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2019 STAR finalists announced

Star Group

photo/Kyle Frantz Photography

2019 STAR finalists (l-r students seated/teachers standing behind them) student Katherine Densmore & teacher Kanyon Petti, Tyler Westbrook & Christine Westbrook, Thomas Pinson & Ginger Rizoti, Emily Robinson & Wil Nix, Dale Smith & Kathy Daymude, Bethany Carver & Ted Estes, Rosemary Willis & Christi Hobgood, Miles Gregg & Keith Petty, Olivia Fountain & Angela Quarles, Emma DiPuma & Jolain Brownell.

Submitted by Reeder Burch

Jasper Optimist Club

The Optimist Club of Jasper, local sponsor for the STAR program (Student Teacher Achievement Recognition) is pleased to recognize the 2019 PHS STAR finalists.

Read more: 2019 STAR finalists announced

Rep. Rick Jasperse named chairman of House Education Committee


       The Georgia House of Representatives’ Committee on Assignments named State Representative Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper) as the Chairman of the House Education Committee.  Rep. Jasperse will also serve as a member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education, Health, Human Relations & Aging, Public Safety & Homeland Security, Regulated Industries, Higher Education, and Agriculture committees. 

“I am very honored to be the Chairman of a committee that touches every Georgian in so many ways. During my time in the Legislature I have worked hard to be on committees that are important to the people I

Read more: Rep. Rick Jasperse named chairman of House Education Committee

Smith named Pickens High STAR student

star student Smith-Daymude

Submitted by Jasper Optimist Club


Pickens High School senior Dale Smith has been named the school’s 2019 PAGE STAR Student. The Optimist Club of Jasper, the local STAR program sponsor, announced the honor.  Smith selected Dr. Kathy Daymude, Math teacher at PHS, as his STAR Teacher. 

Smith, the son of John Smith, earned the recognition for academic achievement and performance on the SAT.  

Read more: Smith named Pickens High STAR student

Community bucks DNR’s claim that mountain lions aren’t here

Tennessee confirms sightings, says population migrating from midwest


An article that ran last week about a large cat photographed at the Pickens County Airport, first thought to be a mountain lion but identified by the Georgia DNR as a bobcat, drew a big response from readers who counter the state agency’s official stance that mountain lions do not exist in Georgia.  

According to the Georgia DNR, “To date, no credible physical evidence (carcasses, trail camera pictures, photographs, film footage, etc.) has been found to substantiate the existence of a population of mountain lions in Georgia.” The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes the eastern cougar is extinct in the wild, and the DNR reports only three credible mountain lion sightings in the last 25 years, all related to the Florida panther. 

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

County cuts used oil collection temporarily


From David Shouse Facebook / Photo Spilled containers left by the public over the last two decades led to a complaint to state and then the county to suspend accepting used oil at the Camp Road work station.

        On Monday, Pickens County temporarily discontinued accepting used motor oil from residents after a candidate seeking the commission chair post spotted dripping oil containers at the county worksite and filed a complaint with the state EPD.

David Shouse, who is active in his campaign for the 2020 election, posted on his Facebook page photos of the overturned containers, stating, “It is obviously improper and running down into a water source. Friday, I notified the federal and state EPA and DNR. Ten minutes after notification, I have video evidence, [commission chair] Rob Jones shows up at the site and miraculously the containers disappear. The damage has been done. 

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