Kemp to resign as secretary of state at noon today

Opinion, Politics

ATLANTA – Republican Brian Kemp announced that he will officially resign as secretary of state at 11:59 a.m. today and begin the transition to become Georgia’s next governor immediately.

Kemp is currently the state’s top elections official. Governor Nathan Deal will then appoint an interim secretary of state who will certify Tuesday’s election in which he defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams.

Kemp declared victory in the race, but Abrams said she will not concede the election until all provisional ballots are counted. Officials have said she would need 2,500 provisional votes to force a runoff. Kemp said today that only about 2,000 provisional votes remain uncounted.

Fetch Your News will have more details as they become available.



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NGHS reaches agreement to sell Chestatee Regional to University of North Georgia


DAHLONEGA, Ga. — The Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) purchase of Chestatee Regional Hospital (CRH) has opened up an opportunity for the University of North Georgia (UNG) to meet the school’s growing educational needs.

NGHS officials announced Friday an agreement to sell the facility to UNG. While the school will not be able to occupy the building for a couple of years, it plans to house nursing, physical therapy, and counseling education programs, as well as two existing, outreach clinics from the counseling and physical therapy departments designed to serve specialized health needs of the community.

UNG President Bonita Jacobs said, “UNG has been exploring opportunities to add academic space for the Dahlonega Campus, and this acquisition will have a transformative impact across multiple academic programs. The healthcare sector is a broad-reaching, high-demand career area, and the facility could serve as a catalyst for interdisciplinary opportunities and collaborations to support workforce development needs, such as advanced technologies, informatics, and analytics.”

Jacobs thanked Gov. Nathan Deal and State Sen. Steve Gooch and the Board of Regents for their leadership in facilitating the purchase that will ensure healthcare for this rural community long-term, while also improving healthcare education opportunities.

State legislators have earmarked dollars in the state’s 2019 fiscal year budget for the University System of Georgia Board of Regents to purchase the property. Acquisition will require final approval by the Board of Regents later this year. If approved, the Board of Regents initially would lease the property to NGHS.

Meanwhile, NGHS officials will conduct an assessment of the community’s healthcare needs, including evaluating the possibility of a new facility in Lumpkin County, just south of the intersection of Georgia Highways 400 and 60.

“Chestatee Regional Hospital has been a vital resource for Lumpkin County and an integral part of healthcare in the region for more than 40 years,” said Carol Burrell, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of NGHS. “We look forward to working with the community to better understand what care it needs and collaborating to create a plan to meet those needs in the future.”

CRH is required to notify federal regulators of plans to close the hospital later this year, which would help assure existing liabilities are not tied to future owners or operators. A specific date will be set for the hospital closing during a required due diligence period.

“Our immediate goal is to assess what is needed to re-establish high-quality healthcare services in Lumpkin County after the hospital closes,” Louis Smith, president of Acute and Post-Acute Operations for NGHS, said. “Given what information we’ve received about existing resources, we estimate it may take as many as 12 months to complete that assessment.”

Gooch, who also serves as executive director of Lumpkin County’s Development Authority, said the deal would both stabilize the future of healthcare for Northeast Georgia and allow UNG expanded academic space.


Update on Hurricane Irma Cleanup and Relief Efforts

State & National

ATLANTA (September 18, 2017) | On Thursday, September 14, 2017, Senator Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega)  joined Governor Nathan Deal, local elected officials and first responders for a press conference in Habersham County  to address Hurricane Irma cleanup and relief efforts.

“First and foremost, I would like to extend my gratitude to the first responders and volunteers who are helping the ongoing recovery efforts in our local communities and throughout the state,” said Sen. Gooch. “It is an honor to join Governor Deal, our local elected officials, first responders and citizens in any and all efforts to get our state back up and running. Our citizens are resilient and I am confident that by working together, we can help those in need and rebuilt each and every community that was impacted. It was very uplifting to witness the outpour of assistance from the hundreds of employees of utility companies from all over the United States.”

On Monday, September 11, 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall in Georgia leaving around 1 million citizens without power. The impact from Irma was felt from the coastal plains to the north Georgia mountains. The state of Georgia saw unprecedented damage caused by the tropical storm force winds that reached more than 400 miles from the storm’s center. Relief efforts are ongoing and first responders, power companies, state agencies, volunteers and citizens are working around the clock to rebuild and restore power.

Governor Deal and the federal government responded quickly and declared a state of emergency in Georgia so that funds could be appropriated to help with the financial burden of the storm. Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA) is coordinating their efforts with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state agencies and local authorities to ensure recovery, rebuilding and cleanup is completed in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

Additional information can be found on the GEMA and FEMA websites:

Deal Expands State of Emergency to Include ALL 159 Counties

News, State & National

Acting on a recommendation from the state’s Emergency Operations Command and ahead of heavy rains, strong wind and potential flooding from Hurricane Irma, Gov. Nathan Deal today expanded the emergency declaration to include an additional 65 counties. The state of emergency now includes all 159 counties in Georgia. State government will be closed Monday and Tuesday for all employees except essential personnel.

Following a briefing from officials and visit with emergency responders, Deal will hold a media avail tonight at the State Operations Center at 6 p.m.

Follow this link to read the executive order.

For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency website.

Karen Handel Welcomes Trump to Campaign with Her in the 6th District


(R) Karen Handel seems to be doing exactly what is necessary to get out the Republican vote in the 6th district. (D) Jon Ossoff has to spend the next two months convincing the Democrats just to go back to the polls. On the other hand Handel has to get every registered Republican vote she can; regardless of who they voted for last week or in the Presidential primary election. Within the next two months it won’t be hard to bump into a well known Republican in the 6th district. Handel has received endorsements from almost every single Republican. From her one time rival Governor Nathan Deal to what some consider controversial President Donald Trump.

BKP questioned last week what Karen Handel would do concerning Donald Trump voters. Would she embrace President Trump during her campaign or listen to the media and turn down the possibility to campaign with The President?

During an interview on CNN, Handel shared her conversation with The President stating “He just called to say congrats and encourage me and let me know as we go into June 20, it’s all hands on deck for Republicans.” When asked if she thought Mr. Trump might come down and campaign with her, Handel responded, “I would hope so,” adding, “I don’t think this is about any one person.”

The 6th Congressional district race could set the tone for the 2018 midterms. For Republicans the 6th district will look like a real “who’s who.” But who will the Democrats send to help Jon Ossoff in this important race; Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, or maybe even Maxine Waters.



Georgia Speaker of The House David Ralston Talks About Rural Georgia Issues, Health Care…

Featured, Politics

Our interview Friday with Speaker of The House David Ralston focused on rural Georgia. Ralston went into detail about the new Rural Georgia Economic Council. This council will be co-chaired by (R) Terry England from Auburn, (R) Jay Powell from Camilla and Vice Chair (R) Sam Watson from Moultry. The council will be holding meetings across Georgia to hear from elected officials, local businesses and citizens about how they feel rural Georgia economy can best be improved. Ralston said jokingly that he better not find out that one meeting took place in Atlanta.

Health care is a major concern in rural Georgia. Several hospitals have closed in rural Georgia areas including one in Ralston’s district in North Georgia. We spoke to Ralston abut one possible solution to meet rural Georgia health care needs. Ralston used the example of the first stand alone emergency room, opened by Piedmont Mountainside Hospital in Gilmer county. In this interview we asked Ralston if Gilmer county still had the possibility of having a full hospital.

Ralston told us that sometime within the next month Governor Nathan Deal would be visiting Gilmer county’s Fire Station 1 to sign the fire fighter’s workmen’s compensation bill.  We asked Ralston the difference in this years campus carry bill opposed to last year’s bill which Governor Deal vetoed. Not being able to speak for the Governor, Ralston said he felt they made the changes necessary to get Deal to sign the bill. We also discussed the pay raises agreed upon in the 2017 legislative session for teachers, state law enforcement, and D.F.C.S workers.  

Our final question in our interview friday: Speaker Ralston do you see the governor’s mansion in your future?

Jury Finds Coroner Guilty


DAHLONEGA, Ga. — Sources tell Fetch Your News that a Superior Court jury found Lumpkin County Coroner Ronald Fortner guilty of theft by deception and violation of his oath of office Friday evening.

Fortner has been sentenced to 15 years with three to serve in jail and 12 years on probation. He will have to pay a $31,750 fine plus court costs and $3,175 restitution to county with early termination after 10 years if all money is paid.


Morning Monologue 3/29/16


Governer Deal Caves to Business Pressure.

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