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Godfrey to lead Chamber

amberle godfrey

Pickens native Amberle Godfrey has been named President/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce.

By Sonny Proctor,

Chairman Board of Directors Pickens Chamber of Commerce

I am proud to announce that Amberle Godfrey has been selected as the new president/CEO of the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce.

Godfrey is a native of Pickens County and has been serving as interim executive director since early August. Prior to that she had served as interim operations director.  She has also served as a member of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, including chairman. During Amberle’s tenure, the Chamber has seen tremendous financial stabilization and many improvements in other areas. 

Read more: Godfrey to lead Chamber

Charges piling up for vape ring


     A Fannin County Grand Jury recently brought a slew of indictments against five suspects in a vape shop racketeering ring that involved stores in a three-county area, including one on West Church Street in Pickens County. 

On Friday, Sept. 14, agents from the Pickens, Fannin and Gilmer sheriffs’ offices, along with GBI agents, drug task force officers, and district attorney office personnel executed search warrants at the A1 Smoke Shops in Jasper and East Ellijay, as well as a Citgo convenience store on Blue Ridge Drive in Blue Ridge. The warrants were executed because law agencies believed the shops sold illegal products that led to at least a dozen medical vaping emergencies among students in the Appalachian Judicial Circuit. 

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

$1 million scratch-off winner in Jasper


Owners of the Marathon gas station on East Church Street in Jasper have a photo of the million dollar winning ticket displayed on their door. 


       Last Saturday was a lucky day for one mystery man, who a Jasper convenience store owner said won $1 million on a Royal Riches scratch-off ticket – top prize for the game. 

Mohammad Sohail, owner of the Marathon gas station on East Church Street, said the customer is a regular who drives a truck. Mohammad’s wife Nazia was working when the man bought the ticket. 

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

Holiday shopping season off to hot start

holiday market

Max Caylor / Photo

Last weekend’s Holiday Market at Chattahoochee Tech marked the beginning of the shopping season in Jasper. Organizers say the event was the largest market to date, and proceeds benefit non-profit and charitable organizations throughout Pickens County. 


By Gwen Brandon


The eighth annual Holiday Market held last weekend at Chattahoochee Tech was the largest market held in Jasper to date with a record number of vendors and booths. 

With an all-day full parking lot at Chattahoochee Tech, Saturday attendance also exceeded expectations. Friday night’s food was a true “extravaganza of regional and worldly tastes.” 

Michelle Robertson said, “The Holiday Market in Jasper team is the hardest, most talented bunch of women I’ve ever had the honor of working with. They give their time, talents and energy to an event that gives 100% back to

Read more: Holiday shopping season off to hot start

Tate is revitalized

New businesses bring back old memories for residents


photos/ Angela Reinhardt

Mimi’s Eats & Treats owner Sherry Schillaci, left, and John Bell assist customers during lunch. Mimi’s is one of several new businesses in Tate that have brought new foot traffic - and new life - to the Pickens community. 


      Rewind a few years and the heart of the Tate community, the intersection at highways 53 and 108 locals call “the Tate four way,” was a ghost town - a shadow of a place that once bustled with activity. The strip of buildings that housed the Allred & Jordan Drug Co. and soda fountain for a half a century, a Piggly Wiggly grocery store, a bus stop, and the old Post Office were vacant. The train depot was by most accounts an eyesore – dilapidated and succumbing to the elements.  

     But in what could be likened to the planets aligning in favor for the tiny unincorporated community, the area has been revitalized by builders and business owners who wanted to see it thrive again. A new soda fountain and drug store modeled after the old Allred & Jordan Drug Co. strikes a familiar, nostalgic chord, while it and other new businesses bring a renewed sense of pride for Tate residents. 

Read more: Tate is revitalized