State to look into hurricane relief for Georgia

Community, News

Blue Ridge, Ga. – The Georgia State Assembly will convene on Tuesday Nov. 13 in a special called session.

Governor Nathan Deal called this session to address the state’s role and responsibility in aiding those affected in Southwest Georgia by Hurricane Michael.

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The agricultural sector of Georgia has lost billions due to Hurricane Michael.

Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston held a special press conference in Blue Ridge on Friday Nov. 9 to address this upcoming session.

“This is a very important session,” Ralston said of the reason for the called session. “I know that we have all been preoccupied with the elections that have been going on, but now that they are over, I think it’s important that we get around in a very concentrated way to helping Southwestern Georgia recover from the almost complete devastation resulting from Hurricane Michael.”

According to the most recent data, state agencies have reported $22 million in damages to state owned properties. These damage estimates have been reported as far north as Cobb County and as far east as Chatham County.

Ralston, who has himself been in person to visit some of the areas affected by Hurricane Michael said of the devastation, “I can tell you it will bring tears to your eyes to see all the houses that have been damaged and destroyed and the damage to our agriculture sector of our economy is just beyond belief.”

As of Oct. 31 it is estimated that $2.461 billion has been lost in the Georgia agricultural sector. This estimate includes crops such as pecans, cotton, and peanuts, as well as general loss in vegetables, poultry, dairy, and timber.

Ralston cited Seminole County, Georgia as having lost 100 percent of their pecan trees. Pecan trees take on average 10 years to fully mature for harvest upon being planted.

In the Seminole County case Ralston said that “generations of work have been set back”.

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The timber sector is another field that will face major setbacks.

“I want to commend Governor Deal for making this a priority sooner rather than later,” Ralston said of the urgency in aiding these areas.
Governor Nathan Deal has put out a figure of $270 million in relief efforts. Ralston stressed that this would just be a beginning and by no means a final number.

“It’s going to be way more than that,” Ralston addressed the overall cost. “The total damage is going to be multiple billions, more than any state can do. The federal government and us will partner on many of these programs.”

Currently local governments have been bearing the financial burden of debris removal and clean up. Ralston feels that the money being appropriated will go partially for reimbursement to these local agencies.

The state will focus mainly on fixing infrastructure in the area and help continue the debris removal. They will also look at repairing state assets.
“I’m not expecting that it would have an effect on the mid year budget,” Ralston said speaking of the financial impact on the state. “We’re doing well as a state so we don’t have to touch the rainy day fund.”

Ralston does expect some relief money to be worked into the 2020 Budget when the regualr General Session takes place.

Also being addressed at this special called session is Georgia’s Jet Fuel Tax break. This tax exemption was signed into executive order by Governor Deal after it caused much controversy in the house and senate.

“Under the law the suspension of the jet fuel tax has to be taken up because the suspension was reinstated by executive order,” Ralston explained why this matter would be discussed at the special session, “which means that it must be reviewed at the next regular or special session.”

As for whether this tax break will continue, it remains unknown. “Anytime that we do preferential tax treatment for any entity, then I think the burden is on that entity to make the case for why it is necessary, why it’s good for the overall economy in this state.”

Ralston added, “To be candid with you, I haven’t heard that case made yet.”

***All photos courtesy of www.house.ga.gov***

 

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 advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

David Ralston intends to send George Soros a letter

News, Politics
Georgia, Fannin County, Gilmer County, Dawson County, Georgia House of Representative, Governor, Gubernatorial, General Election, 2018, Hurrican Michael, President Donald Trump, Brian Kemp, Stacey Abrams, David Ralston, George Soros, Republican Party, Democratic Party

Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston

Blue Ridge, Ga. – In a media conference held on Friday Nov. 9, Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston expressed his opinions on current politics as well as the recent General Election.

“We’ve had a lot of money spent in this state on the election and much of that money came from out of state,” Ralston said speaking of the General Election, “and a good bit of it came from some very, very well heeled individuals that I didn’t realize cared about Georgia. as much as they apparently do. I welcome their concern about the state.”

Ralston plans to send a letter to political activist and democratic supporter George Soros welcoming him to continue to support the state by pledging relief to those in Southwest Georgia who were devastated by Hurricane Michael.

Ralston expanded more on the letter and its intent, “I am dead serious about this. Let’s see if he would like to help out some farmers in Southwestern Georgia that are hurting.”

According to Ralston it “would be another way that he (Soros) could show his interest in Georgia.”

With the ongoing disputes of the gubernatorial election results, Ralston said that the business of the state is moving forward. He has already spoken with Governor Elect Brian Kemp about the upcoming legislative agenda.

In speaking with Kemp, Ralston also addressed the handling of the 2018 General Election: “He was much more kind than I would have been. I thought the election ended way before he called it. I thought he showed great class in delaying his claim of victory.”

As for Kemp’s opponent former minority leader in the Georgia State House of Representatives Stacey Abrams, Ralston shared his thoughts as well: “I really hope that Representative Abrams will do the right thing and acknowledge that this is mathematically over. I understand that if she concedes that probably the flow of money and publicity ends, but that’s kind of the way this thing works. I hope for the good of the state that she will reevaluate her thinking as it appears to be now. I don’t think that prolonging this with lawsuits and challenges and things of that sort is good for Georgia.”

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Governor Elect Brian Kemp (right) and opponent Stacey Abrams (left)

“We can’t wait on lawsuits and we can’t wait on people to continue to seek out publicity,” Ralston said concluding his thoughts on the gubernatorial race. “We’ve got a state to run and we’ve got a part of the state that is hurting, that we are going to start helping next week.”

When asked about the clear division in voting patterns in the state of Georgia (urban versus rural) and whether or not he felt President Donald Trump’s administration was a reason for this division, Ralston replied that he did not see it that way.

According to Ralston some republican members that lost seats would possibly blame President Trump and some seats that were reclaimed by republicans would also be credited to the president for the victories.

Regardless of the state and local election outcome Ralston says that Trump’s administration is doing much more in terms of listening to a state’s needs. He is seeing this administration allow decisions to come from “the bottom up rather than the top down”.

“I very much applaud this administration for its emphasis on rural areas here in the country,” Ralston stated of his own experience with the Trump administration.

Ralston also took the time to express his view of the Republican Party in the state of Georgia: “Our party was here before him (Trump). It will be here after him and we need to learn to message our pro-job, pro-education reform, pro-public safety message in a more effective way.”

Having been pleased with the outcome of the most recent Georgia Legislative Session, Ralston stated about spreading the word of the accomplishments, “We have to do a better job of communicating that.”

Ralston listed some of the achievements in the last legislative session “Cut the income tax, full funding for QBE, appropriating funds for school safety, adoption reform. So many good things that we accomplished, in my view at least.”

Georgia State will hold a Special Legislative Session beginning next Tuesday Nov. 13. The main focus of this session will be to provide hurricane relief to areas affected in Southwest Georgia.

 

 

 

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 advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Rick Day says cannabis could be the future of North Georgia

Election 2018, Politics

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Many words were used to describe Rick Day as he exited the Fannin County Democratic meeting on July 2: enthusiastic, informed, entertaining, and passionate.

Day, a 62 year old veteran, is the first from the Democratic party to ever challenge the Speaker of the House, David Ralston, for the seat of Georgia House of Representatives District 7.

One key issue of Day’s platform and arguably one that he shows the most passion for is his pro-cannabis stance and the benefits it could bring to North Georgia.

“Somewhere in the 70’s I discovered cannabis, marijuana, and it has been a lifelong love affair with Mary Jane,” Day said about his position.

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Democratic candidate Rick Day hopes to unseat incumbent David Ralston in November.

According to Day, almost 700,000 people have been arrested for minor marijuana possession in Georgia since Ralston’s election to the seat of District 7 in 2002.

“This man is so powerful he could have changed this law,” Day said explaining his take on Ralston’s record. “He only cares about the for-profit prisons that lobby him.”

Day would like to see Georgia move beyond the limited laws passed recently in the state that increased medical marijuana use and see cannabis legalized for recreational use as well.

Stating statistics, Day said that approximately 85 percent of Georgians are in favor of medical marijuana, 70 percent of Republicans are in favor, and 65 percent of Georgians favor cannabis oil.

“If we wait another 10 years, the crops are not going to be worth anything near what it was because it’s going to be so common,” Day spoke of the economic impact of ending the war on marijuana.

Wanting to see both marijuana and hemp become major cash crops for the state of Georgia, Day spoke of the increased tax revenue that this legislation, if passed, would create; up to 1 billion in increased revenue. Day would like to see all citizens of North Georgia benefit from this wealth by using the new revenue to eliminate or dramatically decrease property taxes.

“Thousands of jobs, good, well paying jobs,” Day expanded on the benefits of this move. “Develop the area and work with it, so that it becomes part of our identity without overtaking us.”

“My vision is to turn this (North Georgia) into the Napa Valley of cannabis,” Day enthusiastically spoke of his hope.

Acknowledging other issues facing our area Day said, “There is a growing issue with lack of affordable housing in the district.”

With no shortage of half million dollar homes, Day says that it is very hard to find homes in the $150,000 range where there is an increasingly growing demand.

Offering grants and incentives for builders to construct these more affordable homes is a possible solution that Day sees on this issue.

When it comes to his Republican opponent, Day does not mince words: “Ralston is a con. A bought and paid for conservative. Conservatives are no longer the fiscal stewards they once were or ever represented themselves to be.”

Accusing Ralston of catering to the highest bidder, Day pointed out Ralston’s $400,000 yearly pension and using his position to get his son a lobbying job: “He’s their man. He’s not our man anymore.”

As for Ralston’s impact on his district, Day shared his thoughts on that as well. According to Day, Ralston is a man who holds a position of power in the state of Georgia: “Arguably the most powerful because he’s not tenured with term limits like the governor is, and he can’t even get us one manufacturing center up here. He’s done nothing for this district.”

“I can’t out spend David Ralston. He’s already got $1,000,000 in corporate money in the bank,” Day elaborated on his campaign plans. “I can’t make a lot of promises. I won’t have a lot of political power, but I ain’t David Ralston and I will never be that man.”

Day says that his political platform is simple. Having been shown a kindness when he was a young man, his philosophy is to pay it forward. His litmus test on every issue is “Is this going to be good for our kids? Is this going to be good for our grand-kids?”.

“I oppose the things that are not, and I embrace the things that are good,” Day said of this philosophy.

“I believe in myself and I want you to too,” Day spoke to those gathered to hear his message. “I’m done watching (politics). Now is the time for action. Now is the time to bring David Ralston home.”

 

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 advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Lady Tigers cruise to victory, Tigers come up short in OT

Sports
DAWSON, GA – Saturday, Jan 6, the Dawson County Lady Tigers (9-7, 1-3 Region 7-AAA) hosted the Forsyth Central Lady Bulldogs (7-9, 0-2 Region 5-AAAAAAA) and although this was a non-region contest, the ladies from Dawson County showed up ready to play. This was the second time this season that these to programs met on the hardwood, as Dawson’s varsity girls took a 19-pt victory on the Lady Bulldog’s court on Dec 16.
Not taking their second meeting for granted, Dawson County started the game strong and finished in the same manner, leaving no doubt that the best team won Saturday afternoon.  The final margin?  A whopping 30 points, the biggest loss served to the Lady Bulldogs this season!  Final score: 66-36.
With a dominating 30-pt victory and more than 60-pts on the scoreboard, the Lady Tigers clearly know how to shoot a basketball.  Leading the scoring for the Lady Tigers in her first game back from injury was Kaylee Sticker – with 19 points (including four 3 pointers).  She was followed by Sophia d’Oliveria with 10 points, respectively.
Dawson County head coach Steve Sweat also had plenty to be proud of in the effort of his girls on the defensive side of the basketball, providing a balanced performance of defensive pressure and accurate shooting offensively.
The Lady Tigers will be at home on Tuesday hosting Union County (11-4, 3-1) in what should be an exciting game for Region 7-AAA.  The Lady Panthers are coming off a four game win streak and currently sit tied for second overall in the region (with North Hall).  Tip-off is scheduled for 6pm and you won’t want to miss this one.  Union County has a reputation for traveling well, so if you’re a fan of your Tigers you’ll want to make it a point to get to the game early and cheer for your varsity girls and boys!
On the boys side, the Tigers (12-4 overall, 4-0 Region 7-AAA) took a tough loss to a strong Forsyth Central Bulldogs team 63-57 in overtime.  This was the second consecutive night the Tigers forced overtime against a strong team.  Just one night prior to this matchup, the Tigers took the victory over East Hall in Gainesville, 94-91.
Though head coach Chad Pittman was proud of the effort of his team in this game, the Tigers unfortunately did not appear to have the energy to hold off the Bulldogs in the overtime period.  They fought hard and played well, and despite the loss they showed everyone in attendance why they are the team to beat in Region 7-AAA.
Dawson County was led in scoring by Jeremiah Crumley with 25, followed by Cullen Reed with 22 and Campbell Reed with 7.
The Tigers will hit the hardwoods again Tuesday night at 7:30 when they host Union County (13-2, 3-1), who’s only region loss came by the hands of East Hall (77-61) on Jan 3.
*Courtside coverage provided by Luther Kinsey, TeamFYNSports Correspondent
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 advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Sam Snider Makes Case in Dawson County for Election

Featured Stories, Politics

Sam Snider didn’t seem nervous to be introduced by his wife at the Dawson County Republican meeting last night, as some husbands might be. That’s probably because their 28-year marriage has been an example of dedication to each other, family and community. (more…)

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TT

Exclusive ETC TV 3 Highlights: Tigers Tame Rebels

Featured Stories, Sports

The Dawson County High School Tigers football team, visited the Fannin County High School Rebels on homecoming night. The Tigers emerged victorious with a 35-30 come from behind win in front of a raucous Rebel crowd. Blake Henry and Sally Ann Jones were named the new homecoming king and queen for the Rebels during the half time ceremony. (more…)

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