Storms rip through North Georgia on Wednesday May 24th

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Storms in North Georgia caused many power outages and tornado watches & warnings were issued.  Below is a video from downtown Ellijay, GA which was recorded Wednesday May 24th.    See Weather info under video for conditions in our coverage areas.

 

Video courtesy of Brett Cantrell

Hazardous Weather Outlook

Hazardous Weather Outlook
National Weather Service Peachtree City GA
630 AM EDT Wed May 24 2017

 
Baldwin-Banks-Barrow-Bartow-Bibb-Bleckley-Butts-Carroll-Catoosa-
Chattahoochee-Chattooga-Cherokee-Clarke-Clayton-Cobb-Coweta-
Crawford-Crisp-Dade-Dawson-DeKalb-Dodge-Dooly-Douglas-Emanuel-
Fannin-Fayette-Floyd-Forsyth-Gilmer-Glascock-Gordon-Greene-
Gwinnett-Hall-Hancock-Haralson-Harris-Heard-Henry-Houston-Jackson-
Jasper-Jefferson-Johnson-Jones-Lamar-Laurens-Lumpkin-Macon-
Madison-Marion-Meriwether-Monroe-Montgomery-Morgan-Murray-
Muscogee-Newton-North Fulton-Oconee-Oglethorpe-Paulding-Peach-
Pickens-Pike-Polk-Pulaski-Putnam-Rockdale-Schley-South Fulton-
Spalding-Stewart-Sumter-Talbot-Taliaferro-Taylor-Telfair-Toombs-
Towns-Treutlen-Troup-Twiggs-Union-Upson-Walker-Walton-Warren-
Washington-Webster-Wheeler-White-Whitfield-Wilcox-Wilkes-
Wilkinson-
630 AM EDT Wed May 24 2017

This Hazardous Weather Outlook is for portions of North and Central Georgia.

.DAY ONE...Today and Tonight...

...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FOR PORTIONS OF NORTH AND ALL OF CENTRAL
GEORGIA THROUGH THIS EVENING...

Showers and thunderstorms will increase across north and central
Georgia this morning and continue through the afternoon. Some
storms could be strong to severe, capable of damaging winds, large
hail and even a few tornadoes. In addition, locally heavy rain
could result in localized flash flooding.

The severe threat will diminish from west to east across the area,
this afternoon with widespread showers and thunderstorms across
far southeast counties, ending this evening.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...Thursday through Tuesday...

There is a chance for thunderstorms late Saturday into Sunday.
Otherwise, no hazardous weather is expected at this time.

 

 

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Governor Signs House Bill 146 in Gilmer Fire Station

News
Nathan Deal Signing Bill 146

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal visited Fire House 1 in Gilmer County Thursday to officially sign House Bill 146 known as the “Firefigher’s Cancer Insurance Bill.”

Micah Gravley - District 67 RepresentativeJoined by several officials including Georgia House Speaker David Ralston and Senator Steve Gooch, author of the bill Micah Gravley, District 67 Representative, opened the ceremony by speaking about the two year effort to bring the bill to this point. Gravley related his interactions with two firefighters, Frank Martinez and Brian Scutter, who he said were the honor of the Bill as they fought for and spoke with legislators to get the bill passed, as well as the appropriateness to have the signing in Scutter’s home station in Gilmer County. Scutter was also mentioned by Speaker Ralston who said he had made a promise to Brian that he would give all that was in him to bring this day about. Turning to face Scutter, Ralston said, “I kept my promise.”

Governor Nathan Deal, who originally vetoed last year’s Bill 216 called the new House Bill 146 an “innovative and great solution to the situation.” Deal said the Bill provides relief for firefighters by providing a different method for compensation and money for treatment and care for firefighters who contract cancers during their work. Gravley thanked the Governor for his support of, as he called it, a “better bill.”

Speaker David Ralston - House Bill 146The sentiment was echoed by Speaker Ralston who said, “We have arrived at a better solution. By requiring a local government to provide insurance to our firefighters for certain types of cancer, the firefighter can skip the process of litigating a worker’s comp claim. This will allow the firefighter to focus on getting better and recovery rather than having to worry about legal bills and depositions and hearings.”

FYN caught up with Speaker Ralston and Governor Deal to ask them to elaborate on why the bill is better, comparative to last years Bill 216. The Speaker replied saying, “This uses a Health Insurance Model as opposed to a Workman’s Comp model which means instead of having to make a claim and perhaps go through a court type process to get benefits and income, Firefighters in this case will file a claim just like health insurance.”

Governor Nathan Deal - House Bill 146Governor Deal also spoke on the insurance versus workman’s comp comparison saying it was an awkward and “adversarial way of deciding whether or not compensation is owed.” Deal went on to say the newer Bill is a much better solution “to provide insurance coverage that will define benefits and give some flexibility as to deciding the compensation that will be given to firefighters.”

More than Senators and Congressman came to see Deal sign the Bill, though. Several representatives from neighboring and local emergency services attended the event including Gilmer’s own Director of Public Safety Tony Pritchett who said the Bill “gives you a sense of protection… You can lay your head down and sleep better at night knowing that if you contract cancer because of the job, there’s some protection that will take care of you and your family.”

 

For more on the Signing of House Bill 146 watch the full ceremony below or find more Photos in our Album:

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Park Sterling Merging With South State Corporation

News

According to a recent release by South State Bank, a definitive agreement has been signed with Park Sterling Corporation, holding company for Park Sterling Bank.

The release also states, “Combining the two companies will create a $14.5 billion in assets franchise operating throughout the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia.”

While both boards have reportedly approved the merger unanimously, the merger will actually begin transitioning in the fourth quarter of 2017 and continue with systems conversions into the first quarter of 2018 after approvals by regulatory boards and shareholders. At that time, Park Sterling Corporation will be merged into South State Corporation, and Park Sterling’s bank subsidiary, Park Sterling Bank, will be merged into South State’s bank subsidiary, South State Bank.

James C. Cherry, CEO of Park Sterling Corporation, commented on the merger stating, “Our team is proud to be partnering with South State to create what we believe will come to be recognized as the preeminent regional community banking franchise in the Southeast. This combination will substantially fulfill our vision of truly becoming big enough to have the talent and services necessary to help customers achieve their financial aspirations while still remaining small enough and passionate enough to care that they do.”

After the companies merge, Cherry will be appointed to the combined company’s board of directors in addition to another individual to be mutually agreed upon and named at a later date.

As of now, Park Sterling Bank has over 50 branches across North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia. According to South State’s release, “under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of Park Sterling Corporation will receive 0.14 shares of South State common stock for each share of Park Sterling common stock. The aggregate consideration is valued at approximately $690.8 million in the aggregate, based on 53,112,726 shares of Park Sterling common stock outstanding as of March 31, 2017 and on South State’s April 26, 2017 closing stock price of $91.90.”

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State Senator Steve Gooch Talks About Economic Development in Rural Georgia

Politics

This past Friday we continued our discussion about rural Georgia with 51st district (R) State Senator and Lumpkin County’s economic development director, Steve Gooch. Our three areas of focus: rural Georgia economy, broadband access, and health care. Although the district doesn’t want to see something in the line of the KIA plant they most certainly would be open to small companies offering high paying, high tech jobs. In order to attract these types of companies; the area must provide good schools, fast internet, and quality health care. We discussed Piedmont Mountainside new stand alone emergency health care center in Gilmer County; a model for quality health care in rural areas. When our discussion turned to high speed internet for the area, Gooch was unable to say they “moved the ball” concerning Senate Bill 232, Facilitating Internet Broadband Rural Expansion (FIBRE) Act.

Republicans Never Learn – (D) Jon Ossoff Almost Flipped the GA 6th District

Politics

Will (R) Karen Handel embrace or distance herself from President Donald Trump? Will Trump voters come out and vote for Karen Handel? How hard will Dan Moody, Judson Hill, and Bob Gray work to convince their voters to vote for Karen Handel? If Fulton County is the Republican stronghold of the district then why did Ossoff get 41,269 votes? Ossoff received almost as many votes in Fulton County as Gray, Handel and Moody combined. Donald Trump is President of the United States because he did not used the “Republican Playbook.” By using the playbook the Republicans almost lost the 6th district. When will Republicans learn to throw the playbook out the window – Trump style?

Georgia Speaker of The House David Ralston Talks About Rural Georgia Issues, Health Care…

Featured, Politics

Our interview Friday with Speaker of The House David Ralston focused on rural Georgia. Ralston went into detail about the new Rural Georgia Economic Council. This council will be co-chaired by (R) Terry England from Auburn, (R) Jay Powell from Camilla and Vice Chair (R) Sam Watson from Moultry. The council will be holding meetings across Georgia to hear from elected officials, local businesses and citizens about how they feel rural Georgia economy can best be improved. Ralston said jokingly that he better not find out that one meeting took place in Atlanta.

Health care is a major concern in rural Georgia. Several hospitals have closed in rural Georgia areas including one in Ralston’s district in North Georgia. We spoke to Ralston abut one possible solution to meet rural Georgia health care needs. Ralston used the example of the first stand alone emergency room, opened by Piedmont Mountainside Hospital in Gilmer county. In this interview we asked Ralston if Gilmer county still had the possibility of having a full hospital.

Ralston told us that sometime within the next month Governor Nathan Deal would be visiting Gilmer county’s Fire Station 1 to sign the fire fighter’s workmen’s compensation bill.  We asked Ralston the difference in this years campus carry bill opposed to last year’s bill which Governor Deal vetoed. Not being able to speak for the Governor, Ralston said he felt they made the changes necessary to get Deal to sign the bill. We also discussed the pay raises agreed upon in the 2017 legislative session for teachers, state law enforcement, and D.F.C.S workers.  

Our final question in our interview friday: Speaker Ralston do you see the governor’s mansion in your future?

James Thompson, Rural America Model Democrat Candidate

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From Wichita, Kansas to Roswell, Georgia – If Democrats have any hopes of recapturing The House of Representatives in 2018 they will need to reconnect with rural America. James Thompson turned out to be the picture perfect Democrat candidate. Thompson opposed Kansas State Treasurer, (R) Ron Estes, for the Kansas 4th Congressional district. This was a special election to replace Mike Pompeo, who is now the CIA Director. Democrats are trying to figure out how to reconnect with voters in the heartland.

Kansas is a very red state, so red that Donald Trump won by 27 percent and Pompeo won reelection to the seat with a 30 percent margin. Questions surround why a Democrat was able to get 48 percent of the vote. Estes won the seat with 53 percent of the vote.

During Thompson’s campaign it was somewhat difficult to recognise he was running as a Democrat. There was noticeable distance between him and the party. Also, what should not go unnoticed is that his campaign highlighted pro-second amendment, veterans, families, government waist, along with most of issues important to middle America. This kind of campaign could easily confuse voters that do not pay attention to part lines. But when it’s over, Thompson is a Democrat. If he had won he would definitely have followed the direction of Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi.

#BKP questions whether the voters in Witchita Kansas did not see Estes as a strong candidate, have already turned against President Donald Trump, or are they holding the Republicans in The House of Representative responsible for not repealing and replacing Obama Care. Democrats will continue to take the temperature of the country as they move towards the 6th district of Georgia, where (D) Jon Ossoff has the lead among 18 candidates. Ossoff’s campaign has approximately 8 million dollars to spend, thanks in large part to the DCCC, MoveOn.org, and liberal publications like the Daily Kos.

Lets to the comparable; A district in Kansas that Trump won by 27 percent, the Republican could only win 53 percent to the Democrat 48 percent. Now fast forward to the 6th district in Georgia, that Trump only carried by 1.5 percent and the Democrat has 10 times more campaign cash to spend than Thompson had in Kansas. If the Democrats win on April 18th it will set the tone for the 2018 elections. If Republicans win it will be just another tax day.

 

Fannin County Board of Commissioners Special Called Meeting Feb 7th 2017 Full Video

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