ELLIJAY, Ga – Gilmer’s Health Department and Courthouse are working closely together this week after a confirmed positive test was reported by the county Probate Judge, Scott Chastain.
FYN reached out to the Health Department and spoke with Gilmer Commissioner Chairman Charlie Paris about the Health Department’s involvement. Both entities noted that the Georgia Department of Public Health already has guidelines and directions in the case of positive exposure and the Courthouse is already taking measures in its own way.
Public Information Officer and Risk Communicator for the North Georgia Health District of the Georgia Department of Public Health, Jennifer King said, “COVID-19 is still transmitting in Gilmer County… and while we don’t refer to any specific cases or locations unless we have reason to believe the public is at a higher level of risk, we do share the latest Governor’s Executive Orders relating to COVID-19 protocols with the public, businesses, organizations, and agencies to follow, including information that helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 and how to respond if cases occur.”
King asserted that Gilmer’s local Health Department is working closely with the community in every way possible. Paris also noted that he had been in contact with the Health Department as the courthouse was responding to the exposure.
Continuing communication reaches far beyond just the courthouse, though, as King said, “Our local health department and environmental health office work very closely with community partners, including EMA, Family Connections, government agencies, businesses, churches and schools to remind residents of measures they can take to prevent the spread of the virus and protect against COVID-19.”
King said that public health is urging people to get tested for COVID-19. She went on to note that the department is also attempting to provide that opportunity to do so for free. She said, “We are attempting to prevent further spread of the transmission through contact tracing and repeatedly reminding residents of the critical need to always wear a mask in public, wash their hands frequently or use a hand sanitizer, avoid large crowds, social distance away from others by at least 6 feet, avoid physical contact with others by not shaking hands or giving hugs, and stay home and call their doctor if they feel they may have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive over the past 14 days.”
The Health Department is reaching out across all platforms of media to spread the information of options like the drive-thru testing sites and schedule postings
Citizens who feel they have been in contact or may have been in the courthouse recently are also encouraged to visit the Testings Website. Gilmer has their own testing site times, on Mondays and Fridays, but there are other sites in our nearby counties in case some residents find it more convenient to register for an appointment at one of those.
King also stated, “Because the number of cases in our Hispanic/Latino population in Gilmer County is disproportionally high, local public health works with community leaders, partners, churches and schools to increase outreach to this community by sharing translated information, encouraging free COVID-19 testing, and providing education about the need to prevent the spread of the virus and how to protect against it.”
The Public Health website offers information in both English and Spanish as well as several flyers in both English and Spanish.
NORTH GEORGIA & WESTERN N.C. – In an effort to keep our readers, up to date with the latest number of cases confirmed in Georgia and N.C., Fetch Your News will continually be updating this article with the most recent updates from the Georgia Department of Health (DPH) and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).
Updated on July 12 at 5:15 p.m.
On June 12, DPH reported 5 new deaths, 54 new hospitalizations, and 2,525 new confirmed cases.
DPH confirmed 116,926 cases, 13,259 hospitalized, 2,621 patients in ICU, and 3,001 deaths. The 3 p.m. reported 1,083,416 tests have been completed. Total tests included 183,094 serology (antibody) tests. DPH added a column to the county-by-county tally to include the location of deceased patients from COVID-19. On March 28, the health department also included a breakdown of deaths by county, age, and sex.
On April 12, the report started including non-residents receiving treatment as a separate line item. It made a significant dent into the “Unknown” category.
DPH told Fetch Your News that the “Unknown” number is a result of “clerical errors on the part of the reporting agency – nothing more. We have many new labs reporting, and they are not all as familiar with the system.” The department is working to resolve this issue when the staff has time. A few of the unknowns are also homeless.
On April 8, DPH Commissioner Kathleen Toomey affirmed that the department has the most accurate data, but it’s not real-time data due to backlogs. DPH can’t keep up with press releases from hospitals about new cases because of the delay in processing. Cases confirmed one week might not appear in the reports until the next. Fetch Your News will only report on local cases once, they are confirmed by the DPH or CDC.
In his March 23 press conference, Gov. Kemp mentioned the casualties from the virus, “I am saddened to announce that we have lost twenty-five Georgians to COVID-19. As we mourn, I ask my fellow Georgians to lift up their loved ones in prayer. Please keep them in your hearts and minds.”
DPH released details on the two March 18 deaths, stating the individuals were 42-year-old and 68-year-old women both in an Albany Hospital. They also had underlying conditions along with COVID-19. Please keep all these individuals and families in your thoughts and prayers.
Case location is “based on patient county of residence when known.”
“A confirmed case is defined as a person who has tested positive for 2019 novel coronavirus.” – DPH.
Georgia County – Number of Confirmed Cases and Deaths
|County||Confirmed Cases||Cases per 100K||Total Deaths||Hospitalizations|
NC Confirmed Cases Data
As of July 12, 2020, NCDHHS reported 85,701 cases statewide, 55,318 presumed recovered, 1,503 deaths, and 1,070 hospitalized. The highest concentration is now in Mecklenburg with 15,024 cases and 159 deaths. NCDHHS reported 1,199,575 tests have been completed in the state. The confirmed cases report is released each day at 12 a.m.
NCDHHS has an interactive map for those who want to see the spread of the virus.
DPH, NCDHHS, and the CDC are urging people to practice social distancing to slow the spread of the virus. If our readers are looking for more information on health practices, please visit the CDC website.
President Trump also released guidelines for the next 15 days, which can be read about here.
Georgian’s wondering about Gov. Brian Kemp’s actions and the state’s public health emergency, find out more here.
North Carolinian’s can find updates for Gov. Roy Cooper, here.
JASPER, Ga. – Protesting continues across many North Georgia counties as demonstrators rally in the wake of media reports on the death of George Floyd and other protests.
Tonight saw another of these rallies in the city of Jasper, Georgia, as police blocked off parking spaces and sections of side streets around the Pickens County Courthouse downtown. While some showed early and stood on the sidewalk with signs, it appeared like it would be a small turnout even after 4:00 p.m. passed.
However, less than twenty minutes later, a large group marched onto the lawn of the courthouse from the east, on Court Street. The march rallied into those already present swelling the numbers over a hundred strong.
Chants rang out of “Black Lives Matter,” “I Can’t Breathe,” and “No Justice No Peace” repeatedly as demonstrators held signs and cheered on as supporters would drive by honking.
Calling attention to a central point, protesters took a knee as they said it was to respect those present and to fight the “injustice” they were opposing. One of the first to speak, Jeff Samuel said, “What matters today is those of us standing here for equal rights and justice for all.”
Samuel said he was proud of Jasper and of those present at the protest standing for their beliefs.
Samuel led the push for more people to speak saying that all voices need to be heard. One by one, protesters stepped forward, taking the megaphone to speak to those gathered. Some spoke to counterprotesters as well.
Most of those speaking spoke specifically about the Black Lives Matter movement, George Floyd, and racism in America. Others spoke about race in general and the importance of equality in the nation. Some spoke thanks to officers present that were protecting them and their right to gather and speak. Nearly an hour and a half continued with speakers stepping forward.
Eventually, the protest heard from the three organizers of the event, Mack Thomas, Kat Phillips, and Maxie Woodall.
Offerings thanks for those attending, Thomas said it was everyone’s support that helped make the day what it was. He pointed out Kat Phillips saying that she was the one who went to Sherrif Craig to make sure the protest was safe.
Woodall spoke saying that she expected a handful of people to show up and to have a small group of mostly teenagers present for the protest, but never could have expected the number and variety of people saying it was “awesome.” She spoke about the names of victims, the names of black people who have died from police brutality.
Phillips offered one statement saying, “We are going to make a change.”
Some protesters split into a separate group playing music and dancing on Depot Street and offering more chants for the rally, moving to another end of the courthouse lawn.
Counter-protesters also came to the event, chanting and waving American Flags, Trump Flags, and one man playing the bugle in opposition to those speaking. However, the few that remained after the rally declined to speak directly on camera to address the counter-protests and their message.
Speaking after the rally, organizers Mack Thomas, Kat Phillips, and Maxie Woodall offered a few extra words to FYN about organizing the event and their interactions with police leading up to it.
Phillips said her experience with organizing with the police was a positive one saying, “They were so nice about it and the way he organized everything as our right was really nice. Craig actually did a wonderful job helping me with this.”
A sentiment echoed by Sheriff Donnie Craig who said he was pleased with the crowd and the way things unfolded at the event. Addressing online comments about needing permission, Craig said that the county and the city do not have a permit process, but that the opportunity to touch base with protesters about the event and their desires allowed him to better coordinate and work with demonstrators and their rally.
When asked about protesters thanking local law enforcement during the rally, Craig said, “That was a strong message to our local law enforcement.”
Handing out fliers and continuing along, the final moments of the protest were spent dancing with music played from one protester’s truck before dispersing peacefully for the night.
However, organizers said this would not be the end. Thomas said that the next step is continued talks with Craig and with officers, “We can’t do anything about racism unless something happens with the law.”
Thomas said that speaking to those with hiring abilities in these departments will express the people’s desires in their police force.
All three agreed that more protests could come until they are heard and a change comes.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer’s Board of Commissioners made two approvals this week for farms to, as Chairman Charlie Paris said, “try to recover as quickly as possible.”
While Paris said they are looking at several areas of the county’s economy, two of the approvals in June focused solely on farms and agriculture including the first steps of a change and easing of the ordinance for Farm Wineries and a Resolution supporting the “Right to Farm Act” in legislation.
With local farm wineries, Paris said the only way the county can really help with this is through lessening regulations. To that end, the Commissioners voted to approve moving forward with advertising to change the ordinance to allow local wineries in the unincorporated parts of the county “to serve local Georgia craft beer in their tasting rooms. They would not be allowed to sell the beer packaged and there will be no Sunday sales.”
Post Commissioner Karleen Ferguson said, “I know that the winery owners have requested this for some time and we were waiting to bring it up and to see when the right time was. I do think it is a great time to put that gesture in… I also love the fact that we are restricting it to Georgia Craft beers, so it is not any of the name brand national or international brands.”
Gary Engel spoke to the Commissioners in the work session noting that a few wineries were represented in the audience. He said that other counties in the state are already selling beers. He also noted that it would not equate to a great surge in sales, but rather it allows a service to different tastes. Engel said that sometimes a couple will come up to listen to music, one doesn’t like wine but would enjoy a cold beer. He did say that the small increase in sales could aid in the wineries business as well.
He also said they are wanting to increase and pursue the business as Gilmer is increasing in popularity with these as well. Engel said, “From a perspective of the state, with the number of wineries that are going into Gilmer County, this county will soon be the most populated county, south of Virginia, with wineries.”
Additionally, the other approval for farms came in support of a legislative Act in Georgia, the “Right to Farm” Act. Paris said that lawsuits come often against farms as people move in nearby and then sue over the smells or noise. Paris explained that through discussions with farmers, he found that these are not often won, but are often filed and can be expensive to fight against in courts.
In support of local farmers and through discussions with them, Paris said that they asked for support for this Act in protection of some of what he called “nuisance lawsuits.”
The Act increases requirements to file lawsuits against farms according to Paris, in attempt to protect them from some of these filings.
The approval came for Resolution to support the Act at the state level in efforts to help it pass.
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.
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.”
From Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King:
While the COVID-19 outbreak started as an international story that felt distant to many of us,
this global pandemic has clearly become an issue impacting Georgians in every corner of our
On Wednesday evening, we eclipsed 1,387 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Georgia – and 47
deaths. Schools are closed, many businesses have shuttered, and millions of our citizens are
practicing social distancing as we work to “flatten the curve” and stop the spread of COVID-19.
This dangerous threat requires a strong, coordinated response from both the public and private
sectors. We are in this fight together and need all hands-on deck.
I was honored to be asked by Governor Kemp to serve on Georgia’s Coronavirus Task Force and
lead the Emergency Preparedness Committee, where I am working to ensure we have the
proper equipment and processes in place to respond appropriately to this ongoing health crisis.
Our Committee is hard at work looking at the data and putting together recommendations to
pass on to Governor Kemp for implementation.
In short order, we have partnered with the Governor to remove regulations on trucking
companies to keep much-needed food and supplies on our grocery store shelves. We are also
looking at other regulations to relax on our hospitals and pharmacies that will make it easier to
treat individuals with COVID-19-related symptoms and prioritize those who need additional
One key tool is telemedicine, where doctors can examine and diagnose patients either over the
phone or via video chat. This allows those who are ill to avoid visiting crowded ERs or doctor’s
offices – needlessly exposing Georgians to this highly contagious virus. We are diligently
working with the Governor and the insurance industry to ensure more Georgians have access to
telemedicine, expand insurance coverage for the service, and help patients find additional
As Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, I am also looking for ways to support both Georgia
families and small businesses during this outbreak. We recently directed health insurers not to
cancel health policies for non-payment until further notice. We also asked insurers to waive all
co-pays for COVID-19 testing and called on private labs providing these tests to keep costs at a
minimum. During a global pandemic, no one should be denied treatment for financial reasons –
and people shouldn’t lose their health coverage due to the economic instability fostered by the
Finally, to better help businesses struggling to weather the storm, we’ve committed to
expediting our review process for any insurers interested in writing new Business Interruption
Insurance policies specifically aimed at covering COVID-19 claims. We’ve also made a number of
changes to benefit local insurance agents in your community, including waiving all non-federal
filing deadlines and requirements and waiving late filing fees.
Here’s my commitment: We will do our part to not only help in the fight to stop COVID-19, but
to play a vital role in the recovery efforts as well.
As a Major General in the United States Army National Guard, I am assigned to Contingency
Command Post 1 and Task Force 51 in the US Army North, where we are responsible for
responding to disasters across the country. This week, I will be deployed to join the country-
wide battle against COVID-19. While working to secure the border and prevent spread, I will
remain focused on the needs of Georgians from every corner of our great state. Rest assured, I
will continue to be in constant communication with the Governor, his Task Force, and my office
to ensure that we continue to keep Georgia’s families and communities strong.
This crisis did not happen overnight, nor will it be solved quickly. But I am confident that
Georgians are up for the challenge. By following the guidelines provided by President Trump,
Governor Kemp, and the Centers for Disease Control, we can do our part to stop the spread of
coronavirus. With your help, we can end this pandemic and ensure a brighter, safer, and
Atlanta, GA – Today Governor Brian P. Kemp issued Executive Order 03.14.20.02 authorizing Adjutant General Tom Carden – at the request of Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Homer Bryson – to call up as many as 2,000 Georgia National Guard troops to State Active Duty to address novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Georgia.
“Through extensive emergency preparedness training, the brave men and women in the Georgia National Guard stand ready to serve above and beyond their traditional military duties. In states of emergency, they are equipped to take necessary action to protect the health and safety of Georgia families in every region,” said Governor Kemp. “To assist with COVID-19 mitigation and critical services, including the transfer of Georgians currently at Dobbins Air Reserve Base to their homes, the Georgia National Guard will now be available to communities to ensure the steady supply of medical equipment, food, shelter, or related materials to keep Georgians safe in the weeks ahead.”
The Georgia National Guard is already assisting with the transfer of thirty-one Georgians – formerly passengers on the Grand Princess cruise ship – from Dobbins Air Reserve Base to their homes today for isolation and monitoring by Department of Public Health officials.
ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is working closely with the CDC,
and state partners to prepare for a potential outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S., including
Georgia. The goal is to quickly identify cases of COVID-19 and take the appropriate public
health action to reduce its spread and protect the general public. It is important to note that at
this time, the overall risk of COVID-19 to the general public remains low.
“We urge Georgians to prepare for hurricanes or flooding or take measures to prevent flu, so
preparing for an outbreak of COVID-19 is no different,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H.,
DPH commissioner. “DPH is working to make sure our health systems, first responders and
county health departments have the resources they need to respond to a COVID-19 outbreak.”
DPH already has a detailed pandemic flu plan that was developed in partnership with the
Georgia Emergency Management Agency, the Georgia Department of Education and other
state agencies, and will be adapted for a COVID-19 outbreak in the state. DPH has responded
to other serious disease outbreaks, including Ebola and Zika virus and each instance has
provided new insight and guidance and highlighted the need to be as prepared as we can be.
DPH Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) is providing CDC information and
guidance about COVID-19 to all health care and hospital facilities throughout Georgia, and
holding weekly calls with the entire public health and hospital/health care community to update
information and answer questions.
DPH epidemiologists are on-call 24/7 to help health care providers evaluate individuals
presenting with symptoms of COVID-19 to ensure that possible cases are managed safely,
support laboratory testing and implement recommendations from the CDC. In the event of
COVID-19 in Georgia, epidemiologists would also be monitoring outbreaks and recommending
control strategies, including guidance regarding testing and isolation.
Should it become necessary, DPH may recommend appropriate community mitigation
measures for affected communities, such as temporary closure of child care facilities and
schools/colleges and universities, school and workplace social distancing measures, and
postponement or cancellation of mass gatherings. Additionally, businesses should consider
ways to implement strategies to reduce the impact of a potential COVID-19 outbreak on their
workforce, including teleworking and cross-training employees on essential job functions.
The same measures that are urged to prevent the spread of any respiratory virus are
increasingly important for all Georgians:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water
are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
The best prevention against the flu is vaccination. Flu is still widespread and active in Georgia –
it’s not too late to get a flu shot.
Passenger screening at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport is ongoing. This is to
identify people coming from China who may have been exposed to and are at risk of developing
COVID-19, and to provide appropriate assessment and monitoring to protect the general public.
COVID-19 is rapidly evolving and guidance is subject to change. The preparations currently
underway in Georgia are based on the best scientific information we have from the CDC. DPH
will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation, and work with state partners and health care
communities to incorporate the most up to date guidance in our planning and preparation
DPH will continue to update Georgians through our website, our Facebook page and our Twitter account. It is
important to remember that the most accurate and timely information regarding this outbreak is
available through DPH or the CDC’s website.
About the Georgia Department of Public Health
The Georgia Department of Public Health is the lead agency in preventing disease, injury and
disability; promoting health and well-being; and preparing for and responding to disasters from a
health perspective. For more information about DPH, visit www.dph.ga.gov.
On December 4, 2019, Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp introduced Kelly Loeffler to be the next Senator to replace retiring Georgia Statesman Johnny Isakson. Isakson announced his retirement midway through his term on August 28, 2019. In this narrative, we will look at why Isakson picked August to retire and we will ask the question, should there be a full investigation into Loeffler’s appointment to the Senate?
On this December day, Governor Kemp spun everything in Georgia politics out of control. Everything surrounding the Loeffler pick rests squarely on the shoulders of Governor Kemp and I will explain my reasoning:
We need to ask why pick Kelly Loeffler. What was Kemp thinking? I’m sure he knew picking her as his choice would not sit well with his base. Loeffler is married to Jeffery C. Sprecher. Who is Sprecher? He is CEO of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), owner, yes owner, of the New York stock exchange as well as several Commodity Exchanges worldwide. ICE also has a super PAC they use to contribute to many Republicans and Democrats alike. For example, he made contributions to Republicans, like Senator Mitt Romney, who just voted to impeach President Donald J. Trump and California Congresswoman “Impeach 45” Democrat, Maxine Waters. ICE PAC contributions to Majority Forward, from their website reads,
“Majority Forward is a Democratic Party-aligned advocacy group that campaigns against Republicans and conservative causes. Intercontinental Exchange PAC, gave it $20,000 in 2016.”
The same year Trump was running for president. Somehow Kelly and Jeff missed giving Trump any money in his 2016 campaign.
So why would Kemp appoint someone who would immediately become the wealthiest person in congress? Why appoint someone who owns three private jets that may total up word of 75 million dollars? Why appoint someone who owns a WNBA team, knowing that the WNBA has a sponsor relationship with Planned Parenthood? At one game, Loeffler honored Stacey Abrams at the same time she was running against Brian Kemp for Governor. We have to keep asking why? I think I know why, please keep reading.
Now let me be clear, this article is not an endorsement of Congressman Doug Collins to have been picked for the open senate seat. However, Collins sure was the favorite pick of President Trump, as referenced on two occasions before the Loeffler pick: once in person when Trump visited Atlanta, another by phone encouraging Kemp to pick Doug Collins. I understand Kemp may not like the optics of Trump picking Georgia’s next Senator but why snub the President when he asked for someone he trusted to go fight for him against the Democrats?
It’s not like Trump “ever did anything” to help Kemp when he was running for governor. Remember, just days before the Republican Primary when the President tweeted out
“Brian is tough on crime, strong on the border and illegal immigration. He loves our Military and our Vets and protects our Second Amendment. I give him my full and total endorsement,”
I bet Casey Cagle will never forget it! I know, because I was the first one with a video camera who bumped into Cagle after Trump sent out that tweet endorsing Kemp. Just days later Kemp won a runoff to become the Republican nominee to take on Stacey Abrams. Remember, just days before the general election Trump landed Air Force One in Macon, Ga. to an estimated crowd of 25-35 thousand supporters. They showed up to see President Trump on stage with Brian Kemp, millions watching nationwide. That day, Trump did his Republican duty of helping Republicans get elected. On that day, Trump pushed Kemp to a national figure.
Kemp went on to beat Stacey Abrams by about 50 thousand votes and became Governor of the State of Georgia. President Trump did his job helping Republicans get elected. So why would Kemp not be excited to return the favor and appoint Doug Collins as the President requested. Yes, the President is asking and few turn down the President’s requests…so why did Kemp? Just ask Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. DeSantis took one ride on Air Force One and went from an unrecognizable candidate to Governor. Wonder if he would respect the President’s request in the same situation?
Kemp and Loeffler took a Sunday “drive” on one of her Intercontinental Exchange Jets to visit President Trump. One wonders what the conversation was like during that hour and a half flight to D.C.? Maybe something like this,
Kemp…”don’t worry Kelly, Trump likes me and once I explain to him why I am going to pick you he will be fine. When he thinks about how much money you bring to the table he will be fine”. Kelly…”Trump better be OK with me being picked…Brian, you know the deal….” Maybe something like that.
The Wall Street Journal published that the meeting didn’t go well.
“Georgia Governor, Trump Appear at Odds Over Senate Pick. But the private huddle turned tense and ended quickly, according to people familiar with the meeting. Mr. Trump prefers Rep. Doug Collins, a Republican who has vocally defended the president during the impeachment process, and he told Mr. Kemp that he would be taking a risk by appointing the politically untested Ms. Loeffler. At one point Mr. Trump questioned why they were holding the meeting if Mr. Kemp had made his decision.”
“Mr. Kemp left the state unannounced and kept the meeting secret from some top aides.”
“The governor’s office declined to comment for this article before publication. After the article was posted, Kemp spokeswoman Candice Broce said in a statement: “Governor Kemp plans to appoint a strong supporter of the President who will end the impeachment circus and advance conservative policies that Keep America Great.”
What was the mood on the plane ride back to Atlanta? Maybe something like this:
Kelly… “Brian, I don’t care what the President said…you know the deal.” Jeffery…”yes Brian, you know the deal.” Brian..”.yes I am fully aware of the deal.”
We need to know if Kelly’s husband was actually on the plane. We need to know who else went on that Sunday trip to D.C. We need to know why Kemp needed to get out of town without his top advisers. We need not forget they took the trip on Kelly’s private plane. President Trump even called Kemp Monday to reiterate his pick for Senate, Doug Collins.
Why is, what some would ask, Kemp so “hell-bent” to appoint Loeffler? Wow…the pressure Kemp is now under but he continues to press forward with Loeffler.
What deal you ask…we will get to that but first, we must lay all the groundwork.
Let’s look at the next stage that I call “The Kemp Smoke Screen.” On September 17, 2019, Kemp launched a website asking all Georgians who met the qualifications and wanted to be considered to replace Johnny Isakson as the next Senator, to send him a resume. From the website,
“We will carefully vet the applicants and choose a person who best reflects our values, our state, and our vision for the future,”
A real Mr. Smith goes to Washington. It is Kemp’s Georgia Constitutional duty to appoint someone to fill the Senate vacancy until the next scheduled election.
So Kemp’s plan to lead every Georgian to believe that they could be the next senator, was roundly applauded. National media took notice. Kemp could send a real Mr.Smith to Washington and not some establishment politician or better yet, not the highest bidder. You know that kind of negotiating that landed former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich in jail for trying to sell Barack Obama’s senate seat even though he didn’t complete the deal? Question…was there a deal with Loeffler? Over 500 applications submitted, we could have had a mom, dad, auto mechanic, teacher, former Congressman, and maybe even a talk show host. This looked like the Brian Kemp that the anti-establishment supporters voted for in 2018.
One of the 500 applicants was Congressman Doug Collins. Collins applied on September 19th, 2019, just 2 days after Kemp launched the website. From the website:
“The deadline to apply for a gubernatorial appointment to the U.S. Senate was Monday, November 18, 2019 at 5 PM.”
Guess who applied in the final hour of the final day? Yes, you guessed it – Miss Kelly Loeffler.
Now here is where we need to ask questions concerning the “Great Brian Kemp Smoke Screen.” There needs to be a full investigation into Kemp’s process of picking Loeffler as Senator and what happened to the other candidates. We need to ask: Who was on the team that reviewed the applications for consideration? How many applicants were interviewed? Was there a two-part interview process? Provide a list of names who were interviewed by the Governor? Did Kemp interview Doug Collins? If Kemp held interviews, who was in the interviews? How many interviews did Loeffler have with the Governor after she applied? Was Loeffler’s husband, Jeffery Sprecher in any of the interviews? How many meetings did Kemp have with Loeffler and Sprecher together or separately before she applied? When and where? So many unanswered questions.
On January 6th, 2020 Kemp announced to Georgia citizens he had chosen Kelly Loeffler to be the next Senator. In a photo-op, Kemp invited women from the Republican Party. My push is to make Kelly acceptable to the Republican Party, statewide. No, Mr. Smith was not going to Washington and it was now time to sell Kelly to Georgians. The Republican Party says they have been losing suburban Atlanta Republican women and Kelly would bring them back to the Party. It was now time to sell Kelly as the most Pro-life, second amendment, pro-Trump conservative in Georgia. Just about an hour after the appointment the emails started going out. The same campaign consulting group that handled the Kemp campaign got the job to handle the “Kelly” campaign. Parlay Marketing Partners, LLC, Joel McElhannon and Ryan Mahoney were chosen. Kelly immediately put up 20 million dollars for her campaign and Parlay was more than ready to start creating their candidate and selling her to the people as “you know, I’m the pro-Trump, pro-life conservative, Kelly”. We need to know when they were hired. It must have taken a week to prep the rollout beginning just hours after Kemp announced Loeffler. Did Kemp complete the deal that day? Was there a deal? The Governor could clear this all up with transparency and a thorough investigation.
Now let’s look at what “could be” the deal. Let’s look at Hart AgStrong and the sale to Perdue AgriBusness. This may be all smoke.
Remember during the Republican Governor race run off when it was revealed that a company Kemp was associated with defaulted on a half-million-dollar loan that Kemp personally guaranteed for Hart AgStrong. From the AJC,
“The lawsuit has been filed by RLP Investments and its owner, Toccoa resident Rick Phillips. While Hart AgStrong CEO Robert Davis, Kemp and the company itself are all listed as defendants in the lawsuit, the investor told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this month that Kemp was responsible for the cash.“He’s the only person I ever dealt with,” Phillips said. “I loaned this money to Brian Kemp. I loaned it to Hart AgStrong at the request of Brian Kemp, and he personally guaranteed it.”
From another AJC article,
“When it needed a loan, Hart AgStrong, a grain processor, partly owned by Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp, put up as collateral, thousands of bushels of canola and sunflower seeds. The problem was, AgStrong didn’t own them. The company’s actions “may be a felony under Georgia law,” an attorney for the state Department of Agriculture wrote to AgStrong in April. The letter threatened to revoke AgStrong’s licenses to do business with Georgia farmers, collect a $70,000 fine, and liquidate the company’s assets to compensate farmers.”
Kemp said during the election this was all politics, basically nothing to see here. So what happened to the possible felonies and the lawsuit for the default on the loan? From the AP on January 23, 2019
“Brian Kemp quietly settles lawsuit over bad business loan just prior to taking office, Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp quietly settled a lawsuit that said he owed $500,000 for a loan he negotiated and guaranteed for a struggling agricultural company. Court documents show a consent order between Kemp, the company Hart AgStrong and financier Rick Phillips was signed on January 8 and filed in Gwinnett County Superior Court on Jan. 11, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported .Kemp was sworn in as Georgia’s 83rd governor three days later. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.”
Quietly, just days before being sworn the deal is still undisclosed to the public. If the lawsuit would have been settled after becoming governor maybe the terms would have to be disclosed. So what’s the big deal…he settled the lawsuit. Wonder what RLP Investments owner Rick Phillips could say about this settlement. Who paid off the loan? If Kemp walked into Phillips’s office and paid off the loan why not go public? That may have looked good for the governor. Why the quietly undisclosed settlement?
Now let’s look at the sale of Hart AgStrong to Perdue AgriBusiness. Johnny Isakson retired August 28th, 2019. On August 5th, Perdue AgriBusiness closed the deal acquiring the assets of Hart AgStrong LLC. Was it just a coincidence that Isakson retired weeks after the “deal” was complete? Is it possible that this is what Johnny was waiting for before announcing his retirement? We understand the sale made “everyone” whole…paid in full.
From the AJC on December 11th,
“A struggling seed-crushing business partly owned by Gov. Brian Kemp, who was at the center of a years-long legal battle was recently sold to an agricultural giant for an undisclosed price. Perdue AgriBusiness bought Hart AgStrong in August, saying in a disclosure statement, that the company’s two seed-crushing plants will help supply factories in Middle Georgia and Virginia”…again with the undisclosed price”.
So what does this have to do with Kemp appointing Loeffler to the senate? Maybe nothing but let’s look at Loeffler and her husband’s company Intercontinental Exchange. I don’t pretend to understand the commodity markets or global agriculture clearinghouses. From the ICE website, “Futures, options and OTC markets and clearinghouses, strategically designed to deliver global scale and local infrastructure across asset classes wherever our customers trade, invest or manage risk.” “Exchange-traded futures and options Agriculture” I understand they are the largest agricultural commodity trading company in the world. Wonder if they know someone at Perdue AgriBusiness? I wonder what would have made Perdue AgriBusiness interested in failing Hart AgStrong? Just wondering…
Now how long has Kemp known Loeffler and Sprecher? Kemp was Keynote speaker at the 30th anniversary Buckhead Coalition lunch in February 2019 where Sprecher was in attendance.
Another meeting came just weeks before Isakson announced his retirement. From AJC,
“At a black-tie gala for Georgia 4-H in August, finance executive Kelly Loeffler told the crowd of farmers, instructors and students how she got her start — tending soybeans and corn and caring for cattle on her family’s farm in rural Illinois. At the head table with Loeffler and her husband, Intercontinental Exchange CEO Jeff Sprecher, was another power couple they didn’t know well…Gov. Brian Kemp and first lady Marty Kemp. It was just a couple of weeks before U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson would announce his retirement.”
Wonder what they talked about at the head table that night. Did Kemp know weeks in advance that Isakson would retire?
Was there a deal in place? I don’t know but there is a lot of smoke.
So what if Kemp would have picked Mr. Smith and let the cards “fall where they may?” Mr. Smith, Doug Collins and Kelly Loeffler would be running for senate and maybe Mr. Smith would win re-election. We will never know because Governor Brian Kemp is trying to tell the people of Georgia that he picked the senator and that is final. Something seems terribly wrong!
Now Collins is in the race and being blamed for splitting the Republican party, really? If anyone is splitting the party that would be Brian P. Kemp. Check back as we look at the creation of a candidate. Loeffler, NRSC, Mitch McConnel, endorsements…
I think my first amendment rights allow me to ask, do I think there was a deal, yes. Do I think there should be a full investigation surrounding the possible deal, yes. Do I think possibly part of the deal is to get Loeffler re-elected, yes. One question I have is how did Congressman Doug Collins turn into the bad guy in all this?
ATLANTA – On Monday, Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King announced the
appointment of Mark Revenew as Deputy Commissioner for Safety Fire.
Revenew will manage the entire Safety Fire Division of the agency, which is responsible for building, manufactured
housing, and hazardous materials inspections, licensing, and code enforcement for the entire state of Georgia.
“I am thrilled to have Mark on board,” said Commissioner King. “There is no doubt that his professional
background – which includes stints in fire service, law enforcement, and the military – will make him a strong
leader for our agency and someone I can rely on to serve the people of Georgia well.”
As Deputy Commissioner for Safety Fire, Revenew will also oversee the search for a new State Fire Marshal, who
will focus on code enforcement and supporting local fire departments.
“I’m beyond grateful to Commissioner King for this opportunity,” said Revenew. “Throughout my career, I have
always looked for new ways to serve my Country and the State of Georgia. When I was first approached for this
position, I knew immediately it would be an exciting challenge and allow me to put my stamp on a Department that
touches so many Georgians. I can’t wait to get to work.”
Revenew comes to the Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner’s Office from the City of Savannah, where he
worked as interim Police Chief, Fire Chief, and Director of IT. Before that, he served as the Chief of Police of
Pooler, Georgia, from 1984-2018. He is a graduate of Saint Leo University, the FBI National Academy, and
Georgia Southern University, where he earned a Master’s in Public Administration. Mark serves on a number of
statewide boards, including the Georgia Governor’s Board of Public Safety.
The mission of the Office of the Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner is to protect Georgia families
by providing access to vital insurance products and safe buildings through fair regulation
that creates economic opportunities for all Georgians.
Sienna is the star of the show this week! Come by the Humane Society of Blue Ridge to meet her and other wonderful cats and dogs that you can adopt!
Georgia, – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp began a process to fill U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s seat this week. The Governor set up a website requiring the potential candidates to submit a resume. FYN has learned Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) has submitted his resume for consideration. The seat will be filled following Johnny Isakson’s retirement effective December 31, 2019, and the chosen applicant will serve for the remainder of his unexpired term.
Rep. Collins is a United States Representative from Georgia’s 9th congressional district. Collins has served the 9th District since 2013. Previously, he was a state representative in the Georgia House of Representatives, representing the 27th district, which includes portions of Hall, Lumpkin, and White counties.
Georgia’s 9th District Representative is considered to be a front runner for the Senator seat. This would leave a vacancy and the question of who will replace Collins.
So who will be the new US Representative in the 9th District? According to our information, if appointed, a special election would occur. What names will surface in the 9th District hoping to take Collins’ place? FetchYourNews will follow closely and update as more information becomes available.
Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com
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.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Probate Court honored three of its clerks for their state certifications this week.
A process that began with former Probate Judge Anita Mullins, these employees have served for years in the court system and have completed training programs within the system under Judge Scott Chastain.
The three girls recognize are Jana Grno, Tracy Teague, and Lyndsay Hightower. Chastain says that recognition is given for 30 hours and 60 hours of training for the program, but he wanted to do something special as each of these girls now have 90 hours, the final stage of the program and actual certification.
Jana Grno will have been with the Gilmer Probate for five years next week on April 21. Focusing on the vital records and weapons permits now, Chastain says there is very little she cannot do in the Probate Court as she also assists in traffic court. She is also the longest running employee in the Probate Office in Gilmer County.
Tracy Teague will reach her 5 years with the Probate Court this September. Chastain calls Teague a “lifesaver” as he transitioned in the office. He says she was and is constantly there every time he calls for anything the office needs.
Teague has recently been announced as Judge Chastain’s Chief Clerk. Teague had already served as Chief Clerk under Judge Mullins and continues this service now that Chastain has asked her as well. She handles much of the requirements in traffic court, and Chastain says he uses her as Chief Clerk for certain administration needs when he is out of the office.
Lyndsay Hightower was hired into the Probate Court on August 30, 2016. She serves in the front window of the Probate Office, she is the main probate clerk of the office according to Chastain. He noted that he has basically asked her to take on the work of two clerks and she continues to work hard under the stress. With previous experience in law enforcement, he says Hightower brings a different view to the office alongside her coworkers.
Mullins was also present at the celebration for her former employees. She offered a few words on the occasion as she stated, “They worked so hard for me. They were such a blessing because I was going through, at the end, a lot of family issues with my parents. If it hadn’t have been for these girls, I don’t know what I would have done. They are so smart, and they are so capable. I know that they are going to continue on and do great things.”
Both Mullins and Chastain made comments about how little the public gets to see just how much work goes on in the office behind the public sight. Accomplishing the vast amount of work necessary for the office to operate efficiently is next to impossible without the proper staff.
Chastain went on to say that with two other employees in the office, he hopes to become one of the few Probate Offices in the state of Georgia with every clerk state certified in the coming years.
LUMPKIN CO., GA
According to the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Michael Gravely met with two complainants at the LCSO, regarding two runaway juveniles on March 3.
Complainant one explained that his fourteen-year-old daughter had her fifteen-year-old-friend staying with her for a sleepover at his Dahlonega residence. Sometime between 8:00PM and 11:30PM, they left the residence, and the complainant was unaware of where they had gone, since the two juveniles did not have permission to leave. After the information was confirmed by complainant two, they both told police that they had spent the night/early morning looking for the missing teens.
Officials searched the known areas and people who might know the juveniles, in an attempt to locate them. A Missing/Lost Persons Report was filed for both teens, and a BOLO was sent out for the local area/surrounding counties. The juveniles were also put on the LCSO media page, with guardian permission.
Investigators learned from an informant, who was the boyfriend of the runaways, that both girls were at the birthday party around midnight and were in good spirits during the party. About 15 minutes after their arrival, both girls left, (presumingly on foot), but returned to the party after some time, in a gray, four-door, passenger vehicle, (possibly a Honda Civic), with a Georgia tag.
They were with two white males, whom he had never met. He noticed the males acting suspicious, by hiding every time a car drove by. The informant further explained that the two males had revealed that they were on probation and had warrants out for their arrests.
The white males also stated that the juveniles had told him that they had run away, and were scared of getting caught, due to the potentiality of juvenile court.
Further questioning led investigators to a Dawson County residence, where the missing juveniles were possibly hiding. Deputy Gravely reports seeing a gray, four-door, passenger sedan with a Georgia tag at the residence, but they could not locate any individuals at the residence.
On March 3, at exactly 8:00PM, Deputy Gravely received text messages from the original complainants, stating that they both believe they had new information on the teen’s whereabouts, and at 8:22PM on March 3, the LCSO posted on their Facebook page that the missing teens had been found, “Both teenage girls have been found safe. I would like to thank everyone for your assistance and prayers during the search. Thanks! Sheriff Stacy M. Jarrard”
FetchYourNews.com attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month for ad server. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and has between 15,000 to 60,000 per week Facebook page reach. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or visit [email protected]
NO COST Hepatitis A Shots Offered at Health Departments in North Georgia
North GA – Due to an increase in eastern Alabama, southeast Tennessee and northwest Georgia of reported cases of hepatitis A, a vaccine-preventable, communicable disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus,
public health departments in north Georgia are providing hepatitis A vaccinations at no out-of-pocket expense. We are especially urging
people who are at greatest risk for becoming infected with hepatitis A, including people who are incarcerated in jails, homeless persons, injecting drug users, and men who have sex with men, to come to a county health department in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens or Whitfield County for a no-cost-to-clients hepatitis A vaccination. Learn more at http://bit.ly/NoCost-Hep-A-Shot_NorthGA.
Contact information for each county health department in North Georgia:
Cherokee: 1219 Univeter Road, Canton, GA 30115, (770) 345-7371 or 7545 North Main Street, Woodstock, GA, (770) 928-0133
Fannin: 95 Ouida Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, (706) 632-3023
Gilmer: 28 Southside Church Street, Ellijay, GA 30540, (706) 635-4363
Murray: 709 Old Dalton-Ellijay Road, Chatsworth, GA 30705, (706) 695-4585
Pickens: 60 Health Way, Jasper, GA 30143, (706) 253-2821
Whitfield: 800 Professional Boulevard, Dalton, GA 30720, (706) 279-9600