Grand opening of new Healthy Pet Clinic on March 27th

Featured Stories

FANNIN COUNTY, Ga. – Come check out the grand opening of the Healthy Pet Clinic on Monday, March 27th!

Recently Brian and Lisa Pritchard were given a tour through the new Healthy Pet Clinic, preceding its grand opening!

Brian Pritchard as he toured the grounds for the new Healthy Pet Clinic.

The Clinic is a low cost clinic formed by the Humane Society of Blue Ridge to ‘provide basic veterinary care to those residents of Fannin County that could otherwise not afford them’.

The new setup will give new options for pet owners by making excellent care and top  notch facilities a reality.

New facility for the Healthy Pet Clinic

New Equipment for the Healthy Pet Clinic

According to the Humane Society of Blue Ridge, “to utilize the clinic, you must apply and demonstrate financial need by providing proof of current financial aid. Once you submit your application with proof of aid, you will be notified of approval and can call to set up an appointment. Each year you can resubmit proof of financial aid to continue to utilize the clinic.”

The humane society has an excellent staff and the pets are given a loving environment until they are able to be placed in their fur-ever homes.

According to the Humane Society of Blue Ridge, If you are not one of the ones in need of a cost affordable pet clinic, please consider partnering with them so someone in need can receive these services.

“Would you consider being a Healthy Pet Hero by signing up to commit at least $20 per month to help subsidize the clinic? We will be operating at a loss each year in order to provide these low-cost services to the community…”

Fannin County Leaders and Elected Officials Meet with Community at Eggs and Issues

Community, Election, Featured Stories, Politics

Fannin County GA- Eggs and Issues Breakfast, hosted by the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, had a great turn out consisting of chamber and non-chamber members. 

In attendance was Senator Steve Gooch, along with local leadership and elected officials. 

Mayor of Blue Ridge, Rhonda Haight, spoke on issues within the city and county concerning young people of the community as well as the economy and housing. 

Mayor Haight is expanding the use of the farmers market and bringing back the ice-skating rink. 

She went on to say that she intends to put the farmers market to use and wants to involve young people in the community. Additionally, Mayor Haight spoke on affordable housing in Blue Ridge and in Fannin County. 

“The average house in Fannin County is priced at $800,000; that is too costly for our young people,” Haight stated.

She intends on pursuing affordable housing incentives as one of her focus points.

An ETC member also spoke on the grants awarded to ensure Georgians have access to fiber internet in the near future. 

While ETC was in the process of applying for grants, it was made possible by local and state leaders who supported the company through signatures and recommendations. 

On Feb. 1, 2022, ETC was awarded $3 million dollars for better internet and access to Georgians. This is a prime example of the leaders and elected officials working for the people of Georgia. Jammie Hensley, Fannin County Board of Commissioners, gave a few remarks on the importance of voting. 

“Progress begins when everyone gets on the same page to serve the community,” Hensley said. He continued “do not let our veterans down, do not let what they fought for be for nothing.”

Guest speaker, Senator Steve Gooch spoke on issues in the last year, and highlighted Governor Brian Kemp Saying, “I hope all of you will support him, he led us through some tough times.” Senator Gooch mentioned the efforts Governor Kemp made to keep businesses open during the time of the pandemic, despite backlash from others across the country.  “He [Governor Kemp] stepped up and took care of business.”

Senator Gooch went on to talk about the economy, interest rates, and Federal Policy.  The state of the economy is front and center for many voters in this upcoming election. 

Senator Gooch stated, “because of the efforts by your elected officials, Georgia will continue to lead in the southeast in regard to the economy.” 

Furthermore, Senator Gooch expressed his distaste for the Federal Government Policy pertaining to the abolishment of combustible engines that would in turn rid the use of fossil fuels. 

This policy would cost Georgia $2 billion dollars in the Georgia Department of Transportation, like the Gas Tax. The proposed policy to aid in this loss, Price Per Mile Legislation, would tax how much Georgians drive. 

Lastly, Senator Gooch spoke on Senate Bill 202, voter suppression. Yet, this election has had record turnout not only in Fannin County, but across Georgia.

Win & You’re In: Fannin Hosts Haralson County Thursday Night For Final Region 7AA Playoff Spot

Sports, TeamFYNSports

Photo courtesy of Rachel Adams

Blue Ridge, Ga- Every year since Chad Cheatham has taken over the reins as head football coach at Fannin County High School, the Rebels have seen postseason action. In his first year as head coach in 2018, he led the Rebels to a 4 and 7 record and their first playoff appearance in eight years. The Rebels’ success has only grown since then and they have two Region 7AA Titles in their trophy case to prove it.

While the Region Title may be out of reach this year, the Rebels have a chance to make their fifth straight playoff appearance in as many years with a win over the Haralson County Rebels this Thursday night.

This year has been one of ups and downs for the Fannin County faithful. Starting out the year 0 and 2 with losses to both of your bitter rivals wasn’t exactly the way Rebel fans thought this 2022 season would go. But since the shaky start, Cheatham and company have been able to right the ship, and they sit at 5-4 on the year with a chance to cement themselves into the playoffs in their final regular season game of the year.

A home game in Blue Ridge.

Against the “other” Rebels in Region 7AA.

For a spot in the GHSA State Playoffs.

You can’t script it any better than this.

Fannin County enters Thursday night’s contest coming off of a loss to the number 7 ranked team in AA ball, the Rockmart Yellow Jackets. Fannin was able to hold the powerhouse to just 21 points in the game, and while they may have taken the L they are holding their heads high. Haralson County enters the game 3-6 overall, coming off a blowout win over Murray County.

This is playoff football in Blue Ridge before the playoffs even start, and the “real” Rebels will need your support this Thursday night. This is shaping up to be one of the best regular season games in recent memory, so come out and support Fannin County in the quest to make it 5 in a row. Kickoff is at 6:30 in Blue Ridge.


Fannin County High School Students on Their Way to a CNA Certificate

Announcements, Community, Education

FANNIN COUNTY, Ga. – As part of the Nursing Pathway at Fannin County High School students are able to obtain a Georgia certification as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). This certification enables students to find immediate employment opportunities in the healthcare field as a CNA. The students pictured will finish their CNA training and take their state certification test in December.

Front row, Julie Biddy, Eden Callegari, Abby Baliles, Maddie Buchanan, Clara Payne, Riley Reeves, Angela Alvarez, Devin Hogsed, Ivy Hyde

Back row, left to right: Hayden Danner, Lucas Hanson, Michael Treon, Jacob Davenport, Jasmine Jackson


Dr. Michael Gwatney speaks on retirement and announcement

Community, News

It’s not the end for Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney. It’s just a transition, but a transition to what?

“That’s a good question,” said Gwatney in an interview with FYN. He added that he has his time and is eligible for retirement. He also said, “I feel like its time in life to start a new chapter.”

To understand how impactful this retirement is to both Gwatney and to the schools, one need look at more than just his service as Superintendent. Reaching all the way back to 1991, Michael Gwatney wasn’t a doctor, yet. He had just graduated from Fannin County High School and was originally planning to follow into Military Service.

Instead, circumstances set him into staying local and applying for work as a substitute teacher. This position lead into full time teaching, which lead to seven years in school administration with time spent as principal. Later, that path pushed into 10 years of system administration and, ultimately, his selection as Fannin County Schools Superintendent.

During that rise through Fannin County Schools, he also fostered his own passion for education within himself as he notes it, a drive to continue learning each day. A passion for education cannot be denied with Gwatney, whose office wall is covered by six diplomas, from his high school diploma in Fannin to college degrees from Truett McConnell University, Brenau University, and a Masters and Doctorate from the University of Georgia.

Yet, always, he returned home to Fannin and to its school system, growing and rising from substituting to teaching to administration to district level.

Gwatney said, “This is the first time since entering Fannin County Schools that I won’t be with Fannin County Schools… I will definitely miss that.”

With 31 years of service in the school system, he said he is looking forward to the next thing and spending a little time traveling. However, he won’t travel too far for too long as Gwatney said his heart is still in Fannin County. Whatever is next, he wants to continue residing in the county.

Throughout his education, career, and even his next step after retiring, Gwatney maintains a focus on where God leads him. He noted that even in college, he started at the University of North Georgia but left and went to Truett-McConnell with a broken foot. He planned on returning to UNG, but was in an automobile accident. As he recovered from that, his substitute teaching picked up and new doors opened that kept him at Truett-McConnell and then lead on to not only degrees all the way up to a Doctorate in Education Law, but also having a specialist degree in Supervision and Student Services.


Fannin Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney

Speaking on his service and the time he will spend training instead of announcing a hard date for retirement, he said, “I’m open to helping the schools in any way that I can serve the schools. That’s always been my mindset from the beginning.”

And that offer of service is being taken as of now. This announcement is actually a very early announcement for him. Dr. Gwatney offered to stay on with the schools as they search for and hire a replacement. Even after that, he will be staying on to train and advise the new Superintendent until the board finishes the transition sometime during the next school year.

“More consistency,” this is the main thing that Dr. Gwatney said his continued service will offer the school system. Without the extra step of an interim Superintendent, the schools will continue on as normal while they complete their search and process. This also means no need for a transition and introduction of an interim and repeating the process for the final selection of the new Superintendent. “It’s certainly more efficient… more stable.”

While the board has the list of requirements and skills they will seek in a new Superintendent, Dr. Gwatney said he has hopes that his successor “loves Fannin County Schools and is the right fit for the board to be able to continue to accomplish the vision of the board.”

Accomplishing that vision, working with the board, and handling the issues and trials that each year brings are the daily tasks of a Superintendent. For Dr. Gwatney, those major challenges have been very public through issues like COVID and school closures, rising Vape usage, and the publicized issues with transgendered people and the bathrooms and locker rooms.

Yet, these were not just school issues alone. Gwatney noted that even though he is retiring, he is still a part of the Fannin County Community. He said, “Really, schools mirror the community.”

He went on to add, “When you’re the leader of an organization, whether you’re the superintendent or the principal of a school, your job is to keep things moving to the benefit of the children. As the superintendent, you are obligated to do so in an efficient manner that is respectable to the taxpayer as well. And so, whatever the issue is, we, I say we being the superintendent and my team, are professional problem solvers.”

It is the passion of the people leading that make experiences as normal as possible during times of abnormality like the closing of schools during COVID. It is a tying bond in this country that everyone receives an education. Gwatney said it is the one thing that we all have in common.

Improving that common bond in Fannin County has come through great teachers which have always been in the county since before he even started substitute teaching. Gwatney noted that he has great hopes for the future based on its past through those great teachers, strong leaders, and a stable Board. He said that the county’s support also has given amazing things to the kids through things like the ESPLOST. Gwatney noted it as the single greatest difference since he started teaching and one that has fundamentally changed the face of Fannin County Schools.

Facilities like the Performing Arts Center were possible because of the ESPLOST and projects continue to build and renovate other facilities like the gym, stadium, and the ag center. The change came as it added better resources to the fantastic people who work there.

Looking ahead, he said there are no set plans for his immediate future as he is focused on completing his time with Fannin Schools and preparing for the incoming Superintendent. Those preparations include guiding the board of education into its two new debt-free facilities on July 21, 2022, when they hold the ribbon cutting and first meeting in the new facility. He also said he looks forward to the current board’s location and its future as a public library.

It truly is the people that set Fannin County apart from other school systems in the country. Gwatney said that these schools can compete with anyone thanks to those people. With that in mind, Gwatney said his outlook on the future of the county and it’s school system after he leaves is “extremely bright, outstanding. I look for good things to happen in our district.”

Tying his past work with that outlook on Fannin’s future, Gwatney said that five years ago, he made a promise to the board to leave the school system better than he found it. He stated, “I think the record speaks for itself.”

He went on to add, “My challenge to the next one is the same goal, ‘Leave it better than you found it.’ And I know he or she will.”

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.


Lady Rebels Headed To Round Two With 66-34 Win Over Temple

Sports, TeamFYNSports

Blue Ridge- The region 7 #1 seed Lady Rebels played host to region 5 #4 seed Temple in the first round of the GHSA AA State Playoffs. The Lady Rebels took care of business, and are now headed to the second round after a 66-34 rout of the Lady Tigers.

Fannin County will host Washington County in round two, after Washington defeated Early County 78-27 in the opening round. Washington County will be a pretty tough sweet 16 matchup for Fannin, as the Golden Hawks come in ranked 13th in AA.


Homeward Bound Pet of the Week- Fergie

Fast & Furriest

Fergie came to us from animal control in NW Georgia.  She had been found as a stray and nobody claimed her.  This little girl is about 2 years old; 22# and will treat everyone she meets with a waggy tail and puppy kisses.  She loves sitting on your lap and getting hugs.  Fergie is reactive to the other dogs so do not think she’s a good candidate for a multi-pet home but just know that she would be a perfect only pet.

For more information about the Homeward Bound Pet Rescue pets, check out our website and apply online:  We are always looking for volunteers to foster and help with socializing our cats and dogs.  We are located between Ellijay and Blue Ridge, GA.

Fannin County Republican Party’s 2022 Valentine’s Day Dinner & Candidate Forum


Homeward Bound Pet of the Week: Gordy

Fast & Furriest

Meet Gordy, a 6# chi who was born in July, 2021. He was surrendered along with 2 other chi’s who were living outside. Gordy is a loving little boy, very active and playful. He is getting along well with the fosters’ 2 male dogs. Because of his size and age, we would not recommend little children. Gordy is in a foster home where he is being house trained. He loves to take leash walks and snuggling in a blanket.
For more information about the Homeward Bound Pet Rescue pets, check out our website and apply online: We are always looking for volunteers to foster and help with socializing our cats and dogs. We are located between Ellijay and Blue Ridge, GA.

Tyler Ensley Wins State Championship in the Georgia Electrathon Rally

Rebel's Corner
Congratulations to Tyler Ensley for winning the State Championship in the Georgia Electrathon Rally on Jekyll Island in November. The pit crew consisted of Devyn Caruthers, James Kyle, Luke Pelfrey, and Rob Russell. Thank you to our sponsors: Mr. Fixit, Nicholson Tire, and Mountain Valley Motors.
Here is a link to the video of the race:

Fannin County Middle School Students of the Month: November

Fannin Middle, Rebel's Corner

Congratulations to our 8th grade Students of the Month for November. Students are chosen by their academic teachers for this distinction. Qualifications for this honor include outstanding citizenship, good attendance, respectfulness toward faculty and peers, and a good academic standing.

Madelyn Usry, Jacob Green, Vince Foster, and Harley Stanley

Fannin County Middle School Students of the Month: October 2021

Fannin Middle, Rebel's Corner

Fannin County Middle School 8th grade teams have announced Students of the Month for October. Students are chosen by their academic teachers for this distinction. Qualifications for this honor include outstanding citizenship, good attendance, respectfulness toward faculty and peers, and a good academic standing.


Brogen Sehl

Madeline Scheuneman

Noley Nations

Kendall Clore

Indians Struggle at Fannin County

Featured Stories

The Chattooga Indians took to the road as they traveled to Blue Ridge Georgia to face off against the Rebels of Fannin Co. This Game was referred to by most as the Defacto 7-AA Region Championship Game with the winner having the inside track to the #1 Seed in the Playoffs. This huge game garnered multiple media outlets and a boatload of fans from both sides. In the end the Rebels of Fannin County were victorious with a very impressive 42-7 Win over the Indians from Chattooga.

First Quarter: Chattooga won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. Fannin County returned the opening kickoff down to the Indians 30 yard line. Just 5 plays later the Rebels #23 Seth Reece waltzed in from 2 yards out. Pat Was good and that made the score 7-0 Fannin County. Chattooga’s first offensive possession started at their own 40 yard line and ended with a quick punt. Fannin would take over at their own 19 yard line. Fannin drove the field behind a very physical offensive line and scored on a  9 tard touchdown run by # 22 Cason Owensby. That would bring the score to 14-0 Fannin would just over 3 minutes remaining in the quarter.  Chattooga Would take the next possession from the the 40 yard line and would be forced to punt after just 3 plays. That would end the quarter with a score of Fannin 14 Chattooga 0.

Second Quarter: Fannin O-line continued where it left off in the first quarter with another quick drive with all runs and ending with a Touchdown run by #4 Bryson Holloway. Chattooga’s Punter #19 Hunter Brown would get another rep and make Fannin start on their own 10 yard line. Chattooga Defense would get a stop and would get the ball back for the Indian offense. Chattooga would take over at their own 30 yard line. One play later the Indians would put the ball on the ground and it would be recovered by the Rebels. Just a few plays later # 23 Seth Reece would run it in untouched from 13 yards out. That would make the Halftime score Fannin County 28 Chattooga 0.

Third Quarter: Chattooga opened the second half with the ball and punted after 3 plays. Fannin would take over at the at the Indians 30 yard line. They would gain a few yards and then on a a third down play the the Indians #22 Rowan Burdick would intercept the pass and end the Fannin Drive. Unfortunately the Indians offense continued to struggle and go three and out once more. Fannin would go on another long drive that ended with another Touchdown by #23 Seth Reece. That would push the score to 35-0 Fannin at the end of the third.

Fourth Quarter: Chattooga opened the 4th quarter with the ball. After another Chattooga punt Fannin started their drive at the 50 yard line. Some of Fannin second team joined in on the action on this drive. In less than 7 plays Fannin would hit paydirt for the last time by # 18 Austin Garland. Score then was Fannin 42 Chattooga 0 with 4 minutes left. Chattooga and Fannin both put subs into the game at this point. Chattooga would score with just a few seconds to go in the game on a 45 yard Touchdown run by #7 Zayden Cook. The PAT was good by #89 Caroline Hodges.

Fannin County was Dominate on both sides of the ball. Offensively they racked up 367 yards on the ground and were led by #23 Seth Reece with 162 yards on 19 Carries. Defensively the Rebels were in the Indian backfield all night which led to the lowest rushing numbers by Chattooga in some time. The Indians rushed 25 time for 96 yards and were led by Freshman # 7 Zayden Cook with 60 Yards and a Touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Chattooga Kicker #89 Caroline Hodges tied the Chattooga all time record for PAT’s made with 58 in her Career.

Chattooga 5-3(4-1) will be back at home next week to face the Pepperell Dragons in a huge game that will decide seeding in the Playoffs. Next Week the Rebels from Fannin 7-1(4-0) will hit the road as they will travel to the Coosa to face off against the Eagles.


Eggs & Issues Breakfast with David Ralston and Steve Gooch

Community, Fannin County Chamber, Featured News, Press Release
eggs & issues breakfast


Eggs & Issues Breakfast

Click here to register for the event.

Millage Rate public hearings on Thursday, September 23

celebrity news millage rate public hearing

BLUE RIDGE, Ga – Two public hearings concerning the 2021 millage rate will be held tomorrow at the Fannin County Courthouse in the Jury Assembly Room.

The first public hearing will take place at 11:30 a.m. and the second at 6 p.m.

The county portion of the millage rate is remaining the same as last year at 3.862 mills. By not accepting the rollback rate, the commission was required to advertise the millage rate as a tax increase. The notice concerning the property tax increase indicated:

“A home with a fair market value of $200,000 is $6.96 and the proposed tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $150,000 is approximately $5.22.”

However, Fannin County School Board is lowering their millage rate to 10.159 from 10.391 mills. So, Fannin County citizens will see an overall reduction in the millage rate from 14.253 to 14.021.

Hazard Mitigation Public Hearing Notice

Fannin County will be holding a public hearing to review a draft update to the Fannin County Hazard Mitigation Plan on Friday, September 24, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. at the Fannin County Emergency Services Complex at 20 Station Ridge, Blue Ridge, GA 30513.

Once the plan is updated, it will be presented to the county commission for adoption. The plan considers natural and other hazards that affect the county and cities within and looks at ways to potentially mitigate those hazards.

The county extends this invitation to attend to all interested parties, including residents, businesses, government agencies, neighboring communities and counties, educational institutions, and any other interested parties.

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