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.”


Arrest Made in Threat to University Professor


(Lumpkin County, GA) August 8, 2018 – On Wednesday, August 1, 2018, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the University of North Georgia Police Department to assist in an investigation involving threats of violence made to a university professor.

The threats, made by email and letter, involved a threat of gun violence to the professor, other staff, and students if the professor did not resign. An extensive investigation by the GBI and the UNG Police Department resulted in the arrest of Jose Gomez, 23, of Alpharetta, for Terroristic Threats and Acts. Gomez was arrested at his Alpharetta home on August 4, 2018 by the Alpharetta Police Department.

Gomez was transported to the Lumpkin County Jail where he will face the charge in Lumpkin County Superior Court.

UNG to Host NCAA Cross Country Southeast Regional in November

University of North Georgia
6/25/2018 | Women’s Cross Country
DAHLONEGA – For the first time in history, a NCAA postseason event will be held on the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus as the UNG cross country team will host the NCAA Southeast Regional on November 17 at the UNG Cross Country Course.

The 2018 NCAA regional will mark the 10th time that North Georgia has competed for a chance to race for a National Championship. The Nighthawks have advanced to the championship race once before in 2014.

Prior to hosting the regional, North Georgia will have the Southeast Regional course race ready for the sixth annual UNG Invitational on September 29 on the Gainesville campus. The Nightahwks will look to defend their title from a year ago in the race.

The UNG Cross Country course is is all grass and dirt and is considered “flat and fast.” Per NCAA championship guidelines, the NCAA Regional will be run as a 6K for the women and a 10K for the men. The UNG Cross Country Course is generally set up as a 2K loop. Fans can come to either event as admission is free and open to the public.

Bryson Worley Named Director of Golf/Head Men’s Coach at North Georgia

University of North Georgia
6/7/2018 | Men’s Golf
DAHLONEGA – University of North Georgia Director of Athletics Lindsay Reeves has announced the hiring of Bryson Worley as the school’s new Director of Golf at UNG. He will officially begin his duties in Dahlonega on Monday, July 2.

Worley’s primary responsibility will be serving as the head coach of the men’s team, but he will also provide strategic planning and be a unifying presence of both the men’s and women’s teams. He will be responsible for the overall successful development, planning, implementation, maintenance and evaluation of the programs.

“Bryson is extremely well-respected in the golf community,” Reeves stated. “The position had a very strong pool of candidates and we are very excited that he and his family have decided to join the Nighthawk team. Bryson’s understanding of the college golf landscape, along with his passion and vision for North Georgia is a great fit for both our university, as well as our golf programs.”

Worley comes to North Georgia from nearby Gainesville High School where he has coached the men’s golf team since 2002. He also served the Red Elephants as the Assistant Principal and Assistant Athletic Director fof Facilities. During his time with the Red Elephants, he was named the 2012 and 2013 GACA State Coach of the Year as well as a 13-time GACA Region Coach of the Year and a 10-time Gainesville Times Area Coach of the Year.

In his coaching career of 21 years, Worley has collected a pair of GHSA state championships, 10 region championships, 67 tournament victories and 131 top five finishes. He has coached 51 All-State honorees, 97 All-Area players and 26 collegiate players, including four that have played professionally. Worley’s players have played in three USGA Junior Championships and two USGA Amateur Championships.

His players have also been successful in the classroom, compiling a cumulative grade point average of 3.87 over his 21 years in the profession.

“I am so grateful to Lindsay Reeves and the rest of the UNG Department of Athletics for this amazing opportunity and for their belief and trust in me,” stated Worley. “The potential of the program is so exciting, and I could not be more enthusiastic about our ability to play for championships and contribute to the amazing athletic success of the UNG Nighthawk brand. I want our student-athletes to leave Dahlonega having had become better men and women. High expectations in the classroom, in the community and on the golf course will help realize the potential of our golf programs. I can’t wait to get started.”

Outside of the GHS walls, Worley is the current chairman of the Georgia State Golf Association Junior Golf Committee and is a member of the Chattahoochee Golf Club and City of Gainesville’s Golf Course Advisory Committee. He is also currently serving as a member of the Georgia High School Golf Coaches’ Association Executive Board and was named to the GHSA Golf Advisory Board to the Executive Director.

He has also instructed at the Chris Haack Bulldog Golf Camp at the University of Georgia since 2005 and at the Dr. Morris Pickens’ Sea Island Elite Camp.

He also created “The Herd” junior golf program which produced over 80 junior golfers from ages 8-14. Having played golf for over 30 years, Worley competes regularly in regional amateur events and has competed in the Georgia State Amateur Tournament.

Worley holds a Level 1 certification at the Titleist Performance Institute and is a certified Impact Zone instructor. He graduated from Wofford College in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science before receiving his Master of Education from Piedmont College in 2001. Most recently, he acquired his Ed.S. from UNG in 2007 in Educational Leadership.

What They Are Saying About Coach Worley

“Great hire by UNG! Bryson will do a phenomenal job with North Georgia just as he has done at Gainesville High School. He knows what it takes to not only build teams, but to win championships.”
– Chris Haack, Director of Golf/Head Men’s Golf Coach, University of Georgia

“I am very excited to have Bryson take over our men’s program. He has had a long tradition of success at Gainesville and I am positive he will start that tradition here at North Georgia. I am looking forward to working with him in this new role.”
– Leigh Anne Hunter, Head Women’s Golf Coach, University of North Georgia

“Bryson is going to be a great fit at the University of North Georgia. He is the type of coach that will create a phenomenal culture with high expectations throughout the program which will lead to them being successful.”
– Ryan Hybl, Head Men’s Golf Coach, University of Oklahoma

Smith, Johns Named First Team NFCA All-Americans

University of North Georgia
5/23/2018 | Softball
SALEM, Va. – University of North Georgia sophomore pitchers Amber Johns and Kylee Smith were each named to the NFCA All-America First Team Wednesday night as announced by the association at the NCAA Division II Softball Championship Banquet. Smith was one of three first team pitchers, while Johns was an At-Large selection as a pitcher.

Johns, a sophomore from Powder Springs, Georgia, is a perfect 18-0 in 29 appearances this season. She has struck out 112 batters in 110 innings with batters hitting just .146 against her this season. She has the third-best ERA in Division II at 0.76. This is Johns’ first NFCA All-American honor as she was named to the D2CCA Third Team earlier in the day.

Smith, a sophomore from Suwanee, Georgia, is 35-1 in 39 games in the circle, compiling three saves as well. She has the most strikeouts in the nation with 320 punch outs to just 43 walks. With batters hitting just .129 against her this season, her ERA is the second best in the nation at 0.65. This is Smith’s second NFCA All-American accolade as she was named to the First Team last year as well. Earlier Wednesday, Smith was named the D2CCA Ron Lenz Pitcher of the Year and to the D2CCA First Team.

The pitching duo and the rest of the No. 1 Nighthawks will open the tournament tomorrow morning at 11 a.m.

Morrison, Perez Earn D2CCA Second Team All-Region Honors

University of North Georgia
5/18/2018 | Baseball
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – After being named to the NCBWA All-Region Second Team earlier this week, University of North Georgia baseball players Parker Morrison and Andres Perez earned D2CCA All-Region honors as announced by the association Friday evening.

A redshirt freshman from Cumming, Georgia, Morrison is the second team All-Region reliever after recording 10 saves and a 4-2 record and posting a 2.01 ERA in 53.2 innings of work on the mound for UNG. He had 62 strikeouts against just 27 walks, with opponents hitting just .164 against him this season.

A sophomore from Duluth, Georgia, Perez earned second team All-Region honors as a catcher, hitting .330 with a Peach Belt best 23 homers to go along with 68 RBI and a .699 slugging percentage. He also caught 20 of the 28 base runners that tried to steal a base against him this season.

Both Nighthawks are on the D2CCA All-Region list for the first time in their careers.

SALEM BOUND! No. 1 Nighthawks Come From Behind to Win Super Regional

University of North Georgia
5/18/2018 | Softball | Box Score
DAHLONEGA – For the first time since 2015, the No. 1 University of North Georgia softball team is headed to the NCAA Division II Softball Championship after coming back to eliminate Young Harris, 2-1, in the Southeast Super Regional Fridayafternoon at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium.

The Mountain Lions struck first in the fourth, using three singles to scratch the game’s first run across the plate. North Georgia got runners in scoring position in three innings without plating a run prior to finally scoring in the sixth.

With a 2-2 count to lead off the sixth, Kaylyn Anthony blasted a solo shot that never got higher than seven feet off the ground, just clearing the fence to tie the game, 1-1. North Georgia took the lead for good as Hobby Gregory came sliding into home on a double steal to give UNG the margin needed to advance in the tournament. Young Harris got a runner to third in the final frame, but a groundout to senior Brittany Gilliam clinched the win, allowing the celebration to begin.

– Kylee Smith earned her 35th win of the year, surrendering just one run off five hits and three walks while punching out eight.

– The one-run lead for YHC was the first time that North Georgia had trailed in a game since the regular season finale against Flagler when UNG trailed, 1-0, for a half inning before the Nighthawks scored four in the next half inning.

– Shelby Hammontree led UNG at the plate, going 1-for-2 with a walk.

– With the win, North Georgia officially wins the Battle of Blood Mountain for the fifth straight year, 6.0-4.0.

The Nighthawks will head to Salem, Virginia, for the 2018 NCAA Division II Softball Championship and will play on Thursday in the first game. The NCAA Softball Committee will reseed the eight teams prior to releasing the matchups.

Top-Ranked Softball Set to Host Young Harris in Southeast Super Regional

University of North Georgia
5/15/2018 | Softball
DAHLONEGA – The No. 1 University of North Georgia softball team will take on rival Young Harris in the NCAA Division II Southeast Super Regional Thursday and Friday at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium for a chance to continue the road to a National Championship in Salem, Virginia.

The Nighthawks breezed through Southeast Regional 1 last weekend, outscoring opponents by a score of 20-3 on the weekend. North Georgia has hosted four straight Super Regionals headed into the weekend and has never played in a Super Regional away from the Hill.

Young Harris needed the “if necessary” game to advance out of Southeast Regional 2 in Hickory, North Carolina, after No. 11 Lenoir-Rhyne came out of the consolation bracket and forced the seventh game. The Mountain Lions are playing in their first Super Regional in program history.

The two rivals split their regular season series with YHC taking a 4-3 first game before the Nighthawks stormed back to win, 8-4, in game two.

The series will start on Thursday with a 2 p.m. first pitch. Game two will be played at noon on Friday with the third game of the best-of-three series to be played at 2:30 p.m. Friday if both teams split the first two games. Daily general admission is $10 for adults (over 17) and $5 for students (age 8-17), while children under seven are admitted for free. Students of participating schools can pay the student rates by providing a valid student ID. - Dedicated to serve the needs of the community. Provide a source of real news-Dependable Information-Central to the growth and success of our Communities. Strive to encourage, uplift, warn, entertain, & enlighten our readers/viewers- Honest-Reliable-Informative.

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