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New mountain bike park topic at upcoming chamber breakfast

Public invited; mountain bike to be given away



One lucky person who attends the December Chamber of Commerce’s breakfast will win this mountain bike as a door prize. Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land’s executive director will talk about new bike trails in north Pickens.

Pickens County Chamber of Commerce breakfasts are typically reserved for members only, but this month the Chamber director felt the topic is of such interest to the community the event is open to the public.

Christmas parade lights up Main Street


     Sidewalks in downtown Jasper were filled with parade-goers wanting to see the festive floats and decorations. Here, Refuge Baptist Church’s float 3rd place winner for Best Theme rolls down the street.  


This year’s Night of Lights parade, sponsored by the Jasper Merchants Association, was arguably the best in years, with mild weather drawing a large crowd to downtown Jasper for the festivities. 

The day’s events started around 4 p.m. with performances on the main stage in front of the courthouse, followed by a poignant reading of T’was the Night Before Christmas by retired teacher Lawton Baggs, and the parade kickoff at 6 p.m.

Father on a mission to stop opioid overdoses


  David Laws lost his daughter Laura to a drug overdose when she was 17. Laws helped get the Georgia 911 Medical Amnesty law passed and wants to keep overdoses from happening to other families.


For Pickens County resident David Laws, opioid overdoses aren’t just statistics. Four years ago, Laws lost his daughter to an overdose and he has dedicated his life to keeping them from happening in the future. 

His daughter Laura’s battle with drugs began like so many others who become substance abusers. She was prescribed a liquid opioid after she broke her jaw playing sports in high school. That was when she was 15. It was just two years later when she OD’d at a friend’s house. Laura had been in and out of recovery, including detox and a 30-day residential treatment program, but her addiction finally won.

Retailers report positive holiday weekend

Holiday Gift Guide:

Click the image below to find our special section that features articles and ads from local businesses that will help you plan your shopping this season.  


Staff reports


While some local retailers reported better than normal Black Friday sales this year, others said Small Business Saturday brought more people into their stores. And overall, retailers said they are seeing similar numbers from last year.

An interesting observation made by two downtown merchants was that out-of-town shoppers made a noticeable impact in their holiday weekend sales.

At the Bargain Barn, Cynthia Spriggs said their advertised firearm specials left them “quite pleased” with Black Friday results. Spriggs said they were up a little from previous years at this point in the holiday season.

Drivers will see cellphone ban across the state if bill is passed


By Diane Wagner

Staff writer

Rome News-Tribune


Legislation banning the use of cellphones while driving is being drafted for the upcoming Georgia General Assembly session and, this time around, Rep. Eddie Lumsden expects wide support.

Texting while driving was banned in 2010, but the Armuchee Republican — who serves on the House Distracted Driving Study Committee — said the compromise bill failed to stem the rise of accidents with injuries or fatalities.

“The texting law is really ineffective,” Lumsden said Wednesday. “The penalties aren’t stringent enough and there are many loopholes.”