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Posts published by “Staff Writer”

Earth Day Paddle showcases beauty of Dawson Forest


Angela Reinhardt / Photo

Kayakers floating down the Etowah River for Mountain Conservation Trust’s Earth Day on the Etowah Paddle. 

It was around 10 a.m. the Saturday before Earth Day. Kayaks and canoes in a kaleidoscope of colors poured into the takeout site at Kelly Bridge in Dawson County, where they would soon be loaded onto shuttles and sent upstream with their owners/renters. 

The weather was shaping up to show off mother nature at its finest, an ideal scenario for Mountain Conservation Trust of Georgia’s Earth Day on the Etowah Paddle that would take participants nearly 10 miles through Dawson Forest’s Wildlife Management Area. It was sunny, and despite it being a brisk 40 in the morning temps would get into the 70s by afternoon. The land trust’s director George Kimberly was busy checking people in when my party of three arrived. He told me attendance was up an impressive 300 percent, from 10 participants last year – the first year the event was held – to over 30.

After boats were stacked and secured on trailers, we got a rundown of what to expect from the Appalachian Outfitters shuttle service rep, followed by a safety lesson from a couple there as guides.

Sheriff’s office adds trucks to patrols

One of the new trucks in the sheriff’s fleet. 

The Pickens Sheriff office’s shift supervisors rolled out in Chevy trucks earlier this spring — the first time the office has used trucks in their patrol fleet.

The office is using one Chevy 1500 truck per shift, primarily in a utility roll, driven by the shift supervisor. Sheriff spokesman Kris Stancil said they had recognized for years the need for vehicles that could be used to deliver pylons, barricades, remove items from a roadway or transport evidence.

The office has four of the four-wheel-drive trucks – one per shift. Each shift has four officers in the Ford Explorer patrol vehicle that the office began using several years ago.

In theory, there is a sixth officer on patrol in one of the aging Crown Victorias still in use, but Stancil said due to limited manpower they rarely have a full shift. Other Crown Vics are used for courthouse transportation and non-patrol duty. Most of these older vehicles have well over 200,000 miles on them, Stancil said.

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