Priest announces candidacy for Superior Court

Election, Election 2018, News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Appalachian Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Mary Elizabeth Priest announced her recent qualification for and intent to run for the Superior Court bench in the May 2018 non-partisan General Election. Ellijay has been her home for 30 years.

The Superior Courts handle civil matters, including family and domestic litigation, criminal cases, ranging from traffic violations to felonies, as well as transfers and appeals from Magistrate Court and Probate Court. In our Appalachian Circuit, Superior Court judges are responsible for dockets and jury trials in Fannin, Gilmer, and Pickens counties.

Mary Beth is a graduate of Gilmer High School and North Georgia College and State University. Before
attending law school, she served as a case manager and investigator for the Pickens County Department
of Family and Children Services. She later received her Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Georgia State
University. She began her legal career as an associate attorney at Downey & Cleveland, in Marietta, in
2006. In 2010, she joined the law firm Clark & Clark, in Ellijay, where she practiced complex civil litigation.

Priest said, “It has been a great honor to serve on the bench for the past two years. One of my goals has
been to build a bridge between our community and our court system. I am proud of the progress we have
made in that regard. Being a judge is an enormous responsibility that I take very seriously. I ask the
people of the Appalachian Circuit to trust me with their vote. If they do, I will continue to work hard for
our community with the same commitment to efficiency, impartiality, fairness, and responsibility that I
have had since my first day on the bench.”

Judge Priest was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal in 2016 to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Roger Bradley. In addition to being involved with and frequently speaking at local civil organizations, she initiated and helped coach the Gilmer High School Mock Trial team’s inaugural season this year. As an adopted child born into foster care, she has also done outreach for adoption agencies as a strong advocate for foster and adopted children.

Her husband, Jeremy, owns and operates a scrap metal recycling company as well as a plumbing company, and they live in Ellijay with their two children. Her father, Mike Williams, and mother, Lorie Stanley Williams, originally of Stanley Creek in Fannin County, also live in Ellijay.

 

Collins Bill to Honor Fallen Marine Sent to President’s Desk

Press Release, State & National

COLLINS BILL TO HONOR FALLEN CLERMONT MARINE SENT TO PRESIDENT’S DESK

WASHINGTON—The Senate last night voted unanimously to pass H.R. 3821, legislation to rename Georgia’s Clermont Post Office in honor of Zack T. Addington. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) introduced the bill this September, and it passed the House in November.

“Lance Corporal Zack Addington represents the selfless courage that’s cultivated in northeast Georgia, and I’m excited to see this bill leave Congress and head to the president’s desk for his signature,” said Collins.

Collins also honored Addington when he spoke about the bill on the House floor.

Background:

Known to his neighbors as Zack, Addington joined the United States Marine Corps in 1967. A native of Clermont, he became a rifleman in the 3rd Marine Division of the Fleet Marine Force and deployed to Vietnam that year. Addington was promoted to Lance Corporal and served his country honorably until he was killed in action in May 1968.

That June, Addington received the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon in recognition of his service there.

On the set of Through The Glass Darkly in Ellijay

Community, News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Ellijay has been seeing stars lately as Robyn Lively (The Karate Kid Part III, Teen Witch) and Shanola Hampton (Showtime’s Shameless, You Again) will star in Through the Glass Darkly, a psychological thriller co-written and directed by Lauren Fash and co-written by Susan Graham.

Director Lauren Fash (Center) smiles after another take of a scene in Through the Glass Darkly.

Director Lauren Fash, center, smiles after another take of a scene in Through the Glass Darkly.

Lively and Hampton play Charlie and Amy, an unlikely duo that team up to solve the recent kidnapping of a local girl, a crime which echoes the disappearance of Charlie’s own daughter. The script was featured in the Sundance/Women in Film financing intensive in 2017.

FetchYourNews (FYN) was allowed on set for a chance to speak with those involved in the film as they spent the day downtown in Ellijay at the Gilmer County Courthouse. With other locations including Pickens’ Tate House, the filming is set to continue into early March. Fash told FYN that the majority of the film was being handled in Georgia with some aid provided by some post-production in Los Angeles, California.

Officer Braden, Vince Foster, speaks with reporters after escorting Charlie, Robyn Lively, out of the Sheriff's Office.

Officer Braden (Vince Foster) speaks with reporters after escorting Charlie out of the Sheriff’s Office.

Fash said the film still has a lot of filming and post-production ahead of them meaning they will probably see their release in 2019.

Graham, of However Productions, is producing along with Autumn Bailey-Ford, of Autumn Bailey Entertainment, and Carmella Casinelli, of Bon Aire Productions. The film is executive produced by Stacey Davis and Jim Rine.

Set in 1997, Through the Glass Darkly follows Charlie, a 43-year-old woman recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, living in small town Georgia with her wife. When Elodie Carmichael, granddaughter of the town’s matriarch, goes missing, paranoia shakes the core of this sleepy community, reviving old ghosts and long-buried secrets. The movie itself has become an emotional work for Fash who says she has dedicated the film to her grandmother who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Through the Glass Darkly, a film I’m dedicating to my grandmother, will delve into the mindset of someone suffering from Alzheimer’s. The film will be shot entirely from Charlie’s point of view. I want people to experience the dark tension of a mind torn between reality and delusion. And yet, how a person’s innate character can hold fast despite this insidious illness,” said Fash.

Shanola Hampton plays Amy, a reporter following the disappearance of Elodie Carmichael.

Shanola Hampton plays Amy, a reporter following the disappearance of Elodie Carmichael.

It’s rather easy to see how much Fash has given to the film, not just in work and sweat, but being a writer and director on the film allows another level of intertwining the mind behind the story into each character, each scene, and each frame. “I’ve been living with this story and these characters for three years, so everything is alive to me … I know this story through and through, I know every in and out. The creative process was a really long one, but it allowed me to really understand my characters and really understand the twists and turns of the story,” Fash stated.

Fash went on to say that those who know her will see a lot of her in the film as she continues to pour herself into the direction as well as the writing. “As a writer, in general, you’re always going to pull from your life experience,” Fash said. Even the locations show through the life of Fash as she spent her childhood visiting Jasper and Ellijay as her family had property in Bent Tree in Pickens County.

The locations jumped to the forefront in Fash’s mind when she was writing the script through very fond memories of our towns. As Fash tells it, “One of the themes of this movie is timelessness and things kind of staying the same over the years. These small towns, they all have that feel of having that timeless factor to them.” Instantly thinking of her childhood adventures to the area, Fash never thought past Jasper and Ellijay to provide a better set for her fictional town in the movie.

Being an independent film has allowed for the depth of connection between the film and its writer/director who says the film has other restrictions in budget and similar areas, but the freedom comes through the control over her vision she has without alteration. “At the end of the day, creatively, we have full control because we don’t have anyone to answer to. We were able to finance this film through investors and people who believe in the story and believe in the script,” Fash said.

Vince Foster, left, and Robyn Lively play Officer Braden and Charlie as they film the new movie Through the Glass Darkly in Ellijay, Georgia.

The creative freedom is something echoed by one of the films stars, Shanola Hampton, who called independent films a “passion paid project.” She continued saying, “There is a certain love that is deep and rooted inside the script and inside the project and the people that are working behind it. All of the crew, all of the producers, everybody loves this project. So, you can feel that, and everybody wants to bring it to life in the best way. That energy is something that I live by, being part of positive energy is what I love.”

It wasn’t just Fash’s ardor that drew Hampton to the script though. Hampton noted she was close to her grandmother as well, which lead to a personal connection when she first read the script. “Fash is so passionate, she knows exactly what she wants,” Hampton said. “She has been working on this for three years. Anytime somebody has their ‘baby’ and they’re watching their ‘baby’ come to life, it’s a beautiful thing to do and be a part of.”

The connection strengthened with the chance for Hampton to try a new challenge in her range after spending so many years with Veronica on Shameless. Hampton noted that her Master of Fine Arts has allowed her a large range in her acting adding, “Because I’ve been on the show for eight or nine seasons, you get pigeonholed into Veronica sometimes. So, it’s been great to have the opportunity to show different things and to do other projects when I’m off from Shameless.”

Shanola Hampton (left) and Robyn Lively (right) pose for a picture in between takes of Through The Glass Darkly in Ellijay, Ga.

Shanola Hampton, left, and Robyn Lively pose for a picture in between takes of Through The Glass Darkly in Ellijay, Georgia.

Those on set seem to have grown closer quickly. You see the hugs and jokes between takes and you feel the friendship grow even after only an hour or two on set. Graham noted, “We are honored and thrilled to have Robyn and Shanola in this film. Their passion for this female-led project and their dedication to bringing these complex women to life is truly inspiring.”

Fash called Hampton “a light” on projects she is involved in. While admitting she didn’t have personal knowledge before casting her, Fash says her film is a very dark film, but Amy, Hampton’s character, is the light in that darkness.

Fash also praised Robyn Lively saying, “To see her in this role was just kind of mind-blowing to me, because it was exactly what I had written and spent two-and-a-half years creating. To see her take on it was jaw-dropping.”

Seeing the chemistry of those involved, to see the action on the set and the crew hard at work, it is a rare treat to be allowed access to this work in progress and to have moments with each involved. Truly seeing the massive team that works so hard on these projects adds a weight to the film.

As filming continues through the next several weeks, the project will move across our two counties and is set to spend an entire week filming on location in the character’s home. Follow along the journey of Through the Glass Darkly through their social links on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram before it hits theaters next year.

Author

‘Through the Glass Darkly’ filming in Ellijay

Community, News
Through the Glass Darkly

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Residents in Gilmer County are seeing film crews traveling throughout the town this week as an independent film Through the Glass Darkly films on location.

Directed by Lauren Fash, the film will follow a kidnapping crime and an unlikely duo’s attempt to solve it. According to Variety Magazine, the movie is set in 1997 in a small town in Georgia, with Robyn Lively portraying a 43-year-old woman named Charlie, who has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. When the granddaughter of the town’s matriarch goes missing, paranoia shakes the core of this sleepy community, reviving old ghosts and long-buried secrets.

Shameless star Shanola Hampton will star alongside Lively, from Teen Witch, in this psychological thriller that will reportedly be filming at locations in both Pickens and Gilmer counties.

 

Author

Live Coverage: Gilmer Parks & Rec Basketball Tournament

Bobcat's Corner, Sports

Join us as TeamFYNSports, FYNTV, FetchYourNews proudly present the LIVE coverage of the entire Gilmer Parks & Recreation annual basketball tournament. Coverage begins Saturday morning at 9 AM and all games will be streamed LIVE on FYNTV.com and our YouTube Channel and we will be posting updates via our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media accounts.

Author

Snow Sprawl: Burnt Mountain Classic turnout better than expected

PHS Wrestling, Sports

The Burnt Mountain Classic took place on Friday night and Saturday at Pickens Co. High School.  The Classic comes with high expectations by the teams attending – and  although inclement weather forced school cancellations throughout the week – the tournament still lived up to the bill.

Although the weather was rough all week, 15 of 19 Varsity teams that were scheduled came off the buses ready to strap on their head gear and hit the mat.  Fannin County was one of 22 varsity teams scheduled to attend but like a handful of the teams who cancelled, they followed the school cancellation schedule due to potential hazardous road conditions.

The acclaimed Gilmer Bobcats varsity squad, who have been living up to their legacy of absolute domination all season long, was originally scheduled to attend as well.  After speaking with head coach Josh Ghobadpor about his decision to give his varsity the weekend off, he stated that with the weather being what it was during the week, they hadn’t been able to practice.  Rather than put his varsity in a high-pressure situation so close to area and sectionals, Ghobadpor focused instead on taking his junior varsity team to compete in the JV Scramble.

“We tried to get to the gym to train but with ice on the roads we didn’t want to take any chances.  This weekend we decided to bring our JV and let them get the extra work in, though.  After all the JV is the future of Bobcat wrestling,” Ghobadpor told TeamFYNSports.

    As the wrestlers laced up and shook hands, match-by-match the competition began to heat up right away.  Pickens, Lumpkin, Creekview, Etowah, Cherokee High, Calhoun, Alcoa, Milton, Sequoyah, Chestatee, Towns, SE Whitfield, Walker, West Hall and River Ridge all came in pursuit of conquest.

 

     With each win or loss, the cream began to rise to the top.  While all in attendance had much to be proud of, two standout teams battled for the heralded prize of tournament champions. As the dust (and sweat) settled, congratulations went to the Creekview High School Grizzlies for capturing the crown in the team scoring with 219 points.  Narrowly taking the runner up award in the team points was the host: the Pickens County High School Dragons.

On Saturday, the action heated up with the JV Scramble.  The young freshmen and sophomore athletes showed up and showed out on the mats with Calhoun Yellow Jackets taking the JV trophy.  Individual award winners from Pickens County included:  Zach Meadows(113 lbs) 2nd Place, C.J. Murphy(120 lbs) 2nd Place, Joseph Ferguson(152 lbs) 2nd Place Michael Burrell(160 lbs) 1st Place, Tyler Vreeland(170 lbs), Kellie Dover(182 lbs) 3rd Place and Dalton Bruhner(195 lbs) 4th Place.

Other results were not available at the event.  Congratulations to all athletes and best of luck in Area Competition and State!

Author

White County releases approved 2018 football schedule

Schedules, Sports, White County High School

The White County Warriors had an impressive 2017 football season. Coming off an abismal 1-9 season in 2016, the Warriors came out swinging and scored some big wins early in 2017; defeating Franklin (33-0), Lumpkin (66-14) and Habersham Central (24-21) before dropping a tough loss to Rabun County (49-26).

The Warriors came back the following week and knocked down North Hall (28-18), who’s only other loss to a AAAA power came in the final seconds against Pickens County (42-35) where the Trojans marched down the field and came up just short as time expired.

In 2018, the Warriors will once again have an exciting schedule to kick off the season, and there’s no doubt they’ll be looking to duplicate and even improve upon their 7-4, 2-2 season from last year.

With games at Lumpkin County and then home against Habersham Central, the Warriors kick the season off much like they did in 2017.  However, put a big red circle around the Sept 7 game at Pickens County, where PHS head coach Chris Parker is likely reloading rather than rebuilding this season.  The game pits two quality AAAA programs against each other in non-region play, with White representing Region 7-AAAA and Pickens representing Region 6-AAAA.  Both teams were eliminated early in post-season play last year, but both teams proved to be fearsome opponents on the gridiron regardless of home/away.

After the Pickens game, the Warriors schedule doesn’t let up.

The Warriors enjoyed a 10-pt victory over North Hall last season, but the Trojans played much better football as the season continued, and was the #TeamFYNSports Most Improved Team in Region 7-AAA last season.  The Warriors will look to defeat the Trojans (9/14), before taking the drive over to Marist for their first game in region play.  Marist, as the whole world is aware, is the defending region champion in Region 6.  What’s interesting about Marist is although they won their region, defeating rival Blessed Trinity 25-24 early in the season.  Two months later, the two teams met again in the State Championship and Blessed Trinity defeated the War Eagles 16-7.  Undoubtedly, Marist will look to return to the final in 2018, but they will have to go through White County first.

Perhaps the best part of the Warriors’ schedule this year is the break between facing Marist (9/21) and Blessed Trinity (11/2), although the Warriors will need to defeat Flowery Branch, West Hall, Denmark and Chestatee during the interim.

How will the 2018 season fare for the Warriors of White County?  It’s too early to tell.  Rest assured the team will be preparing accordingly and TeamFYNSports looks forward to reporting on the 2018 season from the sidelines this fall.

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North Georgians Urged to Take Extra Precautions as Viral Illnesses Increase

Health

North Georgians Urged to take Extra Precautions as Viral Illnesses Increase

North Georgia – North Georgia Health District officials report that there has been an increase in the number of stomach virus and influenza outbreaks in north Georgia and warn that the results could be severe, possibly requiring hospitalization.

“It is not too late to vaccinate against the flu,” said Sherry Gregory, RN, North Georgia Health District Infectious Disease Supervisor. “Flu activity is increasing throughout our area. We expect the flu season to reach its peak early this year, within the next few weeks, so it is important to get vaccinated now. Flu vaccination not only protects the person who receives the vaccine but it also keeps them from spreading the flu virus to others.”

Everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated against the flu. Flu vaccination is especially important for people who are at greater risk for complications from flu and those who live with or care for these individuals. Groups of people that are at high risk for flu complications include children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and pregnant women. Medical conditions such as asthma, chronic lung or heart disease and diabetes can also increase the risk for flu complications.

“Flu vaccine is available at all our health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties,” said Gregory. For health department contact information, click on the LOCATIONS tab on the North Georgia Health District website at www.nghd.org.

Flu symptoms may include a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, and/or, possibly, vomiting and diarrhea.

People at higher risk for complications from the flu should seek medical care as soon as they begin to feel ill, even if they have been vaccinated. They could benefit from antiviral drugs, that can reduce the risk of experiencing complications and reduce the severity and duration of illness. Antiviral drugs are most effective when given early in the onset of illness.

Stomach viruses, such as Norovirus, are very contagious and can infect anyone. These viruses can be spread to others by an infected person, through contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. These viruses can cause the stomach and/or intestines to become inflamed, which leads to stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. These symptoms can be serious for some people, especially young children and older adults.

To reduce the spread of influenza and stomach viruses, take everyday preventive actions(https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits/index.htm) to stop spreading the viruses.

  • Get a flu shot – this will protect you against the flu virus, which will be especially critical if you are infected with some other virus.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them, especially avoiding healthcare facilities and long-term care homes.
  • Avoid having children inside healthcare facilities and long-term care homes to protect them from catching viruses and to prevent them from spreading viruses to the people who are there.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

For more information about influenza and its prevention, log onto to the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/index.html. Learn more about preventing the spread of stomach viruses at https://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/index.html.

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