Collins comes to Blue Ridge to set the record straight

Election 2020, News, Politics

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Congressman Doug Collins stopped in Blue Ridge on his campaign tour in the race for U.S. Senate. With him were special guests Georgia State Speaker of the House David Ralston and former member of the foreign policy advisory panel to Donald Trump, George Papadopoulos. 

Collins spoke briefly on his record as U.S. Congressman, highlighting his conservative values and his reputation for representing the people of the 9th District. 

Collins has stood up to multiple government agencies and individuals during his career, most notably holding the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and James Comey accountable.

Collins was also a visible ally to President Donald Trump during the U.S. House of Representatives Impeachment Hearings. 

Now, Collins wants to take this same momentum and move it to the U.S. Senate.

Blue Ridge, Georgia, Congressman, Doug Collins, Speaker of the House, David Ralston, foreign policy advisory panel, Donald Trump, George Papadopoulos, Senator, Kelly Loeffler, New York Stock Exchange, Intercontinental Exchange, Jeffrey Sprecher, election, 2020

Georgia State Speaker of the House David Ralston and Congressman Doug Collins in Blue Ridge.

With the U.S. Senate seat open to a Jungle Primary on the Nov. 3 ballot, Collins wants to set the record straight on what is and isn’t true about himself and his biggest Republican rival, Senator Kelly Loeffler.

According to Collins, Loeffler’s attacks on him are unfounded and in many cases an attempt at deflection about her true nature and intent.

Collins specifically sited Loeffler’s pro-life stance that seems to not have been her view a mere two years ago when she worked with Planned Parenthood to have a booth set up at a basketball game where monies raised would be split with the organization.

“I am the one who is actually concerned about life,” Collins said pointing to decisions his family has made in their personal life that reflect these values.

Loeffler also made claims that Collins was not Pro-Second Amendment and that as a lawyer Collins represented criminals.

Collins assured the crowd, having grown up the son of a trooper neither of these claims could be further from the truth. 

“She doesn’t want you to know that she worked with Michael Bloomberg,” Collins said of Loeffler’s Second Amendment claims and her own personal work on a gun control agenda.

In his career as a lawyer, Collins took indigent clients, none of which were pictured in Loeffler’s ad. Collins stated, “Doug Collins defender of criminals? No, Doug Collins did his constitutional duty taking indigent clients.”

Loeffeler has also released ads containing a picture of Collins with former Georgia House Representative Stacey Abrams.

Abrams made waves as the Democratic nominee for Georgia Governor in 2018, known for her liberal stances.

Blue Ridge, Georgia, Congressman, Doug Collins, Speaker of the House, David Ralston, foreign policy advisory panel, Donald Trump, George Papadopoulos, Senator, Kelly Loeffler, New York Stock Exchange, Intercontinental Exchange, Jeffrey Sprecher, election, 2020

George Papadopoulos gives his endorsement of Collins for Senate.

Collins explained the photo, “This was after we saved the HOPE scholarship. Stacey joined us on a conservative idea and voted for it because she understood that people needed that money.”

According to Collins, Loeffler actually employed Abrams as an attorney for a basketball team and in 2018 Loeffler honored Abrams as a woman of distinction while “Abrams for Governor” signs were in the background of the photo-op.

Lastly, Collins pointed out that Loeffler makes her decisions based on her own self-interest and money. 

“She claims to be tough on China,” Collins said and added, “Take the ten state owned companies that are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, owned by the Chinese Communist Party, and delist them.” 

Jeffrey Sprecher, Leoffler’s husband, is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, and the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange.

Collins said of his suggestion to delist the Chinese companies, that it will never happen because Loeffler will choose her pocketbook and their pocketbook over policy everyday.

“I may not have $35 million, but I’ve got all I need because I’ve got you and I’ve got the voters of Georgia and they understand who the real conservative is in this race,” Collins said referencing the amount the Loeffler has spent on her Senate campaign, “Georgia can’t be bought.”

All Special Events Canceled for City of Blue Ridge

City Council, Community, Downtown Blue Ridge, Festivals, News

Blue Ridge, Ga. – In an unanimous vote the Blue Ridge City Council decided that any special events within the city limits will be canceled until further notice. This includes the cancelation of Blue Ridge’s Halloween SafeZone and Light Up Blue Ridge.

Discussion of canceling future events for the remainder of the year had previously taken place among council but no official vote had been made on the matter.

Blue Ridge, Georgia, City Council, Mayor, Blue Ridge Business Association, United Methodist Church, Halloween, Christmas, SafeZone, Light Up Blue Ridge, Donna Whitener, Rhonda Haight, Cesar Martinez, Cancel, Special Events, Covid-19

Blue Ridge Halloween SafeZone 2019

“We need to make it official,” Council member Rhonda Haight spoke, referencing that since their previous discussion special events had been permitted to take place: “I felt like we should have voted last time.”

Mayor Donna Whitener expressed that she didn’t fully agree with the idea of canceling all events with no exceptions and pointed out that the recent prayer vigil held for Blue Ridge Chief of Police Johnny Scearce would technically fall under the special event category.

Haight made the motion of  “no more events allowed until further notice”, which carried without opposition.

Although the Halloween SafeZone has been canceled an alternative has been set up according to Cesar Martinez, President of the Blue Ridge Business Association (BRBA).

“We get 5,000 or 6,000 people downtown and we just can’t do it this year,” Martinez said and noted that state guidelines would just not make it feasible for the city to accommodate.

The BRBA will be partnering with Blue Ridge United Methodist Church to offer a drive thru option for families to enjoy. Booths will be set up along this route, where participants can hand out candy.

Blue Ridge, Georgia, City Council, Mayor, Blue Ridge Business Association, United Methodist Church, Halloween, Christmas, SafeZone, Light Up Blue Ridge, Donna Whitener, Rhonda Haight, Cesar Martinez, Cancel, Special Events, Covid-19

Lighting of the Tree – Photo courtesy of Light Up Blue Ridge Facebook Page

Other locations that are offering Halloween festivities include Dairy Queen, Home Depot, and Kevin Panter Insurance Agency.

Light Up Blue Ridge will also not take place in an official manner. Festivities of the weekend that draw a large crowd in close proximity have been called off. This includes the annual parade and the lighting of the tree.

Even with these changes, Blue Ridge plans to make the city Christmas ready for those visiting the weekend following Thanksgiving. 

The tree will be lit in the park but without the lighting ceremony and Santa can still be found at the park’s gazebo but with safety precautions made due to the ongoing Covid-19 risk.

“We are suggesting that the city close East Main Street for the two days after Thanksgiving,” Martinez recommended to the council stating that this would give more room for the large crowds to social distance that weekend.

No official plans were made on how to handle the influx of visitors for the weekend following Thanksgiving, but discussions are expected to continue in future meetings.

Fannin County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 10/11 -10/18

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 35-01-18) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Fannin County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com 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.

Fannin County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 10/5 – 10/11

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 35-01-18) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Fannin County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com 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.

Coming Soon, Harriet’s Halloween Candy!

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Fannin County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 9/27 – 10/4

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 35-01-18) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Fannin County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com 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.

Man charged with attempted murder

News, Police & Government

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Timothy Charles Stiles is being charged with attempted murder after Fannin County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) responded to a call of a stabbing in Mineral Bluff.

Fannin County, Georgia, Blue Ridge, Sheriff’s Office, Stabbing, Attempted Murder, Mineral Bluff, Timothy Stiles, Kenneth Arnold

Timothy Stiles has been charged with 3 felonies after stabbing incident in Mineral Bluff, Ga.

The incident occurred on the evening of Sept. 28. FCSO was dispatched to a call in Mineral Bluff around 7:00 p.m. The caller indicated that a person had been stabbed and was in need of medical attention.

Upon arriving at the scene, it became apparent that the victim, Kenneth Arnold, was in need of immediate emergency medical attention. Arnold was life-flighted to Gainesville for treatment. 

Warrants for Stiles arrest describe the wounds as “seriously disfiguring” to Arnold’s upper torso and abdomen. 

Stiles had already fled the scene upon officer arrival but was apprehended a few hours later. When found Stiles was inflicting stabbing wounds on himself and was transported for medical attention.

Friends of Stiles say that he suffered from mental illness but did not specify which illness(es). They also did not speculate on whether Stiles’s mental health issues played a part in the incident.

Stiles is being charged with 1 count felony aggravated assault, 1 count felony aggravated battery and 1 count felony criminal attempt “to commit the offense of murder”.

Fannin County, Georgia, Blue Ridge, Sheriff’s Office, Stabbing, Attempted Murder, Mineral Bluff, Timothy Stiles, Kenneth Arnold

Fannin County, Georgia, Blue Ridge, Sheriff’s Office, Stabbing, Attempted Murder, Mineral Bluff, Timothy Stiles, Kenneth Arnold

Fannin County, Georgia, Blue Ridge, Sheriff’s Office, Stabbing, Attempted Murder, Mineral Bluff, Timothy Stiles, Kenneth Arnold

Click here to see Fannin County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report for the Week of 9/20/20 – 9/27/20

Scholarships provide further support for students in UNG Blue Ridge

Community
ung

A trio of new scholarships will help students fund their education at the UNG Blue Ridge Campus.

The Claude William and Virginia Quintrell Merritt Endowed Scholarship Fund was established in August 2020 by Sandra Webb. The fund honors Webb’s parents by financially assisting students at UNG, particularly on the Blue Ridge Campus, with one scholarship of at least $1,000 each year. Virginia Quintrell earned an associate degree in 1939 from UNG and returned to receive a bachelor’s degree in 1955. She was an elementary school teacher in Fannin County for 30 years.

The Sandra H. Mercier Education Scholarship established by the Mercier family will offer two $2,000 scholarships for the 2020-21 school year. Sandra Mercier was a classroom teacher, administrator and superintendent in Fannin County.

Captain Joseph Hughart, a lecturer of earth and environmental science, is also providing a $1,000 scholarship to be awarded each year for a student studying geospatial studies.

“These scholarships mean so much to students and their families in this community,” said Sandy Ott, director of UNG’s Blue Ridge Campus. “We greatly appreciate the investment these donors are making in our students.”

Jeff Tarnowski, vice president for University Advancement, also expressed appreciation for the donors funding these scholarships.

“We are so grateful for the generosity that we have seen from the region that our campus in Blue Ridge serves,” Tarnowski said. “These philanthropic leaders will make a real difference for UNG students both today and tomorrow.”

Anyone wishing to contribute to an existing scholarship fund or create a new scholarship for students studying on the Blue Ridge Campus can contact Kimberly Miller, coordinator of community engagement, at [email protected].

Read more about UNG Blue Ridge campus dedication here.

Fannin County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 9/20 – 9/27

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 35-01-18) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Fannin County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com 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.

Fannin County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 9/13 – 9/20

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 35-01-18) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Fannin County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com 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.

UNG Blue Ridge Campus is officially open after ribbon-cutting ceremony

News
UNG Blue Ridge

BLUE RIDGE, Ga – Pleasant fall weather welcomed the crowd at the University of North Georgia (UNG) Blue Ridge Campus ribbon cutting on Wednesday, September 16, 2020.

Since UNG Blue Ridge first opened in 2015 on Dunbarton Road, it’s grown from 18 students to 232. The new facility has over 3.500 square feet of classroom space, a computer, and biology lab with room to grow in the future. It’s right off Georgia Hwy. 515 and three miles from the old campus at Dunbarton Road.

It was a socially distanced ceremony.

In 2013, UNG began studying the need to expand access to high quality, affordable education in the Northeast Georgia region. We knew it was essential, and it would be a gamechanger for the entire region,” stated President Dr. Bonita Jacobs.

In a piece published by the university, Director Sandra Ott said, “It’s not just a UNG building. This campus is the community’s, and they are equally excited about the opportunities and what’s happening here. Having the Blue Ridge Campus has opened so many doors and opportunities, especially for students in this region of north Georgia who weren’t sure what to do after high school. It gives them the option to start close to home with the support of their family and friends.”

UNG Blue Ridge

Director of the Blue Ridge Campus Sandra Ott        

The new campus also allows students to remain at the Blue Ridge Campus longer due to more course offerings. This year introductory education courses will be the first major courses offered in Blue Ridge. Previously, students could only take the required core curriculum before transferring to the Dahlonega or Gainesville campuses.

UNG Administrators Dr. Mack McConnell, senior vice president of business and finance, Mr. Ken Crow, vice president of facilities, and Mr. Todd Bermann, director of project management, were instrumental in overseeing the construction and competition of the stand-alone facilities. IT Director Dr. Steve McCloud, chief information officer, and team equipped the Blue Ridge Campus with state-of-the-art technology.

“What’s the most important feature of this facility is what goes on inside – teaching and learning.” University System of Georgia Chancellor Dr. Steve Wrigley added.

The chancellor also cited the statistic that of the 11 million jobs created after the recession, 99 percent went to people with some higher education after high school and 70 percent to those with a bachelor’s degree.

“Education is not a guarantee that economic development will occur, but I think I can guarantee that without education, economic development will not occur,” Wrigley stated.

Blue Ridge Mayor Donna Whitener, Fannin Post Two Commissioner Glenn Patterson, Union Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris, and Fannin County Schools Superintendent Michael Gwatney were all recognized during the ceremony.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Chaudron Gille and President Dr. Bonita Jacobs presented 2020 graduate and Fulbright Scholar Candace Seabolt. She is the first Fulbright Scholar from the Blue Ridge Campus.

L to R: Provost Dr. Chaudron Gille, President Dr. Bonita Jacobs, Graduate Candace Seabolt

“Due to the pandemic, we were unable to hold our commencement ceremony in the spring, but today we have the opportunity to honor Candace’s achievement,” Jacobs said.

University System of Georgia Chancellor Dr. Steve Wrigley acknowledged State Senator Steve Gooch and Georgia Speaker of the David Ralston’s involvement.

Of Ralston, Wrigley explained, “He wanted to do this right. He was committed to doing it right, let the campus prove itself and show it can perform. I applaud him and respect him for his stewardship. His vision proved out.”
Senator Gooch always asks Wrigley how to help UNG. “He’s a wonderful advocate for this campus for UNG. He’s great to work with.”

Ralston and Gooch are alumni of the University of North Georgia. Gooch expanded upon Ralston’s dedication to bringing a college campus to Fannin County, even when others might not see the need. The speaker was instrumental in bringing UNG to Blue Ridge. The campus also provides quick and easy access to students Union County and Towns County. They can drive south on Georgia Hwy. 515 instead of winding mountain roads.

Dual enrollment students at Fannin County also have a campus nearby to jumpstart their college careers without student loans.

“This experience will equip the young people of Fannin, Gilmer, Union, Towns Counties to compete in the global marketplace by giving them an educational experience that is second to none,” Speaker Ralston stated. “Here in this place, young people priced out of a dream of a college education could know that such a dream can come true.”

UNG Blue Ridge

L to R: , University System of Georgia Chancellor Dr. Steve Wrigley UNG President Dr. Bonita Jacobs, Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston

According to the Speaker, local parents stop him almost daily to express appreciation for the Blue Ridge UNG Campus. The new stand-alone facility officially opened earlier this year. Students came and went before the ceremony. One even used the outside wi-fi while the dedication took place.

We are live from UNG’s new stand-alone Blue Ridge Campus for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Posted by UNG – University of North Georgia on Wednesday, September 16, 2020

City takes precautions against COVID-19 as police chief fights the virus

News
police chief

BLUE RIDGE, Ga – City continues to take preventative measures against COVID-19 as Police Chief and Post One Commissioner Candidate Johnny Scearce battles the virus from the hospital.

According to Mayor Donna Whitener, they have increased cleaning protocols and continue to be vigilant against COVID-19 with temperature checks, masks, and rotating office schedules.

Sources are saying that Scearce is currently in ICU and on a ventalilator. It’s a turn from yesterday when he was still in a regular room. The Scearce family asks for prayers of healing. Everyone at FYN is keeping Chief Scearce in our thoughts and prayers.

Anyone who encountered Scearce received notification and testing for the virus; only two came back positive. City hall and the police department previously instituted half-on/half-off scheduling to prevent the virus from infecting everyone at once. In the police department, Team A never interacts with Team B. The rotating schedule eliminates potential exposure, and officers don’t share materials or equipment. Also, they can perform most of their duties from their patrol cars.

However, Whitener stressed that the virus affects younger and healthy individuals, not just the older population. In Georgia, approximately 215,519 confirmed cases fall between the 18-59 age group, and 56,522 cases fall into the 60 to 80+ range. The mortality rate continues to affect the elderly predominately.

The 18 to 22 category continues to grow while children COVID-19 cases appear to be trending down.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from a headache and a loss of taste to an inability to breathe on one’s own. If anyone experiences the following symptoms, speak with a doctor to determine if a COVID-19 test is necessary.

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

The Georgie Department of Public Health has marked Fannin County with high transmission indicators. These indicators represent counties with a 14-day cases rate is greater than 100 cases per 100,000 residents, greater than 10 cases during this period, and 14-day average percent positive PCR tests greater than 10 percent with more than 20 tests performed during this period.

As of September 17, Fannin County has 570 total cases, 92 new cases in two weeks, 14.7 percent positive test rate over two weeks, and nine deaths.

The new case rate is down 11.3 percent across Georgia, and the positivity rate dropped to 7.7 percent.

Still, until a vaccine becomes available, everyone needs to practice precaution and wear a mask in public settings.

Fannin County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 8/31 – 9/12

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 35-01-18) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Fannin County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com 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.

Fannin County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 8/23 – 8/30

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 35-01-18) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Fannin County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com 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.

Chamber Update

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Fannin County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 8/17 – 8/23

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 35-01-18) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Fannin County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com 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.

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