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School board, former supt. finalize split

Rick Townsend Photo

Former Supt. Rick Townsend

        Just like a romantic break-up, it appears that the relationship between the Pickens school board and former Superintendent Rick Townsend is finally over, for good, but leaving behind a trail of bitterness and speculation.

The board officially called it quits with Townsend in a very brief meeting last Tuesday, Feb. 23rd, after they had been “negotiating” for the past several weeks. However, the school board waited until Friday to disclose the final payout, where they agreed to give the departing superintendent $406,014 in remaining salary, plus spending another $13,329 in a FICA payment and an additional workers compensation expense of $2,354.

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

JeepFest set to roll in 2021 for 10th year

jeepfest 2019 max

Max Caylor / Photo

JeepFest will be back in Marble Hill this year. Trails and obstacles are definitely set, but Homebase and spectator events, like this scene from 2019, may still see COVID restrictions.


Staff reports


The board which oversees the yearly Sheriff’s JeepFest met last week and committed to bring the popular event back this year after it was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID concerns.

JeepFest will be its usual Labor Day weekend with events beginning on September 2nd and going through  Sunday, Sept. 5th based on announcements from the Sheriff’s Foundation.

Sheriff Donnie Craig said, “We want to assure the public that we are definitely having JeepFest this year. We will be monitoring the COVID situation right up until the festival and may make adjustments as needed.”

Read more: JeepFest set to roll  in 2021 for 10th year

New monthly feature: O’Neill Outside

oneill perch

     Remember, the waters are still cold, so move slowly, give the critters lots of colors to choose from and you will find out why Georgia has a 35 daily limit on crappie.


Be a Perch Jerker


By O'Neill Williams


It’s warming up fast and the Crappie are biting. Up the rivers at West Point, Sinclair, Oconee, Lanier, Allatoona and Southern lakes and reservoirs across the entire South all the way into Texas, the time is right for you to get in gear and round up the tastiest little fish in Southern waters.  Well, maybe a Walleye is better, but not by much.  Anyway, there are lots more crappie available than Walleye.  

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

Nettes fall in heartbreaker

Nettes lost in the final seconds 51-49. Great season for the PHS team comes to a close.



Earlier story.


The Nettes celebrate an earlier win. Tonight they face a tough test on the road in Cairo, Ga.


There has been no bigger and more exciting week in Nettes basketball in recent history than this past week.   After securing the first region title since the 1999-2000 season, the Nettes hosted the Stephenson Lady Jaguars in the first round of the state tournament on Tuesday, February 23rd. Stephenson only came in with a handful of wins, but eight of their 13 losses came against state ranked teams and they had plenty of talent. The Lady Jaguars were all business during warm-ups as the Jasper crowd began to filter in.  


Read more: Nettes fall in heartbreaker