Epworth Community Club Winter Quarterly Newsletter

Announcements, Community

The Epworth Community Club is located at 125 Schoolhouse Rd, Epworth, Ga.

What We Do
1. We sponsor local scouting of Boy Scout Troop 32 and Cub Scout Pack 432.
2. We produce and coordinate the annual historic 4th of July Observance at Epworth.
3. We provide some philanthropic gifts to local charities/organizations in the community.

Fundraisers
Spring – Spaghetti Dinner – Date TBD
Summer – 4th of July Observation
1. 8:00 AM Pancake Breakfast
2. 10:30 Indoor & Field Activities
Fall – BBQ Chicken Dinner – TBD
All Year – RENT Our Space – 706-492-3848

Click below for the full newsletter!

Quarterly Newsletter Winter 2019

Grandparents’ Night at Fannin County High School

Community, Rebel's Corner

Chloe Clemmons hosted a Grandparents’ Night on January 17th at Fannin County High School. Chloe is completing a project for the Family Career and Community Leaders of America STAR Event Competitions which will be help on February 9, 2019. Her project is called Focus on Children, and her main focus is Childhood Literacy. Chloe partnered with Sarah Welch, Fannin County Literacy Coordinator, to host the Grandparents’ Night. At the event, a variety of organizations shared about the resources that are available to custodial grandparents in our community. If you are raising a grandchild and were unable to make it to the event, please contact Lauren Owenby at Fannin County High School and the resources can be sent to you. Chloe will continue her efforts to work with individuals and organizations to provide opportunities to strengthen literacy for children in the Fannin County community.

Pictured above are the speakers from local organizations who were represented at the Grandparents’ Night.

Patsy Reed (Boys and Girls Club of America), Kathy Henson and Jeffrey Cash (Department of Child and Family Services), Donna Earl (Fannin Literacy Action Group), Chloe Clemmons (FCCLA Vice President), Sherry Morris (Family Connections), Darcy Arnall (Fannin County Library), Amanda Newton-Chastain (Main Street Pediatrics), and Sarah Welch (Fannin County Literacy Coordinator)

Fannin County Animal Control hosts open house

Community, News

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Volunteers and staff welcomed visitors to the Fannin County Animal Control (FCAC) facility on Saturday Oct. 27 to showcase the positive improvements being done and of course, the wonderful dogs being housed there.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Animal Control, Open House, Volunteer, Humane Society of Blue Ridge, John Drullinger, Patrice Noble Epps, Stan Helton, Community, Dog Walking, Board of Commissioners

Present to discuss future plans for FCAC are left to right: Animal Control Officer Junior Cornett, Fannin County Chairman Stan Helton, FCAC Department Head John Drullinger, volunteer Diane Head, and volunteer Patrice Noble Epps.

It was a crowded house as residents and visitors got to peek inside the FCAC facility and speak with the staff and volunteers about ways they can contribute to this community service.

This year the facility has seen upgrades in the likes of outdoor runs attached to the indoor kennel areas. The Fannin County Board of Commissioners approved funding for this project after speaking with FCAC Department Head John Drullinger on the impact this addition would have not only on staff safety but also for the quality of life of the animals.

“It makes such a difference for the dog’s quality of life,” Drullinger said explaining the changes he has witnessed since the outdoor runs were added. “They get more fresh air and it gives us a better ability for cleaning and sterilizing the inside part.”

Beyond improvements to the building itself, the recent movement of community volunteers taking action to help out in anyway that they can has had major impacts.

Volunteers come on a daily basis to walk dogs, clean kennels, and offer services in their areas of expertise. Some choose to take photos to help spread the word via social media about the adoptable animals at FCAC and others have even proposed using their artistic skills by offering to create a mural at the facility.

“It’s a great help. It’s huge,” Drullinger spoke of the volunteers,”We’re getting a lot of volunteers. Our group keeps growing.”

Patrice Noble Epps is one of the volunteers that loves spending her time working with the animals and crew of FCAC.

“If the animals didn’t have this place, they would be out on the streets,” Noble Epps said speaking of what motivates her to volunteer, “and ultimately they would die.”

A self-professed cleaning fanatic, Noble Epps says that while she enjoys working one on one with the dogs, she also loves to help with cleaning at the facility: “If you want something done, do it yourself and maybe people will follow.”

Noble Epps spoke of the ease in which she has been able to work with Fannin County staff to bring about changes and to focus on more improvements in the future: “I think you always have to have a good relationship with the people that you are going into their house.”

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Animal Control, Open House, Volunteer, Humane Society of Blue Ridge, John Drullinger, Patrice Noble Epps, Stan Helton, Community, Dog Walking, Board of Commissioners

Debbie Harbin, Co-owner of Treo Blue Ridge and regular volunteer, stopped by to introduce FCAC dogs to visitors at the open house.

The volunteers and staff have been working together to create more changes, both Drullinger and Noble Epps spoke of the recent addition of a sponsorship program.

This program accepts monetary donations from the public and these donations are being used to vet the dogs at the shelter. Vetting includes spay/neuter, heartworm testing, rabies vaccination, and microchipping.

During the open house several residents stepped up to donate to this program and sponsor the dogs.

Noble Epps would also like to see donations provide training for the shelter dogs being adopted.

“You could adopt the dog and then you go and you have a training class where you learn how to handle a shelter dog,” Noble Epps explained how the option of a training class would work and stressed that the dogs that have been there the longest would benefit the most.

Another improvement that seems to be on the horizon for the FCAC facility is the addition of an onsite outdoor play area for the shelter dogs. This area will be modeled similar to the dog park that is currently offered by the Humane Society of Blue Ridge, but be used by FCAC dogs only.

“It’s not guaranteed, but it’s in the works,” Drullinger spoke of the possible addition, “it’s on the drawing table and that’s the first step.”

Noble Epps summed up her feelings about volunteering with FCAC: “It’s what we have. Work with it. If you want to make it better, make it better.”
And making it better she has, as well as all the other volunteers who have donated their time and talents.

There is no denying the excitement and enthusiasm that is being brought to FCAC through the volunteers and the building upgrades. It is the hopes of all involved that this positive momentum will continue to increase well into the future.

 

 

 

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Natalie Kissel

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Atlanta Gas Extends Lease with Development Authority

Community, News

Blue Ridge, Ga.—Fannin County Development Authority extends their two-year contract with Atlanta Gas for an additional six months for $3,000.00. Atlanta Gas is set up on Industrial Park Road behind the Development Authority building on Development Authority property. Atlanta Gas needed to extend their lease to continue providing gas for Blue Ridge residents.

Atlanta Gas Carl Pearson explains, “Natural gas doesn’t have a smell to it. We add odorant to the pipeline and we’ve had issues where the odorant fades and so we want to go back and clean the pipes to fix the smell. The flare [behind the Development Authority building] generates flow for our customers in Blue Ridge.”

Development Authority Christie Arp asks, “Are there expected to be any loud noises?”

Pearson responded, “Yes, it will make the same noise as it’s been making [since the contract initially began].”

Atlanta Gas will have someone on-site throughout the last six months of this contract. Atlanta Gas will be running the flare during the weekdays only compared to the last two years of the lease where Atlanta Gas was running the flare non-stop. There are safety measures in places like valves to shut off the gas and flow if an emergency were to occur.

Development Authority approved of the lease extension for six more months so Atlanta Gas can fix these odorant issues and allow them to continue providing service to the residents of Blue Ridge, Ga.

Fannin County High School Hosts Meeting Concerning Vaping

Announcements, Community

Fannin County High School is hosting a meeting concerning teen vaping on Thursday, October 4th at 6:00pm at the Performing Arts Center.

Residents Ask Fannin County Water Authority to Intervene

Community, Featured

Three different couples approached the Fannin County Water Authority (FCWA) to request that the FCWA intervene with their water service provider Appalachian Water. Deer Crest Overlook and Weaver Creek Mountain Property are connected to two congested wells in the area.

The issue here, is that these wells are only supposed to supply between 10-15 houses and now both wells are connected to over 60 homes—some full-time residents, some rentals, and some seasonal homes. Due to an influx of people residing in the area, around the beginning of July every year the full-time residents lose access to water for five or six days due to the failing of these water sources.

Water is being charged between thirty and forty dollars a month. It’s been said that once someone charges for water, the water must be tested regularly for contaminants and to ensure that the water is drinkable.

Fannin County Attorney Lynn Doss asked, “Okay, what we have to know before you guys can do anything is who owns the well, if the people that own the well are the same as the people who own the system, what kind of right-aways you have or don’t have. Do y’all pay somebody monthly?”

All three couples answered, “Yes. We pay Appalachian Water.”

Doss then replied, “Well the question is are you paying for water? Are you paying for water and service? Are you paying for water, service, and maintenance? Because until you have those questions answered we wouldn’t even know if we could start to help you.”

Local resident Bob Flanders responded, “We pay for water. There is no maintenance fee.”

FCWA Vice Chairman Larry Chapman replied, “My question, too, is that if they have Deer Crest on there now and it’s across the street then, I mean, have they done this legally? Because if they hadn’t contacted Environmental Protection Division (EPD) about this—when you add customers on a small system like this usually the biggest thing is storage. You’ll have a well that’s 20-30 gallons per minute and you have to adjust the storage, it’ll put out the water to treat ‘em but you got to have the storage, so it does it 24 hours a day 7 days a week.”

In the end, the FCWA instructed the residents to contact the health department and EPD so that they can follow the proper channels to getting their water issues fixed. FCWA explained that they cannot get involved unless they are instructed to do so.

Fannin offers memorial jersey to honor Larry Walker

News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – It may seem like a small gesture to some, but for those in Gilmer County, Georgia, a simple jersey is relating a lot more than meets the eye as they receive a memorial jersey to honor Gilmer’s middle school principal, the late Larry Walker.

With a special moment before the middle school football games between these two schools on September 19, Fannin County School Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney took to the field with Gilmer County School Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs and Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney Alison Sosebee for a special ceremony in order to present the jersey hosting the emblems of both Gilmer and Fannin.

After a few words about Walker’s life and a moment of silence honoring him, Gwatney and Downs shared their own moment holding the jersey together. The announcers explained the meaning of the ceremony saying,

“The jersey being presented to the Gilmer Middle School football team bears the name of Walker with the #1. Also on the jersey is the Fannin County School insignia and the Gilmer County School insignia. The jersey being presented is in memory of Larry D. Walker, principal of Gilmer Middle School, and signifying Fannin County and Gilmer County are together as one, both in spirit and community.”

With the funeral today, many are still dealing with the loss as they prepare their final respects. Others are coping in their own ways. But as a community comes together and the true reach of one man comes into focus, they are responding to the show of support. Kayann Hayden West offered her thanks on social media saying, “Thankful for the support of our community and the Walker family up and down the 515 corridor. Rivals on the field but united in purpose and heart.”

 

Author

The Blue Ridge Rodeo: It’s All About the Children

Community, Outdoors

 

The 22nd annual Rodeo was hosted by Blue Ridge Kiwanis Club in Blue Ridge, GA Friday and Saturday night at the Blue Ride Fairgrounds.

Friday and Saturday night brought in a swarm of locals and tourists alike totaling at 2400+ attendees.

The Rodeo brings out the family fun for everyone as they provide booths for people to walk around and visit, donkey rides for children, mechanical bull riding for those that wish to feel like a cowboy and great rodeo food.

Tammy McFarland, Kiwanis Club host explained, “This is really all for and all about the kids. All proceeds we make go back to our children. Each booth and table that is here during the rodeo is sponsored apart from children-centered organizations like the Boy and Girls Club, 4-H club, and Girl Scouts. A lot of funds come through sponsorships and we get to put that right back into our community.”

Between each rodeo event like bareback riding, cattle roping (men), cattle roping (wom en), barrel racing and bull riding there were community-centered activities like the calf scramble.

The children in the audience were invited to play in the calf scramble by two groups between the ages of 7-12. The goal of the game was to bring the tag from the tail of the calf to the rodeo entertainer for the night, Porkchop, also known as Garrett.

There was even a calf scrambling contest for the ladies in the audience but with a more interesting challenge. The winner of women’s calf-scrambling challenge would be the person who brought flag back to Porkchop, not the woman who caught the flag off the calf.

This made for an entertaining game as a ‘flag fight’ broke out in the middle of the arena and resulted in a woman-pile as they each fought for the flag. Eventually, after much laughter from the audience, Porkchop broke up the girl-fight and the ladies walked about to their seats in the audience.

 

In the end, fun was had by all, as teens walked the field with their friends laughing and eating, children pulled on their parents’ hands as they stared wide-eyed at the mechanical bull begging to ride.

All the while, the proceeds from this event go right back into the Fannin community through groups like Fannin County Literacy Action Group, the 4-H Club, Fannin County High School Marching Band, and many, many others.

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