Lower Cartecay bridge approved for Department of Transportation replacement


ELLIJAY, Ga. – It has been several months since Gilmer County’s budget session where the Board of Commissioners set aside contingency funds in their capital budget with the idea that they would not be there this year unless they could find funding to replace the Lower Cartecay Road bridge.

Good news came during the county commissioners meeting when Chairman Charlie Paris officially announced that Gilmer County has been accepted into the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) program it has been applying for. This means that the DOT will come and replace the bridge along with numerous others across the state.

The original estimate that Gilmer received to replace the bridge was $1.2 million. With this program, Gilmer will be responsible for pairing 50 percent of the costs to obtain additional rights of way, which is a “minimal cost” as Paris stated in relation to the original estimate.

Post 2 Commissioner Travis Crouch asked if the county could do any preliminary work to fast track the project. Gilmer will be in contact with the DOT to see if they can prepare any work ahead of time.

The one “catch” in this approval is that it will fall into the state’s schedule, meaning it still could be some time before Gilmer sees the bridge replaced.

This is actually the second bridge the county will have on the program as the bridge near Turniptown on Vanilla Lane has previously been approved some time ago. The commissioners discussed flipping their priority for the two bridges in effort to move Lower Cartecay up the list to an earlier replacement.

Chairman Paris spoke with FetchYourNews privately about the issue saying that if we had not gotten into the program, we still wouldn’t be able to begin replacing it this year due to our budget. We would still need over $700,000 next year just to begin the project.

Speaking on the relief he feels the approval gives Gilmer, Paris stated, “It’s a pretty big impact for us, and it will impact us for several years.”


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

Press Release, State & National


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.


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.

Delta memo addresses recent events


ATLANTA, Ga. – National controversy swirled after Delta publicly discontinued their group discount relationship with the NRA (National Rifle Association). Then again as the Georgia State Senate removed a tax bill involving the aviation fuel tax credit, which would have benefited Delta in the area of $40 million.


That controversy spread through social media when Delta announced their decision on Twitter. Later, Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle tweeted that he would “kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta.” Since then, social media has erupted in debate on gun control, the recent school shootings, and these two entities of Delta and the NRA.

Today, FetchYourNews has obtained an internal memo from Delta to its colleagues. The memo speaks on Delta’s decision for ending the discount as well as their stance on the connection between the decision and the tax bill.


Delta Memo NRA Gun Debate Tax Bill Jet Fuel


Brian Kemp visits Ellijay Tea Party

Election, Politics

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Georgia Secretary of State, and now candidate for governor, Brian Kemp visited Gilmer County today, Feb. 20, to speak with the Ellijay Tea Party about his campaign.

Coming from Athens-Clarke County, Kemp says he got frustrated with the local government’s regulations and taxes. He went on to say, “I wanted to make government smaller. I wanted to make it more efficient. I wanted to streamline it. I was tired of liberal, big Democratic policies going on in state government.”

Moving ahead to his current campaign, Kemp told those present to look at the candidates and ask, “Who do you actually trust to do what they say?”

Kemp noted his use of technology to advance Georgia saying, “I do have that record of using technology to change our corporate filing system where now, the last two years in a row, we have literally set records for the number of annual registrations we’re doing in the first quarter … We also implemented a state-wide voter registration system, a new system because our old one was failing and it was on the state’s old mainframe computer. This is literally a state-wide IT project where we had to go through year-long procurement and then implement this new system in all 159 counties, retraining all the county registrars and election workers on how to use it. But we did that because we now have a better system that does more for the local election folks.”

Elections became a closer focus in Kemp’s meeting as he spoke about supporting the photo ID law for securing elections. Kemp stated he has been attacked by several politicians calling him a voter suppressor. Adamantly denying the claim, he noted 800,000 more people on voter rolls now than when he took office. Though accused of suppressing voting, Kemp noted record turnouts for voting in Georgia for the last elections we have had including the 2016 Presidential Election, the SEC Regional Primary, and even the Karen Handel versus Jon Ossoff special election.

Focusing on his four-point-plan, Kemp took his time to explain his ideas for the governor’s office and his next steps if he gets elected. Noting his first point of making Georgia the number one state in the country for small business, Kemp said that he is a small business guy who spent and still spends time with his construction company. Saying 95 percent of corporations in Georgia’s 700,000 companies employ less than 50 people, he added that Ellijay itself is built on the backs of small businesses.

As his second point, Kemp claimed he wants to fundamentally reform state government through its budget, operations, and taxes. This brought up points of the spending cap and tax reform. Kemp said the only tax breaks he has seen is for those who have lobbyists before adding, “I’m wanting to be your lobbyist as governor, your lobbyist to give you tax breaks.”

Accomplishing this, according to Kemp, would require implementing the spending cap and budgeting conservatively in order to have money left over at the end of the year. Having money left over would lead to the real tax reform. Kemp added he did not care who it was, he would work with anyone on tax reform as long as it is broad based.

“The third point is making sure all of Georgia has the same opportunity; we’re moving all of Georgia forward. It’s not healthy for our state when we only have certain communities that are growing and thriving,” said Kemp, who added that he was the first candidate to make a plan to strengthen rural Georgia including protecting our military bases, taking the Georgia Grown program internationally, and creating economic strike teams to focus investments and job opportunities for projects of real regional significance.

Resting on his fourth point, Kemp said it was something that is easy to say, but not for politicians to follow through on. “Putting Georgians First” has become a campaign slogan for Kemp in addition to a trending hashtag #gafirst. Kemp delved deeper into the topic saying he wanted citizens ahead of special interest groups. He also wants to enforce the ban on sanctuary cities saying, “It’s ridiculous that we have states like California that are now wanting to become sanctuary states when we’re not even taking care of our people and our own veterans. Illegals can go into hospital rooms and get free healthcare and our own people are getting priced out of the market.”

Closing his speech, Kemp told those present that he could not do it alone saying, “I cannot win this race without your help.” Stating he was not a special interest candidate, Kemp claimed he has the resources to win and the “best ground game in the state” with locals and citizens who endorse his message and his campaign. He called it a grassroots army that he was raising through people who would support him.

After delivering his message, Kemp took a few moments to answer questions. Generally focusing on elections, voter IDs, and ballots, Kemp noted there is not a verifiable paper audit trail in current systems. With an aging system that has been near collapse, Kemp says they have been looking at options for the next system to use. Considering electronic systems versus paper ballots, the discussion of what system should be used has caused debate.

Kemp spoke about a test last November in Conyers as a pilot: “You vote on a marking device like we have now. Then, once you hit submit, it prints the ballot out. You can hold it in your hand. You can look at your selections … Let’s say it’s not like you want it, you take it to a poll worker, they spoil the ballot, and you go back. If it is like you want to vote, you go to a scanner. It scans that ballot, counts it electronically, so you have the electronic count. Then it drops it into a locked ballot box, so you have the paper receipt. So, you actually have two ways to audit after the election.”

FetchYourNews also got a chance to ask Kemp about his opinions on Senate Bill 375, “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act.” Though Kemp said he had not fully read 375, he said he signed the pledge to support religious liberty legislation that was vetoed in recent years. A topic that has divided lawmakers and legislators, the religious liberty pledge could set the future of reviving that legislation. While supporters point to the protection legislation like 375 could afford businesses and departments, opponents fire back with allegations of “legalized discrimination.”

Kemp said in today’s Tea Party meeting, “The sky is not falling if we protect religious freedom and religious liberty by signing a bill in Georgia that references what is in federal law.” Calling it a common sense thing, he says he is supportive of the issue. However, signing the religious freedom bill may make Bill 375 a “non-issue.”


Short Takes – Coming Up, the SOTU


Tonight, President Trump will give his first State of the Union speech. It should be a doozy. I
expect it to be a complete success because every speech Trump has made has been a signal
success, except to the Marxists acolytes of the media and the Democrat party.
The Democrat party is in disarray. As things are now going, with the departures of many “deep
state” congressmen and senators of both parties, plus the coming departures of many of the
higher echelons of the FBI and the DoJ, complicit in the pro-Hillary, anti-Trump cabal, reflects
that another of Trumps campaign promises is being fulfilled, draining the “Swamp.”
He will not mention these tawdry issues in his speech because the President is focused on
success. He will remind people of his successes with the growing economy, the reduction of the
regulation state, the collapse of Obamacare, the leveling of free trade policies and the legislative
horror that is illegal immigration being reconstructed on his terms. He will focus also on the
necessity of refunding the military to face off against the Islamic forces that endanger America.
This SOTU speech could actually be rather short because the media have already told us
what’s wrong with the present state of the Union claiming that it’s Trumps fault, but they can’t
argue against the growing success that really is Trumps fault. The media continues to deny that
the Democrats and Obama specifically, had any responsibility for the economic success
America is now experiencing.
Trump’s been in office one year and the economy shot off like a rocket. The incompetent,
feckless Obama stepped up and attempted to claim credit for it and was all but was laughed off
the stage. He’s as silly as Hillary and her “Never Ending Story,” who showed up to cheers at the
sad Grammy awards ceremony to continue her screed that she was cheated out of the
Presidency. She’s the gift that keeps on giving. The Grammys turned out to be a far left wing
televised Hollywood political rally to continue the assault on Donald Trump.
The left, under the leadership of the high ranking theologians of the church of Progressive
policy, Schumer, Durbin, Feinstein and Pelosi, are reeling in confusion wondering what’s
slapped them in the face. It was Trump and the SOTU speech should add fuel to the fire that is
consuming them.
I believe the President will be polite to the Democrats inviting them to help him solve the
immigration problem. Democrats will call, as they always do, for “comprehensive bipartisan
legislation” to help those “Dreamer” children remain here and become citizens. Trump will offer
the hand of agreement and they will refuse it. Schumer has already lost that battle but the
deranged far left will badger him into committing another error in calculation.
Trump is anything but stupid. He understands the power of words, maybe not how to use them
himself, but how others use them. “Comprehensive” is a word Trump knows simply means
capitulation to Democrat demands for amnesty. He will not going there.
Finally, the FISA memo may have been released by today. Trump will ignore it. He’s already
made his case against allegations of collusion and, the Mueller Investigation, apart from being
cluttered up with Hillary acolytes, is becoming a bore to the public. Time is on Trumps side. He’s
making America great again.
Remember, freedom is the goal, the Constitution is the way. Now, go get ‘em.

Georgia issues same drivers license to illegal aliens with deferred deportation as legal immigrants: DDS policy should be changed in 2018 Georgia legislative session


By Jeff Jones

Most thinking Georgians will no doubt agree that only illegal aliens require classification as “deferred action on deportation” or who may be under deportation orders from the federal government.

Most Georgians will be surprised to learn that Georgia’s Department of Drivers Services (DDS), the agency responsible for our driving and ID credentials, has issued, renewed or replaced more than 50,000 driver’s licenses and/or official state ID Cards to illegal aliens. These illegal aliens have either “deferred action on deportation” proceedings or are already under federal deportation orders. And that issuance of these official state documents is perfectly legal under current federal and state law.

Surprisingly, the 2005 federal REAL ID Act, passed after the horror of 9/11 says that states can optionally issue drivers licenses to illegals with “deferred action on deportation” and that the feds will allow this ID to be used to board airliners. The law says that “deferred action” is “evidence of lawful status” for federal acceptance of driver’s licenses as an official ID. The REAL ID Act guidelines from the feds are merely minimum requirements and standards for federal recognition – not legal requirements.

Georgia state law currently also allows “deferred action” illegals to get an official Georgia driver’s license and ID card. Surprisingly, but factually, Georgia has more illegals than Arizona.

In 2012 the Associated Press ran a news article headlined “Some illegal immigrants can get Georgia drivers licenses” explaining Georgia’s California-like situation. But, if you call your local DDS office, you will be told in – no uncertain terms – that “Georgia does not issue drivers licenses or ID Cards to illegal or undocumented immigrants.” Confusing, isn’t it? Many Georgia legislators think DDS should try harder to explain this scenario and how it is that DDS is issuing driver’s licenses to illegals.

Again, federal law does not say we must issue drivers licenses and ID cards to deferred action illegals. Instead, each state has the right to decide to whom it issues drivers licenses or ID Cards. And, importantly, Georgia officials also have the right to decide on the physical appearance of these credentials.

This brings me to the fact that the drivers licenses and ID Cards Georgia’s DDS gives to illegal aliens with “deferred action on deportation” are exactly like the ones we issue to legal immigrants, student visa holders and guest workers such as Mercedes Benz and KIA executives here from Germany and Korea, all who entered the United States legally.

This policy can and must be changed.

Georgia has the choice to issue a driver’s license to those with deferred action that will still allow them to drive, but that does not fit the federal requirements to be used as “ID for federal purposes” – like boarding an airliner or entering a federal building. And we can – and I firmly believe we must – change the appearance of these credentials so that no one will mistake the holder for a legal immigrant or a legitimate guest worker here on a legal temporary visa.

Currently at least two states, California and Michigan, issue multiple tiers of drivers licenses. The lower tiers are not recognized as federally approved ID and cannot be used as such. But the bearer can still drive.

I would use Mexico as another example here but Mexico does not allow any illegal aliens to obtain any type of driver’s license.

Georgia already issues a distinctly different driver’s license to young Americans that is vertically oriented and clearly marked “under 21.”

Realizing the United States is not going to be as strict as Mexico, Georgia should issue a vertically oriented ID, like we do for young drivers, to illegals with “deferred action on deportation” or who have been ordered deported, despite that the feds say we are not required to do so.

My bill, HB 484, pending in the Georgia Gold Dome requires DDS to end its current practice and to replace the driving and ID credentials now issued to illegal aliens with a vertically oriented, brightly colored card. This new ID card is designed to make it unmistakably and visually clear that the bearer is not a legal immigrant and that the ID is not acceptable for federal ID purposes. It would look something like the mock up pictured here.

Georgians will also be surprised to learn that many state legislators are not well educated on this topic. Because I introduced this measure late in the 2017 session, it has not had a committee hearing and is in need of legislative co-sponsors. Readers who agree this idea adds some sanity to our driver’s license and ID Card integrity should ask their House member to sign on as co-sponsors and support my bill, HB 484. This is vitally important for the State of Georgia.


Jeff Jones (R) D167, is a second term Georgia State Representative. He can be contacted at: jeff.jones@house.ga.gov; (404) 565-0177

Rosser, Boling sign for college ball

Bobcat's Corner, News

Playing varsity all four years, Taylor Boling has signed to East Tennessee State University for softball.

Though she has played other positions, like shortstop her freshman year, Boling is now a pitcher only, meaning she never bats. This is a position she herself says she loves. Boling says she was attracted to East Tennessee because it maintains the mountain setting while giving a more “big city” feel than Gilmer. Moreover, East Tennessee will have Boling playing on a full scholarship. Not a common thing, Boling says she couldn’t say no to the opportunity.

The scholarship translates to academics for the young athlete as she states the university offers experts in medicine through Olympic trainers on staff. Boling states she was excited to study medicine under professionals of that caliber. Majoring in biology to become a physician’s assistant and considering a dermatology specialist, she is also looking forward to continuing into the medical school on campus after the biology major.

Already preparing for the path, she is currently in her final class of the Sports Medicine Pathway at Gilmer High School and prepares to take on Work Based Learning at a local dermatology office next semester. Boling also considered Troy University, University of North Georgia, Mercer University, and even Georgia Tech.

Brooks Rosser has pitched since childhood and the first leagues where he was allowed. Signing with Truett-McConnell, Rosser says they were “the best feel” outside of baseball.

In fact, much of Rosser’s talk of Truett-McConnell didn’t focus on sports, but rather the people, coaches and staff there that will further his life and faith. He went on to say it was Head Coach Mike Croley that really sold him on playing there. Croley consistently spoke to and guided Rosser during the process. The “personal touch,” Rosser says, showed him that he wasn’t just another recruit, but he felt they wanted him specifically and did everything they could to get him there. “It wasn’t just another email. It was a text. It was a phone call. It was everything,” Rosser added.

Signing a roughly 75 percent scholarship, he says that Truett-McConnell’s focus on “what kind of man you’re going to be outside of baseball” was the academic draw. Looking to obtain an MBA and focus on supply chain management or marketing, Rosser has several plans beyond college already. Part of his draw to even begin looking at Truett-McConnell was their Pitching Coach Ross Roberts who has already had two players drafted to the majors. With only three years at the school, Rosser is eager to join the program believing the future looks even brighter than the already two drafted athletes.

However, when asked about potential hopes to be drafted into the minors or even major league. Rosser said he focused on the now: “I set small goals to achieve the larger ones.” He also stated the potential for accomplishments in the game are “unlimited.”

Hopes spread to his current coach, Jeff Thurman, who praises Rosser’s ability saying that his pitch variety is one of Rosser’s greatest strengths that he takes to Truett-McConnell and possibly further. Being able to continually locate a fastball, curveball and slider, as well as Thurman saying he can do change-ups well too, adds a lot to his already high ceiling and continuing to grow could lead Rosser very far.


Hurricane Irma Impacts State Rate

State & National

Jobs decrease slightly in state, as Hurricane Irma impacts Coastal Georgia

ATLANTA – State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said today that Hurricane Irma caused Georgia’s job numbers to fall and unemployment claims to rise in September.

Butler noted that the state lost about 500 jobs for the month.  Similarly, Georgia also saw nearly 25,000 unemployment claims filed in September. That was a modest increase from the prior month and from September 2016. A 240 percent jump for the month in the coastal region drove the statewide numbers up slightly, the commissioner said.

“Even though the hurricane did have a negative effect on Georgia’s job and unemployment claims numbers, we still had a record month for employment and persons entering the workforce,” Butler said. “This shows the strength of Georgia’s economy and job market.”

Butler noted that even though September’s numbers were impacted by Hurricane Irma those changes were not enough to significantly affect the state’s strong performance over the past 12 months. Georgia added more than 84,000 new jobs during that time, Butler said.

Further, Butler said in September the state jobless rate continued to decline. He reported the September unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, down from 4.7 percent in August. It was last that low in June 2007. The monthly rate compares favorably to last September when the rate was 5.4 percent.

Butler added that employment among the state’s residents was up by 35,649 from August. That’s the largest single-month gain in at least 40 years.  The labor force, which is the number of residents employed and those unemployed but actively looking for work, rose by 25,761, as the number of unemployed declined by 9,888.

“It continues to be a very good year for Georgia’s economy when you look at the whole picture,” Butler said.

With the monthly job loss, Georgia ended September with 4,497,200 total jobs.  Jobs were up 1.9 percent from September 2016.

Most of the over-the-year job growth came in professional and business services, 28,200; leisure and hospitality, 19,200; education and health services, 14,600; and trade, transportation and warehousing, 10,400.

Statewide, unemployment claims were up by 3.6 percent to 24,666, due largely to temporary claims filed in manufacturing and accommodations and food services. Compared to September 2016, claims were up a modest 1.1 percent from 24,403.

Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at employgeorgia.com showed 56,210 new active job postings in Georgia for September.

Visit dol.georgia.gov to learn more about career opportunities, Employ Georgia and other GDOL services for job seekers and employers and to connect with us on social media.



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