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Ball Ground 99 percent sure on 100-acre nature preserve

ball ground nature preserve map

         The location of the original 50 acres that will hopefully become a part of the Ball Ground Nature Preserve is shown here on this map (marked by diagonal lines, just right of center).  Planned access will be from both Calvin Farmer Park and Roberts Lake Road, which intersects Gilmer Ferry Road near the Wheeler House. The preserve will extend to the rear of properties located in the Preserve at Long Swamp subdivision east of town.


By Larry Cavender

Contributing writer


"There are a lot of moving parts and dotted lines have not yet been signed," said Ball Ground City Clerk Karen Jordan about the possibility of the town getting a nature preserve. When she was asked the chances of such a valuable asset coming to the community, Jordan replied, "I'm 99.9 percent sure it will happen."

In a recent statement released by City Manager Eric Wilmarth, he stated, "Mayor Roberts and the Ball Ground Council have identified the acquisition of additional greenspace and park land as a top priority for the city." He added, "We are working towards accomplishing those goals and we have made significant progress in our efforts to add two additional 50 acre tracts of permanent greenspace to the city parks inventory."

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Governor presented with Tate marble nameplate

governor name plate


Former Pickens bank president Dennis Burnette and Polycor plant manager Catherine Fortin present Georgia governor Brian Kemp with a marble nameplate.

Submitted by Dennis Burnette


Following his inauguration, Governor Brian Kemp was presented with the official nameplate for the governor of the state of Georgia. The nameplate is solid white Georgia marble and inlaid with the state seal and lettering in gold leaf. The lettering reads, “Brian P. Kemp, 83rd Governor State of Georgia.” 

The presentation was made by Catherine Fortin, manager of Polycor’s Georgia Marble in Tate, and Dennis Burnette, a retired banker and former resident of Pickens County.

Read more: Governor presented with Tate marble nameplate

Sheriff named Citizen of the Year, Bojangles top business at Chamber’s Winter Ball

citizen of the year

Craig named citizen of the year (l-r): Chamber Director Amberle Godfrey, Sheriff Donnie Craig with wife, Tina, and children, Ashley and Tyler at the Chamber’s Winter Ball Saturday at the Tate House.

Staff reports


Sheriff Donnie Craig was named the Pickens Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year at the business group’s Winter Ball Saturday at the Tate House. Bojangles won Business of the Year and Michelle Logan was named as the group’s Ambassador of the Year.

Read more: Sheriff named Citizen of the Year, Bojangles top business at Chamber’s Winter Ball

Do you know when to stop? A look at school bus transportation in Pickens

Transportation 1-15-19-2

By Destini C. Shope, Director of  Community Engagement & Public Relations

Pickens Schools

Have you noticed the 30,000 pound, 40 foot object with flashing lights throughout the county? If you have driven around the county in the early mornings or afternoons, then you have most likely encountered this monstrosity of a vehicle carrying our children – it’s a school bus. In Pickens County, school buses transport nearly 3,000 students each day and drive over 12,000 miles daily.  PCSD drivers and monitors have over 981 years of service combined. We are fortunate to have such devoted drivers.  

Being a school bus driver doesn’t go without its challenges, but at the forefront of every drivers

Read more: Do you know when to stop? A look at school bus transportation in Pickens

Animal Rescue board members resign after state investigation

New board seeks volunteers, vows to continue serving community



The Georgia Department of Agriculture’s investigation into allegations made against Pickens Animals Rescue has been closed, with the rescue group now on probation and two longtime board members asked to resign.   

On July 10th, the Georgia Department of Agriculture issued an administrative order for disciplinary action against Pickens Animal Rescue Ranch. The state agency sought to revoke their license after accusations were made that they knowingly took animals who had owners and adopted them out illegally. According to the Department of Agriculture, in Georgia the only entities that can legally adopt out stray animals are local animal controls. 

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