Lady Rebel becomes Nighthawk

Fannin Co. Basketball, Team FYN Sports

Morgan Holt decided to take an exciting step towards her future as she committed to the University of North Georgia to play basketball! Holt is a recent graduate of the 2020 Fannin County High School class who is excited to start this next chapter of her life. 

The graduate has played basketball for all of her life as she fell in love with the sport over time. Morgan played the sport for the school all four years where she lettered for three of them and was named First Team All-Region for the remaining two. She even played a vital role in helping her team make it to the Sweet 16 this past basketball season. 

When asking Holt why she chose the University of North Georgia she stated, “ I chose UNG because it is my dream school. I want to say thank you to all of my friends and family who have supported me throughout the years. I want to say a huge thank you to coach Chastain for pushing me and molding me into a better player which has led me to this amazing opportunity. Last but not least, I want to say a huge thank you to my team for having my back. They are the reason I have made it this far.”

“Morgan is a great kid, teammate, and a great competitor! Everyone sees her performance on the court, but very few see the countless hours of work she has put in to become the player that she is. When we visited UNG for team camp last summer she told me that she would love to be able to play there. She asked me if it was possible. I told her that it was definitely possible, but that she would have to put in a lot of work to achieve something like that and she did. That’s the best part about coaching, getting to watch players work hard and achieve things that they didn’t even think were possible. What makes it even sweeter is that it never came at the expense of her teammates. She was all about our team and winning games. It was never about individual stats or recognition with Morgan. She was never bragging about who was recruiting her. She was just trying to help the team win in any way that she could, and the rest took care of itself. I am very happy for her! I think she will be a great fit and have a great career at North Georgia,” head coach of the Lady Rebels Basketball Team, Ryan Chastain, shared about the athlete.

Coach Chastain was not the only one who had good things to say about the athlete. Head coach of the Lady Nighthawks, Buffie Burson, also added. “We believe Morgan is a great fit for our program with her strong academic background and great character! Her versatility and athleticism will be a huge asset to our team. We can’t wait to get her on campus to join the team!”

Ralston announces funding for Highway 515 to improve UNG campus access

News, Press Release
UNG 515

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) today announced $150,000 in Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) funding from the Georgia Department of Transportation to improve access to the new University of North Georgia at Blue Ridge campus from Georgia Highway 515.

“This $150,000 in state funds will make it easier and safer to drive to our new UNG Blue Ridge campus,” said Speaker David Ralston. “This campus will be a beacon for our community for generations to come and ensuring a safe commute is key to how this campus will serve the needs of our citizens. I appreciate the help of Mayor Donna Whitener and the members of the City Council in bringing these funds to Blue Ridge.”

The $150,000 will fund a portion of the cost of modifying Highway 515 to include a Reduced Conflict U-Turn (RCUT) intersection. This new intersection will allow cars traveling north from downtown Blue Ridge to turn left across Highway 515 to drive onto campus.

A full description of a typical RCUT intersection from the Georgia Department of Transportation may be found here:  http://www.dot.ga.gov/DriveSmart/SafetyOperation/Documents/RCut/RCUT%20Brochure.pdf.

Gov. Kemp visits UNG Friday for signing ceremony

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. — Gov. Brian Kemp received a warm welcome in Lumpkin County Friday when he arrived for a bill signing ceremony in the Library Technology Center on the campus of the University of North Georgia.

State Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), who sponsored four of the five bills the governor signed, welcomed the governor to his hometown and introduced him to those in attendance.

“Today is a big day for us,” he said. “We’ve been working a lot on some issues dealing with broadband and internet services.”

With a large number of state legislators who helped usher the bills through to passage on hand, along with many county and municipal elected officials, Kemp signed Senate Bills 2, 17, 66, 79 and 454.

Senate Bills 2,17,66 and 79 deal with the expansion of access to broadband internet service and were sponsored by Gooch. SB 454 was carried to the senate by Gooch and deals with electronic assisted bicycles.

Senate Bill 2 allows Georgia’s 41 EMCs which represent about 4.5 million rural customers to get into the broadband business and sell internet services.

An important question that has yet to be answered is how many EMCs will participate.

“I’ll stand here today and be the first one to confess, I don’t know that all 41 will ever get into internet services,” Gooch said, “But I believe this will allow them the opportunity to do so.”

Wednesday, April 24 marked the governor’s 100th day in office and he reflected of some of his administration’s early accomplishments.

“Over and over again, I promised to keep families safe, to put hard working Georgians first and I think that is exactly what we have done with these pieces of legislation today and with these great legislators’ help who are here today.”

Kemp said the 2019 and 2020 budgets are “reflection of the values of our state and our priorities for the future. We have fully funded public 0education for the second year in a row. We have given teachers, counselors and others a historic pay raise this year. We’ve invested $70 million in school security grants, $30,000 for every public school in the K through 12 system. We also doubled funding for mental health services in our high schools.”

The governor also pointed to state investments in public safety. “We created a task force within the GBI to undermine drug cartels, gangs and human and sex trafficking.”

Kemp thanked legislators for “stepping up to the plate” and adding $20 million to the budget for hurricane relief for farmers in south and southwest Georgia “while we wait on those in Washington D.C. to do their part to put people ahead of politics and pass the daggum disaster relief bill.”

 

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University of North Georgia breaks ground on standalone Blue Ridge Campus

Community

The University of North Georgia (UNG) broke ground Oct. 17 on a new standalone Blue Ridge Campus facility, with a host of state officials, community members and university representatives joining President Bonita C. Jacobs to mark the occasion.

The sunny fall day in the Fannin County mountains matched the excitement about the opportunities the new facility will offer for current and future students, as 150 people celebrated the groundbreaking.   The new campus, located off Ga. 515 about three miles from the current Blue Ridge Campus, is scheduled to open in 2020.

Georgia Speaker of the House of Representatives David Ralston.

Georgia Speaker of the House of Representatives David Ralston, a UNG alumnus who represents Georgia District 7, including Fannin County, in the General Assembly, helped secure $5.5 million for the new Blue Ridge Campus in 2019 fiscal year budget. He said Gov. Nathan Deal’s trek to Blue Ridge in May to sign the budget was the city’s first time hosting such a visit. Ralston called the new campus “a dream come true.”

 

 

“This new, permanent campus in Blue Ridge will open doors to both a college education and better job prospects for generations to come in our north Georgia mountains,” Ralston said. “UNG’s role to provide greater access to quality education will continue to expand, and I am proud to support that noble mission.”

Jacobs presented Ralston with a commemorative shovel in gratitude for his efforts in securing the standalone campus. She thanked the community, the University System of Georgia, and state and local lawmakers for making the standalone campus possible. She noted how the Blue Ridge Scholars program encourages students to be enrolled full time.

“We’re all in on graduating students,” Jacobs said. “We are creating a workforce that appeals to businesses and supports economic growth in this community.”

The current Blue Ridge Campus has experienced almost 800 percent growth since its opening in 2015, reaching 156 students this fall. It will allow for additional courses in the core curriculum, which means students will be able to spend a longer period of their college career at Blue Ridge.

Nelson Soriero, a freshman from Blue Ridge and a Blue Ridge Scholar, said the new campus “will create an excellent learning environment for generations to come.”

“I could have ended up somewhere else, traveling endless miles and hours to a different university,” Soriero said. “But because of this campus, I get to go to college locally, continue working at my job and even live in my own home.”

UNG established the Blue Ridge Campus in 2015 in response to a need for access to higher education that was identified through UNG’s Regional Education and Economic Development Task Force, a group of more than 100 business, education, government, and community leaders from northeast Georgia. The new location will further cement UNG’s efforts in the region.

“This campus is bringing a college education much closer to home for a large number of students in the north Georgia area,” said state Sen. Steve Gooch, also a UNG alumnus. “I’m excited to be a part of this development and look forward to watching the impact of this campus continue to increase.”

In 2012, the state launched the Complete College Georgia initiative based on a 2011 study by Georgetown University that indicates Georgia needs to add 250,000 postsecondary graduates to the state’s workforce by 2025. Census data indicate nearly half of the counties in UNG’s immediate service area have a college completion rate of less than 20 percent.

“This campus will make a difference in the lives of students, their families, this community, and region for generations,” Blue Ridge Campus Director Sandy Ott said. “Thank you for being a part of the University of North Georgia’s history and the brighter futures that begin here today.”

 

 

Feature image caption:
Representatives of the University of North Georgia, state officials and community members celebrated the groundbreaking of a new standalone Blue Ridge Campus on Oct. 17.

David Ralston shares his opinion on the 2018 Election

Election 2018

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston spoke to Fannin County residents at the monthly Republican Party meeting. Ralston gave citizens an update on happenings at the Georgia capital and didn’t shy away from sharing his opinion of the upcoming Republican runoff and the Nov. General Election.

“Ain’t nobody going to know who I voted for,” Ralston said expanding on his opinion over recent endorsements of the two Georgia gubernatorial Republican candidates, “because I want to help bring about…we’re going to need some healing as a party.”

Georgia, Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia's Quality Basic Education Act, QBE, Governor, Nathan Deal, Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, David Ralston, Fannin County School System, Gilmer County School System, University of North Georgia, UNG, Ellijay, Ben Carson, Mike Pence, Casey Cagle, Brian Kemp, Voter Turnout, Run-off, Election 2018, Republican, Democrat, Stacey Abrams

Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston updated residents of Fannin County about happenings in the state capital.

Ralston spoke of the the tough campaign that many in his party have faced and are still facing. He spoke specifically of the gubernatorial race between Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp: “It’s been kind of…actually kind of nasty.”

Georgia Republicans have a good message according to Ralston and need to refocus on getting out and sharing that message. He would like to see his party “stand together and stand united”.

“It is well funded. It is organized. It is energized. It is unified,” Ralston said of the Democratic Party that is being faced this year, adding, “It’s also more liberal than it was when it was in power last time.”

With redistricting expected to come after 2020, Ralston stressed the importance of coming together as a party in all upcoming elections.

Ralston spoke of his recent trip to Washington D.C. where he was invited to take part in President Donald J. Trump’s Infrastructure Advisory Council. The small group of state representatives spent time talking about issues in their state and met with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson.

“This is a welcome relief that we now have an administration that really does want to hear from us,” Ralston said of his time in our nation’s capital, “and that believes that power comes from the bottom up. Rather than from the top down.”

As far as the work of the last General Assembly in Georgia, Ralston said, “I think that we have had a great session. It is one that I am very, very proud of.”

Among the accomplishments listed by Ralston, the general session achieved fully funding the QBE (Quality Basic Education) which will bring an additional $273,000 to Fannin County Public Schools. The Fannin County School System will also receive $44,000 to put towards added security of school campuses.

Taxes were cut from 6 percent to 5.75 percent with a trigger to drop to 5.5 percent in 2019. Ralston stated that this was the first time income taxes were cut since its institution in Georgia.

“We managed to do that while keeping our budget balanced and maintaining a AAA bond rating,” Ralston added of the recent financial amendments in the state.

Fannin County will also soon see a stand alone campus for the University of North Georgia (UNG). This comes with the state pledging $5.5 million for its construction.

Ralston notes this as a “game changer” for Fannin County. According to Ralston not only will this strengthen ties with UNG in our area but also provide educational opportunities including dual enrollment for local high school students.

Finally Ralston spoke of legislation passed that will allow for “micro hospitals”. These small-scale hospitals will offer acute-care and emergency services as well as short term inpatient care. Facilities such as these typically only house 8 – 15 beds and because of lower overhead are less expensive to operate.

“The first such facility in the state is located just down the road in Ellijay,” Ralston spoke of Piedmont Mountainside Hospital Outpatient Center.
“I have to say, to receive 75 percent of the vote in the district was humbling and beyond our expectations,” Ralston acknowledged his own campaign and the outcome of the May Republican Primary. “It is a real honor to represent this county in the House of Representatives. More than that though I am blessed to call this place home.”

 

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 advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Development Authority reports progress of Ed’s Supply

Business, News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – In its quarterly meeting Monday, May 7, the Fannin County Development Authority (FCDA) approved an application for for Georgia Cities Foundation Loan for a local property owner to acquire an additional 50 percent interest of a downtown building, according to Christie Arp, FCDA executive director.

“Georgia Cities Foundation funds downtown projects,” Arp explained, “and the Development Authority acts as a conduit and so money would flowing from Georgia Cities Foundation through the Development Authority to a person or business. And the Development Authority has done several in the past; it’s very common.”

Later, in her director’s report, Arp stated, “There continues to be a lot of interest in downtown Blue Ridge. There has been a lot of interest in people just looking for space outside of town. It varies in size, but there is a shortage of warehouse/industrial space in our area.”

Despite this, Arp added the county is seeing a good mix of retail, industrial and commercial interests and business prospects.

Giving an update on Ed’s Supply, which is a supplier of equipment, parts, and materials to businesses that recently agreed to a lease with FCDA for the speculative building near McCaysville, Arp reported the supplier is still in the construction process of finishing the inside of the building. Also, Arp stated she has personally received several resumes from job applicants for Ed’s Supply.

Arp also told of Gov. Nathan Deal’s stop in Blue Ridge last Wednesday, May 2, to sign the 2019 fiscal year budget for the state of Georgia, which included $5.5 million for a permanent, brick-and-mortar campus for the University of North Georgia Blue Ridge campus located off of state Route 515 near Industrial Park Road.

“We’re extremely excited about (the forthcoming UNG campus),” Arp stated. “The Development Authority will continue to work with UNG about different programming needs they might have and different ways that we can partner with them.”

 

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 advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Jason Beck

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

Gov. Deal signs 2019 budget enabling new North Georgia campus in Blue Ridge

News, Politics

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Gov. Nathan Deal made a stop in Blue Ridge Wednesday, May 2, to sign the state budget – House Bill 684 – for the 2019 fiscal year in Georgia and also bring good news for the University of North Georgia (UNG) Blue Ridge campus.

The $26.2 billion budget, which Deal stated was the largest in the history of the state, will include $5.5 million for a permanent relocation project for the UNG Blue Ridge campus.

Also, during the budget signing, Georgia Speaker of the House and Fannin County resident David Ralston announced the location of the forthcoming facility to be just off of state Route 515 and east of Industrial Park Road.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, seated, signs House Bill 684, the state budget for fiscal year 2019, into effect Wednesday, May 2, at the Art Center. Seen here with Deal are, from left, Dr. Bonita Jacobs, president of the University of North Georgia, David Ralston, speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, Deal, and Terry England, state representative from District 116 and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. (Photo: Amanda Anthros, FetchYourNews)

Of the size of the budget itself, Gov. Deal said, “It reflects the growth of our economy.”

“When I came into office in January 2011, it was a bleak time in our state,” Deal explained of the state’s economy.

As a result of the Recession of 2008, Deal went on to say, by the time he took office, the state revenue had dropped by 18 percent and the “rainy-day fund,” or reserves, was essentially depleted with only enough funds to keep the state government open for approximately two days.

Since then, a dramatic increase in state revenue not only allows for a higher state budget in 2019 but also has allowed for a state income tax rate cut for the first time since the tax was instituted in Georgia in 1934, according to Deal. Deal also noted he expects another income tax cut to come again in 2019.

Regarding the state’s “rainy-day fund,” Deal explained conservative spending has enabled the state to increase reserves to the current amount of $2.3 billion.

“So, we are doing exceptionally well on many fronts,” Deal said.

In his Blue Ridge stop, which was one of five locations across the state of Georgia the governor visited Wednesday to sign the budget, Deal focused his address on spending with regard to higher education.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. (Photo: Amanda Anthros, FetchYourNews)

“We have to meet the needs of today and anticipate the needs of tomorrow,” Deal stated. “(Businesses) need an educated and trained workforce. Without that, we’re not going to be able to see companies expand in our state nor are we going to be in a position to recruit new companies to come here.”

Deal explained the Recession of 2008 also affected state lottery proceeds for the Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE) Scholarship but announced the 2019 budget will add $68 million more to the HOPE program for higher education opportunities. The governor also stated the state currently has $1.1 billion in reserves for the HOPE Scholarship.

Also, Deal told of the success of dual enrollment, which allows high school juniors and seniors to take college, university, or technical college courses at no cost to serve as credits toward both their high school diploma and a higher education degree or certificate. The 2019 budget provides $26.2 million for dual enrollment programs, Deal stated.

The REACH Scholarship is another opportunity for students seeking higher education. According to Deal, the REACH Scholarship, which was launched in 2012, is needs-based and provides selected eighth-graders with a $10,000 trust account for future higher education. Promising students who come from families with limited financial resources are selected by teachers and school administrators, and once designated as REACH scholars, the students sign a contract agreeing to maintain a good grade point average, to meet with their mentors regularly and also not to partake in crime or drug use.

In addition to the REACH Scholarship, Deal said every institution in the University System of Georgia, which includes 26 public institutions, has agreed to match the $10,000 trust account for REACH scholars.

Since 2012, Deal explained, the state has invested over $689 million in the University System. In the 2019 budget, one of those University System institutions, the University of North Georgia, will not only receive $5.5 million for the Blue Ridge campus, but also $3 million in bonds to renovate its Oakwood campus in Hall County and $4.7 million in bonds to purchase property to expand its main campus in Dahlonega.

“We know that there are many students who will take advantage of these opportunities, and when they do, it will help us to retain them in the state of Georgia. It will help them to have the credentials that will be necessary to get the higher paying jobs that are here today and be able to attract those jobs for the future. For a personal standpoint of a family, when your child gets those kind of credentials, the likelihood that they can stay in Georgia and not have to leave to find a good job is greatly enhanced,” Deal concluded.

Georgia Speaker of the House of Representatives David Ralston. (Photo: Amanda Anthros, FetchYourNews)

Introducing Gov. Deal at the engagement held at the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association Art Center, Speaker Ralston called the event “historic in many respects,” being the first time in the history of Fannin County that a state budget bill has been signed within the county.

Of Georgia’s 82nd governor, Ralston said, “Governor Deal has led this state to become the best in all the 50 in which to do business in this country. He has truly been a great governor, and frankly, I want to say this state is going to miss his leadership.”

For Fannin County, Ralston explained the 2019 budget will provide over $273,000 to the Fannin County Board of Education. Statewide, Ralston stated, over $360 million will go toward the state’s teacher retirement system. Also, statewide public school campus funding will account for $16 million, over $44,000 of which will go to Fannin County, according to Ralston.

Additionally, the budget will provide $25,000 in bonds to renovate the community center in Epworth and $277,000 for a new roof at West Fannin Elementary School.

“And today, I guess the highlight of the event is, (the budget) contains $5.5 million for the new, permanent campus for the University of North Georgia at Blue Ridge,” Ralston announced.

Georgia House Speaker and Fannin County resident David Ralston, left, welcomes Governor Nathan Deal to Blue Ridge Wednesday, May 2. (Photo: Amanda Anthros, FetchYourNews)

Ralston then explained when the campus first opened in the fall of 2015, only 18 students were enrolled at the campus. After three years, Ralston said, “That number is more than 150 students. UNG Blue Ridge’s growth rate has far exceeded our expectations and that’s something I think we can all be proud of.”

According to Ralston, the new facility, which will be 13,000 square feet, will more than triple the campus’s available space and will accommodate 500 students. “That’s 500 futures,” Ralston added, “that will be made brighter, right here in our community.”

After announcing the aforementioned location, Ralston explained the contract is pending final approval from the Board of Regents, which is expected to occur within the next 30 to 45 days.

Speaking of the day’s proceedings with regard to the UNG Blue Ridge campus, Campus Director Sandy Ott stated, “This is a wonderful opportunity for growth and expansion for the University of North Georgia to increase programs, course offerings and educational opportunities in the region. The campus has experienced significant growth since opening in the fall 2015. The opportunities that will be available are endless.”

[Featured image: Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, center, prepares to sign into effect the state’s 2019 fiscal year budget Wednesday, May 2, at the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association Art Center in downtown Blue Ridge. Joining Governor Deal for the signing are, from left, Dr. Bonita Jacobs, president of the University of North Georgia, David Ralston, speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, Deal, Terry England, state representative from District 116 and chairman of the state House Appropriations Committee, and Jason Ridley, state representative from District 6.]

 

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 advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

Author

Jason Beck

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

Additional grant pursued for Horseshoe Bend Park

Community, News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Fannin County Parks and Recreation Director Eddie O’Neal sought approval from the Board of Commissioners (BOC) at the Feb. 27 meeting to apply for a grant in hopes improving Horseshoe Bend Park.

“We would like to get approval to approach the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC),” O’Neal appealed to the board.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Parks and Recreation, Eddie O'Neal , Board of Commissioners, Chairman Stan Helton, Post 1 Commissioner, Earl Johnson, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Horseshoe Bend Park, Appalachian Regional Commission, Recreational Trail Grant, Northwest Regional Commission, Tamen Park, mowing contract, Nichole Potzauf, Executive Director of Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association, BRMAA, Youth Art Month, University of North Georgia, Appalachian Studies Program, Blue Ridge Scholars, Board of Assessors, Angelina Powell, Lane Bishop, Fannin County Emergency Management Agency, EMA, Robert Graham, Fannin County Finance Director, Robin Gazaway

A view of the Toccoa River from Horseshoe Bend Park.

This grant is in addition to a state-funded Recreational Trail Grant that the county applied for in 2017. The state-funded grant would provide Fannin County with up to $200,000 and the county would be responsible for 20 percent of the funding ($40,000).

The additional grant would be federally funded and provide Fannin County with up to $300,000. The county would be responsible for 30 percent of this funding ($90,000).

Commission Chairman Stan Helton explained how the information of this new grant came about: “The folks at the Northwest Regional Commission, which are the folks that are conduit for the Recreational Trail Grant called me sometime ago.”

“They felt that the odds (of receiving the ARC grant) were equal to or better (than that of getting the Recreational Trail Grant),” Helton added.

Helton explained that the county would not have to take both grants if both were awarded, but applying for the two grants would improve the county’s odds of getting funding for projects at Horseshoe Bend Park.

The board unanimously voted in favor of applying for this additional grant.

O’Neal updated the BOC on news from the Recreation Department: “Our registration for spring sports is up about 8 percent.”

This increase in registration seems to be a steady pattern with the Recreation Department showing an increase in both 2016 and 2017.

The BOC was presented with bids for 2018 mowing contracts. These contracts include mowing and restroom upkeep for Horseshoe Bend and Tammen parks.

There was a total of four bids presented, with $2,200 per month being the high bid and $1,800 per month being the low bid.

O’Neal stated, “I’m fine with the lowest bid. I think if we do that, it should be a 30-day trial.”

Post 2 Commissioner Larry Joe Sosebee had reservations about going with the lowest bidder: “This last mowing season, I had more complaints come through my door.”

Sosebee acknowledged that when the company who submitted the highest bid had the county’s contract he received little to no complaints.

“When you don’t hear people complaining, you know the work is good,” Sosebee added to his thoughts.

Post 1 Commissioner Earl Johnson recommended tabling the vote for the mowing contract until the companies submitting the bids could be further researched.

Helton recused himself from discussion due to having on-going business with one of the bidders, and both post commissioners agreed to discuss the contracts at a later date.

Nichole Potzauf, executive director of Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association (BRMAA), spoke of happenings at the Art Center.

In 2017, approximately 41,000 guests enjoyed the exhibits and classes at the Art Center, and it is estimated the BRMAA had an economic impact of $618,000 in our area and $1.2 million for our region.

Currently, the Art Center is hosting Youth Art Month. Potzauf explained, “(Youth Art Month) is an annual exhibit that we host to celebrate our emerging artists. So, all of Fannin County Schools participate, as well as home school children.”

Potzauf also noted that this year Copper Basin schools are participating in the program.

The BRMAA hosts several fundraising events throughout the year, and Potzauf shared that through fundraising efforts “we were able to give $4,000 in youth scholarships to children in our area to obtain art classes and art education.”

“We’ve partnered with UNG (University of North Georgia) to do a lunch and learn series,” Potzauf spoke of what is new for BRMAA this year.

This partnering is with the UNG Appalachian Studies Program and English Department. The first Lunch and Learn will take place April 18 and will be hosted by Blue Ridge Scholars of UNG.

The first in this series will be “an artistic presentation of the poverty and resilience of the Blue Ridge mountains and our area,” according to Potzauf.

A new appointment to the Board of Assessors took place, with Helton recommending Angelina Powell to this board in place of current board member Lane Bishop.

This recommendation was met with no discussion by the post commissioners, and the board unanimously voted for Powell to receive this appointment. Powell will serve a four-year term beginning March 1, 2018.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Parks and Recreation, Eddie O'Neal , Board of Commissioners, Chairman Stan Helton, Post 1 Commissioner, Earl Johnson, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Horseshoe Bend Park, Appalachian Regional Commission, Recreational Trail Grant, Northwest Regional Commission, Tamen Park, mowing contract, Nichole Potzauf, Executive Director of Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association, BRMAA, Youth Art Month, University of North Georgia, Appalachian Studies Program, Blue Ridge Scholars, Board of Assessors, Angelina Powell, Lane Bishop, Fannin County Emergency Management Agency, EMA, Robert Graham, Fannin County Finance Director, Robin Gazaway

Points of interest from Fannin County’s January budget review.

Fannin County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Robert Graham was present to discuss the progress of the new fire station and E-911 center that is currently in the construction stage.

Graham stated that the structural portion of the project was running on time and on budget and was about a third of the way complete. Graham expects completion of this project in May or June of this year.

Fannin County Finance Director Robin Gazaway reported a summary of the county’s expenses and revenues for the month of January. Being just 8 percent into the county budget, the tax assessor’s office is showing a budget deficit.

Gazaway explained that this was expected and should even out over the next couple of months: “We had budgeted for maps and that was all paid upfront. There will be some revenues from the cities that will go against that.”

So far in 2018, the county is $775,000 under budget.

Discussion of funding for the new Fire Station 1/E-911 center was discussed during this portion of the meeting.

“We knew we would have to borrow some funds,” Helton said of the financing. “We felt that we could finance out of pocket about 75 percent.”

The other 25 percent of funding, ranging from $600,000 to $1.2 million, is currently being studied by Gazaway. While nothing has been finalized, Gazaway said that she had been speaking with bond companies for funding.

Johnson, alerted by the mention of financing through bonds, asked to speak with Gazaway immediately regarding the situation.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Parks and Recreation, Eddie O'Neal , Board of Commissioners, Chairman Stan Helton, Post 1 Commissioner, Earl Johnson, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Horseshoe Bend Park, Appalachian Regional Commission, Recreational Trail Grant, Northwest Regional Commission, Tamen Park, mowing contract, Nichole Potzauf, Executive Director of Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association, BRMAA, Youth Art Month, University of North Georgia, Appalachian Studies Program, Blue Ridge Scholars, Board of Assessors, Angelina Powell, Lane Bishop, Fannin County Emergency Management Agency, EMA, Robert Graham, Fannin County Finance Director, Robin Gazaway

Epworth resident Noah Sims expresses concerns over courthouse security.

“I’m not in favor of getting a bond,” Johnson expressed, stern in his stance.

Johnson explained it is situations like this where he wants to see better communication taking place with the post commissioners.

Public commentary brought about questions of safety at the Fannin County Courthouse.

Epworth resident Noah Sims addressed the board on what he felt were breaches in security.

Making it clear the he was not attacking our local law enforcement, Sims addressed the security measures in place at the courthouse entrance: “I am up here as a concerned citizen. You all do not have any security in the building. Zero. It’s breached.”

Sims noted that employees often are waved through without being scanned: “When you let one person not get checked you have zero security.”

Sims would like to see policy and procedure followed for all persons entering the building without exception.

 

 

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 advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Collins Advocates for Cyber Defense Program at UNG

Politics, State & National

Collins Advocates for Cyber Defense Program at University of North Georgia

“I believe that the University of North Georgia and other outstanding military colleges are well-positioned to help defend our nation from cyber threats, and that’s why I’ve asked my colleagues to further develop America’s defense skills by investing in these institutions.”

WASHINGTON—Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Austin Scott (R-Ga.) led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in asking Congressional leaders to establish ROTC Cyber Institutes at the University of North Georgia and other Senior Military Colleges (SMC).

The National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security have named the University of North Georgia and four other SMCs National Centers of Academic Excellence for Cyber Defense (CAE-CD). These schools focus on training leaders who specialize in protecting Americans within the increasingly complex cyber domain.

“Keeping America safe is my first priority as a representative of northeast Georgia. I believe that the University of North Georgia and other outstanding military colleges are well-positioned to help defend our nation from cyber threats, and that’s why I’ve asked my colleagues to further develop America’s defense skills by investing in these institutions,” said Collins.

Collins and his colleagues are requesting that the Senate and House Committees on Armed Services include language in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act to establish ROTC Cyber Institutes to expand the expertise America’s military and civilian leaders have in critical cyber operations.

All 14 of Georgia’s U.S. Representatives support this request.

The full text of the letter is available below:

Sen. David Lucas to Host Second Rural Georgia Study Committee Meeting

State & National

MEDIA ADVISORY

Contact: Ines Owens, Director
Elisabeth Fletcher, Communications Specialist
Elisabeth.fletcher@senate.ga.gov
404.656.0028

Sen. David Lucas to Host Second Rural Georgia Study Committee Meeting

ATLANTA (August 7, 2017) | Sen. David Lucas (D – Macon) will hold a two-day Rural Georgia Study Committee Meeting to discuss broadband, healthcare, telecommunications and developing tourism TOMORROW from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and WEDNESDAY from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. The meeting will be held at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega.

WHO: Sen. David Lucas and Rural Georgia Study Committee Members

WHAT: Two-day Rural Georgia Study Committee Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday, August 8, 2017
               9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
               Wednesday, August 9, 2017
               9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

WHERE: University of North Georgia
Continuing Education Center in Dahlonega
25 Schultz Avenue
Dahlonega, GA 30597

 

Sen. David Lucas, Sr. represents the 26th Senate District, which includes portions of Bibb, Houston and Jones Counties and all of Hancock, Twiggs, Washington and Wilkinson Counties. He may be reached at 404.656.5035 or by email atDavid.Lucas@senate.ga.gov.

Fannin County Chamber of Commerce June Newsletter

Community
Fannin County Chamber of Commerce  Newsletter
June 2017

Leading the way to economic vitality and quality of life in Blue Ridge, McCaysville, Morganton and all of beautiful Fannin County, Georgia. Together we prosper.


Tuesday, June 20
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The Vault Blue Ridge logo
260 West Main St.- Blue Ridge

Congratulations Leadership Fannin 2017

“This class was very engaged and enthusiastic from day one. I know they will be a wonderfully positive influence on our community.” – Wanda Dostall
 
Congratulations to the steering committee and participants of Leadership Fannin 2017! The Leadership Fannin is coordinated by Wanda Dostall. The 2017 Steering Committee members included: Mark Belongie, Chairman
Eddie Ayers and Lynn Dwyer, Knowing Your Community;
Sarah Dunn, Social Services;
Lou Ann Potito, Health Care;
Heather Finley, Education;
Dana Chastain, Local Government;
Christie Arp, Economic Development and
Jan Hackett and Paul Gribble, Tourism
Members of the Class of 2017
Ken Banwart, Heartwood Health, Art and Yoga; Ryan Beadnell, Harvest on Main; Connie Clark; Dawn Cochran, Fannin County Tax Assessors Office; Jeff DePaola, Mountain Place Realty; Kelly Devine, Coldwell Banker High Country Realty;  John Drullinger, Fannin County Animal Control; Tony Dyer, Park Sterling Bank; Pam Fink, LG Web Consulting; Courtnie Fowler, Mountain Top Cabin Rentals; Toots Greene; Kayla Garceau, Serenberry Vineyards;  Gene Holcombe, Blue Ridge Bed & Breakfast; Shannon Miller, Fannin County Board of Education; Ginger Mize; Don Mull; Brian Mundy, Mundy Heat & Air; Nancy Norton; Sandy Ott, University of North Georgia; Mel Rothchild; Cindy Stone, United Community Bank; Rita Suiter, Mercier Orchards;  and Richard Turner, Masseria.

Newsworthy …
Fannin Regional/Riverstone Merger
David Sanders, CEO of Fannin Regional Hospital, announced the merger of Fannin Regional Hospital with Riverstone MDPC to create Riverstone Medical Group.  Fannin Regional Hospital is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary with over 300 employees and an economic impact of over $100 million a year. “It certainly is our intent to continue to grow and expand services here locally and continue to have that positive impact.” – David Sanders


Keep Fannin Beautiful: Adopt-A-Road!

Interested in helping? Civic-minded organizations, businesses and individuals can adopt a stretch of county road in the community where they are living or elsewhere in the county. For more information on the Adopt-A-Road program, CLICK HERE.

Also, beginning June 1st, the Fannin County Land Development Office  will issue citations to garbage haulers who do not have garbage properly tarped or covered. This measure along with the Fannin County Adopt-A-Road program is a great way to help keep our roads clean!

Check Out the Trout Art Trail!
 

Blue Ridge has 9 beautiful trout sculptures produced by local artists for the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association — and they are on view in downtown and at the Chamber Welcome Center on Orvin Lance Drive. Open and print the map above to discover all nine!

Welcome New Members!

Awning Builders of Atlanta
3355 Lenox Rd.,
Atlanta, GA, 30326
Clint Love
Awning Builders of Atlanta is proud to provide guaranteed and quality products backed by a 10 year warranty. All Awning Builders Awnings feature Sunbrella fabric – the leader in exterior fabrics for both beauty and longevity. Choose from hundreds of colors and designs to perfectly match your vision for your outdoor living space. With a fabrication facility and full engineering and design department, they are able to fill residential or commercial custom orders.
 
Lularoe Spring Creek Boutique
88 Cherokee Springs Trail,
Cherry Log, GA, 30522
Erin Gwinn
Lularoe is extremely comfortable, unique, quality clothing that comes in a wide variety of styles, designs and sizes for women, men and children.

June Community Events Calendar
May 13 – June 10 SAAG Spring Art Show, Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association
May 18-June 4 No Sex Please, We’re British, Blue Ridge Community Theater
June 2Downtown Drum Circle, Downtown Blue Ridge
June 2Senior Fishing Rodeo, Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery
June 3 16th Annual Burra Burra Kids Carnival, Ducktown Basin Museum
June 3Family Fishing Festival, Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery
June 3 Breathe Deep, Move to the Groove Concert, Mercier Orchards
June 3 St. Luke’s Anniversary Concert, St. Lukes Episcopal Church
June 4 Firefly Music & Treo of Blue Ridge presents a Wine Pairing Music Event, Treo Blue Ridge
June 9 Second Saturday Merchant Walk, Downtown Blue Ridge
June 9 Movies in the Park presents Moana, Downtown City Park
June 9-11Gemini Music Fest Concert, Fox Mountain Artist Retreat & Campground
June 10Maria Howell & Noel Freidline Concert, Blue Ridge Community Theater
June 14-18Dancing Tree Festival 2017, Heartwood Community
June 17-July 22 Community Quilt and Fiber Arts Exhibit, Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association
June 17Tri-State Model Railroaders Open House, Mineral Bluff Historic Depot
June 18Sunday Supper on The Farm, The Cook’s Farm
June 23Classic Car Cruise-In, Dairy Queen
June 24Firefly Music presents Wade Hayes in Concert, Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association
June 30Firecracker Special Train Ride, Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
July 1 Fireworks at Lake Blue Ridge, Lake Blue Ridge Marina
Recurring Events
Tuesday
* Trivia Tuesdays, Fightingtown Tavern

Thursday

 
* Bingo, Kiwanis Fairgrounds
* Trivia Night! Fannin Brewing Company
* Pickin’ In Horseshoe Bend Park
Saturday
*Blue Ridge Farmers Market, Downtown Blue Ridge
Weekends
* Brewery Tours & Tastings: Thursday through Saturday’s at  Fannin Brewing CompanyGrumpy Old Men and Mercier Orchards.
* Swan Drive-inNow Playing
FOR THE FULL CALENDAR Click Here
In This Issue
Business After Hours
Leadership Fannin Class of 2017
Newsworthy
Adopt-A-Road
Trout Art Trail
New Members
Community Events Calendar

Chamber Events
Calendar
 
June 6 – Ribbon Cutting for CK Laboratories, 51 Overview Dr., Blue Ridge
10:00 a.m.
June 7 – Lunch N Leads, Blue Jeans Pizza and Pasta Factory
12:00 p.m.
June 8 – Ribbon Cutting for Cloud Hopper Aerial Pix, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce
10:00 a.m.
June 13 – Ribbon Cutting for MNM Cleaning & Management Services, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce
10:00 a.m.
June 13 – Golf Committee Meeting, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce
12:00 p.m.
June 14 – Board of Directors Meeting, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce Meeting Room, Executive Committee Meeting at 11:00 a.m., Board Meeting at 12:00 p.m.
June 15 – Ribbon Cutting for The Mountain Life/Keller Williams Team, 1665 Appalachian Hwy., Blue Ridge
10:00 a.m.
June 20 – Business After Hours at The Vault Blue Ridge, 260 West Main St., Blue Ridge
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
June 22 – Ambassador Lunch, Location TBD
12:00 p.m.
________________________
Membership Renewals
Thank you!
 
3 Monkeys Antiques, Inc
Allie Harper
AngelFire 7 BBQ

Appalachian Physicians Group – Dr. Clifford Thompson and Dr. Jonathan Bloch, F.A.C.S.General Surgery

Appalachian Physicians Group – Dr. Emily Sue Burnham, Internal Medicine
Aska Lodge B&B, LLC
Best Solar Control
Blue Ridge Bird Seed Company
Blue Ridge Brewery
Blue Ridge Community Theater
Blue Ridge Cotton Company
Blue Ridge Flowers
Blue Ridge Framing Company
Blue Ridge Mineral Springs RV Park and Tent Camping
Blue Ridge Mountain Outfitters – Copperhill
Blue Ridge Village
Broadview Cove Apartments

Carol L. Smith – Coldwell Banker / High Coun

try Realty
Chester Brunnemeyer’s Bar & Grill
Copperhill Country Cabins
Eagles Rest
Edward Jones, Amanda Payne
Edwin C. Pound, III, MD, PC
Family Life Chiropractic Center
Fannin County Empty Stocking Program, Inc.
Free Time Hobbies
Georgia Foothills Hand Surgery
Gracious Me!
Hilburn Solutions, Inc.
Hometown Foods IGA
Iron Bridge General Store & Cafe
Jon Ron Toccoa River Outfitters
Kimberly Bruner, Coldwell Banker High Country Realty
Morganton Grill
Mountain Gateway Appraisal
Mountain Laurel Cabin Rentals
Mountain Property Limited
Multitudes Gallery
Nancy MacLean, Century 21 In The Mountains
Nevaeh Cabin Rentals
New Blue Home & Gift
North GA Stone
Nottely River Valley Vineyards
Out of the Blue, Inc.
RE/MAX – Town & Country
Reel’em In Guide Service
Rum Cake Lady Bakery & Cuban Cafe
Serenity in the Mountains Hair, Nails & Body Spa
Shamrock Septic Service
Southern Car & Truck Center
Stan Hamm, Real Estate Around the Mountains
The Diamond Center
The Mail Box Company
The Toccoa Lodge
The Vault of Blue Ridge, LLC
Toccoa Riverside Restaurant
Tupelo Tea
Zip Line Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge
 ________________
 
Member to Member Ads

 

University of North Georgia Professional and Continuing Education in Blue Ridge

Community, Education, Featured, Featured Stories

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Sandy Ott from UNG 5/26/16

GMFTO

BKP sits down with Sandy Ott from the Blue Ridge Campus of the University of North Georgia.

2015 Fannin Lady Rebels Softball Banquet

Videos-SV

softball Link

2015 Fannin Lady Rebels Awards Banquet

Uncategorized

 

DSCN0496test1The 2015 Lady Rebels Softball banquet was held at the First Baptist Church Youth Community Building in Blue Ridge, GA. Fannin alumni and now University of North Georgia Nighthawks Softball members Alexis Collis and Candace German were in attendance with their 2015 Division II NCAA Softball National Championship Trophy. Coaches, family and friends were all in attendance as Coach Dyer and Coach Armstrong handed out the awards from the past season.

The 2015 Lady Rebel season has come and gone, but not before a great season. Coach Dyer started off the banquet awards with Asst. Director of Enrollment Services at the UNG Blue Ridge Campus, Lori Bramlett. Mrs. Bramlett recognized Alexis and Candace for there role in winning the 2015 NCAA National Championship. The two girls talked about getting ready for the night, keeping God first and surviving college life.

Coach Armstrong and Coach Dyer started off the 2015 Lady Rebels banquet by presenting awards to the JV Lady Rebels and finished with the varsity Lady Rebels and a special presentation to the eight seniors that will be leaving this year. Incase you missed the banquet, go here to watch it.

JV Rebel Award – Freshman Hannah Dickey

Coaches Award JV squad – Sophomore Brooklyn Bearden

7-AAA All-Region 1st Team – Ashley Rhodes and Allie Barfield

7-AAA All-Region 2nd Team – Kiersten Seagle and Haylee Bearden

The 2015 Scholar Athelete Award presented by Principal Eric Cioffi

Senior –  Lacey Walden

Participation Awards – Sophomore Morgan Contardi and Freshman Amelia Sneed

First Year Letters

Freshman – Macy Galloway

Freshman – Aubree Pack

Freshman – Hannah Dickey

Freshman – Kyla Seabolt

Second Year Letters

Senior – Destiny Traylor

Sophomore – Brooklyn Bearden

Senior – Kakyra DeGrie

Third Year Letters

Senior – Lacy Walden

Senior – Haylee Bearden

Junior – Kaitlin Dickey

Senior – Whitney Campbell

Senior – Ashley Rhodes

Fourth Year Letters

Senior – Kiersten Seagle

Senior – Allie Barfield

Pitcher Award – Whitney Campbell

Most Improved– Ashley Rhodes

Defensive Award– Kiersten Seagle

Offensive Award– Allie Barfield

Lady Rebel award– Lacey Walden

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Coach Dyer presented the Seniors with a plaque for there wall. He talked about how each of the eight senior ladies impacted both the team and him personally over the last four years.

Heather Collis was also recognized for all the years of hard work and dedication she has put into the program. She was presented a gift certificate for an evening out. Coach Dyer thanked her and the entire Softball Booster Club for the thankless and tireless job they have done throughout his five years at Fannin. He also said that of all his years coaching that this was the most active and hardest working Booster Club he has had the pleasure of working with.

 

 

Nighthawks Rain on Red Storm’s Parade as North Georgia Gets National Title

Featured Stories

The University of North Georgia Nighthawks softball team won the program’s first ever national championship with a 5-0 win over Dixie State to claim the NCAA Division II 2015 Softball National Championship. The team, featuring former Fannin Lady Rebels’ stars, Alexis Collis and Candace “Blitzkrieg” German, in addition to the national title, set a school record with 54 wins against eight losses. (more…)

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