Hiawassee questions Halloween options for city

News, Police & Government

Hiawassee invites guests to the fundraiser to raise money for Shop with a Hero.

The City of Hiawassee discussed whether the city should host Halloween on the Square in light of the pandemic, modify it, or cancel altogether. The discussion began in their work session and they agreed to revisit at Tuesday’s regular session. The city has been following CDC guidelines for interaction since the pandemic started.

They were unable to come to a decision on whether to host it or not and have opted to renew the discussion at their next work session on Sept. 24.

Jennifer Garner, city clerk, told the council that the Chamber of Commerce had researched what other municipalities were doing and presented “Drive-thru Halloween.”

“Businesses would donate candy to City Hall and we’d bag it and hand it out as cars came by,” said Garner.

The idea was met with questions and concerns, including the extra work involved.

“If you look around, our employees aren’t exactly needing extra work,” said one council member.

Another member pointed out that because Blairsville and Hazel were not having Halloween events, there would be no way to know if they had enough candy.


“It’s a great idea, but it will be a lot of work,” said Garner.

The council agreed to continue to look at options later.


In other Hiawassee news, the council:

  • Approved contracting with Freedman Design Group for new email and Microsoft contract at $4,650 or $18.50 a month per user.
  • Approved the set the technology fee for police citations at $20.
  • Held the first reading of the new alcohol ordinance.
  • Approved the alcohol license for the Tilted Cafe.
  • Approved the contract of the Turf Care contract.

Towns County’s Halloween draws hundreds of trick-or-treaters

Towns County Halloween

HIAWASSEE, GA – The one-day rain delay did not deter hundreds of trick-or-treaters from attending Towns County’s Halloween event on the courthouse campus. The line for candy extended beyond Hiawassee City Hall, nearing Main Street, as ghouls and goblins awaited their turn to circle the courthouse porch for treats. Towns County Historical Society offered tours of the “haunted jail” on Halloween’s stormy eve, the night prior to the county’s postponed event, estimating approximately 280 visitors at the spooky site.

Click on the below images to enlarge.

Hiawassee to host several October events

News, Upcoming Events

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Autumn is a magical time of year in the mountains of Appalachia, with hillsides hued in blazing glory, and seasonal activities and events for residents and visitors to enjoy. Towns County plans to host several events during the month of October.Scarecrows Hiawassee Square

Towns County Chamber of Commerce President Candace Lee tells FYN that each year, phone calls begin to pour in from widespread locales, excited to learn when the peak leaf colors are expected occur. “The last week in October, into the first week of November, is typically the peak time,” Lee said, “We welcome phone calls, and there is a website that updates the forecast that we use as a guide.”

Scarecrows are planning to “invade” Hiawassee Town Square throughout the month of October, a new addition of seasonal sights to see. Individuals and businesses can stake their creations in the heart of Hiawassee in exchange for a $25 entry fee, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Towns County Food Pantry.

Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds will host its annual Fall Festival from October 12 – 20, featuring concerts, arts & craft vendors, and educational demonstrations – such as moonshine making, corn milling, cider squeezing, quilting, black smithing, soap crafting. In addition, the Fall Festival will include the famed Georgia Official State Fiddlers’ Convention, and “Wolves of the World”, the world’s only traveling wolf exhibit. Admission to the fairgrounds is $12.00, with children under 12 admitted free. Three-day passes will be available for purchase at the gate for $33.00. Parking is free. Pets are not permitted.

On Saturday, Oct. 27, Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds will feature the Appalachian Brew, Stew, and Que Festival, with 21 breweries participating in the event. Tickets are $40.00 at the gate or $35.00 online.

October will close with Halloween on Hiawassee Town Square, an ever-popular annual event. The festival will be held on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 31, beginning at 5:30 p.m.


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 Towns, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, 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]

Hiawassee Police Chief visits McConnell Pre-K, shares Halloween safety tips

City Police, News
Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Halloween is just around the corner, and Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith took the opportunity to reach out to Pre-K students at McConnell Baptist Church, sharing Halloween safety tips with the children on Friday, Oct. 26.

“There were a couple of children who were initially frightened, but they warmed up to me by the end of my visit,” Chief Smith said, “It is always a delight to speak to a group of young children. They are always curious about the equipment that police officers wear.” Smith demonstrated how handcuffs operate with the cooperation of a teacher, much to the amusement of the children.

Chief Smith also discussed bike, vehicle, and gun safety with the class.

At the conclusion, the police chief gifted the students with reflective, candy-filled, trick-or-treat bags, safety tips, and police-themed coloring pages.

The City of Hiawassee will host their annual Halloween celebration, with candy booths for trick-or-treaters, on Wednesday, Oct. 31, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

This year’s event will be held on the wrap-around porch of the Towns County Courthouse, rather than Hiawassee Town Square.

The Old Rock Jail will transform into a haunted house attraction on Halloween night.

Admission is free.


Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts over 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Towns, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, 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]


Hiawassee Halloween may feature Haunted House Attraction

News, Upcoming Events
Old Rock Jail

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales announced that Halloween on Hiawassee Square may be relocated to the Towns County Courthouse grounds in order to feature a new addition to the well-loved annual event: A haunted house attraction at the historic Old Rock Jail.

Ordiales revealed that the City of Hiawassee is collaborating with Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw and Towns County Historical Society President Sandra Green on the notion. The festivities are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Sandra Green Towns County Historical Society

Towns County Historical Society President Sandra Green inside the Old Rock Jail

Traditionally, the event has taken place on town square. Hiawassee City Council, along with Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith, voiced agreement with the slight shift in venue due in part to parking issues. The relocation will free the parking spaces surrounding the square that were dedicated to candy booths in years’ past, potentially reducing the swarm of trick-or-treaters trekking across Main Street from business parking lots.

While the plans for the haunted house and venue change were not firmly solidified by Mayor Ordiales as of Monday, Sept. 24, Commissioner Bradshaw stated no objection to to the plans.

The Old Rock Jail is located adjacent to the Towns County Courthouse, with renovation to the 1936 stone jail recently completed through the efforts of the Towns County Historical Society. The two-story site serves as a museum, featuring artifacts and photographs, and is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. or by appointment.

Scarecrows, created by area businesses, are set to begin “invading” Hiawassee Town Square on Oct.1, staked thoughout the month.

A list of autumn activites in the Hiawassee area is available from FetchYourNews.com

Haunted Halloween on Hiawassee Square

News, Upcoming Events

HIAWASSEE, GA – The City of Hiawassee will host its annual Halloween celebration this evening from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the Square. Traffic will be diverted clockwise from Main Street in order to protect the safety of ghosts and goblins and maintain a productive flow.

Featured Image: Towns County Fire and Rescue with “witch”, Halloween 2016

American Red Cross Offers Halloween Safety Tips

Hiawassee Halloween

Hiawassee, GA – The Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross has offered a list of “lucky 13” Halloween tips for parents to share with trick-or-treaters in order to prevent injuries:

  1.  Plan your route and share it with your family. If possible, have an adult go with you.
  2.  Wear light-colored or reflective-type clothing so you are more visible.
  3.  Use face paint rather than masks that may obstruct vision.
  4.  Cross the street only at corners.
  5.  Look both ways before crossing streets.
  6.  Don’t hide or cross the street between parked vehicles.
  7.  Walk on sidewalks, not the street.
  8.  Carry a flashlight to light the way.
  9.  Only visit homes that have their porch light on.
  10.  Use a light stick rather than a candle in pumpkins to prevent fire hazards.
  11.  Accept treat at the door; never enter someone’s home.
  12.  Be cautious of strangers and animals.
  13. Have an adult inspect candy before consuming.

The City of Hiawassee will host their annual Halloween event on the Square on October 31 from 5:30-7:30 pm.

Contact the American Red Cross at 216.431.3046 for additional safety tips.


Hiawassee City Council Campaign Ethics Raised

News, Politics
Liz Ordiales

HIAWASSEE, GA – In a live interview conducted by Fetch Your News (FYN) CEO Brian Pritchard with Hiawassee Mayoral candidate Liz Ordiales on the morning of Nov. 3, 2017, Mr. Pritchard questioned Ms. Ordiales’s decision to place her campaign sign on a Towns County Fire and Rescue truck during the City’s annual Halloween on the Square festivities on Oct. 31.

“Why did you put your campaign banner on the side of that firetruck? That is a violation of State,” Pritchard asked as the interview concluded. “Why did you do that?”

The campaign sign was placed on the rear of Engine 1 after being removed from the side

Candidate Ordiales responded she did not realize it was an ethics violation, stating she is connected to the Fire Corps and has raised $250,000 for the nonprofit organization, while making mention of Councilman Jay Chastain Jr.’s photographed endorsement of Liz Ordiales’s opponent, Barry Keith Dearing, while wearing an EMS uniform.

Towns County Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw, who tended to a booth for trick-or-treaters at the popular Halloween event, promptly asked Candidate Ordiales to remove the sign after it was brought to his attention.

“Towns County does not endorse candidates,” Commissioner Bradshaw said. “I’ve made that clear to the heads of all departments.”

Fetch Your News headquarters received a photo complaint of the campaign banner from an attendee soon after it was affixed to the firetruck.

“The minute I was called and told there might be a problem, did I take it down? Immediately it was taken down,” Ms. Ordiales said in the interview.

Candidate Ordiales removed the banner from the side of Engine 1, placing it on the bumper of the county emergency vehicle, out of the Commissioner’s line of sight, for a short period of time before being asked to place it in her vehicle by current Towns County Fire Corps President Colleen Gibson.

FYN CEO Brian Pritchard also questioned Candidate Ordiales’ usage of the City Of Hiawassee logo on campaign correspondence. Ordiales replied it is legal, that the City logo is not trademarked.

Incumbent Councilman Chastain has since responded to Candidate Ordiales comments on the endorsement photograph published by Fetch Your News.

Prayer Breakfast“I didn’t think anything about it,” Councilman Chastain said. “I was invited to the Sheriff’s prayer breakfast, as were all first responders, and I stopped by before heading to work in North Carolina. Barry was there, [FYN’s reporter] was there, and the picture was snapped. I personally supported Barry before the endorsement was publicized.”

Councilman Chastain did not address the group during his visit nor was his endorsement announced at the event.

The image in question has since been replaced on the original article by request from the Councilman.

Concerns related to Councilman Chastain’s uniform were not brought to FYN’s attention prior to community complaints of campaign ethic violations committed by Candidate Ordiales.

Ms. Ordiales was asked to remove a line of campaign signs from sidewalk flower pots located in front of The Mall on Main Thursday, Oct. 2, via a business owner who wishes to remain anonymous in the event Ordiales is elected.

An article related to the Halloween campaign controversy was recently published by FYN prior to the journalist’s decision to retract it in order to allow the list of allegations raised by former Towns County Fire Corps Vice President Ken Bryant while Liz Ordiales served as the nonprofit’s president to stand alone.

Mr. Bryant, a former federal agent and current fraud investigator, was offered an opportunity by FYN CEO Brian Pritchard to submit a rebuttal for publication as an opinion piece. Reference to the allegations are addressed in the FYNTV.com interview with Ms. Ordiales.

Continue to follow Fetch Your News for additional coverage of the Hiawassee City Council election.

Election Day is Nov. 7, 2017.

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]


Hiawassee Police Share Halloween Safety Tips with Preschoolers

Hiawassee Police Department

Hiawassee, GA – Preschoolers at McConnell Baptist Church received a visit from three local law enforcement officers on Friday, October 13. The Hiawassee Police Department offered Halloween tips to ensure the children’s safety.

Sergeant Tracy James and Officer Jordan Guffey bond with the class

Officer Jordan Guffey and Sergeant Tracy James sat down with the 4-year-old class while Detective Brandon Barrett spent time with the 3-year-olds.

Detective Barrett began by asking the children their thoughts on the role police officers play in society. Answers ranged from “catch bad guys, put people in jail, and write tickets.” Detective Barrett agreed that while true, he explained it’s also their job to “help keep people safe.”

The Hiawassee officers shared a wealth of Halloween safety advice with the preschoolers before inviting the group outside for an up close look at their police vehicles. To the delight of the children, the police officers flashed their patrol lights and sounded the sirens.

Detective Brandon Barrett offers safety tips to preschoolers

Featured image: Detective Brandon Barrett, Sergeant Tracy James, Officer Jordan Guffey


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]



No Scaredy Cats This Halloween: Top 10 Safety Tips for Pet Parents

Featured, News

  Pet Safety Tips Brought to you by:


Attention, animal lovers, it’s almost the spookiest night of the year! The ASPCA recommends taking some common sense precautions this Halloween to keep you and your pet saying “trick or treat!” all the way to November 1.

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.

3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume may cause undue stress.

6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.

7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside.

10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increaing the chances that he or she will be returned to you

Halloween Health and Safety Tips

Featured, News


Fall celebrations like Halloween and Harvest Day are fun times for children, who can dress up in costumes, enjoy parties, and eat yummy treats. These celebrations also provide a chance to give out healthy snacks, get physical activity, and focus on safety.

Check out these tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for trick-or-treaters and party guests.

Going trick-or-treating?

alphabet letter s

Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

alphabet letter a

Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

alphabet letter f

Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

alphabet letter e

Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

alphabet letter h

Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. WALK and don’t run from house to house.

alphabet letter a

Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

alphabet letter l

Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible.

alphabet letter l

Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lens.

alphabet letter o

Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

alphabet letter w

Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

alphabet letter e

Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

alphabet letter e

Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

alphabet letter n

Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

  • Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause someone to fall.
  • Keep candle-lit jack o’lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
  • Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.

Happy Halloween!

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