*Updated* Gilmer Sheriff issues BOLO for Fleeing Felony Offender



***UPDATED BOLO – Fugitive JEREMY CRUSE from Walton County has not been located yet, but we are still actively searching today. A female passenger that ran was taken into custody yesterday and is currently in the Gilmer County Jail.

As a reminder, please keep your homes and cars secured and locked. Continue to be on the lookout and if you see anything suspicious, please call 911 immediately.

5/1/19         9:38am #gilmersheriff



Gilmer County, GA


Earlier this afternoon, Sheriff’s deputies, along with Ellijay PD and Georgia State Patrol, were involved in a police chase with a 2010 red Ford Fusion allegedly driven by JEREMY CRUSE, age 34. After the chase ended on Gentry Drive up behind the Gilmer County Emergency Room/Nursing Home, the suspect ran on foot into a wooded area. It was learned that the subject has active felony warrants out of Walton County and is currently being sought by the Walton County GA Sheriff’s Office.

Currently, the Emergency Room, Nursing Home, and all schools in the vicinity including Gilmer High School, Middle School, and Mountainview Elementary, are on lockdown for safety of the public.

If you see this individual, use caution and do not approach, and call 911 immediately.

5:40pm #gilmersheriff

Parkside Ellijay crowns Queen and King in 2018 pageant

2017 Once Upon a Time Pageant

ELLIJAY, Ga. – A night of laughter and fun, Parkside Ellijay Skilled Nursing Care, previously Gilmer Nursing Home, held its annual pageant for its residents on Feb. 23.

Activity Director Tammy Baker, right, hosts the Once Upon a Time Pageant with special guests 2017 Apple Queen Rachel Waddell, left, and her brother Caleb Waddell, middle.

Activity Director Tammy Baker, right, hosts the Once Upon a Time Pageant with special guests 2017 Apple Queen Rachel Waddell, left, and her brother Caleb Waddell, middle.

The theme, “Once Upon a Time,” saw volunteers and employees of the facility dressed as Disney princesses and decorations from their movies to celebrate the evening. Local residents became contestants to be crowned King and Queen of Parkside for the coming year.

The evenings host and master of ceremonies, Tammy Baker, LPN, activity director, led the night through preliminary honorees before sitting down to interview the King and Queen contestants. The event also saw the honor of having 2017 Apple Queen Rachel Waddell and her brother Caleb Waddell crowning the winners and supporting the night as well as musical entertainment provided by Wesley Crider, world champion finger-style guitarist, sponsored by Homestead Hospice.

The preliminary awards of the night went to:

Volunteer of the Year – Susan Littlejohn of Build an Ark

Best Personality – Hayes Brown

Most Popular – Minnie Baughcum

Best Looking Female – Mary Jones

Best Looking Male – Willard Lee


2018 Parkside Ellijay Once Upon a Time Pageant King Paul Reeves.

2018 Parkside Ellijay Once Upon a Time Pageant King Paul Reeves.

The evening’s main event saw the King contestants first:

First runner up John Seiverling

Second runner up Arthur Collett

Third runner up Cliff Mooney

The 2017 King of Parkside Ellijay, Paul Reeves, was a contractor and producer and even once did a production with Whitney Houston. Reeves also took a few moments of his interview to sing for those present. He sang I Know, an old hymn that he picked himself.



2018 Parkside Ellijay Once Upon a Time Pageant Queen Reatha May.

2018 Parkside Ellijay Once Upon a Time Pageant Queen Reatha May.

As for the Queens, excitement mounted with each lady presented:

First runner up Dorothy Kirkland

Second runner up Reathia Dotson

Third runner up Joyce Mooney

The 2017 winner and now Queen of Parkside Ellijay, Reatha May, enjoys traveling across the states with her husband. With four children, May has one daughter and three sons. She has been married 53 years.


For more photos of this special night, check out FYN’s Once Upon A Time Photos on Facebook.


Nursing home continues renovations to become Parkside


ELLIJAY, Ga – Gilmer Nursing Home has continued renovations as they move towards transitioning to become Parkside Health Services.

While the renovations are still ongoing, Gilmer Nursing Home Representative Hannah Towns told FYN that they could optimistically be looking at a first quarter 2018 finish date. However, Parkside Health Services will be more than just a name change as the facility is beginning to expand into parts of the old North Georgia Medical Center and adding services like outpatient and short-term rehabilitation as well as an adult daycare center.

Renovations are continuing to improve the old operations area to a new Adult Daycare Center.

Renovations are continuing to improve the old operations area to a new adult daycare center.

SunLink Health Systems, owner of the facility, had previously begun changes with small improvements such as adding televisions to every room, but additional changes will also see the opportunity for couples rooms for those who wish to stay together. These steps will not remove the possibility for private and semi-private (one roommate) rooms but is a step toward expanding the facility’s options. Expanding into and updating old office space in the hospital will allow administration to have their own area and another access from the opposite side of the facility, near the Emergency Department entrance, for the daycare center.

Towns also stated the name change could allow for further expansion of programs later, though no plans have been made. Adult daycare would follow the same admissions process as the nursing home. However, once completed, patients could readily spend days at the center with a check-in/check-out procedure. Activities coordination and day rooms will provide everything from community interaction, TV rooms, games and more as volunteers and staff are made available.

New renovations are adding extra to individual rooms in addition to administration offices.

New renovations are adding extra to individual rooms in addition to administration offices.

The short-term rehabilitation expands services available for those recovering from surgery or injury who may not need a hospital but are not well enough to be home alone. Short-term, according to Towns, will be available for those in need of any age. However, not to be confused with hospital care, there are several things that the short-term care could not provide that a hospital could.

More for recovery, short-term care will have a rehabilitation focus to get patients to the point where they can return home without re-admittance to a hospital. Along those lines, short-term and outpatient care is set to expand the already advanced therapy available in the center. Gilmer Nursing Home already hosts experts in physical, occupational, and speech and recognition therapy. Renovations will be providing a newer gym area for those recovering, rehabilitating and returning home.

As opposed to short-term care patients attending therapy every day, outpatient rehab may visit the center two to three times a week. Expansion of services and renovations will provide a larger case load, but Towns said their current therapy team are prepared for the changes. The therapy team already has two on staff with previous experience in outpatient therapy and boasts certifications that will be utilized in outpatient care. One of the new changes they hope to make use of is a full “home area” so that people in short-term care can practice everything from cooking in a kitchen, navigating areas and cabinets, getting in and out of bed, and even simple things like getting dressed.

Even the enclosed outdoor area has seen landscaping improvements like this wheelchair accessible garden.

Even the enclosed outdoor area has seen landscaping improvements like this wheelchair accessible garden.

The area also will be utilized for cross therapy, a key thing that the therapy staff said allows for better care. With so few others offering occupational therapy, having all three (physical therapy, occupational and speech) allows for conjoined efforts in the area to simultaneously recondition people. One example given suggested one therapist may work on the occupational idea of dressing oneself in the morning while a second therapist would reinforce the conditioning of cognition, putting the steps in order and recalling the steps.

While much of this may seem simple daily tasks for most people, the therapy staff said people recovering from surgeries like knee replacements, or something physically altering, requires a retraining as patients get used to differences or changes necessary in recovery. Though Towns did confirm additional staff and volunteers will be necessary, no details are available as to a specific number of additional staff that will be added.

Towns stated the renovations are an excellent expansion opportunity for the county as the new Parkside Health Services will continue the same services as Gilmer Nursing Home. She also hopes to continue to grow the community interactions aspect of the programs. Patients already look forward to outings planned, such as going to the theater to watch movies, visiting the fair, and even in-house events like the upcoming Children’s Christmas Art Show and Family Holiday Dinner in December.

Drawing nearer to 2018, the renovations continue the facility’s transition to becoming Parkside Health Services. As the changes reach final stages, stay with FYN for updates and details as they become available.


Health and roads dominate Ellijay’s November council


ELLIJAY, Ga – Prior to the Ellijay City Council’s November Meeting, they heard a proposal from Russel Brown, local paramedic, for a community welfare program similar to programs in other counties like Floyd County.

According to Brown, patients statistically do better recovering at home. This program would encourage and supervise home health. Different from home healthcare programs, Brown said much of the welfare program is focused on prevention of readmission to hospitals and emergency rooms. They would focus on aspects like vital signs and communication for paperwork. If the program moves forward, it would start out within the Ellijay City Limits.

Funding and grants are available, Brown said, and much of the expense would come from strips for glucometers to measure blood glucose. While he hopes one day it could grow into a community paramedic program, he wished to start at community welfare. Those providing the service would be limited in care, and Brown stated that EMS would still be called for necessary situations.

Specific details for the proposal will come possibly as early as the December City Council meeting as the council requested Brown to return with an official written proposal to detail more things like cost and liability among others.

Signs of Interest is proposing this sign change on behalf of the Gilmer Nursing Home and SunLink Health Systems.

Signs of Interest is proposing this sign change on behalf of the Gilmer Nursing Home and SunLink Health Systems.

Another healthcare entity presented a variance request to change the sign for Gilmer Nursing Home on 1362 South Main St.  While the variance request was submitted to exceed the three-foot sign regulation of the city, it would in fact be lower than the current sign. Standing at 21 feet now, the request states the new sign will only reach 12 feet in height. A representative from Signs of Interest, Andy Lawson, told FYN the sign change was partially to clean up the facilities appearance and simplify the extras to a lower “nicer looking sign.”

Officially approved by the council, the sign will include a small message board to be utilized by the nursing home. Lawson provided FYN with a drawing of what the sign is expected to look like. Though the sign change is indicative of a name change as part of a remodeling project, Lawson told the council that SunLink Health Systems still owns the nursing home.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is planning to abandon part of Highway 382 to rebuild it as a direct line to Highway 515.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is planning to abandon part of Highway 382 to rebuild it as a direct line to Highway 515.

Following the same road further south, Highway 382’s changes came to Ellijay with a formal notification by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) that they will abandon the section of Highway 382 that currently extends from the intersection of 382 and Old Highway 5 to the connection at Highway 515. As seen in the picture, GDOT will be constructing a new connector straight across to Highway 515 with a roundabout at the intersection.

The notification comes with the city of Ellijay needing to accept the abandoned portion of 382 into its responsibility for paving and maintenance. However, a motion was made at the meeting to table the item. Citizens can expect the council to revisit the issue in December.

Along with their discussion of roads, an official petition has reached the council to add speed bumps to Gilmer Street near the Senior Center. The petition garnered 20 names and roused discussion from the council about returning the street to a one-way street as well as discussion on purchasing speed bumps for the street. Continued complaints about the speed of vehicles on the street led to suggestions to officially request the change via petition. Discussion took a turn as Ellijay Police Chief Edward Lacey informed the council that the street was, at one time, a one-way street.

Gilmer Street is a more narrow street and discussion arose  as, if the city returned it to one way, they were unsure of which way to direct the traffic. The council tabled the item and requested an official recommendation from Lacey, on how to return it to a one-way street, to discuss along with the speed bumps option. Again, citizens should look for the council to revisit the item in December.



Nursing Home Resident Named in Police Report


ELLIJAY, GA – According to an official statement by the Ellijay Police Department, police are continuing the investigation, alongside other entities, into the incident at the Gilmer Nursing Home that ultimately resulted in the death of a resident.

The statement also officially names the resident as Dorothy Broome, 83. The official statement follows:

On August 25, 2017 at approximately 10:01 PM, officers from the Ellijay Police Department were dispatched to and arrived at South Main Street in front of the Gilmer Nursing Home. Upon arrival, an 83 year old white female, later identified as Dorothy Broome, was found with her wheel chair in the ditch along the south bound lanes of South Main Street. Gilmer County and City of Ellijay Fire and Rescue Personnel rendered aid to Mrs. Broome who was transported to Erlanger Hospital via air ambulance. Mrs. Broome was pronounced dead by doctors of Erlanger hospital at 02:06 am.

Mrs. Broome was a resident in care of Gilmer Nursing Home. The Nursing Home is equipped with doors which lock from the inside. However, it has been reported to investigating personnel that prior to Mrs. Broome being found on South Main Street, a fire alarm had been pulled at the Gilmer Nursing Home which automatically releases the locking doors to allow egress of residents in case of fire.

The City of Ellijay Police Department is conducting a joint investigation with the Gilmer County Coroner’s Office, Georgia Department of Community Health (Division of Healthcare Facility Regulation), and the Georgia State Fire Marshal.


Gilmer Nursing Home Resident Dies After Exiting Building


ELLIJAY, GA – An incident Friday night, August 25, saw a resident exit the premises of the Gilmer Nursing Home & Rehabilitation Center and consequently fall down the hill, sustaining injuries.

Eyewitnesses tell FYN the resident was seen at the bottom of the hill where paramedics were providing care.

Unfortunately, the resident later died from the injuries received during the incident. According to officials in the nursing home, the outer doors are programmed to automatically unlock when a fire alarm is pulled. An official statement from the facility does not specifically state who pulled the alarm, but it is this situation that resulted in the resident exiting the building.

Nursing home faculty are not commenting on the situation, but have provided FYN with the release about the incident.

At approximately 10:00 p.m. on Friday, August 25, 2017, the fire alarm at Gilmer Nursing Home was pulled, causing the exterior doors to automatically unlock as required to ensure that residents can be safely evacuated if necessary. Unfortunately, a Resident exited the building during the alarm and fell. As a result, the Resident sustained multiple injuries, was transported by Gilmer County EMS and later died from these injuries. Gilmer Nursing Home is fully cooperating with the investigation of this incident.

At this time no information is confirmed about who the resident was or the status of the subsequent investigation.


Looking to the Future with Piedmont’s ER


As we wrap up this series delving into the Piedmont’s Stand-Alone Emergency Department (ED), we look to whats to come for the facility.

In the 2016 fiscal year, Piedmont Mountainside, in Jasper, saw 27% of its total patient population come from Gilmer County. Currently they estimate 32% of the ED visits or approximately 25 patients per day come from Gilmer County. As Gilmer’s need for care is continuing and increasing, many citizens are not only looking for the new ED to open, but also want to know how Piedmont plans to grow into the future for Gilmer County.

During their ribbon cutting ceremony, Georgia House Speaker David Ralston mentioned the possibility of two additional rooms in the Emergency Department for “Acute Care.”

Denise RayAcute Care, according to Denise Ray, CEO, Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, means “immediate but short-term treatment for injury, illness or urgent medical condition.” As the ED begins caring for Gilmer Citizens, they are considering the beds as options to increase quality through extended care for issues like dehydration, congestive heart failure (CHF), or exacerbation of chronic conditions. Where as these conditions would usually require transferring a patient to a hospital, Acute Care Rooms would keep them local as they are treated and released.

While Ray did say staffing would be very similar to the ED, they would require additional space in the old hospital. She did say they are currently looking at possible spaces, but did not offer a specific timeline on when Gilmer may look for this addition saying, “We are currently focused on opening the freestanding ED and concentrating on servicing the community to that capacity.”

As a part of opening the freestanding ED, Piedmont will become very close neighbors to the Gilmer County Nursing Home, a relationship that Gilmer citizens have enjoyed as emergency care for these residents is simply a wheelchair ride away instead of an Ambulance ride. Should a Nursing Home Resident require care, the staff would call ahead to notify the ER and utilize either a wheelchair or stretcher to transport the patient.

Hoping to build on the relationship, Ray told FYN having the nursing home on the back side of the facility would not change or affect the ED as it is well prepared for any emergency or condition that enters their facility, be it from the Nursing Home, any of Gilmer’s increased population over 65, or any other issue or emergent condition the County would bring in.

Additionally, Ray commented on Piedmont’s continuing programs for people age 60+ that will be held in Gilmer and Pickens Counties including Home Health visits, participation in local Alzheimer’s Association support group providing education on dementia, and education on Advance Directive’s to local Senior Centers in Jasper and Ellijay.

As Piedmont continues down its path for the Stand-Alone Emergency Department, citizens are waiting to see promises filled and care returned to the county. Plans and hopes for the future will all become possible as soon as the final inspections and paperwork are completed and Piedmont officially opens their new facility in Gilmer County.


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