Sports talk Thursday with Lauren Hunter- Thank a coach!

Sports

Over the last week and a half BKP and I have been going from school to school interviewing head football coaches for our North Georgia Coaching Series. Now if any of y’all know BKP, you’ll know what I mean when I say that he’s been doing most of the talking and I’ve been doing most of the observing. But this doesn’t bother me, it gives me a chance to learn more about the programs I’ll be spending a lot of time with this fall.

With that being said, there’s one thing in particular I’ve been noticing in our interviews, and that’s how much these coaches truly care about their players and their programs.

Now me saying that might make some of y’all think, “Well, duh. That’s what they’re supposed to do.” Well, maybe. But I like to think I’m pretty good at picking up when someone is just putting on an act for appearances. And I can say with all sincerity that none of these coaches are doing that.

Obviously when BKP and I go into these interviews, he asks questions about what the teams have been doing during the summer and how they’re planning to prepare for the regular season. But he also asks the coaches if they can highlight a few players that have really stood out. This point in the interview, I believe, is where a coach who didn’t care would possibly just say a couple names and move on.

But these coaches not only name the players, they tell us about why they stand out. And it’s a sign of the hard work of these athletes, but there’s also a sense of pride from these coaches as they name them. A couple of coaches have mentioned that it’s hard to name just a few, because all of their players have worked hard. And it’s not that the rest of the team doesn’t matter or that they don’t care about them, but the ones that they mention they do so without hesitation because they’ve been there with them through the summer truly coaching them. There’s no so-so about the commitment these coaches make- they’re all in.

Another thing that has amazed me about these coaches, not just in the interviews but learning about them off the field, is how much they care about their community as well. A couple of them, such as Chad Cheatham at Fannin County and Chad McClure at Hayesville, are natives to their communities. It’s home to them, and they’re not going to be just halfway in their commitments to their programs.

When Coach Caleb Sorrells of the Lumpkin County Indians was first named as head coach, the school hosted a meet and greet for him. It was one of the first stories I covered in this position.

In his address to the parents, Sorrells promised to not only invest in the team as players and athletes, but as men who would one day be employees and fathers. I remember being caught off guard at first because I was expecting him to talk about plans for the future of the program, the summer schedule and what not. He did talk about these things, but I believe by telling the parents that he was going to invest in the players as men showed that it was going to be a priority.

Although I know more about the commitment that Sorrells has made because I’m positioned in Lumpkin County, he’s not the only one in the area who gets involved in the community and works to build up the athletes’ character.

Tim Cokely with the White County Warriors has an entire wall of his office decorated with signs of good character qualities to instill in the team. Chad Cheatham, who I mentioned earlier, referees basketball in the football off-season just because, and the community loves him for it. I’m sure that many of the other coaches in the area do similar things and I just don’t know about it yet.

These are commitments that we see played out by coaches in movies and don’t always think to look for in real life. And because I grew up in Gwinnett County, population one million, if there was this sort of commitment by coaches I didn’t always see it because there were so many people. I love living up here in North Georgia in a smaller community where an act of kindness, especially where sports are concerned, rarely goes unnoticed.

We think about football as a sport that instills a since of discipline, but why is that? Because there’s a coach that sets that standard and inspires the team to do the same. As a community we love football and we love our team, and we can thank a coach for that.

Kemp defeats Cagle for Republican nomination

Election 2018

Blue Ridge, Ga. – After a heated runoff race, the results are in and Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp has beat out opponent Lt. Governor Casey Cagle for the Republican nomination.

What was polled as a tight race between the two candidates ended up being what some would consider a landslide victory for Kemp. Kemp received 69.46 percent of the vote statewide with Cagle pulling in 30.54 percent.

Kemp will now face the Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams for the seat of Georgia Governor.

Abrams and Kemp are not strangers, as they have gone head to head over election issues while Kemp has served as Secretary of State.

“All of these liberal groups that are going to be in play in Georgia supporting her (Abrams), I’ve fought,” Kemp said about his past experiences with Abrams.

Citing that he has already faced George Soros, Eric Holder, Thomas Perez, Common Cause Georgia and New Georgia Project, Kemp is confident that he can beat them again.

Kemp explained where some of these groups came into conflict with the Secretary of State office, “They sued us and several counties saying that we weren’t registering voters, 10 different counts. Then they wanted us to settle. I wouldn’t do it. I made them go to court and we won all 10 cases.”

“I know what’s coming,” Kemp said about his preparation for proceeding in the gubernatorial race. “I know how to fight.”

Nita Cagle speaks about life on the campaign trail

Election 2018

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Georgia’s current Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle continues to make his way across the state in his bid to become Georgia’s next Governor. Recently Cagle made stops through North Georgia as part of his campaign on a two week venture dubbed the “Cagle Country Bus Tour”.

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Nita Cagle speaks to a group of youths in Blairsville, Ga.

While supporters and undecided voters alike packed venues to hear the candidate speak in their hometown, many were surprised to see another Cagle family member emerge from the bus to give her take on why Casey Cagle, her husband, should be Georgia’s next Governor.

Nita Cagle has been by Casey’s side for 32 years. In these 32 years, the Cagle’s have raised three sons and are currently enjoying the addition of three grandchildren to family, but raising a family and having a life in politics has not always been easy.

Cagle holds the title of Second Lady of the State of Georgia, but she says what she is most proud of is her title as wife, mother and now grandmother of the Cagle household.

“I’m the inaugural member of team Cagle,” Georgia’s Second Lady joked as she spoke of the family’s early years in politics.

Casey Cagle first ran for Georgia Senate District 49 in 1994. At this time both of the Cagles were in their late 20s and just beginning a family.

“Casey had helped a friend run a campaign,” Cagle spoke of how their life in public service began, “Over the next couple of years I saw the spark start.”

Cagle admits that when she first noticed that Casey was showing interest in this field, that she was “a little hesitant” to jump on board, but says that her faith changed her attitude.

“I had many nights, many talks, and eventually a calmness just came over me, and I was okay with it. So when he came to me and said this is something that is on my heart, I already knew,” Cagle spoke candidly of her acceptance to stand by Casey as he joined the political arena.

When asked if she felt she had known of Casey’s intentions before he spoke openly of them, Cagle laughed and said, “Actually he probably already knew. It was just ‘how am I going to tell Nita’.”

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Nita Cagle rallies the crowd for her husband at Glenda’s in Cleveland, Ga.

This career move was not always smooth as Cagle had to adapt to managing her time: “The boys were young. You’re divided because you want to be with them both, be a mom and be a wife.”

Ultimately, through family discussions, Cagle decided that she would become a strong foundation for her family at home.

“You only get one time at it,” Cagle explained the decision and the importance of having an active role in a child’s life, “You don’t get a do over.”

This decision did pose obstacles for the Cagles to overcome as the now Lt. Governor was often called away for his job and for campaigns, but Cagle explained that these obstacles are no different than what many families face: “Whether it’s politics, any job is going to put stress. No marriage is going to be without stress.”

Cagle explained that she has been blessed in that despite the calling of Casey’s career, he has always put his family first, “He’s a homebody, and if it is humanly possible to come home, he is coming home.”

With their children grown, Cagle says being on the campaign trail this time has a much different feel, “It absolutely was harder as they were younger. It got a lot easier as they got older. I’m really energized. I’m really enjoying it.”

Having grown children poses a set of new and exciting challenges when it comes to time management, as Cagle announced that their youngest son recently proposed to his girlfriend and would like to wed in the Fall shortly before the Nov. General Election.

This announcement didn’t slow Cagle down as she smiled and enthusiastically explained, “What better thing to do in the middle of all this craziness, than to shut it all down and to celebrate family, remember why we do it to start with, and welcome a new daughter-in-law into our family.”

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Casey Cagle takes time to boast on his wife Nita via social media.

Cagle added that having been in a house of men for so long, and with her two older sons already married she is excited for the wedding and glad that the male to female ratio is evening out.

With the prospect of becoming Georgia’s First Lady, Cagle has given a lot of time to her platform and her mission if given this duty: “I have several things that I have thought about, and I may or may not narrow down.”

Having obtained a degree and having a background in early childhood education, Cagle taught preschool for a number of years.

“I specifically love the preschool age,” Cagle smiled as she discussed one of her goals if given the title of First Lady of Georgia.

Cagle would like to see preschool education expanded and offered throughout Georgia. She cited the importance of teaching children at a young age and how this early nurturing can carry over throughout their life.

Knowing that not every child is able to receive this kind of early start at home, Cagle would like to see this program offered in more areas, stating that the work put into a child at an early age will benefit society for generations to come.

Cagle would also like to put a focus on small businesses throughout Georgia. She and husband Casey got their start by establishing a small business, so she knows first hand the struggles that entrepreneurs face.

“I would like to champion them, and spotlight them,” Cagle said explaining her passion for this area. She noted that small businesses make up a large portion of the Georgia economy, and she would like to see “mom and pop shops” continue to set up and succeed in our state.

Finally Cagle discussed an issue that has come up time and time again on the campaign trail and that is of the opioid epidemic that is not just facing the state of Georgia but affecting countless families nationwide.

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Nita Cagle is all smiles as she introduces her husband Casey Cagle to the crowd gathered in Habersham County.

From speaking with residents in Georgia, Cagle is left with one strong impression when it comes to the opioid epidemic, “It’s everywhere. It does not discriminate. We hear the same story over and over. It’s repeated everywhere.”

While Cagle admits that she is by no means an expert when it comes to this crisis, she says that she cannot deny the need to address the issue and “get the conversation going.” She states that by hearing the heartbreaking stories from families affected by opioid addiction she understands the depth of the problem and that it will not be an easy one to combat.

Being a multifaceted issue with a number of areas that need to be addressed, Cagle said, “If we are blessed enough to be elected, the platform is going to put me in a position to do good and open doors for the people that know about it.”

Cagle would like to increase awareness of the opioid epidemic and at least on one front open the doors for mentoring programs where families struggling with this issue can speak with former addicts on how to help loved ones.

Cagle also acknowledged the successes being seen through Georgia’s Drug Courts, and would like to study the impacts of possibly expanding these programs.

Nita Cagle beams a confidence and sincerity in all that she speaks of, but perhaps her biggest conviction is in that of her husband’s ability to make a great Governor of Georgia.

“The best way to know the kind of leader or character a person is going to have is to look into the home, and that is what I bring to the table,” Cagle stated smiling at her husband, “I’ve been married to a man that is consistent every single day.”

She speaks of his competitive drive and his ability to connect with people, but says that he is also a fair man and one she is proud to have spent the last 32 years by his side.

Cagle’s birthday is May 23, just one day after the General Primary, and she states that this year she doesn’t want any gifts from her husband but instead, “I just want a good clean win on the 22nd with no run-off.”

“He says it’s mathematically virtually impossible,” Cagle said explaining her husband’s response to her wish, but she then added with her contagious smile, “I have seen him do the impossible before.”

 

 

 

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 [email protected]

NRA endorses David Shafer

Election 2018, Politics

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The National Rifle Association (NRA) continues to unveil their endorsements for the upcoming May General Primary, and the latest announcement revealed their pick for the next Georgia Lieutenant Governor, Senator David Shafer.

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Georgia State Senator David Shafer.

Shafer currently serves as a State Senator of the Georgia State Senate, a position he has held since first being elected in 2002. Shafer has also held the title of President Pro Tempore. He has had this designation since 2013 when his fellow Senators unanimously elected him to this position.

Shafer received a letter from the Chairman of the NRA’s Political Victory Fund Chris Cox. In this letter Cox noted Shafer’s work in Georgia in regards to protecting Second Amendment rights: “Nearly every Second Amendment bill in the last 16 years has had your name attached to it.”

“David Shafer is a voice for freedom and faithful friend to Georgia’s law abiding gun owners,” Cox said explaining the decision made by the NRA, “This endorsement is a reflection of his unwavering support for the Second Amendment.”

Shafer received the Defender of Freedom award from the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action in 2013.

This award came after Shafer’s key role in passing Senate Bill 101 by an overwhelming majority in the Georgia Senate.

The bill essentially made what the NRA deemed as “several important changes to Georgia firearms laws”. Among these changes were increasing reciprocity for out-of-state concealed carry permit holders and preempting a ban on firearms in public housing giving residents the ability to defend themselves regardless of their economic stature.

Shafer has long held an A+ rating with the NRA Political Victory Fund and the NRA says of Shafer that he is “one of the nation’s strongest champions of the Second Amendment.”

“The framers of the Constitution intended for us to be able to defend ourselves,” Shafer said. “I am proud of my record fighting for the Second Amendment rights of every law abiding Georgian.”

The NRA’s endorsement is sure to pull some weight in the upcoming May General Primary. There are currently more than 100,000 active members of the NRA in the state of Georgia.

The May General Primary is scheduled to take place May 22, 2018. Voter registration deadline for this General Primary is April 23.

 

 

 

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 [email protected]

Giving Day for Apes was a Success!

Community
This was the second time we participated in the global Giving Day for Apes fundraising event. Last year, we raised just over $36,000 for the care of former research chimpanzees. This year, we were hopeful that with new friends and long-time supporters at our side, including you, we could raise $40,000 for GDA 2018.

Amazingly, we reached our original goal in the early afternoon, well before the deadline. Then our anonymous donor contributed an additional $5,000 matching gift to push our overall goal to $50,000!

Were you surprised?

We reached the $50,000 goal within 30 minutes of announcing it! That’s right, just 30 minutes to raise an additional $10,000 to support the chimpanzees that call Project Chimps their forever home.

And the gifts kept coming in. By midnight, we had soared past $62,000. Simply amazing.

Gertrude, Danner, and Amy would thank you for your support if they could. If you contributed to Giving Day for Apes, you will soon receive a thank you gift from us with special notes from one of the care staff who know these three individuals well. If you donated at $100 and above before midnight, you will also receive the 2019 calendar. Those who contributed $200 and above will receive the calendar and the bandana. Look for these in the mail as a thank you for your generosity!

And if you also contributed to our Power Hour from 2 – 3 pm yesterday, we will send your screensaver options in an email a little later today.

While the competition is over, the needs are still ongoing. If you missed out on donating yesterday, you can contribute today, tomorrow, or consider making a monthly gift to support the 49 chimpanzees currently here and the future 200+ who will be here soon.

I can’t thank you enough for your support, whether you contribute $1 or $10,000. Or even if you simply like and share our social media posts to help spread our message, YOU are making the difference in these chimpanzees lives.

Be on the look out for exciting updates and I hope you will continue to engage with us in meaningful ways!

Casey Cagle receives NRA endorsement

Election 2018, Featured, News, Politics

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The National Rifle Association (NRA) announces its pick for Georgia’s next Governor, and released that the association would officially be backing Casey Cagle. Not all Republican candidates are happy with the NRA’s decision.

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Casey Cagle receives NRA endorsement.

With more than 100,000 active members in the state of Georgia, the NRA’s endorsement is sure to pull some weight in the upcoming May General Primary.

Earning an A+ rating from the NRA for each year that he has served in office, this is not the first time that Cagle has been endorsed by the organization.

“Gun ownership is a right that Georgians take seriously, and the NRA endorsement is the gold standard in our state,” Cagle said explaining his enthusiasm for receiving this endorsement. “I’m an avid outdoorsman, and I taught all three of my boys how to hunt, shoot and respect firearms. That’s an American legacy that I want to see handed down to my grandchildren and to the generations that follow them.”

“I’m honored and excited to have the NRA’s support because its cause is one that I share and that I have fought for,” Cagle continued. “I’m a lifetime member of the NRA, and I’m proud of my unwavering record for the Second Amendment. Like the NRA, I believe the framers of the Constitution meant what they said when they wrote that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Having already received backing from Educators First and the Georgia Realtors, the NRA endorsement makes a third announcement of support for Cagle this week.

The NRA endorsement comes on the heels of Secretary of State of the U.S. State of Georgia and Republican Governor hopeful Brian Kemp sending an email to a top NRA lobbyist, Christopher Cox, concerning Cagle’s true allegiance to the organization.

In regards to Cagle’s stance on Delta Airlines and recent Georgia legislation passed, Kemp stated in the email, “The NRA is getting played.”

Kemp added, “As those of us involved in Georgia politics like to say…..you’ve been “Casey Cagled”.”

Brian Kemp shared his thoughts with FetchYourNews on the recent announcement from the NRA: “The 2nd Amendment is not a talking point to me. It’s a way of life. I shoot, hunt, and carry – because we have the right to protect ourselves and defend our families from harm. As governor, I won’t compromise or play games for political gain.”

 

 

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 [email protected]

David Cooper feels he can reach across party lines and defeat Doug Collins

Election 2018, News, Politics

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – David Cooper will face off against Josh McCall for Georgia’s 9th congressional district seat Democratic nomination. The winner of the May General Primary will then run against Republican incumbent Congressman Doug Collins in the November General Election.

Collins has held the Georgia 9th Congressional District seat since 2013.

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David Cooper seeks Democratic nomination in May General Primary.

Cooper stopped by the Fannin County Democratic meeting to share with Fannin County residents why he feels that he is the best man for the job.

“I am soldier. I have served in the forces that have guarded this country and our way of life, and I am prepared to serve again,” Cooper introduced himself.

Holding a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration, Cooper has also had a career working various levels of government and is currently retired from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). During his employment with the EPA, Cooper worked in hazardous waste clean up and also worked in commercializing green options, such as solar, wind, and geothermal.

Because of his background, Cooper feels that he can reach a wide audience: “I speak the language of patriotism and sacrifice. I speak the language of compassion and selfless service. I speak the language of public participation, cost effective regulation and legislation.”

“It is not about giving a speech. It’s not about making a list of here’s my issues, and wouldn’t it be cool if we could do these things. That is what every politician is taught to do,” Cooper said, explaining he wants to see real accomplishments.

“I am an unconventional candidate, and I will be running an unconventional campaign,” Cooper noted, adding that unlike his opponent, McCall, he would in fact seek to sway Republican voters. “I have the skills and experience to have those conversations.”

Cooper is convinced that there is no such thing as a single-issue voter and is confident that he can find common ground and common values among all residents of Georgia’s 9th District.

Cooper summarized his beliefs and his platform into three key elements, with the first being a need to “save democracy”. He feels this can be accomplished by stopping fake news, ensuring clean elections, and implementing term limits.

His second stance is to “protect what we hold dear.” Cooper cited a few areas that deserve our attention and care, with these being social security, medicare, women’s rights, the environment, veterans, and small businesses.

Cooper labeled his final stance as “progress for the future.” He would like to see steps made toward universal health care, common sense gun control, clean energy, fair taxes and affordable education.

“Not free education,” Cooper pointed out, “until we can get healthcare for everybody, don’t talk to me about free education.”

Locally, Cooper would like to work to support small businesses, citing that they are uniquely numerous in our area due to the tourism industry. He feels that one way to promote this would be to “energize the Small Business Administration to do more to support and provide more outreach.”

“That’s how we keep the Georgia 9th vibrant, keep these small businesses going,” Cooper added.

“Collins should not be making rules for anyone,” Cooper spoke of his Republican opponent. “His loyalties are not with the people.”

In the General Primary, Cooper said the focus should not be about himself running against McCall, but instead he advised the crowd, “You need to pick the person who can beat Doug Collins and who has a plan.”

 

 

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 [email protected]

Tomorrow is Giving Day for Apes at Project Chimps

Community, Featured
Tomorrow is a very special day – it’s Giving Day for Apes! This one day event is a global initiative to support sanctuaries around the world that work with gorillas, bonobos, orangutans, gibbons, and of course our favorite…the chimpanzee! I hope you will join me in our efforts to raise fund to support the 49 chimpanzees that call Project Chimps home.

On this Giving Day for Apes, or “G-D-A” for short, we’re working to raise $40,000 to provide food, care and enrichment to the 49 chimpanzees now in our sanctuary. The first $20,000 will be matched by a generous donor, so we ask you to help us reach and exceed that first $20,000 goal.


We invite you to choose a chimp for the G-D-A competition:

 

We know them, so we know it’s a tough choice! Here’s a little more information to help you decide:
Gertrude is SOCIAL. She’s leading the way in our first program to introduce the male and female chimps who were forced to live separately in the lab. If you want to help bring the chimps together into a more natural and balanced social group in which they can thrive, dedicate your donation to GERTRUDE.
Danner loves FOOD. When Danner arrived at Project Chimps, he seemed so excited to have so many new fresh fruits and vegetables in his diet. He particularly loves pears and sweet potatoes. And we can see the nutritional benefits in his now-shiny brown hair. If you love healthy food and believe the chimps deserve more of it, dedicate your donation to DANNER.
Amy is all about the FUN. She is young, energetic and smart and needs to be actively engaged. We’re working to provide new climbing structures, engaging puzzles and toys for all 49 chimps in the sanctuary. If you love fun, dedicate your donation to AMY.

Choosing a chimp is hard, but donating is easy. Just dedicate your donation in your favorite chimp’s name when you donate today!  You can donate anytime now through midnight on Tuesday Sept 25th for your donation to be matched!

Or set a reminder to donate on Tuesday and not only is your donation doubled, but we will also send you a cool Project Chimps’ gift! See below for details.

On behalf of the 49 chimpanzees currently in our care and more than 200 chimpanzees that we are working to bring to sanctuary, thank you for your generous support!

Sincerely,

Ali Crumpacker
Executive Director

Josh McCall prepares to face Doug Collins in upcoming election

Election 2018, News, Politics

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Josh McCall hopes to receive the Democratic nomination in the race for Georgia’s 9th congressional district seat.

This seat is currently held by incumbent Congressman Doug Collins. Collins has been Georgia’s 9th District representative since 2013.

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Josh McCall seeks Democratic nomination in May General Primary.

McCall has been traveling the district during his campaign, and made a stop at the Fannin County Democratic meeting to discuss with residents why he should represent our district.

Tired of hearing negativity in politics and disagreeing with many of today’s political moves, McCall stated that it had gotten to the point where he dreaded looking at his phone to get the latest news.

“Inevitably, as though it is some kind of force of fate, I do open my phone because I do care about my country and I want to know what’s happening,” McCall added.

Criticizing the Republicans, McCall referred to the party’s Debt Clock: “because everything that goes into feeding the poor people, those Republicans are putting it on the clock.”

“They just passed a bill handing over the fortunes of our children that was supposed to go into green infrastructure and the educational facilities of tomorrow,” McCall spoke of the party’s hypocrisy, “and it went into the pockets of billionaires.”

McCall added, “Let me tell you the red letters of our (Democrats) debt clock. They are written in the blood of students who died at Parkland. They’re written in the blood of the children who died daily from gun violence in this nation, which is breaking out like an epidemic.”

According to McCall Republicans used to care about urgent matters such as the National Debt and what is being left to the nation’s children, but their concerns have since shifted.

McCall wants to see focus put on healthcare and the costs related to this field, stating, “Those are the threats that are really facing us. You deserve life and you deserve health.”

“It is my fundamental belief that nobody should die because they are poor, and that nobody should be poor because they are dying,” McCall reiterated his passion to see meaningful change.

On national matters, McCall would like to see corporations “put on check” for environmental damage, and for lobbyists and organizations to have less of a hold on our government, citing that NRA (National Rifle Association) money is what stops real change to gun control.

“We are in too many nations right,” McCall said stating that we should pull forces out and invest at home,”There is not a single nation with a possible exception of Korea, that is any better off than it was before we invaded it.”

McCall would like to form a Public Service Coalition to serve at home and focus on social needs. The Civil Conservation Corp. could provide services such as taking care of the elderly in their homes and aid in environmental protection and clean up in exchange for scholarships to colleges.

For a two year term, McCall suggests, participants could receive a two-year technical degree scholarship, and for a four-year term, participants could receive a scholarship for a four year Bachelor’s Degree.

McCall switched gears to speak of his stance on the Second Amendment, “I firmly believe in the Second Amendment. The problem is the NRA does not. They only believe in that second part that makes them money.”

Citing that no one is safe in any public space in today’s climate, McCall emphasized that there is need for a well regulated militia.

“If they are law abiding citizens of sound mind, I want them to have that bolt action rifle. Their hunting rifle,” McCall stated, but also explained that there needs to be meaningful change.

One simple solution that he felt could have a lasting impact would be to have a 10 bullet limit on magazines, and outlaw removable clips. Other solutions would be to have gun owners secure weapons in their homes to keep them away from children. McCall stated that Georgia was number one in the nation for toddlers to die of gun related deaths.

“I don’t believe in confiscation,” McCall made very clear if new reform were to pass.

Locally McCall would like to focus on infrastructure in the 9th District, and have improvements to infrastructure done by people trained in our area.
If McCall were to receive the Democratic nomination, he spoke of where he differs from his Republican opponent Doug Collins.

“I believe that Doug Collins is most vulnerable in his complacency,” McCall stated and added that this election year Collins cannot ignore the Democratic party.

“Compassion and cooperation are the center pieces of my campaign,” McCall said and then added, “That is where he is vulnerable, he has not a compassionate or cooperative bone in his body, and that is our strength.”

McCall concluded by saying, “Am I my brother’s keeper? My answer to that is a resounding yes. This race is truly not about me. I have faith in the people of the 9th District.”

 

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 [email protected]

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…

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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?

Violent gang member apprehended in Fannin County

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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 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.

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 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 [email protected]

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

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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.

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.

 

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.

FBI Investigation? Fannin County House of Cards

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“Some would rather climb a tree to tell a lie than stand on the ground and tell the truth” BKP

Monday afternoon July 18th in a Pickens County Courtroom Senior Judge Richard Winegarden signed the nolle prosequi orders dropping the charges against Fannin Focus publisher Mark Thomason and Attorney Russell Stookey.

Thomason and Stookey were arrested Friday 6-24-16. Thomason was charged with three counts; identity fraud, attempt to commit identity fraud and making a false statement. Stookey was charged with two counts; identity fraud and attempt to commit identity fraud.

Appalachian Judicial District Chief Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver filed the complaint with the District Attorney’s office. District Attorney B. Alison Sosebee presented the charges to a Pickens County Grand Jury made up of sixteen citizens. The Grand Jury returned true bills on both Thomason and Stookey.

When the charges were dropped that made the file concerning this case open for the public to view, FYN spent Friday afternoon thoroughly reviewing the file.  I listened to the witness interviews several times.

Immediately after the court adjourned Fannin County Attorney Lynn Doss did an interview with Channel 2’s Mark Winne.  (Doss interview with Mark Winne.)  She told Winne she has spoken with the FBI three times since March.

Mark Thomason, Russell Stookey, Lynn Doss, and Fannin Probate Judge Scott Kiker have made claims that there is currently an FBI investigation into Judge Brenda Weaver and Judge Roger Bradley.  Thomason, Stookey, and Doss have made the same claims concerning the FBI during interviews.  Witness interviews claim Kiker told them about the FBI investigation in detail.

Throughout the DA’s investigation one name kept coming up, County Attorney Lynn Doss. It is common knowledge in the Appalachian Judicial District that Doss does not care very much for Judge Roger Bradley.  I stated in a previous article a comment Doss made to me regarding her feelings for Bradley.

Doss serves as the Attorney for Fannin County, Fannin County Water Authority, and the Fannin County Board of Education.  Her husband Harry Doss is the Fannin County Juvenile Public Defender and the Fannin County Probate Judge Public Defender. The Doss’s have received a lot of money for several years from Fannin County taxpayers.  Side note, FYN has researched Doss and Kiker court cases from Cobb to Towns Counties and have found several cases where Lynn Doss and Scott Kiker are co-counsel.  See any conflict with that?  Doss is public defender in Kiker’s courtroom.  Also what happened to the promise Kiker made the voters of Fannin County that he would be a full-time Probate Judge?  Far from it, Kiker has private cases in several counties. And that is a story for another day.

Lynn Doss thoroughly understands attorney/client privilege so why would she risk losing a client like Fannin County Board of Commissioners who pays her $5,708 per month, $68,496 a year?  I asked Chairman Bill Simonds if he knew that Fannin County was being investigated by the FBI and also if he knew Doss was speaking to the FBI? Simonds told us he just found out in the last couple of weeks and was not aware of any conversations Doss was having or may have had with the FBI.

Remember the checks from the Judge’s account which Thomason claimed appeared to have been illegally cashed?  Who gave the checks to Stookey or Thomason?  During an interview with DA Investigator Greg Arp, Simonds told Arp he understood that Doss said she thought the FBI would be contacting her and so Doss wanted the checks.  Simonds went on to say, his understanding was that Doss gave the checks to Stookey who in turn gave them to Thomason.  

So if Doss told Simonds about the FBI possibly contacting her why did she not come back to her client (Fannin County) and confirm her involvement with the FBI investigation once she was actually contacted?

Investigator Arp asked Simonds if Doss ever admitted to him who she gave the checks to?  Simonds replied “Oh Yeah!  She gave the checks to this Stookey guy. She is the county attorney.  She has no F****** business giving checks out to nobody especially another attorney.  She said ‘I do that all the time, I give out numbers.’  Simonds said, ‘Lynn this is a lot different than a F****** telephone number, this ain’t no telephone number.’  She lied about it.  I think this is a d*** vendetta.  Lynn is vindictive.”

The DA’s investigators Greg Arp and Christy O’Dell interviewed Rita Davis Kirby.  Kirby is Fannin County’s CFO.  Kirby told investigators that she gave the check in question to Doss and only Doss.  

“She is the only one who had the checks. The only person who had copies of those checks.  It’s obvious that Lynn is the only one with copies of the checks from Fannin County.  If Mark Thomason has a copy of them it came to him from Lynn Doss.  In March Lynn comes in and asks me for a copy of the third quarter, second, third and fourth quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016 of Judge Bradley’s checks.  She said I have gotten word the FBI is going to be looking into this and they will probably call me so if you will just go ahead and get those for me I will have them when they contact me.  I got her the copies and sent them to her. She sent me an email and said could I go ahead and give her the other two judges just for the sake of not singling any one judge out. Something to that effect.  She emailed me. Kirby said Doss never came back and said anything about the FBI investigation. “

Kirby was asked if the FBI had made any requests to the commissioner’s office?

“No, and that is what’s strange to me as well.”

Kirby recounted a meeting with investigators between Doss, Simonds, and herself concerning who Doss gave the checks to and how she knew they had been cashed. “ When Bill got a copy of the Open Records Request that Thomason sent Chairman Rob Jones in Pickens County, Lynn came in and was in Bill’s office.  Kirby went into Bill’s office and sat down.  Lynn read a copy of the email and told Bill she needed to talk to him about this.  She needed to explain.  She said this is crazy (Lynn), I could kill Mark Thomason (jokingly).  All I know about this is ‘Mark Thomason received copies of these checks from Rita,’ and I (Kirby) stopped her.   I said “No, Lynn, No he didn’t.”   “I thought I had given him those checks but I didn’t.  I went back to verify that.  I did not give those checks to Mark Thomason, you are the only one I gave those checks too. She said (Lynn) I’m not sure how he got them.”

The reasoning behind the investigation is there is a problem about ‘if’ the checks have been cashed and they’re not supposed to be cashed.  Lynn said on the back of the check in the upper left hand corner on Judge Bradley’s checks there are numbers that go across and we understand and were told it was a teller override. (Rita said) I told her that was not a teller override and Lynn said, I spoke to Ruth Jordan and she told me that it was a teller override.

Kirby said she was in the room when Simonds asked Doss who she gave the checks to. “Doss told Bill she gave the checks to Stookey who is Mark Thomason’s Attorney.  At that point Bill looked at her and said, “you did what?”  She said it’s open records and I gave them to Stookey.  She said it’s no different than me giving a phone number to an attorney without asking if she could give the number out.  Bill said that ain’t quite the same thing.”

Kirby implied throughout the interview that she feels that Doss shares county information with Thomason.

Did Ruth Jordan tell Lynn Doss that the checks appeared to have been cashed because of the numbers on the back of the check? Jordan is the Blue Ridge Branch Manager of Community & Southern Bank.

DA Investigators O’Dell and Arp interviewed Jordan. Jordan immediately let them know she could not answer questions for the bank but she could talk about procedural issues.

If we show you the back of the check could you tell us if it’s a teller override?

Jordan, “You would not be able to tell anything about the back of the check, I think that is the whole issue somebody doesn’t understand.”

So you couldn’t look at the back of the check and tell if it’s a teller override?

Jordan, “no,no.”

Jordan, “This is what I told everyone I did have a conversation with but I have not had a conversation with any attorney.”

So you haven’t talked with Miss Doss?

Jordan, “No.”

Jordan, “Concerning the back of the check in question, “this is a routing number, that is all that is.”

Investigator Odell, is there anything on the back of the check that you can tell that it’s been

cashed, deposited, whatever….?

Jordan,

“Absolutely not.”

Jordan,

 “Procedural-wise, as far as Community and Southern’s bank policy, a check like that should never be cashed. That’s a business check. It’s a business check. One person does not have ownership of that check. So that check should have been deposited.  Now, there is a For Deposit Only here. There is nothing on the back of this check that can tell you the check has been cashed, deposited, you can’t tell anything. There is nothing back there to tell that. It’s a routing number, branch number and teller number.”

Investigator, The only reason you are here is because your name specifically has come up as having a conversation with a certain attorney that has indicated that you were able to tell them from the back of that check. You have not had any conversation with Mrs. Doss regarding any of this?

Jordan, “No”

Any conversation with Mrs. Doss regarding teller overrides? “No”

Jordan, “I have not spoken to Lynn Doss.  I will not disclose anyone’s personal information. It’s not going to happen.”

When discussing the subpoena Jordan said, “I was shocked and amazed. I have never gotten a subpoena that was not served by an officer.  If a deputy would have showed up with that subpoena it would have been filled out by someone before they got here with it. Generally when I get one on something like that they serve notice and generally they want someone to sign showing I received it.  They were here literally wanting us to give them something and I’m like what, we don’t do that.  I don’t think they understood.  I was shocked that they had what looked like nearly a blank subpoena and I just said I don’t know anything about this.  I don’t know what you’re looking for.  You’re going to have to give me some information.”

Investigators showed Jordan the check that supposedly had been cashed illegally. Jordan said there was nothing on the check that indicated a teller override or that it had been cashed.

A check when deposited with a teller show the teller’s number so why not just go to the teller and ask if they cashed or deposited the check?

So why did Doss tell Simonds and Kirby that Jordan said the check appeared to be cashed? Who told Thomason the check appeared to be cashed?  Remember that is what Thomason said in the email he sent Pickens County Commissioner Rob Jones. The email to Jones was an for an open records request.  Who gave Thomason his information?

What about the FBI Investigation?   In one witness interview with “Mr. X” he tells Arp and O’Dell that there are two FBI agents doing the investigation. FYN has learned the name of one FBI Agent, Jamie Harter.

Mr. X told Arp and O’Dell the following:  Scott Kiker told me that a whistleblower came to Mark Thomason.  Kiker would never tell me who the whistleblower was.  Only thing Kiker told me was that the whistleblowers had been granted immunity from prosecution. There are two FBI agents.

Kiker said the reason he got involved was he and Thomason had to sign a paper before the FBI would investigate. They had to sign a paper saying that Mark had asked them to come up here.  Thomason told Kiker he was afraid to sign it without some legal representation so he requested Scott Kiker to be his legal representation and then he signed the thing and gave it back to the FBI.

So if Scott Kiker is Thomason’s legal counsel concerning the FBI investigation does he know who the whistleblower is?  Does he know whom the FBI offered immunity?  FYN has reached out to Lynn Doss and Scott Kiker with a list of questions.  At the time of this article they have not responded.  At the bottom of this article you will see a list of questions we have asked both Doss and Kiker.  We will post their answers as soon as they respond.

Remember the attempt to commit identity fraud in the indictment of Thomason.  We found something very interesting in the DA’s file.  It may be irrelevant but we feel it’s worth mentioning.

In this letter from Assistant District Attorney Chase G. Queen of the Enotah Judicial Circuit, Thomason may have committed identity fraud.

(Article continues under the letter)12ChristyLetter800Check back as this story continues to develop “Fannin County House of Cards.”

FYN would like to be clear regarding the allegations of “cashed checks” there hasn’t been any proof presented at this time which supports the claims of checks being cashed.

Below is the list of questions for Fannin County Attorney Lynn Doss and Fannin County Probate Judge Scott Kiker.

Mr. Kiker,

I have reviewed the entire file including listening to all of the witness interviews in the case that was dropped last week against Mark Thomason and Russell Stookey.

  1. One witness stated that Thomason had to sign a form and send it back to the FBI before they would look into Thomason’s complaint. The witness stated that he (Thomason) brought the paperwork to you and I understand you signed as Thomason’s Attorney. Did you sign a document along with Mark Thomason that was sent back to the FBI?
  1. Have you spoken to or met with the FBI?
  1. Have you and Lynn Doss ever spoken with or met with the FBI together?
  1. Did Lynn Doss tell you she was speaking with the FBI? When was the first time you knew that Lynn Doss was involved with the FBI investigation?
  1. One witness said that you told him there was a whistleblower at UCBI and the FBI has granted this person immunity from prosecution. How are you aware of this information?  Who told you (Mark Thomason, Lynn Doss, FBI…)? Do you know the identity of the whistleblower?
  1. One witness said that when he confronted you about the whistleblower  and UCBI you said it was a rumor Mark Thomason started.  Is it a rumor?
  1. Did you represent Greg Joseph Staffins in a shoplifting case in Union County?
  1. Does the Fannin County Probate Court have or use investigators?
  1. Has Mark Thomason ever worked for the Probate Court as an investigator?
  1. Are you aware that allegedly Mark Thomason went into the Blairsville Wal-Mart and identified himself to Wal-Mart employee Jeff Griffin as an investigator for the Fannin County Probate Court specifically Judge Scott Kiker’s Investigator?
  1. According to Jeff Griffin, Thomason asked to see Wal-Mart case reports on the shoplifting case against Greg Joseph Staffins. Was your office ever contacted by the Union County DA’s office inquiring about Thomason’s relationship to the Probate Court and yourself?

Mrs. Doss,

I am working on an article concerning a possible FBI investigation you discussed in a recent interview.  I have listened to the witness interview from the Mark Thomason-Russell Stookey case and have several questions.

  1. You said you have communicated with the FBI 3 times. Were those phone conversations or meetings?
  2. Did you provide the FBI with any Fannin County documents?
  3. At any time did you make the Fannin County Chairman Bill Simonds aware of your involvement with an FBI investigation?
  4. Who (name) did you talk to at the FBI?
  5. Did you give the checks in question to Russell Stookey or Mark Thomason?
  6. Did you contact the FBI first?
  7. Did Ruth Jordan tell you the numbers on the check showed the checks had been cashed?
  8. Did you tell Chairman Simonds, with Rita Kirby present, that you gave the checks to Stookey and that Ruth Jordan told you the checks had an override number on them indicating they had been cashed?
  9. Did you tell Mark Thomason the checks appeared to have been cashed?
  10. Have you ever had a conversation with Scott Kiker concerning the FBI investigation in this matter?
  11. Has Scott Kiker or Mark Thomason shared with you the name of the whistleblower?
  12. Have you signed any paperwork with the FBI?

Related articles:

Fannin Focus Publisher Mark Thomason Arrested, Journalist or Vendetta?

Subpoena that Landed Journalist Mark Thomason and Attorney Russell Stookey in Jail

Ads in Fannin Focus do not show up correctly in Sheriff Candidates Campaign Financial Reports

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