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Nechvatal resigns as chamber director

From Chamber of Commerce Board of Director Chairman Sonny Proctor


The Board of the Pickens County Chamber of

Commerce voted unanimously to accept the

resignation of Gerry Nechvatal, our Executive

Director, effective Friday, July 27, 2018.

    The Board of Directors would like to express our appreciation

for Gerry’s service to the Chamber, its members,

and our community and we wish him well in his

future endeavors. The Executive Committee is

working on an interim leadership plan until an

appropriate replacement strategy can be developed.

   At this time, the Chamber of Commerce will continue

to operate in a normal fashion, and all events,

meetings, and committees will be held as scheduled.

We ask for the patience and the support of our

members during this transition, and we pledge

to take this opportunity to make the Chamber of

Commerce even better. 

Too much junk swamping Thrift Store


A picture taken at noon July 15th shows the increasing problem of dirty, worn-out or broken items left at the Community Thrift Store. In June the store, which has provided millions in grants to local groups had 142 tons of unsellable items left at their site. 


By Don Russell

Thrift Store founder


The Community Thrift Store started in January 2000 and has been very successful because of its business model of operating with only donated items, using only volunteers (no one is paid), selling or giving to some at great prices and returning all profits to the community in  forms of grants to non-profits, the grants total $5.6 million. 

This concept operates well with getting usable donations and having adequate volunteers to  manage the store. The store needs about 200 volunteers to cover all the work.  

Peace, love, and “bust” at Rainbow Gathering 2018


It was just after twilight in a meadow where a bonfire and drum circle were swelling to life. A naked man with a didgeridoo appeared from nowhere. The slender 20-something asked my friend and I if we knew where his pants were (we did not), if we had noticed he was nude (we had), and if I was tripping (I was not). He proceeded to tell us about the Hindu goddess of death, Kali, who he said is taking over the world.  

In any other setting this encounter would be (understatedly) unexpected, but at a Rainbow Gathering I quickly learned rules of the modern world don’t apply. The goal of the Rainbow Family is simple, one many might call idealistic – come to nature to celebrate oneness, peace and love through community, music, dance, and meditation. It’s a place where, according to the Rainbow Gathering “mini-manual” handed out to participants, anyone with a bellybutton, no matter their race, religion or background, is welcome as long as there is shared love and respect “without anyone getting hurt.”

After a discussion with my editor we decided I should head out to the gathering, just 40 minutes from Jasper, to see what it was all about. 


Read this story at our e-edition.

Veterans park dedication rescheduled due to rain





Veterans Memorial Park 
Dedication Ceremony 
Thursday, August 9, 2018
11:00 am 
Lee Newton Park 
(Next to Pickens County Chamber of Commerce - 500 Stegall Drive)


After working hard for over a year, the Pickens County Veterans Memorial Park (PCVMP) group has reached its goal – to build a memorial to pay tribute to all veterans: those who have fought to protect and serve our nation in the past, those who are serving and those who will serve in the future. 

The dedication service for the memorial is scheduled for August 1, at 11 a.m. Dedication activities include a formal military ceremony including the presentation of colors, singing of the national anthem, an Air Force flyover and a 21-gun salute.