The Georgia Mountains Hospice, The Ellijay and Jasper Councils of the Knights of Columbus, and The Rotary Club of Jasper invite you to the 2019 Mardi Gras in the Mountains!
Enjoy a spectacular evening with fine dining, a great band, silent auction
and coronation of the 2019 King and Queen and Honor Court.
When? Saturday – March 2, 2019, from 6:30pm – 11:00pm (black tie optional)
Vote for the Pickens King & Queen by clicking on the donate button below or visit mardigrasinthemountains.org. Each dollar equals one vote.
Pickens Queen & King ~ Michelle Roberson & Gerard Monte
Michelle Roberson is a true Georgia Peach. She is from Gwinnett County and has lived all of her life in Georgia except for a few years in Nashville, TN. Twirling the baton took her to Valdosta State College (University) to be the first feature twirler in the inaugural Blazin’ Brigade Marching Band; while there she studied journalism and marketing with an emphasis in sports broadcasting and promotion.
Ask Michelle about her “amazing” kids – Callahan, an adjunct instructor in the welding department at Chattahoochee Tech in Jasper, Alston, a proud BAMA graduate and engineer, and Lauren, a junior at Kennesaw State University – she will say they are one of the greatest gifts of her life. She looks forward to marrying the “love of her life” Lee Daniel in March.
Her professional time in Jasper is spent on the campus of Holy Family Episcopal Church as their Parish Administrator. “God opened a door for me at Holy Family in 2009. The members there are my family, friends, and mentors. My position is more than a job to me; it is a ministry.” In her spare time, she loves to hike, cook, entertain, travel and raise money. And, that’s why she is our Pickens County Queen.
Vote for Michelle
Gerard Patrick Monte was born in Los Angeles on April 22nd 1958. He was raised in West Covina, California where he graduated Covina High School and attended Mount San Antonio College earning his A.S Degree in Business Administration. His nick name in college was “Senator” as he ran for the Senate Board, won, & continued on to study at the University of Southern California Los Angeles. Gerard was raised in an Italian and Spanish household where needless to say, he was exposed to family, food and celebration! He attended Sacred Heart Church in Covina and was elected the youngest Presidents of both the Italian Catholic Federation and Sons of Italy. His heritage, sense of community and caring spirit is the foundation of his generosity and philanthropy.
Gerard started his catering company “MONTE”S CATERING” in the early 80’s for his love of food and entertaining. He catered to the cosmetic industry during his 20 years while working in that field as one of the first males introduced to that department. He worked for a series of fine department stores and the prestigious La Prairie cosmetics as their Account Coordinator and Training Director. During his tenure, he was Vice President of the Southern California Cosmetic Association and President of the Customer Service Board for many of the Nordstrom chain of Specialty stores. He became very involved with various charities in Southern California and Greater Los Angeles area where he developed his skills for fundraising. He partnered with The Estee Lauder Cosmetic Company where he volunteered for over 9 years at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for the “Look Good Feel Better” program.
Gerard began his love for vintage cars during his high school years where he owned two Nash Metropolitans. One being a red and white hardtop, the mascot car of his alumni, and the other a turquoise and white convertible which went on to win many 1st place prizes. He served on the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Car Club of America for an impressive 10 years.
While living in Southern California he met his life partner Hector of over 22 years and they began their first catering business together, Rosmont and Company caterers. They soon expanded and founded the Fountain Court Grill and Tea Room in Hollywood where Gerard volunteered and donated with many non-profit organizations and charities such as Assistant League of Southern California, Pasadena Symphony Association, Pasadena Showcase House of Design and many Junior Leagues of California and Arizona. He helped establish and served on the Board of Directors of the LGBT Los Angeles County for over 5 years. Through his various philanthropic connections, he was honored to cater such events as the Kid’s Choice Awards, Mercedes Benz Week sponsored by Estee Lauder, VOX Vodka and Sephora Cosmetics, Sundance and Outfest Film Festivals, book signing of Doris Roberts ( Everybody Loves Raymond) and Dennis Tito, the millionaire who purchased a flight to the moon space station. They catered to the LA Law Wrap Party and American Idol just to name a few.
While visiting Georgia on a retail buying business trip in 2006 the duo fell in love with the South and relocated to Canton a year later and founded Coast 2 Coast Catering. As business grew, they found and created a charming restaurant and gift shop in Jasper Georgia in 2009 and named it Madeline’s Café & Bakery after Gerard’s mother. The two once again found themselves involved with community, joined the Chamber of Commerce, and catered the North Georgia Mountains Hospice Mardi Gras in the Mountains. Gerard became a founding partner in” The Long Table on Main”, a charity fundraiser that saved the nearly extinct PCAP , Prevent Child Abuse Pickens from closing their doors and went on to serve 5 years on the board of directors. He has established mentorships with both Ruth House and Timothy House Ministries and employed many of their residents. He established an intern program with Pickens High School Culinary Department where he trained and went on to hire two students permanently. Gerard has volunteered or donated to such charities and non-profits as A.C.E.S., CARES, Habitat for Humanity, North Georgia Pregnancy Center, Boys and Girls Club of Pickens County, Alzheimer’s Association of North Georgia, Good Sam’s, Home Depot, Pickens County Sheriffs, Angels on Horseback, Enlighten, Big Canoe Wellness Collaborative, Legacy of Caring and of course Georgia Mountain Hospice for over 9 years! Through his companies, Coast 2 Coast Catering and Madeline’s and his new venture Wilton Place a Southern Boutique, he has contributed in excess of $250,000.00 to local charities and causes and hopes to add “Mardi Gras King of Pickens County” to his resume.
Gerard attributes his personal and business success to a simple motto instilled in him by his mother …..“Give me your little finger, I will give you my whole hand” and believes he is blessed with a partner and friends that support his will to give back.
Vote for Gerard
Due to the latest weather warning that Georgia counties north of I-20 may form black ice on roads due to overnight freezing Monday night, all North Georgia Health District offices in Dalton and Public Health Departments, Programs and Services in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties will DELAY Opening until 10 AM on Tuesday, December 11th. Any further updates will be posted to the North Georgia Health District website at www.nghd.org and on district social media pages at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
NORTH GEORGIA – The North Georgia Health District was honored with the 2018 Walt Orenstein
Champions for Immunization Award at the Immunize Georgia Conference, recently held for the 25th
year by the Georgia Department of Public Health in Atlanta. The conference is an occasion to give
special recognition to public health immunization champions for their leadership and influence in
getting Georgians immunized.
Immunization is the best protection against vaccine-preventable diseases such as influenza, polio,
diphtheria and pertussis, just to name a few, and the Walt Orenstein Champions for Immunization
Award honors individuals, agencies or coalitions that demonstrate excellence in providing
The North Georgia Health District (district 1-2 of the Georgia Department of Public Health, based in
Dalton and comprised of Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties)
received this award due to the high level of staff commitment to reducing barriers to immunizations
through no- or low-cost vaccinations, community outreach events and flexible clinic hours to meet
the needs of the community.
“We are committed to making it possible for everyone to have access to immunizations with quality
care,” said Ashley Deverell, RN, BSN, district Immunization Coordinator. “From providing over
1200 no-cost flu vaccinations during the peak of the unusually active flu season this past winter to
being a Vaccines For Children provider so we can ensure no one is turned away from receiving
eligible vaccines based on ability to pay, our county health departments and Living Bridge
Center/Ryan White Clinic work in conjunction with public and private partners to administer all
applicable vaccines to as many people as possible.”
Immunizations have been made more accessible in North Georgia through public health in multiple
County health departments stay open until late one day a week so people who work normal business
hours can have access to services, including immunizations.
Health department staff go out into their communities to host vaccine clinics with businesses,
schools, churches and organizations as well as conduct annual back-to-school clinics and drive-thru
flu shot clinics.
They participate in various health fairs to promote immunizations and provide education about many
other health issues and public health services.
The health departments have also developed relationships with fellow county agencies, including
EMS offices and fire departments, to assist in updating vaccinations among personnel.
The Gilmer County Health Department’s International Travel Clinic in Ellijay administers
comprehensive health services to travelers, including vaccines for many diseases that a traveler may
encounter along the way such as polio, measles, typhoid and yellow fever. People all throughout
North Georgia, and beyond, take advantage of these travel clinic services due to the quality of service
and the ability to arrange prompt appointments.
The North Georgia Health District collaborates with local OB/GYN offices to offer low-cost prenatal
care and routinely administers vaccines as part of these services. Plus, the Whitfield County Health
Department offers many primary care services through their Medical Access Clinic, Women’s Clinic
and Children’s Access Clinic to ensure that people who may not have easy access to care can receive
health services, including all recommended vaccinations.
The health district’s commitment to reducing barriers to immunizations also includes a solid public
information campaign that utilizes media and social media along with community partners and
stakeholders inform the public of their need to maintain immunizations and how, when and where
to receive them.
Sherry Gregory, RN, district Infectious Disease Supervisor, said, “Our staff understands the critical
role immunizations play in preventing disease and I am proud of their diligent efforts to make
immunizations more accessible to everyone.”
NATIONAL HIV TESTING DAY
North GA – Why should you get an HIV test?
Because, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in seven people in the United States are HIV positive and they don’t know it. If you are age 13 to 64, you should get tested for HIV at least once. *People at higher risk should get tested more often.
National HIV Testing Day on Wednesday, June 27th is your opportunity in North Georgia to get HIV tested for FREE at your local public health department in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties or at The Living Bridge Center in Dalton. Just go to www.nghd.org to find your health department or The Living Bridge Center hours of operation, phone number and location, or call the North Georgia Health District at (706) 529-5757.
Our HIV testing is fast, safe and confidential.
National HIV Testing Day is an annual occasion to encourage people to get an HIV test. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. *People with certain risk factors should get tested more often. People who test HIV positive can take medicines to stay healthy and greatly reduce their chance of transmitting the virus. People who test negative can continue to take steps to prevent HIV infection, such as always using a condom during sex.
CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. – Dr. Joseph L. Burton, a former county medical examiner and forensic pathologist, has been charged along with other individuals by warrants sworn to by agents of the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad (CMANS) with RICO (Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations) charges in Cherokee County related to the illegal distribution of opioid painkillers and other drugs. Multiple individuals have also been arrested on federal and state charges related to the unlawful distribution of opioids prescribed by Burton in Barrow County, Bartow County, Cobb County, Fayette County, Floyd County, Gwinnett County, Hall County and Paulding County.
This investigation by CMANS Agents was in coordination with authorities throughout the north metro area, as well as the Georgia Drug and Narcotics Agency and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and included coordinated indictments in at least eight counties and in Federal Court.
Burton and the seven other individuals are charged in a federal indictment presented by DEA, released yesterday, with conspiring to distribute and dispense controlled substances—outside of the normal course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose—from July 2015 to February 2018. Burton is also charged with 10 individual counts of illegal drug distribution for specific prescriptions. Over a roughly two-year period beginning in July 2015, Dr. Burton allegedly issued over 1,100 opioid prescriptions, which amounted to over 108,000 individual doses, including over 66,000 30mg oxycodone pills. The indictment alleges that Burton prescribed opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone, irrespective of any legitimate medical purpose and outside the normal course of professional practice.
The following individuals are charged in Cherokee County with charges related to this organization:
• Burton, Joseph Lawson;
• Hunter, Jennifer;
• Willis, Tiffany;
• Fossett, Nancy;
• Cargile, Sandy;
• Cargile, Justin;
• Cargile, Roy;
• Morgan, Jerry;
• Saye, Harold;
• Tatum, David;
• Jenkins, Joyce Justene;
• Danner, Michelle; and
• Powell, Ashley
The abuse of prescription pain-killers is the root cause of heroin abuse in Cherokee County, and CMANS Agents have worked alongside our neighbors and federal partners to address this serious problem. Agents from CMANS actively pursue cases related to opioid abuse involving fraudulent prescriptions, cases of double doctoring, or, as in this case, medical professionals who violate their oath. Burton’s arrest marks the third arrest this year in Cherokee County of persons with medical connections arrested for drug charges.
The Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad is a joint task force working in Cherokee County to investigate drug-related violations. Participating agencies include the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office, the Canton Police Department, the Woodstock Police Department, the Holly Springs Police Department, the Ball Ground Police Department, the Cherokee County Marshal’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office for the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit, and the Georgia State Patrol. Citizens may call in tips anonymously to 770-345-7920 or may speak to an agent by calling 678-493-7625.
JASPER, Ga. – Authorities arrested William Lloyd Burden, 30, for burglary on Thursday, Feb. 15, after a two-hour stand-off with law enforcement.
According to Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Kris Stancil, the suspect fled from authorities before being relocated and arrested. While the event involved SWAT Teams and officers from both Pickens and Cherokee counties, the suspect was apprehended without incident.
The official release from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office:
What started as a suspicious person call at approximately noon, turned into a day-long chase. The original call on Scenic View Drive reported a suspicious person appearing to be looking into different homes. Upon the deputies’ arrival into the area, the caller pointed to a residence and described an individual that had been “snooping” around. Deputies then observed where a window had been opened and appeared to have been broken into at a residence on Scenic View Drive. Deputies also observed where belongings appeared to be gathered to be removed from the home. As deputies attempted to clear the home, Mr. Burden exited the side door of the residence and fled into a wooded area.
After an extended search, the suspect was not located. Through investigation, it was later learned that Burden had called a friend that lived in the same area as the original burglary and went to the residence. Deputies were able to verify that he was in the home and all other occupants were out of the home, but he would not comply to exit the home. Due to not knowing if he was armed or not, deputies contacted SWAT team members from the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office and the Pickens Sheriff’s Office to respond.
Mr. Burden was later found to be hiding in the attic of the residence and was taken into custody without incident.
At this time, Mr. Burden has been charged with burglary and the investigation is continuing to determine if additional charges may be pending.