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Local News Archives for 2023-04

Cherokee Recreation and Parks receive renewal as a Better Youth Sports Program Provider

Cherokee Recreation and Parks has once again been recognized for its commitment to providing a safe and high-quality environment for youth sports programs.

The organization had its designation as a Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider renewed by the National Alliance for Youth Sports, a 501(c)3 organization headquartered in West Palm Beach, Fla. This designation, which is valid until Dec. 31, 2024, indicates that Cherokee Recreation and Parks has met key requirements in five categories, including Written Policies and Procedures, Volunteer Screening, Coach Training, Parent Education, and Accountability.

“This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team at Cherokee Recreation and Parks,” said Cherokee County Community Services Agency Director Bryan Reynolds. "We are proud to have earned this recognition and are committed to continuously improving our services for the community.”

Cherokee Recreation and Parks originally earned this designation in 2020 and has successfully renewed this program every year since.

“The Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation is an important tool for setting Cherokee Recreation and Parks apart from other organizations offering youth sports programs,” said Cherokee County Recreation and Parks Director Jay Worley. "Parents have many options when it comes to youth sports, and this designation gives them confidence in our programs. They can rest assured that their child is in the best place possible to learn and compete in sports."

Organizations that wish to be evaluated for the Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation can apply at no cost. More information can be found at

Pickens County Library Reopens to the Public

Sequoyah Regional Library System (SRLS) has announced that the Pickens County Library, which has undergone renovation and expansion since summer of 2021, will open to the public on April 10, 2023.
“We are excited to be back operating in our renovated and expanded location where we can fully serve our community,” says Angela Cortellino, Executive Director of SRLS. “I want to thank our patrons and community for their patience. The wait was well worth this incredible space we now all have.”

The Pickens County Library relocated to a temporary space in May 2021 while the primary space underwent construction. Partial funding of $1,800,000 for this project was made possible by the Pickens County’s SPLOST program. To fund the remaining portion, the Sequoyah Regional Library System (SRLS) applied and received from the State a $2,000,000 Capital Outlay Grant, administered by the Georgia Public Library
Service. These grants are funded by the sale of bonds and must be approved by the state legislature.

The finished renovation includes the addition of 8,200 square feet to the building. With an expanded and library facility, the Pickens community will have more space for books and technology; larger areas for programs, meetings, collaboration, and creation; and additional seating for study and quiet reading.

Pickens County Library full service hours:
Monday – Thursday: 9:00am – 8:00pm
Friday – Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 2:00pm – 6:00pm

The celebration of the newly renovated space will be expanded with an Open House Event on Wednesday, April 26, 10:30am-5:00pm. There will also be a Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting on Thursday, May 11 at 4:00pm.

City of Woodstock Hosts Groundbreaking for Chambers Street Extension

The City of Woodstock and Winter Construction invite you to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for the Chambers Street Extension in Downtown Woodstock.

What: The new section of Chambers Street will be for two-way traffic and will allow for the removal of East Main Street from Arnold Mill Road to Wheeler Street. This construction project is part of Phase I of Woodstock City Center.

When: Monday, April 10 at 5:30 p.m.

Where: Inside the construction fencing located between Arnold Mill Road and Wheeler Street. Parking is available at 8534 Main Street. Pedestrian entrance to site via gate near Arnold Mill Road and East Main Street.

Why: The extension of Chambers Street from Arnold Mill Road to Wheeler Street establishes a grid street connection that will eventually run all the way to Dupree Road. The street extension will allow for efficient access to the downtown parking deck when complete.

Cherokee County Elections and Voter Registration Opens New Headquarters

Cherokee County Elections and Voter Registration celebrated the opening of its new headquarters on Tuesday, April 4, with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

The spacious facility, located at 193 Lamar Haley Parkway, was purchased for $1.5 million by the Board of Commissioners in August of 2022 to comply with Georgia State House Bill 202.

“This facility turned out great, and I want to thank all of those who helped repurpose this building,” said Cherokee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Harry Johnston. “I am appreciative of the hard work performed by our elections staff and thankful they now have a good facility to work in.”

To meet the requirements of the new law, which mandates increased viewing areas, parking capabilities, and storage, the Elections and Voter Registration department needed more square footage strategically designed. The new building also brings operations under one roof. After analyzing various options, including expanding existing county-owned facilities or building a new one, the County purchased an established facility, which had previously housed the Cherokee County Division of Family and Children Services, to provide everything the department needed.

"We are thrilled to move into this larger and much-needed space," said Cherokee County Elections and Voter Registration Director Anne Dover. "We want to thank the county's property maintenance staff for making this project successful."

For more information on the Cherokee County Elections and Voter Registration office visit

Woodstock Arts Reeves House wins 2023 Travelblazers Award

Visit Woodstock GA accepted an award on behalf of The Reeves House at Woodstock Arts at the Georgia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus' 2023 Conference in Albany in February.

Georgia Trend selected five projects for the 2023 class of Travelblazers. The Reeves House, an innovative reimagination of a historic homesite into the heart of Woodstock's arts community, was selected because of Woodstock Arts'
partnership with City of Woodstock, Woodstock Downtown Development Authority, and John Wieland's JW Collection.

The Travelblazers Awards celebrate destination development projects that demonstrate creative community collaboration and partnership. A ”travelblazer” is innovative. Original. A pioneer. Someone who is instantly described as working to create a unique impact within the industry and for their community. The Reeves House will be featured in the July issue of Georgia Trend with the other four recipients: The Market at Visit Statesboro, Gainesville Kayak Vending Machine, Atlanta Dream and Arches Brewing's Collaboration Dream Empire, and
Macon’s Christmas Lights Extravaganza.

The replica of the century-old Reeves farmhouse in downtown Woodstock features a gallery for rotating exhibits, a classroom, an artist studio, and a coffee and wine bar. The decade-long effort overcame epic challenges. Following the recession, City of Woodstock purchased the property. Arts organization founders approached city
officials with the initiative to build a multifaceted arts destination there. City of Woodstock demonstrated crucial leadership early in the project by committing Parks & Recreation Impact Fees. The Revive the Reeves campaign raised $600,000 from individuals, businesses, and foundations for renovations. Today, the exhibits, classes, and events that take place in this beautiful destination create vibrancy serving locals and visitors through diverse and expansive experiences. In-depth classes and immersive camps at Woodstock Arts provide training in theater,
performance arts, and visual arts.

"The Reeves House is such an incredible example of what can happen when private sector giants like John Wieland, city leaders and best-in-class non-profits like Woodstock Arts come together to build community," said Mayor Michael Caldwell. " These entities' dedication to Woodstock, and specifically their efforts in this project,
have made a lasting difference for our city and created an asset that generations to come will enjoy."

Learn about Woodstock Arts' world-class performing arts productions, concerts, in-depth classes, and exciting camps at


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