Walls appointed Towns County safety coordinator

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towns county courthouse

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Emergency Management Agency – Homeland Security Director  Brandon Walls was appointed by Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw to head the county’s loss control program Oct. 15. Walls was named Towns County safety coordinator at the commissioner’s monthly meeting.

“It is expected that department heads will compliment the effort of the safety coordinator to reduce accidents and provide for the safety of the public,” Bradshaw stated.

Brandon Walls

EMA Director Brandon Walls (left) with Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw at a June meeting.

“Towns County is extremely conscious of the safety of our employees and the citizens of our community. As an employer, we recognize our obligation to ensure the safest possible workplace for our employees. As a governmental entity, we recognize our responsibility to provide a safe environment for the public we serve. It is our belief that most accidents are preventable. In accordance with this belief, we have allocated resources to administer an aggressive loss control program in our municipality.

“All employees are responsible for cooperating with and supporting our loss control program activities and objectives. The health and safety of all employees throughout the county is of primary importance and each department shall endeavor to maintain a safety conscious attitude thoughout its operations.”

Walls was appointed Towns County Emergency Management Agency – Homeland Security Director in June of 2019.

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Alpha Delta Kappa educators recognized by Towns County commissioner

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Alpha Delta Kappa

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Alpha Delta Kappa International Honorary Organization for Women Educators month was recognized via proclamation by Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw Oct. 7. “Whereas women in education constitute a great portion of the nation’s working force,and are constantly striving to serve their communities and nation in educational, cultural, and charitable programs leading to harmony, happiness, and peace among all people…,” the proclamation reads in part. Betty Phillips

Alpha Delta Kappa was founded in 1947 by Agnes Shipman Robertson, Marie Neal, Marion Southall and Hattie Poppino – visionary women who saw a need to recognize and support the professional efforts of outstanding women educators. Since 1947, over 125,000 women educators around the world have discovered the many opportunities provided by membership in Alpha Delta Kappa — opportunities for recognition of commitment to educational excellence, for personal and professional growth and for collectively channeling their energies toward the good of schools, communities, the teaching profession and the world.

More than 30,000 women educators around the world have discovered the many opportunities provided by membership in the sorority — opportunities for recognition of their commitment to educational excellence, for personal and professional growth and for collectively channeling their energies toward the good of their schools, communities, the teaching profession and the world. Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, Alpha Delta Kappa has more than 1,200 chapters located in towns and cities in every state in the U.S., and around the world in Australia, Canada, Jamaica, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Membership, which is honorary and based on peer recognition, provides a wealth of opportunities for leadership development and networking through workshops, training sessions, conferences and conventions. But, perhaps the greatest opportunity the group provides is the opportunity to make a difference. Around the world, Alpha Delta Kappa members combine their energies and talents to enrich their lives and the lives of others through thousands of heartwarming, community-based altruistic projects.

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Towns County Sheriff Clinton defends violation of U.S. Constitution

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Sheriff Clinton - Constitutional violation

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – A week has passed since a local reporter was denied entry to a meeting held at a government facility, and while the Towns County Republican Party and guest speaker, Chris Gaubatz, have extended apologies concerning the unconstitutional ban, Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton has defiantly defended his role in the civil rights violation.

Clinton, who takes to the air waves of a Union County-based radio station each weekday morning, was questioned about the highly controversial incident by the broadcast’s host Oct. 3. The sheriff divulged on live radio that he had, in fact, conversed with Gaubatz immediately prior to the ban and agreed that the reporter, Robin Webb, was justly targeted to prevent potential “bad press” within the conservative activism workshop.

Gaubatz later stated that his snap reaction stemmed from misleading information, presumably supplied by the sheriff, and expressed earnest regret over the handling of the situation. Towns County GOP Chairwoman Betsy Young, who did not attend the meeting, called the ban “not acceptable.”

Webb – whose regular beat includes local political coverage – held reservations for seating at the public event, accepted by the Towns County Republican Party.

Furthermore, Webb reported on Gaubatz last March without incident.  Click to read archive

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Towns County GOP Vice Chair John Alger (left) en route with news of the media ban. Also pictured: Sheriff Chris Clinton (center) with Chris Gaubatz (right)

 

“Denying access was deliberate suppression of Freedom of Press set forth by an elected official sworn to uphold the Constitution,” Webb stated in reference to the sheriff’s participation in the ordeal.

True to form, Clinton attempted to portray the county reporter as a hostile, left-wing member of the media on the morning show. “We live in a country where the rules no longer apply to the Progressives…,” Clinton said in apparent support of the illicit ban, going on to talk about insurrection in Washington by the “Left.”

Civil rights’ attorneys have taken a keen interest in the unconstitutional act, calling the violation nothing short of illegal.

Towns County Attorney Robb Kiker issued a formal statement Oct. 2 on behalf of Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw, whom Kiker described as “prudent in protecting the integrity of the office.” Commissioner Bradshaw was not present at the event when the incident occurred, later learning details of the situation through third-party accounts.

“I understand Mr. Bradshaw personally expressed disappointment in the handling of the matter,” Attorney Kiker said. “This is characteristic of Mr. Bradshaw because I have always found him to be a strong supporter of the Constitution and, particular to this matter, the freedom of speech.”

Georgia laws requiring a transparent government were additionally called into question by Sheriff Clinton Oct. 3.  “It’s staggering the amount of taxpayer time and resources the ‘fake news’ wastes with open records requests about nonsense. It’s stalking,” Clinton, who frequently describes investigative media as “threatening,” claimed.

Sheriff Chris Clinton

Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton (left) with Chris Gaubatz at the time of the unconstitutional offense.

Open record requests filed by FYN in the past have revealed unsettling revelations, such as disproving troubling “facts” dispersed to the citizens by the sheriff himself and exposing the limited amount of time that Clinton has devoted to elected duty.

FYN submitted a request Oct. 2 to review the lead lawman’s cellular log on the evening that the media blackout occurred, a point that was negatively noted by the sheriff on-air. FYN expects to receive the legally-requested information from the Towns County Sheriff’s Office in coming days.

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

CAIR director, county attorney weigh in on controversial media ban

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Sheriff Chris Clinton

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) Georgia Executive Director  Edward Ahmed Mitchell contacted FetchYourNews (FYN) Oct. 2, regarding a controversial incident occuring in Towns County last Thursday. Mitchell voiced staunch criticism toward a media ban initiated at an event sponsored by the Towns County Republican Party at the Towns County Civic Center. FYN previously reported denied entry into the “conservation activism workshop” featuring national security consultant Chris Gaubatz. Mitchell boldly described Gaubatz in the phone conversation as an “expert in anti-Islam.”

Mitchell, a former criminal prosecutor and journalist, chided that prohibiting media access was an illicit act due to the fact that the meeting was held at a government facility. Mitchell stated that he was “not surprised” that the incident had occurred, describing Gaubatz as “paranoid” and “not willing to be criticized.” What has caused greater concern, Mitchell said, was that Gaubatz’s decision to thwart media coverage was conducted “in partnership with the sheriff.”

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Towns GOP 1st Chair John Alger returning the Towns County Homeland Security deputy’s identification when asked to leave the public facility. Also pictured: Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton (center) with Chris Gaubatz (right)

Gaubatz later extended an apology to FYN for prohibiting access to the “not super secret” meeting. Gaubatz explained that the decision to prevent entry was based on misleading information, presumably gained from Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton, who was witnessed engaged in conversation with Gaubatz at the time that FYN was asked to leave.

The news was delivered to the political reporter by Towns County GOP 1st Vice Chair John Alger who falsely termed the meeting an “executive session.” Alger was reported by a law enforcement officer inside of the meeting as making light of the situation with Sheriff Clinton, repeating the phrase “executive session” as the reason given for denial. The issue has left local conservatives calling for Alger’s resignation as a Republican officer. Towns County GOP Chair Betsy Young, who has voiced apologetic disapproval, stated that an executive board meeting will likely take place in the near future.

Based on information gathered from sources, FYN’s reporter defines the incident as “deliberate suppression of freedom of the press set forth by an elected official sworn to uphold the Constitution.”

CAIR Georgia is expected to issue an official statement on Gaubatz and the controversial incident, adding that the organization intends to contact the Towns County Republican Party and Towns County Sheriff’s Office concerning the matter.

Furthermore, a Towns County Emergency Management/Homeland Security deputy director who accompanied the reporter to the event was prevented from attending, despite reservations and official credentials presented to the speaker and the sheriff. The matter is under investigation by Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) at this time.

Sheriff Chris Clinton

Sheriff Chris Clinton with Chris Gaubatz at the Towns County Civic Center.

Towns County Attorney Robb Kiker issued a formal statement on behalf of Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw, whom Kiker described as “prudent in protecting the integrity of the office.” Commissioner Bradshaw was not present at the event when the incident occurred, later learning details of the situation through third-party accounts.

“I understand Mr. Bradshaw personally expressed disappointment in the handling of the matter,” Attorney Kiker said. “This is characteristic of Mr. Bradshaw because I have always found him to be a strong supporter of the Constitution and, particular to this matter, the freedom of speech.”

Towns County Republican Chair Betsy Young, Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton, and Security Consultant Chris Gaubatz did not respond to FYN’s invitation to comment on recent developments.

 

 

FYN archive: Chris Gaubatz event, March 2019:

Security consultant warns of merge between Progressive Left and Jihadi movement

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Commissioner Bradshaw to seek second-term in 2020

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Commissioner Bradshaw

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw informed FetchYourNews Friday, Sept. 27, that he plans to seek a second-term as an elected official. Following a meeting held in Bradshaw’s courthouse office, the commissioner stated that there is more that he hopes to accomplish in future years.

“I plan on running for re-election. I hope to serve another term,” Commissioner Bradshaw said. “There’s more that I’d like to see happen. I want to continue on the path of controlled growth, welcome more tourism, further improve public safety, and continue working with all of the departments to better serve the citizens.”

Bradshaw was elected as Towns County’s commissioner in 2016, securing 53.81% of the votes on the Republican ticket in May’s primary, and 65.84% in November’s general election. No challengers have publicly entered the race for the commissioner’s seat at the time of publication.

Click for Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw Archives

Featured Image: Towns County Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw at a courthouse meeting earlier this year.

Fetch Your News is a now news network that covers Towns, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Rabun, and Murray counties in northern Georgia, as well as Cherokee and Clay counties in western North Carolina.  Fetch Your News attracts over 300,000 page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month, and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com with an up to 60,000 Facebook page reach.

If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of our counties of coverage, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Commissioner encourages homeschoolers to join Jr. Board of Local Government

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commissioner cliff bradshaw

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw requested the media’s assistance in getting the word out to home-schooled students who may want to participate in the Junior Board of Local Government.  Bradshaw initiated the program shortly after taking office in response to an inquiry from his son, asking what it is, exactly, that do commissioners do. “It dawned on my that other young people may not know what the commissioner, tax commissioner, clerk of court, and so on actually do,” Bradshaw explained to FYN.

commissioner

Towns County’s Junior Board of Local Government

The group of high schools students serve on a voluntary basis, exploring the ends-and-outs of local government. Bradshaw unites “our future leaders” with officials from various county agencies – including the tax commission, sheriff’s office, clerk of court, and probate office – in order to educate the junior board on the inner workings of each division.

The Junior Board of Local Government typically meets once a month for 20 minutes per session.

“These are great students,” Bradshaw said of the board, “These are great kids.”

Towns County High School students Kendall Floyd, Seth Fullerton, Chase Rogers, Calab Ledford, Wesley Calhoun, Emily Williams, Kaitlyn Crowder, and Trevor Bradley, and Taylor Cornett are current participants in the program.

Eastgate Life Academy students are invited to enroll.

For additional information on the Junior Board of Local Government, contact the Towns County Commissioner’s Office at 706-896-2276.

 

Click for more Towns County news

 

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Young Harris fire station nears completion

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Young Harris Fire Station

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw announced the near-completion of the Young Harris fire station, a project that has been in the works for many months. Bradshaw expects the facility to be operational by November. According to the commissioner, the station will feature an additional landing pad for medical helicopters to transport critical patients for trauma care. Towns County currently has four designated landing sites for air transports, strategically located throughout the area.

The Young Harris fire station is located on State Route 66, approximately 1.25 miles from U.S. Highway 76. The current station is situated in the former Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation (BRMEMC) building, a few blocks west of Young Harris College.

“We’re very excited about it,” Bradshaw told FYN last week. “The new station’s location will also help the fire department’s ISO rating and homeowners’ insurance rates.” An ISO insurance rating, also referred to as a fire score or Public Protection Classification, is a score from 1 to 10 that indicates how well-protected a community is by the local fire department.

Commisioner Bradshaw announced in late December that $130,000 derived from the 2018 Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) fund would be applied to the construction of the Young Harris fire station. Detainee labor, which did not cost the taxpayers, contributed to a large portion of the labor involved

The project was originally expected to be completed this summer. It was temporarily delayed, however, due to sight plan issues that the Department of Transportation had with road entry placement. Additionally, wet, winter weather was responsible for an inability to properly grade the land.

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Board of Elections to discuss possible closure of Tate City precinct

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Tate city

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – FetchYourNews (FYN) was notified that the Towns County Board of Elections plans to discuss the possible closure of the Tate City voting precinct Wednesday, Sept. 11.

“We will be approaching the subject of possibly consolidating the Tate City precinct,” Towns County Elections Supervisor Tonya Nichols said Tuesday. “No votes can be taken to consolidate, based on the code section yet, so this will be the beginning stage of the subject.”

Should the election board unanimously agree to consolidation, Tate City voters could potentially merge with the Macedonia precinct. The next step in the process, if advanced, will be public notification through media sources.

FYN spoke with Towns County Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw on the matter Tuesday afternoon.

“Members of the election board, along with myself, visited Tate City and let residents know that we plan to let them decide whether or not to close it. If they want to keep it open, that’s fine. If they want to close it, great. We explained the difficulty in transporting the new voting machines, and many of the Tate City voters have chosen early voting at the Hiawassee office in the past.”

As of Sept. 10, a total of 43 Towns County residents were registered to vote in the rural town of Tate City. The distance between Tate City and the Macedonia voting precinct is approximately 14 miles.

The Sept. 11 board meeting will be held at the Towns County Elections Office, adjacent to the Towns County Courthouse, at 4 p.m.

The meeting is open to the public.

Follow FYN for updates on future plans for Tate City voters.

 

Additional Towns County news

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Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

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