Several north Georgians receive no-cost-to-client flu shots

Press Release

DALTON, Ga. – Since health departments in north Georgia began providing flu shots at no cost to clients this week, 640 residents have taken advantage of the offer and others are urged to do the same while supplies last. This number contrasts favorably to the total of 190 flu shots provided by the health departments during the previous week.

Flu activity continues to be widespread in the U.S., and last week, the number of flu-related deaths in Georgia sharply increased, prompting public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties to begin providing flu shots at no cost to residents who have not yet been vaccinated. Healthcare plans are billed for clients who have coverage, and there is no charge to anyone who is not insured. No appointment is necessary – “walk-ins” are welcome.

The current flu vaccine is highly effective against most influenza strains that are now circulating, and county health departments in north Georgia also have a high-dose flu vaccine for people ages 65 and older, providing them with increased protection.

It is not too late to get a flu shot. This flu season has not yet peaked, and it could last several more weeks. Once vaccinated, it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to reach its full protective potential. Therefore, it is important to receive a flu shot right away.

Locations and phone numbers for the no-cost-to-client flu shots at county health departments in
north Georgia are:

  • Cherokee County Health Department: 1219 Univeter Road, Canton, GA 30115, 770-345-7371
    and 7545 North Main Street, Suite 100, Woodstock, GA 30188, 770-928-0133;
  • Fannin County Health Department: 95 Ouida Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, 706-632-3023;
  • Gilmer County Health Department: 28 Southside Church Street, Ellijay, GA 30540, 706-635-4363;
  • Murray County Health Department: 709 Old Dalton-Ellijay Road, Chatsworth, GA 30705, 706-695-4585;
  • Pickens County Health Department: 60 Health Way, Jasper, GA 30143, 706-253-2821; and
  • Whitfield County Health Department: 800 Professional Boulevard, Dalton, GA 30720, 706-226-
    2621.

Health officials also remind the public that flu is extremely contagious and can spread easily from person to person; therefore, anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms – such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue or nausea – is urged to stay home during the severest symptoms and for at least 24 hours after fever is gone. Parents should keep children who are sick with the flu at home from school, and anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms should stay away from places such as hospitals and long-term care facilities where people are more at risk for developing severe complications if sick with the flu.

More information about preventing the spread of flu, such as frequent handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes, is on the North Georgia Health District website at http://nghd.org/pr/34-/938-widespread-flu-in-georgia.html.

Author

Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Flu shots available at county health departments

Press Release

DALTON, Ga. – Flu Shots are now available at NO COST to residents at public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties. Healthcare plans will be billed on behalf of clients who have coverage, and there is no charge to anyone who is not under a healthcare plan. No appointment is necessary – “Walk-ins” are welcome. Residents are urged to take advantage of these no-cost to client flu shots while supplies last.
It is not too late to get a flu shot. In fact, the time is crucial. Georgia, along with 48 other U.S. states, is experiencing widespread influenza activity, with 37 flu-related deaths currently reported in Georgia, including four in north Georgia – and those numbers are expected to increase since the flu season has not yet peaked.

The current flu vaccine effectively protects against three of the four influenza virus strains that are circulating.

Locations and phone numbers for the participating north Georgia county health departments are:

  • Cherokee County Health Department: 1219 Univeter Road, Canton, GA 30115, 770-345-7371 and 7545 North Main Street, Suite 100, Woodstock, GA 30188, 770-928-0133;
  • Fannin County Health Department: 95 Ouida Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, 706-632-3023;
  • Gilmer County Health Department: 28 Southside Church Street, Ellijay, GA 30540, 706-635-4363;
  • Murray County Health Department: 709 Old Dalton-Ellijay Road, Chatsworth, GA 30705, 706-695-4585;
  • Pickens County Health Department: 60 Health Way, Jasper, GA 30143, 706-253-2821; and
  • Whitfield County Health Department: 800 Professional Boulevard, Dalton, GA 30720, 706-226-2621.

Health officials also remind the public that flu is extremely contagious and can spread easily from person to person; therefore, anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms – such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue or nausea – is urged to stay home during the severest symptoms and for at least 24 hours after fever is gone. More information about preventing the spread of flu, such as frequent handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes, is on the North Georgia Health District website at http://nghd.org/pr/34-/938-widespread-flu-in-georgia.html.

Author

Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Violent gang member apprehended in Fannin County

Featured, News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga.-A police chase ended with the detainment of the suspect involved. The Fannin County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest after becoming involved in the chase shortly after midnight on Wednesday, Jan. 10.

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Edmundo Ramirez was apprehended after a police chase in Fannin County.

Fannin County Sheriff Deputy Jared Wood noticed a green Nissan Pathfinder traveling South on Ga 2 with a brake light out and failing to maintain its lane. Initially the Pathfinder pulled over, coming to a stop, when Wood signaled for the driver to do so.

After pulling over the vehicle then sped off to avoid the traffic stop. Several illegal traffic maneuvers later, the Pathfinder turned on to Old Hwy. 76 and proceeded towards downtown Blue Ridge.

Blue Ridge City Police Department was made aware of the situation and attempted to deploy spike strips at the Orvin Lance Connector and Old Hwy. 76.

The driver, identified as Edmundo Ramirez, eluded this attempt and continued closer to the downtown area. After turning off of East First Street, the Pathfinder was then observed running the stop sign at the intersection of East Main Street and Mountain Street.

Ramirez continued traveling down East Main Street going the wrong way on a One Way designated section and maintaining a speed of approximately 50-55 m.p.h.

After reaching the end of East Main Street, the vehicle turned right onto Old Hwy. 76 in the direction of Ga 2 once again. Ramirez lost control of the Pathfinder before reaching Ga 2, and struck a natural rock formation, leading to a crash that would disable the vehicle in front of Bill Holt Chevrolet.

Upon wrecking the vehicle Ramirez attempted to flee, but quickly surrendered when Deputy Wood, conducting the scene as a felony traffic stop, pulled his handgun and demanded the suspect to halt. Ramirez then put his hands in the air and lay face down on the ground.

Edmundo Ramirez, age 25 of Buford, Ga., was arrested and charged with multiple traffic misdemeanors. These misdemeanors include reckless driving, driving on the wrong side of the road, failure to stop at a stop sign, failure to obey traffic devices or police, failure to wear a seat belt, and failure to maintain lane.

Along with these traffic misdemeanors, Ramirez is being charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license and felony fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer.

Ramirez, who has a criminal history throughout the state of Georgia, was detained for similar charges in Buford. He currently has an outstanding criminal warrant in Hall County.

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A list of distinctive markings from Ramirez’s booking sheet.

As indicated by the tattoos covering his body, Ramirez also has confirmed ties with the violent street and prison gang, the Barrio Aztecas.

The Barrio Aztecas formed in the late 1980s in El Paso, Texas, and quickly grew to become an international crime group with strong ties to the Juarez Cartel in Mexico. Known for drug trafficking and contract killing, the Barrio Aztecas are considered one of the most dangerous gangs in America.

Barrio Azteca Captain Eduardo Ravelo is currently on the the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive list.

Fannin County Sheriff Dane Kirby was unable to comment on the detainee’s affiliations.

A source with the Appalachian Drug Task Force spoke with FetchYourNews about gang related activity in North Georgia.

“North Georgia, I can not confirm,” the source said speaking about Barrio Azteca infiltration in our area, “Atlanta, yes. There is a bit of every gang there.”

The source did confirm that there is known drug trafficking related to cartel activity in North Georgia, and added about why Ramirez might have been in Fannin County, “If he doesn’t live there, I would say it is likely that he was passing through for a specific reason.”

Ramirez made an initial appearance in court on Wednesday, Jan. 10. Magistrate Judge Brian Jones set bond at $12,500 for the charges in Fannin County.

Ramirez is currently being held at the Fannin County Jail. A hold has been placed on the detainee for transfer to Hall County, Georgia where Ramirez has an outstanding criminal warrant.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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JQC Dismisses all Claims against Judge Brenda Weaver

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“No evidence has been presented to show any violation of code of Judicial Ethics by Judge Weaver. Instead, the evidence appears to show a personal dislike of the Judge.”

Last week the Georgia Judicial Qualification Commission dismissed the complaint against Appalachian Judicial District Chief Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver. 

Judge Brenda Weaver

“The complaint of Thomason, Stookey, Doss and the GCSPJ are without any basis in law or fact. The complaints are nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to enlist the JQC in their fixation upon harming Judge Weaver. The JQC will have no further part in it. All complaints are hereby dismissed.”

The complaint was submitted to the JQC by Mark Thomason, former publisher of the Fannin Focus, his attorney Russell Stookey and Fannin County Attorney Lynn Doss.

In the JQC conclusions they addressed the Georgia Chapters Society of Professionals Journalist complaint that Weaver mounted an attack on freedom of the press.

“Calling oneself a “journalist” and “reporter” should not be a cover for pursuing personal vendettas.”

Stookey and Thomason with the assistance of Fannin County Attorney Lynn Doss raised a complaint to the FBI to initiate an investigation.   

JQC, “The FBI investigated the allegations raised by Stookey and Thomason but found no wrongdoing.”

On June 15th Atlanta Attorney Gerry Weber, representing Russell Stookey and Mark Thomason, sent a demand letter and Ante Litem Notice to Judge Brenda Weaver, District Attorney B. Alison Sosebee and Pickens County Board of Commissioners.

Part of Weber’s summary of claim, “This case has already garnered national attention. It involves breathtaking abuse of power by a Judge, prosecutor, and law enforcement who manipulated the criminal justice system to wage a personal vendetta against a local newspaper publisher and his attorney.”

Weber’s claim for damages conclusion, “Further accounting for damages stemming from the emotional distress in false arrest and malicious prosecution and for the punitive damages due to egregiousness of the actions leading to the arrests, Stookey’s and Thomason’s damages exceed 1,000,000.”

How far will this case go considering the FBI and JQC have closed their investigation both dismissing the possible charge of wrongdoing.

Click to read “Fannin Focus Publisher Mark Thomason Arrested, Journalist or Vendetta?

 

Georgia Speaker of The House David Ralston Talks About Rural Georgia Issues, Health Care…

Featured, Politics

Our interview Friday with Speaker of The House David Ralston focused on rural Georgia. Ralston went into detail about the new Rural Georgia Economic Council. This council will be co-chaired by (R) Terry England from Auburn, (R) Jay Powell from Camilla and Vice Chair (R) Sam Watson from Moultry. The council will be holding meetings across Georgia to hear from elected officials, local businesses and citizens about how they feel rural Georgia economy can best be improved. Ralston said jokingly that he better not find out that one meeting took place in Atlanta.

Health care is a major concern in rural Georgia. Several hospitals have closed in rural Georgia areas including one in Ralston’s district in North Georgia. We spoke to Ralston abut one possible solution to meet rural Georgia health care needs. Ralston used the example of the first stand alone emergency room, opened by Piedmont Mountainside Hospital in Gilmer county. In this interview we asked Ralston if Gilmer county still had the possibility of having a full hospital.

Ralston told us that sometime within the next month Governor Nathan Deal would be visiting Gilmer county’s Fire Station 1 to sign the fire fighter’s workmen’s compensation bill.  We asked Ralston the difference in this years campus carry bill opposed to last year’s bill which Governor Deal vetoed. Not being able to speak for the Governor, Ralston said he felt they made the changes necessary to get Deal to sign the bill. We also discussed the pay raises agreed upon in the 2017 legislative session for teachers, state law enforcement, and D.F.C.S workers.  

Our final question in our interview friday: Speaker Ralston do you see the governor’s mansion in your future?

National Court Appointed Special Advocate of the Year – Superior Court Judge John Worcester

Community, Featured

Appalachian Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge John Worcester  has been named the National CASA Judge of the year. More than seven hundred thousand children experience abuse and neglect each year. Judge Worcester talks about his time as Chief Juvenile Court Judge and his appointment to Superior Court Judge.

 

Part 2: Who is Running High Speed Fiber Optic Cable through North GA and Why?

Featured, News

Do you know Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong or Thomas Wittenschlaeger?
A fiber optic cable is being run along the Georgia Northeastern Railroad. In this segment we look at the possible agreement between Patriot Rail and Mox Networks LLC to run the fiber optic cable along the rail line. We question – Who is Mox Networks LLC? We question – Who are they running the fiber optic cable for? It looks to be that there are some ties between Mox Networks and Nantworks LLC companies. Stay tuned for more information on this topic from #BKP in the next part of this segment.

Christmas Puppet Show

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Christmas Puppet Show Announced

The Mountain Regional Puppet Company has announced their show dates for the upcoming Christmas season. The show will debut at the new Mountain Regional Library in Young Harris on December 13, then travel to all the other branches during the remaining week. The show features three classic children’s Christmas books. Animals are featured in Bear Stays Up for Christmas and A Wish to be a Christmas Tree. And then the show finishes with an interpretation of Raymond Briggs’ famous story entitled The Snowman.

In 2016, staff members of the Mountain Regional Library formed a production troupe dedicated to puppet performance. Led by Library Director Vince Stone, this group scripts, choreographs, and performs professional level puppet shows for our community.

The main purpose of these productions is to use puppetry as a creative means to promote literacy and the library. This year’s Christmas production was sponsored by a generous gift from the Friends of Union County Library.

FOUCL president Sally Woodworth says, “We are so proud to help fund this exciting program for our community. The team at Mountain Regional does a wonderful job incorporating books and storytelling in such a unique and entertaining fashion. There are almost as many adults in attendance as there are children. If you haven’t seen them, please come.”

“An innovative aspect of our production is the use of video,” says Stone. “One of the largest challenges in puppetry is making scenic backgrounds and backdrops. By having a huge TV on the back portion

of our stage, we can put the puppets in any setting…a forest, an ocean, a house. Doesn’t matter. This helps the story come alive.”

The 2016 Christmas Show Dates

Mountain Regional Library @ 5 p.m. December 13

Fannin County Public Library @ 5 p.m. December 15

Union County Library @ 11. a.m. December 17

Towns County Library @ 5 p.m. December 19

This show is appropriate for all ages and is free to the public.

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