Margaret Williamson to challenge David Ralston in Republican Primary

Featured, Politics

 

Margaret Williamson announces run for Georgia House of Representatives, District 7.

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The 2018 General Election is already starting to take shape as challengers emerge announcing bids for candidacy against well known incumbents. The most recent of these announcements comes from Margaret Williamson who intends to face off against Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston.

Ralston was first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2002 and represents House District 7, which includes Fannin County, Gilmer County and a portion of Dawson County. Ralston is the 73rd Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, a position he has held since 2010.
Williamson, who resides in Ellijay, made a statement discussing her decision to run:

“For many years I have been involved in political campaigns, on local, state, and national levels. I have actively participated in legislative issues, in support of or in opposition to, learning all the way. Now I intend to use this experience and acquired knowledge to enter into the process as a candidate.”

Already having begun the process of running for the House District 7 seat in the Georgia House of Representatives, Williamson acknowledged in her statement that she has mailed the “Declaration to Accept Campaign Contributions” form to the Georgia State Transparency & Campaign Finance Committee.

After approval of this form, Williamson’s next step will be to complete the qualifying process held in March of this year. The qualifying will officially make Williamson a candidate in the Republican Primary for Georgia State House Representative, District 7.

Williamson concluded her statement by announcing that she is in the process of creating a Facebook page which will contain her position on various issues.

“This decision is the culmination of months of debate and prayer. Please continue praying for both John and me,” Williamson said, “This is an exciting time for me.”

A General Primary Election for both Republicans and Democrats will take place on May 22, 2018. Voter registration deadline for the Primary Election is April 23.

Winners of the primaries will face off in the General Election to held on Nov. 6, 2018.

 

 

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

Getting Started in 2018

State & National

Getting Started in 2018

By: Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega)

On Monday, January 8, 2018, we reconvened for the second session of the 154th Georgia General Assembly, which many anticipate will be very fast-paced. The Georgia Senate began our business with leadership changes and three new members. We will also welcome another new member next week who won a special election on Tuesday, January 9, 2018.

In addition to welcoming three new members, Sen. David Shafer, who served as the Senate President Pro Tempore since 2013, resigned his position and the Georgia Senate nominated and elected Sen. Butch Miller to serve in this role. Sen. Miller is a fellow North Georgian and we are honored to have him as our next Pro Temp. The Senate Committee on Assignments also announced chairmen and committee assignments for the upcoming year.

In addition to my duties as Senate Majority Whip, I will continue to serve as the Vice-Chair of the Transportation Committee, the Secretary of the Appropriations Committee, as a member of the Finance, MARTOC, Regulated Industries and Utilities committees and as ex-officio on the Senate Assignments and Rules committees.

As we draw near to the second week of session, we will begin budget hearings as we craft the Amended FY18 and General FY19 budgets. During these meetings and agency presentations, I will keep the prosperity of all Georgians in mind as we finely comb through proposals. Our focus will be on saving tax payers’ dollars while ensuring economic growth and job creation continues to grow in our great state.

Something new here at the Georgia Senate is livestreaming of standing committees that meet in one of the five rooms wired during the Senate Transparency Project. This is in addition to the Senate Chamber being livestreamed during session days. The goal of this project is to bring transparency to standing committee meetings, where legislation is discussed and vetted before moving forward in the legislative process. Another objective is to provide access to our process for those who do not live in the metro area and cannot get to Senate committee meetings quickly. I truly encourage you all to take the time to watch these livestreams. But, if you can’t get to a computer during the meeting time, each and every meeting video is archived to be watched during any time—day or night.

On day four of the session, Gov. Deal gave his last State of the State address. Within his address, Gov. Deal focused on the growth across the board within the state of Georgia. For the past five years, Georgia has been named the number one place to do business. Overall, we have a very busy session calendar ahead of us as we work on the Governor’s budget proposals, legislation pending from last year and other issues that may arise.

I would like to say thank you to all of my constituents for your encouragement and care for the 51st District of Georgia. Please call or email me with any questions, comments or concerns you have and I look forward to hearing from you.

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.

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, Blue Ridge City Police, police chase, Edmundo Ramirez, Gwinett County, Fannin County Jail, Barrio Azteca, Juarez Cartel, Mexico, Cuidad Juarez, Atlanta, Appalachian Drug Task Force, Magistrate Court, Magistrate Judge Brian Jones, Fannin County Sheriff Dane Kirby, Hall County, Atlanta, FBI Ten Most Wanted, Eduardo Ravelo

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

Fannin County Sheriff’s 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 toward 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, Ramirez 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 to 55 mph.

 

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.

Ramirez, 25, of Buford, Georgia, 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.

 

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, Blue Ridge City Police, police chase, Edmundo Ramirez, Gwinett County, Fannin County Jail, Barrio Azteca, Juarez Cartel, Mexico, Cuidad Juarez, Atlanta, Appalachian Drug Task Force, Magistrate Court, Magistrate Judge Brian Jones, Fannin County Sheriff Dane Kirby, Hall County, Atlanta, FBI Ten Most Wanted, Eduardo Ravelo

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 cannot 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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Georgia Trend Names Sen. Steve Gooch One of Georgia’s Most Influential People

State & National

Georgia Trend Names Sen. Steve Gooch One of Georgia’s Most Influential People

ATLANTA (January 8, 2018) | Senator Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega) was recognized as one of Georgia’s most influential people by Georgia Trend magazine. The magazine’s annual list recognizes the 100 Most Influential Georgians.

“It is an honor to be recognized among this distinguished list of leaders in our great state,” said Sen. Gooch. “I look forward to working with my colleagues and local community leaders to keep Georgia moving in the right direction. Over the past several years, we have seen numerous businesses moving to Georgia leading to additional economic growth and job creation. We will work hard during this upcoming session to continue this progress for our state.”

Georgia Trend recognized Sen. Gooch’s work in the Georgia Senate and his consistent efforts to improve education and public schools for children in his district and around the state. They also acknowledged his work on job creation, immigration, tax reform and the right to bear arms. Sen. Gooch has also been a leader for transportation in Georgia.

Georgia Trend releases their 100 Most Influential Georgians list annually. The list includes individuals who make a positive impact on the lives of Georgians and make decisions that affect the wellbeing of the state. Naming the top 100 is a year-round process and the final list includes those who “have exhibited the character necessary to inspire, challenge, lead – and influence us.”

Additional information can be found on the Georgia Trend magazine website link below:

http://www.georgiatrend.com/January-2018/2018-100-Most-Influential-Georgians/

Jonesboro Man Sentenced To Prison For Distributing Child Pornography

State & National

JONESBORO MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON

FOR DISTRIBUTING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

ATLANTA – Kenneth Shipp has been sentenced to eight years, one month in prison for distributing child pornography.  The defendant had hundreds of thousands of photographs and thousands of videos at his residence, which he shared on peer-to-peer websites.

“Kenneth Shipp’s collection of child pornography is the largest of anyone ever prosecuted in this district,” said U. S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “It is abhorrent that someone could derive gratification from the sexual abuse of children, and the amount that Shipp possessed is staggering.  We will continue to work with federal and state law enforcement partners to find those who trade and collect child pornography and bring them to justice.”

“The outcome of this case should serve as a warning to others we will aggressively investigate and bring to justice those who would prey on our most vulnerable population,” said ICE-HSI Atlanta Acting Special Agent in Charge Gregory Wiest.  “HSI continues working closely with our federal and state partners to ensure we identify and arrest the perpetrators of these vile crimes.”

          According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges and other information presented in court: in February 2016, special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (“ICE-HSI”) and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (“GBI”) were investigating persons who were using peer-to-peer programs to trade images and videos of child pornography. The agents were able to download a video from a computer that showed young boys being sexually abused.  Information that they obtained while downloading the video revealed that it came from a computer at a house in Jonesboro, Georgia.

          Agents with ICE-HSI obtained a federal search warrant for a house in Jonesboro, and carried out a search on May 9, 2016.  There, agents found numerous computers, laptops, television monitors, thumb drives and other electronic devices, all containing child pornography.  A subsequent examination of those devices showed that Shipp had 447,268 images and 19,395 videos.  Specifically, he had more than 60 terabytes of child pornography.

          Kenneth Shipp, 58, of Jonesboro, Georgia, has been sentenced to eight years, one months in prison to be followed by 15 years of supervised release.  Shipp was convicted of these charges on October 5, 2017, after he pleaded guilty.

          This case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

          Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul R. Jones 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.

Senator David Perdue Works To Strengthen Georgia’s HBCUs

State & National

Senator David Perdue Works To Strengthen Georgia’s HBCUs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Bipartisan Congressional HBCU Caucus, joined Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) to help improve the financial health of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), some of our nation’s most critical higher education institutions.

Despite the fact that HBCUs provide educational opportunities to some of our nation’s most promising students, these institutions too often struggle financially. The HBCU Capital Financing Improvement Act would make technical changes to the HBCU Capital Financing Program, providing HBCUs access to capital financing or refinancing for the repair, renovation, and construction of campus infrastructure. These changes will allow more institutions to have access to the program, helping to offset disproportions faced by HBCUs in the private bond market.

“Georgia is home to 10 fantastic HBCUs that play an important role in educating America’s next leaders,” said Senator Perdue. “I am working to ensure all HBCUs in Georgia have the opportunity to get financial assistance for capital improvement projects that will only contribute to their positive impact on our state.”

Background

There are currently 10 HBCUs located in Georgia including Albany State University, Clark Atlanta University, Fort Valley State University, Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Morris Brown College, Paine College, Savannah State University, and Spelman College. Senator Perdue has consistently worked to promote the interests of Georgia’s HBCUs in the U.S. Senate.

Georgia issues same drivers license to illegal aliens with deferred deportation as legal immigrants: DDS policy should be changed in 2018 Georgia legislative session

Politics

By Jeff Jones

Most thinking Georgians will no doubt agree that only illegal aliens require classification as “deferred action on deportation” or who may be under deportation orders from the federal government.

Most Georgians will be surprised to learn that Georgia’s Department of Drivers Services (DDS), the agency responsible for our driving and ID credentials, has issued, renewed or replaced more than 50,000 driver’s licenses and/or official state ID Cards to illegal aliens. These illegal aliens have either “deferred action on deportation” proceedings or are already under federal deportation orders. And that issuance of these official state documents is perfectly legal under current federal and state law.

Surprisingly, the 2005 federal REAL ID Act, passed after the horror of 9/11 says that states can optionally issue drivers licenses to illegals with “deferred action on deportation” and that the feds will allow this ID to be used to board airliners. The law says that “deferred action” is “evidence of lawful status” for federal acceptance of driver’s licenses as an official ID. The REAL ID Act guidelines from the feds are merely minimum requirements and standards for federal recognition – not legal requirements.

Georgia state law currently also allows “deferred action” illegals to get an official Georgia driver’s license and ID card. Surprisingly, but factually, Georgia has more illegals than Arizona.

In 2012 the Associated Press ran a news article headlined “Some illegal immigrants can get Georgia drivers licenses” explaining Georgia’s California-like situation. But, if you call your local DDS office, you will be told in – no uncertain terms – that “Georgia does not issue drivers licenses or ID Cards to illegal or undocumented immigrants.” Confusing, isn’t it? Many Georgia legislators think DDS should try harder to explain this scenario and how it is that DDS is issuing driver’s licenses to illegals.

Again, federal law does not say we must issue drivers licenses and ID cards to deferred action illegals. Instead, each state has the right to decide to whom it issues drivers licenses or ID Cards. And, importantly, Georgia officials also have the right to decide on the physical appearance of these credentials.

This brings me to the fact that the drivers licenses and ID Cards Georgia’s DDS gives to illegal aliens with “deferred action on deportation” are exactly like the ones we issue to legal immigrants, student visa holders and guest workers such as Mercedes Benz and KIA executives here from Germany and Korea, all who entered the United States legally.

This policy can and must be changed.

Georgia has the choice to issue a driver’s license to those with deferred action that will still allow them to drive, but that does not fit the federal requirements to be used as “ID for federal purposes” – like boarding an airliner or entering a federal building. And we can – and I firmly believe we must – change the appearance of these credentials so that no one will mistake the holder for a legal immigrant or a legitimate guest worker here on a legal temporary visa.

Currently at least two states, California and Michigan, issue multiple tiers of drivers licenses. The lower tiers are not recognized as federally approved ID and cannot be used as such. But the bearer can still drive.

I would use Mexico as another example here but Mexico does not allow any illegal aliens to obtain any type of driver’s license.

Georgia already issues a distinctly different driver’s license to young Americans that is vertically oriented and clearly marked “under 21.”

Realizing the United States is not going to be as strict as Mexico, Georgia should issue a vertically oriented ID, like we do for young drivers, to illegals with “deferred action on deportation” or who have been ordered deported, despite that the feds say we are not required to do so.

My bill, HB 484, pending in the Georgia Gold Dome requires DDS to end its current practice and to replace the driving and ID credentials now issued to illegal aliens with a vertically oriented, brightly colored card. This new ID card is designed to make it unmistakably and visually clear that the bearer is not a legal immigrant and that the ID is not acceptable for federal ID purposes. It would look something like the mock up pictured here.

Georgians will also be surprised to learn that many state legislators are not well educated on this topic. Because I introduced this measure late in the 2017 session, it has not had a committee hearing and is in need of legislative co-sponsors. Readers who agree this idea adds some sanity to our driver’s license and ID Card integrity should ask their House member to sign on as co-sponsors and support my bill, HB 484. This is vitally important for the State of Georgia.

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Jeff Jones (R) D167, is a second term Georgia State Representative. He can be contacted at: jeff.jones@house.ga.gov; (404) 565-0177

Union Girls top Darlington, Boys force ‘Mercy Rule’ against Peidmont

Sports, TeamFYNSports, Union County High School

By Isaiah Garrett, TeamFYNSports reporter

Wednesday Dec. 27, Union County played in the 24th annual Battle of the States tournament. The lady panthers tipped off at 4pm playing against Darlington School.

The lady panthers got off to a slow start falling behind 16-14  at the end of the first. However, Senior Bailey Daniel led a lady panther 3 point parade by shooting 3-4 from downtown in the 2nd quarter.

Union led 31-26 at the half. Both teams were plagued with turnovers in the 3rd quarter, a combined 14 turnovers led to a score of 38-33 at the end of the 3rd. However, Darlington battled back to tie the game at 52 with only 57 seconds left in regulation.

Junior forward Adeline Dockrey made an incredible fade-away hook shot with 17 seconds left to grab the lead, a shot so impressive you had to see it to believe it. A Darlington 3-pointer at the buzzer fell inches short as it bounced off the rim.  Union takes the win, 54-52.

Bailey Daniel led the panthers with 22. The lady panthers advanced to the semi-finals to play Murphy, NC at 4pm on Dec 28th. Full story to follow.

Panthers force ‘mercy rule’ in dominant 69-27 victory
The panthers tipped off at 5:30 against Piedmont AL. Piedmont was ranked the #2 team in class AAA in the preseason.
Union got off to a hot start leading 13-8 as Union had 4 steals in the first quarter. Union took a 18-5 run to extend the lead going into the half, leading 31-13.
Sophomore Pierson Allison led the panthers with 11 points in the first half. Union continued the hot start in the second half and at the end of Q3 led 54-24.
Due to the mercy rule, the 4th quarter was shortened from 8 to 6 minutes. Union finished the game with a score of 69-27. Sophomores Pierson allison (14) and Sawyer Drake (13) led a very balanced panther attack into the semi-finals. Union advanced to play Murphy at 5:30pm on Thursday.  Full story to follow.

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