This morning, the doctors discuss how colleges are dealing with Covid-19. When a Student tests positive, the colleges continue classes and give the infected student their own quarantined dorm. Is this the approach we should be taking with everything? Should we worry over the numbers? Hear Doctor Whaley and Doctor Tidman’s point of view on this right here on Ask the Doc!
GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Austin Scott (R-Ga.), and Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) today sent a letter to Windstream underscoring the importance of providing increased access to broadband – particularly in rural areas – in the midst of COVID-19.
“As representatives of thousands of Windstream customers, we write today regarding the impact coronavirus has had on broadband access in rural communities throughout Georgia,” they wrote. “In the past, we have written to you regarding the inadequate internet service our constituents are receiving despite your company’s acceptance of federal dollars to expand access. While we know Windstream has upgraded some areas that are more populated and less rural, many of our constituents continue to struggle with poor broadband speeds.”
For years, Windstream customers across Georgia have consistently struggled to gain access to reliable broadband speeds. Congress has taken significant steps toward expanding rural broadband infrastructure in recent years, including securing federal funding to providers in rural areas. However, some carriers – like Windstream – have failed to provide adequate broadband speeds to consumers despite collecting taxpayer dollars. As this pandemic is forcing more and more Georgians to rely on the internet, access to reliable broadband is more critical than ever before.
“Due to the coronavirus outbreak, thousands of Georgians are being forced to work, learn, and recreate from home. This undoubtedly has increased the strain on the networks your consumers depend upon. Over the past several years, we have heard complaints of a network that is overburdened and cannot keep up during peak use. Even though we have been calling for increased internet access in rural areas for years, this moment in time shows that Windstream has yet to meet the mark.”
Read the full letter here.
Blue Ridge, Ga. – Twelve Commission Chairmen from North Georgia counties have joined together and signed a letter asking Governor Brian Kemp to shut down the State Parks.
“It appears that these nonresidents believe our area is a safe haven because of its rural nature. To the contrary, the influx of people into our communities has had a staggering detrimental effect on our resources,” the letter to Kemp read in part.
The letter goes on to outline the resources in our area that have been affected by the out-of-towners looking to seclude themselves, including in these resources are food, dry goods and fuel.
It goes on to inform Kemp that our area is not equipped medically: “Our communities simply do not have enough hospital beds or medical personnel to care for the inflated population.”
Though only serving as a commissioner for a little over three months, Habersham County Commissioner District 5 Tim Stamey felt he needed to be proactive in bringing a solution to this problem: “I am a retired special operator and we don’t sit around talking about things, we get it done.”
Stamey who sits on the County Health Board said, “I’m on the County Health Board and talk to Healthcare workers in my county on a daily basis. They are the heros/heroines in all this. This virus does not spread itself on the wind.”
Moccasin Creek State Park, situated just North of Unicoi State park has been “crazy, 4th of July crazy” for the past three weekends according to Stamey, who has witnessed the impact on his county first hand.
Stamey initially contacted Rabun County Chairman Greg James and White County Chairman Travis Turner.
“I started this by just trying to get border counties on board,” Stamey said and added, “Then Chairmen were like well, did you call such and such, I know they feel the same way. It just kept getting bigger and bigger.”
Stamey said that all Commission Chairmen were helpful, on board, and taking the matter seriously: “I talked to most of them several times and for up to an hour each time.”
Stamey, along with the 12 county chairmen and many residents, is hoping that this letter will get the attention of Kemp. The letter in closing states: “On behalf of the many citizens that live in North Georgia who entrust us as County Commissioners to represent their interests, we respectfully ask you to close all of the state parks located in our area immediately.”
Ask the Doc returns as Dr. William Whaley discusses with Guest host Rick about Chemo treatment recovery and the flu shot conspiracies.
About five years ago I told my dad, who is one of my biggest fans but also one of the most blunt people you’ll ever meet, that I wanted to be the first female head coach in the NFL.
“You can’t do that, Lauren,” he said.
“Why?” I argued.
I was expecting some drawn-out response about how I didn’t know enough about football.
“Because you can’t go in the men’s locker room,” he said flatly.
Ah, I hadn’t thought of that.
That was my senior year of high school, and never did I think I would be where I am now.
I grew up an UGA fan; my grandad attended college there in the ’60s and the red and black passed down into my veins. I learned to spell Georgia by chanting the fight song in my head (I still do subconsciously whenever I have to write it out!) I had an UGA cheerleader outfit and one of my baby pictures has me holding a stuffed bulldog. One of my nana’s fondest memories is of dancing around the living room with me as an infant when Georgia scored a big touchdown against Georgia Tech. I’ve never considered myself athletic, but I believe I owe a lot of my passion for sports to Papa Skip and Nana.
Flash forward a few years and the first time I stepped foot on a sideline was as a cheerleader for the 8th grade Mill Creek rec football league. Cheerleading was not for me, and within a year I traded in pom poms for a six-foot flag pole as a member of the Mill Creek High School Colorguard.
In high school I lived for Friday night lights, and I have many fond memories of screaming myself hoarse for the Hawks while in the stands with the marching band. It was a well-known fact that I was the most spirited person in the band when it came to football, and while my coach would be yelling at me to pay attention during our warm-ups I’d be busy trying to figure out how much yardage we’d gotten from the last pass.
I guess my fellow classmates took note of my love for the game as well, because they voted me their Homecoming Queen my senior year. That is still one of my all-time favorite memories from high school- hearing my name called while standing on the 50 surrounded by family and friends.
I graduated from Mill Creek in 2015 but I had a hard time staying away from Markham Field. The University of North Georgia doesn’t have a football team, and Mill Creek decided to get really good the year after I left (this was the fall of 2015, the year they got knocked out by Colquitt County one round before the state championship.)
In the spring of 2016 I heard of an opportunity to work for the Gwinnett Braves, Triple-A minor league affiliate for the Atlanta Braves. Needing a summer job but hoping to avoid retail, I took it. I spent the next two summers as a Guest Relations Representative scanning tickets and welcoming fans. In addition to my already-sound knowledge of football, I learned all I could about America’s favorite pastime and a new love was born.
I spent one more summer at Coolray Field before graduating college, and this time it was as a member of the Promotional Team. That may be the most fun I ever had at work. Our team set up the on-field promotional games, signed up contestants, sold 50/50 raffle tickets and overall worked to make sure people had a good time. I certainly did- the memories I made with my team that year will forever be some of my favorites.
For a while I told people that I wasn’t interested in sports journalism, but the Lord as he fortunately often does had other plans. I got the opportunity to intern with the UNG Athletic Department my senior year of college, and I left Gwinnett County to plant some roots in the North Georgia mountains.
Two months ago I still wasn’t certain that I’d ever work in sports again, but when baseball started back up I knew I couldn’t live without it. I was fortunate enough to find an opportunity to apply with FetchYourNews.com, and even more fortunate to get an offer. And here we are.
I don’t tell you all this to brag on my accomplishments or give you some long-winded biography. I want to be just as much a part of your community as you all are now a part of my daily life. When I come to your sideline I want to know each of you and each of you know me. Part of being a great sports reporter is establishing a relationship with your team and community. Part of that relationship includes establishing trust, and how can you can trust someone if you don’t even know them?
One of the biggest reasons I keep working in sports is because of the the communities they create and the people I get to meet. There’s something about having a team to rally around that gets inside of you and never leaves. The people I have met so far and the connections I have made are priceless and will forever be a part of who I am and a big reason for why I do what I do.
So here’s to the journey ahead, and here’s to memories that are yet to be made and the relationships yet to be formed. I can’t wait North Georgia!
Team FYN Sports will be broadcasting live the Blue Ridge Christmas Clash. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Support your local youth and sports and market your company at the same time. Contact us now @ [email protected] or 706.276.6397
Johnsongrass: Friend or Foe
Plus Master Cattleman Program in Dalton this Fall
By: Eddie Ayers, County Extension Agent
A common sight right now is thick stands of what might be confused for corn growing on roadsides, pastures, and hayfields. What you’re seeing is most likely Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense.) Two important questions often asked are “what good is this plant” and “is it a beneficial forage plant or merely a persistent weed?”
Johnsongrass is a summer perennial grass that belongs to the sorghum family and can serve as a good forage crop in our pastures and hayfields. Livestock will graze young Johnsongrass plants if given the chance, as it is relatively high in crude protein and highly digestible. The issues with Johnsongrass arise from its persistent growth and potential toxicity issues for livestock. When stressed by drought or frost damage, the plant produces hydrocyanic acid which is a derivative of cyanide, also known as prussic acid. This compound can be very toxic and even lethal to cattle.
Johnsongrass grows from a very thick set of fibrous roots and rhizomes (underground root nodules that form new plants) that make the plant more difficult to kill because it can “fall back” on energy stores in these rhizomes whenever the plant is stressed, whether by grazing, mowing, or herbicides. These rhizomes can also form new plants if disturbed or cut (by plowing or leaving part of the root in the ground). These rhizomes over‐winter and send out new shoots in the spring and early summer. Johnsongrass also reproduces by seed, with a single plant producing 80,000 seeds per year. Because of these tendencies, Johnsongrass can be very persistent in a field if not controlled early and often.
Even though the symptoms of poisoning from Johnsongrass look like nitrate poisoning, the prussic acid can dissipate over time within the forage. If a large field of Johnsongrass is cut for hay, the hay should be dried to a safe baling content (15 to 18%) to ensure the prussic acid content has dissipated. Young plants, plants killed after frost, or plants growing after a long drought are the most susceptible to high prussic acid levels.
Control of this plant is difficult if it’s allowed to take control of a field in large areas. Tillage is not recommended as it will most likely make the problem worse by distributing more rhizomes. Pulling up of plants is possible, but making sure that all the root is dug up is important. Mowing or grazing to prevent seed head production will help keep the plant at bay, but it will not remove the plant from the field.
There are some herbicides available to control Johnsongrass, but most of them cannot be used in tall fescue, which is the major part of our hayfields and pastures in Gilmer County. Treatment of plants with glyphosate (Roundup) will allow for translocation of the product into the root system. One good option to get the glysophate to the Johnsongrass and not harm the desirable forage is through a wick applicator. Fortunately in our area the Limestone Valley Soil and Water Conservation District has one that can be rented. It is housed at Hinton Milling Company in Jasper. Contact them at 706-692-3626 to schedule a time to use it. You can also make or buy a wick applicator to try and control this (and other) pesky weeds.
I also want to mention that the UGA Extension office in Whitfield County is hosting a Master Cattleman Program this fall in Dalton from September 4th through October 23rd from 6:30 – 8:30 pm, which is every Tuesday for 8 weeks. Paid registration before August 17th entitles participants to one free forage sample analysis; sample must be submitted no later than September 11th. Registration is $85 per person and includes a dinner on the final night. Pre-Registration deadline is August 24th and can be done on-line at: https://nwgeorgiacattle2018.eventbrite.com or for more information, contact me in the Gilmer County UGA Extension office.
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BKP Interviews Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Georgia’s 2018 Gubernatorial Election and important spotlighted information striking concern in rural Georgia.
North Georgia is surrounded by beautiful mountains, clean rivers, fresh air and clear skies. Whether you are interested in biking, hiking, canoeing or kayaking there are plenty of venues for your enjoyment. You may prefer to sample the many fine wines produced by the local vineyards or refresh with a craft beer. If organic gardening is your thing, then check out the local farms that provide a bounty for fresh vegetables and fruits. Feeling artistic? Then you will enjoy both fine arts and performing arts via our many museums and playhouses.
Come meet those businesses that make North Georgia such a fun and healthy place to live. Join us for the North Georgia Living Showcase and be amazed.
Saturday, June 10th, 2017. Highland Crossing Shopping Center, Highway 515, Ellijay, GA 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is free. Like us on Facebook!
We are an hour’s drive and a world away…
Storms in North Georgia caused many power outages and tornado watches & warnings were issued. Below is a video from downtown Ellijay, GA which was recorded Wednesday May 24th. See Weather info under video for conditions in our coverage areas.
Video courtesy of Brett Cantrell
Hazardous Weather Outlook
Hazardous Weather Outlook National Weather Service Peachtree City GA 630 AM EDT Wed May 24 2017 Baldwin-Banks-Barrow-Bartow-Bibb-Bleckley-Butts-Carroll-Catoosa- Chattahoochee-Chattooga-Cherokee-Clarke-Clayton-Cobb-Coweta- Crawford-Crisp-Dade-Dawson-DeKalb-Dodge-Dooly-Douglas-Emanuel- Fannin-Fayette-Floyd-Forsyth-Gilmer-Glascock-Gordon-Greene- Gwinnett-Hall-Hancock-Haralson-Harris-Heard-Henry-Houston-Jackson- Jasper-Jefferson-Johnson-Jones-Lamar-Laurens-Lumpkin-Macon- Madison-Marion-Meriwether-Monroe-Montgomery-Morgan-Murray- Muscogee-Newton-North Fulton-Oconee-Oglethorpe-Paulding-Peach- Pickens-Pike-Polk-Pulaski-Putnam-Rockdale-Schley-South Fulton- Spalding-Stewart-Sumter-Talbot-Taliaferro-Taylor-Telfair-Toombs- Towns-Treutlen-Troup-Twiggs-Union-Upson-Walker-Walton-Warren- Washington-Webster-Wheeler-White-Whitfield-Wilcox-Wilkes- Wilkinson- 630 AM EDT Wed May 24 2017 This Hazardous Weather Outlook is for portions of North and Central Georgia. .DAY ONE...Today and Tonight... ...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FOR PORTIONS OF NORTH AND ALL OF CENTRAL GEORGIA THROUGH THIS EVENING... Showers and thunderstorms will increase across north and central Georgia this morning and continue through the afternoon. Some storms could be strong to severe, capable of damaging winds, large hail and even a few tornadoes. In addition, locally heavy rain could result in localized flash flooding. The severe threat will diminish from west to east across the area, this afternoon with widespread showers and thunderstorms across far southeast counties, ending this evening. .DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...Thursday through Tuesday... There is a chance for thunderstorms late Saturday into Sunday. Otherwise, no hazardous weather is expected at this time.
By: Eddie Ayers, County Extension Agent
Leyland cypress is a popular, fast growing hedge or border tree reaching heights of 50 to 100 feet and widths of 20 to 30 feet. Though Leyland cypress originally appeared pest resistant, problems have recently become apparent. Over use of this plant, improper site selection, improper planting, and stressful weather conditions have led to two disease problems. They are cankers and root rot.
Cankers are infected wounds on limbs and branches that may ooze infectious sap. The trees get the canker because of fungi entering the tree. Leyland cypress can actually get two canker diseases. Botryosphaeria Canker is one type and it is commonly called Bot Canker which kills individual branches in the tree. The foliage may turn rust colored before it dies. The dead branch will have darker bark and will have a sunken canker where the dead part of the branch begins. The other canker is Seiridium Canker. Limbs infected with Seiridium Canker turn yellowish and then brown when they die. Limbs often die back from the tips. The cankers on the main stem are sunken, reddish and ooze sap profusely. There can be many cankers on a limb and unfortunately, there is no spray to control these diseases. The diseases enter wounds and are worse during stressful conditions. The main control is to keep the plant in good health so it can resist these diseases. Extreme weather and improper watering can be big factors in the spread of these diseases. Plants with roots that get too wet or too dry are more likely to get either these canker diseases or root rot.
Even though we have been getting plenty of rain lately, the tree has suffered through years of drought, poor sunlight, and above average rain. Over a period of years this adds stress to the tree. If the weather turns into a drought, water plants deeply once every 7 – 14 days and wet the soil to a depth of twelve to eighteen inches when watering. Soil must dry out between watering or roots may die. Avoid wetting the leaves and limbs when you water. Soaker hoses are better because they keep the foliage dry, which may reduce disease problems.
Selecting the proper planting site will go a long way in helping prevent disease problems. Leyland cypress planted too close together, near paved areas, next to walls or other heat reflecting surfaces may need special care in watering and planting to get established and to grow well. Plant Leyland cypress in well-drained soil in sunny locations. Mulch them after planting but mulches should be no deeper than two to four inches. Apply mulch from the base of the tree out to several feet beyond the reach of the branches. Because it holds in water, do not use landscape fabric unless the soil is very well drained. Do not pile mulch against the base of the plant.
Do not plant Leyland cypress in wet soils or poorly drained areas. They may respond to wet feet by developing root rot or dying. Check soil drainage before you plant or if the tree has problems. Dig a hole about a foot deep and wide. Fill it with water. If it takes longer than three hours for the water to drain out, the soil is probably poorly drained. Do not plant Leyland cypress closer than eight feet. As the plants get big enough for the limbs to touch, remove every other tree. As the limbs rub together, they cause wounds that can be infected by the fungi which causes the canker diseases.
If your Leyland cypress already has these diseases, first cut out the dead limbs. Be very careful to make cuts into good live disease free tissue. Cutting diseased limbs and then good limbs may spread the disease. While pruning you can periodically clean your shears with a towel dipped in rubbing alcohol. Leyland cypress generally does not respond well to cuts on the main stem, but if you have cankers on the main stem, remove the tree or cut below the canker and see if the tree recovers. Nothing can be done about the weather, but you can lower the stress on the tree. If you experience a lot of problems you’re your Leyland cypress, you might want to consider using a different plant.
For more information view the publication entitled Diseases of Leyland Cypress in the Landscape on our web site at http://extension.uga.edu/county-offices/gilmer.html or contact me in the Gilmer County UGA Extension office.
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By: Eddie Ayers, County Extension Agent
Driving around the area, I have been seeing a plant that has become a problem in both Gilmer and Fannin Counties. The weed I’m talking about is Japanese knotweed, commonly known as crimson beauty, Mexican bamboo, or Japanese fleece flower. It was probably introduced to the U.S. as an ornamental and a plant that has flowers that bees love. It’s fairly easy to spot as it has been growing in large patches all over the area. The leaves are alternate, 6 in. (15.2 cm) long, 3-4 in. (7.6-10 cm) wide, and are broadly-ovate or heart shaped. Flowering occurs in late summer when small, greenish-white flowers develop in long panicles in the axils of the leaves.
This native of Japan was initially useful for erosion control, as an ornamental, and for landscape screening. It spreads quickly to form dense thickets that can alter natural ecosystems or interfere with landscaping. It is a semi-woody, bushy perennial and a member of the Polygonaceae (Knotweed) family. Another fact about the plant is that the stem is hollow. Knotweed spreads rapidly from stout long rhizomes. Seeds are distributed by water in floodplains, transported with fill dirt, and to a lesser extent are wind-blown. Populations escaped from neglected gardens, and discarded cuttings are common methods of distribution. Once established, populations are quite persistent and can out-compete existing vegetation.
Japanese knotweed can tolerate a variety of adverse conditions including full shade, high temperatures, high salinity, and drought. It is found near water sources, in low-lying areas, waste places, utility rights of way, and around old home sites. It can quickly become an invasive pest in natural areas after escaping from cultivated gardens. It poses a significant threat to riparian areas, where it can survive severe floods. It is rapidly colonizing scoured shores and islands.
Controlling this invasive fast growing plant is very difficult. One method that is used is grubbing. This method is appropriate for small initial populations or environmentally sensitive areas where herbicides cannot be used. Using a digging tool, remove the entire plant including all roots and runners. Juvenile plants can be hand-pulled. Any portions of the root system not removed will potentially resprout. All plant parts, including mature fruit, should be bagged and disposed of in a trash dumpster to prevent re-establishment.
There are several herbicides that can be used, but it takes some work for them to be effective. One treatment method is the cut stump treatment. Use this method in areas where plants are established within or around non-target plants. Cut the stem 2 inches above ground level. Immediately apply a 20% solution of glyphosate or a 10% solution of Arsenal AC, Polaris AC or Imazapyr 4SL and water to the cross-section of the stem. A subsequent foliar application may be required to control new seedlings and resprouts.
The other spray method is foliar spraying the plants. Use this method to control large populations. It may be necessary to precede foliar applications with stump treatments to reduce the risk of damaging non-target species. Apply a 1% solution of glyphosate or 20%Garlon4 and water to thoroughly wet all foliage. Do not apply so heavily that herbicides will drip off leaves. The ideal time to spray is after surrounding vegetation has become dormant (October-November) to avoid affecting non-target species. A 0.5% non-ionic surfactant is recommended in order to penetrate the leaf cuticle.
For more information, contact me in the Gilmer County UGA Extension office.
Today on Ask the Doc! we are welcoming Dr. Raymond Tidman, who will be filling in for Doctor William Whaley while he is on vacation. This Morning #BKP and Dr. Tidman discuss health concern and answer: 1. After my last regular exam, my doctor said the results showed cervical dysplasia. What does that mean? Is it cancer? 2. My allergies have caused my throat to feel inflamed and caused sinus drainage. I have seen a doctor but I am still dealing with a cough a week or so later. Is there anything I can do to help get rid of this cough? 3. Can too little sleep be a cause of weight gain? This segment is brought to you by Georgia Cancer Specialists, affiliated with Northside Hospital.
ATLANTA (January 29, 2018) | Senator Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega) is pleased to announce Monday, January 29, 2018, as Dahlonega Day at the state Capitol with Senate Resolution 590.
“Dahlonega is the gateway to North Georgia and I am grateful to be able to share my home with the rest of my colleagues,” said Sen. Gooch. “This year marks the 60th anniversary of Dahlonega and Lumpkin County citizens delivering gold, by wagon, for the installation of the state Capitol building’s gold dome. I could not be more proud to have representatives from our local community here today to celebrate this honor.”
The City of Dahlonega is a small city in northern Georgia founded in 1832. Dahlonega was the site of the first major U.S. gold rush and now is commonly referred to as the ‘Gold City’. The city sits at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is surrounded by many natural elements. Dahlonega is the county seat of Lumpkin County. In addition to its history of gold mining, the city of Dahlonega is also known as the Heart of Georgia Wine Country, with six wineries and nine winery tasting rooms.