Last night’s winner of the Kindle drawing! Congrats Angel Tucker. Also pictured, Jim Parner, family engagement partner. Keep attending for more great prizes!
Every parent and student that has ever applied knows how difficult and tedious applying for FAFSA can be. Gilmer MEC is very lucky to have Janet Davis, DE Career Specialist and WBL Coordinator, here to coordinate colleges to help students and their families by having a FAFSA night dedicated for just that. L-R Janet Davis, Crystal Haygood and her daughter Haley Miller, Regina Hill and Melissa McCrary, from Chattahoochee Tech.
East Ellijay, Ga. – Meet Charlie, a little white dog with a big story to tell. His story is about a family with a Veteran suffering from PTSD and a wife and son trying to make sense of it.
That story has brought filming to the North Georgia area, and specifically to East Ellijay at Highland Crossing. The lot of tiny homes next to Walmart was scouted and now used for an on-location shoot as the construction site for veteran John Frost, played by Aiden Turner. The film has actually moved across North Georgia with locations in Canton, Marietta, Ball Ground, and East Ellijay to just name a few.
According to Producer Toni Hudson, the story follows the Frost family when Jill Frost, played by Hudson, takes on a large number of Christmas parties to make extra money at her store, “Jill’s Cakes and Bakes.” As she overworks herself waiting for her husband to return home from the war in Afghanistan after the new year. She is surprised when he arrives home five weeks early due to severe PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
John comes home to his busy family and their newly adopted shelter dog, Charlie. However, John has never liked small dogs or seen them as “real dogs.” Coming home early throws a wrench into everyone’s plans and John and Charlie can’t seem to get along. As he tries to acclimate to civilian life, a particular night sees a bad episode of John’s PTSD in town and Charlie is severely injured from the event.
As John copes with the disorder, Charlie is constantly trying to find his place in John’s life as this new person in the home. John gets a construction job while growing closer with Hank, a veteran friend and constant presence at the local Moose Lodge where his therapy group meets. One day, when Hank is nowhere to be found at the meeting, Charlie leads John out back of the lodge to find Hank face down in the snow with a heart attack. John also notices the homeless “tent village” where Hank lives.
As John struggles with his own disorder, fitting into society, dealing with Charlie, helping Hank in recovery, and thinking of the other homeless veterans situation, he realizes that everything connects and he takes action to tackle the numerous problems ahead.
Filming in the Gilmer area only in the recent weeks, Charlie’s Christmas Wish was created last November 2017. Just like John, Hudson said the filming has had to overcome its own troubles fighting the rain and the heat in the area with the characters dressed for winter as well as a much smaller schedule as they are looking to release the movie to theaters this November 2018. The one-year schedule is highly unusual as most films look for at least two years in production before release.
Hudson said that Charlie’s Christmas Wish was born from Sue Ann Taylor, Executive Producer, and Hudson in Los Angeles at the American Film Market. Having lost one of the movies they were planning, Hudson says that they were at her house with her dog Charlie when Taylor just looked at him and said, “Charlie! Do you want to make a movie?”
Now, the film has grown into a something more as topics like PTSD and homeless veterans have become major themes in the movie. Hudson admitted a certain balance had to maintained to bring these heavy themes into a family and kid-friendly film. The film hosts a number of aspects to “lighten” the feel such as two bumbling dog catchers attempt to chase Charlie and the construction company owner who doesn’t know how to build anything. Other soft moments come through as Hudson mentions Charlie is the smartest person in the movie and talks with God at points.
The idea of Charlie and the Frost family showcases a family look at some very real issues today, a theme that is easier to explore with the independent status of the movie. But digging deeper, Hudson says what makes this movie special is the “heart” behind it, whether it’s healing John’s heart as he comes home, Charlie becoming the heart of the family to grow closer together, or one town showing what we can do to be the heart of change in major issues like homeless veterans.
Hudson took that one step further in one last comment. While she doesn’t have a solid plan yet, she is pushing for another step in film-making. As the focus on homeless veterans becomes more apparent in the later part of the story, it has become more apparent to her. She suggested that she wants Charlie’s Christmas Wish to be more than just a movie. Moving past just mentioning it in the film she began toying with ideas like adding a donation to ticket prices and sales. She said she wants people to “be open” to the subject and to support the movie, support the issue at hand, and support those who defend our freedoms.
BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Georgia’s current Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle continues to make his way across the state in his bid to become Georgia’s next governor. Recently, Cagle made stops through north Georgia as part of his campaign on a two-week venture dubbed the “Cagle Country Bus Tour.”
While supporters and undecided voters alike packed venues to hear the candidate speak in their hometown, many were surprised to see another Cagle family member emerge from the bus to give her take on why Casey Cagle, her husband, should be Georgia’s next governor.
Nita Cagle has been by Casey’s side for 32 years. In those 32 years, the Cagles have raised three sons and are currently enjoying the addition of three grandchildren to the family, but raising a family and having a life in politics has not always been easy.
Cagle holds the title of Second Lady of the State of Georgia, but she said what she is most proud of is her title as wife, mother and now grandmother of the Cagle household.
“I’m the inaugural member of team Cagle,” Georgia’s Second Lady joked as she spoke of the family’s early years in politics.
Casey Cagle first ran for Georgia Senate District 49 in 1994. At that time, both of the Cagles were in their late 20s and just beginning a family.
“Casey had helped a friend run a campaign,” Cagle spoke of how their life in public service began. “Over the next couple of years, I saw the spark start.”
Cagle admits that when she first noticed Casey was showing interest in this field, that she was “a little hesitant” to jump on board but says that her faith changed her attitude.
“I had many nights, many talks, and eventually a calmness just came over me, and I was okay with it. So when he came to me and said this is something that is on my heart, I already knew,” Cagle spoke candidly of her acceptance to stand by Casey as he joined the political arena.
When asked if she felt she had known of Casey’s intentions before he spoke openly of them, Cagle laughed and said, “Actually, he probably already knew. It was just ‘How am I going to tell Nita?'”
This career move was not always smooth as Cagle had to adapt to managing her time: “The boys were young. You’re divided because you want to be with them both, be a mom and be a wife.”
Ultimately,, through family discussions, Cagle decided that she would become a strong foundation for her family at home.
“You only get one time at it,” Cagle explained of the decision and the importance of having an active role in a child’s life. “You don’t get a do-over.”
This decision did pose obstacles for the Cagles to overcome as the now Lt. Governor was often called away for his job and for campaigns, but Cagle explained these obstacles are no different than what many families face: “Whether it’s politics, any job is going to put stress. No marriage is going to be without stress.”
Cagle explained that she has been blessed in that despite the calling of Casey’s career, he has always put his family first: “He’s a homebody, and if it is humanly possible to come home, he is coming home.”
With their children grown, Cagle said being on the campaign trail this time has a much different feel: “It absolutely was harder as they were younger. It got a lot easier as they got older. I’m really energized. I’m really enjoying it.”
Having grown children poses a set of new and exciting challenges when it comes to time management, as Cagle announced that their youngest son recently proposed to his girlfriend and would like to wed in the fall shortly before the November General Election.
This announcement did not slow Cagle down as she smiled and enthusiastically explained, “What better thing to do in the middle of all this craziness, than to shut it all down and to celebrate family, remember why we do it to start with, and welcome a new daughter-in-law into our family.”
Cagle added that having been in a house of men for so long, and with her two older sons already married she is excited for the wedding and glad that the male to female ratio is evening out.
With the prospect of becoming Georgia’s First Lady, Cagle has given a lot of time to her platform and her mission if given this duty: “I have several things that I have thought about, and I may or may not narrow down.”
Having obtained a degree and having a background in early childhood education, Cagle taught preschool for a number of years.
“I specifically love the preschool age,” Cagle smiled as she discussed one of her goals if given the title of First Lady of Georgia.
Cagle would like to see preschool education expanded and offered throughout Georgia. She cited the importance of teaching children at a young age and how this early nurturing can carry over throughout their life.
Knowing that not every child is able to receive this kind of early start at home, Cagle would like to see this program offered in more areas, stating that the work put into a child at an early age will benefit society for generations to come.
Cagle would also like to put a focus on small businesses throughout Georgia. She and husband Casey got their start by establishing a small business, so she knows first-hand the struggles that entrepreneurs face.
“I would like to champion them, and spotlight them,” Cagle said, explaining her passion for this area. She noted that small businesses make up a large portion of the Georgia economy, and she would like to see “mom and pop shops” continue to set up and succeed in our state.
Finally, Cagle discussed an issue that has come up time and time again on the campaign trail and that is of the opioid epidemic that is not just facing the state of Georgia but affecting countless families nationwide.
From speaking with residents in Georgia, Cagle is left with one strong impression when it comes to the opioid epidemic: “It’s everywhere. It does not discriminate. We hear the same story over and over. It’s repeated everywhere.”
While Cagle admits that she is by no means an expert when it comes to this crisis, she says that she cannot deny the need to address the issue and “get the conversation going.” She stated that by hearing the heartbreaking stories from families affected by opioid addiction she understands the depth of the problem and that it will not be an easy one to combat.
Being a multifaceted issue with a number of areas that need to be addressed, Cagle said, “If we are blessed enough to be elected, the platform is going to put me in a position to do good and open doors for the people that know about it.”
Cagle would like to increase awareness of the opioid epidemic and at least on one front open the doors for mentoring programs where families struggling with this issue can speak with former addicts on how to help loved ones.
Cagle also acknowledged the successes being seen through Georgia’s Drug Courts and would like to study the impacts of possibly expanding these programs.
Nita Cagle beams a confidence and sincerity in all that she speaks of, but perhaps her biggest conviction is in that of her husband’s ability to make a great governor of Georgia.
“The best way to know the kind of leader or character a person is going to have is to look into the home, and that is what I bring to the table,” Cagle stated, smiling at her husband. “I’ve been married to a man that is consistent every single day.”
She spoke of his competitive drive and his ability to connect with people but said he is also a fair man and one she is proud to have spent the last 32 years by his side.
Cagle’s birthday is May 23, just one day after the General Primary, and she stated this year she doesn’t want any gifts from her husband but instead, “I just want a good clean win on the 22nd with no run-off.”
“He says it’s mathematically virtually impossible,” Cagle said, explaining her husband’s response to her wish, but she then added with her contagious smile, “I have seen him do the impossible before.”
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All Ages Programs
DIY Valentine’s Gifts: Bath Bombs, Cookie Decorations & Heart Shaped Tea
Tuesday, February 6 @ 5:00 PM
Show them how much they mean to you without spending a dime with our DIY Valentine’s gift stations. All materials provided for you to make the day memorable for that special someone. Make a bag of sensuous lush bath bomb, love-letter cookies, or soothingly aromatic heart shaped tea.
Family Story Time
Wednesday January 31 @ 10:30 AM & 4:00 PM
Wednesday February 7 @ 10:30 AM & 4:00 PM
Family story times are designed for families with children of all ages. Story time is followed by a craft activity. Children must be accompanied by a participating adult.
Young Adult Programs
Dungeons & Dragons
Monday, February 5 @ 6:00 PM
Whether you have been playing for years or would love to learn, join us for the popular tabletop role-playing game: Dungeons & Dragons! Come as early as 5:00 if you want to create your character or feel free to play one of the available premade characters. All materials are provided, or you may bring your own. For ages 12 and older.
Thursday, February 1 @ 6:00 PM
Master Gardener Series: Seed Starting, Vermiculture & Composting
Join the Gilmer County Master Gardeners for a program to jump start your next grow season: gathering supplies, preparing the soil, starting the seeds, and more!
The Friends of the Library Bookshelf
Remember that the library welcomes donations of gently read books and magazines. Those that the library does not need come to the Bookshelf, with all the proceeds benefiting the library. Do not forget to visit the “back room” of the Bookshelf for newly stocked non-fiction and magazines.
Bookshelf hours are from 10:30-5:30 on weekdays and from 12:00-2:00 on Saturdays
Library Location & Contact Information
Address: 268 Calvin Jackson Drive, Ellijay, GA 30540.
Phone: 706-635-4528. Fax: 706-635-3528.
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9AM-8PM, Friday and Saturday 9AM-6PM.
Part Two of the GMFTO series on Medical Marijuana, Cannabis Oil, and the effects for health treatment in our nation.