Fannin County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 06/3 to 06/10

Arrest Reports

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

City Council Backs Derelict Property Ordinance

City Council, News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Blue Ridge City Council backed their newly proposed Derelict Property Ordinance during their meeting on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, citing improvements to current ordinance.

One of the structures targeted by the Derelict Property Ordinance. Click to enlarge.

As one would expect, the ordinance was drafted in response to currently standing structures that are in need of repair. There were several specific locations the city has been struggling with, some definitely worse than others.

The ordinance was drafted by attorney James A. Balli in response to Jeff Stewart (Zoning, Land Development, Project Manager of Blue Ridge, Ga.) and the City Council’s requests for a solution to the properties in question.

Suzie Soave, a sales associate at local real estate company, had initially asked Stewart what could be done in response to comments such as “why some of these structures are allowed to be eyesores and possibly dangerous to the neighborhood and why ordinances are not being enforced.”

There is already a similar ordinance in place, though City Clerk Kelsey Ledford states that the current ordinance is “outdated, completely open to interpretation which encourages selective enforcement and would allow the mayor and council to without notice order an abatement of a nuisance property. If notice was provided the only hearing is in front of the mayor and council, no court or no warrant. If a citizen disobeyed the council order, they are subject to arrest.”

Another one of the structures targeted by the Derelict Property Ordinance. Click to enlarge.

She continues that this proposed ordinance “removes far-reaching power from the mayor and council in this area of law”, and “removes the ability for someone to be arrested for non-compliance, and adds procedural safeguards require by the state to protect citizens.”

Council member Rhonda Haight says that this ordinance will allow Police Chief Johnny Scearce to better do his job, with Mayor Donna Whitener stating that the new ordinance would be much more straightforward in regards to what Scearce’s responsibilities would be regarding enforcement of the ordinance.

Only one citizen signed up to speak against the ordinance; Michael Eaton, former Blue Ridge Zoning Board of Appeals, stating that he believes this ordinance will have unintended consequences, and thinks that Mayor Whitener may use it in her favor.

Many in attendance seemed to have concerns despite the council’s efforts to distinguish fact from fiction regarding the new ordinance, however.

Another view of the first building. Clearly not in as bad of shape as the second. It is located near the other building. Click to enlarge.

Only one council member, Kenneth Gaddis, spoke out stating that he believes that the council is rushing the ordinance, citing that tax payer money is on the line for something that he believes the council has had little discussion about, especially considering that the first reading was of a draft that still needed modification.

The ordinance is set to be voted on and potentially passed during the councils July meeting (currently scheduled for Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 6 pm), and those who wish to speak before the vote should contact City Clerk Kelsey Ledford to sign up.

(Apologies for the quality of the second half of the video. A different recording device had to be used, but this shouldn’t be an issue in future recordings).

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Newly-Formed Development Authority Shares Mission and Vision

Development Authority, News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The newly-formed development authority shared their mission and vision with the public during their first official meeting on Monday, June 3, 2019 at the Blue Ridge City Hall.

The mission of the Downtown Development Authority, as read by board member Michelle Moran, “is to enhance the economic potential, and preserve the historical character, of the downtown district through promotional activities, development, and an organizational structure that focuses on community involvement with local business’, residents, and other citizens.”

Moran continued that the vision, though not yet approved, is that “Blue Ridge is Appalachia’s most inclusive, family-friendly, fresh water destination featuring world-class dining and shopping, a growing economy, entrepreneurial opportunity, and all-season recreation. The city of Blue Ridge is also designated Georgia Community Authority and Georgia Council for the Arts. We are committed to preserving our unique community while maintaining a vital, successful and attractive downtown for our residence, merchants and visitors. All citizens of Fannin County will have a greater appreciation, respect and understanding for the historic center. The Central Business District (CBD) will be valued as a vibrant economic and cultural district and a vital contributor to the communities heritage and identity. The CBD will be better because of the partnerships, investments and enhanced sense of place. Blue Ridge will have an enhanced quality of life in which to live, work and play.”

The Vision statement approval has been tabled until further modifications can be made, so changes are to be expected.

One thing board member Jay Hamilton wished to clarify, in response to a question from a citizen attending the meeting, is what exactly a Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is and what a DDA does. Hamilton states that a DDA has several purposes.

They are used in cities throughout the state as a mechanism to revitalize and re-develop municipal central business districts. The purposes are outlined by four P’s: protect, powers, projects and potential.

For protect, DDA’s are regulated by state statute so they can provide protection to cities who work through their DDA’s. Example, cities are not liable for their DDA’s debts or contracts.

For powers, DDA’s have certain powers granted by the state that cities don’t have. For instance, to acquire by purchase, lease, or otherwise, in the whole lease and dispose of real and personal property. So they would be able to acquire buildings, etc. and lease them back to the city, etc.

For projects, DDA’s are charged with re-development of their service area and completing projects. For an example, the acquisition and renovation of downtown properties for target business recruitment and expansions.

For potential, DDA’s are concerned only with their mission and projects, not the burdens of the local government. So board members have the potential to solve problems and engage in sustainable redevelopment.

Hamilton went on to say that grants, fundings and so on are available to the Downtown Development Authority that simply aren’t available to the city.

Several board members were absent from the meeting, and there’s much that needs to be re-examined and modified moving forward. Fetch Your News will be attending upcoming meetings with the newly-established Downtown Development Authority, so be sure to stay tuned for future updates!

FetchYourNews.com attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month for ad server. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and has between 15,000 to 60,000 per week Facebook page reach. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or visit advertise@FetchYourNews.com.

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Fannin County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 05/27 to 06/03

Arrest Reports

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

Laura Francis Edwards: Obituary

Obituaries

Laura Francis Edwards

February 20, 1931 – May 31, 2019

Laura Francis Edwards, age 88 of Memphis, passed away May 29, 2019, at Germantown Hospital Tenn.. Edwards was born February 20, 1931, in Blue Ridge, GA to the late Arvil Johnson and the late Ruth Mull. She was preceded in death by father, Arvil Johnson, mother, Ruth Johnson, husband, Jack Edwards.

Graveside service will be held Sunday, June 2nd, 2019 at Union Baptist Church Cemetery in Mineral Bluff, Ga.

Arrangements entrusted to the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home of Blue Ridge, GA. You may send condolences to the family and sign the guest register at www.cochranfuneralhomes.com.

William Thomas (WT) Pittman Jr.: Obituary

Obituaries

William Thomas (WT) Pittman Jr.

January 1, 1924 – May 30, 2019

William Thomas (W.T.) Pittman, Jr. age 95 of Blue Ridge, passed away Thursday, May 30, 2019. W.T. was born January 1, 1924 in McCaysville, GA to the late Pete and Nina Forrester Pittman. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brother, Wallace Pittman, and brothers-in-law, Tunney Brown and Hoyt Holloway.

W.T. is survived by his loving wife of 71 years, Nelle Farmer Pittman, daughter and son-in-law, Joan and Gene Hitchcock, son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Alice Pittman, three grandchildren, Stan Hitchcock, Daniel (Sarah) Gray, and Anna Gray, five great-grandchildren, Aidan Gonzalez, Andrew Gray, Dawson Cleland, Kalli Cleland and Tori Hitchcock, brother and sister-in-law, Max and Geree Pittman, sister, Charlotte Brown, sister, Doris Holloway, sister-in-law, Othella Pittman, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

W.T. was a WWII Navy Veteran, and retired from Lockheed-Martin in Marietta in 1986, and they moved back to Fannin County after retirement. W.T. was a very active member and Deacon of Lebanon Baptist Church, and he loved church work, helping others with projects, along with sharing the harvest of his garden with everyone. Loving his family, church, friends, and helping others was his lifelong theme, and he was blessed to lead a very healthy life until recently. He never met a stranger, loved conversations with people, and making friendships lasting forever.

Celebration of life services will be held Sunday, June 2, 2019 at 3:00 pm at the Lebanon Baptist Church and he will lie in state at 2:30 pm. Interment will follow in the Copper Ridge Memory Gardens. Pallbearers will be the Deacons of Lebanon Baptist Church.

The family will receive friends at the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home on Saturday, June 1, 2019 from 4-7 pm. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to Lebanon Baptist Church, PO Box 309, Epworth, GA 30541, or to Wellstar Community Hospice-Tranquility at Kennesaw Mountain, c/o Wellstar Foundation, 805 Sandy Plains Rd., Suite 100, Marietta, GA 30066.

Arrangements entrusted to the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home of Blue Ridge, GA. You may send condolences to the family and sign the guest register at www.cochranfuneralhomes.com.

Mary Sue Spivey: Obituary

Obituaries

Mary Sue Spivey

October 11, 1946 – May 22, 2019

Mrs. Mary Sue Spivey, age 72 of Morganton, passed away Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at her home. Mrs. Spivey was born October 11, 1946, in Polk Co., TN to the late Frank Prince and the late Ethelene Allen Prince. She was a member of the Baptist faith and was preceded in death by her sisters, Lucille Bryant, Louise Cross, Lunelle Prince; and her infant daughter, Charlotte Spivey.

Survivors include: husband of 48 years, Charles Spivey; sister-in-law, Josephine Millholland; and special cousins, Don (Dorothy) Adams and Steve (Linda) Ledford.

Funeral services: Friday, May 24, 2019, at 2:00 pm at the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home with the Rev. William Gravitt officiating. Music provided by Missy Taylor. Interment will follow in Copper Ridge Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Blue Ridge, GA.

The family will receive friends at the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home of Blue RidgeGA, Thursday, May 23, 2019, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

Arrangements entrusted to the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home of Blue Ridge, GA. You may send condolences to the family and sign the guest register at www.cochranfuneralhomes.com.

Randall Earnest Hunter: Obituary

Obituaries

Randall Earnest Hunter

September 22, 1937 – May 20, 2019

Randall Earnest Hunter, age 81 of Marietta, GA passed away Monday, May 20, 2019, in Kennesaw, GA. Mr. Hunter was born September 22, 1937, in Blue Ridge, GA to the late Lloyd Hunter and the late Ella Hunter. A member and Deacon of Gospel Light Methodist Church in Marietta, GA. Mr. Hunter also served as an usher and a member of the Board of Stewards. He graduated from East Fannin high in 1958, served in the US Army, and worked as Supervisor of Security for Sears & Roebuck. Mr. Hunter was also a 50 year member of the Dooly Masonic Lodge #367 and was preceded in death by his infant brother, Robert Hunter, and his sister, Pauline Craig.

Survivors include: wife, Betty Lou Hunter; sons, Randy Earnest (Donna B.) Hunter, Jr., Robert Lewis (Ronda) Hunter, and Russell Scott (Donna Rae) Hunter; grandchildren, Devin Lloyd Hunter, Ivan Lawless Hunter, Kaitlin Star Hunter, William Dylan Krenz, Erin Nicole Krenz, Michael Briele, Santana Philip; and great-grandchildren, Tommy Buck Hunter and Gavin Krenz.

Funeral services: Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at 4:00 pm from the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home Chapel in Blue Ridge, GA, with the Rev. James Parham officiating. Interment will follow in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Morganton, GA. Pallbearers: Devin Lloyd Hunter, Ivan Lawless Hunter, Mike Price, Eddie Thackston, Adam Dobbins, Mark Dobbins. Honorary pallbearers: Dylan Krenz, Michael Briele.

The family will receive friends at the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home of Blue Ridge, GA Wednesday, May 22, 2019, from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm.

Arrangements entrusted to the Henry-Cochran Funeral Home of Blue Ridge, GA. Memorial donations may be made to the Gideons International PO Box 1375 Blue Ridge, GA 30513. You may send condolences to the family and sign the guest register at www.cochranfuneralhomes.com.

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