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November 2020
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As COVID cases rise, Kemp urges vigilance for Thanksgiving


By Beau Evans
Staff Writer
Capitol Beat News Service

   Gov. Brian Kemp is urging Georgians to keep distanced and consider outdoor or virtual gatherings this Thanksgiving with COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths on the rise in recent weeks.
   Positive cases have increased substantially in recent weeks from a daily average of just under 1,200 cases on Oct. 1 to an average of more than 2,600 daily cases as of Monday, according to state Department of Public Health data.
   Kemp and other state officials are hoping to stave off an even steeper spike during the holidays, when the temptation for more Georgians to abandon distancing precautions may be high after eight months of isolation away from loved ones.

Read more: As COVID cases rise, Kemp urges vigilance for Thanksgiving

Boy Scouts complete Eagle projects at Our Lady of the Mountains

front left to right Peyton Franco and Jake Anderson

     Peyton Franco and Jake Anderson (l-r) completed an impressive area for the Catholic Church on Refuge Road as their Eagle Scout projects.


From Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church

Becoming an Eagle Scout is a major accomplishment that requires the candidate to “plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or their community.” 

For their Eagle Scout project, local Scouts Peyton Franco, son of Jose and Alana Franco, and Jake Anderson, son of Marc and Dana Anderson, chose to build a beautiful stone firepit with amphitheater

Read more: Boy Scouts complete  Eagle projects at Our Lady of the Mountains

Grand jury indicts Wigington on 57 counts; Wife arrested, indicted on two counts of Theft by Taking


Book-in photos/Pickens Sheriff’s Office

Former Pickens judge Allen Wigington and Rosemary Wigington.


      On Thursday, Nov. 19th a Grand Jury indicted former Pickens’ chief magistrate judge Allen Wigington on 57 counts related to financial fraud and theft. Wigington’s wife Rosemary Wigington, a Pickens High School teacher, was arrested after the Grand Jury indicted her on two counts of Theft by Taking in the same case. 

     The financial crimes case against former judge Wigington, a 25-year employee of county government, began when he was originally arrested in January of this year. At that time he was charged with improper use of a county credit card and for writing checks from the magistrate court to cover money investigators say he stole as treasurer of the

Read more: Grand jury indicts Wigington on 57 counts; Wife arrested, indicted on two counts of Theft by Taking

Nativity to be set up this Saturday at courthouse


A photo of the new Nativity set purchased with funds donated from the community has arrived in time for the holidays. Public invited to event made possible through successful fundraiser.


The story of the Nativity that’s displayed at the Pickens Courthouse each Christmas is long and convoluted, with ownership and responsibility of the set changing hands over the years. The Nativity’s story came to a head in 2019 when it was noticeably missing from the lawn during the annual tree lighting ceremony. Members of the community went to social media with complaints. 

But after a year-long fundraiser organized by a private citizen a new Nativity has been purchased and is scheduled to be set up at a public event this Saturday. 

Local business owner Marla Renner spearheaded the fundraising effort, which has collected over $5,000 since last December. The set was delivered to Jasper on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

Read more: Nativity to be set up this Saturday at courthouse

New coloring contest with weekly ice cream prize

The Pickens Progress has partnered with the Pickens 4-H program and Lollidrops Sweet Shoppe for a weekly kids coloring contest. Every week kids can color the image on our Kids Page, get their parents to take a photo and send it to us for a chance to win a single scoop cone or cup from Lollidrops on Main Street in Jasper. A winner will be selected each week. They will recieve a coupon for the free ice cream and have their coloring page publish in the next edition. Email entries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .