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Construction activity here “moderate to good”

Home loans show steady uptick scattered across all price ranges, areas
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    Sharp Mountain Business Park off Highway 108 is one example of how commercial growth has increased at a slow, sometimes overlooked, but steady pace the past several years.

    Looking at loan information at Community Bank of Pickens County, President John Trammell called construction activity in Pickens County “moderate to good” Friday.
    With 50 percent of the market share (based on deposit figures), the loans held at the local bank show a solid, steady uptick in homebuilding scattered across all areas of the county and in different price ranges.

Nechvatal named as chamber executive director


Jasper, GA – The Pickens County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Gerry Nechvatal to lead the Chamber as Executive Director, effective Thursday, September 1, 2016. From Board Chair Amberle Godfrey: “Gerry is a known commodity in our community. He brings a vast amount of experience and needed stability to the Chamber and its members.” The position had been vacant since the May resignation of the former Chamber president.


    Gerry has served as the Pickens County Economic Development Director since 2008. He has worked diligently to bring new industry to Pickens County and the City of Jasper. His efforts have also benefited local small business favorites such as Mary Ann's where he helped facilitate their initial lease agreement.

Schools’ Milestones scores a mixed bag


     Georgia Milestones scores from the 2015-2016 school year have been released by the Georgia Department of Education. The good news is Pickens’ scores improved over the previous year, but local results are hit and miss when it comes to meeting the state average.
     See full story in this week's print and online editions, including comments from the school board chair and the director of learning.

Troy Marrs talks reptiles, vivariums and following your passion

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Earth’s Eco Reptiles and Amphibians founder and owner Troy Marrs with family dog Ma’ma Lou. Marrs and his wife Shannon renovated the shop space at 98 Dean Goss Road, Jasper, directly off of Highway 515 (next to Shiloh Baptist Church). They have two children, Kirby, four, and Rowan, two.

Troy Marrs grew up in Canton and now lives in Ball Ground. After considering a career in criminal justice, Marrs decided to blaze his own path. He recently founded Earth’s Eco in Jasper, which takes a natural approach to raising reptiles and amphibians through all organic enclosures called vivariums.

More details emerge in bizarre murder-for-hire case


Morgan Miles Morris

     Seventeen-year-old Pickens High student Morgan Miles Morris was arrested August 16th after meeting an undercover officer posing as a potential assassin to negotiate the murder of two PHS students.
     Morris is being charged as an adult with Criminal Solicitation to Commit Murder. He remained in jail with no bond set at press time. A mental evaluation has been ordered for him.

See full story, including comments from the head of the criminal investigation division, in this week's print or online edition.