Benton MacKaye Trail Association Press Release

Community

PRESS RELEASE:

The Benton MacKaye Trail Association (BMTA) is seeking volunteers to help with trail maintenance for an upcoming work trip.

According to Barry Allen, Georgia work trip coordinator for the BMTA, a work trip is planned for Saturday, Dec. 9, on a section of trail near Fall Branch Falls in Fannin County. This month’s Georgia work trip will focus on completing the re-route at Fall Branch Falls. Allen stated there are a few more steps needing to be installed, which will require hauling timbers, along with a 50-foot section of trail to dig. Also, a number of water diversions just upstream from the falls will be put in place.

Allen hopes to have work completed for the day around lunchtime and mentioned he would bring his grill with him if the weather is nice to grill some burgers and brats for a post-work lunch.

All work trip participants are asked to wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeve pants and shirts, work gloves and, for cold-weather trips, multiple thin layers that can be easily shed one at a time. Also, a daypack for storing food, water or other items is always a good idea for work trips. Food and water are not supplied by the BMTA on work trips; however, tools are provided by the Association. The BMTA recommends workers to bring at least two liters of water for the trip.

Those interested can meet either at The Iron Bridge Café and General Store on Aska Road across from Shallowford Bridge, at 8:00 a.m. or at Fall Branch Falls at 9 a.m.

The Benton MacKaye Trail spans three states – Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina – and nearly 300 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Davenport Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is enjoyed by thousands of hikers and outdoor enthusiasts each year.

For anyone with questions or needing further information, contact Barry Allen at bmtabarry@gmail.com or 770-294-7384.

Benton MacKaye Trail Association (BMTA) Press Release

Community

PRESS RELEASE:

The Benton MacKaye Trail Association (BMTA) is seeking volunteers to help with trail maintenance for an upcoming work trip.

According to Barry Allen, Georgia work trip coordinator for the BMTA, a work trip is planned for Saturday, Nov. 25, on a section of trail within the Big Frog Wilderness Area in Tennessee. Blowovers and downed trees will be the focus of the work trip, and Allen hopes to assemble a team of six to seven sawyers to work the trail south of Forest Service Road 221. Participants in this trip can expect about a five-mile out and back hike, Allen said.

Depending on the turnout and the number of certified crosscut workers, a second team may work another section of the BMT that follows Dry Pond Lead Trail north to Kimsey Hwy. (FS 68). Allen stated this section has not been worked in over a year and will likely also need lopper work even if only a few trees are down. This section is four miles one way and is a gradual uphill climb.

All work trip participants are asked to wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeve pants and shirts, work gloves and, for cold-weather trips, multiple thin layers that can be easily shed one at a time. Also, a daypack for storing food, water or other items is always a good idea for work trips. Food and water are not supplied by the BMTA on work trips. The BMTA recommends workers to bring at least two quarts of water for the trip.

Those interested can meet either at The Home Depot in Blue Ridge, Georgia, at 8:30 a.m. or at Thunder Rock Campground eight miles west of Ducktown, Tennessee, off of U.S. Hwy. 64 at 9 a.m.

The Benton MacKaye Trail spans three states – Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina – and nearly 300 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Davenport Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is enjoyed by thousands of hikers and outdoor enthusiasts each year.

For anyone with questions or needing further information, contact Barry Allen at bmtabarry@gmail.com.

Man who “sextorted” 12-year-old Girl Receives 10-Year Prison Sentence

State & National

MAN WHO “SEXTORTED” 12-YEAR-OLD GIRL RECEIVES

10-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE

 

ATLANTA – Gerardo Perez Uribe has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for coercing a minor girl in North Carolina to produce child pornography of herself and send it to him over the Internet.

“‘Sextortion’ is a growing problem on social media sites,” said U. S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Our office along with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners encourage parents to help us target those who seek to prey on children by watching what your children are doing on the Internet, and who they are communicating with.  Most children do not understand the dangers that may lurk on the Internet, and can easily fall victim to predators like Uribe.”

“Social media sites are a convenient way for young children to network with their friends and family, but unfortunately, they also make children easy targets for online predators like Uribe,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Office. “Our Crimes Against Children unit is dedicated to weeding out sexual predators who troll the internet for unsuspecting children. They can’t do it alone and that’s why it is so important for parents to educate their children and monitor their activities on social media sites.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges and other information presented in court: In the summer of 2014, Perez Uribe met a 12-year-old girl on Facebook. He first told her that he was 13-years-old but later claimed to be 25-years-old. He asked the girl to send him nude images of herself, and she did. After receiving the images in August 2014, Perez Uribe took over the girl’s Facebook account, changed her password, and locked her out of the account. He then threatened to post the girl’s nude images on her Facebook page if she refused to send him more nude photos of herself. The victim believed Perez Uribe’s threat and sent him four photographs of herself that met the federal definition of child pornography. The girl’s parents discovered the crime and reported the incident to the Cabarrus County (North Carolina) Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and then referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation once Perez Uribe was located in Georgia.

Gerardo Perez Uribe, 32, of Rex, Georgia, was sentenced to 10 years in prison to be followed by 10 years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty on August 24, 2017. He was born in Mexico but was living in the United States as a permanent resident. He will be deported to Mexico after he completes his prison sentence.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Cabarrus County (North Carolina) Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul R. Jones and Mary Webb prosecuted the case.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Senators Release Bipartisan Recommendations For Economic Growth In Appalachia

Politics, State & National

Park Sterling Merging With South State Corporation

News

According to a recent release by South State Bank, a definitive agreement has been signed with Park Sterling Corporation, holding company for Park Sterling Bank.

The release also states, “Combining the two companies will create a $14.5 billion in assets franchise operating throughout the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia.”

While both boards have reportedly approved the merger unanimously, the merger will actually begin transitioning in the fourth quarter of 2017 and continue with systems conversions into the first quarter of 2018 after approvals by regulatory boards and shareholders. At that time, Park Sterling Corporation will be merged into South State Corporation, and Park Sterling’s bank subsidiary, Park Sterling Bank, will be merged into South State’s bank subsidiary, South State Bank.

James C. Cherry, CEO of Park Sterling Corporation, commented on the merger stating, “Our team is proud to be partnering with South State to create what we believe will come to be recognized as the preeminent regional community banking franchise in the Southeast. This combination will substantially fulfill our vision of truly becoming big enough to have the talent and services necessary to help customers achieve their financial aspirations while still remaining small enough and passionate enough to care that they do.”

After the companies merge, Cherry will be appointed to the combined company’s board of directors in addition to another individual to be mutually agreed upon and named at a later date.

As of now, Park Sterling Bank has over 50 branches across North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia. According to South State’s release, “under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of Park Sterling Corporation will receive 0.14 shares of South State common stock for each share of Park Sterling common stock. The aggregate consideration is valued at approximately $690.8 million in the aggregate, based on 53,112,726 shares of Park Sterling common stock outstanding as of March 31, 2017 and on South State’s April 26, 2017 closing stock price of $91.90.”

Author

Fire Closes Nantahala Gorge

Featured, News

A 14-mile section of U.S. 74/N.C. 19 in Swain County has been closed due to debris from nearby wildfires.

The stretch of road, which goes through the Nantahala Gorge, will be closed to all traffic until officials deem the area safe for residents and visitors.

Crews from the Department of Transportation have established a 30-mile detour around the closure, which will add longer travel time for motorists driving in Western North Carolina.

Southbound traffic is being detoured on the following route: North on N.C. 28 to Stecoah, south on N.C. 143 in Robbinsville, then south on U.S. 129 to Topton. Northbound traffic will follow that route in reverse.
Fires in the area have resulted in loose debris and rocks tumbling to the U.S. 74/N.C. 19 creating dangerous situations.

Transportation officials remind motorists that wildfires create smoke that can quickly reduce visibility. Motorists are advised to slow down, obey all posted signs and add extra time into upcoming plans.
Visit the Traveler Services Section of NCDOT.gov for real-time traffic information at follow NCDOT on Twitter.

Author

Joint Operation Nabs 6 in Prescription Drug Fraud including CEO of Union General Hospital

Featured, Featured Stories, News

 

Murphy, NC— Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the Union County Georgia Sheriff’s Office arrest of James Lanier Heaton, George David Gowder III, John Michael Gowder, Virginia Lou Harkins, Gail Gowder, and Jamie Harkins all who provided Blairsville Georgia addresses, for charges stemming from a joint investigation into prescription fraud.

FYN spoke with officials and the hospital confirms John Michael Gowder is the CEO of Union General.

Gowder  John Michael Gowder

The joint operation involved members of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Tactical Diversion Squad, the Union County Georgia Sheriff’s Office and the Cherokee County North Carolina Sheriff’s Office. Although the investigation is ongoing to date information has been discovered that would indicate that the ring was operating in Cherokee County North Carolina and may be facing charges here as well.

Sheriff Palmer stated “We enjoyed the opportunity to work with the agencies involved. Sheriff Mack Mason and his Office have been a tremendous ally as we are sending the message No longer can you deal drugs across county and state lines – We will hunt you down and prosecute you.”

Sheriff Palmer encourages any one that has information on this crime or any other to report it. To report crime in Cherokee County you can call the anonymous tip line at 828-837-1344 or email a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov or call 911 if you observe a crime in progress.

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