LUMPKIN COUNTY, Ga. – County Commission Chairman Chris Dockery and Dahlonega Mayor Sam Norton delivered the annual State of the City and County address to a large crowd at the Parks and Recreation Department Thursday evening.
The event was streamed live on the Fetch Your News website and sponsored by Northside Hospital Forsyth and Truist, which was formed when Suntrust Bank and BB&T merged.
Dockery emphasized issues like the new $4.2 million library that will open in March, improvements to the county’s roads and bridges, the 2014 and 2020 SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax) projects and the 400 Gateway Corridor.
About the library, Dockery said, “That is more than just a place to check out books. It is really going to be a community center, a place Lumpkin Countians can be proud of. The library says a lot about our commitment to the future.”
The lion’s share of building the library was paid for with SPLOST funds as were the improvements to the county’s roads and bridges.
“You will probably see more paving going on in Lumpkin County than you ever have because we have the funding through the TSPLOST,” Dockery said. “We’re really excited about this summer.”
The $4.2 million the county will spend on road improvement includes replacing badly needed maintenance equipment like an excavator and spreader truck. The city and county are working on a joint project to improve the Oak Grove Road/Hwy. 19 intersection with some Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) funding. Officials with both governments agree that is a very dangerous intersection.
The chairman also touched on a number of other capital projects undertaken since 2017 like expansion of the senior center, energy efficient upgrades to county-owned buildings, construction of Fire Station 7, expansion of the Senior Center and the splash pad completed last year which he called “the most popular place in the county last summer.”
Dockery said the county is prepared for the growth along the Georgia 400 corridor that will follow the construction of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Lumpkin that is expected to open in the Fall of 2021.
There is a 12-inch water line that runs all the way down Ga. 400 to Blackburn Elementary School. NGMC is expected to need 10,000 to 12,000 gallons of water daily. The water plant on Red Oak Flats Road can supply 50,000 gallons a day and can expand to provide up to 75,000 gallons daily.
“Lumpkin County is a model for local government,” Dockery said. “Our core values are trustworthiness, respect, integrity, excellence and dedication. I think that accurately reflects each employee of your local government.”
Mayor Norton declared, “The state of the city is strong and we are optimistic.”
He pointed out the city’s population had doubled in the last 20 years to about 7,000. Employment is at a near historic low of 3.4 percent. The city has achieved an A bond rating from Standard and Poor, the millage rate was reduced by half a mill in 2019 and 419 new business licenses were issued last year.
He discussed the construction of a new hotel on Main Street and the expansion of another at the Smith House.
“The hotel (on Main Street) will probably be the most significant construction that has happened since the Gold Museum was revamped,” he said. “It will bring 100 people around the clock, day in and day out as customers to Dahlonega. We have never had that before and we believe it will have zero impact on parking since there are 75 rooms and 76 parking spots. Revenue from the hotel/motel tax has helped the City build projects like the All Abilities playground at Hancock Park.
As for parking, which has always been a problem in the City, Norton said, “We think we can finally start talking realistically about a parking deck. We are going to hire someone who is going to give us advice on that.”
As for future growth, the mayor said the old Mohawk plant offers an excellent opportunity. “There is a large tract of land there that is ripe for development. It has water, sewer and internet.”
The reservoir – a joint project of the City and County holds 850 million gallons of water and can treat up to 1.6 million gallons daily.
Norton also pointed out the City is continuing to upgrade its website. Residents can now find all City ordinances on line as well as City codes and meeting agendas. Soon, he said, residents will be able to pay many bills online.
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
PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. — The National Weather Service issued a Special Weather Statement Monday morning for Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Dade, Walker, Catoosa, Whitfield, Murray, Fannin, Gilmer, Union, Towns, Chattooga, Gordon, Pickens, Floyd, Bartow, Cherokee, Forsyth, Hall, Banks, Jackson, Polk, Paulding, Cobb, North Fulton, Gwinnett, Barrow, Haralson, Carroll, Douglas, South Fulton, DeKalb, Rockdale, Heard, Coweta, Fayette, Clayton and Troup counties.
Light snow is possible over north and west Georgia Tuesday afternoon and overnight. Wind chill values could be near zero Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
* WHAT…Light snow up to 1 inch, very cold temperatures and wind chills possible.
* WHERE…Much of north and west Georgia north of a line from LaGrange to Conyers to Commerce.
* WHEN…Areas of light snow could begin as soon as 12 PM on Tuesday in far northwest Georgia and spread into west central and northeast Georgia, including the Atlanta metro area by Tuesday evening. Single digit wind chills after 9 PM.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Although forecast amounts will mainly be less than 1 inch, temperatures will be well below freezing Tuesday night. Any snow that falls, no matter how light will likely remain on the roads and ground through Thursday morning. Low temperatures Wednesday morning will range from 12 to 20 degrees with wind chill readings from 10 above to near zero.
This forecast will likely change. Stay tuned to the latest forecasts and be ready for possible watches, advisories or warnings.
Fetch Your News will update weather warnings as they become 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. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com
Springtime in Ellijay means a lot of great upcoming events to get outside and enjoy! Dalton State College is hosting an art show for all local students from today until May 5th. There will be a reception tonight to kick off the art show. There are also ribbon cuttings this week at Premier Pools and Spas and Abby’s Ice Cream and Fro Yo. This weekend is Earth Day and it is supposed to be a beautiful weekend. In honor of Earth Day there will be a couple “clean up” events around town one will be at Harrison Park and the other will start at River Pavilion.
The next big Gilmer County event that we are looking forward to is the Apple Blossom Festival on May 6th and 7th. This is a great festival showcasing local craft vendors, food vendors and businesses. Come out, bring your pups, and meet the FYN team. We will have a “pup-cam” and treats for all our furry friends as well. Also in today’s segment with Karla hear a little confession from BKP about “his spot” at the Apple Blossom Festival.
For more information on all these upcoming events and many more check out the events calendar on the Gilmer Chamber website.
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Qualified candidates must share our vision of producing and reporting coverage of local sports that stands out as being informative and entertaining for fans and non-fans alike. We cover all teams in our coverage area including area College teams. Coverage may include motor sports (NASCAR, local racing), local prep sports and community events. Our Sports Director is responsible for organizing coverage, producing, and publishing local sports coverage including special news segment on High School – Game Night on all of our platforms. Manage workflow and distribution/scheduling of content on social media. Collaborates effectively with others, along with communicate and work effectively with a team of sports journalists to give a complete picture of sports coverage in designated areas.
The ideal candidate is the following:
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Today Doctor Whaley had great information for us as usual! He also brought us a little table decoration. In this segment the Doc answered the following viewer questions:
My doctor says I have degenerative changes in my spine. Does this mean I have arthritis?
Is disk replacement surgery an effective treatment for low back pain?
Can vitamin C help prevent colds or shorten them? Can vitamin C improve my mood?
If you have a question for our “Ask the Doc” segment email them to firstname.lastname@example.org anytime and we will get them on the show. We would like to thank Georgia Cancer Specialist for sponsoring this segment.
Channel 2 Action News recently published a video involving an incident between a now-former Lumpkin County teacher and baseball coach and a 17-year-old Lumpkin County student in the lunchroom cafeteria of Lumpkin County’s alternative school, during school hours on April 21, 2017. The altercation allegedly began over a styrofoam lunch tray.
In the video, Tim Garner, 61, is seen putting his hand on the student’s neck, while forcing him onto a lunch table. Garner was charged with first degree cruelty to children and simple battery, which are both felonies; he turned himself in to the Lumpkin County Detention Center shortly after the charges were filed. He also resigned from his position with Lumpkin County Schools.
Garner states that he had asked the student to clean up the mess he made in the cafeteria, which escalated into a physical struggle. According to Garner, the student, whom he asserted was a troubled teen who had a history of violence, became physical with Garner and his main concern, he said, was to restrain the student to prevent him from swinging.
The event recently resurfaced after Channel 2 Action News released the video to the public, which has been available via open records request since 2017. Lumpkin County superintendent, Dr. Rob Brown, released a statement earlier today, in response to the video and the investigation, “As educators, our primary responsibility is to keep our students safe and free from harm. We expect the actions of our employees to support this mission at all times”.
Michael Seiden, WSBTV reporter, received the following statement from the student’s attorney, Zack Tumlin, on Friday, August 10.
“Coach Garner’s assertions that my client is a troubled and violent youth is absurd, as is the assertion that my client initiated any contact with him. The truth of the matter, as the video clearly shows, is that Coach Garner decided to subdue and choke a child for almost 50 seconds as a method of exercising discretionary discipline for a minor infraction in the lunchroom. We expect Coach Garner to be held accountable and take responsibility for his lapse in judgment, and for the School District to do the right thing in settling the civil claims that will follow the criminal prosecution.”
While the alternative school does provide an alternative learning environment for students who have had behavioral issues, it is also designed to help students who may benefit from the unique learning conditions due to anxiety and other issues that may hinder them from succeeding in a traditional public school setting. Garner is set to appear in court on Tuesday, August 14.
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Doctor Whaley from the Georgia Cancer Specialist came to sit with us today to discuss some great viewer questions. This week he discussed how smart phone addictions in adolescents are leading to anti social behavior and the following viewer questions:
My fingers have been getting numb and turning white and feel cold and it lasts for approximately 15 minutes should i be concerned?
I have been having sharp pains in one side of my head the pains are sudden and sharp but do not last very long is this just a type of migraine?
Since the weather has been colder i have been experiencing extreme dry skin to the point it skin breaks open and nothing I’ve used seems to alleviate the problem so I wondered if there is an over the counter solution which may help?
We would like to thank Georgia Cancer Specialist for sponsoring this segment. If you ever have a question for our doc email them to email@example.com with Ask the Doc in the subject line.
This past Friday we continued our discussion about rural Georgia with 51st district (R) State Senator and Lumpkin County’s economic development director, Steve Gooch. Our three areas of focus: rural Georgia economy, broadband access, and health care. Although the district doesn’t want to see something in the line of the KIA plant they most certainly would be open to small companies offering high paying, high tech jobs. In order to attract these types of companies; the area must provide good schools, fast internet, and quality health care. We discussed Piedmont Mountainside new stand alone emergency health care center in Gilmer County; a model for quality health care in rural areas. When our discussion turned to high speed internet for the area, Gooch was unable to say they “moved the ball” concerning Senate Bill 232, Facilitating Internet Broadband Rural Expansion (FIBRE) Act.