BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Fannin County honored its special athletes today, and officially proclaimed both in the City of Blue Ridge and in Fannin County that the week of May 16, 2018 be Special Olympics Week.
Crowds gathered shortly before 10:30 a.m. this morning in the free parking area of downtown Blue Ridge. Among those present were Special Olympic supporters, teachers, proud parents, Blue Ridge and Fannin County law enforcement and emergency personnel, representatives from Fannin County’s educational system, and of course, the athletes.
This year marks a very special anniversary for the olympics. Having begun in 1968, the Special Olympics celebrates its 50th year.
Blue Ridge Mayor Donna Whitener was present to kick off festivities as she announced that the City of Blue Ridge was officially acknowledging this week as Special Olympics Week and delivered a proclamation stating such from the city.
A lighting of the ceremonial torch set activities in motion, and the athletes were cheered on as they made their way up East Main Street to the Fannin County Courthouse participating in the Fannin County Torch Relay.
The celebration continued at the courthouse where the procession was greeted by Fannin County Chairman Stan Helton. Helton announced to the crowd that Fannin County too would like to recognize this week as Special Olympics Week and signed an official proclamation as well.
The Special Olympics will take place tomorrow, May 16, at Fannin County Middle School (FCMS). The opening ceremony will be at 9 a.m. in the FCMS gym.
Elementary athletes and Mineral Springs athletes will compete from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Middle and High School athletes will compete from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
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Every year, Humane Society of Blue Ridge hosts Paws in the Park, an event that invites our community’s pet owners and animal lovers to participate in a variety of events, including a pet parade, costume contest, pet photos, and our main attraction: the Paws in the Park 5K, a USATF-certified 5K race course that runs through the streets of downtown Blue Ridge. In 2015, the Mutt Mile was introduced, a shorter course perfect for walkers and young ones.
Remember “ADOPT DON’T SHOP” and for those who want to find out more or support our local Humane Society of Blue Ridge Click Here!
I think we all breathed a sigh of relief when Irma came through Blue Ridge doing relatively little damage. But, what if it had lived up to all the dire predictions? Would the city have been ready?
We know that our emergency management team works hard to ensure readiness when needed. You may have seen them performing practice drills that encompass a variety of possible disaster situations. It is comforting to know we have a fine group of men and women at the ready when we need them.
But, is our city infrastructure ready for the next disaster? We have seen the flooding on Ada Street and on W. Main Street after it rains. One can only imagine the damage that would be done to property in the event of a major weather event. And how difficult would it be for our emergency responders to get to people in need if the roads are impassable?
If elected, one of my first priorities will be to address our outdated infrastructure. We need to know what, where, and why we are having these issues.
Once we have answered those questions, we move on to how we are going to remedy the situation. These are hard questions that will require hard answers, and elected officials that are willing to tackle these issues.
Our city is beautiful, indeed. We have lovely public spaces, a fine playground, a renovated train depot. Our newly completed downtown streetscape makes our city even more tourist friendly. All these are reasons that Blue Ridge is included in so many “best of” articles.
But, it won’t matter how beautiful our city looks if it is not built on a sound infrastructure. We must address this issue now, or pay the consequences later.
Your vote for me will be a vote for someone not afraid to tackle the tough issues!
The downtown Blue Ridge parking situation has been a hot topic over the last several months. In fact, this has been on the radar for almost four years now. As a member of City Council, I will take action in resolving this issue to ensure Blue Ridge has room to grow.
First, it is going to take all council members working together for this common goal to get any type of resolution. Recently there have been different options considered by the current council, however, no real progress in my opinion. Finding a “perfect” solution may be tough but there needs to be immediate attention paid toward finding both a short term and long-term solution.
Second, I have been doing some individual research in addition to reviewing the current data provided by the council.
From what I have found the first practical step is to make better use of our existing parking areas. To this effect, a hard look should be taken at the approximately 60 parking places which have been eliminated in the last 4 years. Maximizing your existing supply of parking is a great place to start but it will not be enough to accommodate growth in Blue Ridge.
Furthermore, parking can be increased by efficiently utilizing existing city-owned property. This utilization of no or low-cost property would be an economical and actionable solution for additional parking which would both save the city money mitigate the need for land acquisitions.
I promise to immediately take action by proceeding with a comprehensive parking plan. This parking plan as outlined above will provide relief to our downtown parking issues. I promise to work together with all council members and the mayor to support taking action through both short and long-term solutions. I humbly ask for your vote to serve the City of Blue Ridge and I pledge to never put any personal agenda or self-serving motive in front of what is best for my hometown.
The lack of parking has reached a crisis point in the city of Blue Ridge. Mayor Donna Whitener invited the public to attend a listing meeting to hear what citizens and the business community thought about the parking crisis. Several comments concerning immediately solutions and long range planning.
FYNTV.COM / FetchYourNews.com recorded the meeting. Below you can watch the meeting along with the Blue Ridge city council special called meeting concerning parking on June 28th. This video will answer several questions business leaders had concerning the 3 hour parking rule.