Ask Alex : High School Rumors

Advice, Ask, Alex, Behavior, Opinion, relationship, girlfriend, boyfriend, exes, photos, pictures, commitment, compromise

Hey Alex!

I broke up with my boyfriend and he is starting nasty rumors about me. I don’t know who all has heard the rumors but I feel like people are treating me different and talking about me. It’s so bad that I don’t even want to go to school! I keep begging my mom to just let me stay home, but she is making me go anyway. How can I make her understand how bad it is?





Hey Scared!

I can tell you with a lot of confidence that what you are facing has been faced by almost every single person in the world. Whether it is embarrassment from untrue rumors or humiliation from a mistake. So know that you are not alone and take this knowledge with you when you hear something about someone else. Remember your feelings in this moment and try in the future to not be a part of making someone else feel this way.

I wish there was a way to let you know how insignificant this moment in your life will end up being. It will pass and the less importance you place on it, the quicker it will go. All gossip becomes old gossip when something new occurs and something new will always occur.

Your mom is right in having you just face it head on. The more you show that these rumors don’t hold any power over you, the less power these rumors have and the less likely people are to believe them.

Keep in mind those that know you, know the truth and who you are, and those that choose to believe what they hear, don’t matter.




You can check out more of Alex’s advice by clicking here : Ask Alex : Accidental Text

If you enjoy reading Alex’s advice, send in your questions or situations to Each week, Alex will answer a new question or provide some friendly advice on issues we deal with every day. Whether it’s serious, fun, interesting, or you’re just stuck, send in your questions to Ask Alex for a little bit of outside perspective on life.

L4GA grant brings literacy to all local children

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BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) awarded Union County School System (UCS) $3.2 million over five years to advance literacy efforts.


Assistant Superintendent Dr. Paula Davenport was instrumental in UCS receiving the L4GA grant.

As a recipient of the Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading in Georgia (L4GA) grant, UCS will focus on creating plans for children from birth to 12th grade. Additionally, the school will partner with the community to effectively reach all local children.

UCS was at the top of the list to receive the grant, according to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Paula Davenport.

GaDOE considers “the poverty level of a community, the percentage of students reading below grade level, the recent rate of growth in the number of students reading above grade level, and whether a school is identified for support from the Department of Education’s School Improvement team.”

From a GaDOE release on the program:

“Introduced in 2016, L4GA is a unique approach to improving literacy that pairs community-driven action with research-proven instruction. In its first round, funded by a federal Striving Readers grant of $61.5 million, 38 school districts partnered with early learning and care providers as well as community organizations to implement community efforts and improve classroom instruction. By working together, schools, early learning providers and caretakers, and community leaders are moving the needle on literacy – in 2019, third-grade students showed significant gains in English Language Arts and grade-level reading.”

UCS has developed a slogan for the program “literacy is for everyone” or “LIFE” for short. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Davenport explained the school will develop tailored programs to meet each child’s interest from digital books to picture books and graphic novels.

“Whatever it takes to get a child to read,” she added.

Davenport also spoke about how literacy is more than just reading; it’s drawing, listening, and writing. Each area of focus will help children gain a holistic understanding and appreciation of literacy.

The public library, daycare programs, families, and businesses will play an essential role in granting greater access to materials. For instance, parents will be encouraged to read bedtime stories to their children.

With the first planning meeting this week, the initial implementation of the L4GA program will probably be adaptable due to COVID-19. The first year might become more digital to protect the health of everyone involved.

UCS students have scored highly in literacy in the past, but low in writing. Davenport hopes the holistic approach of the L4GA program will lead to an improvement in writing scores as well. Typically, the school uses Milestone test scores to judge students’ abilities, but currently, the most recent data is from 2018-2019. Georgia canceled the Milestone tests for 2019-2020 and could do the same in 2020-2021 because of COVID-19.

L4GA brings together the entire community to support the whole child.

Teams from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia State University will be collecting data from L4GA districts to document positive practices and gauge the overall​ impact of the L4GA Project.

A total of 23 schools received the grant for 2019. The award total was $22,101,554.

L4GA 2019 Grantees: Burke County Schools, Butts County Schools, Charlton County Schools, Clayton County Schools, Cook County Schools, Elbert County Schools, GaDOE State Schools, Glascock County Schools, Grady County Schools, Haralson County Schools, Lanier County Schools, Liberty County Schools, Newton County Schools, Paulding County Schools, Pike County Schools, Pulaski County Schools, Rockdale County Schools, Terrell County Schools, Toombs County Schools, Treutlen County Schools, Troup County Schools, Union County Schools, Vidalia City Schools​.

“School districts selected for the first round of L4GA funding made great strides in student literacy learning,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “I’m eager to see the progress made by our new grant recipients in the coming years. Making sure students are reading on grade-level remains mission-critical, top-priority work for the Georgia Department of Education, and we continue to seek all possible opportunities to support that work at the school and district level.”​







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Ask Alex : Pressure to have children

Advice, Ask, Alex, Behavior, Opinion, relationship, girlfriend, boyfriend, exes, photos, pictures, commitment, compromise

Hey Alex!

I recently got married. My husband and I had been dating for 5 years prior to marriage but we both decided to wait until we graduated college to take the plunge. Since we’ve been married, both of our parents have been pushing for us to have children. They are light hearted about it and say everything in a joking way but we are starting to feel the pressure.

We had talked before we got married about having children and we both want them, but are trying to wait until we become more established in our careers and our lives. I know our parents won’t be around forever and I would really regret them not having the joy of having grandchildren if we wait too long. Are we being selfish by waiting to have children? 

Feeling Rushed



Hey Rushed!

Thank you for asking this question. This is a common issue that a lot of young couples face, feeling the pressure by parents to produce those “grand babies”.  

It sounds like you and your husband have a clear picture of the future you want to have together, and as much as you love your parents and he loves his, this is your life together and your new family you are forming, so take your time and live the life you want.

I understand regret, and if any of your parents were to go before the two of you decide to have a child, there would be a regret that they didn’t get to meet their grandchildren. But this regret will be there no matter when they pass. If your child happens to be fifteen when they go, you’ll regret that they didn’t get to see their grandchild drive or graduate high school. If older, you will regret that they didn’t get to see their grandchild get married or meet their great-grandchildren. This is just part of the living experience, so don’t let these feelings dictate your path, especially on such an important life-changing decision.

From your letter, I get the feeling that you have a good, close relationship with your parents and your husband has the same connection with his. This would mean that you are your parents’ first love and deep down they would never want you to do something that would make you unhappy or make it to where you end up not living your life to the fullest.

You should have a conversation with them and let them know your plans. Based on what you’ve said, I would think they would be completely supportive of your decision.

The bottom line is, that this is your life and you need to take care of yourself and do things at your own pace. Are you doing what makes you happy and makes the most sense for your own well being? 




You can check out more of Alex’s advice by clicking here: Ask Alex : New Neighbors


If you enjoy reading Alex’s advice, send in your questions or situations to Each week, Alex will answer a new question or provide some friendly advice on issues we deal with every day. Whether it’s serious, fun, interesting, or you’re just stuck, send in your questions to Ask Alex for a little bit of outside perspective on life.

Dawson County firefighters roll to save annual Easter Egg hunt

Fetching Featured, Just For Fun

DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. – Firefighters are known for saving lives. Tomorrow they hope to save what would – under normal circumstances – be the community Easter Egg hunt and to put smiles on the faces of children all across the county.

When Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson learned the annual event was being cancelled due to the COVID-19 epidemic, he and his staff went to work to see what they could do bring a little joy back into the community.

EMS Director Danny Thompson

Working with Kids Are Really Equal and the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, they came up with a plan for an Easter Egg Toss. The event will take place tomorrow (Apr. 11) From 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., firefighters wearing personal protective gear and mounted on fire trucks will toss Easter Egg bags in many Dawson County neighborhoods.

“I kept hearing how different Easter would be this year with no community Easter Egg hunt,” Thompson said. “So I got with staff on and we talked about what we could do to put something positive back into the community.”

Thompson added that this all came together in the last two days. “We first met on Wednesday and we got the circular out on Thursday,” he said.

It would be impossible for firefighters to go into every Dawson County community due to the limited number of fire trucks so, in addition to the neighborhoods they will visit, they selected two alternative sites where families can go to receive their Easter Egg bags.

Firefighters will visit the following neighborhoods at the stated times:

10 a.m. — Rainhall, Mensie Park, Biscayne, Deer Run and Bethany Trace.

11 a.m. — Redhawk, Oakmont, Highland Point, Amicalola Chase and Dawson Junction.

12 noon — Dawson Forest Apartments, Oak Forest and Blacksmill.

Families with children who do not live in neighborhoods can participate by visiting Fausett Farms (11336 Hwy. 136 West) or Fire Station 1 (393 Memory Lane) between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. All participants must remain in their vehicles.

While some may question the risk factor, Thompson said it is no different to picking up food at a drive through and it will give families something to smile about for a change.



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 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




Turning the month of April blue for child abuse prevention

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turning april blue

Turning  the month of April blue is the goal for the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy to bring awareness to Child Abuse Prevention Month.

turning april blue

Prevention Palooza features 30 tips to get parents talking to their kids about sexual abuse.

“We hope this will get people asking questions,” said Lea Santom, Region 1 prevention coordinator for the center. She said abuse crosses socioeconomic and racial boundaries and people need to know that the mantra “stranger danger” doesn’t apply to most abuse cases.

“The people you think couldn’t be doing that, might be the ones doing it,” she said.

Turning social media blue will hopefully get people asking questions, she said.

This is important because people don’t want “to think about it because it’s ugly and awful,” said Santom. “They don’t want to think about it happening to their child.”

What they are turning April blue

Since all events had to be cancelled, at least in-person events, Santom said the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy has been getting creative.

They are hosting “Prevention Palooza” on their Facebook page, where they post tips on recognizing abuse and what to do. They will post tips daily through April.

The famous pinwheel gardens that often pop up in communities during April will now sprout online. GCCA will be posting directions on how to make pinwheels and are encouraging families to snap a picture and post it on their Facebook page. Look for details on April 15.

They have already hosted a flag raising ceremony to commemorate children who died as a result of abuse.

Starting next week, Santom said they will be posting interviews with various people involved in the process of investigating cases like social workers and forensic interviewers.

“It’s not just about abuse, it’s prevention and education,” she said.

Why it’s important

“Reports are way down in Georgia,” said Santom. “It’s not because the abuse isn’t happening, it’s because it’s not being reported.”

turning april blue

Tra Nguyen The Georgia Center for Child Advocacy plans to post instructions for making pinwheels on their website. Many counties put pinwheels out for every report of child abuse they’ve had in a year.

Schools closed in March, in an effort to stem the rise of COVID-19, along with other child-service agencies like Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, and other venues with mandated reporters.

“Most abuse is reported by the schools, followed by other service organizations,” said Santom. “Those are the safety nets.”

To off-set this, Santom said they are using the means they have available at the moment — bus drivers.

Many bus drivers in Georgia have been delivering food to children while the schools are shut down, making them the only mandated reporter to be in contact with children, even if it’s only for literally a minute or two.

“Gordon County and some others have really taken off with this,” said Santom, saying they have gotten the criteria of what to look for to eight main things.

According to Georgia State University, in 2017, the latest year available, 122,752 reports were received by child protective services in Georgia with 10,487 substantiated cases, including 97 fatalities. Georgia ranks 38th in the nation for child well-being.

“It is estimated that 1-in-10 children experience sexual abuse by their 18th birthday,” said Santom. “Those are reported cases only. The number of unreported is much higher.”

Santom said they have had success in educating people about the signs of sexual abuse because so often, abuse doesn’t cover one type of abuse and 90-percent of sexual abuse is a 1-on-1 incident.

“If we target those, we are actually eliminating more abuse than just sexual,” she said.

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