworks for the past six years. For more information about the company or training visit .
By Mary Migliaro
Families spend a great deal of time outdoors during the summer months. Along with protection from sunburn, you should be aware of how to prevent exposure to poison ivy or other poisonous leaves.
When it comes to prevention strategies, spend some time with your children showing them how to recognize the poisonous leaves. Your local library or the Internet will have pictures and descriptions of the various types of poisonous leaves such as poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak. Excellent YouTube videos can also be found online. "Leaves of three, leave it be" holds true for poison ivy and oak. Poison sumac has 7-13 leaflets arranged in three pairs, with a single leaf at the tip.
All three plants, (poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac), are commonly found in most regions of the United States, in all seasons. They are not restricted to wooded areas; they can be found anywhere there is brush or under-growth, even your backyard. The danger is in the oils that are on and in their leaves and stems.
Captain Trevor Beavers, Fire Chief Steven Atkins, Firefighter Asia Payne of the Bent Tree Volunteer Department.
From Bent Tree Public Safety
The Bent Tree Volunteer Fire Department has received the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Public Protection Classification (PPC) rating of Class 2. This is an improvement over the former rating of Class 4. This rating has been achieved by only 1,597 of the 50,000 fire departments nationwide that are rated by ISO. This puts Bent Tree in the top four percent of fire departments in the United States and makes them the top-rated department in Pickens County. The new rating will become effective October 1 for Bent Tree residents who should see lower insurance bills.
Featured vendor Michael White has a variety of hand-made items for sale - some that are perfect for the Fourth of July.
Hang on to your hats! A lot of info in this report. It was a great market day with good weather, lots of customers, and lots of veggies, crafts, baked goods, and information available.
First up is the PAR, Pickens Animal Rescue, tent with plants, art, magnets, butterfly houses, and even a bat house for sale - 100 percent of proceeds go to PAR. And they really need it. (See below)
The PAR volunteers brought two great dogs, Pumpkin and Kendra, hoping to find them a forever home. Pumpkin has been featured before in the Progress. Pumpkin has been with PAR for a long time and is really very ready for a permanent home.
Muralist John Christian at work on the prominent Coca-Cola mural in downtown Jasper.
Mid-afternoon Saturday, June 29, motorists in downtown Jasper may have noticed the Coca-Cola mural at the prominent Main Street/Highway 53 intersection was getting a much-needed revamp, which includes the addition of the iconic Sprite Boy and a classic Coke bottle.
Professional muralist John Christian, owner of John W. Christian Studios, was commissioned for the job by the Coke company, which he said has taken a more active role in freshening up their murals that appear on the sides of buildings across the nation. Christian has done several Coke murals recently, and estimated that the original mural on