Gilmer announces Teacher of the Year

Bobcat's Corner, News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Announcing the 2019 Teacher of the Year, Gilmer County’s Board of Education celebrated the award during their November meetings as they named Tina McDaniel as recipient.

Moving from School Teacher of the Year to the system-wide Teacher of the Year, McDaniel said, “This is just a great honor. It’s a blessing to be able to work with such wonderful people in this county. It’s awesome.”

Administration actually surprised McDaniel in first period Science class a week before they announced her during their meeting. McDaniel said she couldn’t believe that she had been named Teacher of the Year as the surprise came early in the morning. The celebration brought smiles to both the teacher and her first period students who shared cake with their teacher during the surprise.

McDaniel has been teaching for 16 years now. Her first year she taught 7th Grade Science and Social Studies, but the last 15 years have been spent in 6th Grade Science and is currently a PLC Leader. She was named Clear Creek Middle School’s Teacher of the Year in October where she was described as “greeting everyone on a daily basis with a warm and welcoming smile, inspires all students to learn through engaging hands-on activities, very well respected by her colleagues, and spends time in the community by being a soft ball and basketball coach for Gilmer Parks and Recreation.”

Author

Gilmer students walkout over Gay/Straight Alliance Club

Feature News, Gilmer High School
gay/straight alliance club

GILMER COUNTY, GA – At 10 a.m. on Nov. 14, several Gilmer County High School (GCHS) students stood up and left their classrooms to voice their opinions over the Gay/Straight Alliance Club.

The students gathered around the flag pole and prayed then conversed for about 30 minutes until walking back inside the school.

One student held up a “Jesus wasn’t Gay” sign for Fetch Your News camera to capture.

Another student approached officers onsite, held up another sign, and ask if they were going to hell for being gay.

The sign reads “Jesus wasn’t Gay.”

Earlier in the year, Fannin County Schools also addressed the possible formation of the Gay/Straight Alliance Club and experienced protests.

At this time, it is unclear who organized the walkout or why students felt this was their best option.

Assistant Principal Tiffany Boyette told Fetch Your News that the school system and Superintendent Dr. Downs would be releasing a statement on the matter later in the day.

The student approached officers with a sign and asked “sir, I’m gay, Am I going to hell?”

Fetch Your News will keep you updated as more information becomes available about this story.

 

REACH signing in Gilmer

Bobcat's Corner, News
REACH Signing 2019

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – Five new inductees have joined the Gilmer County REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) program this week with the official REACH Signing Ceremony on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

The ceremony was hosted at Clear Creek Middle School’s media center with special guests Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston and Brad Bryant from the Georgia Student Finance Commission.

2019 REACH Signing Student Scholars

Left to Right, Sarah Enfinger, Eduardo Gonzalez-Santos, Emma Heaslip, Sandra Pantoja, and David Rafael-Garcia are honored as the newest Gilmer REACH Scholars at a ceremony on November 12, 2019.

The inductees, Sarah Enfinger, Eduardo Gonzalez-Santos, Emma Heaslip, Sandra Pantoja, and David Rafael-Garcia, signed their agreements during the ceremony as did their parents to adhere to the requirements of the agreement and move toward their choices for post-secondary education.

Speaker Ralston said during the ceremony that this year’s students are joining a group of more than 2,400 students in Georgia who have been a part of the program over recent years.

Ralston said, “The REACH program exemplifies what can happen when communities come together and the public and private sectors work hand in hand to support our young people. REACH is also an example of the state’s continuing commitment to supporting our students and public education. Whether it has been fully funding public schools through QBE, paying for school security improvements, or raising teacher salaries, our general assembly continues to invest in education all across the state.”

REACH Signing 2019 David Ralston

Georgia Speaker of the House, David Ralston speaks to students and families at Gilmer’s REACH signing on November 12, 2019.

The REACH signing is a part of Georgia’s program as a needs-based scholarship that begins in 8th grade. REACH Scholars are paired with a mentor and an academic coach throughout high school. Scholars must maintain good grades (2.5 GPA in core courses), behavior, and attendance throughout middle and high school. Scholars who successfully complete the program and graduate from high school are awarded a $10,000 scholarship that can be used at HOPE-eligible institution in Georgia.

Bryant also took a moment to offer special thanks to the school board members and the mentors to these students for the time and effort they put forth to help the students saying the children are the future, but “it’s the adults that serve the children that are the future.”

Another surprise for the day’s events, the students saw a video message from Georgia Governor Brian Kemp congratulating them on the ceremony and their steps toward the future. Kemp said, “Today’s ceremony is the beginning of a journey. Your REACH scholarship puts you in the fast lane on a road to the future of success. I look forward to watching you accelerate into that future.”

 

See more photos from this event at FYN’s REACH 2019 Photo Album on Facebook.

Author

GHS mentors students in adult life with “Adulting Day”

Bobcat's Corner, Community

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Students all across Gilmer High School were introduced to life after Senior Year through a new event, Adulting Day.

Including students from all grades, the day showcased different experts in areas of the future from college and careers to everyday tasks like tax forms and budgets throughout the day. Students were also invited to speak with representatives from Military branches and colleges during the day.

Steak Parade at Adulting Day in Gilmer High SchoolWith more available, a few of the classes we visited included culinary skills at the Steak Parade, speaking with law enforcement about career options and opportunities, learning about traveling with a Travel Agency, local economy with JDA Executive Director Kent Sanford, dangers of Social Media, how to fill out Tax Returns, Budgeting, Healthcare careers, and trade careers. Some classes even dealt with current choices about high school life that will directly affect college or post-graduation life including SAT Prep and Personal Health and Wellness.

The day also included an outdoor experience as students attempted to “drive under the influence” through the use of special goggles and a guided course while driving a golf cart.

Drunk Driving Course during Adulting Day at Gilmer High SchoolThe experience used several different goggles that varied through vision and equilibrium impairment based on different BAC (Blood-Alcohol Content) levels. While not overly challenging the course showcased how difficult even simple obstructions become through the different levels of intoxication.

Students attended the classes and college fair throughout the day up to 2:15 p.m. sharing in information from teachers and experts alike. Different from normal college fairs, these classes added the extra step to prepare some who may not choose college or may take alternate paths in life. Additionally, granting these first experiences through necessary events like taxes allowed for questions and advice to be exchanged through the school environment.

The event was hosted by Gilmer High School Administration and Counselors involving the teachers and an additional 30 volunteers.

The Adulting Day event has been confirmed to continue annually as Gilmer High School Principal Carla Foley stated, “We will definitely make this a yearly event.”

 

See more photos of the event at FYN’s Facebook Page.

Author

Georgia Apple Day at Clear Creek Middle School

Community, News
Georgia Apple Day

Georgia Apple DayEAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – Students at Clear Creek Middle School enjoyed celebrating Georgia Apple Day on September 13, 2019. Students connected food and agriculture with Penland’s Apple House providing history and apple facts, along with samples of apples in season, fresh apple cider, and even pencils for students.

Penland’s is located along Highway 515 at 41 Talona Spur Road in Ellijay, Georgia. The apple house is a family owned and operated business. Along with apples, Penland’s offers ciders, jams, and various baked goods, including great tasting apple pies and apple fritters.

Georgia Apple DayGilmer County is nicknamed the “Apple Capital of Georgia”. The apple season runs from late August through December. Every year, over 200,000 bushels of apples are produced, and every taste bud can find its perfect apple with over 30 varieties grown locally.

With the apple season getting into full swing, and Gilmer county preparing for the various Apple events, the Georgia Apple Day was a great kick off for the students. Clear Creek Middle School was able to enjoy the benefit of being part of the Apple Capital of Georgia. This event was made possible by the event host, Penland’s Apple House.

Author

Security and Zoning changes updated in April Meeting

News
Gilmer BOE 2019

ELLIJAY, Ga. – For months now, the Gilmer County Board of Education has been pushing to inform and prepare citizens for coming changes to the Gilmer County School System. This month was no different during their work session as the Board is moving further with security upgrades and coming to a close on bus routes and school preferences for families.

School Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs shared that the school system is altering their plans for the Centegix Security Systems’ “Crisis Alert System” that is being integrated in each school except Ellijay Primary and Gilmer Middle. Therein lies the change as Downs said they are going to go ahead and put the security systems into these last two schools as they prepare to change Gilmer Middle School to the College and Career Academy.

As for Ellijay Primary, the Board still plans to build the new Clear Creek Elementary School and move the security system there when built. Downs said the modular nature of the system will make it easy to move. She also added that they wanted to get the systems in while they had the state grant to help with the costs.

While the contract did come under scrutiny at one point, the installation has continued and Centegix currently has the hardware in all the schools and is now working on the network and inclusion into the current schools’ systems like intercoms.

As they move forward with the building of the new school and changing the school pathway of students from Kindergarten to 12th Grade, the Board recently approved new districts in the county. Along with the districts came the option for parents to enter a “school zone preference,” option to attend a different school with the parents providing drop-off and pick-up. Downs announced in Monday’s meeting that the application for this program is coming to a close on April 30, 2019.

She stated in the meeting that many families have already applied for the preference saying, “So far, we have had a tremendous amount of participation in that. As of this morning, we have 175 entries, and some of those entries have two or more children.”

However, simply applying does not guarantee acceptance as Downs further stated that system administrators will not even look at the applications until they have all been collected and the application window ends. While she did say she thinks the system will be able to accommodate most of the applications, they won’t know trends or finalized numbers until they go through the applications.

It is the Board’s intention to assign certain buses to each school to both increase a driver’s familiarity and connections in that school as well as lowering bus travel times as they would not need to travel across town to each school and to other elementary school districts. This would still leave Clear Creek Middle School and Gilmer High School routes spread across the county. Wilkes noted the possible issues coming from the need to keep elementary age children seated for more than two hours on a bus that will be alleviated with these new bus routes.

Author

Gilmer Schools Kindergarten enrollment guide

Bobcat's Corner, Community

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Enrollment for Gilmer Schools Kindergarten classes is coming up very soon for parents. The Gilmer County School system hopes to remind families of these times and guidelines for those wishing to register and prepare for the coming year.

Gilmer County Schools Kindergarten Enrollment

Central Enrollment Hours for Kindergarten Students
April 8, 2019 – April 12, 2019
Monday – Friday
7:30 – 11:30
12:30 – 4:00

Please call 706-276-5000 for a registration appointment.

  • On the Gilmer County schools website – www.gilmerschools.com, you will select Parents, then New Students for the enrollment forms.
  • Download the “Central Registration” and “Records Request” forms at the bottom of the page.
  • Gather and sign the required documents.
  • Fill out the online enrollment application on the website.
  • Once the online form is complete you will need to call and make a registration appointment.
  • On the day of your appointment, please bring the required documentation with you to the Gilmer County Schools Administration and Technology Office (ATO).
  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.

If you do not have a computer to fill out the online application:

  • The forms (Central Registration and Records Request) are available at the Gilmer County Schools Administration and Technology Office (ATO).
  • You may pick up these forms and take them with you to complete.
  • Please call and make an appointment before returning with the completed forms.
  • On the date of your appointment, please bring these forms and the required documentation with you.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete the online form at the ATO.

Administration and Technology Office
134 Industrial Blvd
Ellijay, Ga 30540
706-276-5000

Author

GHS Threats see arrest

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Reports are coming in after school today as a student began threatening Gilmer High School.

According to confirmation from the Gilmer School System, a parent reported the threats to administrators who promptly contacted authorities.

The Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office quickly investigated and arrested the individual. Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office will also have extra staff monitoring the High School on Wednesday, March 27.

Author

Gilmer MECHS Students Win Movie Tickets

Mountain Education Charter High School

Gilmer MECHS students won movie tickets to Mountain Cinema for completing 2 or more courses. Thomas Silvers, Corey Robinson, Eddie Jackson, and Evan Sanford are pictured with Jim and Debbie Parmer and Dennis Wilson. These students saw Captain Marvel and received popcorn filled Captain Marvel tubs and a drink.

Introducing Doug Pritchett to the BOE

Community
Gilmer BOE 2019

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer County got its first look at its newest Board of Education member, Doug Pritchett, in January’s meetings, but now, FYN sits down for a few questions with the man selected to fill the vacant spot.

Pritchett is a life-long resident of Gilmer County, having graduated from its High School and only leaving for Reinhardt University and later graduating from University of Georgia. He has been a banker for much of his life as his wife taught in the Gilmer County School System for 34 years. He has had three children graduate from Gilmer as well.

Doug Pritchett, newest member of the Gilmer County Board of Education

Doug Pritchett, newest member of the Gilmer County Board of Education

On joining the Board, Pritchett said, “I’ve always worked in the community. I believe in giving back to the community, and I felt like this was a way I could continue to do that.” He went on to say that he wants to be a positive influence with his only goal to continue the quality that he has seen in the school system so far.

That quality, says Pritchett, is starting to gain momentum with the “stability” the school system has seen in recent years. With a number of Superintendents and changes now behind us, he wants to continue that momentum and stability that has led Gilmer to successes in testing and classes as well as programs like the FFA (Future Farmers of America).

He went on to explain that the county has seen more investment into the students in whatever path they choose through projects like the new Agricultural Center and the coming restructuring of Gilmer County School buildings with a new elementary school. These projects through each cycle reinvest more into the school and students as they study, practice, learn, and compete. With ESPLOST Bonds, Pritchett told FYN that the short term bonds and quick payoff through the life of the ESPLOST allows these projects to be available for the students quicker.

Pritchett has been through board orientation, but will be seeing more training in April and June as he gets deeper into the new position. He acknowledged the trials ahead as he begins looking deeper at items like the recently debated State-Controlled summers issue as well as the needs of the local community. Pritchett said he has received a lot of help from his fellow board members in getting up to speed and getting through his first meeting already.

Ultimately pointing to the students, Pritchett says he wants to focus on helping to prepare them for their futures. Highlighting Gilmer County’s focus on college and career readiness in addition to trade skills and work force preparedness, he touted Gilmer County as one of the best in the state as he said he is looking forward to the next two years and getting to be a part of steering that success.

Author

Gilmer Mountain Education Charter High School News

Bobcat's Corner, Community

Tonight was  January’s Attend to Achieve Night, Mr. Palmer gave away an Apple Watch, and gift cards. Students collected tickets over the month for attendance, completion of modules and or courses. Students are rewarded every month for their hard work and attendance with different awesome incentives.

Tonight’s gift card winners: Autumn Holt, Jacob Fullwood, Lauren Newton, and Allison Elliot. Also pictured site administrators: Lori Chastain and Mike Putman.

Gilmer MECHS is proud to announce our staff member of the month, Jan Allen. Jan goes above and beyond to ensure her students know the standards and have great knowledge and love of the content. She works well with her colleagues and students! Jan Allen is pictured with site administrators, Mike Putman, and Lori Chastain.
Gilmer ECHS Students of the Month for each of the following areas, Math, ELA, Science, Social Studies, and overall module completions.  Pictured below L to R:  Lori Chastain, site administrator, Eddie Jackson, Kayla Alred, Kayla Waters, Candelaria Reynso Andres, Elizabeth Corum, and Mike Putman, site administrator.
Mr. Palmer, Gilmer MECH’s Parent Liaison, proudly announced January’s Attend to Achieve Apple Watch winner: Francisco Alonzo.   

 

 We are so proud of our Gilmer MEC Dual Enrollment students who are attending Chattahoochee Technical College Spring of 2019! Good Luck, Haley Miller, Karol Garcia & Emily Powell! You’re going to do awesome things!

Congrats to Sierra Clayton! She scored Proficient on her EOC! Way to go Sierra! As part of Thriving Threads, She received an awesome MEC long sleeve t-shirt! Also Pictured: Building Administrator, Mike Putman
Thriving Threads is an initiative that encourages ALL students to do their best on EOCs. When students show growth and excel, they are rewarded! Congrats to (below L to R) Christian Bramlett, Isaac Mullinax, and Houston Ledford for rocking their EOCs! Mr. Putman, the school administrator, was so proud to give them these awesome sweatshirts for their hard work!
Students Don’t miss this great upcoming event!

L4GA Grant activities on highlight at BOE

Community, News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Highlighting the L4GA Grant (The Literacy for Learning, Living and Leading in Georgia Grant) in January, Gilmer Schools have been talking about the fruits of the grant, Literacy Nights and Book Donations. These events are a part of Gilmer’s usage of the grant and their attempt to “get the message out that Reading Matters!”

According to Katrina Kingsley, GCCSS Pre-K Director and PBIS District Coordinator, all of Gilmer County Schools were awarded the L4GA Grant this school year in order to promote literacy and language development for children in the community. Kingsley made an official release stating “On January 11th, a total of 250 books were given to the following community members: Gilmer County DFCS, Gilmer County Health Department, Piedmont Urgent Care, East Ellijay Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, and Lifetime Medical Center.”

That’s not all as the school is already planning additional book donations to the community for the spring of 2019.

Lottie Mitchell, Gilmer County Schools Chief Academic Officer, right, giving books to Piedmont Urgent Care receptionist.

Lottie Mitchell, Gilmer County Schools Chief Academic Officer, right, giving books to
Piedmont Urgent Care receptionist.

Additionally, Lottie Mitchell, Chief Academic Officer of the Gilmer County Charter School System, took time during January’s meeting to highlight the points of Literacy Nights, an event that each school in the system has already hosted once this year. A family night of fun and books, the events showcases the importance of reading and its effects on students.

Kingsley also noted that a child who reads 20 minutes per day is exposed to 1.8 million words per year and scores in the 90th percentile on standardized tests. A child who reads 5 minutes per day is exposed to 282,000 words per year and scores in the 50th percentile on standardized tests. A child who reads one minute per day is exposed to 8,000 words per year and scores in the 10th percentile on standardized tests.

The school system’s goal is to encourage parents to read to their children and to encourage their children to read at home in order for students to experience higher levels of academic success. Taking the time to highlight these Literacy Nights and the Book Donations is the next step in accomplishing that goal.

Left to right, Katrina Kingsley, Gillmer County Pre-K Director, Jennifer Farmer, Gilmer County Department of Children and Family Services Director, and Lottie Mitchell, Gilmer County Schools Chief Academic Officer.

Left to right, Katrina Kingsley, Gillmer County Pre-K Director, Jennifer Farmer, Gilmer County Department of Children and Family Services Director, and Lottie Mitchell, Gilmer County Schools Chief Academic Officer.

Katrina Kingsley, Gillmer County Pre-K Director, Tiffany Baker, East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, and Lottie Mitchell, Gilmer County Schools Chief Academic Officer.

Katrina Kingsley, Gillmer County Pre-K Director, Tiffany Baker, East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, and Lottie Mitchell, Gilmer County Schools Chief Academic Officer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left to right, Katrina Kingsley, Gillmer County Pre-K Director, Dr. Alana Kent, Lifetime Medical Center and Lottie Mitchell, Gilmer County Schools Chief Academic Officer.

Left to right, Katrina Kingsley, Gillmer County Pre-K Director, Dr. Alana Kent, Lifetime Medical Center and Lottie Mitchell, Gilmer County Schools Chief Academic Officer.

Left to right, Katrina Kingsley, Gillmer County Pre-K Director, Krystal Sumner, Gilmer County Health Department Nurse Manager, and Lottie Mitchell, Gilmer County Schools Chief Academic Officer.

Left to right, Katrina Kingsley, Gillmer County Pre-K Director, Krystal Sumner, Gilmer County Health Department Nurse Manager, and Lottie Mitchell, Gilmer County Schools Chief Academic Officer.

Author

Mountain View Elementary Honored by State

Bobcat's Corner, News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Honors and recognition have gone from the local Board of Education meeting to Statewide recognition for Mountain View Elementary this month as the office of State Superintendent Richard Woods officially released, December 4, the 2018 list of Title I Distinguished Schools, the highest-performing Title I schools in the state.

Mountain View Elementary Principal Charles Walker

Mountain View Elementary Principal Charles Walker

Mountain View Elementary made that list for an exceptional year. Readers will recall the schools praise during the Board’s review of Milestones scores in “MVE jumps in 2018 Milestones scores.” This praise came from a 14.4 point jump, from 70.1 in 2017 to 84.5 in 2018, in CCRPI (College and Career Ready Performance Index). According to Gilmer Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs, the CCRPI scoring is what the state uses in distinguishing these schools saying, “This recognition is for scoring in the top 5% of Title I elementary schools in the state. CCRPI scores are based largely on milestones data, but takes other data into account as well.”

Mountain View Elementary School Principal Charles Walker credited the school’s entire staff for the achievement. He said, “We are absolutely excited. It is a team effort and it’s the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people.” Mountain View holds classes in both elementary and pre-k grades, however, only the elementary classes are graded on Milestones. Walker said Mountain View was a family that has worked extremely hard for their students making it all the more rewarding to see their efforts recognized.

A sentiment echoed by Downs who said, “I am so very proud that Mountain View Elementary has been recognized. I commend the hard work and dedication of everyone in the MVE family in earning this recognition and being named as a top-performing Title I school by the Georgia Department of Education.  Everyone in the school did an incredible job and the best part is that our students are the ultimate beneficiaries of the achievement.”

She went on to add that this recognition is only a part of what the Gilmer School system is accomplishing as the system has now scored above the state average for two years in a row, calling it “another indicator that our system is truly moving in a very positive direction.”

According to a release by the Georgia Department of Education, State Superintendent Richard Woods said, “In addition to identifying schools in need of additional support, it’s important for us to recognize and applaud schools when they’re doing well. These public schools are among the very best in the state and are doing extraordinary work on behalf of their students and communities. I extend my thanks and congratulations to every teacher, administrator, staff member, student, parent, and community partner who contributed to their success.”

Author

BOC says Wrestling Capital “is what you’ve earned”

Bobcat's Corner, News
Gilmer County pursues state recognition as Georgia's Wrestling Capital.

ELLIJAY, Ga – The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners are moving forward with plans to seek state recognition of the school system’s major success in the wrestling world with a proclamation of Gilmer as the State Wrestling Capital.

Parents and Coaches filled the Commissioner’s conference room on Wednesday, September 12, to ask the board for a sign at the county line claiming Gilmer as the wrestling capital of the state in honor of the 17 state titles the county has brought home in the sport.

Coach Mark Waddell spoke first for citizens in the work session saying that what Gilmer has accomplished is “pretty unprecedented.” Noting the 17 team state titles, he said that these were only the team’s titles, not individuals.

As each student practices and becomes part of the team, several parents noted in the work session that their kids have become entirely different people. From the discipline to the camaraderie and the inclusion of faith into the program, many of those present threw support behind the idea, lauding the coaches who have done so much and pushed these athletes to accomplish even more.

One parent even said, “They carry themselves differently.” The changes the students go through during the program was constantly repeated emphasizing its importance to them.

Coaches, Parents, and Students all attended the BOC Meeting in September to show how meaningful that state recognition is to the community.

Coaches, Parents, and Students all attended the BOC Meeting in September to show how meaningful that state recognition is to the community.

Waddell asked for the support of the Commissioners in placing a sign to highlight the 17 combined titles. He noted that part of the success is that it is a singular program. It doesn’t individualize the middle school, the youth, and the high school. With the whole program on track to a singular vision, the success follows with the students accomplishing everything they can.

Coach Sam Snider also spoke about the program’s state recognition sharing stories about the numerous times that Speaker David Ralston brought Gilmer Wrestling to the capital to highlight their championships. Students from Gilmer are spreading across the country, Snider pointed to those who wrestle on scholarships in college and others who use what the program teaches to further their careers in other areas.

Honoring their success, these and other coaches want to highlight the students with a sign acknowledging them. As Snider said, “A sign that says Gilmer County has accomplished this rewards success.”

Coaches weren’t the only ones pushing for recognition of these students as several parents were present at the Work Session. Some spoke of the program’s influence, but Jim Fox emotionally recalled one of the parades they held for winning the state championship, “The memory I have is right across the square during the parade. People were coming out on the sidewalks from the different stores. And out of the city barbershop comes a man with shaving cream on half of his face and a bib trailing behind him… We were escorting all the trucks down the road and I got a view of the sunrise, the flags, and people cheering and wondering what was going on. They were coming out of the store saying, ‘Why is traffic stopped?'”

Fox continued saying that they were explaining that they were celebrating the young people involved in the state wrestling title when he was asked, “Gilmer County won a state wrestling title?”

Fox says he replied, “No, they won two.”

Gilmer Wrestler, Thomas Chastain speaks to the Commissioners about the wrestling program and what it means to him.

Gilmer Wrestler, Thomas Chastain speaks to the Commissioners about the wrestling program and what it means to him.

No less emotion came to the Commissioners Regular Meeting when coaches returned with part of the wrestling team. This time, though, it wasn’t parents or coaches to share what the program meant. It was a wrestler, Thomas Chastain, who stood before the Commissioners saying, “It helps everybody grow as a team. Most people don’t think wrestling is a team sport, but it is because you all have to work together to get a team score to get first. Not just one person can get first in duals.”

Addressing the request for a sign calling Gilmer the capital, Post Commissioner Travis Crouch said the state would only give the county one state-level recognized “capital” sign. Though that didn’t stop the board from planning to seek state-level recognition without the sign.

Additionally, Crouch brought up an older discussion that the county seek a county-owned sign at the line recognizing the Wrestling Capital among other things.

Gilmer County Commission Chairman Charlie Paris noted that an electronic sign of substantially larger size than requested was something the county could feasibly look at next year as they move forward seeking the state’s recognition as well. Engaging in talks with Speaker Ralston, they hope to have the item in the legislative session early next year.

In the last few moments of discussion during their regular meeting, one of the coaches offered his deepest thanks to the commissioners for listening and for what they do.

Paris responded by saying, “This is not so much something that we are doing as it is something that ya’ll have earned.”

And with that, an unanimous decision was made to move forward with both options.

 

Author

DA Sosebee begins information campaign in schools

News, Videos
District Attorney Alison Sosebee speaking to GHS students about Vaping and drug use.

ELLIJAY, Ga – The Appalachian Judicial Circuit’s District Attorney, Alison Sosebee, began her campaign today in Fannin Middle School and Gilmer High School with presentations for students about the rising trend of vaping in all forms.

Speaking to the students she shared some of the responses that authorities have begun included harsher penalties for vape devices in general, not to mention the felonies possible with controlled substances. Using drugs in the vape devices like the popular Juul brand devices is only a part of growing concerns as authorities and administrations fear for students who expect non-nicotine flavored water vapor in devices they may find friends with when in reality these devices could contain anything from Heroin to Synthetic Marijuana.

Sosebee also invited Georgia Bureau of Investigations Special Agent Dustin Hamby to speak about the Bureau’s involvement. Hamby noted that almost 90% of his cases tied to drug usage in some way. He goes on to note that he’s had three murders in his career directly related to drug usage.

Sosebee recalled the story of a case she and Hamby shared about a guy who had taken drugs with a close friend. Under the influence, he grew greatly agitated at his friend and violently murdered him without full realization. He spoke further about how little it takes to blow up into major consequences in situations like vaping unknown substances.

Sosebee also noted that they are finding that many students and users of vape devices believe them safer than regular cigarettes. She noted that not only is there zero research to support his claim, but there is also no research or regulations on vaping devices right now. No one can tell you everything that is in Vape Juice, nor if people at smoke shops are adding extra ingredients. She called the students this generations guinea pigs for testing if vaping as they would be the cases that doctors study thirty years from now to determine the actual effects that Vaping can have in both short-term and long-term effects.

Only the first day, Sosebee is expected to travel to Fannin High, Pickens High, and Pickens Middle schools in the next two weeks along with possibly adding Gilmer Middle as well.

Author

“Vaping” incident part of a larger problem

News

Ellijay, Ga. – An incident report from the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office confirmed reports of a student “blacking out” and suffering seizures after inhaling a substance from a SMOK Vape device.

Photo provided by Office of District Attorney, Appalachian Judicial Circuit

Photo provided by Office of District Attorney, Appalachian Judicial Circuit

The male student was hospitalized from the incident and later released. The incident, however, did prompt officials to call in K-9 units to search for other drugs. Authorities found two additional SMOK Vapes with one testing positive for containing marijuana. While the

original vape has been tested, no official response is available identifying the substance in the original device.

However, according to the incident report, it was reported that the student was told by a fellow classmate that “there was a vape in the boy’s restroom and he should go smoke some of it.”

With the investigation in Gilmer CID’s (Criminal Investigations Division) hands, no names of the students nor additional information is available.

However, FYN spoke with Gilmer County Charter School Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs who confirmed the incident is part of a larger problem facing the schools today. She told FYN that last year, the school system confiscated eight vape devices over the course of the entire year. This year, they have already collected 25 devices since the beginning of school a few weeks ago.

Each instance results in disciplinary action for the student as it is a violation of the code of conduct, according to Downs, but as the rise in using other substances in the devices continues, the charges against students get far more serious as they deal with controlled substances.

Photo provided by Office of District Attorney, Appalachian Judicial Circuit

Photo provided by Office of District Attorney, Appalachian Judicial Circuit

Downs went on to say that she has spoken with other Superintendents to see if Gilmer is alone in the rise of vape usage. Though she declined to name which counties she had spoken with, she did confirm that Gilmer was not alone.

Confirming the rise in popularity of these devices in several counties, the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney B. Alison Sosebee made a press release stating, “Within the last week, several teens in Pickens, Gilmer and Fannin counties have experienced medical emergencies as a result of “vaping,” by use of electronic cigarettes. These medical emergencies necessitated treatment by both EMS and treatment at hospitals.”

Many of the vape devices found being used are very small handheld devices easily concealed within one’s palm or bag, like a purse or book bag, or even in one’s pocket as several designs become thinner and shorter. Downs confirmed they have found Juul brand vapes and last weeks incident report confirmed the males vape was a SMOK brand. Sosebee notes, “Some e-cigarettes look like regular cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Some look like USB flash drives, pens, and other everyday items.”

As the use of vapes themselves are intended to be used with nicotine for adult smokers, the rising concern is the ability to swap out the common “juice” for homemade cocktails or drugs. Downs confirmed that reports have been made of students crushing Adderall and other things to make the “juice.”

According to Juul’s website, “These alternatives contain nicotine, which has not been shown to cause cancer but can create dependency. We believe that these alternatives are not appropriate for people who do not already smoke.”

Photo provided by Office of District Attorney, Appalachian Judicial Circuit

Photo provided by Office of District Attorney, Appalachian Judicial Circuit

Sosebee also commented on other substances that have been found in the devices saying, “The liquid that is inhaled, known commonly as “vape juice,” can contain any number of substances: it can contain flavoring; it can contain nicotine; it can also contain drugs and illegal substances such as THC oil, fentanyl and LSD. Of great concern, the user may or may not know what they are inhaling, what their reaction will be to the substances, what they are exposing others to and may erroneously believe that they are simply inhaling “harmless water vapor.” There is nothing harmless about what is occurring.”

Downs went on to say that some parents may have purchased vapes for their kids not knowing that they are swapping out the contents. The feeling was echoed by Sosebee as she called for parents to “be aware of the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes.”

With concerns rising from parents, administration, and law enforcement alike, investigations are continuing as programs and events are attempting to educate the community about the devices and their popularity.

Downs said the Gilmer Administration is stepping up efforts in educating and building awareness in their staff about what to look for and also to educate our parents in the community saying, “I feel like there is a real lack of knowledge and lack of understanding among our community in relation to this… This has blown up overnight to the point that I feel like its almost epidemic.”

 

 

Author

FetchYourNews.com - Dedicated to serve the needs of the community. Provide a source of real news-Dependable Information-Central to the growth and success of our Communities. Strive to encourage, uplift, warn, entertain, & enlighten our readers/viewers- Honest-Reliable-Informative.

News - Videos - TV - Marketing - Website Design - Commercial Production - Consultation

Search

FetchYourNews.com - Citizen Journalists - A place to share “Your” work. Send us “Your” information or tips - 706.276.NEWs (6397) 706.889.9700 chief@FetchYourNews.com

Back to Top

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!