Blue Ridge, Ga. – Congressman Doug Collins stopped in Blue Ridge on his campaign tour in the race for U.S. Senate. With him were special guests Georgia State Speaker of the House David Ralston and former member of the foreign policy advisory panel to Donald Trump, George Papadopoulos.
Collins spoke briefly on his record as U.S. Congressman, highlighting his conservative values and his reputation for representing the people of the 9th District.
Collins has stood up to multiple government agencies and individuals during his career, most notably holding the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and James Comey accountable.
Collins was also a visible ally to President Donald Trump during the U.S. House of Representatives Impeachment Hearings.
Now, Collins wants to take this same momentum and move it to the U.S. Senate.
With the U.S. Senate seat open to a Jungle Primary on the Nov. 3 ballot, Collins wants to set the record straight on what is and isn’t true about himself and his biggest Republican rival, Senator Kelly Loeffler.
According to Collins, Loeffler’s attacks on him are unfounded and in many cases an attempt at deflection about her true nature and intent.
Collins specifically sited Loeffler’s pro-life stance that seems to not have been her view a mere two years ago when she worked with Planned Parenthood to have a booth set up at a basketball game where monies raised would be split with the organization.
“I am the one who is actually concerned about life,” Collins said pointing to decisions his family has made in their personal life that reflect these values.
Loeffler also made claims that Collins was not Pro-Second Amendment and that as a lawyer Collins represented criminals.
Collins assured the crowd, having grown up the son of a trooper neither of these claims could be further from the truth.
“She doesn’t want you to know that she worked with Michael Bloomberg,” Collins said of Loeffler’s Second Amendment claims and her own personal work on a gun control agenda.
In his career as a lawyer, Collins took indigent clients, none of which were pictured in Loeffler’s ad. Collins stated, “Doug Collins defender of criminals? No, Doug Collins did his constitutional duty taking indigent clients.”
Loeffeler has also released ads containing a picture of Collins with former Georgia House Representative Stacey Abrams.
Abrams made waves as the Democratic nominee for Georgia Governor in 2018, known for her liberal stances.
Collins explained the photo, “This was after we saved the HOPE scholarship. Stacey joined us on a conservative idea and voted for it because she understood that people needed that money.”
According to Collins, Loeffler actually employed Abrams as an attorney for a basketball team and in 2018 Loeffler honored Abrams as a woman of distinction while “Abrams for Governor” signs were in the background of the photo-op.
Lastly, Collins pointed out that Loeffler makes her decisions based on her own self-interest and money.
“She claims to be tough on China,” Collins said and added, “Take the ten state owned companies that are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, owned by the Chinese Communist Party, and delist them.”
Jeffrey Sprecher, Leoffler’s husband, is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, and the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange.
Collins said of his suggestion to delist the Chinese companies, that it will never happen because Loeffler will choose her pocketbook and their pocketbook over policy everyday.
“I may not have $35 million, but I’ve got all I need because I’ve got you and I’ve got the voters of Georgia and they understand who the real conservative is in this race,” Collins said referencing the amount the Loeffler has spent on her Senate campaign, “Georgia can’t be bought.”
Blue Ridge, Ga. – In an unanimous vote the Blue Ridge City Council decided that any special events within the city limits will be canceled until further notice. This includes the cancelation of Blue Ridge’s Halloween SafeZone and Light Up Blue Ridge.
Discussion of canceling future events for the remainder of the year had previously taken place among council but no official vote had been made on the matter.
“We need to make it official,” Council member Rhonda Haight spoke, referencing that since their previous discussion special events had been permitted to take place: “I felt like we should have voted last time.”
Mayor Donna Whitener expressed that she didn’t fully agree with the idea of canceling all events with no exceptions and pointed out that the recent prayer vigil held for Blue Ridge Chief of Police Johnny Scearce would technically fall under the special event category.
Haight made the motion of “no more events allowed until further notice”, which carried without opposition.
Although the Halloween SafeZone has been canceled an alternative has been set up according to Cesar Martinez, President of the Blue Ridge Business Association (BRBA).
“We get 5,000 or 6,000 people downtown and we just can’t do it this year,” Martinez said and noted that state guidelines would just not make it feasible for the city to accommodate.
The BRBA will be partnering with Blue Ridge United Methodist Church to offer a drive thru option for families to enjoy. Booths will be set up along this route, where participants can hand out candy.
Other locations that are offering Halloween festivities include Dairy Queen, Home Depot, and Kevin Panter Insurance Agency.
Light Up Blue Ridge will also not take place in an official manner. Festivities of the weekend that draw a large crowd in close proximity have been called off. This includes the annual parade and the lighting of the tree.
Even with these changes, Blue Ridge plans to make the city Christmas ready for those visiting the weekend following Thanksgiving.
The tree will be lit in the park but without the lighting ceremony and Santa can still be found at the park’s gazebo but with safety precautions made due to the ongoing Covid-19 risk.
“We are suggesting that the city close East Main Street for the two days after Thanksgiving,” Martinez recommended to the council stating that this would give more room for the large crowds to social distance that weekend.
No official plans were made on how to handle the influx of visitors for the weekend following Thanksgiving, but discussions are expected to continue in future meetings.
Blue Ridge, Ga. – Timothy Charles Stiles is being charged with attempted murder after Fannin County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) responded to a call of a stabbing in Mineral Bluff.
The incident occurred on the evening of Sept. 28. FCSO was dispatched to a call in Mineral Bluff around 7:00 p.m. The caller indicated that a person had been stabbed and was in need of medical attention.
Upon arriving at the scene, it became apparent that the victim, Kenneth Arnold, was in need of immediate emergency medical attention. Arnold was life-flighted to Gainesville for treatment.
Warrants for Stiles arrest describe the wounds as “seriously disfiguring” to Arnold’s upper torso and abdomen.
Stiles had already fled the scene upon officer arrival but was apprehended a few hours later. When found Stiles was inflicting stabbing wounds on himself and was transported for medical attention.
Friends of Stiles say that he suffered from mental illness but did not specify which illness(es). They also did not speculate on whether Stiles’s mental health issues played a part in the incident.
Stiles is being charged with 1 count felony aggravated assault, 1 count felony aggravated battery and 1 count felony criminal attempt “to commit the offense of murder”.
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 October 26 at 8:15 p.m.
On October 26, DPH reported 18 new deaths, 19 new hospitalizations, and 975 new confirmed cases.
DPH confirmed 351,881 cases, 31,087 hospitalized, 5,829 patients in ICU, and 7,827 deaths. The 3 p.m. reported 3,461,388 tests have been completed. Total tests included 326,408 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.new deaths.
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|
|Non-GA Resident/Unknown State||14440||0||183||679|
NC Confirmed Cases Data
As of October 26, 2020, NCDHHS reported 261,742 cases statewide, 231,611 presumed recovered, 4,170 deaths, and 1,193 hospitalized. The highest concentration is now in Mecklenburg with 33,279 cases and 384 deaths. NCDHHS reported 3,863,108 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.
MURPHY, NC – At 8:07 a.m. on August 9, 2020, many North Carolinians were rattled by a 5.1 magnitude earthquake, originating two miles outside of Sparta, NC.
According to the National Weather Service, this quake is the strongest to hit NC since 1916. It was 5.2. magnitude earthquake in Buncombe county and it toppled chimneys and people ran into the streets
At this time, no injuries or major damage have been reported. If you felt it, report it to the USGS.
Residents from Murphy and Hayesville have reported experiencing tremors at the time of the earthquake. Additionally, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee felt the effects of the morning quake. Georgia reports include Dahlonega and as far as Fayetteville.
Did You Feel It??? According to the USGS, North Carolina just experienced a 5.1 magnitude earthquake with the epicenter at 2 km SSE of Sparta, North Carolina. For more info click here https://t.co/cq5bMmUcJD pic.twitter.com/pzAt8tvuRP
— NWS Raleigh (@NWSRaleigh) August 9, 2020
Sparta is 272 miles from Murphy, NC, 264 miles from Hayesville, and 165 miles from Asheville. The city sits close to the NC/Tenn. line.
Another smaller 2.6 magnitude earthquake occurred in the same area at 1:57 a.m.
National Weather Service out of Raleigh has also reported three other possible quakes in Guilford, Randolph, and Moore counties.
If you felt the earthquake this morning or experienced any damage, please let us know!
The most recent earthquake in the Triangle was in 2011 in Virginia. Its magnitude was 5.8.
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.
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