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October 2019
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Woman arrested for killing husband, burning body in Free Home


     On July 5, 2018, Cherokee Sheriff’s deputies responded to 2155 Purcell Lane, Alpharetta, in the Free Home community after human remains were located on the property. The remains, which were burned extensively, were later identified as Gary Farris, 58, a Metro-Atlanta area attorney who owned the property at 2155 Purcell Lane. 

An extensive investigation into the death has been ongoing. The GBI Crime lab has recently completed analyzing

Read more: Woman arrested for killing husband, burning body in Free Home

Hot dogs okay on buns, not in cars


Damon Howell / Photo

Jasper Police Chief Greg Lovell testing one of the new thermometers on a car that had been sitting in one place all day Tuesday. Different temperature readings from the dash, console, and floorboard inside the car were all well over 100 degrees. Lovell said it had not been determined what temperature would be considered too hot for animals. 

     At their June meeting, Jasper City Council unanimously approved a graduated fine schedule for people who leave their dogs in cars that officers determine are too hot and dangerous. 

     Fines will be: First Offense - $50; Second Offense - $100; Third Offense - $150.

During hot summer months, the city police department and animal control office receive numerous calls reporting dogs left in parked vehicles. Jasper Police Chief Greg Lovell said the new fines will give them a tool to address issues, but noted his department will use “lots of discretion.” The fine schedule will allow them to issue citations in certain

Read more: Hot dogs okay on buns, not in cars

“Legacy project” a go on 515

piedmont village groundbreaking

photo/Angela Reinhardt

A big crowd turned out for the Piedmont Village groundbreaking. Construction is underway, with streets and utilities  in place. Pictured with shovels are (l to r) are Jasper City Manager Brandon Douglas, Pickens Chamber Executive Director Amberle Godfrey, Southern Investment Realty President Neil Hughes, Pickens Commission Chair Rob Jones, and Shelby Feinberg with Piedmont Residential. Developer Gary Copeland can be seen directly behind Feinberg. 


City and county leaders and members of the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce gathered Monday morning, June 17, to break ground on a large mixed-use development being touted as a “high-caliber legacy project” many say will positively impact development here.

The Piedmont Village development is located behind Piedmont Mountainside Hospital on Highway 515. The first phase includes 72 townhomes for residents 55 and up. Construction is already underway on this phase. Phase II includes an assisted living facility and more townhomes. Groundbreaking on Phase II is expected sometime next year. Phase III is a retail area that will include a town square, amphitheater, hotels, spas, trails, restaurants and additional medical outparcels. 

Read more: “Legacy project” a go on 515

Be thoroughly entertained by Tater Patch's "Greetings"

tater patch donato 2


Patrick Hall and Vanessa Stancil in a quieter scene of the thought-provoking work now showing at the community theater.


By Bre Donato

Guest reviewer


   There’s no better way to spend an evening than being entertained by the gripping edge-of-your-seat play Greetings!, a laugh-out-loud thought-provoking play at Jasper’s Tater Patch Players Community Theater.  

   The five very experienced Tater Patch actors truly embrace their roles and will have you wholeheartedly along for the ride and eagerly awaiting the next line. This comedy/drama by Tom Dudzick effortlessly entertains while also exploring an important metaphysical theme. 

Read more: Be thoroughly entertained by Tater Patch's "Greetings"  

Where did it come from? Theories about mystery bamboo patches

babmoo for front

     photo/Angela Reinhardt

     Large, thick bamboo patches like this one on Highway 53 East can be found all over the county. We spoke with a former County Agent and a Master Gardener to get some insight about how these non-native plants got here. 

     State Rep. Rick Jasperse, Pickens’ County Agent for over three decades, moved here in the early 1980s and became curious about something that’s raised my eyebrows, too – giant patches of bamboo, some 30 or 40 feet high, that dot seemingly random spots across the county.  All those years ago, Jasperse took it upon himself to figure out how the towering plant made its way to Pickens, so he went to the best resource he could think of – “the old timers.” 

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