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Pickleball a big hit at rec. center


Angela Reinhardt/photo

Pickleball has gained popularity at the Pickens County Community Center. The rec. department makes one of their basketball courts available every weekday for pickleball players. 


The name “pickleball” is quirky enough to catch most people’s attention, but it’s the game itself that has a growing number of locals excited. 

“It’s really taking off,” said Pickens County Parks & Recreation Director Brian Jones. “We have people playing five days a week. If we could offer it more, they would probably take us up on that offer.”

  If you’re not familiar with pickleball, imagine a fusion of ping pong, tennis, and badminton. Singles or doubles play with a modified tennis net that sits low to the ground. Players use paddles that look like large ping pong paddles, and plastic balls similar to Wiffle balls. Paddles cost anywhere between $10 to well over $100.

Pickleball was developed in 1965 by a group of three dads in Washington state when their kids got bored one summer. The game has gained popularity over the years, with NBC calling pickleball one of the fastest-growing sports in America “that can be played by anyone.” 

Big Canoe’s Potts Mtn. property off table for future development

1,378 acre tract put in permanent conservation status

Potts Mountain Investors LLC property2                                                           Atlantic Coast Conservancy/ Photo

This Potts Mountain property, shown above, is now permanently protected.

         In a move with far-reaching implications, 1,378 acres comprising the Potts Mountain section of Big Canoe was placed into permanent conservation status in December.

Phil Landrum III, the attorney for the Atlantic Coast Conservancy as well as Pickens County, confirmed that Potts Mountain Investors, LLC had put all the property into a conservation easement. Landrum said the easement, which restricts development there to only five potential  homesites, had been signed and recorded in both Pickens and Dawson counties.

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

Despite frigid cold, New Year's party a success



 A ball drop on Main Street in Jasper thrilled party goers on New Years Eve.

Organizers of the downtown New Year’s Eve party said despite lows in the teens, the event turned out “better than expected.”

“It came together flawlessly,” said Jasper Merchant’s Association Vice President Kirk Raffield. “It ended up being a safe, fun, family-friendly event, which is exactly what we wanted. We had absolutely no issues and things went smoothly. Was the crowd smaller? Yes, but it was 14 degrees outside.”

Weaver not re-appointed city manager



In a 3-1 vote, Jasper City Council has expressed their intent to hire councilmembrer Jim Looney as interim city manger until a permanant replacement for Mayor John Weaver can be found.    


    In what could be called the beginning of the end of an era, Jasper City Council has voted their intent to separate the roles of city manager and mayor. 

The vote came during their January council meeting, where council member Jim Looney was selected to serve as interim city manager until a permanent replacement can be found. Looney was not formally appointed that night, but council said they plan to hire him next month after he tenders his resignation as a city council member. 

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

Worst damage to water system in decades due to cold weather

flooded basement cleanup 1

 Damon Howell / Photo

The basement of a Stafford Manor house was flooded  when a water line busted. The carpet, walls and furniture had to be ripped out. 

Midday Wednesday, Jan. 3, Pickens E-911 sent out a Code Red alert urging residents to take precaution against freezing pipes, as city crews were experiencing a high-volume of water loss due to busted lines.

“I’ve been at the water department since 1994 and I can only think of one other cold snap that hurt us this bad,” said Jasper Water Superintendent David Hall, who had crews all over the city handling leaks. “When you’ve got very cold weather before a low of seven degrees, then very cold weather after, that kills us. We’re seeing summer usage and it’s January.”