Ellijay sees surge at gas pumps with Colonial Pipeline shutdown

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ELLIJAY, Ga. – With the recent news of both the Colonial Pipeline’s shutdown and restart, many citizens have resorted to stocking and gathering extra gas. While citizens have reported people filling extra cans and tanks in Gilmer County, nothing has yet been reported as some photos on the internet show in major cities where people are filling everything from trash cans to plastic bags in order to store and collect gasoline for future use.

Despite the lines and crowds of this week, today saw gas stations across Ellijay with very few cars waiting and very few stations closed.

On Tuesday, Governor Brian Kemp suspended Georgia’s gas tax and prohibited price gouging. The Murphy gas station in the Walmart parking lot in Ellijay had an attendant walking pump to pump on Tuesday, some said the attendant was monitoring vehicles to make sure no one person was filling too many extra tanks. However, the attendant declined to comment with the media directly.

But Murphy is not the only station that would be doing this. One resident living in Pickens, Mark said that he found the BP in Jasper limiting the amount of gas citizens could buy as well.

Lines have formed over the last few days as people continue either topping off their tanks or collecting extra, and Green’s Country Store at the corner of Old Highway 5 and Highway 515 did have its sign shutdown on Tuesday. The Conoco next to the Walgreens in Ellijay also had pumps closed one day. However, despite some closures here and there and lines for only a couple days, the county has not seen mass shutdowns or devastating effects like some major cities.

gas

Shutdowns have occurred in Gilmer County, but not to the extent of some larger cities. Still, some stations like the Valero on Highway 382 have seen the effects of the surge in the county.

That does not mean that authorities are not responding and trying to help citizens. Gilmer’s Public Safety Department posted to social media yesterday saying “The Georgia Consumer Affairs Protection Division has set up phone lines for the purpose of reporting price gouging.”

Federal authorities are saying that many places will see a “return to operations” by the weekend. In fact, as pictured, most gas stations in Gilmer today are devoid of the lines from the past few days, and few have been seen closed.

Attacked by hackers, media reports have indicated that Colonial Pipeline paid the ransomware attack to the tune of $5 million. Nobody knows if that cost is going to keep gas prices high in the coming weeks. Gilmer alone saw many of its stations hovering around and just under $3 per gallon over the last few days, while before the attack, most prices were closer to $2.70 per gallon.

Although there have been no current reports in Ellijay or East Ellijay, citizens have feared over the last few days that some might seek to take advantage of the shortage by hiking prices to outrageous amounts. For those cases of extreme hikes, Gilmer Public Safety’s post about price gouging included some directions for reporting.

The Division has been overwhelmed with calls and asks that you review and confirm the elements of price gouging, as outlined below, before calling their office.

They can be reached at 404-651-8600 or Toll Free 1-800-869-1123 if outside of the Metro Atlanta calling area. Representatives are available weekdays between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM on Friday.

Price gouging in Georgia is defined as follows:
Selling items or services determined by the Governor during a declared state of emergency to be necessary for public safety at a higher cost than they were immediately prior to the declaration.
Charged as a deceptive or unfair trade practice (and investigated by the AG as such); an additional civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation if “disaster-related.”

One day ago, massive lines and wait times plagued gas stations like this one in Blairsville, Georgia.

Disaster strikes Gilmer with Major flooding

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Flooding

GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – Stranded cars, road washouts, mudslides, and many other dangers have already been reported to Gilmer County Public Safety late tonight amid continued flooding, March 25, 2021, as they continue planning and responding to the issues present in the night.

Officials are calling for citizens to remain indoors tonight with flashlights ready as any homes have already lost power. They are suggesting people charge your cell phones immediately in case of these situations.

FloodingGilmer County Schools have already issued a delay to school starting tomorrow, Friday, March 26, 2021.  According to the school system, “Storms overnight are expected to cause additional downed trees, power outages, and flooding.”

In the interest of safety, the schools have instituted a 2-hour-delay as of now. The statement said they will send out a text-blast to parents in the morning.

With the continuing rain forecasted well into the early hours of Friday, Gilmer County Public Safety released a statement on the river in Ellijay saying, “The United States Geological Survey is predicting the Coosawattee River to crest at 14.7′ around 7:00AM. That’s nearly 4′ above major flood level – and extremely…extremely dangerous. We cannot stress enough that no one should be driving through ANY flooded area. There are already hidden washouts, mudslides, stranded cars, roads and trees under water, and other dangers we do not even know of as yet.
Please, please stay at home Friday morning for a few hours. We will keep you informed about the conditions in the county as they change.”

Along with their statement comes reports of several places already under water or expected to be by morning including the Pilgrims’ Pride parking lot. The American Legion building is already flooded under several feet of water as is the Georgia Power Substation and Harold Hefner River Park.

Public Safety has also reported that State Highway 52 will be closing at 15 feet of flooding.

With plans in place for evacuations and recovery, Public Safety is working through the current storm alongside GEMA, the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Georgia, and local authorities.

A Tornado Watch has also been issued until 2 a.m.

According to the National Weather Service, “Expect minor damage to tree limbs and blowing around of light…unsecured objects. Heavy rain may cause temporary street flooding especially in poor drainage areas.”

Several people have already reported driveways washing out, culverts displacing, and roads submerged and uncrossable. Public Safety is responding and should be contacted in cases of emergency.

Grease fire shuts down Hardee’s in East Ellijay

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Hardee

ELLIJAY, Ga. – According to witnesses, the Hardee’s in East Ellijay on Industrial Blvd suffered a fire in the early hours of today, November 25, 2020.

While it is unclear if anyone was hurt by the fire, there appears to be no major damage to the exterior. However, it is our current understanding that the fire forced the restaurant to close for the day.

FYN has reached out to Gilmer County’s Public Safety and Gilmer Fire for details and is currently awaiting more information about the incident. FYN has been told that the fire started in the grease trap, but Gilmer Fire has not confirmed this.

Authorities were on scene this morning, but have since left the location.

 

East Ellijay Police Officer Arrested. Theft by Taking

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The GBI arrested East Ellijay Police Office Michael McClure at approximately noon today February 14th 2018.  A copy of Booking report and warrant below.  FYN has requested a statement from the GBI and East Ellijay Police Chief Larry Callahan.

Below is a Press Release Statement from East Ellijay Chief of Police, Larry Callahan.

Tax Tips with H & R Block, Beth Bennett – Unexpected Taxable Income

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H & R Block, Beth Bennett shares information about unexpected taxable income. 1) Unemployment Earnings 2) Lottery and Gambling Winnings 3) Credit Forgiveness 4) 401 K Plans. In this segment Beth addresses the unexpected taxable income that may occur throughout the year.

BBQ & Brews Smokin’ up the Mountains draws large crowd over Labor Day Weekend

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BBQ & Brews presented the first ever Smokin’ Up The Mountains BBQ and Craft Beer Festival in East Ellijay on Saturday, September 3rd in the field by Longhorns!  Eastcoast BBQ & Rescue BBQ made the top of the BBQ Competition!  The weather was beautiful and it appeared to be a huge success! Festivities included: 

BBQ Competition sanctioned by the Georgia Barbecue Association
BBQ Food Vendors
Huge Craft Beer Selection
Live Music
Incredible Vendors
Free Kid’s Area
$5 Admission for adults. Children under 10 were free.

* Portion of proceeds benefit the Gilmer County Rotary Club!   Enjoy the photos!

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Hit and Run by Walmart in Gilmer County leaves 18 year old with serious injuries

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Police are investigating a hit and run which occurred Friday night, August 12th at approximately 10:40 pm.  FYN spoke with the sister of the 18 year old man who was struck while searching for his phone on the service road which runs by the Walmart in Gilmer County.   The hit and run left the young man with a fractured skull and eye socket.  Authorities were called and the victim was transported to Kennestone Hospital where he was treated and kept overnight.

Witnesses describe the car involved in the hit and run as a dark colored,  newer model Chevrolet Camaro possibly dark blue or black.   Police and family members are asking for the public’s help in locating the vehicle.  The victim’s sister has this plea for the public,

Please let us know if you have any information about this person, he(she) needs to be held responsible for what he did to my brother.

Be on the lookout for a dark colored car which likely has damage to the hood.  Anyone with any information should contact local authorities.    FetchYourNews.com will update as additional information becomes available.

Judge Weaver Resigns as Chair of JQC

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Appalachian Judicial Circuit Chief Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver has resigned as Chairperson and member of the Judicial Qualifications Commission.  Judge Weaver gave her resignation today August 12, 2016.  She expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to serve and thanked the other members saying,

I sincerely appreciate the opportunity I was given  to serve as a member and as the Chairperson of this commission.  The work of this  commission is extremely  important and nothing and no one should distract from its duties and responsibilities.  As a member,  each of you spend  a lot of time each month, reading  materials and preparing for each meeting.  Thank you.
Weaver presides in the Adult Felony Drug Court and the Veterans Court in her circuit.  Last night, August the 11th, there was a total of 10 participants who graduated from the two courts.   She says she plans to use the additional time she now will have to continue to expand and improve the services that these courts provide for the citizens of her circuit.
                               2015 Drug Court Graduation

 

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