North Georgia Chairmen urge Kemp to close State Parks

Community, News
Georgia, North Georgia, Governor, Brian Kemp, State Parks, Close, Shut Down, Letter, Chairmen, Habersham, Rabun, Franklin, Towns, White, Gilmer, Dade, Fannin, Union, Lumpkin, Stephens, Banks, Travis Turner, Tim Stamey, Greg James

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Twelve Commission Chairmen from North Georgia counties have joined together and signed a letter asking Governor Brian Kemp to shut down the State Parks.

“It appears that these nonresidents believe our area is a safe haven because of its rural nature. To the contrary, the influx of people into our communities has had a staggering detrimental effect on our resources,” the letter to Kemp read in part.

Georgia, North Georgia, Governor, Brian Kemp, State Parks, Close, Shut Down, Letter, Chairmen, Habersham, Rabun, Franklin, Towns, White, Gilmer, Dade, Fannin, Union, Lumpkin, Stephens, Banks, Travis Turner, Tim Stamey, Greg James

Habersham County Commissioner District 5 Tim Stamey

The letter goes on to outline the resources in our area that have been affected by the out-of-towners looking to seclude themselves, including in these resources are food, dry goods and fuel.

It goes on to inform Kemp that our area is not equipped medically: “Our communities simply do not have enough hospital beds or medical personnel to care for the inflated population.”

Though only serving as a commissioner for a little over three months, Habersham County Commissioner District 5 Tim Stamey felt he needed to be proactive in bringing a solution to this problem: “I am a retired special operator and we don’t sit around talking about things, we get it done.”

Stamey who sits on the County Health Board said, “I’m on the County Health Board and talk to Healthcare workers in my county on a daily basis. They are the heros/heroines in all this. This virus does not spread itself on the wind.”

Moccasin Creek State Park, situated just North of Unicoi State park has been “crazy, 4th of July crazy” for the past three weekends according to Stamey, who has witnessed the impact on his county first hand.

Stamey initially contacted Rabun County Chairman Greg James and White County Chairman Travis Turner.

“I started this by just trying to get border counties on board,” Stamey said and added, “Then Chairmen were like well, did you call such and such, I know they feel the same way. It just kept getting bigger and bigger.”

Stamey said that all Commission Chairmen were helpful, on board, and taking the matter seriously: “I talked to most of them several times and for up to an hour each time.”

Stamey, along with the 12 county chairmen and many residents, is hoping that this letter will get the attention of Kemp. The letter in closing states: “On behalf of the many citizens that live in North Georgia who entrust us as County Commissioners to represent their interests, we respectfully ask you to close all of the state parks located in our area immediately.”

Georgia, North Georgia, Governor, Brian Kemp, State Parks, Close, Shut Down, Letter, Chairmen, Habersham, Rabun, Franklin, Towns, White, Gilmer, Dade, Fannin, Union, Lumpkin, Stephens, Banks, Travis Turner, Tim Stamey, Greg James

Georgia, North Georgia, Governor, Brian Kemp, State Parks, Close, Shut Down, Letter, Chairmen, Habersham, Rabun, Franklin, Towns, White, Gilmer, Dade, Fannin, Union, Lumpkin, Stephens, Banks, Travis Turner, Tim Stamey, Greg James

 

Click Here to read about National Park Closures in our area

Author

Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

CORE receives grant and state office at ribbon-cutting

News

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.

Left to right, Gilmer Commission Chairman Charlie Paris, Fannin Commission Chairman Stan Helton, and Pickens Commission Chairman Rob Jones celebrate with Greater Gilmer JDA Executive Director Kent Sanford at the CORE Facility ribbon-cutting in Ellijay, Georgia, on July 24, 2019.

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.”

Speaker of the House, David Ralston announces a $420,000 state grant for the CORE facility to applause from attendees at the ribbon-cutting on July 24, 2019.

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.

The Georgia Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation, also known as Georgia’s Rural Center, was officially announced to open a North Georgia Office at Gilmer’s CORE facility during a ribbon-cutitng on July 24, 2019.

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.

Speaker Ralston Announces North Georgia Office of the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation in Ellijay

News
(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/.

PHS Golf Splits Match With Sonoraville, Senior Night Tuesday

Team FYN Sports

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.

Piedmont Brings New, Unique Support Program to its Local Hospitals

News
Piedmont Mountainside
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.

Multi-Agency search ends with suspect capture

News

(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.

Richard Eric Duckett

Richard Eric Duckett

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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Community, Featured Stories

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Georgia Election Run-Off Results

Election 2018

 2018 Georgia Election Run-Off Results

Tonight marks the run-offs for election races in Georgia, these results are unofficial until approved by the Secretary of State.

 

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 756,016 votes   51.97%

John Barrow (D) – 698,770 votes   48.03%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 749,805 votes   51.83%

Lindy Miller (D) – 696,957 votes   48.17%

 

 

Check for local results by county here:

 

Gilmer

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 4,337 votes   83.13%

John Barrow (D) – 880 votes   16.87%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 4,250 votes   81.79%

Lindy Miller (D) – 946 votes   18.21%

 

Pickens

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 4,408 votes   84.01%

John Barrow (D) – 839 votes   15.99%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 4,325 votes   82.70%

Lindy Miller (D) – 905   17.30%

 

Fannin

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 3,522 votes   81.89%

John Barrow (D) – 779 votes   18.11%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 3,454 votes   80.57%

Lindy Miller (D) – 833 votes   19.43%

 

Dawson

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 3,985 votes   85.83%

John Barrow (D) – 658 votes   14.17%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 3,939 votes   85.02%

Lindy Miller (D) – 694 votes   14.98%

 

White

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 4,063 votes   82.78%

John Barrow (D) – 845 votes   17.22%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 3,960 votes   80.82%

Lindy Miller (D) – 940 votes   19.18%

 

Union

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 4,246 votes   80.92%

John Barrow (D) – 1,001 votes   19.08%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 4,108 votes   78.65%

Lindy Miller (D) – 1,115 votes   21.35%

 

Towns

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 2,161 votes   79.95%

John Barrow (D) – 542 votes   20.05%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 2,105 votes   78.22%

Lindy Miller (D) – 586 votes   21.78%

 

Murray

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 2,699 votes   88.99%

John Barrow (D) – 334 votes   11.01%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 2,691 votes   88.84%

Lindy Miller (D) – 338 votes   11.16%

 

Lumpkin

Secretary of State

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 3,378 votes   78.47%

John Barrow (D) – 927 votes   21.53%

 

Public Service Commission, District 3

Chuck Eaton (R) – 3,337 votes   77.89%

Lindy Miller (D) – 947 votes   22.11%

Kenneth John Cody: Obituary

Obituaries
Kenneth John Cody

March 23, 1953 – October 23, 2018

Mr. Kenneth John Cody, Jr, age 65, passed away October 23, 2018 at his residence in Ellijay, GA

Mr. Cody is survived by his mother: Ann Cody of East Point, GA. Brothers: Cary Cody of Newnan, GA and Tim Cody of East Point.

Mr. Cody is preceded in death by his wife: Sharon Cody; Son: Keith Cody; Daughter: Leanne Cody.

A memorial service will be announced latter.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Homestead Hospice.

Cagle Funeral Home is Honored to serve the Cody family.

Betty Fitz Harlan: Obituary

Obituaries
Betty Fitz Harlan

February 01, 1927 – October 14, 2018

Ms. Betty Fitz Harlan, age 91, of Jasper, GA passed away October 14, 2018 at Tranquility Hospice in Kennesaw Mtn, Hospice in Marietta.

Ms. Harlan, is survived by her Son and Daughter-In-Law: Ralph Eric & Lisa Harlan of Kennesaw, GA. Daughter: Diana Harlan Walls of Rome, GA.  Six Grandchildren – Tracy Harlan, Dayna & Victor Jacobs, Lisa & Tom Masci, Brent & Melissa Harlan,  Kimberly & Matthew Dice, Mary & Cole Wallace, and Sixteen Great-Grandchildren also survive.

Ms. Harlan was preceded in death by her Parents: Ralph & Mildred Fitz: Sister: Beulah Marsh; Grandson: Ralph Eric Harlan.

Visitation will began Friday, October 19, 2018 at 4:00 PM till 9:00 PM. Saturday, October 20, 8:00 AM until the funeral hour.

Funeral service will be held 2:00 PM, Saturday October 20, in the Chapel of Cagle Funeral Home. Rev. Roger Canuel officiating.

Pall Bearer: Steve Marsh, Steven Marsh, Bret Harlan, David Cole, Nick Jacobs, and Darrell Levenwolf.

Interment will be at Jasper City Cemetery, in Jasper, GA,  immediately following the funeral service.

The family will accept flowers or donate to a charity of your choice.

Cagle Funeral Home is honored to serve the Harlan family.

Former Student found dead amid allegations

News

Cherry Log, Ga. – Amidst allegations and being wanted “in connection with kidnapping and sexual assault,” Bradley Justin Cochran was found dead yesterday in Metter, Ga from an apparent suicide.

Cochran lived in Cherry Log, Ga and was a former student of Pickens County High School, according to his Facebook Profile.

A release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) states the Cochran allegedly forced his way into a vehicle with three women at a grocery store in Statesboro. After they drove into Candler County, Cochran allegedly sexually assaulted two of the women before stealing the car and leaving the females on foot.

The Statesboro Police Department posted on their Facebook Page Monday saying, “As events unfolded, our officers were amazed by their strength and bravery. These women were just minding their own business, trying to leave the parking lot, when a stranger threatened them with a knife and forced his way into their vehicle.”

All three survived the encounter. Police say it is simply because of the quick action in a fight for survival. Hailing the girls as survivors and warriors.

They continued to praise the victims for their action as they “were able to create a diversion so one of them could escape, from a moving vehicle, to get help. She was able to give law enforcement vital information that led to the identification of the suspect and helped locate the other two women, and most likely saved their lives.”

The GBI was requested to join the investigation on Sunday, August 26, by the Candler County Sheriff’s Office and the Statesboro Police Department.

As the search for Cochran grew to include all three agencies, the Candler County Sheriff’s Office stated, “There was an extensive investigation and manhunt throughout the night and into the morning. All agencies and personnel involved demonstrated how a multi-agency operation should be carried out.”

At this time, the investigation into the incident is still ongoing, but the GBI did confirm that Cochran’s body will be sent to the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office in Savannah, Ga for official cause and manner of death.

 

FREE HIV Testing at Public Health Facilities in North Georgia

Health

NATIONAL HIV TESTING DAY

June 27th

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.

 

Work on a project to upgrade signals at four intersections in Fannin, Gilmer and Pickens

Press Release

Work to begin soon on four signal upgrades in Fannin, Gilmer and Pickens counties 

  • ELLIJAY, Ga. – Work could begin soon on a signal upgrade project in at various location in Fannin, Gilmer and Pickens counties. Georgia DOT has just awarded a contract to World Fiber Technologies, LLC. of Land O Lake, Florida, valued at close to a million dollars for a construction project to upgrade the signals at four intersections in these three counties. The project includes a complete signal upgrade with pedestrian accommodation for every intersection. This would bring these intersections up to ADA requirements and replace old signal parts in place. The four intersections are at the following locations:
  • State Route (SR) 515 at Ballewtown Road in Fannin County
  • SR 52 at SR 2/River Street in Gilmer County
  • SR 53 Business at Main Street in Pickens County
  • SR 53 Business at Sammy McGhee Blvd in Pickens County

“This project and others like it in northwest Georgia add up to these two things- better and safer mobility and a better quality of life for all the area residents,” said Grant Waldrop, assistant district engineer at the Georgia DOT office in Cartersville.

This signal upgrade project is scheduled to be completed by the end of June 2019, at a construction cost of $736,739. Information on construction and lane closure schedules on this project will be forthcoming before work begins.

More details on this and other projects in the Department’s most recent bid awards are available via Award Announcement Download at: https://www.bidx.com/ga/letting?lettingid=18051801.

The Georgia Department of Transportation continues its 2018 construction program.  Dozens of important roadway improvement projects are ongoing this summer throughout northwest Georgia as we work to deliver projects on time and on budget while keeping our transportation network the nation’s finest. Pardon the necessary inconvenience and please drive cautiously and safely at all times, especially in work zones.

The public is urged to “know before you go.” For real-time information on active construction, incidents and more, call 511 or visit www511ga.org before you get into your car.

Roadway work zones are hazardous for workers and for the public. In fact, most fatalities in work zones crashes are drivers or passengers. Obey the rules in work zones – Pay Attention – Slow Down – Watch for Workers.  And always, expect the unexpected. It can make the difference between life and death. Remember – work zone safety is in your hands. For information on the Department of Transportation, visit http://www.dot.ga.gov.  You also may like us on Facebook(https://www.facebook.com/GDOTNW) and follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/GDOTNW).

Mardi Gras In The Mountains 2019 King & Queen Nominees-Pickens

Community

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)

Where? Appalachian Campus of Chattahoochee Technical College

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 & 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.

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Gerard

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.

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Joan Chastain Weaver: Obituary

Obituaries

Ms. Joan Chastain Weaver, age 76, of Jasper, passed away October 15, 2018 at her residence.

Ms. Weaver is survived by her Son and Daughter-In-Law: Scotty and Mary Weaver of Ellijay. Brothers: Leon Chastain of Nelson and Billy Chastain of Jasper. Sisters: Nora Chambers of Talking Rock and Laverne Walker also of Talking Rock. Seven Grandchildren and Four Great-Grandchildren also survive.

Ms. Weaver is preceded in death by Son: Ricky Weaver. Brother: Gary Chastain and Fred Chastain. Sister: Kathleen Mulkey.

The family will be receiving friends, Wednesday, October 17, from 1:00 PM until 10:00 PM and Thursday, October 18, from 8:00 AM until the funeral hour.

Funeral Services will be held 2:00 PM at Cagle Funeral Home Chapel, with Rev. Roger Elliott officiating.

Pall Bearers: Henry Cantrell, Timmy Chastain, Shawn Chastain, Roger Mulkey, Jimmy Lee and Billy Buchanan.

Interment will be at Bethel Christian Church Cemetery immediately following the funeral service.

Flowers will be accepted or donations can be made to the American Cancer Society.

Cagle Funeral Home is honored to serve the Weaver family.

Dog bit by rabid raccoon in Talking Rock

News

Talking Rock, Ga – The North Georgia Health District, district office of the Georgia Department of Public Health, is warning citizens in both Pickens and Gilmer Counties to be aware of potentially rabid animals in the Talking Rock area.

The official statement by the office only reports of a dog bite sometime on September 4. While the raccoon was found and sent for testing, a positive return has officials in an alerted state. Since the animal has already been recovered, Gilmer County Environmental Health officials are simply urging pet owners to vaccinate their animals as it saved this dog’s life. He is currently under observation at home.

According to Andrea Mathis, county environmental health manager, there was no human exposure to the raccoon. She went on to say, “It’s imperative to maintain rabies vaccinations in our pets, not only for their protection, but to protect ourselves and our families from rabies. Once our pets are exposed to rabies, they can expose us, and rabies is virtually 100 percent fatal if not treated before symptoms begin.”

Check the full release below:

Gilmer County Environmental Health officials are urging residents to ensure pets are vaccinated against rabies after a Talking Rock dog was bitten by a rabid raccoon.

The raccoon fought with the dog outside a home in the Ruby Ridge Drive/Highway 136 area of Talking Rock near the Gilmer-Pickens County Line on September 4th.

The raccoon was shipped for testing to the Georgia Public Health Laboratory and the positive rabies results have now been reported to the Gilmer County Environmental Health office.

According to Andrea Mathis, county environmental health manager, there was no human exposure to the raccoon, and since the dog was currently vaccinated against rabies, it only required a booster shot and at-home observation for 45 days.

“It’s imperative to maintain rabies vaccinations in our pets, not only for their protection, but to protect ourselves and our families from rabies,” said Mathis. “Once our pets are exposed to rabies, they can expose us, and rabies is virtually 100 percent fatal if not treated before symptoms begin.”

An opportunity to get rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats at the reduced cost of $10.00 will be at the Fall Vaccines Clinic hosted by VCA Animal Appalachian Animal Hospital on September 29th. Other vaccines will be offered, as well. Please click on the attached flyer below to view various times and locations of the clinic that are being held throughout Gilmer County.

To learn more about rabies and how to protect against the disease, call the local county environmental health office. The number for Gilmer County Environmental Health is (706) 635-6050.

Additional rabies information is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov/rabies.

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