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The metal detecting detective

metal spike

Dan Pool / Photos

Matt Rice is a Pickens Sheriff detective during the week and launches his own investigations into the history of old home places and other potential historical sites on the weekends. Shown above with a rusty file found near a collapsed building in Marble Hill.

Beep, beep, beep. Everywhere you step with a metal detector at the Old Jail on Main Street the device signals something underfoot. Some bit of iron or steel or maybe an old coin just waiting to be uncovered or not -- apparently there are a lot of lines and pipes running under that spot so you can’t go digging wildly.

In fact, there are so many indications of metal items it becomes pointless trying to guess which spot might hold the rare historical item and which is a 1970s pop-top.

Matt Rice, a metal detecting detective, recommends we abandon this site for places that can be handled better by a single person in an afternoon - though he acknowledges there is likely something of value causing his Garrett metal detector to light-up in at least one or two of the multitude of signals.

Read more: The metal detecting  detective 

A look into racing's local roots

No. 5

     Race cars line the front straight and stretch through turns 3 and 4 at Dixie Speedway. The dirt track in Woodstock will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary, and under the ownership of racing promotor Mickey Swims, Dixie Speedway has thrived over the past four decades. The track still hosts stock car racing every Saturday night from the spring to the fall of every year. (Photo courtesy of Dixie Speedway.)


By Larry Cavender

Contributing writer


With last week's running of the Daytona 500, NASCAR kicked off its 71st season. This week, NASCAR moves closer to home with a 500 mile race set for Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia just south of Atlanta.

Last week, the Pickens County Progress documented stock car racing's early rural, Southern roots, and although there are no superspeedways located in the immediate north Georgia area, racing also took root locally at about the same time NASCAR began to flourish.

Read more: A look into racing's local roots

Pond level lowered to keep Bent Tree Drive from flooding

drain pip

photo/Angela Reinhardt

County crews step in to keep a pond from rising and overtaking Bent Tree Drive last week with several inches of rain expected this week.


In an effort to keep water from flooding Bent Tree Drive due to heavy rains expected in the area this week, county crews helped a property owner drain water from a pond at the intersection Bent Tree Drive and Pendley Circle. 

According to Pickens Fire Chief Sloan Elrod, the pond’s overflow valve had been crushed and the pond was not draining properly. The property owner contracted with a company to repair the pond, but the

Read more: Pond level lowered to keep Bent Tree Drive from flooding

Vexing for comedy, The Kitchen Witches will keep you in stitches

tater 1

Show Director Stephanie (Christin Evans), center, has her hands full trying to get Dolly (Audrey Kristen) at left,  and Izzy (Sharon Young) to work together as cooking show hosts when all they want to do is zing each other.  Dolly says to Izzy, "you look like a million ... every year of it!" 


By Max Caylor

Progress contributor


“You don’t know nothing about birthing no biscuits” is just one of the many lines which kept the audience laughing Saturday evening as Izzy and Dolly lived out their roles as the kitchen witches in Tater Patch’s latest production.  

First time Director Gary Boyles, along with the cast and crew, achieved his goal of giving watchers a painting with live action and entertaining comedy as two middle-aged women struggle with their TV cooking careers and family secrets.

Read more: Vexing for comedy, The Kitchen Witches will keep you in stitches

Antioch Church Rd/ Hwy. 515 intersection work begins

antioch work

Damon Howell / Photo

A view of the work site, looking south towards the Antioch Church Road crossing on Highway 515 in Talking Rock.


By W. Grant Waldrop 

District Engineer

District Six – Northwest Georgia

Georgia DOT 


Some readers may be wondering about orange cones appearing on Highway 515 at Antioch Church Road in Northern Pickens County. They mark the start of construction work on a Georgia DOT intersection improvements project at that location. The department has recently awarded a contract for the project to enhance safety and improve mobility at this intersection by installing a Reduced Conflict UTurn intersection (R-CUT). 

While construction activities are just beginning, the project has been in the making since 2005 when the need for this project was first identified in the Pickens County Transportation Study.

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