No more Public Comment? Commissioner-elect Helton says “Absolutely yes!!”

By Mark Thomason, Publisher: Throughout the past year the Fannin County Board of Commissioners have heard lots of concerns and little praise from the public. Issues involving some county workers being paid vacation time illegally, cash being unaccounted for within the recreation department, and county equipment being used on non-county projects are just some examples of how the public has helped keep tax payer dollars in check.  Most of these issues ended up being legitimate concerns and once the county looked deeper into them, they corrected the problems. However it…

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Wildfire Raging in Gatlinburg: Fire Chief asks for Prayers

By Jason Banks, Fannin Focus Editor: “If you’re a person of prayer, we could use your prayers,” Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller told the media Monday evening. With the high winds ripping through much of the southeast, the wildfire from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park – and many civilians – found themselves caught in the perfect storm. In fact, Cassius Cash, superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, described the situation exactly as that – “a perfect storm” – in an interview with an affiliate of CNN (WATE)….

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Newspapers, the answer to fake news

By Leonard Pitts Jr., Tribune Content Agency:   “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free … it expects what never was and never will be.” — Thomas Jefferson There is good news on fake news. As you doubtless know, the proliferation thereof has people fretting. President Obama has dubbed it a threat to democracy. And there is a rising demand for social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, often used as platforms for these viral untruths, to take corrective action. But the good news is that anyone who…

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From Fannin to Philly: FCHS Band Represents with Pride

By Darrin Conner, Fannin Focus Band Correspondent: Over 100 band members from Fannin County High School spent their Thanksgiving Day marching and playing in the “Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade.” They spent two days in New York touring the city, which included attending both a Broadway and Off-Broadway show: Something Rotten and Blue Man Group respectively. Then it was off to Philadelphia for a few days where the itinerary incorporated excursions to Independence Hall, Congress Hall, and the Liberty Bell to mention a few. Students had the opportunity to experience the…

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Four Lady Rebels make All-Tournament selection

Congratulations are in order for the ETC/Piedmont Mountainside Tip Off Tournament All-Tournament selections from the Fannin County Lady Rebels varsity: Maddie Johnson, Catie Mosley, Maleah Stepp, Morgan Patton   Scoring Leaders: Catie Mosley  11. 3 Maleah Stepp 9.3 Hope Franklin 8.7 Maddie Johnson 7   Rebound Leaders: Hope Franklin 10.3 per game Maleah Stepp 6 per game Catie Mosley 5.7 per game   Free Throw Leaders: Catie Mosley 70% Haley Franklin 71% Maleah Stepp 67%   Fannin County Lady Rebels head coach Suzianne Pass told the Focus she is very…

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Let’s Be Real: If you’re going to hunt – be ETHICAL

‘Tis the season.  Of course, I’m not talking about the holidays… which is still my favorite time of year.  No, I’m talking about rifle season.  Deer season.  Huntin’ season.  If you grew up in Georgia, there’s a chance you know something about it. I, however, did NOT grow up in Georgia.  I grew up in West Texas. On our family farm on the Oklahoma-Texas state line, we learned to handle a firearm at a young age.  I think I shot my first shotgun when I was seven or eight years old,…

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Preacher’s Point: LOOKING FOR A CHURCH

By Pastor Timothy Johnson, Guest Columnist: LOOKING FOR A CHURCH (16 JAN 17)     Have you ever been in the position of looking for a church? People have various reasons for looking for a church. Maybe they have always been church goes and have moved to a new area; possibly they are dissatisfied with the church they currently attend; maybe they have never been a regular church attendee, but feel they should start. Churches are usually excited when visitors walk in the door. The smaller the church, the more…

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Fannin Varsity Wrestling takes 3rd at Cherokee Duals

By Jason Banks, Fannin Focus Editor The Fannin Rebels have been hard at work on the mats and in the gym, and their efforts earned them a third place team showing at the Cherokee Duals, Saturday, November 19.  The Rebels relentlessly pursued victory match after match, beating West Hall 48-18 and then absolutely man-handling Riverwood, 60-12.  Sequoyah gave the Rebels some great competition, but Fannin continued their winning ways with a 54-30 win over the Chiefs.  In the final pool, the Rebels won a nail biter against Meadowcreek (46-42) before…

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Windy North Georgia Monday

By Jason Banks, Fannin Focus Editor The National Weather Service in Peachtree City issued a high wind watch Sunday afternoon, to be in effect from Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning.  Apparently Fannin County received the memo, because the wind started blowing early here today!  It’s cold out, with winds coming from the southeast at 25-40mph (gusting as high as 55mph), so make sure you grab a jacket and possibly an umbrella as you head out around town. The winds are expected to increase with intensity after 4pm this afternoon, and…

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Burn Ban Remains in Effect for Fannin County

By Jason Banks: With current drought conditions in Fannin County and much of northern Georgia, local officials would like to remind area citizens and visitors that a county-wide burn ban remains in effect for all of Fannin County.  The ban includes all outdoor burning, such as campfires, and includes the burning of “burn barrels”.  Commonsensehome.com defines a burn barrel as a metal 55 gallon open head drum, modified to burn household trash safely and cleanly. “Basically, it’s a personal incinerator,” the website says.  However, household trash is not something local…

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Rough Ridge Fire Update 11/24

The Rough Ridge fire has grown to an astonishing 27,800+ acres was last reported at 71% contained.  The smoke has dissipated throughout most of Blue Ridge and Fannin County, but we’re not out of the woods, yet.  Please continue to respect the Burn Ban in effect for all of Fannin County.  NO OUTSIDE BURNING is permitted.  The U.S. Forest Service and Georgia Department of Natural Resources recognize that this is an important time of year for hunters, and have issued some information regarding game hunting on the Cohutta WMA as…

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Waterfowl Hunters: Make Preparations for Drought Conditions

SOCIAL CIRCLE, GA (Nov. 17, 2016) – With waterfowl hunting season opening Sat., Nov. 19, duck and goose hunters across Georgia may face some tough hunting conditions, according to experts with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD). “Many of the managed wetlands that provide habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl on state-operated Wildlife Management Areas are currently dry,” said WRD state waterfowl biologist Greg Balkcom.  “The only projects with good water are Altamaha WMA, Arrowhead Phase II, Cordele Hatchery, Evans County PFA, and the Dan Denton…

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