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Military Writing Contest Winners


This year the Sassafras Literary Writing Exchange hosted a Military Writing Contest with winners in three categories. Click on each category to 1st place winners' work. Winners were announced at the Fourth of July celebration at Lee Newton Park in Jasper. 




1st Place Combat - John Martin


1st Place Non-Combat- Jack Fay


1st Place Family - Vivian Sherperis

Pilot whales beach themselves on St. Simons


People try to assist pilot whales that have beached themselves by trying to push them out to sea. 

      SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (July 17, 2019) – Multiple Pilot whales (Globicephala melas) repeatedly beached themselves on Georgia’s St. Simons Island today, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.  

      “While stranding is a known natural occurrence, the only thing we can do is to continue pushing them out to sea,” says Wildlife Biologist Clay George. 

      Personnel from the DNR Wildlife Resources Division, DNR Coastal Resources Division, Georgia Sea Turtle Center, NOAA, Glynn County Emergency Management and others participated in efforts to push several beached whales back

Read more: Pilot whales beach themselves on St. Simons

Piggin in the Park BBQ this weekend at Lee Newton

Kansas City Barbeque Society Sanctioned event with 35 professional teams

and Kids Q Cook-Off Friday, Saturday



Have fun, great barbeque, and brew at the 1st annual Piggin in the Park barbeque competition in Jasper scheduled for July 19th and 20th.  The Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned barbeque will be hosted by Prevent Child Abuse Pickens (PCAP), and the proceeds will go to the organizations ongoing efforts to prevent the abuse and neglect of our community’s children.

Are you aware that Pickens County has one of the highest rates of DFACS interventions per capita in Georgia? When DFACS has to remove a child from a home, even in the most extreme situations, it feels like a death to the child.

Read more: Piggin in the Park BBQ this weekend at Lee Newton

Woodstock Church Jasper breaks ground on new building


Members of Woodstock Church Jasper gathered Sunday to officially break ground on an 8,200 square-foot building adjacent to their current location.

Members of Woodstock Church Jasper gathered Sunday evening to hold a worship service/ ground breaking for an 8,200 square-foot, modern church.

The new site will be adjacent to the current church on Highway 53 in Hill City where they were asked to take over the operation of a small Baptist church there in 2013.

Executive Pastor Jim Law thanked members who had been there with Mt. Hope Community at the time they asked Woodstock Baptist to take over their church. A number of the large crowd at the Sunday service raised their hand indicating they had been members of the former church and continue to be involved.

Read more: Woodstock Church Jasper breaks ground on new building

School Board hears summer construction updates, approves teacher pay scale

school building

     The Dragon Opportunity and Virtual Academy (DOVA) building will house five classrooms for vastly different programs.


The Pickens school board held a quick regular meeting July 11 with their chair Tucker Green using Skype to lead the meeting while on vacation. This marks the first time that Green, who is a UGA student, has used the teleconferencing option. A board member is allowed to participate in two meetings a year via teleconferencing. 

Several board members said the meeting went okay and the superintendent commented at end of the board

Read more: School Board hears summer construction updates, approves teacher pay scale