Fannin County May 2022 Primary Results

Board of Commissioners, Board of Education, Election
Primary results

FANNIN COUNTY, Ga. — Georgia’s May 24, 2022 primary has received nationwide attention over its U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races. For Fannin County voters, the ballots also included two seats on the Fannin County Board of Education and the Post 2 seat on the Fannin County Board of Commissioners. The primary results came in late on Tuesday evening.

After polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday evening, results from all 12 voting precincts were not given until after 10 p.m. Fannin County saw a total of 2,184 early and absentee ballot votes, and unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State website show a turnout of almost 32%. While an official summary and certified results were not yet ready, the initial primary results were given at the Fannin County Courthouse.

Board of Commissioners

Larry Syputa

Larry Syputa ran unopposed in the Democratic primary for Post 2 Commissioner.

Glenn Patterson

Patterson is the incumbent Post 2 Commissioner.

In the Republican primary for Post 2 Commissioner, Incumbent Glenn Patterson was challenged by Greg Staffins, Larry Sosebee, and Anita Weaver. Patterson won the Republican primary for Post 2 Commissioner, and will face the lone Democratic candidate, Larry Syputa, during the November 2022 general election.

Glenn Patterson received a total of 3,500 votes across all 12 voting precincts, early votes, and absentee ballots. Larry Syputa received a total of 455 votes in his primary.

 

 

Board of Education

Bearden will remain on the Fannin County Board of Education after winning his primary.

Mike Cole

Mike Cole is the incumbent Vice Chair on the Board of Education.

The incumbent, Bobby Bearden, was challenged by Debi Holcomb and Clarence “Junior” Farmer in the Republican primary. Bearden won his primary with a total of 3,690 votes across 12 voting precincts, early votes, and absentee ballots.

Incumbent Mike Cole will also return to the Fannin County Board of Education after an uncontested re-election bid. Cole has served on the board since he was elected in 2018. He received a total of 5,011 votes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full election results can be found here.

 

An interview with Board of Education candidate Mike Cole

Board of Education, Election
Mike Cole

FANNIN COUNTY, Ga. — Mike Cole is the current Vice Chair of the Fannin County Board of Education. His seat is uncontested, but he spoke with FYN to discuss his time on the board and goals for the future.

Mike Cole said his experiences as a member of the community initially led him to run for the board. He first mentioned that when taking his daughter to school he saw “lack in some areas, waste in other areas.” Cole also owns an automotive repair shop that he said needed employees. He believed the lack of workers in the area was a sign the school system did not have strong vocational education.

Since being elected, Cole said the board has accomplished many things, especially for vocational education. He highlighted a now established “state-of-the-art” welding program. Cole noted that an automotive teacher is already teaching and should have a full facility completed and ready for students by 2024. Along with construction, health and sports medicine programs in Fannin County schools, Cole said “I came in wanting to get the vocational up and get it moving again, and I believe we’ve done that.”

Cole told FYN that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of mental health care in the school system. He said, while many people are unaware, the schools in the county have resources to help students struggling with mental health issues, such as anxiety. To inform community members about the resources available within Fannin County schools, Cole said he has worked to get Shannon Miller, the Director of Student Services, to speak at a Republican Party meeting: “She’s got a fabulous team. They’re dealing with kids on a daily basis, and so I’m really proud of that, that were actually stepping in and taking a lead on that.”

He also noted increases in special-purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) funding, “In the last 12 months we’ve got nine million dollars, so we’ve put that to work.” Specifically, Cole mentioned a new, fully paid for bus facility that is under construction. He also said the board is considering plans to create a wellness center on 160 acres of land that the board purchased: “That wellness center will incorporate, hopefully, several different other aspects as far as sports.” Cole said the center would include dedicated wrestling spaces, as well as baseball and softball fields. The wellness center, he noted, would also expand access to vocational facilities that currently don’t have space in the schools.

When it comes to involving parents and teachers with his work on the board, Cole emphasized communication. He said during school visits he asks the teachers what their “needs, wants, and desires” are. To interact with parents, Cole says “I’m always trying to visit all these sports programs, FFA, wherever I can be a part of.” He also mentioned his recent participation in a nature trail walk with the middle school that allowed him to interact with parents.

Discussing possible improvements that could be made in his next term, Cole mentioned that he would like to see pay increases that would make janitor and lunch workers’ income competitive in the community. As far as curriculum, Cole said he is “well satisfied” with where the school system is now. He suggested that concerns over controversial issues, like Critical Race Theory, often come from national media. On a local level, however, Cole said: “It’s my knowledge that’s not being taught here at all. It’s not in our curriculum. The only thing we’re required to teach is Georgia Standards, and that’s what we teach.”

There are two board of education seats on the ballot this May, but only one seat is contested. Incumbent Bobby Bearden is being challenged by both Debi Holcomb and Clarence “Junior” Farmer. Incumbent Mike Cole, however, has no challengers. More information about the election on May 24, 2022 can be found here or on the Fannin County Board of Elections website.

An interview with Board of Education candidate Clarence Farmer

Board of Education, Election
Farmer

FANNIN COUNTY, Ga. — Clarence “Junior” Farmer is one of two candidates hoping to succeed the incumbent, Bobby Bearden, on the Fannin County Board of Education this year. Farmer, who has served on the board previously, was absent from a recent candidates forum due to a spinal surgery. Although he is still recovering, Farmer briefly spoke with FYN about his election bid.

Farmer, born and raised in Fannin County, emphasized his previous experience on the board. During his tenure, Farmer said he visited the Fannin County schools every month and talked to the teachers who worked there. “I’m for good schools, good education, and high graduation rate,” Farmer said, adding that the graduation rate had increased during his time on the board. He also noted that, when he was a member, the board worked to build a new football stadium and bring a college campus to the county. The campus was ultimately built in Ellijay, but Farmer said he advocated for Fannin County during the process.

Farmer also stressed vocational education as something the county needs. “There’s a lot of kids that can’t go to college, and they can go to a vocational school,” he said. Farmer, who attended a vocational school himself, said that they can provide opportunity to underserved communities. He cited education in plumbing, carpentry, and electrical work as jobs that students can be prepared for with vocational education. “Vocational school would help this county a whole lot,” he added.

He also noted his involvement with students during his previous tenure: “I worked with the kids and everything, and I attended every football game for four years, except four games.” Farmer said he attended just about every basketball, softball, baseball, and soccer game as well.

He made clear that his community involvement didn’t stop with students, “I was there for the parents, and they knew it too.” Similarly, he mentioned his open communication with Fannin County teachers. “I think the teachers right now are doing a good job, I really do,” Farmer said, adding “I talked to a lot of teachers when I was on the board, and they appreciate that.” As a board member, Farmer said he’d like to see all five members work together to help the people of the county.

When asked what he wants voters to remember about him, Farmer replied, “I want them to remember me as the peoples’ candidate. I hope they choose me as their choice, and if they do I’ll work with the parents, teachers, administrators, and I’ll work with them anyway I can, help them anyway I can.”

There are two board of education seats on the ballot this May, but only one seat is contested. Incumbent Bobby Bearden is being challenged by both Debi Holcomb and Clarence “Junior” Farmer. More information about the election on May 24, 2022 can be found here or at the Fannin County Board of Elections website.

An interview with Board of Education candidate Bobby Bearden

Board of Education, Election
Bobby Bearden

FANNIN COUNTY, Ga. — Bobby Bearden has served on the Fannin County Board of Education for almost twenty years. “There’s two priorities that I have. Number one is the students. I want a quality education. Number two is the taxpayers and the citizens of Fannin County,” he told FYN during an interview discussing his re-election bid. Bearden is the incumbent candidate but is facing a challenge from both Debi Holcomb and Clarence “Junior” Farmer.

Bobby Bearden has lived in Fannin County for 48 years and currently works for the City of Blue Ridge. He has also served in the US Army, and he ran Bearden’s Muffler Shop for over thirty years. Now, Bearden is finishing his twentieth year working on the Board of Education. “Education, to me, is number one,” he said, adding, “not just for them to go to school, but I want them to get a quality education while they’re there, and I believe they’re doing that.”

Bearden said the board has made many accomplishments during his twenty year tenure. He specifically mentioned the updates and renovations that have been made to several buildings throughout the county. He also touched on the expansion of vocational education in the county during his time on the board. While they have already established a welding class and nursing program at the high school, Bearden said he would like to see an auto-mechanics and small engine class created. He believes those classes will expand opportunity for Fannin County students: “Not everybody that goes through school is going to go to college, and they need something to do.”

Another accomplishment, Bearden noted, is the purchase of 160 acres to be utilized by the school system, “It’s a tremendous thing, I think, that we was able to purchase that land next to the high school for future use.” He said the board will begin conversations on how to use the property this month.

Bearden, responding to criticism of the board’s transparency with the community, said “I think we are. The only thing that we can’t put out in public is what happens in executive session.” He said most people are aware of what is happening, especially because of online options that allow parents to see how their children are doing in school. “That’s one thing that I can tell you that I’m 110% for, is transparency,” Bearden added, “That’s how the school board and the school system and the community gets along.”

Bearden said he believes the school board does work well together and with the community as a whole: “We don’t all agree, but when it comes down to it, we agree for the good of the school.” That cooperation allows them to accomplish things like pay raises for employees, he emphasized: “They deserve it, all the people that work for us. Whether it be a custodian, a bus driver, a school teacher or whatever, they deserve all the money that they can get.” Bearden also said that the board has worked to decrease the millage rate over the last five years and has used special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST) funding to remodel the school buildings.

He also touched on state and federal government influence in Fannin County schools, which was a topic at a recent candidates forum. Bearden said that while “there’s certain things that you have to abide by,” being a charter system allows “more control over what happens at all of our five schools.” He also noted that there is a School Governance Team (SGT) at each school that meets to discuss the schools’ needs. “They know exactly what the school needs and the people in Atlanta don’t,” Bearden emphasized.

There are two board of education seats on the ballot this May, but only one seat is contested. Incumbent Bobby Bearden is being challenged by both Debi Holcomb and Clarence “Junior” Farmer. More information about the election on May 24, 2022 can be found here or the Fannin County Board of Elections website.

An interview with Board of Education candidate Debi Holcomb

Board of Education, Election
Board of Education candidate Debi Holcomb

FANNIN COUNTY, Ga. — Debi Holcomb is one of two candidates challenging the incumbent, Bobby Bearden, for a seat on the Fannin County Board of Education this year. Holcomb, who is legally blind, spoke with FYN about her election bid, saying “it doesn’t take eye sight to have a vision, and I have a vision for a better Fannin County school system.”

Holcomb, who moved to Blue Ridge in 2005, said community involvement is important to her. She currently volunteers at Fannin County Animal Control and serves as a trustee on the Fannin County Library Board. She was also appointed to the Comprehensive Plan Planning Committee, where she served her term. Holcomb also noted that she started, and now chairs, a peer support group for visually impaired North Georgians.

Holcomb said she has always had interest in education because of her six children and five grandchildren, but her work as a reporter for the Fannin Sentinel made her more familiar with the school board. As she became more involved, Holcomb said she “became concerned about the time that the Board of Education stopped having public workshops, and started doing things not quite out in the open.” On a national level, Holcomb said that conversations about critical race theory and gender identification concerned her as well.

Holcomb also touched on drug usage and other misbehavior within the school system. “Of course education starts at home,” Holcomb said, “In our community we know the poverty level that’s kinda hid, and we know that not all home circumstances are the best.” When it becomes a reoccurring problem in the school system, however, she said the school board has a responsibility to review policies that are not working well: “Our job is to protect the children, and how can we protect the children if we’re turning our backs and ignoring what’s going on.” When it comes to reviewing those board and school policies, Holcomb said she would like to look at all of them, and have more discussion with both teachers and parents. Holcomb said she was floored to find out that not every school has a guidance counselor, and some special education classes only have one teacher at a time. She noted those instances are examples of when a policy should be reviewed.

Holcomb said she had recently attended a meeting with the Georgia State Superintendent Richard Woods: “He informed us that, contrary to what parents have been told in an open meeting, that the curriculum is handled at the local level.” Because of this, Holcomb said, preventing inappropriate curriculum and school library books from entering Fannin County schools is the responsibility of the county’s school board. “I am afraid that the current board members treat their job as part time, show up for your meetings, collect your money, and go. I myself feel that schools need to be visited on a regular basis, somebody needs to be monitoring exactly what’s being taught,” she emphasized.

She argued that the school system’s budget could be used in a way that better serves the students: “I know there are issues. Water issues, mold issues in the elementary schools. So, I don’t understand why we are doing a multimillion dollar bus and admin building with those SPLOST dollars instead of taking care of existing problems where our students are actually at.” Holcomb also noted that she had recently learned Fannin County shares a portion of its revenue with poorer counties. Holcomb said she would look at where the money is being sent and talk with the state government to see if that amount could be reduced.

When it comes to teachers, Holcomb believes that more communication and board involvement is important. “Right now, I don’t think that most of our school faculty feel that the board even listens, and I want to be one that they know is going to listen,” she said.

There are two board of education seats on the ballot this May, but only one seat is contested. Incumbent Bobby Bearden is being challenged by both Debi Holcomb and Clarence “Junior” Farmer. More information about the election on May 24, 2022 can be found here or at the Fannin County Board of Elections website.

Feed Fannin celebrates 10 years of service

Community, News, Non Profit

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Feed Fannin is celebrating 10 years of serving Fannin County and throughout the years the all volunteer organization has grown and become a template for other projects across the state of Georgia.

Feed Fannin was founded in 2009 by Barbara Ferer who had a vision of bringing individuals together to “educate and encourage our community towards self-sufficiency while providing food for those in need”.

The very first garden planted in Fannin County was at Davenport Brothers Wood Yard and from there smaller gardens popped throughout the community.
“Our primary goal is to provide food or funds for the pantry,” Feed Fannin Board of Directors member Jane Kimzey said explaining the mission of the organization, and what Feed Fannin has provided to the Family Connection food pantry.

Feed Fannin, 10 Years, Family Connection, Board of Directors, Chairman, Founder, Barbara Ferer, Jane Kimzey, John Sugg, Food Pantry, Gardening, Organic, Agricultural Center, Future Farmers of America, FFA, Fannin County Board of Education, Assistant Superintendent, Robert Ensley, Fannin County Board of Commissioners, Stan Helton, Proclamation, Bowls of Hope, Willow Creek Falls and Vineyard

Representatives from Feed Fannin stand with the Fannin County Board of Commissioners after having a proclamation signed recognizing 10 years of success.

Through organically gardening a variety of produce, which varies year to year, Feed Fannin was able to raise and contribute 7,415 pounds of vegetables to the community in 2018. This large amount is predominantly attributed to, beyond the vast hours of work volunteers put in regularly, the Fannin County School System leasing a tract of land on Ada Street.

According to John Sugg, Chairman of Feed Fannin, acquiring the Ada Street property allowed the organization to grow exponentially.

“We are here today and we have one purpose, to tell you all thank you. This partnership means a lot to us,” Sugg spoke recently to the Fannin County Board of Education.

The Ada Street property was first leased from the school system in 2013, with the first garden being planted on site in April of 2014. The land, which is leased for $1.00 per year, not only allowed for Feed Fannin to move forward in their mission but also opened up an ongoing mutually beneficial relationship between the organization and the local schools.

Working side by side with Fannin County’s Future Farmers of America (FFA), Feed Fannin is excited to see the school system’s new Agriculture Center completed adjacent to their gardens.

“We work closely with their new Ag Center which is a jewel in this community,” Sugg said of the relationship shared with Fannin County schools.

Assistant Superintendent Robert Ensley spoke of the school system’s appreciation for Feed Fannin, “They have been a great partner to us. Through our STEM program and different things, they have helped us financially and been a partner in the community. They do a lot of great things.”

Since their beginning in 2009 Feed Fannin has provided the local food pantry and community with 64,797 pounds of produce. Along with this produce Feed Fannin works to raise money for the Family Connection food pantry.

“We either give the money directly to the food pantry in some cases, but in some cases we use it to purchase milk and eggs,” Kimzey spoke of the use of the funds raised each year.

Since 2009 Feed Fannin has raised over $320,000 to support area projects. Besides general upkeep of gardens and equipment, all money raised goes directly into the community, as there is no paid staff and the organization runs on a volunteer basis only.

Feed Fannin, 10 Years, Family Connection, Board of Directors, Chairman, Founder, Barbara Ferer, Jane Kimzey, John Sugg, Food Pantry, Gardening, Organic, Agricultural Center, Future Farmers of America, FFA, Fannin County Board of Education, Assistant Superintendent, Robert Ensley, Fannin County Board of Commissioners, Stan Helton, Proclamation, Bowls of Hope, Willow Creek Falls and Vineyard

A photo from the 2017 Bowls of Hope fundraiser showing a large crowd enjoying the annual event.

Much of the funds raised for Feed Fannin come from the annual Bowls of Hope fundraiser. 2018 saw record breaking numbers as this fundraiser alone was responsible for bringing in almost $32,000.

So what’s in store for the future of Feed Fannin? Currently more than 168 volunteers work to provide services to the county. These services include year long educational classes, working with local elementary schools on gardening programs, continuing a relationship with Fannin County’s FFA program and stocking shelves with home grown goods for the local food pantry.

Feed Fannin has recently added a research and development team to keep up with the latest methods in gardening and to look into ways to improve an already successful program. An experimental garden has also been added to the Family Connection property and is being funded by an independent organization.

There is work being done to expand Feed Fannin’s allotment garden where individuals with less than ideal conditions for gardening can make use of the community land and plant their own small gardens.

Chairman of the Fannin County Board of Commissioners Stan Helton read from a proclamation acknowledging the work done by Feed Fannin, “Where as hunger in Fannin County continues to be problem, Feed Fannin, a group of individuals have joined forces to eliminate hunger in Fannin County by helping others help themselves through community gardening, education and shared resources.”

Feed Fannin invites all citizens of Fannin County to celebrate with them as they mark 10 years of service in our area. The annual fundraiser, Bowls of Hope, will be held on April 27, 2019 at Willow Creek Falls and Vineyard.

 

 

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 [email protected]

Fannin County election winners speak after hearing results

Uncategorized

Blue Ridge, Ga. – The Nov. General Election has come to a close in Fannin County. After a large number of early voters, it was not surprising that the local polls were packed as Tuesday Nov. 6 marked the last day to have your voice heard.

Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner will now be held by Republican candidate Glenn Patterson. Patterson won out over Democratic challenger Dixie Carter with 81.71 percent of the vote.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, General Election 2018, Election 2018, Post 2 Commissioner, Fannin County Board of Education, Republican, Democrat, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Bobby Bearden, Jeff DePaola, Mike Cole, Susan DeMoura, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney

Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner Elect Glenn Patterson.

“I’m very excited! It hasn’t hit me yet. It’s kind of overwhelming,” Patterson spoke of his win shortly after hearing the results.

Of his plans once sworn into office Patterson said, “I’m brand new but I plan to learn fast and just do things for the people. That’s why I ran and I won’t forget after the race that the people put me in there.”

“I want to help Fannin County,” Patterson also acknowledged the division among political parties across the nation and locally. “Not just the Republicans or the Democrats but all of them. I will look at the issues critically. While I think we are headed down a good path, there is always room for improvement.”

One of the two seats open with the Fannin County Board of Education will now be held by Republican Mike Cole. Cole won the republican nomination in the May General Primary over several challengers and incumbent Steve Stanley. He then went on to defeat Democrat Susan DeMoura in the General Election with 82.31 percent of the vote.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, General Election 2018, Election 2018, Post 2 Commissioner, Fannin County Board of Education, Republican, Democrat, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Bobby Bearden, Jeff DePaola, Mike Cole, Susan DeMoura, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney

New Fannin County Board of Education board member Mike Cole with family.

“I’m excited about it,” Cole said as the final results were announced.

During his campaign Cole was an enthusiastic proponent of bringing vocational training back to the schools of Fannin County and he plans to continue to advocate for these classes.

“It’s all about policy,” Cole said speaking of ways in which to make more vocational options a reality, and while not knowing if he would be elected at the time Cole still began making progress by contacting agencies concerning welding and looking into possible grants for the school system.

Although Cole will be a newcomer to the Fannin County Board of Education, he looks forward to working with fellow board members and Fannin County Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney: “Gwatney is a great guy. I’ve had some interaction with him before and I like him a lot.”

In the closest race locally, incumbent Republican Bobby Bearden won over challenger Democrat Jeff Depaola with 79.49 percent of the vote. Bearden has held a seat on the Fannin County Board of Education for 16 years and will serve another four year term.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, General Election 2018, Election 2018, Post 2 Commissioner, Fannin County Board of Education, Republican, Democrat, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Bobby Bearden, Jeff DePaola, Mike Cole, Susan DeMoura, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney

Set to serve another term, Fannin County Board of Education board member Bobby Bearden.

Bearden is no stranger to winning elections but humbly spoke of hearing the results: “I’m just thankful for everyone who believed in me, had faith in me, thought I was doing a good job and was willing to have me for four more years.”

“The children are first and the taxpayers are second,” Bearden spoke his platform as he did during the campaign. For the taxpayers, Bearden would like to focus on keeping Fannin County’s millage rate one of the lowest in the state of Georgia.

“I’m really honored and blessed to live in a place like Fannin County. I tell people all the time that we have the best schools and I still believe that,” Bearden said of his years on the Fannin County Board of Education.

All three candidates will take office in 2019 to serve a 4 year term.

You can see all of Fannin County’s Election Results by following the link below:

Fannin County – State Election Results (FINAL)

 

 

 

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 [email protected]

5,355 turnout to early vote in Fannin County

Election, Election 2018, News

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Lines filled the hall of the third floor of the Fannin County Courthouse on Friday Nov. 2 as citizens awaited a chance to cast their ballots in the 2018 General Election.

The last day of early voting saw an all time record high turnout for a single day of voting in Fannin County with 539 residents choosing to have their voices heard.

Both state and local races have had the residents of Fannin County paying close attention to the future of Georgia.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Geoff Duncan, Stacey Abrams, Brian Kemp, Doug Collins, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Georgia’s Gubernatorial Race has caught the attention of the nation. Pictured Republucan Brian Kemp (Left) and Democrat Stacey Abrams (Right).

With the Governor’s Race, between Brian Kemp (Republican-R) and Stacey Abrams (Democrat-D), making national headlines, talk of the importance of this race rang out as voters waited in line. Some expressed their feelings of “not letting Atlanta speak for all of Georgia” while others spoke of a “much needed change”.

Despite differing views, those waiting in line Friday kept discourse civil.

Locally 3 seats are up for grabs in Fannin County. Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner is without an incumbent and the seat will fall to either Glenn Patterson (R) or Dixie Carter (D).

The Fannin County Board of Education has 2 seats that are seen on the 2018 General Election ballot. One seat has challenger Jeff DePaola (D) facing incumbent Bobby Bearden (R), and another seat has two newcomers Mike Cole (R) and Susan DeMoura (D) seeking the nomination.

There is no denying the importance of the 2018 General Election to local voters when looking at a comparison of past early voting records.

According to the Fannin County Office of Elections and Registration, in 2016 Fannin County had 15,385 registered voters. This number has risen to 17,361 registered voters in 2018.

The 2016 General Election had a record number of voters showing up to the polls due to the highly intense presidential race and Fannin County saw 5,922 early voters at that time. Move forward to 2018, without a presidential election in play, and Fannin County early voting still showed a strong turnout with 5,355 early voters.

With most statewide races being dubbed “too close to call” and several key local seats up for grabs, this Tuesday Nov. 6 is sure to see a large voter turnout in Fannin County and across the state of 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 [email protected]

Rebels receive platinum farm-to-school award

Education, News, Rebel's Corner

“Fannin County School System was honored for farm-to-school excellence at the 2018 Golden Radish awards ceremony on Oct. 22 and we won the platinum level recognition at this awards ceremony,” Sisson said of the new accomplishment.

Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Board of Education, Fannin County School System, Nutrition Director, Candice Sisson, Golden Raddish, Platinum, Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Department of Public Health, the UGA Cooperative Extension, Georgia Organics, Farm to School

84 districts in Georgia were honored at this year’s Golden Radish Awards.

The award is presented by the Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Department of Public Health, the UGA Cooperative Extension, and Georgia Organics.

The farm-to-school program gives students an opportunity to learn the basics of gardening and helps support local economies through local food purchases for school meals.

Among the improvements that led to this achievement upgrade Sisson noted that students had participated in 165 taste tests with local items including a number of fruits and vegetables. Students had also raised and cared for chickens incubating and gathering their eggs.

The Fannin County School System boasts a number of edible gardens throughout the five campuses, as well as each campus having its own greenhouse.

“Out of 84 districts that were recognized, 22 recieved platinum, and Fannin County was one of those 22,” Sisson said of the district being honored.
With platinum being the top level to be achieved by the Golden Radish Awards, Sisson and all of the FCSS will work hard to maintain this accomplishment for years to come.

 

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 [email protected]

Raffensperger wins nomination for Secretary of State

Election, Election 2018

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Brad Raffensperger has defeated David Belle Isle in the July Runoff Election.

Raffensperger and Belle Isle vied for the Republican nomination to seek the seat of Georgia Secretary of State. The Secretary of State seat is open with no incumbent as current Secretary of State Brian Kemp moves forward in the gubernatorial race.

With all 159 counties reporting, Raffensperger was able to receive 61.76 percent of the vote while Belle Isle fell short only receiving 38.24 percent.

Raffensperger will move forward to the November General Election where he will face Democratic nominee John Barrow.

 

 

 

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 [email protected]

Duncan wins tightest race in July Runoff

Election, Election 2018

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Geoff Duncan narrowly beats out David Shafer in the July Runoff Election.

In what was by far the closest race to take place during the runoff, Duncan beat out Shaffer by a mere 1672 votes. In some precincts across the state this race showed wins by a margin of only 2 votes.

Duncan and Shafer vied for the Republican nomination to seek the seat of Georgia Lt. Governor. The Lt. Governor seat is open with no incumbent as current Lt. Governor Casey Cagle chose to throw his name in the hat for the Republican nomination in the gubernatorial race.

With all 159 counties reporting, Duncan was able to receive 50.15 percent of the vote while Shafer fell short receiving 49.85 percent.

Duncan will move forward to the November General Election where he will face Democratic nominee Sarah Riggs Amico.

July Runoff Election Results

Election 2018

***UPDATED: Tue. July 24 @ 11:38 p.m.

With the July Runoff Election officially coming to a close, candidates have now been selected for the Nov. General Election.

Locally Challenger Glenn Patterson won the Republican nomination for Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner over Incumbent Larry Joe Sosebee receiving 64.45 percent of the vote. Patterson will go on to face Democrat Dixie Carter in the General Election.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Challenger Glenn Patterson (R) moves forward to the November General Election to run for the seat of Post 2 Commissioner.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Dixie Carter (D) will be seen on the ballot for the November General Election for Post 2 Commissioner.

In another upset Challenger Mike Cole was able to beat out Incumbent Steve Stanley for the Republican nomination and recieved 52.69 percent of the runoff vote. Cole will now face Democratic opponent Susan DeMoura for a seat on the Fannin County Board of Education.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Challenger Mike Cole (R) pictured with family will move forward to the November General Election for a seat on the Fannin County Board of Education.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Susan DeMoura (D) will be on the November General Election Ballot for a seat on the Fannin County Board of Education.

Having already been decided in the May General Primary, the the second seat with the Fannin County Board of Education that is open for election will see Incumbent Bobby Bearden (R) face Challenger Jeff DePaola (D).

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Incumbent Bobby Bearden (R) will be seeking re-election for a seat on the Fannin County Board of Education.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Jeff DePaola (D) will challenge the incumbent for a seat on the Fannin County Board of Education.

After what became dubbed as a “nasty” campaign by many, Secretary of State Brian Kemp has won the Republican gubernatorial nomination over his opponent, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, and will face Stacey Abrams (D) in the General Election.

After what became dubbed as a "nasty" campaign by many, Secretary of State Brian Kemp has won the Republican gubernatorial nomination over his opponent, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, and will face Stacey Abrams (D) in the General Election.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) will move forward to the November General Election ballot for seat of Georgia Governor.

After what became dubbed as a "nasty" campaign by many, Secretary of State Brian Kemp has won the Republican gubernatorial nomination over his opponent, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, and will face Stacey Abrams (D) in the General Election.

Stacey Abrams (D) will be seen on the ballot for the seat of Georgia Governor.

Another closely watched campaign has come to a close as Geoff Duncan beat out opponent David Shafer and will represent Republicans in Nov. as he moves on to face Sarah Riggs Amico for the seat of Georgia Lt. Governor.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Geoff Duncan (R) moves forward to the seat of Lt. Governor and will appear on the Nov. ballot.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Sarah Riggs Amico (D) will appear on the Nov. General Election ballot for seat of Lt. Governor.

The Secretary of State seat was also seen in the 2018 runoff. Brad Raffensperger was able to defeat David Belle Isle for the Republican nomination. Raffensperger is set to face John Barrow (D) in November.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Brad Raffensperger (R) will seek seat of Secretary of State in the Nov. General Election.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

John Marrow (D) will be on the November ballot for seat of Secretary of State.

The General Election will be held Nov. 6, 2018.

*These election results are unofficial until being certified by the Secretary of State’s office.

**The results for state seats in this article reflect the voters of Fannin County only and do not reflect voting statewide.

FANNIN COUNTY POST 2 COMMISSIONER

Glenn Patterson (R) – 64.45%       2114  votes (Challenger)

Larry Joe Sosebee (R) – 35.55%    1166  votes (Incumbent)

 

FANNIN COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

Steve Stanley (R) – 47.31%      1529  votes (Incumbent)

Mike Cole (R) – 52.69%            1703   votes (Challenger)

 

GOVERNOR CANDIDATES:

Casey Cagle (R) – 33.94%       1113  votes

Brian Kemp (R) – 66.06%      2166  votes

 

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CANDIDATES:

David Shafer (R) – 50.03%      1518  votes

Geoff Duncan (R) – 49.97%      1516  votes

 

SECRETARY OF STATE CANDIDATES:

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 62.28%    1768  votes

David Belle Isle (R) – 37.72%            1071  votes

 

STATE SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT CANDIDATES:

Sid Chapman (D) – 57.89%        44  votes

Otha Thornton (D) – 42.11%       32  votes

 

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 [email protected]

Acccomplishments told, retirees honored at Fannin Schools end-of-year meeting

Rebel's Corner

The Star Teacher and Student of the Year for the Fannin County School System were Sarah Welch, left, and Jordan Newman, respectively.

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Several school system accomplishments were mentioned and this school year’s retirees were honored at the end-of-the-year meeting of Fannin County Schools at the Performing Arts Center Wednesday, May 30.

Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney kicked the meeting off by announcing 198 students recently graduated from Fannin County High School.

“That’s reflective of the wonderful work that is done by the faculty and staff and leadership at Fannin County High School,” Gwatney added, “but it also speaks volumes for what happens at elementary and middle schools to prepare the students to get them to these levels.”

Gwatney also thanked the Board of Education for a 1 percent across-the-board permanent pay increase for school system personnel.

“And as I stand here before you today, always remember that you are a member of the greatest and most honorable profession,” the superintendent told the countless number of educators and school employees in attendance. “Ladies and gentlemen, ours is the one profession in which all professions must pass.”

Later, Board of Education member Steve Stanley praised Gwatney’s own leadership asking everyone in attendance, “Don’t you guys think that Dr. Gwatney did a great job this year?”

To this, the audience responded with a resounding round of applause for the superintendent.

Lewis DeWeese, BOE chairman, also spoke of the change he saw this year under Dr. Gwatney. “I’ve been saying it for the last year or so, our system has a new spirit, a new friendly, open, honest willingness to share (and) work together,” DeWeese stated.

BOE member Bobby Bearden also took a moment to thank the employees of the school system saying, “It’s been a blessing and an honor to work with people like you.”

Several awards and achievements, received both for schools and individuals throughout the school year, were recognized at the meeting.

This school year’s Teachers of the Year were also mentioned again during the meeting. Those educators included Erin Colbert, from Blue Ridge Elementary, Kathy Culpepper, from East Fannin Elementary, Amber Mitchell, from West Fannin Elementary, Nathasha Anderson, from Fannin County Middle, and Shan Culpepper, from Fannin County High. Culpepper also held the distinction of being Teacher of the Year for the entire school system.

The Star Teacher and Student of the Year for the Fannin County School System were Sarah Welch, left, and Jordan Newman, respectively.

Sarah Welch and Jordan Newman were also recognized this past school year for being the Star Teacher and Star Student of the Year for 2017-18, respectively.

Regarding the high school, Fannin County High School (FCHS) was also ranked statewide and nationally in U.S. News’ annual Best High Schools rankings. According to those rankings, FCHS was ranked 63 in the state and 2,593 in the nation. This was the third time in the last four years FCHS has been ranked by U.S. News in this category with the previous years being 2015 and 2017. The high school also earned a Silver Award for falling in the top 12 percent nationally.

Fannin County Middle School (FCMS) was also praised for its accomplishments, most notably in that the school placed first in an online Reading Bowl and fourth in face-to-face competition. FCMS also earned an honorary degree in life science.

Blue Ridge Elementary received recognition for earning a High Progress Award among Title 1 schools. High Progress Award schools are among the top 10 percent of Title 1 schools based on the three-year average of College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) progress scores.

East Fannin Elementary held the distinction this school year of being one of only five Family-Friendly Partnership Schools in the state of Georgia.

Also, West Fannin Elementary enjoyed the success of becoming the 36th Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) certified school in the state.

Twenty-five educators in the school system became certified as Level 1 Google Educators this school year. This status indicates that an educator is able to successfully implement Google Suite for Education into their teaching practice in order to enhance teaching and learning.

The Fannin County Schools nutritional program participated in the Shake It Up initiative this past school year.

The school system’s nutrition program participated in the Shake It Up initiative, which is a state-wide initiative to change the culture school nutrition in three areas: tasty meals, friendly cafeterias and happy schools. The nutrition programs at all five county schools received the Gold Award in this initiative.

The school system also took time to honor this year’s retirees throughout Fannin County Schools. Those retirees included:

· From Blue Ridge Elementary, media specialist Robbie Callihan and nutritionist Mildred Johnson;

· From East Fannin Elementary, teachers Katie Holloway and Lynn Weeks, academic coach Crystal Cooke, and paraprofessional Sandra Ross;

· From West Fannin Elementary, nutritionist Wanda Stewart and teacher Betty Holsonback;

Fannin County Schools honored 27 retirees from the school system at its end-of-the-year meeting Wednesday, May 30.

· From Fannin County Middle, teachers Cindy Wood and Linda Nave, and nutritionists Judy Glasgow, Sue Postell, and Gayle Queen;

· From Fannin County High, secretaries Robin Kirby and Gail Bennett, paraprofessional Phillip Nastyn, teachers Terry Callihan and Kim Kribbs, and nutritionists Amanda O’Neal and Leslie Perenich;

· System-wide deaf/hard of hearing teacher Marcie Harper and speech therapist Pam Lapham;

· School bus drivers Margie Kolesky and Sheryl Campbell;

· From the school system maintenance department, Archie Bice; and

· From the Central Office, accounts payable bookkeeper Connie Grindstaff and Associate Superintendent Betsy Hyde.

“What an honor this has been,” Gwatney told the retirees. “I wish you all the best.”

Following the ceremony, the rock band Apollo, which is comprised of three Fannin County students, played a spirited version of the Foo Fighters’ classic anthem “My Hero” as a tribute to the retirees as well as the existing educators and employees of the Fannin County School System.

Concluding the day’s event, Gwatney stated, “Ladies and gentlemen, we aspire to guide and lead the future, but most of all, you remember why we’re here. It’s for the kids. Everyone have a great summer.”

 

Author

Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Voting ends today for July runoff election

Election 2018
qualifying election

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Today is the day that Georgians will be able to see a finalized list of candidates that will face off for varying seats statewide.
Locally, Fannin County saw a remarkable turnout during the early voting period of the July run-off. Historically, run-off elections tend to see a much lower voter turnout than the May General Primary.

With only a 25 percent turnout for the general primary, both parties were left discouraged and it was expected that we would only see approximately 15 percent make it out to cast their ballots during the run-off.

So far this has not been the case. Fannin County reported that 1161 total votes were cast during early voting and 163 paper ballots were received for the runoff election. Compare these numbers to the May General Primary which saw 1259 total votes and 224 paper ballots and it appears that the run-off is on course to closely match the initial turnout in May.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Stacey Abrams, Brian Kemp, Casey Cagle, David Belle Isle, Brad Raffensperger, Democrat, Republican, General Primary Runoff, July 2018, Fannin County, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Fannin County Board of Education, Steve Stanley, Mike Cole, Dixie Carter, Susan DeMoura

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle (Left) Secretary of State Brian Kemp (right)

Much of the interest in the runoff election can be attributed to the gubernatorial race for the Republican nomination. This race between Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp has become what many deem “nasty”. This race has, however, brought out big name endorsements including retired Lt. Colonel Oliver North and even the President of the United States Donald J. Trump.

While state offices are getting quite a bit of attention, Fannin County also has two positions on the Republican ballot.

The Republican nomination for Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner seat has garnered its own recognition as Incumbent Larry Joe Sosebee and Challenger Glenn Patterson continue to vie for a chance to face Democrat Dixie Carter in the Nov. General Election.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Stacey Abrams, Brian Kemp, Casey Cagle, David Belle Isle, Brad Raffensperger, Democrat, Republican, General Primary Runoff, July 2018, Fannin County, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Fannin County Board of Education, Steve Stanley, Mike Cole, Dixie Carter, Susan DeMoura

Incumbent Larry Joe Sosebee (Left) and Challenger Glenn Patterson (Right)

One seat with the Fannin County Board of Education will also be seen on the Republican ballot. Incumbent Steve Stanley and Challenger Mike Cole hope to receive the Republican nomination and move forward to face Democrat Susan DeMoura in Nov.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Stacey Abrams, Brian Kemp, Casey Cagle, David Belle Isle, Brad Raffensperger, Democrat, Republican, General Primary Runoff, July 2018, Fannin County, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Fannin County Board of Education, Steve Stanley, Mike Cole, Dixie Carter, Susan DeMoura

Incumbent Steve Stanley (Left) and Challenger Mike Cole (Right)

Polls will be open until 7 p.m. this evening. Follow FetchYourNews as we will bring you the latest updates regarding the July run-off election results.

 

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 [email protected]

Fannin County candidates speak at local forum

Election 2018
qualifying election

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, along with the Blue Ridge Community Theater, hosted a candidate forum May 3 to give voters an opportunity to hear first-hand local candidates’ responses to questions about issues facing our area.

All persons running for positions on the Fannin County Board of Education and for the seat of Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner were present to share their views and explain why they should have your vote in the upcoming election.

SCHOOL BOARD

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner, Fannin County Board of Education, Fannin County Fire Department, Fannin County Emergency Management, Fannin County Chairman, Stan Helton, Dixie Carter, Larry Joe Sosebee, William Tripp Ritchie, Glenn Patterson, Bobby Bearden, Jeff Depaola, Marvin Allen, Stave Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Mike Sullivan, Mike Cole, Ron Bolin, Democrat, Republican, Candidate Forum, Platform, Issues, Blue Ridge Community Theater, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

Pictured are, from left to right: Jeff DePaola (D), Marvin Allen (R), and Bobby Bearden (R).

First to take the stage were Marvin Allen (R), Bobby Bearden (R), and Jeff DePaola (D).

Allen is challenging incumbent Bearden in the May General Primary for the Republican nomination. The winner of the primary will face Democrat DePaola in the November General Election.

 

 

BOBBY BEARDEN (R) INCUMBENT

Bobby Bearden, who has served on the Fannin County Board of Education for 16 years, said, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Bearden added about his time serving, “It’s more than a privilege. It’s a blessing and an honor.”

While agreeing with his fellow candidates on many of the issues such as a board member must be a liaison between the community, parents, teachers, and students, Bearden gave insight into his feelings about what it takes to be an effective board member and what it means to serve.

“A lot of people think that the school board runs the schools, but the school board does not run the schools,” Bearden said. “The superintendent runs the schools. The school board makes sure the superintendent carries out the policies.”

Bearden spoke of accomplishments of the school board during his service specifically citing the Performing Arts Center (PAC) and the construction taking place of the new agricultural facility located on Ada Street: “I’ve got so much behind me I couldn’t tell you all of it.”

“I just heard today that we applied for a grant, a literacy grant for over 1 million bucks,” Bearden said, smiling, “and we got it.”

Bearden’s platform is unwavering, stating his top priorities are “children, children, children, and the tax payers of Fannin County.” He states that safety and quality education are his main focus.

MARVIN ALLEN (R) CHALLENGER

Marvin Allen is a product of the Fannin County School System and has raised his children in Fannin County where they all attended our public schools.

“The platform I’m running on is my concerns for the children of Fannin County,” Allen addressed the crowd of voters. “Their safety is certainly number one. Next on the list is education. Another issue I am concerned about is the consideration of the tax-paying citizens of the county.”

Allen would like to work with the superintendent to produce quality policies that make a difference and to be a good steward of taxpayers dollars when it comes to the budget.

Having helped initiate the school system’s fishing program and by being involved with his children’s educations as well as their extracurricular activities, including sports and band, Allen feels that he is qualified for a position on the Board of Education.

When asked what makes an effective school board member, Allen replied that listening and communicating with the community is a large part of the responsibility, but also being able to effectively take care of business: “There are policies you’ve got to set and a budget you’ve got to monitor.”

JEFF DEPAOLA (D) CHALLENGER

Jeff DePaola has worked with youth via mentoring programs and shows a strong resolve in helping children through community involvement.

DePaola feels that this mentoring background along with his career provides him with the experience needed to serve on the Fannin County Board of Education.

DePaola began his career with Delta at the young age of 19. Through Delta, DePaola learned the field of computer programming and went on to write and implement many programs used in this field.

“I’ve got kind of an entrepreneurial spirit about me. I feel like I have a good eye for looking at a situation and seeing opportunities to make it better,” DePaola spoke of how his career will translate on the school board.

DePaola would like to be a liason if elected to the school board. He feels that a large portion of the duty of a board member is to gather as much information as possible from students, teachers, parents and the community, and relay that information into meaningful policies.

“The platform I’m running on is opportunity through community,” DePaola stated of his goals if elected.

SCHOOL BOARD

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner, Fannin County Board of Education, Fannin County Fire Department, Fannin County Emergency Management, Fannin County Chairman, Stan Helton, Dixie Carter, Larry Joe Sosebee, William Tripp Ritchie, Glenn Patterson, Bobby Bearden, Jeff Depaola, Marvin Allen, Stave Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Mike Sullivan, Mike Cole, Ron Bolin, Democrat, Republican, Candidate Forum, Platform, Issues, Blue Ridge Community Theater, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

Pictured are, from left to right: Susan DeMoura (D), Mike Sullivan (R), Mike Cole (R), Ron Bolin (R), and Steve Stanley (R).

Next to come to the stage was the race with the largest number of candidates. These candidates include Ron Bolin (R), Mike Cole (R), Susan DeMoura (D), Steve Stanley (R), and Mike Sullivan (R).

Bolin, Cole and Sullivan are all challengers of incumbent Stanley for the Republican nomination in the May General Primary. The winner of the primary will go on to face Democrat DeMoura in the November General Election.

 

 

RON BOLIN (R) CHALLENGER

Ron Bolin opened his statements by giving voters a glimpse into his background: “I’m a retired educator. I’ve taught at all three grade levels, elementary, middle, and high school.”

Beyond having taught, Bolin has also spent time in coaching and in school administration.

Bolin is a proponent of literacy and would like to focus school assets into providing a number of tools to promote and teach these skills. Having served many years in education, Bolin stated, “When a student lags behind in this area, it makes more difficulties throughout their entire education.”

Bolin would also like to see focus put on bringing back vocational training to our schools. He believes that education has “made a huge mistake” by putting all the focus on college education and that many students do not attend college and would greatly benefit from vocational training.

MIKE COLE (R) CHALLENGER

Mike Cole is a product of the Fannin County School System and credits his success to the start he got in our county’s schools.

Cole, a small business owner, began his training at Fannin County High School in the now un-offered vocational and technical programs. Having a successful career with General Motors (GM) and Chrysler, Cole returned to Fannin County to open his own automotive repair shop.

Cole is now a strong advocate for returning programs such as transportation class, cosmetology, residential wiring, plumbing, and welding to Fannin County schools.

“I’m not just a salesman,” Cole said, speaking of his opponent Bolin’s stance to bring back vocational classes, “but I am a client. I went through this vocational system, and I now own a business doing my career path from career tech.”

Cole now has a young child enrolled in the school system, and from involvement in his child’s education, he sees areas of what he feels are wasteful spending and mismanagement.

Citing that he has personally had to provide water to children on a field trip and has seen first-hand large amounts of food being thrown away in the schools’ cafeterias, Cole stated, “If we are a charter school and can make some decisions, we need to make decisions about the waste and mismanagement in that area.”

Cole also brought to the table the idea of using Georgia Virtual on snow days. He stated that if each child were provided a Chromebook that this option could be used to alleviate the issue of make-up school days due to inclement weather.

SUSAN DEMOURA (D) CHALLENGER

Susan DeMoura shared her experience of being a director of a rehabilitation center. With a master’s in speech language pathology, DeMoura worked many years managing a large staff and being in charge of an equally as large budget.

“I believe that my experience has prepared me to sit on this board,” DeMoura explained that she is used to working with many diverse people, “and become a liaison between the superintendent and the students and the teachers and the parents.”

When asked if school boards should be moved to a nonpartisan position, DeMoura stated that she is proud to be a member of her political party, but “I don’t see this as an area where politics need to come into play.”

DeMoura said that a key area she would like to research and try to resolve is the issue of absences in Fannin County. She cited that not all absences are due to illness and some stem from a child’s home life. DeMoura would like to provide options for these children to ensure that they are able to attend school everyday.

“My goal is to try to bridge any gap that exists,” DeMoura said of her hopes if elected,”with our students and our parents and teachers and provide the very best options, the very best alternatives for them.”

STEVE STANLEY (R) INCUMBENT

Steve Stanley has served on the Board of Education for eight years and would like to be re-elected for another four year term.

Stanley is proud of his record with the Board of Education citing several successes that have come to pass during his terms. He spoke of grants that have been awarded and progresses that have been made on all school campuses.

With Quality Basic Education (QBE) being fully funded by the state of Georgia for the first time in a number of years, Stanley stated that he will continue to be an advocate for equal state funding for Fannin County schools.

“This board will continue to work,” Stanley stated of his expectations if re-elected, “and I will continue to work.”

Stanley stated that the one thing he would do differently if elected for another term would be to spend more time in the schools.

“That has been the one thing I have wanted to do since I have been on the board is spend more time in schools,” Stanley said, explaining that his work has kept him away from spending as much time as he would like in the schools.

MIKE SULLIVAN (R) CHALLENGER

Mike Sullivan remains steadfast in his platform. Two of Sullivan’s key issues are that of school safety and of complete transparency on all levels.

Sullivan would like to see no stone left unturned when it comes to the safety of the children of Fannin County. Pursuing every option to acquire top notch safety is an issue the Sullivan is very passionate about.

Sullivan was asked of what he has done to prepare himself for the school board position if elected. He cited that beyond having attended the Board of Education monthly meetings, his military background is another advantage that he possesses.

“The military really prepares you a lot for working with diverse people,” the Air Force veteran spoke of his credentials for the Board of Education, “and I believe our board is comprised of some diverse individuals. It really prepares you for conflict.”

Sullivan agreed with his opponents on a number of issues, including that the school board should be a nonpartisan position and that the best way to keep quality teachers is to offer competitive pay and incentives.

When asked what he would do differently from incumbent Stanley, Sullivan replied that he would have active engagement on all levels, with students, parents, teachers, and fellow board members.

“We really have tremendous capabilities here,” Sullivan stated enthusiastically of his intentions, “to really excel with our kids and to lead them beyond being just 21st century learners.”

POST 2 COMMISSIONER

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner, Fannin County Board of Education, Fannin County Fire Department, Fannin County Emergency Management, Fannin County Chairman, Stan Helton, Dixie Carter, Larry Joe Sosebee, William Tripp Ritchie, Glenn Patterson, Bobby Bearden, Jeff Depaola, Marvin Allen, Stave Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Mike Sullivan, Mike Cole, Ron Bolin, Democrat, Republican, Candidate Forum, Platform, Issues, Blue Ridge Community Theater, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

Pictured are, from left to right: William “Tripp” Ritchie (R), Glenn Patterson (R), Dixie Carter (D), and Larry Joe Sosebee (R)

The final group of candidates to take the stage were those running for Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner. These candidates included Dixie Carter (D), Glenn Patterson (R), Larry Joe Sosebee (R), and William “Tripp” Ritchie (R).

Ritchie and Patterson are facing incumbent Sosebee for the Republican nomination in the May General Primary. The winner of this primary will go against Democrat Carter in the November General Election.

 

 

DIXIE CARTER (D) CHALLENGER

Dixie Carter holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work, and she feels that having worked many years in this field, she has a good understanding of people and their needs and for this reason would make an ideal candidate.

Carter is a proponent of improving the county’s recreational areas and of seeking ways to move the county’s library out of the courthouse and into a stand-alone location.

A library is a hub for many communities, according to Carter, and a place where not only learning can take place, but a facility that can offer community classes and lectures, Internet for those without, and social work and aid for those in need.

When asked about a county aquatic center, Carter replied that she would be in favor and that it would be “very beneficial to focus on our health and wellness.”

Rather than just fund this center locally, Carter feels that we could look into regional funding: “Regional collaboration is a very good thing.” She feels that surrounding counties might take interest since the center would be beneficial to their residents as well.

Carter would be in favor of expanding the current Fannin County Board of Commissioners from a three-person panel to a five-person panel.

“With three there’s a monopoly on the vote,” Carter stated of the matter. “It’s almost like it’s rigged.”

If elected, Carter said she will work to represent all citizens of Fannin County and work to change the atmosphere of the Board of Commissioners meetings, which she feels has a negative tone.

GLENN PATTERSON (R) CHALLENGER

Glenn Patterson is an educator of 33 years and has spent approximately 23 of those years as a teacher, administrator, and coach in Fannin County. Patterson currently serves on the Board of Directors at the Fannin Christian Learning Center and is chairman for Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame.

Patterson said that he has no private agenda in running, just a vision and a want to make Fannin County better.

Being a good steward of the taxpayers’ money is a key element to Patterson’s platform, and a topic that he reiterated in his answers.

When asked about the county collaborating with the cities to provide an aquatic center, Patterson replied, “I would be open to look at it. I really would. A lot of factors come into play, especially paying for it.”

One area where Patterson seemed to agree with incumbent Sosebee was in not expanding the Board of Commissioners to a five-member board and keeping it at its current three member status. While he did not say that he was completely against the move, Patterson did cite that there is another way to approach the matter.

“I think the biggest thing is to get good people,” Patter said, explaining his stance. “Get people that you can trust. Get people that will work together collaboratively for a common goal.”

LARRY JOE SOSEBEE (R) INCUMBENT

Larry Joe Sosebee has held the Post 2 Commission seat since 2011 and will be seeking a third term in office.

Sosebee stated that his platform has never changed and that he will be running on the same ideals: “When I first ran for this office, my platform was for the safety and prosperity for each citizen of Fannin County.”

Not in support of turning the Board of Commissioners into a five-member board, Sosebee spoke frankly on the matter: “Three people is enough to butt heads on these decisions we make.”

Sosebee told the crowd that he would be in favor of a stand-alone building for the county library: “I’ve always supported a stand-alone library.” He then added,” I wouldn’t put the county in any bond debt whatsoever for any facility.”

Rival candidate Tripp Ritchie questioned the county’s planning strategy for the future and in particular cited the county’s emergency departments. Sosebee took offense to Ritchie’s comments and replied about these departments, “We are top notch in the state of Georgia.”

“All it takes is common sense to run this office,” Sosebee said and added that with his experience, he feels that he is the man for the job.

WILLIAM “TRIPP” RITCHIE (R) CHALLENGER

Tripp Ritchie, a sixth-generation Fannin County resident, co-owner of Ritchie Creek Farm, Inc., and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps., did not hold back during the forum as he spoke frankly about areas of the county that he feels need to be improved.

Ritchie has held strong to his belief that the county lacks proper strategic planning, and one downfall of not having such a plan is in newly constructed facilities: “We need a five-year capital improvements plan.”

“If it’s not in a capital improvements program,” Ritchie added, “you end up starting construction without knowing how you are going to pay for it.”

Ritchie also noted areas in how the Board of Commissioners run that could be improved for the public: “I don’t think we have enough public debate or public comments.”

Accusing Fannin County Commission Chairman Stan Helton of “weaponizing” his position by having complete say in meeting agendas and arrangements, Ritchie added, “We should encourage everybody to have input from the community. We seem to forget that we are representing the citizens of Fannin County.”

Ritchie said that he would support changing the current commission board from three members to five members: “Yes, and I would go a step further. I’d change the form of government between a volunteer-elected board and a manager.”

Having a county manager to organize and oversee all areas of the county government, according to Ritchie, would be beneficial not just in efficiency but also in transparency.

Finally, Ritchie addressed the issue of our emergency management departments and said that this is another area that would greatly benefit from strategic planning. He feels the county should do more to prepare these departments for future demand.

Ritchie also cited that he had been informed that our fire department facilities are not up to code, some not being properly vented, and that firefighters had expressed concern to him about their safety: “They asked me to bring these issues to the commissioners attention. They felt like the commission didn’t have their back.”

Ritchie maintains that he is the right person for the job because he will proactively seek solutions: “I’m not a politician. I’m a pragmatist. I see a problem, and I go try to fix it.”

 

Early voting continues in Fannin County through May 18. You can place your early vote at the Fannin County Courthouse, 3rd Floor, Office of Elections and Registration. Regular voting for the General Primary will take place on May 22. The 2018 General Election is to be held Nov. 6.

 

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Board of Education approves purchase of 750 Chromebooks

News, Rebel's Corner
Board and Superintendent Gwatney

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Fannin County Board of Education met in a special called meeting Wednesday, May 30, to approve the purchase of 750 Chromebooks to be used by students in the school system in grades eight through 12.

Heather Finley, director of instructional technology, explained the HP G6 Education Edition Chromebooks would be purchased from SHI for a total of $159,525. The purchase will be mostly reimbursed by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement with funds received through a Connections for Classroom grant. The grant, which is for $146,550, will cover the price ($146,337.60) for 688 of the 750 Chromebooks. The remaining 62 Chromebooks will cost $13,187.40 and this purchase will be made with funds from Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).

The devices, according to information presented by Finley, feature four gigabytes of RAM (random access memory), high definition graphics, and WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities.

“We are very excited,” Finley said of the purchase. “I feel like I’ve been working all year for this.”

The bid from SHI was the lowest among eight sealed bids, and the purchase of the Chromebooks adds to the 500 the school system already has in use.

“(This purchase) is going to complete the mission of putting a Chromebook in every child’s hands (grade) eight through 12,” Fannin County School Superintendent Michael Gwatney said.

According to Finley, when the Chromebooks are distributed to students in August at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, students will be allowed to take the devices home to use.

After Board member Steve Stanley asked if the devices would function for students who do not have Internet access at home, Finley explained homework assignments could be easily downloaded before leaving school or another WiFi hotspot and completed without the use of Internet.

Stanley also inquired about the possibility of outfitting more school buses with WiFi. Currently, according to Finley, seven buses have WiFi technology. “I think it’s more important to try to expand it to get it on all of our buses because as you know, many of our kids that live out in Suches – being able to, on an hour bus ride, to get your homework done on the way home, that’s a huge benefit,” Finley stated.

After further discussion, the board unanimously approved the purchase of the Chromebooks. Board members Chad Galloway and Terry Bramlett were absent from the meeting.

In addition, the board also approved a purchase for content filtering software from STRYKE Security, Inc. in the amount of $16,320.00. As Finley explained, this purchase, when combined with a previous purchase from the same company for content filtering devices totals $36,784.04. Finley also noted the previous purchase utilized SPLOST funds while the current purchase would draw from local funds. The new filtering devices and software will replace the current content filter, which is unable to handle planned Internet speed upgrades and increased devices on the school’s network.

“Even if (the students are) on their own WiFi at home, this new content filter can let us know and even block things that they’re doing at home that they shouldn’t be doing. Everything gets rerouted back through our servers here at the tech hub,” Finley said.

The board also approved this purchase unanimously.

 

 

Author

Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

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