NORTH GEORGIA – Both Gilmer and Fannin have received a new order entitled “Amended Third Order Extending Declaration of Judicial Emergency” closing and requiring deep cleaning for offices in the courthouses of both counties.
The order, sign by Superior Court Chief Judge Brenda Weaver of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit, states that a number of courthouse employees are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 and are awaiting testing results. Due to this the Chief Judge conferred with Board of Commissioner (BOC) Chairmen from each county and has declared the situation beyond the ability to continue with regular work.
The court has ordered that the counties deep clean and keep closed the following offices:
- Fannin County Superior Court Judge
- Fannin County Juvenile Court Judge
- Fannin County Clerk of Superior and Juvenile Courts
- Fannin County Probate Court
- Fannin County Magistrate Court
- Fannin County District Attorney
- Fannin County CASA
- Gilmer County Superior Court Judge
- Gilmer County Juvenile Court Judge
- Gilmer County Clerk of Superior and Juvenile Courts
- Gilmer County Probate Court
- Gilmer County Magistrate Court
- Gilmer County District Attorney
- Gilmer County Misdemeanor Probation
- Gilmer County CASA
Additionally, Gilmer County has also closed the offices of the Gilmer County Tax Assessor and the Gilmer County Tax Commissioner. These offices are also ordered to perform a deep cleaning and remain closed until further orders are given.
Just as with the previous Judicial Emergency Orders, Remote Videoconference hearings are being utilized and scheduled. The order states that all other provisions of the previous order are still in effect.
This all comes after the announcements of some of Gilmer and Fannin Elected Officials and Courts closing earlier today due to COVID-19 exposures.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Several offices in both Fannin and Gilmer County are closing today as reports indicate one or more employees may have had exposures to the Coronavirus in recent days.
The District Attorney’s Office in both Fannin and Gilmer have closed today. Additionally, Gilmer’s Probate Office has confirmed closing and the Gilmer Board of Commissioners has cancelled its Wednesday morning Work Session citing a “recent spike in Covid-19 cases.”
The Probate Court of Gilmer County issued a statement on Social Media saying, “The Probate Court Office of Gilmer County will be closed effectively immediately and remain closed until further notice.”
FYN has also confirmed that every office of an elected official in Gilmer County has been closed until Monday along with the court systems with the exception of the Sheriff’s Office.
According to County Attorney Lynn Doss and Fannin Magistrate Judge Brian Jones, Fannin County’s Court systems are also shutting down including Superior Court, Magistrate Court, and Probate Court. The closings come “by order of the Chief Judge Brenda Weaver.”
According to Fannin County Commission Chairman Stan Helton, only the second floor of the courthouse is closed and it will reopen on Monday after it has been sanitized.
Despite the offices closing and courts canceling, the Gilmer Courthouse and Fannin Courthouse are both, as a whole, not closed at this time. Citizens may still enter the courthouses.
Reports are coming in that in Gilmer, Sheriff’s Deputies at the security checkpoint in the entrance are informing citizens of the offices and courts closing and are directing visitors accordingly.
Additionally, FYN confirmed that the Gilmer Planning and Zoning Office was closed late last week due to possible exposures of an employee.
Sources tell FYN that at least one of the exposures this week may have been related to a recent church revival held in Gilmer County. However, no cases have been officially confirmed at this time.
YOUNG FARMERS ASSOCIATION
Why and How to do FAMACHA Scoring in Small Ruminants
August 29, 2019
Fannin County Ag Facility
43 Station Ridge Blue Ridge, GA
( Please use the new entrance off of Hwy 515 )
Talk will be presented by:
Dr. Jay Daniel
Professor of Animal Science, Berry College
Meal sponsored by Patriot Grading
Anyone interested is welcome to attend
FCYFA members attend free of charge
Non FCYFA members we ask you to pay $5.00
Questions or for Additional Information email@example.com or 706-455-2545
BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Fannin County is honoring its past this weekend as residents and local officials met over the weekend for a special celebration and honoring of a major figure from their past.
The Highway 515 Bridge in Fannin County that passes over Ada Street now has an official name, the “John D McDaniel Bridge.” The celebration saw family and friends with new signs for the bridge to formalize the naming.
McDaniel was not only a member of the clergy and a spiritual guide to citizens, but he previously served as a Commissioner of Education and served in the Georgia General Assembly from 1893 to 1897.
The event was also attended by current Fannin County Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney and Georgia Speaker of the House of Representatives David Ralston.
Ralston spoke about the event saying, “This past weekend, I was honored to be joined by the descendants of the Reverend John D. McDaniel as we dedicated the bridge on Highway 515 over Ada Street in Blue Ridge in his memory.”
With the signs up, Fannin memorializes a citizen from the past and honored his family who remain in the county he served so diligently.
(The following is a Press Release from the Office of David Ralston, Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives.)
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) today announced that the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation has opened a North Georgia Office in Ellijay. The office is located in the Collaboration on River’s Edge (CORE) Building, a workplace innovation space and initiative of the Greater Gilmer Community Foundation.
“I am proud to welcome the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation to Ellijay and look forward to the good work that will be done to further economic opportunity throughout rural Georgia,” said Speaker David Ralston. “This center is a direct result of the work of the House Rural Development Council and our continuing efforts to ensure prosperity is accessible to all Georgians – regardless of zip code.”
The center, also known as Georgia’s Rural Center, has named Janet Cochran to lead the North Georgia Office. Cochran comes to the center with more than a decade of experience as a project manager with the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
“Finding ways to not only maintain but to multiply the economic and cultural vitality present in so many of north Georgia’s small towns and rural communities relies heavily on relationships,” said Dr. David Bridges, Georgia’s Rural Center interim director, “and we know that our presence and personnel there will only improve our ability to facilitate positive outcomes. Janet brings a wealth of experience in managing economic development projects in this region of the state, and we’re excited to have her join our team in this role at the North Georgia Office.”
Headquartered at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation serves as a central information and research hub for rural best practices, including community planning, industry-specific assistance and cooperative efforts with community partners. The center was proposed by the House Rural Development Council in 2017 and was created by House Bill 951, which was enacted in 2018.
“Promoting a strong business environment that enhances the quality of our community is not just the chamber’s mission in words, it is behind everything we do. The opening of CORE and the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation is a cornerstone moment in that mission and one that we have worked tirelessly to support and create for many years. I join with our 650 members in celebrating,” remarked John Marshall, Gilmer Chamber Chairman of the Board.
“As chairman of the Greater Gilmer Community Foundation it has been our goal as a private, citizen funded organization to help spur economic growth for our community and region. CORE being the home to the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation North Georgia office brings our vision to reality. We look forward to continuing to serve our communities for years to come,” said Kent Sanford, Chairman of the Board.
“Working with Speaker of the House David Ralston and the House leadership to bring the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation North Georgia office to our community will have economic impact to the entire region. We look forward to continuing to work to insure the success of the center and all of our partners within CORE,” remarked Lex Rainey, Greater Gilmer Joint Development Authority Chairman of the Board.
Located in Gilmer County, Ellijay is a thriving rural community in the North Georgia mountains, offering a unique blend of southern hospitality and natural beauty. The area leads Georgia in apple production and is a center for agribusiness and agritourism.
For more information about the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation, visit http://www.ruralga.org/.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – “This is the kind of project that will spread prosperity throughout our entire region. It is the kind of skin-in-the-game project that deserves support…” Georgia Speaker of the House, David Ralston praised the CORE Facility in Ellijay who hosted their official ribbon-cutting today.
Nestled just off Maddox Drive on the banks of the Coosawattee River in Ellijay, Georgia, the CORE Facility hosts business offices and incubation locations for entrepreneurs and start-ups in need of an office or workspace without the hassles of long-term investment.
However, the facility’s impact reaches so much farther than the city limits or the county’s borders. Today marked a celebration for the region and for the state. Representatives statewide joined together for this ribbon cutting including Gilmer Commission Chairman Charlie Paris, Gilmer Post Commissioner Karleen Ferguson, Pickens Commission Chairman Rob Jones, Fannin Commission Chairman Stan Helton, Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston, State Senator Steve Gooch, State Representative of District 11 Rick Jasperse, Ellijay City Mayor Al Hoyle, Gilmer Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs, and many representatives from the Ellijay and East Ellijay City Councils and Gilmer Board of Education. Efforts from many organizations have led into combined organizations such as the Greater Gilmer Joint Development Authority (JDA) and the Greater Gilmer Community Foundation.
That Foundation was the birthplace of the initiative to build CORE. According to Kent Sanford, Executive Director of the Greater Gilmer JDA and part of the Greater Gilmer Community Foundation, a 14-month birth cycle has finally come to full fruition.
While the celebration was a culmination of efforts so far, it is only the beginning. It is a project that holds great impact on the future, according to Ralston who said, “It will create jobs in our area. The jobs of tomorrow will be possible because of the work that goes on in this building.”
Ralston also dedicated support to the facility as he announced, “Because of the local commitment to the CORE building the State of Georgia, through our OneGeorgia Authority, is awarding $420,000 to this project to be used for Facility purchase and improvement costs. This $420,000 grant is historic, both in terms of its dollar amount and the impact it will have on this project and community.”
Ralston continued speaking about the economic development and job creation in the county before offering the second announcement of the day regarding the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation, also known as Georgia’s Rural Center.
Ralston stated at the ribbon-cutting, “I am proud to announce that the new North Georgia of the Georgia Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation will be housed right here in Ellijay in this facility. The office will be led by Janet Cochran.”
Ralston’s office later offered a full Press Release on the announcement stating the center serves as a central information and research hub for rural best practices, including community planning, industry-specific assistance and cooperative efforts with community partners. The center was proposed by the House Rural Development Council in 2017 and was created by House Bill 951, which was enacted in 2018.
These announcements were applauded by those present and praised by the Chairman of the Gilmer Chamber, John Marshall, who said, “Mr. Speaker, once again you have proven yourself to be the very epitome of a stalwart and faithful advocate not only to your hometown and all the other communities in these beautiful North Georgia Mountains, but to each and every corner of the state of Georgia.”
President of the Gilmer Chamber, Paige Green also praised the facility as the realization of a dream for the community that has spread to benefit not only one county but something larger that now spans the region.
Today was a celebration of completing the first steps of a larger plan for the facility. Though it is now open, it is only the first phase of that dream. Director Sanford noted last year that the hopes for the facility include two more phases.
In Phase II, the foundation will continue renovation onto the second floor to open up a larger area for education and training in a 1,200 square foot space upstairs.
In Phase III, hopes for the CORE Facility could extend into the schools for things like STEM Classes, STEM Saturdays, or other forays into education connection. Consolidating resources for these could include shared STEM kits or a shared expense for a STEM subscription service involving 3d-printing necessary components. However, specific details into PHASE III have yet to be finalized.
Ultimately, the CORE wants to continue spreading and growing this larger community where possible. Opportunities that may come have yet to be revealed, but one ribbon-cutting today, one celebration, can lead to something bigger than imagining tomorrow.
Students in the Fannin County Middle School STEM class got to experience walking and observing on a giant Mars map accompanied by a robotic rover that was awarded through a grant submitted by Mrs. Pack, the STEM Teacher. The grant was sponsored by Buzz Aldrin and the ShareSpace Foundation. To purchase the giant map and robot, this would have costed the school $5,000.00. However, with the grant, the school was able to receive it for free. The grant included a 25’ x 25’ giant Mars map, a set of books about the mission to Mars co-authored by Buzz Aldrin and Marianne Dyson, a remote controlled robot, as well as the curriculum to accompany the map and robot.
This year the Fannin County Middle School REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) scholars attended three field trips. The scholars received first-hand experience with visits to the University of North Georgia Blue Ridge, Young Harris College, and Berry College. While on campus students participated in informational sessions designed to give them insights into how to best plan and prepare for their future college careers.
Pictured L to R: Corbin Kendall, Dadrian Flowers, Emily Salas, Bryan Stiles
Fannin County Middle School is so excited to announce that our media center is now a full functioning learning commons. The transition was challenging but with the help of many the conversion was a success. The new furniture has been installed and all 14,000 books are now on the shelves after being delivered on January 2nd. The installation crew worked tirelessly and completed the installation process on January 3rd. The Media Center staff started putting the books on the shelves on January 4th and we were open for business by January 7th. All grades levels visited the library to renew and checkout books the week of the January 14th. We are so grateful that we received the L4GA grant which funded our remodel. Now we have flexible furniture that is conducive to collaboration, communication, and creation. The Learning Commons is a hub for participatory learning. Students are able to enjoy state of the art technology, resources, and flexible seating options in order to maximize their learning experience. The kids are so eager to come down to the Learning Commons to read in our new soft seating areas, use their new Chromebooks to complete their assignments, and utilize our new media tables to collaborate with group members while working on group projects. Transforming our Library Media Center into a state of the art Learning Commons has been a huge success! We couldn’t be more excited about the future. This is one step that our school has taken in order to ensure that we are providing all students with an education that prepares them to be successful and meet future challenges.
Fannin County High School’s annual National Honor Society Installation, Induction and Honor Cord Ceremony was recently held in the school’s Performing Arts Center.
The officers for the 2019-20 School who were installed are: Hannah Cruse, President; Lora Gwatney, Vice-President; Lexi McGill, Secretary; and Zack Nelson, Treasurer.
Membership into the National Honor Society is based on four criteria: Scholarship, Character, Integrity and Service. This year four additional seniors, eight new juniors and fifty-four sophomores were inducted. According to FCHS Principal, Erik Cioffi: “Being inducted into the National Honor Society is a great achievement as the requirements are rigorous.”
There were seventy-four National Honor Society members who received senior honor cords and will wear them at graduation on May 24. “We are certainly proud of all of new members and seniors and congratulate them on their outstanding accomplishments,” stated Mr. Cioffi.
FCHS National Honor Society SENIORS RECEIVING HONOR CORDS
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Carlos Roberto Neal
Chasity Nicholson[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third_end]
Installation of National Honor Society Officers
Current 2018-2019 Officers New 2019-2020 Officers
Walker Gregory, President Hannah Cruse, President
Hannah Dickey, Vice-Pres. Lora Gwatney, Vice-Pres.
Gene Carbonell, Secretary Lexi McGill, Secretary
Cole Roberson, Treasurer Zachary Nelson, Treasurer
NEW NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY MEMBERS
|Chasity Nicholson||Roxie Ross|
| Emily Queen
Martin Logan Brady
Two members of the Fannin County Band program earned positions in the 2019 Georgia All-State Band. This elite group was selected from the top musicians from across the entire state of Georgia. Potential members must pass two rigorous auditions which include scales, two prepared selections, and playing a short example on first sight. Emma Barnstead (junior – french horn) and Brenna Harper (eighth grade – euphonium) were both selected based on the final auditions help in January.
The students who passed the final audition were placed by grade level into fully instrumented bands of 120 members each. These bands meet in Athens, Georgia for two and a half days the first weekend in March to rehearse and prepare an exciting program of innovative and challenging music under the direction of world class conductors from all over the country. The event concluded with stunning performances by each of the groups in the Classic Center.
Congratulations again to the outstanding young musicians on their tremendous accomplishment!
In an effort to support local families with school readiness, the Fannin County School System will be offering two Georgia Lottery Funded Pre-Kindergarten Classes during the 2019-2020 school year. Any child who will be four years old on or before September 1, 2019, is eligible to apply for a position in the classes. The classes will be at Blue Ridge Elementary and follow the Fannin County School District’s calendar. There are no application fees or other charges for class participation, and transportation will be available, if needed.
1. Applications can be picked up at the Fannin County Board of Education or Blue Ridge Elementary beginning Friday, March 1, 2019. Applications can also be downloaded at www.fannin.k12.ga.us.<http://www.fannin.k12.ga.us/> Also the Pre-K web page can be found on our system web site.
2. Completed applications along with supporting documentation should be submitted at the Fannin County Board of Education no later than 4:00 pm Friday, April 12, 2019.
3. Children who will turn four on or before September 1, 2019, and who are Georgia residents may apply. School zones within Fannin County do not bind pre-k students.
4. Forty-four positions are available. Positions will be determined using a lottery method. A public drawing will be held at 5:30 pm on Thursday, April 25, 2019, in the cafeteria at Blue Ridge Elementary School.
5. Remaining applicants will be drawn and written down in consecutive order. Those not chosen as the first 44 students will be placed on a waiting list.
6. Families will be notified by phone and mail on the status of their application no later than Tuesday, April 30, 2019.
The Board of Education will continue to accept applications beyond, Friday, April 12, 2019, however those names will be placed on a secondary waiting list.
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)