BKP makes endorsement in Georgia HD7

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Many have called and texted me wondering if I was going to back someone in the runoff. I have made that decision. 

The people of Georgia House District 7 need a representative that understands our North Georgia values:  That is obviously not Sheree Ralston. Throughout the campaign it became clear she doesn’t have a clue about any of the issues. Remember what she said was her legislative priority, when our law enforcement responds to a call to have a clinician in the car with them. Ask your local law enforcement if they want a counselor to join them when responding to a call. Remember when she said that mental health legislation is a work in progress… but could not tell the voters what that means….

We need someone who doesn’t have to rely on someone else to write the answers to questions for them, someone who will listen and study the issues, someone who will represent the people and not Atlanta. I am endorsing Johnny Chastain for HD7. Johnny needs our vote, needs you to call your neighbors and ask them to vote and will need financial support. He is running against the establishment of a well funded machine. Let’s pull together and elect Johnny Chastain as our Rep for HD7.


Reasons Why to Vote for Brian K Pritchard

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If you don’t believe me, believe Joene Sorensen DePlancke. In a recent letter Joene listed her “Reasons Why to Vote for Brian K Pritchard.” Here are a few of her listed reasons in case you missed it on our newsletter.


“In my opinion, we need someone representing the 7th District at the Capitol with the following qualifications:

  • that will read and understand the bills that come before our legislature.
  • that has the courage and experience in standing up for what is right and what we need.
  • that will fight to the death to keep woke-ism and child mutilation and gender change out of our schools and away from our children until they are 18.
  • that will fight for parents’ rights to know what is happening to our children and the right to know the curriculum being taught.
  • that has been down to the capitol every year and attended numerous committee meetings and understands the process and can be effective from day one.”

Brian has worked hard for over 15 years for the 7th District in attending commissioner’s meetings, board of education meetings, attending legislative sessions in Atlanta, working closely with numerous senators and representatives on the bills that have been passed.


Brian is the only choice for the 7th District. Don’t allow the Elite in Atlanta tell you who should be your representative!


Vote for Brian K Pritchard on January 3 at your local precinct. Please note that Toccoa precinct has moved to the Fannin County Court House, 3rd Floor.


Brian K Pritchard is the grassroots candidate that has the knowledge and can stand up for the citizens of GA House District 7 in Atlanta. Brian will stand up for Constitutional Conservative Values of the North GA Mountains.

If you haven’t seen the forums here is a quick link to view both. Share these with anyone who is undecided. We believe the forums show who is qualified and ready to go to Atlanta on day ONE.

Candidate Forum for State House District 7 Hosted by Fannin County Chamber and broadcasted by ETC Candidate Night for the GA State House District 7 Sponsored by Fannin and Gilmer GOP, Mountain Patriots and Liberty Tea Party

As you watch the videos remember, we need a candidate that understands the issues that are coming down the pipeline. We need to send the person that is ready on January 9th to defend our values and rights in our mountain district.


Brian K Pritchard is the grassroots candidate for Georgia State House District 7. Brian will protect parents’ rights, protect our kids, protect our 2nd amendment rights, and keep the “WOKE” agenda out of our North Georgia Mountains. He is committed to getting law enforcement the resources needed to keep Atlanta drugs and crime out of our district. Send Brian to Atlanta on Jan 3.

Vote for Brian K Pritchard
State House District 7
on January 3rd


Donate Today

Volunteer or Donate to the campaign visit the website at bkp4ga.com

or Call 706-889-9700 to get in touch with the campaign. 

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Why is the News Observer trying to manipulate an election?

Election, Feature News, Featured, Featured News, Featured Stories

Why is the News Observer trying to manipulate an election? Is Glenn Harbinson trying to help someone win? You don’t know me but you sure want to judge me. When I decided to run for Georgia House District 7 I knew the media would attack me. I was ready for it and I know why they don’t want the good people from the 7th district to have a real representative.

I have tried to make this campaign about the issues. It is clear I won both forums and the other candidates have a lot to learn when it comes to the issues. So if you can’t win on the issues, use the fish wrap New Observer to attack me on something that happened nearly 30 years ago.

Yes something happened in Pennsylvania that is of public record. But the Georgia Secretary of States wants you to believe that I knowingly voted while serving a felony sentence. Never happened! I did vote every time they said, but never illegally.

The News Observer and AJC fail to tell the entire story. Yes, for those who think a person charged with a felony can’t vote, wrong. First, in the state of Pennsylvania the only time you lose your voting rights is if you are incarcerated. Considering I have never spent a night in jail in my entire life…(can everyone say that) I never lost my voting rights in PA. Once your sentence has expired you can vote in the state of Georgia. Yes it’s true!

One question that no one asks, why has the Secretary of State office sat on this allegation for 7 years? Why did this suddenly come up for the Attorney General’s office on the Friday before qualifying for office on Monday. Why was this sent to the media before it was sent to me and my attorney?  The answer is simple: manipulate an election.

You see I have a document which states that the case closed 5-14-1999 almost 24 years ago

Clearly depicts 1999


While the SOS falsely claims the case was still active and didn’t close until 2010. According to my document I never knowingly voted while serving a felony sentence and the law clearly states “knowingly”.

Not long ago the Attorney General’s office offered me what I considered extortion to sign a document showing no guilt and to pay a $4000 fine and they would close this case. I said absolutely not! Why would I pay them for something when I did nothing wrong?

$4000 offer to admit I did nothing wrong

Now they want to try to manipulate an election and try to make me look like public enemy number one. They want to take me to court in Fannin county and try to fine me upwards of $30,000. All because I did nothing wrong, did not accept their $4,000 extortion, and it was very convenient timing to disparage my name. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Georgia SOS looked for real voter fraud and the Attorney General spent your tax money prosecuting gang violence and drug cases.

You know the expression, it’s as clear as the nose on my face… Glenn Harbinson with the News Observer is trying to manipulate an election. But for who? Johnny Chastain or the woman who is trying to play the poor little widow woman Sheree Ralston.

Why is Sheree paying to run this ad knowing it is not true

Why is Sheree paying to run this ad knowing it’s not true

The one who is paying big money running ads, ads depicting “Did Pritchard vote illegally?”   Why would she run this ad knowing her late husband David Ralston knew my entire story. Don’t fall for her act.

Why isn’t fish wrap Glenn looking into why these candidates combined spending is over 150K.  Why spend $150,000 to try to get a job that pays 17.5k a year? Why isn’t fish wrap Glenn asking where their money is coming from? Where is Sheree Ralston getting her money, is it from the campaign slush fund from David Ralston? If so, is that legal?

We have all heard the stories of Glenn’s backroom deals to manipulate Blue Ridge City Mayor and Council races, County Commission seats…. I don’t know this first hand but we have all heard the stories. Now what kind of deal has Glenn made to try to manipulate this election and for who?

I’m not public enemy number one. I’m 58 years old. Married to my lovely wife Lisa. Father to two great kids Brian Keith and Vanessa who have blessed me with five grandkids. I do not use any drugs and haven’t even tasted alcohol since I was nineteen. I have never spent a night in jail and I think it has been over twenty years since I’ve had a speeding ticket. My wife was born and raised here and every once in a while I hear “I’m from here.”  I have been here for 21 years and we are small business owners. We own FetchYourNews.com and our number one focus for the last 12 years has been to highlight our young people in the district. Our sports department TeamFYNSports tagline is “highlighting and promoting young athletes in a positive way.”

It’s time we have a representative that is focused on keeping Atlanta drugs and crime out of our North Georgia Mountains.  We need to stop drug cartels from operating in our district, protect parents rights and protect our children from this government’s “WOKE” agenda.

We must protect our kids & parental rights

We must fight for kids and parents!

We are tired of self-serving politicians. You know the ones that get elected and are only worth around 200k and come back worth millions. Serving the people should never be a million dollar open door to corruption. Look at all the candidates and ask yourself why they are running for this office and then take a look at me and know I am running for no other reason than to serve the people.

Do not let Atlanta pick your Representative watch the forums Click here to watch the forums

Don’t let media like the News Observer and AJC lie and try to manipulate an election. Trust the only candidate in the race who reads the bills and knows the issues.

Click here to watch forums

God Bless America, God Bless Georgia and God Bless the good people of the seventh district.


My name is Brian K. Pritchard and I ask for your vote on January 3rd.

Threatened and told to withdraw we will not be bullied BKP is running Georgia State House 7


We have been threatened and told to withdraw – do not qualify to run!  We will not be bullied.  Atlanta wants to allege Brian did something “illegal” to attempt to disparage his name and maybe some people will see this and wonder if it’s true but that’s ok too!  Atlanta we expect no less from you!  You may believe people from the North Georgia mountains are not very bright but let me assure you – that is a serious mistake.  

Chris Carr could not be bothered to determine if illegal practices were committed during a stolen election but he has time to bring a frivolous (at best) allegation against Brian K. Pritchard simply because he decided he would run against the “establishment pick” for District 7!?!  

So these allegations were initially brought up several years ago by a now defunct newspaper and highlighted by liberal run newspapers.  Why would they do that – answer is simple, Brian would not go along with publishing anything and everything whether it was true or not. 

But I digress… if this was so serious what has Chris Carr been doing about it for the last 7 years?  When they reviewed this allegation the first time and found no cause to move forward was it forever on the backburner (in case they needed it)  Was it only a viable option to take it to this level when Brian decided to run for office and wouldn’t back down when he was told to withdraw?  Will it succeed in their goal to eliminate Brian from the race?  Not as far as we are concerned – bring it on!  We are hardworking honest people and Brian has nothing to explain but if you have questions about why Atlanta finds it necessary to clear the way for their choice by all means give him a call – Actions should speak louder than words and allegations are just that – Not sure how far they will take it or what else they will try to do but we refuse to be bullied into sitting down and shutting up!  Brian has a right to run, the North Georgia people have a right to choose who their representative will be and Atlanta doesn’t have the right to stop it!  

Brian will be holding a press conference after qualifying Monday

Brian K. Pritchard announces candidacy for State House District 7

News, Politics

Georgia-  Brian K. Pritchard (BKP) announces his candidacy for State House District 7.  A special election will be held on January 3rd 2023. 

“I’m excited to announce today that I am running for Georgia State House District 7. Unfortunately this election will run through the Christmas and New Year holiday. Governor Brian Kemp has called for a special election January 3rd.”

Thank you, 

“BKP” Brian K. Pritchard

[email protected]


On November 16th a giant tree fell in the North Georgia mountains. The second longest-serving State House Speaker, David Ralston died. Although I considered him a close friend, I never called him David. I always addressed him as “Mr. Speaker.” Speaker Ralston loved the people of the 7th District where he called home from the time of his birth. He also loved the State of Georgia and being House Speaker. I asked him if he would ever run for congress or senate and both times he answered with a firm, “NO, if I did that they wouldn’t let me be speaker.”


We knew him as Speaker Of the House but we can’t forget he was Georgia State Representative District 7, elected to the office in 2003. You can’t go anywhere in the district that you don’t see the fruits of him being our Representative.The hard reality is the 7th District is no longer represented by the Speaker of the House, it’s like we have hit the reset button. This is not the time to take any chances.  We need to elect someone ready to serve on day one.  We can’t afford for our district to go backwards, we must be prepared to go forward. That is why I’m announcing that I’m running for Georgia State House District 7. 


We the People …. Our Founding Fathers intended for us to have a representative government of the PEOPLE and By The People, not corporations, special interests or lobbyists. The only reason you run for office should be to serve the people of the district.  We are tired of self-serving politicians in this country. The people, businesses and organizations in the 7th District will be my special interest group.  


This Special Election is what they call a jungle primary meaning there is no party primary and then a general election. This is a nonpartisan election. Candidates don’t have to identify a political party on the ballot. 


But, I am a Republican, and I am a Christian first.  Nothing comes before God and family. I am a Constitutional compassionate conservative. I believe in loving and caring for my fellow man.  A political party should never be the determination on how we care for people less fortunate than ourselves.  I support and will uphold the great documents of our US and State Constitutions.  I am a fiscal conservative.  I believe the state can provide services needed to operate with a little less money from the taxpayers. The people pay the bills and the government should be good stewards of the taxpayers money. We The People are overtaxed and need a representative that is beholden to the people. I believe in limited government and it’s time we get the government out of our pockets. I will be a representative for all the people in the 7th District.


  • We must protect our environment and preserve our beautiful lakes, rivers and forests. 
  • We must protect our children from a “WOKE” government agenda and preserve parental rights. 
  • I will work with the county and city governments to find a balanced way to continue growth in the district while maintaining the rural look and feel that we love. 
  • I have and will always support our teachers and our local educational system and the University system in our district. The children are our future and we need to provide them every opportunity possible for them to be successful. This will help attract well paying jobs to our district. 
  • I have and will always support our law enforcement. The safety and well-being of our citizens will alway be a top priority of mine. Drug cartels are not welcome and I will help our great men and women in law enforcement get the resources they need to keep us safe. Keep Atlanta crime out of our mountains! 
  • I have and will always support our accountability courts. 
  • As your Representative I will do everything I can to eradicate the drug problem in our community. We need to restore families. This is a must to protect our children from this evil. 
  • I am pro second amendment and believe in the sanctity of life. 


I look at everything with a positive view and I know together we can accomplish our goals.  I am a husband, father, and grandfather and protecting this district will have my entire focus and attention.  Look for my upcoming campaign videos where I will go into greater detail on all the issues. 


In the coming days of the campaign I will release short videos highlighting my dedication to the 7th District over the past 20 years and how I plan to represent the district. Visit our website BKP4GA.com and follow our social media Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @BKP4GA. 


If you have any questions do hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or call me 706-889-9700. 

I look forward to the opportunity to speak about the issues with any group or even a living room coffee talk. 


I humbly ask for your vote to be your next District 7 State Representative.




“BKP” Brian K. Pritchard




County renames park to Ralston River Park

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ELLIJAY, Ga. – Honoring the entire Ralston family for contributions to the county and the park specifically, including that of Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to rename the riverside park along Old Highway 5 to “Ralston River Park.”


In April of 2018, Speaker David Ralston attended the opening of the new playground at River Park which a state grant aided local funds in creating.

Originating in this month’s meeting as an agenda item to rename the walking path for the Ralston family, discussion turned to the 28 years of service the county has received through numerous efforts from the family as a whole. Parks and Recreations Director Kevan White spoke during the Commissioners Work Session on the topic saying that some of those efforts include employment with the Parks and Rec Department, officiating basketball games over the years, memberships to the Parks and Rec Advisory Board, coaching various sports, GRPA awards and recognitions, state level service with  public service since 1992, state legislation since 2002, volunteer services in disasters like Hurricane Isaac, state-level support in the recent upgrades, county level public service in the commissioners office, and more.

The original proposal the White spoke of was to name the path the “Ralston Riverwalk.” However, Post Commissioner Hubert Parker offered a step-up alternative in naming the whole park instead of the just the walking path. While White said he had thought about it, but didn’t propose it at first, he noted that several parts of the park, like the tennis courts, bear names of people who have dedicated great services to the county and the Parks and Recreation Department as well. White also noted that he has further plans for other dedications in the Clear Creek area as well.


Kevan White speaks to the Gilmer BOC in May of 2021 about renaming the park as “Ralston River Park.”

Ultimately, no objection came, and a unanimous agreement to increase the dedication from the walking path to the park in general was made. The BOC May Regular meeting saw the formal motion to add the honorific.

The official name change completed, Chairman Charlie Paris did tell FYN that the county would be placing some sort of plaque or signage bearing the name in the future. But does not currently have a sign ready for it.

Gilmer wins CDBG grant for water improvements


GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) today announced that Gilmer County has been awarded $722,000 to make water system improvements through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. The funds will be used as part of a $1.9 million project to improve water infrastructure along Old Roundtop Road, Roundtop Road, Whispering Winds Lane and within the Lakeside Mobile Home Park.

Extending new water main lines into the area, the Ellijay-Gilmer County Water and Sewerage Authority (EGCWSA) will be extending lines to homes that have never had access to the public water system. They will be extending the mainline to communities that are currently using substandard wells or systems with heavy iron in the water as well as laying the groundwork for future plans. In fact, as this grant funds “Phase 1” of the project, Director of the EGCWSA, Gary McVey said, “After this grant is done, we’re actually going to extend even farther and, hopefully, even maybe get to the county line.”

McVey confirmed that once they reach the county line, they will pursue a connection with Pickens County Water as well. Gilmer already connects to Pickens through the Yukon Road/Talking Rock area.

“Continually maintaining and improving infrastructure is critical to the quality of life our residents enjoy,” said Speaker Ralston. “This is the kind of investment that will pay off for years to come, and I congratulate all those involved in winning this grant award for Gilmer County.”

County Commission Chairman Charlie Paris also commented on the grant saying, “These grants are competitive. You’ve got to present a good case in order to get them. And I think we’ve done that… We’re being more competitive and that’s what I like to see.”

According to Speaker Ralston’s Press Release, the CDBG program is available to eligible local governments through a competitive grant program. Each year, CDBG supports community projects that create jobs and assist citizens with low and moderate incomes. The release also stated,

Over the past decade, Georgia’s CDBG program has invested in health care facilities that have helped more than 35,000 Georgians gain access to improved health services, has provided resources for critical water and sewer improvements serving more than 177,000 residents in rural areas, has supported the construction or enhancement of community facilities to serve more than 16,000 youth and senior citizens, and has helped to create more than 6,100 new jobs through the Employment Incentive Program.


PRESS RELEASE: Speaker David Ralston Thanks Senator Johnny Isakson

Announcements, Politics

Speaker David Ralston Thanks Senator Johnny Isakson

ATLANTA – Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) issued the following statement on the news that Georgia’s senior United States Senator Johnny Isakson will resign from office at the end of the year:

“The loss of Johnny Isakson from public life will leave a void in Georgia which is beyond comprehension. While I respect his reasons, I feel a tremendous sense of personal sadness – Johnny is a mentor, role model and friend. Over a distinguished career in the Georgia House, Georgia State Senate, State Board of Education, U.S. House and U.S. Senate, Johnny Isakson demonstrated that civility and reasonableness are virtues that will never go out of style. My family and I will continue to pray for Johnny, Dianne and the Isakson family.”

Joycene Ralston Pritchett: Obituary


Mrs. Joycene Ralston Pritchett, age 86, of Ellijay died Tuesday September 18, 2018.

Mrs. Pritchett, was born, July 1, 1932, in Gilmer County the daughter of the late Covell and Josie Bearden Ralston. She was a homemaker and member of the Turniptown Baptist Church. Her parents, husband, Frank Pritchett, siblings ,Geneva Cantrell, Howard Parks Ralston, David C. Ralston, James Ralston, Lorene Weeks, Irene Nicholson, and Audrey Johnson preceded her in death.

Survivors include; sister; Betty Ralston James, Chatsworth sister-in-law and brother-in-laws, Doris and Larry Tankersley, Robert and Oleeta Cochran and Fern Pritchett all of Ellijay. and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held Friday at 2:00pm from the chapel of Bernhardt Funeral Home with Rev. Billy Cantrell officiating. Interment will be in the Turniptown Baptist Church cemetery.

The family will meet with friends Friday from 10:00 am until the funeral hour at the funeral home.

Bernhardt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Meet and Greet – Candidate Forum~Hosted by Williamson for GA State House District 7


Gilmer Schools Cut the Ribbon on Agriculture Center


Celebrations arose as citizens packed into the Gilmer Agriculture Education Facility at Clear Creek Middle School to celebrate the Ribbon Cutting on Saturday, March 25.

Actually, staff members had to bring out extra seating for people as they overfilled the bleachers. Georgia House Speaker David Ralston took notice as he spoke of North Georgia’s community and how it supports its students saying, “This does reflect the great support this community has for its young people, for education, and for Agriculture.”

RalstonIn response, the local FFA Officers presented Speaker Ralston with a plaque in appreciation of his support for Gilmer High School Agriculture Education Program as well as the new food processing facility.

Speaker Ralston was not the only visitor Gilmer had to commemorate the event as we hosted Georgia Department of Education State Director for Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education, Dr. Barbara Wall, and Georgia Department of Education State Agriculture Education Program Manager, John “Chip” Bridges.

Bridges not only lauded the facility, but took time to praise the Gilmer County students. Going back years, Bridges said he had always been impressed by Gilmer Students and their attitudes and work through the agricultural program saying, Bridges“It’s an honor to be here to witness this facility which almost come close enough to matching the quality of the students that you have here.” He also went on to say Gilmer’s Facility is not only the best in the state, but competes nationally for quality saying even California has nothing like Gilmer’s facility. Echoing sentiments, he thanked the Board of Education for investing in the facility and the teachers for their efforts in the students.

Gilmer FFA alumni and Georgia FFA State Vice President Sadie Lackey honored Gilmer’s FFA program recalling her six years of experience. Comparing Gilmer’s students at state and national competitions, constant awards and honors, and acceptance to national universities, Lackey called Gilmer’s Students an “elite” among the 41,000 across the state. Lackey, however, did not talk about the benefits the facility would give the community, instead telling them to experience it themselves saying, “We will witness the greatness firsthand.”

LackeyAs the ceremony came to a close, citizens were invited to tour the facility and experience what the students would be, and since Saturday have already begun, experiencing daily as the facility is put to use. With members and organizations of the community already inquiring as to how they might schedule and utilize the new facility, the Board of Education is currently revising their use agreement and should be ready to allow the community use in as early as two weeks. Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes stated, “I think it is a tremendous asset to the community,” and encourages those looking for a larger space to utilize the facility, but wants to maintain the Agriculture Program as the priority users.

Plans have already begun for uses other than first livestock show including a May 11 banquet, Prom on April 22, and its first event Ag Day going on tomorrow, March 29.

Make sure to take your own tour of the facility by checking out more pictures below:



Behind the Doors at Piedmont’s Emergency Department


With Piedmont’s recent ribbon cutting ceremony, FYN delved behind the scenes to take a closer look at some of Piedmont’s equipment and changes to the facilities as they move closer to opening their doors to the public.

ParisDuring their Ribbon Cutting, Piedmont was welcomed into Gilmer County by Commission Chairman Charlie Paris stating, “We’re very thankful to have an ER coming into Gilmer County. In addition to health care considerations, there are a lot of cost savings that will apply…”

One of the biggest upgrades that Piedmont Mountainside CEO, Denise Ray mentioned during the ceremony was a 64-slice CT Scanner with a Double Injector function. This device replaces an CT Scanolder 16-slice scanner allowing for far better detail in the scans. The Double Injector is used during things like PE (Pulmonary Embolism) Studies. Nestor walked us through the aid this provides as the contrast dye is injected into patients needs to be immediately flushed.

The double injector allows the flush without requiring technicians to re-enter the room and provide the flush themselves. The upgrade from 16 to 64-slice also improves speed of the scan translating to patients as less time on the table.

XRayPiedmont is also currently using a portable X-Ray machine in addition to its normal machine. This device can be moved into a patient’s ER room to take an x-ray and utilize that mobility to expedite care to its emergency patients. While Ike Ichite, Director of Imaging, stated the portable x-ray aids greatly in emergency care situations, he is still looking forward to a digital upgrade expected to come early next year. The digital upgrade would allow Doctor’s to quickly view the x-ray results bypassing to time to process the shots in radiology and being instantly accessed on screen of the machine.

The full digital images would also greatly increase image quality according to Jennifer Nestor. Having images of high quality instantly available will even further help doctors immediately respond to issues they find through the x-rays.

Also utilized at the local Emergency Department (ED) is the Ultrasound study. Usually utilized in blood studies such as DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis), blood clot, or gall bladder issues. This device rounds out the “big three” devices used in Piedmont’s ED.

As the new Emergency Department draws closer to opening its doors, greater attention is drawn daily as Ray even commented an expectation that all of Georgia will be focusing on Gilmer County to see if free-standing ER’s could be a solution to Georgia’s rural hospital problems.

RalstonState Speaker David Ralston, in attendance at the Ribbon Cutting, spoke on that subject saying, “The whole issue of Healthcare, particularly in rural Georgia, is very challenging. Over the last three or four years, we’ve had about fifteen or sixteen rural hospitals close in Georgia.”

Ralston jokingly continued saying, “I’ve been able to brag over the last month or two that I’ve got the only one that re-opened.”

However, that was not the only message Speaker Ralston brought to Gilmer County. Thanking the local community for their support in the transition and renovations to the ED, he said, “This whole fear of the clock, the Certificate of Need and the license that was going to expire, is over. It is over, that clock has been turned off.”

The central focus of that fear has been maintaining healthcare in Gilmer County indefinitely.

Piedmont is reinforcing its ED health care with additional support throughout Gilmer County through Medical Offices, local Doctors, as well as an imaging center and local lab, for blood draws and other outpatient studies, located in the Piedmont offices behind Wal-Mart.

These supporting offices will be connected to the ED through Piedmont’s Epic System. This integrated records network will allow for all admissions and care at the Emergency Room to be instantly accessible by Piedmont’s local Doctors as well as vice versa for Emergency Care Physicians to have instant access to the records of Piedmont Doctor’s patients for pertinent information such as drug allergies.

However, Piedmont did say that other Doctors will be able to tie into the Epic System as well. While Emergency Departments can access a Doctor’s Patient files through requests, the Epic System will provide instantaneous access to those reports and files providing an expedited process.

GoochThis Epic System will effectively connect the Piedmont “Community of Healthcare” that seems to have been growing in Gilmer County over the last year. State Senator Steve Gooch stressed the importance of healthcare and its growth in community when he said, “It is very important, not only for our health care, but for our economic development, our communities, and our children… We’re grateful to Piedmont for all their investments, millions of dollars that they’ve spent here in Gilmer County.”

Piedmont is also planning to continue their training and classes they offer through Piedmont Mountainside and are expecting to grow this effort through its growth into Gilmer County. Stay with FYN as we continue our series on Piedmont Healthcare and look deeper at some of their plans for Community Growth through classes, internships, training, participation with local entities, and even their hope for the future in the possibility of two acute-care rooms in the Emergency Department.

When we need action – David Ralston is there for us

Election, Featured, Featured Stories, Politics


Sam Snider 5/13/16

Election, Politics

Candidate for Georgia State House 7th District Representative Sam snider sits down with BKP to speak about citizens and legislation.


Commissioners to Conclude Ball Fields Project


With the approval of their resolution at their March 10th meeting, the Board of Commissioners will be funding the remaining amount of work required for the Clear Creek Ball fields from their SPLOST funds. This became a topic for debate in the county as Dallas Miller spoke against a budget amendment and also voted against it saying, “You can have my salary, I don’t care.”
With the 2-1 split vote, Dallas Miller answered his own comment and stated he appreciated and wanted to go ahead with completing the ball fields, but as he said in his comment, he voted in effort to find another way to fund it besides adding extra funds to it from the county’s finances.

DSC05760While the Commissioners were hopeful the original budget would have been enough, Chairman Paris stated he had always expected some extra funding would be needed. He also noted that with well over $650,000 dedicated to the project that he could recall, that was all donated proceeds and the County itself has added very little to no funding to the project as a whole. With this amendment, the county has now added $70,000 to the remaining $34,500 in the project budget to cover the expected $100,000 remaining work.

The majority of tasks left involve roofing several dugouts, laying concrete around the concessions and driveway, and sodding the fields. As the sod goes down, it will require another two to three weeks to set before any games can be played.

The completion of the concessions stand, bathrooms, and press box also leaves room for two unused rooms that can be multi-functional and a space for a heating and air systems in the future.

DSC05779Commission Chairman Charlie Paris further assured citizens that, though it won’t be at the beginning of the season, he expects we will be seeing games played on the Clear Creek Ball Fields this year, going so far as to say, “I’m gonna have a ribbon cutting in April. It may be April 30th, but I am going to be cutting that ribbon in April.”

Chairman Paris stated this was an expected shortage since November for the Commissioners, but he wants to complete the project as promised to the citizens.

This project has become an eight-year project since its first inception going through the initial funding that was dedicated from the sale of the GO Bonds that was redirected to other projects, then revitalized with fund raisers such as State Funding of $560,000 garnered by Speaker David Ralston.

DSC05750The project will finally reach conclusion this year. However, there are still projects on the fields for future consideration such as paving the parking lot or, according to Chairman Paris, a possible location for a future pool that citizens have also been requesting.


Citizens React to Possible Closing of North Georgia Medical Center


A bomb is exactly what citizens are calling this information that they say came out of nowhere. With continuing questions of what this means to Gilmer County, FYN sat down with Executive Director of the Greater Gilmer JDA (Joint Development Authority), Chuck Scragg in an interview Wednesday.

As DirectoScraggr Scragg said, the impact of that information and the potential loss to Gilmer County could be quite substantial as losing a $31,000,000 business,  which the hospital as a whole contributes to the county, would be a large impediment on the economy, stating, “in 2006 there were 9,035 jobs in Gilmer County, right now, today, there are 7,200 jobs.” Losing a business is losing jobs.

In a county that is still not recovering from the recession, it will be much harder to entice companies to join and move into Gilmer county with no inpatient care services. Director Scragg said when people visit for business scouting, after seeing potential sites, there are always three things they ask to see in the county; Schools, Downtown Area, and Healthcare Facilities.

While FYN has learned of a non-disclosure agreement covering the leasing or closing of the Medical Center, FYN has continued requesting comments from Piedmont Mountainside about the Transition and Services they would provide for Gilmer County considering there is a deadline of January 27 to contest the issue and the filing of a Request for Determination.

Citizens and employees of the Medical Center both are commenting and responding to this information saying “there are employees there that depend on their job to support their family” and many saying this is the first they have heard of the possible closing. With this being the first information they have received, many are still questioning why they were not informed earlier with the deadline only a week away?

House Speaker David Ralston’s office also released the following statement concerning the hospital via Kaleb McMichen, Spokesman.

Under President Obama’s administration, actions at the federal level have driven up the costs of healthcare including deductibles and premiums of commercial health insurance policies as well as the state’s portion of Medicaid spending.  Unfortunately, many hospitals and doctors across Georgia, particularly those in rural areas, are struggling to cope with these changing financial realities.

As recently as last week, Speaker Ralston has said time and again that maintaining access to high-quality healthcare for Georgia’s citizens is a priority. He remains engaged with stakeholders and is working with them to find the best of available solutions to preserve access to hospital care in Gilmer County.

According to Director Scragg, the Greater Gilmer JDA will be having a Special Called Meeting on Monday morning at 9:00am at the Gilmer Chamber. We at FYN have also received the Agenda for this meeting, one of the major items on the agenda being ‘Review & Action on Hospital DET.’ This is an open meeting for citizens to sit in to listen and participate in a Citizens Wishing to Speak Section.

Listen to the full interview with Executive Director Chuck Scragg below:







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