Gooch, Tanner Featured Speakers at Eggs and Issues Breakfast

DAHLONEGA, Ga. — The Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce and the University of North Georgia did a great job hosting the 2017 Eggs & Issues Legislative Breakfast Friday at UNG’s Continuing Education Center.

State Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) and State Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville) addressed a large, engaged breakfast crowd for about 30 minutes each, then answered questions, primarily related to the upcoming General Assembly that begins next week.

Tanner said the state continues to see month-over-month increases in revenue but added that he has some concerns about lagging sales tax revenue. “We’re concerned bout sales tax revenue because a lot of sales are going to the internet. Were’ also seeing brick and mortar stores like Sears and K-Mart close their doors.”

Tanner also said there is lingering concern about school systems that are failing.

“We all know the governor brought forward legislation last year dealing with Opportunity School Districts that failed at the ballot box. I think about how blessed I am. All my daughters attended schools here in North Georgia where we have good leaders, good educators, good superintendents. But not every child is that blessed. Some children are in schools that fail year after year. Something has to happen.”

He also talked about a school superintendent in Florida that moved a school system of 200,000 students from 50 percent failing to about 80 percent passing. “It’s unbelievable what she has done so we know it can be done.”

Drugs, both legal and illegal, continue to be a serious problem legislators will try to deal with.

“There are new opioid-based drugs coming on line every day,” Tanner said. China has produced a new drug being sold here in Georgia that is not illegal yet, but has produced two fatal overdoses in the last couple of months.

“The opioid issue is something we’re going to deal with on Day 1,” Tanner said.

“The problem is we’re chasing after chemists that continue to change the compound so when we make one drug illegal, they come up with an alternate that isn’t illegal but still has the same deadly effect.”

Gooch pointed out that Georgia has been ranked the No. 1 state in the country to do business by the Site Selection Magazine four years in a row, due primarily to the state’s favorable tax structure.

He also said the state, and in particular north Georgia, is reaping the benefits of having passed the Transportation Funding Act of 2015.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has awarded hundreds of projects designed to improve the state’s infrastructure.

“You’re about to see $600 million spent on Ga. 400 all the way to where it intersects with I-285,” he said. “There will be a northbound and southbound lane added to Ga. 400 from McFarland to Browns Bridge Road. That work should be completed this year. Part of the northbound lane has already been completed and it has made a big difference in the commute time.

“A new interchange is in the design phase for Ga. 400 at Exit 17. The traffic light will be removed there and their will be an elevated off ramp there,” he said. “There is also a continuous flow interchange being built at Ga. 400 and Dawsonville Hwy.”

Gooch spent much of the summer, traversing the state as co-chairman of a joint legislative broadband committee, studying how to bring internet access to rural parts of the state.

“Twenty years ago when a company came to our area to consider relocating, the things that were important to them was roads, water and sewer,” he said. “Today they have to have internet access.”

Gooch said more than a dozen committees had studied the problem this summer and had come up with a report that incorporates 26 recommendations. That report is ready and is now posted on the state’s website.

The problem, he said, is that companies will only invest hundreds of millions of dollars where they can expect a reasonable return on their investment and that is in the urban and suburban areas.

“In order for rural areas to continue to prosper, we’ve got to find ways to incentivize those investments whether it’s through tax credits, grants or federal programs. We’re going to take a strong look at those 26 recommendations and begin to draft legislation. We won’t be in a pass hurry to pass something in the first three weeks of the session. We’re going to take some time and be deliberative about it.”

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UNG women’s soccer seniors earn all-region honors

Sports, University of North Georgia

DAHLONEGA, GA

According to press release from the University of North Georgia Athletic’s Department, UNG women’s soccer seniors, Renee VanHorn and Asa Thorsen, were announced as the newest members of the United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region team. VanHorn earned second team honors, and Thorsen was named to the third team.

VanHorn finished in fourth place at the Peach Belt Conference, with 12 goals for the season. She also added three assists, bringing her collective total to 27 points and six game-winning goals.

Thorsen scored two goals, assisted on three other goals, and was a key player in the midfield for UNG.

 

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UNG will host 32-team high school basketball showcase

Sports, University of North Georgia

LUMPKIN, CO., GA

According to a press release from the University of North Georgia Athletics Department, UNG and Adrian Penland Basketball are coming together to host the North Georgia High School Showcase that will be held on Saturday, December 1 in two facilities across campus.

North Georgia Medical Center’s Orthopedic Services is sponsoring the event, which will feature a face-off between 32 of the state’s highest ranking high school programs in the state. There will be 16 games, of which wight will be held in the new Convocation Center, and the additional eight will be held in UNG’s Memorial Hall.

Tickets are available for $10 for general admission, $5 for ages 6-17, and free to children five and under. One ticket is good for all 16 games, and it also includes admission into both facilities.

 

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UNG baseball schedule announced for 2019 season

Sports, University of North Georgia

DAHLONEGA,GA

According to a press release from the University of North Georgia Athletics Department, head baseball coach, Tom Cantrell, has announced the 2019 schedule for the UNG baseball program. The 2019 schedule includes 29 home games, which will be held at Bob Stein Stadium.

Two of the eight teams that will be matching up in the 2019 season made it to the  NCAA Division II Baseball Championship in Southern Indiana and Columbus State and will go against the Nighthawks during the upcoming season.

UNG will face USI February 15-17, in Dahlonega, before a trip to Columbus May 3-5 to finish the regular season.

UNG’s opener will be against Florida Tech, before opening up at home against Palm Beach Atlantic February 8-10. After the series against Southern Indiana, the Nighthawks will also open in the home Peach Belt battle against Flagler, to end a nine game season.

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UNG women’s basketball team defeats Clark Atlanta 87-55

Sports, University of North Georgia

DAHLONEGA, GA

According to a press release from the University of North Georgia Athletics Department, 10 members of the UNG women’s basketball team earned a spot in the scoring column as the No. 16 Nighthawks downed Clark Atlanta, 87-55, Wednesday night in the UNG Convocation Center.

The Nighthawks hd a strong 7-0 start before the Panthers, increasing that to a 12-0 run later in the first quarter, with the Panthers unable to outscore UNG.

 

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Thankful Hearts hosts sixth-annual Take & Bake

Community, Non Profit

LUMPKIN, CO

Thankful Hearts Lumpkin held their sixth-annual “Take & Bake” on Tuesday, where they handed out thanksgiving groceries to local families in need of assistance this holiday season. Founding member, Amberly Enich, explained to Fetch Your News that the charity started seven years ago, with a single idea on how to help Dahlonega families who could not afford groceries for Thanksgiving.

Photo courtesy of Thankful Hearts Lumpkin

Photo courtesy of Thankful Hearts Lumpkin

In the spring of 2012, Enich and James, along with founding members, Stephanie Jones, Molly Jackson, Bridget Barker, and Michele Grainger, hosted their first annual Thankful Hearts charity event; their goal was to raise enough money to feed at least 10 Lumpkin County families, but they surpassed that goal, and they were able to feed 29 families. Each year since, they have exceeded their goal, and 2018 was their highest year so far, providing groceries to 78 local families. 

Throughout the past six years, Thankful Hearts has earned support from local businesses such as, Walmart, Dahlonega Funeral Home, and Refrigiwear, through monetary donations, food donations, and even food storage.

Take & Bake is the event held each year, in which the receiving families are able to pick up their groceries from Thankful Hearts. Enich expressed her gratitude for the people and businesses who help feed locals each Thanksgiving, “This was just an idea that started, and I truly never imagined that it would turn into this. We’ve never had to beg for money or be stressed over nominations. There’s a true need in LC & we’re just so thankful that we are able to help fill that need”

Thankful Hearts is a division of Lumpkin County Family Connections, and everyone is welcome to volunteer or donate.

 

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UNG junior breaks record for career steals-mark

Sports, University of North Georgia

DAHLONEGA, GA

According to a press release from the University of North Georgia Athletics Department, Ephraim Tshimanga broke the UNG career steals-mark, as the University of North Georgia men’s basketball team earned its first win of the season over Erskine, 89-64.

Tshimanga had six steals on the night, breaking the record held by former UNG point-guard Travis Core, who now has 113 career steals.

North Georgia jumped out quickly against the Flying Fleet, scoring the first 11 points of the contest to take the lead for good. The Nighthawks led by as many as 31 points en route to the 25 point win.

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UNG enrollment grew by  5 percent in fall semester

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Officials with the University of North Georgia say 19,722 students are currently enrolled across all their campuses, an increase of 5 percent for the 2018 fall semester.

In a media release from the school it was pointed out that among Georgia’s public colleges and universities, UNG’s percentage increase is the third largest, just behind Middle Georgia State University at 6.3 percent.

“Our increasing enrollment and the demand for our programs reflect UNG’s consistent national recognition as one of the best values in higher education, as well as the commitment of our faculty and staff to educational excellence,” UNG President Bonita C. Jacobs said. “From dual enrollment to graduate programs, UNG is attracting highly qualified and extremely talented students at all levels.”

“While the University System of Georgia continues to see modest increases in enrollment, more students than ever are graduating from our institutions,” University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “The number of USG students annually earning degrees is up 21 percent since 2011 when the Complete College Georgia initiative related to college attainment launched. With this success, we remain committed to our goals of making college more affordable and accessible, finding greater opportunities to be more efficient and ensuring more Georgians enter the workforce with a college credential.”

Also, UNG had enrollment increases in graduate programs and the dual-enrollment program, which allows students to earn college credit while in high school.

 

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

 

 

 

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