ELLIJAY, Ga. – Honoring the entire Ralston family for contributions to the county and the park specifically, including that of Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to rename the riverside park along Old Highway 5 to “Ralston River Park.”
Originating in this month’s meeting as an agenda item to rename the walking path for the Ralston family, discussion turned to the 28 years of service the county has received through numerous efforts from the family as a whole. Parks and Recreations Director Kevan White spoke during the Commissioners Work Session on the topic saying that some of those efforts include employment with the Parks and Rec Department, officiating basketball games over the years, memberships to the Parks and Rec Advisory Board, coaching various sports, GRPA awards and recognitions, state level service with public service since 1992, state legislation since 2002, volunteer services in disasters like Hurricane Isaac, state-level support in the recent upgrades, county level public service in the commissioners office, and more.
The original proposal the White spoke of was to name the path the “Ralston Riverwalk.” However, Post Commissioner Hubert Parker offered a step-up alternative in naming the whole park instead of the just the walking path. While White said he had thought about it, but didn’t propose it at first, he noted that several parts of the park, like the tennis courts, bear names of people who have dedicated great services to the county and the Parks and Recreation Department as well. White also noted that he has further plans for other dedications in the Clear Creek area as well.
Ultimately, no objection came, and a unanimous agreement to increase the dedication from the walking path to the park in general was made. The BOC May Regular meeting saw the formal motion to add the honorific.
The official name change completed, Chairman Charlie Paris did tell FYN that the county would be placing some sort of plaque or signage bearing the name in the future. But does not currently have a sign ready for it.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Gilmer 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.
ELLIJAY, Ga: Senator David Perdue (R) addressed his relationship with President Trump, voter turnout, and not debating Jon Ossoff on his bus tour through North Georgia.
Citing the earlier debates, Perdue didn’t see the necessity in rehashing the issues.
“I wanted to give him a chance to show Georgia what an empty suit he is,” Perdue explained, “How can someone lose a debate with himself? I mean, that is what we saw last night.”
The senator discussed his concerns about the “radical left agenda” moving forward if the Democrats win in January.
“We’ve held the line on Iran, and by removing ourselves from that JCPOA nuclear deal, we’ve now put tremendous pressure on Iran. We’ve stood up to China. We’ve got our trade deals moving. These are the things we can protect and hold the line against the radical leftist agenda the Democrats have put forward,” Perdue remarked.
He asserted the only way to protect the gains made is to “hold the line” against the Democrats.
As for President Trump, he’s instructed Perdue and Senator Kelly Loeffler to win their races.
“He has said ‘you’ve got to hold this Senate. We’ve got to win in January.’ He’s very disappointed that he hadn’t been able to get more of transparent accounting, if you will, of the signature absentee ballots, and so on and so forth,” Perdue stated.
Perdue pointed out that Loeffler and himself called for the resignation of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger weeks ago. He asserted that Georgia never had election problems before 2019-2020, and the consent decree between Raffensperger, Attorney General Chris Carr, and Stacey Abrams created this situation. Perdue asked for a “specific accounting of absentee ballots, relative to the validity of the signatures and the number of ballots versus envelopes.”
“We’re going to continue to make noise about,” Perdue affirmed. “If you look at the logic of saying ‘I’m upset about President Trump’s treatment or accounting of November 3, and therefore, I’m going to protest and not vote on January 5,’ what logic is that? That’s circular logic that basically gives the keys to the kingdom to the Democrats.”
Perdue will be in Union and Towns Counties on Tuesday, November 8.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – With the presidential election less than a month away, yesterday saw Gilmer County’s first day of early voting with lines stretching far out the door and down the sidewalk in front of the courthouse.
According to Chief Registrar Tammy Watkins, the county saw a total of 470 people vote early on the first day.
This is no shock, however, as the Registrars Office also reported record breaking turnouts this year in the June elections. At the time, Registrar Sherri Jones said that Friday, June 5, 2020, the final day of early voting, was their busiest day of the entire cycle.
However, that busiest day ended with 161 voters casting their ballots. This Presidential Election is already shattering any expectations from citizens and authorities. The line stretched long well past noon yesterday, and was wrapping around the square today as citizens lined up in the opposite direction.
Early voting has also taken up extra space. The Board of Commissioners, amid budget meetings this week, held their meetings in the Jury Assembly Room. While most of their meetings are being held there currently, due to needs for Social Distancing amid the Coronavirus, they also said their conference room is being used by elections and office staff as the early voting machines are spreading out through the Registrar’s Office to supply enough machines for early voting while also maintaining the same Social Distancing guidelines.
Citizens don’t seem to mind as some, who have never voted, are showing up for the first time ever. One person, who declined to give his name, said he searched and registered this year just to vote against those he saw as attacking the president and the current office.
Gilmer is also adding a new drop-off box this week for absentee ballots. Set in the parking lot of the courthouse, the new box is to be bolted into the ground allowing those dropping off ballots to not have to wait in line.
Watkins said in a meeting with the commissioners last week before early voting that absentee ballots could also be seeing minor issues with some as they originally request an absentee ballot or are on a rollover absentee list, but want to cancel their absentee ballot and vote in person.
Watkins explained that this happened in the last election as a large number of ballots request forms were sent out.
Additionally, if a request is marked with certain health or physical disabilities, these people can be put on a rollover list for absentee ballots as well.
While not an issue to handle and fix, the massive turnout already seen will inflate problems in this election as staff are keeping up with the number of people while also dealing with the usual corrections and details that come normally with early voting.
With no clear number on the amount of absentees that could be since we are so early in the cycle, the first day of early voting nearly tripled the busiest day from the last election. As the campaigns continue and more people find time to go to the Gilmer County Courthouse, 1 Broad St., in Ellijay, the numbers are looking like they will only go up from here to shatter previous records in early voting for the county.
Congressman Doug Collins visited Ellijay on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, for a Meet and Greet with citizens at the River Street Tavern. During the visit, he took a moment to react to allegations issued by the pro-Loeffler group GUV.
The candidate stopped for pictures and a short speech as the last stop in a day of similar events in the cities of Jasper and Resaca. In Ellijay, he told supporters that he wasn’t bothered by certain ads and increases in the campaign. He said he doesn’t have to buy a bunch of ads “swearing that I’m a conservative” because the people know who he is and his values.
The event saw the U.S. Senate candidate in the local restaurant, The River Street Tavern, with supporters and others looking to hear from him, along with local law enforcement, Republican Party representatives, Chairman Charlie Paris of the Board of Commissioners, and even Magistrate Judge Candidate Reagan Griggs Pritchett.
Collins touched on issues in his short speech including police support, buying the campaign, and the ads against him.
Collins said those running around saying to defund the police were disrespectful. Noting that he was a trooper’s kid, he said, “I want them to get themselves in a cop car somewhere, ride about a few nights, and do the job before they say anything else. Otherwise, shut up and start supporting our police.”
Collins added that “a bad officer needs to be gotten out immediately,” but said that charging a man with felony murder and not waiting for the GBI to do an investigation, not taking it before a Grand Jury, and then holding a press conference to make stuff up is wrong. Collins stated, “I’m going to stand and fight it every single time and call it what it is, and that is ‘wrong.'”
Collins also addressed several ads running against him. He pointed out one saying he was a lawyer, to which he replied that he believes in the entire constitution including the right to legal counsel and representation. Collins pointed out other ads by opponent Kelly Loeffler stating she is conservative, but he called it an “amazing, all-of-a-sudden decision by the Senator that she wanted to be perceived as conservative.” He asked where her voice and conservative values were in previous years over planned parenthood, the second amendment, and Black Lives Matter.
Collins also addressed the ads showing him and Stacy Abrams together saying that yes, he had a picture with her and they passed a continuation of the Hope Scholarship together saying, “I guess when you have enough money to go to school, you don’t have to worry about others being able to go to school, but we worked together to get that done.” He also added that he never hired Stacey Abrams as a lawyer for a basketball team or campaigned with her on the floor of the arena against Brian Kemp when he was running for Governor.
Collins said we have to accomplish a few things in the coming elections. The first is to elect Donald Trump to four more years. The second is to re-elect David Perdue to keep the Senate Red. The third is to look at the ballot and look for one name in the Senate Race, Doug Collins.
Collins said that the Governor picked his choice, and “that was his one vote.” Now, the election has the people’s vote.
Collins and Loeffler will first appear on the ballot on November 3, along with other Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and Independents for the senate seat.
FYN caught up with Collins for a moment after the event to ask about the campaign. Collins reiterated that his answer to the increase in ads and campaign funding was to be the man that the people know. He stated, “We don’t have to spend as much as she does.” as he said his campaign is going to continue the way it is going because the people know who he is and he doesn’t have to make up a campaign like she does.
When asked about campaigns from pro-Loeffler groups quoting Collins as saying Lobbyist are “essential” to the legislative process, Collins responded, “I think this is a sad, desperate attempt by an appointed Senator who has no record of her own.” He accused her of throwing the entire delegation under the bus as he asked, “Does Kelly say that she would vote against our agricultural needs and disaster relief in South Georgia?” and “Would she vote against the funding for our troops and funding for our cities and counties?”
He added, “They’re trying to make me out as something that most people know I am not… She is the one that is not a conservative and she is trying to cover up for it.”
Collins said he is looking forward to the office and he took this step into the campaign “because I believe that the Senate seat in Georgia needs somebody who actually knows how to fight. I believe they need somebody in this seat that actually knows how to get something done, who actually knows how to take the values of the State of Georgia, and take them all across the nation and knows that their is somebody that, without a doubt, has this Presidents back, and I will always have it as we go forward.”
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Both protesters and police commented tonight with two words that many have not heard recently in news, a “peaceful protest” in Ellijay concluded despite rain and counter-protests in the area.
Authorities prepared after permits were approved yesterday, June 3, for a planned protest expecting 25 to 30 people in attendance. Even Eloisa Rafael, one of three students who were the organizers of the event along with Pedro Chavez and Nashely Hernandez, said that they were expecting around 25 people when they were planning and speaking with friends.
Instead, what the three students saw, were preliminary estimates closer to 200 people gathered in and around the roundabout in Downtown Ellijay with signs, speeches, and chants for support of the Black Lives Matter movements and for prominent names in both media and movements around the country.
All three of the organizers voiced their surprise and excitement at the larger turnout saying that they felt very encouraged by the level of community support in that way.
As protestors began the rally at 4:00 p.m., organizers called for peace and non-violence as they voiced opinions and chants, one man even stood to call for dialogue with police as he said that without dialogue, there can be no change. One of their first speakers, Pastor Robert Diaz, spoke a prayer over the gathering before offering words of encouragement for equality and rights saying, “We are going to make every effort, every day, to let our kids know, and our society know, that love shall prevail over hate, over discrimination, and whatever else.”
Diaz later said in an interview after the event that he was there to support the Black Lives Matter movement saying, “Obviously, all lives do matter, but in this instance, it is actually the black community that is actually more oppressed. We can see that all over, for decades… We are here as a nation, united, to raise our voice and to let the world know that this has to stop.”
Protesters continued under police supervision throughout their two-hour-long rally with speakers and representatives from the community including ministers and students who called for attention to social issues including the death of George Floyd and other media reports of police violence.
Protest organizer Nashely Hernandez said, “I helped organize this today because people need to stop being judge just because of the color of their skin.”
Others echoed the sentiment saying that the message of love and cooperation was central to what they wanted to convey. Local minister, Reverand Adam Bradley, of the Cherry Log Christian Church said, “Be Love” as he spoke to those gathered and offered his message of loving each other in the community.
After allowing certain community members to step forward to speak as well as prepared speakers, chants rang out through the downtown area as they continued their demonstration. Before long, a second group had formed on North Main Street counter-protesting the demonstration. Police stepped in to keep the groups separate, and while chants and rhetoric came from both sides, police and authorities maintained order in the separation of the groups throughout the rally’s length.
Police involvement stretched beyond one entity, however. The Ellijay Police Department lead permitting and planning for the event. However, authorities present at the event shared information that support and deputies came from all around the area as representatives of the Gilmer Sheriff’s Office and Fannin Sheriff’s Office along with other law enforcement officers from Whitfield and Cherokee Counties.
Protest organizer Pedro Chavez said, “We have had a good interaction with the police. We’ve had good communication. They understand what we’re here to do. They understand that we are here to protest peacefully… We appreciate their assistance, but we are here to protest against police brutality, against discrimination, against racism. But overall, we have had a good interaction with the police department.”
On the police side of the event, Ellijay Police Chief Edward Lacey said, “We couldn’t hope for a better event.”
He added that situations like today are always tense because of the unknown. But said, “The organizers were upfront with us and worked with us. That showed that they had a legitimate exercise of their first amendment rights.” As he addressed in an interview, one of the key points of the event was that the group pf protesters peacefully gathered and shared their message and peacefully left.
Those protesters pushed on despite counter-protests and even a bout of heavy rainfall, soaking many of those present as the stood in the center of the roundabout with only trees for cover. One protester repeatedly offered prayers throughout the event and continued his offerings through the same rainfall. He said he was protesting and stayed because “I think we all need to come together as a community, the police and the people, and put away the hate with love and prayer. Support Back the Blue and Black Lives Matter.”
Many others also offered support for both movements, including Karen Brown, who said, “There is no justice untill ALL God’s people are equal.”
Brown, a former teacher, referenced the “8 minutes 46 seconds,” a common reference to the death of George Floyd, as she too said that all lives do matter, but “right now the issue is black lives.”
As the rally concluded and protesters dispersed, many offered statements saying this is only the beginning and promises to each other that they would see them again soon. Eloisa Rafael also said she expects more, “I expect for this not to be the end of it. I expect for Ellijay to keep growing, keep changing, and understand that we are all equal.”
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.
The NEW FYN Classifieds
The NEW FYN Classifieds making it easy to buy, sell, and trade 24/7. You can place an ad online in just a few clicks. Place an ad and find what you’re looking for.
Garage sales, services, realestate, cars, boats, clothes……….
Visit the new FYN Classifieds where you can buy, sell and trade with your community.
The NEW FYN Classifieds
The NEW FYN Classifieds making it easy to buy, sell, and trade 24/7. You can place an ad online in just a few clicks. Place an ad and find what you’re looking for.
Garage sales, services, realestate, cars, boats, clothes……….
Visit the new FYN Classifieds where you can buy, sell and trade with your community.
Weather Summary for 2018
By: Eddie Ayers, County Extension Agent
Back in December and already this year there’s been a lot of talk about how wet it’s been in the last year and while I agree with the comments I’ve been getting, I thought I’d do a little investigating and use facts to report on the weather of 2018. My data is coming from the UGA AEMN area weather stations.
The Automated Environmental Monitoring Network (AEMN) in Georgia was established in 1991 by the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The objective of the AEMN is to collect reliable weather information for agricultural and environmental applications. Each station monitors air temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, solar radiation, wind speed, wind direction, soil temperature at 2, 4, and 8 inch depths, atmospheric pressure, and soil moisture every 1 second. Data are summarized at 15 minute intervals and at midnight a daily summary is calculated. A microcomputer at the Georgia Experiment Station initiates telephone calls to each station periodically and downloads the recorded data. The data are processed immediately and disseminated via the internet at www.weather.uga.edu.
We are fortunate to have three reporting stations in our area. They are Hillcrest Orchards in Ellijay, Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge and the Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center in Blairsville. For the purpose of this article, data has been averaged, but you can visit the web site and get more details and up to the minute weather.
Since rain has been the topic of conversation lately, let’s look at that first. In Blairsville, the total rainfall for 2018 was 76.01 inches and there were 164 rainy days. In Blue Ridge, the rainfall was 74.89 inches and 185 rainy days. In Ellijay there was 79.12 inches of rain and 168 rainy days. The average for our area is around 62 inches, but the statistic that stands out is the number of rainy days. During rainy days the plants did not receive good sunlight and that affects plant growth.
In looking at the month of December in 2018 Blairsville received 10.96 inches of rain and 17 rainy days. Blue Ridge received 11.21 inches of rain and 17 rainy days. Ellijay received 10.92 inches of rain and 17 rainy days. This may seem like a lot of rain, but back in 2015 Blairsville got 13.35 inches of rain with 13 rainy days. Blue Ridge got 16.57 inches of rain with 16 rainy days. Ellijay got 16.04 inches of rain with 17 rainy days. 2015 was not that long ago, but it seems we have gotten more rain lately. It might be the number of rainy days that is making us think we are getting more rain that we actually are getting.
As for temperatures the average maximum temperature in Blairsville was 68.53 and the minimum was 47.26. The overall average was 57.23 which is about normal, but the number of days below 32 was 761 which is up from before, but below 2015. In Blue Ridge the average maximum temperature was 68.12 and the minimum was 48.46 and the overall average was 57.59, which is also about normal. The number of days below 32 was 699 which is up from before, but also below 2015. In Ellijay the average maximum temperature was 69.17 and the minimum was 48.81 with an overall average of 58.48 which is about normal. The number of days below 32 was 625 which is above earlier years except for 2015.
In conclusion the UGA weather stations are a great resource for information that provide facts about our weather conditions and now when people ask if it’s ever been this wet, you have the facts to say yes. If you need more information or different facts, visit the website and explore, or contact me in the Gilmer County UGA Extension office.
An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Organization
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Continuing his campaign for Governor, Hunter Hill made a stop in Ellijay on May 2 to speak with local citizens about his plans for the office if elected.
Hill spoke to local citizens over breakfast at Mike’s Ellijay Restaurant on Highway 282.
Hill is a former Army Ranger who has been in the State Senate for five years now. After resigning his seat in August to run for Governor, Hill has been focusing on his vision for Georgia and spreading that message to rally voters. Today, he spoke with citizens in Ellijay about the ideals for “less government, less taxes, and more freedom.”
With “career politicians,” as Hill noted, in office, it is an undermining of our values as a nation. He called out those politicians saying they were not even willing to risk their next election to uphold their oath.
Focusing more specifically on the recent issue of sanctuary cities. Adamantly against the topic, Hill said, “If a city or county in this state were to claim itself a sanctuary city, they would not receive a nickel of state funding.”
His second point on his vision for the office reiterated his opinions and intention to eliminate the state income tax. With bordering states already without an income tax, the competitive disadvantage is hurting our state, according to Hill. He went on to say replacing the income tax with a consumption tax setup would alleviate the tax burden from honest Georgians and redistribute that to everyone including visitors to the state and even those making money in illegal ways. Hill stated, “A broad-based consumption tax allows us to have more people that we’re bringing money in from, which allows us to do so at lower rates.”
On a personal note, Hill mentioned his faith pushed him to focus not only on the points of pro-life, pro-second amendment, and also religious liberty. FYN asked Hill if he would be seeking a “Faith Restoration Act” in his first year to which he replied, “Very good chance of that, yeah.”
Hill did confirm that he wanted to pursue faith-based adoption as a part of it saying, “We’ve got to protect our faith-based adoption agencies. We’ve just got to do it. A lot of the reasons that faith-based adoption agencies get involved is to be helpful in congruence with their faith. If you don’t protect their ability to do it in congruence with their faith, then they will just stop doing it altogether.”
Protecting people of faith and their ability to live and work based on that faith was a focus of Hill’s speech about the governor’s office, but also on his words about his future view of the state. He noted after winning on key policy issues aligned with our values and principals, he wanted to remind senators and house members of the values and principals that they were elected for, providing a singular vision to move forward under.
“Fighting for the people of Georgia” is what he says his focus is as Hill says he sees polls with him ahead of Kemp and closing in on Cagle. Separating himself, Hill says he’s not the career politician like Cagle and is very different than Kemp on issues like the income tax and limited government. But when comparing, Hill said he wanted to focus on his campaign and his vision to protect liberties and endorsements like the Georgia Right to Life to be a different candidate.
While most of those present were already Hill supporters like retired Gilmer county citizen, George Winn, who said he’s been a Hill supporter “all the way.” Based upon his stances as a military, Christian conservative who is a believable and trustworthy conservative.
Others like Ken Bailey find themselves supporting Hill as the best candidate. Following the campaign because “Hunter is not a politician. He is a fresh, young face and not a part of the established system, which needs to be broken up I think. I think he’s got good ideas. We don’t need to have a state income tax, that puts a handicap on us.” Bailey went on to say that he liked some of the other candidates and even knew some personally, but felt Hill was the best choice.
He also commented his appreciation of the choice in the election. With fine candidates available, Bailey said its great to not have to pick the best of a bad selection.
Hill continues his bus tour across Georgia with his final stop at the Cobb GOP Headquarters in Marietta on Saturday afternoon, May 2.
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.
BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The 2018 General Election is already starting to take shape as challengers emerge announcing bids for candidacy against well known incumbents. The most recent of these announcements comes from Margaret Williamson who intends to face off against Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston.
Ralston was first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2002 and represents House District 7, which includes Fannin County, Gilmer County and a portion of Dawson County. Ralston is the 73rd Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, a position he has held since 2010.
Williamson, who resides in Ellijay, made a statement discussing her decision to run:
“For many years I have been involved in political campaigns, on local, state, and national levels. I have actively participated in legislative issues, in support of or in opposition to, learning all the way. Now I intend to use this experience and acquired knowledge to enter into the process as a candidate.”
Already having begun the process of running for the House District 7 seat in the Georgia House of Representatives, Williamson acknowledged in her statement that she has mailed the “Declaration to Accept Campaign Contributions” form to the Georgia State Transparency & Campaign Finance Committee.
After approval of this form, Williamson’s next step will be to complete the qualifying process held in March of this year. The qualifying will officially make Williamson a candidate in the Republican Primary for Georgia State House Representative, District 7.
Williamson concluded her statement by announcing that she is in the process of creating a Facebook page which will contain her position on various issues.
“This decision is the culmination of months of debate and prayer. Please continue praying for both John and me,” Williamson said, “This is an exciting time for me.”
A General Primary Election for both Republicans and Democrats will take place on May 22, 2018. Voter registration deadline for the Primary Election is April 23.
Winners of the primaries will face off in the General Election to held on Nov. 6, 2018.
Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at [email protected]
- Union County Schools will be CLOSED Monday, September 11th and Tuesday, September 12th due to Gov. Nathan Deal declaring a state of emergency for all 159 counties in Georgia. Please continue to monitor here for further updates.
- Fannin County Schools will be closed for students and all personnel on Monday, September 11 and Tuesday, September 12, for students, as well as all faculty and staff, except for 12-month personnel, district directors, and principals. As long as it is safe to do so, all 12-month personnel, as well as district directors and principals, should anticipate reporting by 9:00 a.m. on September 12. These personnel should note, though, that this expectation may be revised, depending on the weather conditions overnight; nonetheless, if you ever believe it is unsafe to report, please notify your immediate supervisor. In addition, the Board of Education work session meeting that was scheduled for 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 12, has been cancelled. Please continue to stay safe!
- Pickens County Schools closed Monday, September 11th – TWELVE MONTH EMPLOYEES REPORT AT NORMAL TIME. Schools will also be closed on Tuesday, September 12. Twelve month employees will be contacted late Monday as to whether they will be required to come to work on Tuesday. All school activities, including athletic events and after-school programs, will be canceled.
- Gilmer County Schools will be closed Monday, September 11th and Sepember 12th due to Hurricane Irma. We have made this decision after consultation with local emergency management authorities and careful consideration of safety factors, such as the probability of severe winds especially at higher elevations, debris, dangerous road conditions and downed power lines left in its wake. Only 12 month staff should report if safe to do so.
- Dawson County Schools will be closed on Monday, September 11, and Tuesday, September 12, 2017. Twelve month employees will operate on a 2 hour delay.
- Lumpkin County Schools closed due to the weather forecast for our area, Lumpkin County Schools will be closed on Monday, September 11, and Tuesday, September 12, 2017. The anticipated high winds pose a significant threat to our students and staff. We understand that weather predictions are not always accurate, but we cannot ignore the potentially dangerous situation that this storm poses. Our number one priority is to keep our students and staff safe! Wednesday will still be a early release day as planned so that teachers will be available for parent conferences. 12 month employees should report if it is safe to do so.
- Towns County Schools closed Monday, September 11th and Tuesday, September 12th for all students. All employees should report at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, September 12th if safe to do so.
- White County Schools due to the severe weather forecast, White County Schools are closed for students and staff Monday, September 11, and Tuesday, September 12, 2017. Please be safe!
- Murray County Schools closed Monday September 11 and Tuesday September 12, due to the possible impact of Hurricane Irma. We have made this decision after consultation with local emergency management authorities and careful consideration of safety factors, such as the probability of severe winds, debris, dangerous road conditions, and downed power lines. We understand that weather predictions are often incorrect, but the size of this storm cannot be ignored. It is our hope that Murray County is spared from any of this storm’s impact, but we will always choose to error on the side of caution. All events planned for Monday and Tuesday evenings are also cancelled. This includes the September 11 MCPS Board meeting. This meeting will be rescheduled for Thursday, September 14 at 6:15 p.m. All maintenance, grounds crew, and transportation employees will meet at the transportation office.
Chattahoochee National Forest
November 12, 2016
Rough Ridge Fire Information: 470.208.2839
An area of high pressure will build into the region from the north and bring east to northeast winds today and freezing temperatures tonight. Maximum Temperature is 62F. Minimum Relative Humidity will 30%. Winds are expected to be East 6 – 11 mph then becoming 4-9 mph around 11am. Smoke will start settling in low areas around 7pm.
Yesterday: The monitor in Ellijay recorded hourly concentrations classified as very unhealthy, while drifting smoke resulted in a moderate AQI in Chatsworth and Blue Ridge.
Today: The upper level winds (5 to 7 miles per hour) are slowly dispersing the smoke in a southwesterly or westerly direction. Communities in the flow of the smoke may experience very unhealthy air quality.
Smoke impacts should be low in most of the communities listed below with the predicted weather pattern and anticipated fire behavior.
Tomorrow: Winds speeds will increase slightly (upper level winds between 6 to 8 miles per hour) and switch direction from Chatsworth/Eton to Benton and Ocoee and then Blue Ridge. These communities may experience an AQI of code orange or red.
Winds will disperse the smoke away from McCaysville.
Smoke will disperse towards Blue Ridge after the sun sets on Sunday.
Winds will disperse the smoke away from Ellijay.
Chatsworth and Eton
Today, already recorded hourly concentrations classified as very unhealthy. Smoke from wildfire dispersing towards Chatsworth and Eton today and a portion of tomorrow.
Benton and Ocoee, TN
Early tomorrow morning the winds shift toward Benton and Ocoee, TN.
Disclaimer: Weather and fire activity may change quickly and alter these air quality predictions. AQI estimates for the communities do not represent a full 24-hour period but, rather, reflect a period within the day where smoke impacts would be greatest.
Air Quality Index
What the Index means for your health with regards to particulates from smoke
Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Although general public is not likely to be affected at this AQI range, older adults and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air.
Everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects, and members of the sensitive groups may experience more serious effects.
Health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.
Health alert: everyone may experience more serious health effects.