Early voting begins in McCaysville

Community, News

McCaysville, Ga. – Voters will have a lot to decide in the upcoming Nov.5 election in the City of McCaysville. Early voting officially opens Monday, Oct. 14 and will run through Friday, Nov. 1. 

Early voters can cast their ballots at the McCaysville City Hall, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The hot topic on the ballot for this 2019 election is Sunday alcohol sales within city limits. The proposal and reading of the new ordinance was met with little opposition and overwhelming favor at public hearings and City Council meetings.

Ordinance 19-08-13 currently reads that a licensed establishment within city limits would be allowed “Sunday sales of malt beverages and wine for consumption on the premises”. 

These sales can include beer or wine (hard ciders will also be allowed) on Sundays between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:45 p.m.

Establishments, serving alcohol, who stay open beyond 45 minutes of the allowed alcohol sales time window are subject to legal action. No alcohol sales will be allowed on Christmas Day in city limits.

Voters will be asked to answer yes or no to the following question:

“Shall the governing authority of the City of McCaysville Georgia be authorized to permit and regulate Sunday sales of distilled spirits or alcoholic beverages for beverage purposes by the drink?”

Georgia, McCayville, Alcohol, Sunday, Election, Early Voting, City Hall, Mayor, City Council, Larry Collis, Sue Beaver, Gilta Carter, Jason Woody, Susan Kiker, Steve Stanley, Tamberlyn Tanner, Nathan Turpin, Rodney Patterson, Thomas Seabolt, Attorney, Cortney Staurt, Ballot

Incumbent Thomas Seabolt (L) will face Challenger Rodney Seabolt (R) for the seat of Mayor.

McCaysville City Attorney Cortney Stuart clarified that the current ordinance will not allow for the sale of hard liquor even though wording on the ballot suggests otherwise. Staurt explained that by law the term “distilled spirits” had to be included on the ballot.

“Distilled spirits is liquor,” Staurt said explaining the wording,  “however, in the City of McCaysville, now as the ordinance stands, there is only malt beverages and wine allowed inside the City of McCaysville.” 

Staurt did confirm that future councils would have the option of amending the alcohol ordinance to allow liquor sales.

New faces will also be seen on the City Council following the 2019 election. Current council members Tommy Quintrell and Richard Wagner will not be seeking re-election. Council member Rodney Patterson will also be vacating his seat in his bid to become McCaysville’s next mayor.

In total at least 3 seats on the 5 person council will be vacant for newcomers. Voters will decide the next 5 members by popular vote and will have the following to choose from:

  • Larry Collis (Incumbent)
  • Sue Beaver (Incumbent)
  • Gilta Carter
  • Jason Woody
  • Susan Kiker
  • Steve Stanley
  • Tamberlyn Tanner 
  • Nathan Turpin

Voters will also need to decide between incumbent Thomas Seabolt or challenger Rodney Patterson for seat of Mayor.

The General Election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5. Voters can cast their ballots at McCaysville City Hall on the day of the General Election or during the designated early voting times.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

Sunday Alcohol Sales Pass, McCaysville Election Results

Election, News

McCaysville, Ga. – Polls have closed and votes have been tallied in the City of McCaysville 2019 General Election.

The hot topic on the ballot for this 2019 election was Sunday alcohol sales within city limits. The proposal and reading of the new ordinance was met with little opposition and overwhelming favor at public hearings and City Council meetings.

Georgia, McCayville, Alcohol, Sunday, Election, Early Voting, City Hall, Mayor, City Council, Larry Collis, Sue Beaver, Gilta Carter, Jason Woody, Susan Kiker, Steve Stanley, Tamberlyn Tanner, Nathan Turpin, Rodney Patterson, Thomas Seabolt, Attorney, Cortney Staurt

Although, there appeared to be little opposition to the new ordinance the final count of the votes told a different story with the votes being split on the yes/no question.

Ordinance 19-08-13 currently reads that a licensed establishment within city limits would be allowed “Sunday sales of malt beverages and wine for consumption on the premises”.

These sales can include beer or wine (hard ciders will also be allowed) on Sundays between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:45 p.m.

Voters ultimately decided to allow these sales with a final tally of:

  • Yes (in favor) – 90
  • No (opposed) – 87

Thomas Seabolt will remain as Mayor of McCaysville, beating out opponent Rodney Patterson. Incumbents Larry Collis  and Sue Beaver will also remain as members on the City Council. Newcomers Gilta Carter, Susan Kiker, and Jason Woody will take the three seats vacated by previous council members.

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

ELECTION RESULTS

MAYOR

  • Thomas Seabolt – 117
  • Rodney Patterson – 63

CITY COUNCIL

  • Jason Woody – 146
  • Gilta Carter -131
  • Larry Collis – 122
  • Susan Kiker – 120
  • Sue Beaver – 112
  • Steve Stanley – 93
  • Tamberlyn Tanner – 48
  • Nathan Turpin – 69

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]

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]

Mike Sullivan seeks Fannin County Board of Education seat

Election 2018

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Mike Sullivan addressed the Fannin County Republican Party at their March meeting to let the citizens know of his intentions if elected to the Fannin County Board of Education.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County School System, Board of Education, Steve Stanley, Bobby Bearden, Ron Bolin, Mike Sullivan, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, Jeff Depaola, Marvin Allen, Susan DeMoura, Mike Cole

Mike Sullivan seeks seat currently held by Steve Stanley on the Fannin County Board of Education.

Sullivan, a veteran of the Air Force, states that education has always been a priority. While enlisted Sullivan pursued and obtained his Bachelors in Psychology and Masters in Organizational Leadership.

“Having served 20 years in the Air Force, I am ready to serve again,” Sullivan began.

Sullivan states that the Air Force has a set of core values, ones in which he carries with him today, and those are integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.

“I’ll utilize skills acquired during my years of service to be your champion for education in our county,” Sullivan said explaining how these values will carry over to help him serve the youth in our area.

His platform is set on three key issues: school safety, financial responsibility, and accountability of teachers and administration.

In the area of safety Sullivan states, “Nothing is more important to me than the safety of our children.”

He would like to continue to see a collective approach to safety in our schools, one in which the schools along with local law enforcement work together for the benefit of the children.

“Seeking out and researching all avenues of protection,” Sullivan stated on the subject of safety, “and implementing those which make the most sense and will be the most effective no matter the cost.”

He feels safety should be a top priority because “when fear and anxiety are replaced with confidence and certainty, our teachers are free to teach and all students can focus on learning.”

Next Sullivan points to financial responsibility, “Fiscal year 2018 is on course to spend nearly 1 million dollars more than it takes in. To me this is not how things should be done.”

Sullivan would like to develop and stick to a Fannin County Public School Strategic Plan that would provide a clear road map. He would like to see school board members and administrators remain transparent with easy to read accountability of expenses, tax revenues, and money received.

Finally Sullivan spoke of the need for transparency in all areas. He would like to see increased reporting on teacher and administration performance, and hold staff accountable if they are not meeting certain standards.

“We cannot accept mediocrity and spend money in areas that do not bring results,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan concluded by saying, “My platform can be summarized into four words: safety, communication, transparency, and accountability.”

Sullivan will face challengers Mike Cole, Ron Bolin and incumbent Steve Stanley in the May General Primary in hopes of receiving the Republican nomination for a seat on the Fannin County Board of Education.

The May General Primary is scheduled to take place May 22, 2018. Voter registration deadline for the General Primary Election is April 23.

 

 

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]

Marvin Allen will face Bobby Bearden in May General Primary

Election 2018

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Republican candidates lined up to speak at the March and April Fannin County Republican Party meetings. One such candidate was Marvin Allen, who is seeking a seat with the Fannin County Board of Education.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County School System, Board of Education, Steve Stanley, Bobby Bearden, Ron Bolin, Mike Sullivan, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, Jeff DePaola, Marvin Allen, Susan DeMoura, Mike Cole

Marvin Allen seeks Republican nomination for a seat on the Board of Education.

Allen is a lifelong resident of Fannin County and a graduate of Fannin County High School. Allen is also is the father of four children who have all attended and graduated from the Fannin County School System.

“I am not a politician,” Allen said opening his dialogue to the Republican party.

“I have a great concern for our children’s safety and well-being while they are receiving the best education possible,” Allen spoke of what led him to run for this public office.

Allen also expressed that his concerns lay with the taxpayers of the county. If elected to office, he hopes to work with the board on spending issues that will allow for continuing to maintain “a fair millage rate that the citizens of Fannin County can afford.”

Allen stressed, “I do care about the children of this county, and I care about their safety and their education.”

Allen will face incumbent Bobby Bearden for a seat on the Board of Education in the May General Primary. The winner of this primary will go on to face Democratic nominee Jeff DePaola in the November General Election.

The May General Primary is scheduled to take place May 22, 2018. Voter registration deadline for the General Primary Election is April 23.

 

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]

Parents question the finances of Fannin County Athletics

News, Rebel's Corner

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Feb. 8 Fannin County Board of Education (BOE) meeting was packed, with many left at standing room only, as parents and supporters of Fannin County Athletics gathered once again to voice concerns over the direction of the program.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Athletics, Board of Education, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Bobby Bearden, Lewis DeWeese, Terry Bramlett, Chad Galloway, Steve Stanley, East Fannin Elementary School, West Fannin Elementary School, Blue Ridge Elementary School, Fannin County Middle School, Fannin County High School, Athletic Director, Dr. Scott Ramsey, Fannin County School System, Donnie Kendall, ryan Walton, Cliff Shirah, Brian Johnson, Rebels

The Board of Education listens as public commentary focuses on athletics.

Fannin County School Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney addressed the crowd before the meeting got underway saying, “Safety is always the top priority. With that in mind, ladies and gentlemen, we have received a maximum number that’s allowed in this room from the state fire marshal, and we must adhere to that number.”

School principals were present to help usher the crowd and school resource officers were stationed at all emergency exits.

“Our room is at capacity,” Gwatney continued. Gwatney announced that the BOE had set up accommodations in expectations of the large turnout. The meeting would be streaming online and alternate locations had been set up at the high school as an overflow where supporters could watch the live-stream.

Ten community members signed up prior to the meeting to ensure that their voices would be heard during public commentary.

Donnie Kendall, who spoke at the January BOE meeting, led the way again and spoke first during the public’s allotted time.

“The last four weeks the administration has not only been helpful, but they have also made theirselves available in hearing all of my concerns, ” Kendall began. “The problem is our administration is reactive instead of proactive.”

Kendall voiced that the same accountability that is placed on educators in the school system should also be placed on coaches, citing the boys basketball team finishing with just three wins and 21 losses.

In comparing this with an academic classroom where only three students were passing with 21 failing, Kendall stated that that educators job would come into question, and the likelihood of their position being renewed would be slim.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Athletics, Board of Education, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Bobby Bearden, Lewis DeWeese, Terry Bramlett, Chad Galloway, Steve Stanley, East Fannin Elementary School, West Fannin Elementary School, Blue Ridge Elementary School, Fannin County Middle School, Fannin County High School, Athletic Director, Dr. Scott Ramsey, Fannin County School System, Donnie Kendall, ryan Walton, Cliff Shirah, Brian Johnson, Rebels

Donnie Kendall addresses the board first during public commentary at the BOE meeting.

“If you choose coaching as career path, you will ultimately be judged by your wins and losses,” Kendall added.

A point of concern among many of the public commentators and mentioned first by Kendall is a need for the BOE to produce total financial transparency of the athletic departments. Kendall, like many others, would like to know what formulas are in place for the funding and who is responsible for the financial decisions.

Speaking of the numerous booster clubs throughout the different athletic departments, who are responsible for raising tens of thousands of dollars every year, Kendall stated, “What we can do and what we are prepared to do is refuse to support that program financially.”

Another commentator, Cliff Shirah spoke from experience on the financial transparency that is desired by parents. Shirah has been treasurer of the Dugout Club for four years.

In those four years, Shirah cited that approximately $192,000 had been raised by the community for this club and the money directly supports Fannin County Athletics.

“We want to know how programs are funded and from what budget, and what is the process or guidelines that those decisions are made?” Shirah questioned the BOE.

Shirah pointed out that the Dugout Club had spent $34,000 in field maintenance and asked, “Why are parents forced to pay for these facilities and field expenses?”

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Athletics, Board of Education, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Bobby Bearden, Lewis DeWeese, Terry Bramlett, Chad Galloway, Steve Stanley, East Fannin Elementary School, West Fannin Elementary School, Blue Ridge Elementary School, Fannin County Middle School, Fannin County High School, Athletic Director, Dr. Scott Ramsey, Fannin County School System, Donnie Kendall, ryan Walton, Cliff Shirah, Brian Johnson, Rebels

Brian Johnson counters reasons given by administration about the state of Fannin County Athletics.

Brian Johnson, former president of the Basketball Booster Club, also touched on finances, stating the Tip Off Club had raised upwards of $200,000 in four years, and asked the board, “What will the school board’s actions be if financial support is taken away from these programs?”

Johnson also addressed what many parents felt were excuses being given by administration for the current state of Fannin County Athletics: “excuses have been given from, ‘we don’t have talent’ to ‘we’re rural and secluded’ to ‘other teams should be playing in higher classifications.'”

Johnson countered these arguments by stating, “What in your minds makes us more secluded than Union County, Murphy, North Carolina, Hayesville, Towns County, or Hiawassee, Georgia? We have struggled against these very schools that are as small or much, much smaller than we are.”

Ryan Walton, who also spoke alongside Donnie Kendall at the January BOE meeting, did not agree with the explanations that the administration has offered. “All I’ve heard is excuses on why we don’t compete. I haven’t heard any answers,” Walton said.

Walton added, “I will say that the coaches at Fannin County right now are doing a great job of teaching our kids that life is not fair and that the best person does not always get the job, but the athletic director and board are doing a terrible job by showing these kids that you can be terrible at your job and not get fired.”

Other parents were present giving testimonials on how success in athletics directly correlates with success in a child’s personal life and their academics. These parents expressed concern over what they saw as the coaches’ lack of involvement with or enthusiasm displayed for their athletes.

Ultimately, the parents and supporters united under a common theme of change. They wish to see a winning culture come back to Fannin County and want the full chain of command, from the BOE down to the coaches, to take responsibility for this turn around.

Follow FetchYourNews as we look into obtaining full financial transparency for the Fannin County Athletics Department.

 

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]

School Board members seek re-election in 2018

Election 2018

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Announcements continue to pour in of candidates running for local elected positions in Fannin County. The Feb. 19 Fannin County Republican Party meeting saw Post 2 Commissioner Larry Joe Sosebee declare his intent to run for re-election and announcements by two current school board members who will seek re-election for their positions.

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Board member Bobby Bearden has served 16 years with the Board of Education.

The first announcement came from current school board member Bobby Bearden.

“At the end of this year, I’ll have 16 years as a school board member, and there’s nothing in this world I’ve enjoyed more than where I am right now,” Bearden spoke of his experience.

Bearden, a life-long Fannin County resident, spoke to attendees about living here his entire life with the exception of three years during the Vietnam War.

Bearden keeps his platform simple and listed his priorities if re-elected: “Children, children, children, and tax payers come after that.”

In regard to possible challengers, Bearden, while wanting to win and continue his legacy with the Board of Education (BOE), did say, “I’ve heard somebody is going to run against me this time and that’s fine. I think the voters of Fannin County need to elect who they think is going to do the best job.”

Bearden concluded by reminding the crowd that he continues to stand by his promise that he made years ago when he first ran for a seat with the BOE: “If I ever do anything that will cause your children, your grandkids, not to be able to go to college, lose that GAC (Georgia Accrediting Commission) accreditation, I’d step down in a heartbeat.”

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Steve Stanley has been with the Board of Education for eight years.

The second announcement came from fellow school board member Steve Stanley. Stanley who has served with the Fannin County BOE for eight years is seeking re-election in November.

While Stanley expressed that he has issues with state funding in regard to our local school system, he stated that safety is his number one priority: “From the moment they (school children) step foot on that school bus until you pick them up at night they better be safe.”

Stanley also spoke of current grants that are being looked at and pursued for the Fannin County School System. One grant in particular would help promote literacy in Fannin County, and Stanley says it is among his top priorities: “We’re wanting to give people any materials we can to start reading.”

Stanley ended his announcement by stating, “It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love.”

Both Stanley and Bearden will need to qualify to be seen on the May General Primary ballot. Qualifying takes place this week and will end Friday, March 9, at noon.

 

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 Board of Education restructures for 2018

Education, News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Fannin County Board of Education (BOE) began 2018 by restructuring their board. This restructuring took place publicly at their Jan. 11 meeting.

An annual restructuring is in accordance with the BOE’s charter which states: “The Board of Education shall elect by majority vote at the first regular meeting of the calendar year a chairperson and vice-chairperson.”

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Board of Education, Superintendent, Chairman, Vice Chairman, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Bobby Bearden, Lewis DeWeese, Terry Bramlett, Chad Galloway, Steve Stanley, Heather Finely, Director of Instructional Technology, Budget, SPLOST

New Chairman of the Board of Education Lewis DeWeese.

The now former Chairman Bobby Bearden opened up the restructuring by saying, “Mr. Superintendent, I would like to recommend Mr. DeWeese as the chair.”
Bearden then made the motion for Lewis DeWeese to step in as chairman of the BOE, with board member Steve Stanley seconding the motion. The board voted unanimously for this change, with DeWeese refraining from voting.

Stanley then opened the floor to the selection of vice chairman, “Mr. Chairman, I would like to place a nomination for Mr. Chad Galloway.”

Stanley then made the motion for Chad Galloway to step in as vice chairman of the BOE, and fellow board member Terry Bramlett seconded this motion. Galloway abstained from voting, but was unanimously voted in by other members of the board.

The BOE discussed their meeting schedule and voted to keep the schedule the same for the 2018 calendar year.

“So for the public,” Fannin County School Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney explained, “this means that we will continue as is for this year, which is all regular meetings for the Fannin County Board of Education will be held on the second Thursday of each month.”

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Board of Education, Superintendent, Chairman, Vice Chairman, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Bobby Bearden, Lewis DeWeese, Terry Bramlett, Chad Galloway, Steve Stanley, Heather Finely, Director of Instructional Technology, Budget, SPLOST

New Vice Chairman of the Board of Education Chad Galloway.

Gwatney added, “Monthly work sessions will be held on the Tuesday prior to each regularly scheduled board meeting at 8 a.m., and these meetings will be held here at this office in Blue Ridge. All meetings are open to the public.”

The newly arranged board then got straight to business reviewing the latest financial report for the Fannin County School System. The report showed the latest information as of Nov. 30, 2017, these numbers account for 41.66 percent of the annual 2017-2018 budget.

“Local revenues are at 22 percent ($4,037,844.60) versus 20 percent for this time last year. Total revenues are at 30 percent ($10,021,377.90) versus 29 percent this time last year, and total expenditures are currently at 40 percent ($13,589,826.95) versus 41 percent this time last year,” Gwatney pointed out.

Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds collected for November 2017 totaled $466,740.32.

“This is a healthy financial report,” Gwatney concluded.

Heather Finely, director of Instructional Technology, was present at the board meeting to present the public with the highlights of how the Fannin County School System is staying up-to-date with the ever changing world of technology.

Finely stated that she and her team are currently working on a three-year plan on how to approach technology advancements and how these advancements would best be utilized in Fannin County schools.

A major focus of this three-year plan is the use of WiFi technology in education. In a student survey conducted at the schools, 84 percent of students reported to have working Internet at their home, and 76 percent felt that they could do homework that requires Internet access. Only 11 percent of the students who responded said that they have no way to complete homework that requires Internet access.

Fannin County School System has been working to aid the students without any Internet access. Currently, five buses used by the county to transport students are equipped with WiFi capabilities.

Internet access in the schools is improving as well. “The state provides us with 750 mbs of Internet service. We purchase an additional 250 from TDS,” Finely explained of the Internet speed.

There are currently 108 WiFi access points in instructional areas throughout the schools. Finely hopes to up the number of WiFi access points in the schools, citing that the schools having cinder block walls slows the connections in some areas.

Finely aims to have tablets for every student to be able to use while in school: “We are working towards a one-to-one with Chromebooks.”

There are 1,749 mobile tablets currently available for students and teachers to use while at school. Finely pointed out that the school would also like to offer tablets for students to be able to take home for use. A grant has been applied for that would help to reach this goal.

“Right now, students in AP (advanced placement) take one home to use,” Finely spoke of the current use of mobile tablets.

The Fannin County Board of Education will hold their next regular meeting on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

Bolin enters race for Fannin County Board of Education seat

Election 2018

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Ron Bolin, a retired educator and U.S. Army Vietnam veteran, has announced that he will seek a position on the Fannin County Board of Education.

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Ron Bolin hopes to receive the Republican nomination for a seat with the Fannin County Board of Education.

Bolin, who will be running against incumbent Steve Stanley on the Republican ballot in the May General Primary, spoke at the Fannin County Republican Party March meeting about his background and his platform.

Bolin served as an educator for 30 years in the Cobb County school system. During his 30 years, his duties included teaching on all three levels (elementary, middle, and high school) and spending the last five years in administration as assistant principal of Floyd Middle School in Mabelton, Georgia.

“I have proven, effective leadership in education,” Bolin stated of his experience. “For me, education is very personal.”

Bolin has also served many positions locally. He is a past chairman of the Fannin County Republican Party, the Fannin County Library Board of Trustees, and the Mountain Regional Library Board of Trustees.

Bolin strongly emphasizes the role literacy plays in the development of a child: “Because if a child can read, he or she will be successful in other areas. It transfers over.”

Bolin suggests that strongly utilizing Fannin County’s Public Library as a tool in education would be beneficial to the community.

“Unfortunately, so many people do not understand that connection between education and a public library,” Bolin explained of the need to make use of this existing county facility. “It’s a vital connection.”

Bolin would like to bring back more technical and vocational training to Fannin County’s youth. While he supports the academic pursuit of college, he feels that “education made a huge mistake years ago” by putting almost all focus on the area of college.

“We have gotten away from vocational and technical training, and I strongly feel that education needs to do some very serious thinking about what we want to do to help these kids,” Bolin said on the matter.

Bolin cited industries that are constantly looking to fill positions such as welding, mechanics, and heavy equipment operators.

If elected, Bolin states that he will “work to make sure our students have a safe and secure learning environment in the classroom and the school campus.”

“I would greatly appreciate you consider voting for me,” Bolin concluded.

Bolin will face off with challengers Mike Cole and Mike Sullivan and incumbent Steve Stanley in the May General Primary in hopes of receiving the Republican nomination.

The May General Primary is scheduled to take place May 22, 2018. Voter registration deadline for the General Primary Election is April 23.

 

 

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]

Mike Cole seeks seat on Fannin County Board of Education

Election 2018

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Various candidates spoke at the March Fannin County Republican Party meeting after qualifying week officially came to an end. Mike Cole is one such candidate who will seek a seat on the Fannin County Board of Education.

Cole, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and current business owner, is a lifelong resident of Fannin County.

“First of all, I am proud of the Fannin County School system. I love this small town that I was born and raised in,” Cole explained of his roots.
Cole credits much of his direction and success in life to teachings he received while at Fannin County High School.

“While attending Fannin County High, my education path was vocational training. I attended automotive transportation with Tommy Cole as my teacher,” Cole explained of the impact of his personal experience in Fannin County schools. “I have never even told him what an impact he has made on my life with the knowledge he instilled in me.”

Cole went on to work for General Motors and Chrysler and now owns his own automotive repair shop. He is disappointed that the school system has done away with many of its vocational and technical classes such as transportation class, cosmetology, residential wiring, plumbing, and welding.

According to Cole, all of these skills are vital to the growth of our community.

“Not all students that walk in the door are going to go to college,” Cole said, explaining that current school standards do not fit the needs of its students, “so we need to be able to distribute funds in an equal way.”

Cole, who is the father of two Fannin County graduates and has one child currently attending school in the county, said that he does see some areas of concern when it comes to waste and neglect, citing that he has personally taken supplies and toiletries to school to help fulfill the needs of the students.

He would like to put a stop to wasteful spending and make sure that money is being used to truly fulfill the needs of the students and “that every student has the resources available to them whether they plan to enter the workforce, attend vocational school, or attend college.”

“I believe that all of us want to see a return our investment,” Cole stated.

“If you are looking for a yes man, that ain’t me,” Cole said, explaining that if elected, he will truly pursue what is right for the youth of Fannin County.

Cole stated that he is a man of vision and wants “to work with other board members to acquire the assets and resources that will challenge and stimulate the imagination of the students in this Fannin County we call home.”

Cole will face off with challengers Mike Sullivan and Ron Bolin and incumbent Steve Stanley in the May General Primary in hopes of receiving the Republican nomination.

The May General Primary is scheduled to take place May 22, 2018. Voter registration deadline for the General Primary Election is April 23.

 

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]

Board of Elections and Registration prepare for General Election in 2018

Election, News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Board of Elections and Registration (BOEAR) planned ahead for upcoming elections in 2018 at their Dec. 4 meeting.

Fannin County, Georgia, Blue Ridge, Board of Elections and Registration, Chairman Sonia Smith, Vice Chairman Mary Ann Conner, Georgia House of Representaives, Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, David Ralston, Fannin County Board of Commissioners, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Fannin County Board of Education, Steve Stanley, Bobby Bearden, Blue Ridge Mountain Soil and Water Conservation District, Soil and Water Conservation, Damon Davenport, Richard Stanley, General Election, General Primary, Senior Homestead Exemption, Governor, Nathan Deal

Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston could seek re-election in 2018.

With many county and statewide elections scheduled to take place in the upcoming year, the BOEAR is already planning ahead for the busy year. BOEAR Chairman Sonia Smith began, “We are looking at a primary in May.”

“Locally, we have Post 2 Commissioner and two school board seats, Steve Stanley and Bobby Bearden,” BOEAR Vice Chairman Mary Ann Conner added.

One of the notable political figures that could choose to run for re-election in 2018 is Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston.

Ralston was first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2002 and represents House District 7, which includes Fannin County, Gilmer County and a portion of Dawson County. Ralston is the 73rd Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, a position he has held since 2010.

Another key race in Georgia will be the governor’s seat. Currently held by Governor Nathan Deal, this seat will be open without an incumbent.

Deal was first elected in 2010 and has served two consecutive four year terms. According to Georgia state law, this seat is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two consecutive terms.

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Governor Nathan Deal will be ineligible for to seek a third term in 2018.

Governor Deal has met the term limit criteria and will be ineligible to seek a third term in 2018.

Locally, three seats within Fannin County will be in the General Election. Fannin County Board of Commissioners, Post 2 Commissioner, currently held by Larry Joe Sosebee, will appear on the ballot.

Along with the Post 2 Commissioner seat, two of the five seats on the Fannin County Board of Education (BOE) will also be voted on in the 2018 elections. These seats, with the BOE, are currently held by board member Steve Stanley and BOE Chairman Bobby Bearden.

The General Primary is scheduled to be held on May 22, 2018, with a voter registration deadline of April 23.

Conner brought up another position that will appear in the 2018 General Election: “The Soil and Water Conservation seat, that will come up. The Soil and Water people and the state take care of all of that, and they just send us what they want on the ballot.”

The Blue Ridge Mountain Soil and Water Conservation District is represented by two district supervisors. One of the supervisors is appointed to a two-year term while the other is elected to the position and serves a four-year term.

Currently, Fannin County is only represented by one district supervisor, Damon Davenport. Richard Stanley, the elected official, passed away in late September of this year. The seat of the late Stanley will be open to candidates in the 2018 election.

A key issue in Fannin County that could make its way to the 2018 ballot is the Senior Homestead Tax Exemption. In a town hall meeting held on Nov. 16, hundreds gathered to address the possibility of eliminating the education portion of property taxes for seniors.

At this meeting, there was an overwhelming turnout opposed to this proposal. With no official word from state representatives as to whether there are plans to move forward with the passing of this exemption, Smith cautioned, “Let us not be lackadaisical, in assuming that that will not get dropped before they (state representatives) quit meeting. So let’s keep an eye on that.”

After General Primaries are held in May to narrow down candidate selection, a General Election will take place on Nov. 6, 2018. Voting registration for this election ends on Oct. 9.

 

 

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]

Administration addresses athletics at Board of Education meeting

Community, Rebel's Corner
Johnson

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – After hearing concerns expressed at the Jan. 11 Board of Education (BOE) meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney, as well as other members of the board, added a new agenda item covering extracurricular activities within the school system.

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Fannin County High School Principal Erik Cioffi discussed athletics at the Feeb. BOE meeting.

At the Feb. 8 BOE meeting the board unveiled this new item. Dr. Gwatney explained that updates of Fannin County extracirruclar activities will be a recurring item.

While these updates will encompass all of Fannin County’s extracurriculars, the focus of the Feb. updates centered around the state of the Fannin County Athletics Department.

Fannin County High School Principal Erik Cioffi presented this information to the public.

“There were some questions about accountability,” Cioffi spoke of concerns presented at the previous BOE meeting. “You don’t have to look any further than right here. I am the one who has hired people and put them in positions. So if there is a concern it should come to my department.”

Cioffi spoke of the staff of Fannin County School System and added that the pool of educators in which coaches can be pulled from is currently 59 certified teachers.

“They are teachers first and they have responsibilities that make up a bulk of their time,” Cioffi added.

Athletic Director Dr. Scott Ramsey clarified that there are 62 coaching positions that have to be covered, and for this reason coaches have to work or coach in multiple departments. Ramsey backed up Cioffi stating that a coach’s first priority is to be an educator.

“As they should be,” Ramsey stated. “Because that is the ultimate thing, they (students) leave with a high school diploma.”

Cioffi discussed the current Georgia High School Association (GHSA) policy and why Fannin County continues to be placed a AAA region school. In the past GHSA reevaluated schools on a two year cycle. Recent changes, however, has left evaluations happening every four years.

“We have no control over the region we’re placed,” Cioffi explained.

A meeting is scheduled on Feb. 21 where representatives from Fannin County Athletics along with representative from other AAA schools will meet with GHSA officials to examine the new policy.

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Athletic Director Dr. Scott Ramsey was also present to talk with parents.

“It’s ridiculous. If they (GHSA) get it wrong, that’s impacted a child’s entire four years,” Cioffi told the crowd about plans to hopefully bring about change on the state level when it comes to athletics.

The possibility of dropping to AA classification could pose a different set of difficulties for the student athletes of Fannin County, as travel is cited to be a large consideration in the possibility of changing regions.

A new AA classification could mean that students would have to travel as far as three hours away to play other AA teams.

Cioffi also proposed what all parties (parents, coaches and administration) want a “Winning Culture”, and explained how to take steps in this direction: “Before we even get to a winning culture, we need a positive culture. That’s going to take everyone in this room and everyone outside this room to get there.”

“Stay positive. Our kids see when there’s negativity going around,” Cioffi spoke of the recent discussions taking place via social media. “One thing I can promise you is that coaches aren’t posting things on social media about kids and parents.”

“Communicate with each other and figure out how can we best meet the needs of all the programs,” Cioffi went on,”Ultimately we want all programs to be successful.”

The parents coming forward was a big step in addressing the issues that Fannin County Athletics faces, and administration wants to keep lines of communication open and figure out how to “get over the hump and move forward.”

Athletic Director Dr. Scott Ramsey concluded the presentation: “We’re working together, because we don’t ever want to be an us versus you mentality. There never needs to be adversary. We all need to be working for the good of the kids.”

 

 

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 Board of Education Hears Public Comments about Transgender Bathrooms in Fannin Schools

News

Vicki Rhodes of Morganton and Cathy Patterson of Mineral Bluff head to the Fannin Board of Education meeting.

 

Fannin County Board of Education held a three and one-half hour meeting on Thursday night, May 12th.  Two and a half hours were public comments about transgender bathrooms in Fannin County Schools.

Opponents of transgender bathrooms meet at First Baptist Church to prepare for Board of Education meeting

Opponents of transgender bathrooms meet at First Baptist Church to prepare for Board of Education meeting

It was standing-room only in the high school cafeteria.  Even more people were in the gymnasium.  Fannin Rebel TV, the high school television station, broadcast the meeting live to the people in the gym.  Around forty people gave comments about transgender bathrooms and people who do not fit traditional male/female gender identity. Except for attorney Ken Fletcher, everyone who spoke lives in Fannin county, has children in the school system or went through the school system themselves.  By the amount of people at the School Board meeting, Fannin County sent a loud and clear message to the School Board that they don’t want transgender bathrooms in Fannin schools. There were no counter-protesters outside the School Board meeting or along the walk from the First Baptist Church to the Fannin County High School cafeteria.

The meeting opened with an invocation from the Pastor of World Harvest Church North in McCaysville.  During his prayer, he thanked the Board for being here to serve God’s will first to students’ well-being, education and protection.  Bobby Bearden, Chair of the Fannin County School Board reminded the audience that the Board will take everything you say under serious consideration.  He also said that the Board is not here tonight to vote on anything about transgender bathrooms.

 

Comments from the Fannin County Community – Parents, Students and Graduates

The overwhelming theme of the forty plus people who gave comments was about privacy and safety of the children.  Many parents asked the Board why the schools couldn’t have a third bathroom option for transgender students.  At least two parents said that if the school allowed transgender children to use the bathroom of their choice, they will sue the school to build a private bathroom stall for their children. Parent after parent said that they would pull their children out of the Fannin County School system if the schools have transgender bathrooms.  Some parents scolded the Board for putting federal funding ahead of their children’s well-being. If the Fannin County School System chooses to not have transgender bathrooms, the school system could lose $3.5 million in federal funding.

Almost every speaker identified him or herself as a Christian.  Most talked about how the Bible teaches two genders, male and female.  Some parents, like Deena Daughtery, said that they had moved to Fannin County because of its morals.  Many speakers said that they couldn’t believe that the fight over transgender bathrooms had come to Fannin County.

The pastor of Sugar Creek Baptist Church expressed sympathy for the School Board because they were between a rock and hard place in having to make a choice about transgender bathrooms.

julia pruitt

Julia Pruitt

Four people spoke on behalf of Fannin community members who don’t fit traditional male/female gender identity.  Xavier Eaton, a graduate of Fannin County, is transgender.  He said about his time in school, “Everything I went through here was torment.  You don’t know what it is like to be hated.”  He asked the audience to teach children to co-exist with things they don’t believe in.  Julia Pruitt, a Fannin County resident and self-stated lesbian, said that she was listening to ignorance all around her at the meeting.  As a Christian, she believes that Jesus left her with one commandment, “Love thy neighbor.” She told the audience that this (a transgender student) is somebody’s baby that we are talking about.  A therapist practicing in Fannin County told the audience that she was there to let students know that there are other children in Fannin and surrounding counties who are transgender and there are support networks students can reach out to.  She encouraged Fannin students to resist fear-based messages.

Some high school and middle school students spoke.  They indicated that students were not ready to accept transgender bathrooms at school.  Two 8th grade girls had the shortest and most simple comment about transgender bathroom.  It summed up what many parents said without a long explanations. The girls said, “I don’t want to go to the bathroom and see a boy there.”

 

Anthony Walton’s Comments

Anthony Walden

Anthony Walden

Anthony Walton, organizer of Fannin community members who disapprove of transgender bathrooms, spoke for about 15 minutes.  He had several main points.

First, was that people cannot serve God and money.  The Fannin school system needs to make a choice to follow Christian ideas and not be concerned about losing $3.5 million. People are letting the federal government control us with money.  He said that from teaching evolution to acceptance of transgender bathrooms, the US education agenda is immoral and it is time to say “enough!”.

Second, he see transgendered bathrooms as a slippery slope to allowing perversion in school.  He said that if we accept that transgender people are hard-wired to be different, then how do we know that schools won’t see pedophiles as people who are just hard-wired to be different.  Eventually the schools could end up hiring pedophiles to teach our children and there could be perverts in the bathrooms with our daughters and wives.  He gave several examples of how students participating in activities normally reserved for the opposite gender could upset school life.  He said these kind of situations make confusion for students.  What if male athletes play on female teams; what would this do to the playoffs?

He finished up his remarks by promising the School Board that your neighbors and friends in this room will stand with you until the bitter end.

 

Alliance Defending Freedom’s comments

Attorney Ken Fletcher

Attorney Ken Fletcher

Attorney Ken Fletcher, an attorney from Alliance Defending Freedom (see website) was there.  His organization is offering to assist the Fannin County School Board with developing a bathroom policy.  His idea is to have a private school clinic or faculty  bathroom that is open for transgender students.  He told the audience that people who have gender dysphoria live a life of heartache and that there is a 20% suicide rate among transgender people. Mr. Fletcher believes that forcing transgender bathrooms on people is an example of government overreach and transgender bathrooms are another example of President Obama’s executive actions that are forcing unacceptable moral changes in public schools.

 

County Attorney Lynn Doss’ Comments

Fannin County Attorney Lynn Doss

Fannin County Attorney Lynn Doss

Fannin County Attorney Lynn Doss spoke for the Board of Education.  She first cleared up some rumors that have been going around.  She said that Fannin County schools do not have unisex bathrooms and that the School Board is not voting on transgender bathrooms.  Also, non one in the Fannin County school system has had their job threatened over this issue. About the $3.5 million the school system could lose if it provides transgender bathrooms, she said that Fannin County can do without the $3.5 million.  The real money problem is that the school system could be fined $1,000 a day for not providing bathroom. The school system could not take that financial loss.  Like Mr. Fletcher, she said that requiring transgender bathrooms in public schools is another example of government overreach.

Ms. Doss went on to tell the audience that if they really don’t want transgender bathrooms in the schools, they should take their fight to people who have the possibility to change this rule.   The Fannin County School System could refuse to provide transgender bathrooms, but the school system’s action has no power to change the law.  Ms. Doss encouraged everyone to write Gov. Deal and their state and national Senators and Representatives.  She thanked Georgia House Speaker David Ralston for taking a proactive stand for Fannin County.

 

Superintendent Mark Henson’s Comments

Fannin County School Superintendent Mark Henson

Fannin County School Superintendent Mark Henson

At 8:30, two and one-half hours after public comments began, the Board was ready to move into new business.  First, everyone took a 15 minute break.  Then the School Board sat back down to do what it usually does at monthly School Board meetings: listen to and approve purchase requests, go over budget and hear about school programs. (read about the other topics on the School Board May meeting here)

At the end of the School Board meeting, around 9:10, Superintendent Henson gave his remarks about the meeting.  He always sums up School Board meetings and talks about plans for the schools in his end-of-meetings comments.

Mr. Henson promised that everyone employed in the school system, from general staff to teachers to district administrators to the School Board, does everything in their power to keep students safe.  He promises that the School Board will do its best to find a workable solution over the summer.

He talked about the everyday problems that the controversy over transgender bathrooms is bringing to Fannin schools. He said, “If we let this tear us down, then it will.”  He talked about how the school system has so much going for it.  For example, this year’s test scores are in the 11% highest group in Georgia.  Fannin county schools have so much to look forward to said Mr. Henson.  Then, he  announced that the school system is purchasing the Farmer’s Market space next to Swan Drive-In for $350,000 and will build a state-of-the-art agriculture center, something Fannin’s agriculture programs have desperately needed for a long time.

Mr. Henson talked about the disruption this controversy is causing at one of the most critical times in the school year.  “We are only six days from the end of the school year… Everyone needs to calm down and back up.”

I will resign before I let this school system fall apart. – Mark Henson

Then, Mr. Henson said what he personally will do about the situation; “I will resign before I let this school system fall apart.”  This is an especially strong statement from Mr. Henson because he is a graduate of Fannin County schools, his father was high school principal here, his wife works at the school and his children attend Fannin County schools.

Mr. Henson’s comments also covered rumors floating around that Fannin County employees’ jobs are being threatened and the School Board has held secret meetings  to make decisions about transgender bathrooms.

He said absolutely no one’s job has been threatened.  In fact, several school system employees spoke at the meeting about why they don’t want transgender bathrooms.  Mr. Henson then asked the pastor of Sugar Creek Baptist Church if he felt his job with the school system was threatened because he spoke against the School Board and transgender bathrooms.  The pastor said, “Absolutely not.”  In fact, Anthony Walden, the organizer of the protest against transgender bathrooms, works closely with the school system.  He is a School Resource Officer at Fannin County Middle School.

Mr. Henson said that there had been no secret meetings of the School Board about transgender bathrooms.  Mr. Henson, the Fannin County School Board and school system employees pride themselves in how they run a very transparent school system.  Everyone they can read all documents, meeting minutes, school information and school system budget on Fannin’s School Board website. (click here to view the website) . The School Board did go into Executive Session at their workshop meeting on Tuesday.  But, it was to discuss land acquisition (the purchase of the Farmer’s Market) and personnel issues.  April and May is the time when school systems do most of their hiring.

Mr. Henson closed out his comments with thanking all the District Office employees who came out to support the School Board and the school system.

 

School Board Members’ Comments

Finally, it was time for the last item on the agenda, School Board members’ comments about the meeting.

Steve Stanley promised Mr. Henson that “the cavalry  (the School Board) it going to stay right where it is at.”  Mr. Stanley is proud of the new agriculture facility coming to the school system.  He has worked closely with Future Farmers of America and seen how desperately the students need it.

Lewis DeWeese said he wished people knew about the caliber of people we have here.  “We are proud of our team.  All are top-notch God-fearing people who care about children.”

Terry Bramlett said that the people at the meeting tonight should share the same level of passion with representatives in Washington.  He encouraged everyone to write to state and national officials whose duty it is to make legislation about transgender bathrooms.  He shares Mr. Henson’s and Mr. Stanley’s enthusiasm about the new Agriculture Center and reminded the audience that agriculture remains the largest industry in Georgia.

Sandra Mercier said that when she thinks about this controversy, she looks to her personal inspirational statement which she has engraved on her bracelet:  “God grant me the serenity to change what I can, accept what I can’t and the wisdom to know the difference.”

School Board Chair Bobby Bearden said that he was the Board member that told people he was “in it to the end.”  Mr. Bearden was referring to two commenters’ statements that they would call out the Board member who promised to take it to the end if the School Board member doesn’t do what Fannin residents feel about transgender bathrooms.

The School Board meeting ended at 9:30.

 

See related posts:

 “Transgender Bathrooms in Fannin County Schools”

“Fannin Board of Education Workshop:  Middle School Principal, Lunch Prices, Buses, Rain Barrels and Bathrooms”

“Fannin County Board of Education Changes Meeting Location to Accommodate Expected Protesters”

“Fannin Board of Education: Superintendent Henson Will Follow US Law Regarding Transgender Bathrooms”

 

See Related Videos:

Public Comments at Fannin BOE Meeting

Fannin Board of Education:  Superintended Henson Will Follow US Law Regarding Transgender Bathrooms.

March to Fannin County Board of Education

Ken Fletcher of Alliance Defending Freedom Speaks at Fannin County Board of Education

 

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