Completion of fire station halted

Community, News

Blue Ridge, Ga. – For now construction on the new emergency center / fire station located off of Windy Ridge Road in Blue Ridge will come to a halt. Plans to finish the current construction and move emergency personnel in will continue but a portion of the building that was not deemed to be finished in the current phase will remain undone for the time being.

At the Oct. 9 Fannin County Board of Commissioners meeting unexpected high bids were received for the completion of the project.

Fannin County Emergency Management Director Robert Graham explained that the completion of this particular area of the facility was not necessary for the building itself to be a functional space for emergency management staff.

The main purpose of the incomplete area will be for training and living quarters.

Graham reached out to 25 contractors in hopes of finding a winning bidder to complete the project. Local contractors were included in this list of 25, but no local companies opted to bid.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Board of Commissioners, Chairman, Post 1 Commissioner, Post 2 Commissioner, Stan Helton, Earl Johnson, Larry Joe Sosebee, Fannin County Attorney, Lynn Doss, Emergency Management Agency, Director, Robert Graham, Fire Station, Windy Ridge, Egineered Structures Inc., JM Williams Contractors

An interior picture of the new emergency center during construction.

Fannin County Attorney Lynn Doss opened two sealed bids at the meeting.

The first bid came from Engineered Structures, Inc. of Kennesaw, Ga. in the amount of $486,460, and the second bid came from JM Williams Contractors of Marietta, Ga. in the amount of $439,927.

Post 1 Commissioner Earl Johnson was first to express his opinion after a lengthy silence from all the commissioners: “I think it’s way too much money.”

“I feel like that’s really high,” Graham said agreeing with Johnson and adding, “I don’t know what happened between now and last year. That’s almost double what we started out at.”

Graham said this referring to a quote that was given previously for the completion of the area that was substantially less than either of the two new bids.

County Chairman Stan Helton, agreeing with opinions expressed by Johnson and Graham, questioned Graham if any issues, either from safety or structure, would arise by not completing this particular section at the present time.

Graham responded that there would be a need to heat the space in cold temperatures due to the sprinkler system in that area already being live and functioning.

Johnson clarified that the sprinkler system was a wet system: “The lines on a wet system are charged with water at all times and in a dry system they are only charged once needed.”

Graham suggested heating the area with a propane heater, possibly a hanging heater, and that there would be no safety issues in doing so as long as the heater had proper ventilation.

“I’m disappointed that we couldn’t get a more favorable bid on this,” Helton concluded.

Johnson motioned,” I make the motion that we deny both bids due to the extreme cost.”

This motion passed unanimously.

With the area partially complete, Johnson made a last suggestion of looking into the cost of piecemealing the project out to specialized contractors in hopes cutting costs and also encouraging local businesses to bid on the process.

Specific areas mentioned that would need completion include sheetrock, flooring, heating and air, plumbing and electrical.


Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at


Natalie Kissel

Jeff DePaola for Fannin County School Board ~ Opportunity Through Community

Election 2018, Politics

  • Graduate of Kennesaw State University  
  • 20 year career as a Computer programmer for Delta Air Lines
  • Active member of the Benton MacKaye Trail Association
  • Active member of Feed Fannin
  • Past board member of the Boys & Girls Club
  • Multi-year mentor to as-risk youth from Capitol Homes-Atlanta
  • Currently an active broker with Mountain Place Realty in Blue Ridge Jeff DePaola asks for your vote in the upcoming election for Fannin County School Board.  Mr. DePaola shares his platform and his vision for the future of the Fannin County School System:

Q:  What do you see as the board’s top priority ?

A:   Maintaining and attracting quality educators to our system.


Q:  What is your vision for education in this community?

A:  Continue to increase the graduation rate from Fannin County High School and ultimately achieve our mission of 100%, which I believe is possible.        I would work closely with the school system administration and the superintendent to identify creative opportunities to achieve this goal.


Q:  How can you contribute to a successful achievement of this vision?

A:  Achieve 100% graduation rate though more comprehensive mentoring and tutoring programs that reach more of our students starting early in              their education experience and continuing through high school. Also, identify vocational programs that could be  offered in Fannin County schools        that target meaningful career paths for our student population who may not want to attend college after graduation.


Q:  What kind of relationship should a district/the board have with its community? With its parents and families?

A:  My campaign slogan is Opportunity Through Community so I intend to be a bridge between the school system needs and our growing Fannin                County community. I believe we have an outstanding base of quality full and part-time residents that would be willing to participate in expanded           education related mentoring and tutoring programs.

       Also, with our business and higher education community expanding rapidly, there will be more opportunities for partnerships that will benefit       our student population. 

Jeff was born in Phoenix, AZ and graduated high school from Schaumburg, IL.  He started with Delta Air Lines in Chicago shortly after high school in 1978 and transferred to Atlanta in 1982 to be trained as a mainframe computer programmer.

He put himself through school and graduated from Kennesaw State University with a business degree in 1988 after part time evening/weekend/summer classes while working full time at Delta.  If you would like to contact Jeff DePaola with any questions he can be contacted at 404.550.4488 or email him at Email Jeff DePaola for Fannin School Board (click here)



Fannin County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 10/08 to 10/15

Arrest Reports

Arrest report provided by the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 35-01-18) allows for to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Fannin County. Those arrests are posted on for viewing pleasure. Please remember that all individuals listed have been arrested and charged, however, they are presumed innocent until guilt has been proven in a court of law.

Phillip Cecil Collis: Obituary



Phillip Collis, age 69, of Mineral Bluff, passed away Friday, October 12, 2018, at his home. Mr. Collis was born August 9, 1949, in Ducktown, TN to the late Cecil & Bertha Collis. He was a member of New River Baptist Church and Mineral Bluff Masonic Lodge #483 F&AM. Mr. Collis retired from Fannin County as Assistance Road Department Supervisor after 46 years of service. Mr. Collis enjoyed collecting guns, was a die-hard Chevrolet fan, and was devoted to his family. He was preceded in death by his wife, Glenda Ruth Collis.

Survivors include: sons, Neil (Rachael) Collis, Paul (Jennifer) Collis, and Chuck (Karen) Collis, granddaughters, Samantha Collis, Brittany Collis, and Cheyenne Collis, grandsons, Austin Collis, Grant Collis, Phillip Collis and Blake Gray,brother, Michael (Tammy)Collis, sister, Cindi (Danny) Shinpaugh, great-grandchildren, Wesley Gray, Haegen Collis, and Jaxson Swaney.

Funeral services: Monday, October 15, 2018, at 3:00 pm at the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home with Rev. Michael Collis officiating. Interment will follow in Chastain Memorial Park Cemetery. Pallbearers: Danny Shinpaugh, Denton Petty, Bryan Dillback, Craig Dutton, Butch Culberson, and David Howard. Honorary pallbearers: Ryan Dutton, Ernie Sellers, Kent Foster, Hoyt Green.

The family will receive friends at the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home of Blue Ridge, Sunday, October 14, 2018, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

Arrangements entrusted to the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home of Blue Ridge, GA. You may send condolences to the family and sign the guest register at

Larry Guinn Eller: Obituary


Larry Guinn Eller, age 69, of Murphy, passed away October 3, 2018, at his home. Mr. Eller was born April 5, 1949, in Copperhill, TN, to the late Willie Guinn Eller and Georgia Mae Graves Eller. He was a member of Iron Workers Local Union 387 Atlanta. Larry loved the Lord and his family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He also enjoyed his friends, watching wrestling and riding four-wheelers. Mr. Eller was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia Helton Eller.

Survivors include: mother, Georgia Mae Eller, son, Chris (Tammy) Eller, son, Eric (Emily Hamby) Eller, daughter, Mandy (Ray Thomas) Eller, sister, Phyllis (Frank) Beeam, sister, Rita (Ronnie) Ross, grandchildren, Hallie Thomason, Katlynn Eller, Jeffrey Eller, Storm Eller, Mehgan Eller, Miranda Eller, great-grandchildren, Grayson Howe and Caymen Thomason.

Funeral services: Sunday, October 7, 2018, at 2:00 pm at the Finch-Cochran Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Josh Ledford. Music provided by Paula Culver. Interment will follow in Sweet Gum Baptist Church Cemetery in Mineral Bluff, GA. Pallbearers: Jeffery Eller, Storm Eller, Brandon Howe, Chad Beeam, Brett Ross, Shannon Owensby, Treylyn Owensby, and Cason Owensby.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Saturday evening from 5 to 8 PM.

Arrangements entrusted to the Finch-Cochran Funeral Home of McCaysville, GA. You may send condolences to the family and sign the guest register at

Shirley Ann Seabolt: Obituary


Shirley Ann Seabolt, age 83, of Dallas, GA, passed away Wednesday, October 10, 2018, at Overlook at Cedarcrest Assisted Living and Memory Care in Acworth, GA. Mrs.Seabolt was born June 15, 1935, in Blue Ridge, GA, to the late Clyde Buchanan and the late Alma Pruitt Buchanan. Mrs. Seabolt was a homemaker, a loving mother to her children, and a dedicated wife to her husband. She was very involved and always by her husband’s side while serving in the ministry. She was preceded in death by her mother and father, four brothers and one sister, and by her husband, Evan Seabolt, and son, Grady Seabolt.

Survivors include her daughters, Melanie Yvonne (Lindsey) Gaspard, Judy (Eddie) Wallace and brother, Jack (Martha) Buchanan, granddaughters, Jeanine Smith and Amber Gaspard, three great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

Graveside services will be held Saturday, October 13, 2018, at 2:00 pm at the Friendship Baptist Church Cemetery in Suches, GA, with Rev. Jack Buchanan officiating.

The family will receive friends at the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home Saturday, October 13, 2018, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Arrangements entrusted to the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home of Blue Ridge, GA. You may send condolences

Kathleen (Kathy) Porter: Obituary


Mrs. Kathleen (Kathy) Porter, 76, of Blue Ridge, was escorted home by the angels, Sunday, October 7, 2018 surrounded by the love of family and friends. Mrs. Porter was born June 22, 1942 in Fannin County to the late John Oliver Porter and Gertrude Abercrombie Porter Galiher.

Along with her parents, Kathy is preceded in death by brothers Lloyd, Junior, Eugene and Wayne; sisters, Hazel and Martha; step-father Clarence Galiher; very special sisters-in-law Aubree and Jennie Porter; nephews Jim and Lynn Porter, and father of her children Tony Sampson.

She is survived by sons Stacey (Cristy) Sampson of Kingsport, TN; daughters Rhonda Sampson Helton (Mark Whitaker) of Gray, TN, Tracey Sampson (Bruce Collins) of Morganton, and Jennifer Sampson Holt (Alan) of Blue Ridge; grandchildren Kim McCallister, Samantha Crow, Sydney Helton, Derek and Dylan Jarnagin, Brandi Jarnagin Greene (Chase), Evan Collins, Austin (Kristy) Hawkins, Logan, Payton and Morgan Holt, and the loves of her life, her great-grandbabies Aubrey Gracen, Kaylee Jane, Kenley and Trip.

Kathy leaves behind her sisters Grace, Christine, Bernice, Charlotte and Wanda whom she considered the very best parts of her life.

Funeral services will be held Friday, October 12, 2018 at 1pm at the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home with Rev. Eric Kincaid officiating. Interment will follow at the Hot House Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends at the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home on Thursday, October 11, 2018 from 6-9 pm.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home of Blue Ridge. You may send condolences to the family and sign the guest registry at

Randy E. Ray: Obituary


Mr. Randolph “Randy” Erwin Ray, age 64, of Blue Ridge, passed away on October 14, 2018 at his residence. He was born in Wyandotte, MI to the late Boon Robert Ray and Helen Lucille Cross Ray. He graduated from Flat Rock High School in Flat Rock, MI in 1972.  Mr. Ray had worked as a painter and carpenter for many years. He enjoyed spending time outdoors and time with his wife visiting flea markets and parks. Also preceding him in death was a brother, Ron Ray; and one niece, Clarissa Ray.


Survivors include his loving wife, Mona Hicks Ray; children, Hope Ray Longworth and husband of Tampa, FL, Dwayne, Phillip Ray of TX, Nathan Ray of MI and Billy Wayne Sisson of Savannah, GA; brother and sister-in-law, Rob and Sherry Ray of McCaysville, GA; sisters, Janet Ray Shepherd of Jasper, GA, Joyce Ray Hogan of Orange Park, FL, Juanita Ray of Cleveland, TN, Jeneva Ray Long and husband Franklin of Dalton, GA and Sunshine Ray Davenport and husband Jeremy of Tunnel Hill, GA; grandson, Jacob Longworth; special nephew and caregiver, Corey Ray of Blue Ridge, GA; many nieces, nephews, friends locally and from Flat Rock Creek, MI and his canine companion, Rosie.


Graveside services will be conducted on Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. from the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church Cemetery with Rev. Larry Hughes officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home prior to the service from 12:00 p.m. until 1:45 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to help defray final expenses. Condolences may be sent to the family online at Akins Funeral Home of Blue Ridge, GA is in charge of the arrangements. - Dedicated to serve the needs of the community. Provide a source of real news-Dependable Information-Central to the growth and success of our Communities. Strive to encourage, uplift, warn, entertain, & enlighten our readers/viewers- Honest-Reliable-Informative.

News - Videos - TV - Marketing - Website Design - Commercial Production - Consultation

Search - Citizen Journalists - A place to share “Your” work. Send us “Your” information or tips - 706.276.NEWs (6397) 706.889.9700

Back to Top