(The following is a Press Release from the Office of David Ralston, Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives.)
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) today announced that the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation has opened a North Georgia Office in Ellijay. The office is located in the Collaboration on River’s Edge (CORE) Building, a workplace innovation space and initiative of the Greater Gilmer Community Foundation.
“I am proud to welcome the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation to Ellijay and look forward to the good work that will be done to further economic opportunity throughout rural Georgia,” said Speaker David Ralston. “This center is a direct result of the work of the House Rural Development Council and our continuing efforts to ensure prosperity is accessible to all Georgians – regardless of zip code.”
The center, also known as Georgia’s Rural Center, has named Janet Cochran to lead the North Georgia Office. Cochran comes to the center with more than a decade of experience as a project manager with the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
“Finding ways to not only maintain but to multiply the economic and cultural vitality present in so many of north Georgia’s small towns and rural communities relies heavily on relationships,” said Dr. David Bridges, Georgia’s Rural Center interim director, “and we know that our presence and personnel there will only improve our ability to facilitate positive outcomes. Janet brings a wealth of experience in managing economic development projects in this region of the state, and we’re excited to have her join our team in this role at the North Georgia Office.”
Headquartered at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation serves as a central information and research hub for rural best practices, including community planning, industry-specific assistance and cooperative efforts with community partners. The center was proposed by the House Rural Development Council in 2017 and was created by House Bill 951, which was enacted in 2018.
“Promoting a strong business environment that enhances the quality of our community is not just the chamber’s mission in words, it is behind everything we do. The opening of CORE and the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation is a cornerstone moment in that mission and one that we have worked tirelessly to support and create for many years. I join with our 650 members in celebrating,” remarked John Marshall, Gilmer Chamber Chairman of the Board.
“As chairman of the Greater Gilmer Community Foundation it has been our goal as a private, citizen funded organization to help spur economic growth for our community and region. CORE being the home to the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation North Georgia office brings our vision to reality. We look forward to continuing to serve our communities for years to come,” said Kent Sanford, Chairman of the Board.
“Working with Speaker of the House David Ralston and the House leadership to bring the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation North Georgia office to our community will have economic impact to the entire region. We look forward to continuing to work to insure the success of the center and all of our partners within CORE,” remarked Lex Rainey, Greater Gilmer Joint Development Authority Chairman of the Board.
Located in Gilmer County, Ellijay is a thriving rural community in the North Georgia mountains, offering a unique blend of southern hospitality and natural beauty. The area leads Georgia in apple production and is a center for agribusiness and agritourism.
For more information about the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation, visit http://www.ruralga.org/.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – “This is the kind of project that will spread prosperity throughout our entire region. It is the kind of skin-in-the-game project that deserves support…” Georgia Speaker of the House, David Ralston praised the CORE Facility in Ellijay who hosted their official ribbon-cutting today.
Nestled just off Maddox Drive on the banks of the Coosawattee River in Ellijay, Georgia, the CORE Facility hosts business offices and incubation locations for entrepreneurs and start-ups in need of an office or workspace without the hassles of long-term investment.
However, the facility’s impact reaches so much farther than the city limits or the county’s borders. Today marked a celebration for the region and for the state. Representatives statewide joined together for this ribbon cutting including Gilmer Commission Chairman Charlie Paris, Gilmer Post Commissioner Karleen Ferguson, Pickens Commission Chairman Rob Jones, Fannin Commission Chairman Stan Helton, Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston, State Senator Steve Gooch, State Representative of District 11 Rick Jasperse, Ellijay City Mayor Al Hoyle, Gilmer Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs, and many representatives from the Ellijay and East Ellijay City Councils and Gilmer Board of Education. Efforts from many organizations have led into combined organizations such as the Greater Gilmer Joint Development Authority (JDA) and the Greater Gilmer Community Foundation.
That Foundation was the birthplace of the initiative to build CORE. According to Kent Sanford, Executive Director of the Greater Gilmer JDA and part of the Greater Gilmer Community Foundation, a 14-month birth cycle has finally come to full fruition.
While the celebration was a culmination of efforts so far, it is only the beginning. It is a project that holds great impact on the future, according to Ralston who said, “It will create jobs in our area. The jobs of tomorrow will be possible because of the work that goes on in this building.”
Ralston also dedicated support to the facility as he announced, “Because of the local commitment to the CORE building the State of Georgia, through our OneGeorgia Authority, is awarding $420,000 to this project to be used for Facility purchase and improvement costs. This $420,000 grant is historic, both in terms of its dollar amount and the impact it will have on this project and community.”
Ralston continued speaking about the economic development and job creation in the county before offering the second announcement of the day regarding the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation, also known as Georgia’s Rural Center.
Ralston stated at the ribbon-cutting, “I am proud to announce that the new North Georgia of the Georgia Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation will be housed right here in Ellijay in this facility. The office will be led by Janet Cochran.”
Ralston’s office later offered a full Press Release on the announcement stating the center serves as a central information and research hub for rural best practices, including community planning, industry-specific assistance and cooperative efforts with community partners. The center was proposed by the House Rural Development Council in 2017 and was created by House Bill 951, which was enacted in 2018.
These announcements were applauded by those present and praised by the Chairman of the Gilmer Chamber, John Marshall, who said, “Mr. Speaker, once again you have proven yourself to be the very epitome of a stalwart and faithful advocate not only to your hometown and all the other communities in these beautiful North Georgia Mountains, but to each and every corner of the state of Georgia.”
President of the Gilmer Chamber, Paige Green also praised the facility as the realization of a dream for the community that has spread to benefit not only one county but something larger that now spans the region.
Today was a celebration of completing the first steps of a larger plan for the facility. Though it is now open, it is only the first phase of that dream. Director Sanford noted last year that the hopes for the facility include two more phases.
In Phase II, the foundation will continue renovation onto the second floor to open up a larger area for education and training in a 1,200 square foot space upstairs.
In Phase III, hopes for the CORE Facility could extend into the schools for things like STEM Classes, STEM Saturdays, or other forays into education connection. Consolidating resources for these could include shared STEM kits or a shared expense for a STEM subscription service involving 3d-printing necessary components. However, specific details into PHASE III have yet to be finalized.
Ultimately, the CORE wants to continue spreading and growing this larger community where possible. Opportunities that may come have yet to be revealed, but one ribbon-cutting today, one celebration, can lead to something bigger than imagining tomorrow.
It was a windy, but beautiful afternoon at Bent Tree yesterday afternoon as the PHS Golf team hosted the Sonoraville Phoenix. The Dragons & Dragonettes golf teams have performed very well this season & looked to continue with the regular season coming to an end.
The front 9, was closed so the teams got a little treat in being able to play the back 9, & test their skill with all that it brings. In the end, Pickens & Sonoraville split the match. The PHS Girls, took home the win, 160-181, while the Phoenix got the win in a closely nit battle with the Dragons, 168-172.
Pickens, will have one more match before they head to the 6-AAAA Region Tournament. That match, will be next Tuesday at Bent Tree, where they will host the Gilmer Bobcats & Lady Cats for Senior Night. Tee off is set for 4 pm.
Public Release by: Piedmont Healthcare
Atlanta, Ga. (March 13, 2019) – Piedmont Healthcare now offers Rachel’s Gift, a non-profit program that provides support and guidance services to families who have suffered the loss of an infant, at 10 of its hospital locations.
Started in 2008, Rachel’s Gift partners with hospitals to assist families through the initial phase of infant loss. In coordination with the hospital’s labor and delivery, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and emergency department staff, Rachel’s Gift trains on grief assistance and companioning patients through infant loss.
“Rachel’s Gift is a very special program, and we’re proud to be able to train our staff to offer the services that it provides,” said Carolene Gaster, Clinical Manager of Labor and Delivery at Piedmont Mountainside Hospital. “The program helps our local hospitals provide a healthy environment to begin the grieving process for families, while also providing lifetime keepsakes of their child. It’s a really special program.”
With Rachel’s Gift, hospital staff receives regular training written by licensed professional counselors as well as families who have experienced infant loss, educating them in the grief process. The program has training specific to NICU services, as well as services in the emergency department, helping families experiencing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), an unexpected death that usually occurs during sleep, and families with early-term infant loss who visit the emergency room.
“It equips hospital staff with an outline to help families face the grief,” said Gaster. “Thanks to the program, these families also have access to a 24-hour hotline to call when they’re in need of assistance after they leave our care.”
Rachel’s Gift also gives families a keepsakes of their child, and families receive a package that includes items such as clay kits to collect hands and footprints of their child, a special album, a book to guide them in grieving, and information about businesses in their local community that provide free counseling and other support services that these families may need.
“It’s amazing to see our program being utilized throughout the Piedmont Healthcare system,” said Lori Beth Blaney, director of Rachel’s Gift. “Our nationally accredited training course equips staff with the tools and training to deliver compassionate patient care, while also providing a gift that gives these families special keepsakes for a lifetime reminder and a physical reminder of their child.”
Piedmont’s hospitals comprise 10 of the 27 hospitals in Georgia that offer Rachel’s Gift’s free services, and the program is available at Piedmont Atlanta, Piedmont Athens Regional, Piedmont Columbus Regional Midtown, Piedmont Fayette, Piedmont Henry, Piedmont Mountainside, Piedmont Newnan, Piedmont Newton, Piedmont Rockdale and Piedmont Walton hospitals.
For more information about maternity services at Piedmont Healthcare, visit piedmont.org.
(Photos provided by Pickens County Sheriff’s Office)
MARBLE HILL, Ga. – According to Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Captain Kris Stancil, a recent accident led to a drawn-out search and capture of one Richard Eric Duckett, 25.
The Pickens Sheriff involved support from four other agencies including GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation), Georgia State Patrol, the Gilmer Sheriff’s Office, and the Cherokee-Pickens multi-agency SWAT team.
Though they did eventually capture Duckett, what follows is the Pickens Sheriff’s Public Release about the events leading up to his capture.
During a bizarre twist of events, an accident that deputies responded to on Highway 53 East in Marble Hill Georgia on March 7th at approximately 10:30 pm, turned out to be an Aggravated Assault case. Upon arrival at an accident, deputies found the driver of one vehicle to be suffering from a gunshot wound to his leg. Another vehicle, a motorcycle, was also found wrecked with no driver in site.
Recognizing that this was more than an accident, deputies requested the assistance of detectives, the Georgia State Patrol and later the GBI Crime Scene Unit to respond as well.
What we have learned about this active case is that a domestic dispute erupted at a residence on Andiron Way in Marble Hill Georgia. During the dispute, Richard Eric Duckett (age 25) shot Roy Joseph Holloway in the right leg. After shooting Holloway, Duckett then fled the residence on a Yamaha Motorcycle. Holloway then got into a Lexus passenger car and began to chase after him.
As they traveled East on Hwy 53 East, Duckett lost control of the motorcycle and wrecked in the 10000 block of Hwy 53 East, near the J.M. Huber Corporation. Holloway then continued to travel East for approximately ½ mile before he wrecked the car near Pea Ridge Road.
Holloway was transported by ambulance and was treated for his injuries and released.
A search for Duckett began using the assistance of a Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office canine unit. Following a track and additional witness information, it was determined that Duckett had received a ride back to the residence at 18 Andiron Way. Once this information was obtained, detectives obtained a Search Warrant and Arrest Warrant for Mr. Duckett. Due to no one answering the multiple attempts to come to the door, the Cherokee-Pickens multi-agency SWAT team was requested to execute entry and conduct a search warrant.
During the execution of the search warrant, Mr. Duckett was not found in the residence but Patrick Scheibel (age 20) was arrested for Obstruction of Law Enforcement Officers.
Deputies continued to search for Duckett in the immediate area throughout the night.
On Friday, March 8th, deputies were called to a residence in the area of Duckett Lane for an individual requesting an ambulance due to a motorcycle accident. Upon arrival, they learned that the individual was Mr. Duckett. He had what appear to be non-life-threatening injuries and was transported by ambulance to an area hospital for treatment. Detective accompanied him on the transport.
This case is still being actively investigated to determine the events that led up to the shooting and to process the evidence obtained at the residence and in the vehicles.
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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
What is your favorite love song?
FYN’s Valentine’s Day Giveaway!
FYN & local businesses have put together a basket to make your Valentine’s Day Special.
Thank you to:
Ellijay’s Hometown Florist- $50 Gift Card & Valentine’s Vase
River Street Tavern- $25 Gift Card
Tea Tree’s Boutique Spa- Aroma Therapy Massage
GTC Mountain Cinemas- 2 Movie Tickets
Carrington Coffee-.$20 Gift Card
1. Leave a reply the Facebook post CLICK HERE and answer “What is your favorite love song?”
2. LIKE, SHARE & FOLLOW Facebook.com/Fetch.YourNews
Entries must be in by 2/11/19
The winner will be announced by BKP on GMFTO
On Wed 2/13/19 @ 8:30AM