New Fannin Youth Initiative

Community, News

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Life and career skills are something that all youth need when moving into adulthood, and thanks to a new innovative program some of the youth of Fannin County will have an opportunity to have a jump start on these skills as they work their way through high school.

Executive Director of the Development Authority, Christie Gribble, unveiled a new program aimed at garnering knowledge of real world situations and providing high school age children with an in-depth look at our local community.

“A function of economic development is workforce and community development,” Gribble spoke of the new project and the inspiration she received from attending the Leadership Fannin program, “As a local to Fannin County I learned a lot about the community.”

Leadership Fannin is an annual program hosted by the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce in which community members are nominated to participate in. Each yearly group is exposed to an indepth look at Fannin County through site visits and speakers on a variety of topics.

Gribble’s youth program dubbed the Fannin Youth Initiative (FYI), will be based on the Leadership Fannin program but geared toward a younger audience.

Fannin County, Georgia, Fannin County Courthouse, Government, School System, Leadership Fannin, Fannin Youth Initiative, Development Authority, Christie Gribble, Grades 10, 11, FYI, Chamber of Commerce, Volunteers, TVA, Tennessee Valley Authority, Blue Ridge Mountain EMC

Executive Director Christie Gribble tells the Board of Commissioners about the new Fannin Youth Initiative.

Students at Fannin County High School, grades 10 and 11, are eligible to apply. In its inaugural year FYI had 13 applicants.

The program itself is a partnership between the Fannin County School System, the Chamber of Commerce, the Development Authority, and a network of volunteers.

“This is a free program for students. It’s paid for by sponsorships,” Gribble said of the no cost opportunity, “We had sponsorships from TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) and Blue Ridge Mountain EMC this year.”

Students will be paired with a mentor for guidance and will get firsthand knowledge of economic development, entrepreneurship, small business, and tourism in our community.

According to Gribble one of the goals is to “help these students understand what you can do in the community if you do decide to stay and build a career here, or if you go off to college and want to come back. I want to show some success stories.”

Beyond being able to get out and meet with local workers, students will also be shown a variety of life skills needed to function as adults.

“We will show these students where you go to vote, jury duty, where you go to pay taxes, building permits,” Gribble spoke of students visiting the Fannin County Courthouse during the program. “These are things that not a lot of high school students know about.”

Participants will also get a firsthand look into state government with a trip to the Georgia State Capitol building.

Gribble noted that there will be school visits as well, and volunteers in the group will teach students about career building skills: “We will go into the school on a occasion and do some professional development such as communication skills, resume building, and interviewing skills.”

The program is set to begin Jan. 25 and run through April or May of this year. If all goes well with the inaugural “test run” of FYI, both the school and partnerships are open to expansion and possibly offering the program twice a year.


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Natalie Kissel

Fannin County Fire Department upgrades life saving equipment

Community, Fannin County EMA/EMS, News

Blue Ridge, Ga. – “I would like to say at this time, thanks to the public for the donations, and the taxpayers here in the county that are taking care of us,” Fannin County Fire Chief Larry Thomas spoke to the Board of Commissioners (BOC) on Tuesday about the purchase of new equipment for the department.

The Fannin County Fire Department will see an upgrade to their life-saving hydraulic extraction tools, better known as the Jaws of Life.

Fannin County, Georgia, Board of Commissioners, Chairman, Post 1 Commissioner, Post 2 Commissioner, Fire Chief, Fannin County Fire Department, EMS, EMA, Stan Helton, Earl Johnson, Glenn Patterson, Larry Thomas, HURST, Jaws of Life, Equipment Upgrade, volunteers, public, donations

An example of Jaws of Life being used for extrication.

Thomas informed the BOC that volunteer firefighters had voted late in 2018 to use money from their donation account to purchase the new equipment: “The volunteers, in one of our volunteer meetings, voted to go ahead and start upgrading the Jaws of Life, the extrication tools that we carry on some of our vehicles.”

After researching pricing, the fire department chose to go with Hurst to provide this new equipment. Hurst now provides a battery operated version of this tool that can be operated by a single person.

This upgrade will save time for local rescuers who are often put in situations where every minute matters.

“Before, in the beginning, way back, it took two people to use a set of jaws,” Thomas said explaining the importance of the equipment upgrade.
The total price for three new sets of Jaws of Life would come to approximately $60,000. Thomas explained that his department had already put $17,000 towards this total with the intention of applying another $7,300 in the near future.

Although the fire department has enough funds available in the donation account, Thomas stated that they would like to finance the remaining amount of approximately $35,000 as to not deplete all monies currently in the donation account.

In order finance this remaining balance, Fannin County would need to “cosign” for the loan, as most banks cannot loan to volunteer groups.

Post 1 Commissioner Earl Johnson asked for clarification on the terms of the loan being sought, to which Thomas replied that they would be seeking a three year repayment period.

Although the loan terms would be set for three years, Thomas stated, “We’re hoping to pay it off next year” and pointed to the history the department has with paying off any loan debt before the loan fully matures.

“I think it’s a great thing really,” Fannin County Chairman Stan Helton expressed his opinion before the vote. “I appreciate the volunteers and the money they have brought in to pay for equipment that is going to serve the public.”

The three commissioners voted in favor of signing off on a loan for the fire department, and bringing this life saving upgrade to the county.



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


Natalie Kissel

Children’s SRP Letter

Letters to Editor

To the editor:

On behalf of the Fannin County Public Library, I would like to express sincere thanks and gratitude to the patrons, volunteers, organizations, performers, and community supporters who helped make our annual summer reading program so successful this year.  

This year, we had 158 kids, 34 teens, and 31 adults participate in our reading program.  We challenge our younger participants to read at least twenty books in the summer, and this year, the children logged over 2,500 books!  The summer reading program ran for a total of seven weeks, and during that time, we held 21 free, family-oriented programs that were attended by over 1,000 people.  

And none of this would have been possible without the dedication of our volunteers and the generosity of organizations in the community.  In particular, we would like to thank the Fannin County Friends of the Library for volunteering at some of our events and providing the funds to hire professional entertainers.  Many thanks also to the First Baptist Church of Blue Ridge for letting us use their Youth and Activity Center for some of our larger events.  Thank you to Tina Rice of Tina’s Tie-Dye and Dawn Davis for volunteering their time to lead programs at the library.  Thank you to Pizza Hut of Blue Ridge for donating some reading rewards for the children to completed our reading challenge. And, thank you to the Fannin County Fire Department for helping us host our end-of-summer Family Fun Night. We so appreciate your donation of time and resources to make that event possible.  To all of our other volunteers, who gave of their time this summer to help us host the summer reading program, we appreciate you more than we can say.  

And finally, we are tremendously grateful to our patrons for registering their children, teens, or themselves for our program.  Thank you for bringing your kids to our events, encouraging them to love reading, volunteering at a moment’s notice, and generally supporting your local library.  We create these programs for you and your children, and we love to see people enjoying them.  If you’re curious about upcoming events at the Fannin County Public LIbrary, please visit our website at or follow us on Facebook for updates.  

See you at the library!

Darcy Arnall
Children’s Librarian
Fannin County Public Library

Update on Hurricane Irma Cleanup and Relief Efforts

State & National

ATLANTA (September 18, 2017) | On Thursday, September 14, 2017, Senator Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega)  joined Governor Nathan Deal, local elected officials and first responders for a press conference in Habersham County  to address Hurricane Irma cleanup and relief efforts.

“First and foremost, I would like to extend my gratitude to the first responders and volunteers who are helping the ongoing recovery efforts in our local communities and throughout the state,” said Sen. Gooch. “It is an honor to join Governor Deal, our local elected officials, first responders and citizens in any and all efforts to get our state back up and running. Our citizens are resilient and I am confident that by working together, we can help those in need and rebuilt each and every community that was impacted. It was very uplifting to witness the outpour of assistance from the hundreds of employees of utility companies from all over the United States.”

On Monday, September 11, 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall in Georgia leaving around 1 million citizens without power. The impact from Irma was felt from the coastal plains to the north Georgia mountains. The state of Georgia saw unprecedented damage caused by the tropical storm force winds that reached more than 400 miles from the storm’s center. Relief efforts are ongoing and first responders, power companies, state agencies, volunteers and citizens are working around the clock to rebuild and restore power.

Governor Deal and the federal government responded quickly and declared a state of emergency in Georgia so that funds could be appropriated to help with the financial burden of the storm. Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA) is coordinating their efforts with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state agencies and local authorities to ensure recovery, rebuilding and cleanup is completed in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

Additional information can be found on the GEMA and FEMA websites:

Feed Fannin Holds January Meeting


Their goal is to help feed families in Fannin


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