Pet of The Week! Bear

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Pet of the Week, dog, puppy, Katrina,

This week, FYNTV says hello to Bear! A brand new Pet of the Week, Bear is between seven and eight weeks old, but much of his history and details are not so certain.

Bear may have honey in his heart, but his tale isn’t so sweet. Rena tells us that they are having to guess a lot with the dog as he was picked up from another county after being found in a garbage can. Despite the sad beginnings, Rena says that this is exactly why they are around. People should always find a humane society or animal shelter of some kind, never dump a pet like this.

Now, Bear lives at the Humane Society of Blue Ridge where he has found better conditions. Bear likes to sit in the cool of the shade, constantly avoiding the sun. He is still skittish against loud noises and needs a little more attention for training as most puppies do.

However, Bear likes cats!

We also have finally gotten BKP to get a cat. A long time Dog-enthusiast, even he is branching out to provide a better home for animals in the area.

You can schedule a time to meet with Bear this week. So, start the process online at the Humane Society of Blue Ridge or call them at 706-632-4357 to set up a time to meet with him, or schedule a meet and greet for your pets to see how they get along.

Sponsored by Blue Ridge Humane Society, you can follow more on Pet of the Week through the dedicated playlist on FYNTV and check out a wider variety of shows there as well.

 

 

If you’re enjoying the Sunday Edition, then consider becoming a contributor with your own articles. If you have an article that needs highlighting send it to lonnie@fetchyournews.com to become a part of our growing community of feature news.

Pet Of The Week – Happy!

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Pet of the Week, dog, puppy, Katrina,

Seven puppies have come to the Blue Ridge Humane Society for adoption, but only Happy came to FYNTV today to be the Pet of the Week on our Friday show.

All seven puppies are named after the seven dwarves.

Happy, a female, along with her two brothers, Sneezy and Sleepy, are the only three left without pre-adoptions pending. Roughly 9-10 weeks old, the Pet of the Week segment is one of Happy’s first outings as she explores the world.

She is ready for her foster-to-adopt process to come home with you until the full process completes with spay. Rena said she is partly a Chihuahua mix, meaning she will not grow large.

You can start the process online at the Humane Society of Blue Ridge or call them at 706-632-4357 to set up a time to meet with Happy or her brothers along with meet and greets for your pets to see how they get along.

Sponsored by Blue Ridge Humane Society, you can follow more on Pet of the Week through the dedicated playlist on FYNTV and check out a wider variety of shows there as well.

If you’re enjoying the Sunday Edition, then consider becoming a contributor with your own articles. If you have an article that needs highlighting send it to lonnie@fetchyournews.com to become a part of our growing community of feature news.

Senior Living: Barton Returns!

Lifestyle
ready, quality

With the return of Jessi Barton and our Senior Living segment, we catch up with our Senior Concierge on all things Cameron Hall and how they are handling the shutdown and return to normal Senior Life. Jessi also speaks on the admissions still going on during this outbreak.

Sponsored by Cameron Hall in Ellijay, you can follow more of North Georgia Senior Living through the dedicated playlist on FYNTV’s Youtube channel and check out a wider variety of shows there as well.

FCHS thanks the Drive in for honoring the senior class of 2020 in a special way

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Fannin County Schools would like to say Thank you to the Swan Drive-In for hosting the FCHS seniors last night for the premiere of the Senior Video.  The event was a huge success, and we estimate there were 120 seniors plus friends and family at the Swan last night.

A very special thank you goes out to Steven Setser and Hunter Alexander for their hard work and dedication to the Fannin County High School video program.  Without them, this video would not have been possible.  Thank you to Ethan Taylor Photography and Jerry Daves Photography for contributing some of the photos in this video.

The Senior Video is set to “Premier” on YouTube on the Fannin Rebel TV channel at 6 pm tonight.  We will also begin our Graduation live stream at 7:20 with this video.  Tonight’s ceremonies will be live on YouTube and ETC channel 14.

The link to the Premier of the video on YouTube is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eq50tw25518

Pet of the Week! Checkers

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Pet of the Week, dog, puppy, Katrina,

BKP has special guest Checkers on the show this morning! Checkers is an adorable 10-month-old, believed to be a lab mix puppy. He is ready to be adopted by a loving family. Every person he sees he wants to say “Hi” to. He is very friendly and loving. He does need to be trained on some things, but with him being treat orientated it should be fairly easy. Make an appointment today to go visit him and adopt today! Just contact the Blue Ridge Humane Society and tell them you want to meet Checkers.

Sponsored by Blue Ridge Humane Society, you can follow more on Pet of the Week through the dedicated playlist on FYNTV’s Youtube channel and check out a wider variety of shows there as well.

Crime Victims’ Rights Week Proclamation signed in three counties

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Proclamation

This week marks a shared proclamation from three neighboring counties, Fannin, Pickens, and Gilmer, as they recognize, in partnership with the Appalchian Judicial Circuit’s District Attorney’s (DA) Office, it as Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

District Attorney B. Alison Sosebee, left, and Commission Chairman of Fannin County Stan Helton, right, sign the proclamation for Crime Victims' Rights Week in April 2020.

District Attorney B. Alison Sosebee, left, and Commission Chairman of Fannin County Stan Helton, right, sign the proclamation for Crime Victims’ Rights Week in April 2020.

An awareness program and a reinvigoration for efforts put forth to protect and provide for victims and witnesses of crimes, these proclamations show each county’s support for such efforts and their dedication to continuing them throughout the year. The Proclamation signings are being done in conjunction with the National Crime Victims’ Rights week and in coordination with the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Victim Witness Assistance Program.

This year’s national and local theme is “Seek Justice | Ensure Victims’ Rights | Inspire Hope” which celebrates the progress made by those before who have worked so hard as they look to a future of crime victim services that is even more inclusive, accessible, and trauma-informed.

District Attorney B. Alison Sosebee, right, and Commission Chairman of Pickens County Rob Jones, left, sign the proclamation for Crime Victims’ Rights Week in April 2020.

The Proclamations signed by the Chairmen of the Boards of Commissioners, Rob Jones in Pickens, Charlie Paris in Gilmer, and Stan Helton in Fannin, recognizes all of those ideals as well as acknowledging that due to the continued transmission of COVID-19, now, and over the past several weeks, our area, our state and our nation, have been facing unprecedented times.

The DA’s Office has many community partners that provide invaluable services in our area, like our local food banks and Family Connection and the Appalachian Children’s Center. Due to the financial hardship that COVID-19 has caused, many families are in need of these resources. Unfortunately, due to the constraints of the shelter-in-place orders, even though these organizations have an increase in demand, their ability to fund-raise has been extremely limited.

Commission Chairman of Gilmer County Charlie Paris signs the proclamation for Crime Victims’ Rights Week in April 2020.

The DA’s Office said, “In conjunction with Crime Victims’ Rights Week, signs bearing the message of “In God We Trust” are being placed throughout Gilmer county in hopes that some will take encouragement from our nation’s motto of “In God We Trust.”

The Victim Advocacy Program of the District Attorney’s office continues to assist victims in obtaining restitution, refer victims to appropriate public and non-profit partners for services, and help victims who qualify for crime victim compensation.

 

Thousands donated to local food programs amid crisis

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food bank donation

Donations are an easy way to in this time to provide versatile help for community programs who seek to support and provide for our fellow people in our areas. Programs like food banks always need donations of every kind. But when financial donations come in, sometimes it may not feel like a donation the same way providing cans do.

But financial donations are how programs fill in the gaps for needs and variety. If one bank has a lot of one food, but is lacking in another, the versatility of financial donations allows that gap to be closed.

Donations like this are exactly what happened on the Highway 515 corridor including Pickens, Gilmer, and Fannin Counties. The District Attorney’s office of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit has made such provisions for these programs.

Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney B. Alison Sosebee

On April 10, 2020, the District Attorney’s Office presented the Fannin County Family Connection, which operates a local food bank, with a $5000 donation from the crime victim assistance fund.

On April 10, 2020, the District Attorney’s Office presented the Pickens CARES, a local food bank, with a $5,000 donation from the crime victim assistance fund. Sheriff Donnie Craig also presented Pickens CARES with $5,000 from the Sheriff’s Foundation.

On April 14, 2020, the District Attorney’s Office presented the Gilmer Community Food Pantry with a $5000 donation from the crime victim assistance fund. Pictured B. Alison Sosebee, District Attorney, and Allen Triebel, Gilmer Community Food Pantry.

Over the last week we have been working hard placing signs throughout Fannin, Gilmer and Pickens counties that simply say “In God We Trust”. Not only is the hope to spread a positive message during this difficult time, but to help draw attention to our community partners and resources that are available in our area.

Sosebee’s office issued a statement saying, “Now, and over the past several weeks, our area, our state and our nation, have been facing unprecedented times. The continued transmission of COVID-19 is scary….for a lot of reasons….not the least of which is the financial impact on the families, children and community service organizations.”

IN OUR COMMUNITY WE ARE BLESSED. There are many resources available to those in need in our area. AND IF YOU DO NOT NEED THESE RESOURCES, THEY NEED YOU! Many food pantries in our area have had an increase in distribution to those in need; however, due to shelter-in-place and social distancing, normal fundraising events for these non-profit organizations have been cancelled or indefinitely postponed. They are still smiling, working and serving; HOWEVER, to keep up, they need your help if you can!

Resources available in Pickens County include:

Family Connection:
Tel: 706-253-2319
Web: pickens.gafcp.org

Pickens CARES:
Address: 89 Cares Drive, Jasper, GA 30143
Tel: (706)253-4777
Web: pickenscares.org
Food Distribution Schedule: Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 to 12:00.

Boys and Girl Club: 101 Freedom Way, Jasper, GA 30143
Tel: (706) 253-2582
Web: bgcng.org

Additional contact information for assistance include:

District Attorney: (706) 253-3511
Pickens Sheriff’s Office: (706) 253-8901
For those who are unable to travel to obtain food and/or prescription medication you may contact PCSO Capt. Kris Stancil at (706) 253-8869 to inquire if you are eligible for delivery by PCSO.

Pickens School Food Distribution:
Tel: (706) 253-1700
Web: pickenscountyschools.org
Drive-through lunch pick-up spots are available Monday-Friday on scheduled school days from 11:30 – 12:30. Stop by
Harmony Elementary, Hill City Elementary, Tate Elementary, Jasper Middle School, Mountainside Manor (behind the hospital), Foothills IGA in Marble Hill, and Hinton Milling out Hwy 53 West in the Hinton Community and four bus routes. These are breakfast and lunch.

Also, the Victim Advocacy Program of the District Attorney’s office continues to assist victims in obtaining restitution, refer victims to appropriate public and non-profit partners for services, and help victims who qualify for crime victim compensation.

Sosebee said, “In times like these, the greatness of a community can be seen by the compassion of the community….and as always IN GOD WE TRUST!”

Blue Ridge Community Theater : Sewing Good Deeds in a Time of Crisis

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Blue Ridge, Ga. – Volunteers at the Blue Ridge Community Theater (BRCT) are stepping up in a big way to give support to local agencies and citizens, as we all face the Covid-19 pandemic together.

To quote the great William Shakespeare: “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves”, and the volunteers at BRCT are doing just that, by shining a light of purpose in what is a dark time for many.

The mission of the volunteers came about when a dialysis clinic in Chattanooga, Tn. put out a call that they were in desperate need of face masks for their patients. This clinic asked for the public’s help in getting 600 masks.

Blue Ridge Community Theater, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County, Masks, Volunteer, Family Connection, Giving Back, Covid-19

BRCT volunteer showing a sewn mask.

The volunteers at BRCT stepped up to answer this call. Head Seamstress, Kim Westcott spoke of the group coming together, “We sew costumes. We’re good sewers,” and added, “We’ve got lots of material, unsuitable for costumes but it’s perfect for this!”

Each mask must meet certain guidelines and specifications, among these the material used must be 100 percent cotton.

Westcott talked about how people, especially quilters, across the nation are stepping up to make the washable masks to help curb the shortage of this very necessary item: “This is a grassroots effort by every quilter out there.” 

Westcott pointed out that quilters know their material and have 100% cotton material that is required on hand.

Of the requested 600 masks to the dialysis clinic, the BRCT volunteers produced around 50 and delivered them. As of Friday, March 27, the clinic had received over 400 masks.

BRCT has since reached out to several local agencies and will continue making masks for the area. Some of the masks made have gone to CASA (court appointed special advocate) volunteers to give to grandparents who are guardians of younger children, some have gone to volunteers that continue to work at the local food bank and of course, many masks will be sent to Fannin Regional Hospital.

The volunteers have received essential status from the City of Blue Ridge, allowing them to continue production during the city’s declared State of Emergency.

“It’s a wonderful feeling,” Westcott said of being able to help during this nationwide crisis, “As long as we have a place to deliver them to, we’ll be making them.” 

The eight volunteers have now fine tuned the production process in an assembly line fashion, and Westcott says this method is very efficient, “Now that we’ve got the process down, we can probably turn out 30 to 40 a day.”

When asked how many masks the group anticipates making and giving away, Westcott replied, “We’ll give them everything we get and we’ll keep making them until this whole crisis passes.”

Beyond mask production, BRCT has partnered with Family Connection in collecting donations for their food bank services. The theater was able to make 5-6 deliveries last week to this cause.

Volunteers from the theater are also out delivering groceries, medications and other essential items to people who are quarantined or at too high of risk to leave their homes.

Westcott asks that in lieu of donations for mask making productions, that people please consider donating food and essential items to the theater to be delivered to Family Connection.

The theater currently has enough material to produce around 1,000 masks. 

 

Keep Up-to-date With Covid-19 in Fannin County by Clicking Here

Featured Images in article are courtesy of the Blue Ridge Community Theater Facebook Page.

Note: BRCT response to question regarding social distancing : “While we did gather together for a picture, each woman has her own station where she assembles her portion of the masks. We are blessed to have a very large costume Room, so we try to give them as much space as possible!”

Author

Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Blue Ridge Elementary Students and Teachers are embracing this new online and home learning

Lifestyle

Blue Ridge Elementary Students and Teachers are embracing this new world of COVID-19 online and home learning. Our teachers are amazing and have embraced their new tasks with passion, creativity, and love. Our students have shared a wide variety of emotions and feelings with us. Some enjoy being home playing video games and having downtime, but most miss their friends and teachers (and quite possibly the routine!). Google Meets and Zooms bring students and teachers together to provide connection and bring smiles and laughter through what can be a lonely time.  Our paraprofessionals, nutrition staff, and bus drivers are working hard to get meals to students as well as connecting with students through calls and snail-mail.

My favorite teacher (my mom) said, “We can’t change what is happening, but we CAN control how we react. We, teachers, love our kids and each other, we will show that love through this unprecedented time!”  We are proud of the love we see in our BRES Staff!

Annaleigh Cheatham works studiously on her digital learning with her FCSS Chromebook

Izaiah Bradburn works diligently at home

Brody Burnette

Brody Burnette meets online with his fourth grade teachers and class

Technology Student Association, Engineering TEAMs competition results are in!

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The final results are in for the Technology Student Association, Engineering TEAMs competition!  Congratulations to the 9th/10th grade and 11th/12th grade teams for placing

(L to R) – 11th/12th grade team: Morgan Blaine (current GT student), Lexi McGill, Ramtin Doroodchi (current GT student), Henry Leben, Anna Holloway, Isaiah Cargle, Cooper Boyle, McCay Turner, Will Shirah (current GT student), and Matthew Shirah.

5th overall in the State of Georgia.  In their division (public schools under 1,000 students) the 9th/10th grade team placed 1st overall, and the 11th/12th grade team placed 2nd overall in the State!

 

Both teams were first in their division in the multiple-choice test over chemistry, math, physics, and engineering.

Lexi McGill wrote the essay for the 11th/12th grade team and placed 3rd overall in the State and 1st in the division!  Tanner Hamby wrote the essay for the 9th/10th grade team and placed 4th overall in the State and 1st in the division!

The National TSA Conference has been canceled for this summer, but both TEAMs qualified to compete at the national TEAMs competition.

 

Congratulations to these bright young students!

(L to R) – 9th/10th grade team:  Drake Usry, Bryce Ware, James Kyle, Sam Jabaley, McKenzie Chastain, Luke Pelfrey, Madison Ponton, and Tanner Hamby

 

Thank you to Morgan Blaine, Charitty Tuttle, Ramtin Doroodchi, Ethan Taylor, and Will Shirah who are current Georgia Tech students from Fannin County for coming out to support the students.

 

 

 

 

Fetching Features: a look at Heath Lee

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Lee

How does a man go from 13 years in manufacturing at a company called Valenite to being a manager of Gilmer County’s Library, and now on to a Regional Director over the Mountain Regional Library System?

The answer is deceptively simple. One person.

That is the origin story of Gilmer’s now-former Library Manager. One person that many of you have never met, made an impact on your community and your own life depending on how much you visit and use the library’s resources.

It all happened in Central, South Carolina, at Southern Wesleyan University where Lee was attending at the time. He says it was Southern Wesleyan’s library where he met a lady and interacted with her. Over the years, the name has faded with memory, but the experience is what has stuck with him. The seed was planted to explore the idea of choosing the path of a librarian as a career choice.

Facing a more difficult transition to be advanced at his manufacturing job at the time, along with feelings that the job wasn’t a long term path he wanted to take, Lee said it was this one person and their interactions that first-ever brought the idea to the forefront and made him explore the options with libraries as not just a place to work, but to become fully certified in pursuit of his life. It was the experience he had with that librarian that just set the idea and he never could have known it would lead to his new position as Director of the Mountain Regional Library System.

Having received his Masters in Library and Information Studies in 2007 from Florida State University, Lee was well in pursuit of his dream before he started looking at places to apply that degree.

He found Eastman, Georgia, in Dodge County and the position of Public Services Librarian. He worked there nearly seven years working through IT, courier services, cataloging, and general library work. Learning through experience the many facets of library work, he eventually hit another point where advancement wasn’t readily available.

And so he set out again, searching for the next opportunity, an opportunity to grow, to build something, to branch out and take on the next steps. That next opportunity was discovered here, in Gilmer.

As he recalled his first impressions of looking into the job, Lee smiled as he said, “It was exactly what I was looking for. When I first got into the community, I had in mind that it was smaller than what it was. When I drove up here, I was pleasantly surprised.”

Lee said he found a community that was growing and a “phenomenal” facility. He saw the potential and further uses the facility had, he saw a chance to take himself and the library to the next step up.

LeeIt was not a long deliberation according to Lee as he said he was anxious to move here and when the job was offered. It felt like coming home. Lee said the county is very similar to his own hometown Walhalla in South Carolina, also in the foothills of the mountains.

Stepping into the role for Gilmer County in late 2014 had challenges of his own. Libraries have changed over the years. Maintaining a modern philosophy in the social environment that massive increases in technology have changed the face of libraries that are trying to maintain a pace with it. Lee holds that philosophy as he took Gilmer along that option of maintaining the pace.

But managing is more than just budgets and boards. Taking on projects, adding experiences and events, coordinating with groups and organizations, working alongside both the local Board of Commissioners and State Representatives like House Speaker David Ralston, all of these “moving parts’ as Lee calls them, coalesce into a community that has supported the library. Yet, that community needed a nexus, a guiding hand and a driving force.

“You have to be patient…” says Lee. Projects and new ventures don’t always progress at the speed you want. Understanding that while maintaining a vision of the end goal translates through everything from day to day operations to large multi-year projects like the new expansion.

The basement expansion has been a five-year project for the library encompassing everything he has learned and gained over his career.  Coordinating multiple entities through the library, Lee said, “Everyone understood that, yes, it’s a long process. There are some bumps in the road. But ultimately, when it was done, it was going to be worth the effort.”

The project had its own issues and trials, but maintaining the motivation to achieve something great for the community to take advantage of was the part that was worth it. Even now, as he leaves, Lee says there is still more that the library can do with the expansion, more to add, more to give.

LeeIn essence, Lee’s entire time at the Gilmer Library has been one big project. A project to upgrade, update, and, ultimately, upload this facility into a culture that is not bound by physical locations anymore.

Lee said that most libraries saw a spike in visitation during the recession. But when you saw a change in the economic climate, you saw changes in how communities use the space and the resources the library has available.

One of the changes needed, and one that Lee said Gilmer has answered, is ramping up in programming and utilization of a communal space.

Computer access is only a part of addressing the community’s needs. Space is another part. Programing another. Under the umbrella of services, libraries embracing this “modern philosophy” and adapting to the changes have had a lot of work to mold themselves into something new.

The greatest example of libraries changing that Lee has noticed has been a move away from the “hush society.”

Lee said, “Everything was always kept quiet. Everybody would “Shh! Shh…” We don’t really embrace that culture anymore. Libraries are not only a place that contain content, but we are also a place where we create content. That has become a very modern theme in libraries. We embrace a ‘maker’s society.”

Utilizing tools like 3-d printers and tablets, creation and content have exploded into new areas. Gilmer has even utilized virtual reality in events over the years as they don’t just teach, but show new worlds. New experiences. New horizons.

You can still find the introspective areas, places where you silence your cell phones and keep conversations low, but Lee says that the new age of Gilmer’s library is about growing meaningful conversations about topics through their events, classes, and showcases.

“We want to be a place of community, and community requires people socializing, people talking,” says Lee.

The library has its own bookstore, game nights, and other programming now. And just as the library provides space and support for these new ventures, the community provides volunteers and support through organizations like Friends of the Library.

Taking the time to create and foster those connections has been just another facet of the nexus position that Lee has taken hold of. Lee gives all credit to his staff through their efforts and over the years through positions of Youth Services Coordinator and Adult Services Coordinator. Lee said that he wants to be responsive to the community and its wants, building a great staff has been another part of that project to not just find the right person for the job but to “take a step back and put your faith into your staff.”

Lee said it is all about knowing that they know their trade and their job, and the results that Gilmer has gotten, the response it has seen speaks for itself.

Now, translating all this experience, Lee is about to take another step back. Moving from a single library to multiple branches across three counties. Moving from a single community to a region.

Leaving the Library has become a little bittersweet, as is to be expected after so many years. But Lee says it’s not the building, or the projects, or the tasks he is leaving behind that makes it so. It is the “totality” of the region and the organization. Having a lot of great relationships and having built a great staff are the two major factors. And changing from a single library manager to Regional Director requires a much different view of things.

LeeOnce again, a crossroads has come. “It’s time for me to take the next logical step in my career,” he says. While he wasn’t actively looking for something, the opening of this new position was not something to be passed on. He goes on to the Mountain Regional Library System covering Fannin, Union, and Towns.

“It requires a whole other level of trust,” says Lee as he explains much of the time, he won’t even be in the same building as his people.

He still wants to focus on those experiences for people and “making the pieces fit together,” but said one of the big challenges in that goal is understanding how every decision can both benefit and complicate different branches in different ways.

Taking on a whole system, creating commonality and familiarity across multiple branches while maintaining each community’s own personality is the next challenge. Meeting the people and supporting the branches to cater to them and the experiences they want is simply a step along the way.

Ultimately, its about people. Lee said that a successful library becomes a molded image by the community it serves. Creating that opportunity is simply how another librarian gets the chance to create that interaction that young man receives. That interaction is the spark that makes him think about taking a career as a librarian. That career choice is what creates the man that Heath Lee has become as he steps into a new position as a Regional Director.

Pet of the Week! Ruger

Featured Stories

This week we have Ruger a 7-year-old male with a lot of love and personality. Ruger was returned from his previous home because he wants to be the alpha. Ruger is playful and loving.

Don’t miss the 13th Annual Taste of Blue Ridge

Tastebuds

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