Benton MacKaye Trail Association to hold work trip Saturday

Press Release

CHERRY LOG, Ga. – The Benton MacKaye Trail Association (BMTA) is seeking volunteers to help with trail maintenance for an upcoming work trip.

According to Barry Allen, Georgia work trip coordinator for the BMTA, a work trip is planned for Saturday, Feb. 10, on a section of the trail on the Sisson Property near Cherry Log.   This month’s Georgia work trip will focus on tree removal, water diversion work, and installation of vertical 6×6’s with BMT diamond blazes to mark confusing areas of the trail. Allen stated at least one saw crew would be needed on the section to remove trees in a few locations.

Allen also stated, despite of the possibility of a federal government shutdown over the weekend, the work trip will continue as planned since the work section is located on private lands. Typically, work trips are not allowed in the National Forest sections during government shutdowns.

All work trip participants are asked to wear sturdy shoes or boots, pants and long sleeve shirts, work gloves and, for cold-weather trips, multiple thin layers that can be easily shed one at a time. Also, a daypack for storing food, water or other items is always a good idea for work trips. Food and water are not supplied by the BMTA on work trips; however, tools are provided by the Association. The BMTA recommends workers to bring at least two liters of water for the trip.

Those interested can meet either at The Village Restaurant in Blue Ridge for breakfast at 8 a.m. or at the Craddock Center parking area at 9 a.m.

The Benton MacKaye Trail spans three states – Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina – and nearly 300 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Davenport Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is enjoyed by thousands of hikers and outdoor enthusiasts each year.

For anyone with questions or needing further information, contact Barry Allen at or 770-294-7384.

[Featured image: Benton MacKaye Trail Association volunteers work to install steps at a section of trail near Fall Branch Falls in Fannin County.]


Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Mysterious boom rattles Fannin County

Featured Stories, News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Residents of Fannin and Gilmer counties took to social media late Friday night trying to find the source of what is being described as a loud explosion. The boom that took place had enough force that some residents were reporting their homes shaking from the blast.

Blue Ridge, Cherry Log, Morganton, Fannin County, Gilmer County, Georgia, Rock Ridge, Chad Johnson, USGS, United States Geological Servey, Mystery Boom, Boom, Earthquake, Tannerite, Sonic Boom, Jackson County, Hall County, Habersham County, Madison County, Robbinsville, North Carolina, Gilmer Public Safety, Fannin County Emergency Management Agency

Residents took to social media to try to find the source of the noise.

Brenda Curry, a resident of Cherry Log, described what happened close to midnight on Dec. 29: “At first, I heard (and felt) one big explosion. I looked outside, because it sounded like a transformer had blown, or what I imagined a propane tank might sound like if it exploded.”

“I didn’t see anything,” Curry stated of looking outside directly after the noise,”no fire, flames, or smoke.”

The unexplained noises did not stop there. “Then I heard another boom. A minute later there was another one. Then there were about seven ‘booms’,” Curry added, “A few minutes later about five more.”

Residents in a large area of both Fannin and Gilmer counties described similar events. Reports came in via Facebook of having felt or heard the explosion in downtown Blue Ridge, near Fannin Regional Hospital on Hwy. 5, Morganton, and Cherry Log.

Gilmer County Public Safety, as well as the Fannin County Emergency Management Agency, had no reports of any incidents that would explain the source of the noise that was causing a stir on social media.

Blue Ridge, Cherry Log, Morganton, Fannin County, Gilmer County, Georgia, Rock Ridge, Chad Johnson, USGS, United States Geological Servey, Mystery Boom, Boom, Earthquake, Tannerite, Sonic Boom, Jackson County, Hall County, Habersham County, Madison County, Robbinsville, North Carolina, Gilmer Public Safety, Fannin County Emergency Management Agency

The boom was heard in Blue Ridge, Morganton, and Cherry Log.

Fannin and Gilmer counties can now be added to the list of areas that have experienced similar events in previous weeks. Counties across northeast Georgia have reported booms so loud that homes have been shaken following the blast.

Reports have been filed in Jackson, Hall, Habersham and Madison counties. All reports are similar in description, and no source has been found as to the cause of these booms.

North Georgia is not the only area affected by these unexplained happenings. Reports of mysterious booms have come in from across the Southeast all week, which has led many to speculate on the origins.

One popular theory is the use of tannerite by local gun enthusiasts. Tannerite is the brand name of a patented exploding target used in the practice of firearms. When used for target practice, tannerite can create an explosion similar to a stick of dynamite.

“Realistically, a tannerite explosion can be set off that can be heard for 20 to 15 miles, but the volume you’d be setting off would cause so much localized noise that within a mile of where it was set off would be numerous reports to the police,” Chad Johnson, owner of Rock Ridge Training, a firearms training service provider in Blue Ridge, explained of the effects of tannerite.

Blue Ridge, Cherry Log, Morganton, Fannin County, Gilmer County, Georgia, Rock Ridge, Chad Johnson, USGS, United States Geological Servey, Mystery Boom, Boom, Earthquake, Tannerite, Sonic Boom, Jackson County, Hall County, Habersham County, Madison County, Robbinsville, North Carolina, Gilmer Public Safety, Fannin County Emergency Management Agency

Residents offered possible explanations of the mystery boom.

Johnson went on to say, “If you had a noise that propagated that large, at the fringes it would be nowhere near as loud as the center (localized explosion), but these people are reporting the same relative volume at the fringes – all the way across. So to me that says something is more generalized than localized.”

Believing that tannerite is a good first thought as to a possible explanation of the boom, Johnson says that the science behind tannerite does not fit the scenario that has taken place.

Others in Fannin and Gilmer counties speculated that the cause could have come from military training. Residents are used to military planes running aviation training missions over our mountains, but sonic booms are rare in our area.

“If the military or commercial aviation are flying over populated areas, they are prohibited to break the sound barrier because of sonic booms,” Johnson discussed the possibility of a military cause, “partially because of the annoyance, but secondarily because of the damage to homes that can occur.”

“There are rare times when the military is permitted to do it, when they must for some training activity,” Johnson stated. While it is possible for the military to have granted permission for such training, Johnson felt that it was unlikely due to the time of night.

Blue Ridge, Cherry Log, Morganton, Fannin County, Gilmer County, Georgia, Rock Ridge, Chad Johnson, USGS, United States Geological Servey, Mystery Boom, Boom, Earthquake, Tannerite, Sonic Boom, Jackson County, Hall County, Habersham County, Madison County, Robbinsville, North Carolina, Gilmer Public Safety, Fannin County Emergency Management Agency

The North American Craton is a layer of the North American plate, and has an edge that runs directly through North Georgia.

Lastly, some posed the possibility of an earthquake, and cited the 2.7 magnitude earthquake that took place in Robbinsville, North Carolina, Tuesday, Dec. 26. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) website, which tracks earthquakes worldwide, no activity was reported in north Georgia or surrounding areas on the night of Dec. 29.

The USGS website does have a page dedicated to unexplained sounds. The website states, “Earthquake ‘booms’ have been reported for a long time, and they tend to occur more in the Northeastern US and along the East Coast.”

It goes on to say, “No one knows for sure, but scientists speculate that these ‘booms’ are probably small shallow earthquakes that are too small to be recorded, but large enough to be felt by people nearby.”

No one can say with certainty the cause of what residents experienced in our area, but booms, such as the one that took place in Fannin and Gilmer counties, have been reported throughout our country for years and are likely to continue for some time without explanation.


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Natalie Kissel

Lady Rebels Declaw the Lady Bobcats

FCHS Sports, Sports

This past Friday on day two of the Mountaintop Holiday Classic, the Lady Bobcats traveled to take on the Lady Rebels. The Lady Bobcats were coming from a win on day one of the tournament while the Lady Rebels were well rested from the bye game that was scheduled on the first day. Both teams came ready to play and were hungry for another win.

It appeared to be an even matchup from the start. Gilmer had the hustle on defense while Fannin had the determination on offense. The Lady Rebels seemed to score the majority of their points off plays. Lady Rebel, Maleah Stepp, led Fannin in scoring with thirteen points with her will to win. The Lady Bobcats made most of their points from driving the lane and playing in the moment. Lady Bobcat, Mallory Kiser, led her team in scoring with nine points due to her grit. Lady Rebel post, Mackenzie McClure, was on fire with her outside shots which put her right behind Stepp in scoring with ten points. Lady Bobcat guard, Taylor Boling, was behind Kiser in scoring with seven points overall. With the first quarter coming to an end, the Lady Rebels were just one point ahead of the Lady Bobcats with a score of 13-12.

The second quarter was back and forth. Neither team could keep a consistent lead for the eight minutes on the clock. The Lady Rebels started to play scrappy on defense and began rebounding. Lady Rebel, Bailey Whitener, got aggressive down low and contributed three points for her team. Another Lady Rebel, Maddie Johnson, got after it and scored five points after getting steals on defense. Gilmer started looking up the court to find Lady Bobcat, Marylee Callihan, who also put five points on the board for her team. Number twenty-four for the Lady Bobcats, Emma Callihan, put her all into the game and contributed four points for Gilmer. With Fannin in the lead halfway through the quarter, Lady cat Michaela Staley drew a foul and made two of her foul shots. Staley’s two points tied up the game. Gilmer continued to score and further their lead until the end of the second quarter. It was the Lady Rebels ball as the clock was winding down and Reagan Henderson happened to be wide open. Henderson received a beautiful pass down low which resulted in her making a buzzer beater shot and contributing two of her overall three points to tie the game 23-23.

With both teams having the same chances of winning, Fannin found their spunk. The Lady Rebels started to draw fouls from driving the lane. Lady Rebel, Hope Franklin, drew two fouls from the block and contributed two of her four points from the foul line. However, Fannin was not the only team to draw fouls. Lady Bobcat, Katie Kiker, drew a foul and put one point on the board for Gilmer. As Fannin’s lead extended, Gilmer came alive on the block. Lady Bobcat, Faith Ralston, scored two of her three points from down low. Another post for Gilmer, Jasmine Staley, contributed two points for the Lady Bobcats from under the basket. Gilmer’s lead strayed farther from Fannin’s which resulted in the score being 31-25 at the end of the third quarter.

With Gilmer down by only six points, they were determined to make a come back. Both teams wanted to win and it showed through their hustle and intensity. With Gilmer trying their best to catch up to Fannin, the Lady Rebels tried just as hard to keep their lead. Although both teams had the heart to win the game, one had to lose. The Lady Bobcats played an amazing game, but were five points away from victory. The Lady Rebels 38-33 win over the Lady Bobcats put Fannin in the championship game to be played the next day against the Lady Dragons.

The Lady Rebels win puts their overall record at 7-6 while the Lady Bobcats record also stands at 7-6. Catch the Lady Rebels next region game at Fannin County High School on January 5 against GAC starting at 7:00! Or catch the Lady Bobcats next region game on the same day and at the same time as they travel to take on Northwest Whitfield!


Cornerstone to honor Veterans on Sunday November 13th 2016


Cornerstone Baptist Church in Cherry Log will honor Veterans during the worship hour at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 13th, 2016.


The congregation extends a special invitation to attend to Veterans in North GA and their families, whether full-timers without a church home, weekenders, sometimers,  or day visitors.    Visit the website for more information!  Cornerstone Baptist Church of Cherry Log

Everyone welcome, and nursery provided.  Cornerstone, the brown log church, is located south of The Pink Pig on Cherry Log Street.

Special Dedication to Mr. James Howard “Bud” Holloway, Jr.


A special dedication was held in honor of Mr. James Howard “Bud” Holloway Jr. on September 26th 2015.  Friends and family gathered to remember and honor the life and memory of Mr. Holloway.  See Senate Resolution 126 (PART XV) below:

WHEREAS, Mr. James Howard “Bud” Holloway, Jr., was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on July 313 2, 1932, the beloved son of James Howard Holloway, Sr., and Louise Walton Holloway; and

WHEREAS, he served as a guardian of this nation’s freedom and liberty with the United States Navy, valiantly and courageously defending his fellow citizens and upholding the ideals of America; and

WHEREAS, in 1967, Mr. Holloway became the owner of the Pink Pig, a BBQ restaurant in the community of Cherry Log; and

WHEREAS, a cherished member of the Cherry Log community, Mr. Holloway always had a gold dollar for the children dining at his restaurant and a funny story to tell his guests; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Holloway will long be remembered for his sense of humor and quick wit, and his political debates continue to be sorely missed by those who loved him; and

WHEREAS, it is abundantly fitting and proper that the extraordinary accomplishments of this distinguished Georgian be appropriately recognized by dedicating a bridge in his memory.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED AND ENACTED that the bridge on State Route 515 over Cherry Log Street in Gilmer County is dedicated as the J. H. “Bud” Holloway Memorial Bridge.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Clerk of the House of Representatives is authorized and directed to make appropriate copies of this resolution available for distribution to the Department of Transportation and the family of  Mr. James Howard “Bud” Holloway, Jr.

Direct Lightning Strike


Richard Crosley shared the following photos of the results of a direct lightning strike that occurred Wed night – Aug 3rd at approx 9 pm. The photos are of a cabin located on Anderson Drive in Cherry Log, GA.


Up From The Ashes-Cornerstone Baptist Church

Featured Stories, Religion

Cornerstone Baptist Church will have its first worship service Easter Morning!!! A resurrected church will celebrate Resurrection Day in its new building on April 8th 2012. (more…) - 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.

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