Planning and zoning director resigns

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Planning and Zoning Department is seeing major change this week as Director Shannon Bassett announced his resignation last week.

Working through this week, Bassett is preparing the transition and providing extra training to employees. With this Friday, Jan. 12, as his final day, the office is already utilizing Karen Henson as interim director. Gilmer County Commission Chairman Charlie Paris told FetchYourNews (FYN) he had high hopes for Henson but is utilizing her in the interim position so he and the other commissioners may see how she does in the position before a final decision on properly filling the position can be made.

Henson has 10 years of experience in Gilmer’s Planning and Zoning Office. She tells FYN she wants to make the full transition to director. As administrative assistant for her 10 years, Henson tells FYN she has had an abundance of experience for the position.

As she transitions, Henson tells FYN it has been nice to have Bassett present this week as she prepares for the commissioners meeting and daily work at the office for questions and last-minute information.

Paris tells FYN Bassett received an offer from a development company that the county cannot compete with. While the county has endured several losses in its ranks as employees move for better offers, Paris says this loss will affect the county differently as it comes from a department head.

The announcement comes too late to be added to this month’s agenda, but Paris stated he would not want it on this month’s agenda anyway. Wanting the time for the board to contemplate its decision and look closer at Henson, citizens could see this item addressed in February or March’s meeting.

 

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House fire injures one and destroys home

News

ELLIJAY, Ga – A fire broke out at 1975 Old Flat Branch Road yesterday, Dec. 6.

According to Public Safety Director Tony Pritchett, the fire had reached advanced stages when 911 was contacted and response arrived on scene. While residents fled the fire, one female was transported for treatment of smoke inhalation and is still hospitalized.

Having already increased in size and threat, fire fighters immediately began containing the blaze in efforts to prevent further spread through the woods and into other homes. However, damage to the house was already spreading and the structure was consumed as well as part of the woods around the house.

At this time the area is completely extinguished, Pritchett stated the workers on scene have cleared any hot spots in the area so no flare ups will occur. However, an investigation is ongoing into the incident as he states they have not ascertained the cause at this time.

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Club Kids of the Month

Boys and Girls Club, Community

Three Rivers Boys & Girls Club announce their new youths of the month Alex Miltiades and Emma Stover.

Alex is currently in fourth grade at Ellijay Elementary School while Emma is in Kindergarten at Ellijay Primary School.

An official release from Boys & Girls Club of Gilmer County Director Jan Day shares a short biopic of each students as follows:

Emma joined our Club in the summer of 2017, joining her big sister, Lannah, who has been with us since 2012. Emma has a smile that lights up a room and her love for friends and kindness to all led to the staff selecting her for this Optimist Club sponsored honor.

Emma likes coming to the Club because she likes to play with Legos in the game room (and she creates amazing structures!). She loves to play soccer in the gym, paint in the art room and read in the Power Hour Room. She also enjoys being a part of our “Mind and Music” program with Mr. Paul where she sings her heart out!

When she is not at the Club, she loves to play with her stuffed animals and toys at home. She plays softball and likes to play basketball. She enjoys going to the park and school.

Emma plans to become a teacher after High School, where words get bigger and she can learn. Ms. Molly is a role model for her!

Mom, Jennifer, says: “Emma learns new things every day. Emma has learned how to be respectful and wants to help people in our community. The Boys & Girls Club is a fun and safe environment which has helped her self-esteem and creativity. We are very grateful for all the hard work Ms. Jan and the staff members put into the Club.”

Alex and his sister, Alaina, joined our Club in the fall of 2015. Since joining our Club, his infectious grin and energetic drive have made him an easy selection by our Staff to be the Optimist Club sponsored Club Kid of the month.

Alex enjoys coming to the Club because he likes to have fun with his friends. He says he is “thankful for even going to Boys & Girls Club.”

Alex is quite the athlete, enjoying basketball, soccer and football. One place you can always find him is in the gym shooting hoops or playing “Lightnin”.

Graduation from High School will find him pursuing a career in basketball and “being a good citizen.” Alex already demonstrates those good citizen qualities by being fair and honest in all his activities at the Club.

Mom, Elizabeth, has this to say about having Alex as a Club Kid. “This program has given Alex the opportunity to be part of a safe and fun environment. It’s not just a place to go after school while Mom works; it’s a fun place. The staff and volunteers are all kind, fun loving and genuinely care about ALL the kids, not just my son. I am truly thankful for Ms. Jan and her hard work to see to the care of the children. She strives to raise great leaders of tomorrow which is started here. Thank you so much for providing for my own family in a time of need. This is a family and not just after school care. Safe for all who attend.”

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Shell Station sees flash fire on Thanksgiving Day

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – A fire broke out at the Shell Gas Station located on the corner of Yukon Road and First Ave., across the street from Ingles, late Nov. 23.

The Thanksgiving night was cut short for two young males as Public Safety Director Tony Pritchett reported they had stopped for gas, and while fueling, one of the men reportedly began fidgeting and playing with his flip lighter. Unfortunately, the flame caught fumes and ignited a “flash fire.”

According to Pritchett, the blaze significantly injured one of the men, damaged the fuel pump and caused minimal damage to the vehicle they were driving. However, no details were available as to the identities of the two men as an investigation was undertaken for the incident. It was confirmed the pump shut off before the blaze could spread to other pumps and the station. However, when asked if the pump shut off automatically or if the attendant shut it off, Pritchett replied that officials would be answering details like that in the investigation.

FYN confirmed with officials that no other vehicle was on the other side of the pump or close enough to sustain damage from the fire. Though no official update is currently available as to the current status of the injured male, FYN’s understanding was that injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

 

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Accident on 382 claims one fatality

News

ELLIJAY, Ga – The Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed a two-vehicle accident on Highway 382 just past Airport Grocery.

Occurring on Sunday, Nov. 19, the accident did shut down the area of 382 temporarily. Gilmer County Public Safety Director Tony Pritchett told FYN that when emergency services arrived on scene, they did confirm the one fatality.

Sheriff Stacy Nicholson spoke with FYN, confirming injuries of two others who were both in the second vehicle. However, Nicholson went on to say that much of the details are not available currently as the Georgia State Patrol is handling investigation of the incident.

The other two injuries were transported to an emergency room. Check for more details as FYN continues following the investigation.

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County Materials Bids Approved for 2017

News, Police & Government

ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners approved Materials Bids for the coming 2018 year. After accepting bids for the five areas, only one has been rejected.

Emulsion was the one rejected bid. Hudson Materials delivered a bid to the county for emulsion over $1.50 for all three of their materials. Deemed higher than expected, the commissioners voted to reject this bid. Chairman Paris assured those present there would be enough time to rebid this before the new year.

C.W. Matthews Contracting Company out of Marietta, Georgia, was awarded the county’s asphalt bid for materials ranging between $55 to $62 for 2018. Increases in these prices are also affecting paving projects and the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) for 2018 as Public Works Director Jim Smith estimated the county will be able to pave 7.63 miles with LMIG next year.

West Block Company was awarded its bid for concrete, beating Wayne Davis Concrete Company. Though discussion arose on certain aspects of the bid such as a “truck time charge after one hour,” the commissioners ultimately awarded the bid after continued investigation still resulted with West Block being the lower bid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another contested bid came with propane. Though Heritage Propane delivered a fixed price bid of $1.49 per gallon, they were largely outbid by Appalachian Propane at $1.08 per gallon.

The final bid, stone, was another uncontested bid, same as it was last year, by Vulcan Materials Company. With prices ranging between $15 and $30 depending on the grade and type of stone, Director Smith also reports this is another bid continuing to increase costs for the county in the coming year.

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Clear Creek Vehicle Accident Claims One Fatality

News

ELLIJAY, GA – An accident on Clear Creek Road occurred Tuesday afternoon, October 17, that has claimed the life of one driver.

According to Public Safety Director Tony Pritchett, the accident was located around the area of Fendley Bridge. While Pritchett did confirm the death of one female, he tells FYN reports have not come back yet on the extent of injuries for others involved.

The one fatality was unable to be revived when emergency services arrived on scene. Specifics on her identity are currently being withheld for the family and an ongoing State Patrol Investigation.

However, FYN has confirmed one other vehicle was involved in the accident. We are also attempting to get more information at this time from the State Patrol Investigation.

Stay with us at FetchYourNews.com as new updates become available.

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On The Town: Blade Runner 2049

Community
On The Town with Lonnie Adams

Why go to a theater? If you know you can get a movie later on DVD, what could possibly possess you to spend the money to go out and see a movie in theaters. Now let’s be honest, impatience probably plays a lot into this for some people. Still, there has to be something that makes you want the theater instead of your own big screen at home.

Blade Runner 2049 answers this question in a big way. The scope of the film not only lends itself to the theater experience, but its classic sci-fi idea of simple extravagance demands the size and “epic-ness” of the good ol’ silver screen. Even the score lends itself to the audio of a theater. Certainly, my own little excuse for a home theater could never properly compare to feeling the vibration of the deep bass and the loftiness of the horns that shine so bright in this movie’s soundtrack.

The score draws you in deeper with another sci-fi classic trope that provides a sub-plot that comments on the colloquial society. It’s the juxtaposition of that non-literary commentary against the very fictional world that allows people to take a stark look at themselves as a society without realizing it at first. Science Fiction has become my favorite genre throughout my life for this reason.

Those who recall the first Blade Runner will catch several references to Rick Deckard and the original movie. As they move later into the story, the twists not only reference, but tie this sequel so to its predecessor so tightly that I do sort of regret taking a friend with me to see it. She had not seen the first one.

The movie follows another Blade Runner. Instead of Rick Deckard, We get ‘K.’ That’s right, ‘K’ is a replicant. Because instead of realizing our mistakes with the creation of replicants, society just built different ones that are, supposedly, more obedient. Sound Familiar?

The story reminds me of an old quip about the abominable idea of “robots building robots.” However, this film offers the aberration of that quip as “Replicants killing replicants.” Let’s not mistake, replicants aren’t robots, or androids, or cyborgs. They’re synthetics. The humans, minus something. Another debate the movie subtly asks, “Can these ‘skin jobs’ have a soul?”

Some of the best sci-fi stories ask really hard questions that bear no meaning to today’s world. Stories like Mass Effect, I,Robot, Ghost in the Shell, 2001 Space Odyssey, and even Aliens have explored the sentience, feelings, and ‘humanity’ of non-human entities. The original Blade Runner’s thoughts on this continue to its sequel to create what I can only refer to as the pure quintessential sci-fi movie of the new millennium.

This claim builds on all these things I’ve discussed as the foundation of the film, but further into what it adds. Ryan Gosling does well with his role as K. I think I would have liked to see a little more emotion later in the film as his character starts discovering things about replicants, humans, society, and his role in them all as a replicant Blade Runner. However, this does allow his humanity to be shone better through the character of Joi, Ana de Armas, as a mirror of the humanity he feels placed into a separate representation. The interplay between these two immersed me into this unspoken battle to create a life, a soul, out of nothingness. The final act in the story pairs this well against the original Blade Runner movie and Rick Deckard as a human Blade Runner.

This is what I lack in so many other remakes. I don’t want a remix of the same thing, I want to continue the debate. I want to continue my feelings. Director Denis Villeneuve doesn’t rest on the previous movies accomplishments, he pushes forward, presses the envelope, expands the universe, and challenges the established foundation. It is a dangerous attempt as so many fail. Not here, though. Villeneuve delivers on everything I wanted when I watched.

I also have to praise an amazing special effects trick regarding these two characters and a third. I don’t want to spoil the scene, but you’ll know it when you see it as I say it involves interplaying a human and a hologram. I want to watch the behind the scenes footage just to see how they made this scene that plays such an integral part in K’s growth, or descent depending on how you look at it. This scene alone makes me hate my decision to try not to spoil things as it demands thoughtful discussion and exploration. To not do so is a cinematic treason. And yet, here I sit, screaming at my computer for every living person to see this film so I can talk about it.

Discussion has also arisen on another character’s return to the story. Harrison Ford reprises his role as Rick Deckard.

He quickly proclaims to the world, which he has been doing with his numerous remakes, that he is as ready to act, as good at it, and as capable of playing his old roles now as he was when they were new. The plot utilizes Deckard so naturally, his integration so fluid.

Many people have questioned remaking all of his older films, but the plot here demanded his character. And rightly so, I don’t believe the film would have been successful or as powerful without this character. It sits so naturally as a sequel, the lines between the two plots blur several times. It connects so well because this is the one. This is him, the legendary actor, Harrison Ford. So many quiet subtleties allow the beauty of his acting to speak volumes in the moments between his spoken lines, and all the more when he does speak.

With all the good in the movie, it’s almost heart-breaking to point out flaws. I don’t want to ramble on and make you think that any movie exists without something to improve upon. I wanted so bad to see a little more exploration of the rift between humans and replicants. I can’t honestly say it isn’t explored, its there underwriting every scene with tension. However, later in the movie, you don’t see some of the very obvious slights against replicants as second class, sub-human. The tenseness of the separation becomes less overt as you start exploring replicants as human. It seems to lessen the human hatred of ‘skin-jobs’ as they call them in the latter parts. A small detail that many may chastise me on for pointing out, but like I said, just something to improve upon for the next sequel. Let’s pray they get Villeneuve back for that one, too.

Another small issue detail also stands as a classic sci-fi and horror movie trick (Spoiler Here, I can’t help myself) by the time you finish the movie, you sort of forget about the one other bad guy in the background. I have to do an “on-the-other-hand” moment here as I say Jared Leto’s character, Niander Wallace, doesn’t overplay his role. His right-hand-replicant named Luv, Sylvia Hoeks, stands as the main antagonist. Leto establishes that extra background that adds depth to the world they create and shows another comment about society, there are bad men everywhere. I just feel there could have been more done with this character.

You may be laughing at how trivial these issues are, but there they are. I think it stands as a testament to the sheer force this film holds. Not only am I still begging people to go watch this film, but watch it now, on the big screen. Do not wait, do not pass go, do not collect $200, drive down to East Towne Cinemas right now and buy a ticket. Seriously, why are you still reading this, go buy a ticket.

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