HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Georgia State Senators John Wilkinson and Steve Gooch were invited to address the Towns County Republican Party Thursday, Aug. 15, at Daniel’s Steakhouse in Hiawassee. The evening began with acoustic entertainment by student Summer Rahn, who later led the National Anthem. followed by a well-received rendition of two classic county songs. Student Gabe Moody delivered a powerful speech on the importance of gratefulness in America, speaking favorably toward President Donald Trump and the sacrifice of the U.S. military. Chrissy Figg informed the community on the benefits of the local 4-H extension program, and student Samatha Church proudly introduced the state senators.
Senator Steve Gooch was the initial keynote speaker, touching on numerous topics of interest, including strong support for the enacted “heartbeat bill” which prohibits abortion in Georgia once a heartbeat is detected in the womb, the need for broadband internet options, the ongoing process of medical marijuana cultivation, and the upcoming change in voting machine procedures. Senator Gooch was elected to the Georgia State Senate in 2010. Gooch is a Republican representing the 51st District, which includes Fannin, Union, Gilmer, Lumpkin, White, Dawson and parts of Pickens and Forsyth counties. Gooch was elected as the Majority Whip of the Senate Majority Caucus in 2014. The senator spoke on the importance of voting in upcoming elections in order to keep Republicans in office, not only on a national level, but state and local as well. Gooch warned that the State House could lose its majority if Republicans fail to vote. “If the Democrats take the House, game over,” Gooch said.
Senator John Wilkinson mirrored Gooch’s position on the heartbeat bill, medical marijuana, and support for voter turnout at the polls. Wilkinson spoke with pride on the state’s decision to award individual Georgia schools with $30,000 funding for upgraded security, and favorably of Georgia’s $2.5 billion reserve and Triple A bond rating. Senator Wilkinson, a Republican from Toccoa, was first elected to the State Senate for Georgia’s 50th District during a special election in 2011 and has been reelected to serve in three subsequent elections. Senator Wilkinson represents Banks, Franklin, Habersham, Rabun, Towns, Stephens and portions of Hall and Jackson counties.
Ninth District Republican Chairwoman Rebecca Yardley additionally stressed the importance of voting in local elections, stating that 2018 gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has specifically targeted the highly-conservative Ninth District in an attempt to flip it from a Republican to Democratic hold.
Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw delivered the invocation at the beginning of the program, speaking briefly on the positive state of the county as the forum commenced. Towns County Republican Chairwoman Betsy Young led the meeting’s agenda. Hiawassee Councilwoman Anne Mitchell and Towns County Fire Chief-Coroner Harold Copeland attended the popular event.
Towns County Republican Party is scheduled to meet Thursday, Sept. 19, at 6 pm at the Towns County Civic Center. Meetings are open to the public.
Feature Image: State Senators Steve Gooch (left) and John Wilkinson speak with Towns County citizens.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw announced at his monthly meeting Feb. 19 that the county was awarded a grant in the amount of $160,727 to improve area roadways. “We learned of this last year and I couldn’t wait to announce it,” Bradshaw said. The commissioner read aloud a portion of a letter received from the Georgia Department of Transportation, informing that last year saw the first increase in roadway fatalities in a decade, with 45 percent of the fatalities occurring on county roads. State Senator John Wilkinson worked at securing the grant, Bradshaw said. The funds will be used to restripe county roadways, provide needed signage, and install speed bumps where necessary.
Commissioner Bradshaw reported that Towns County is to receive three quotes from roofing companies to repair the flat-portion of the “old” recreation center roof due to continued leaking into the area where the Towns County Historical Society meets. The initial quote returned was $78,000, and Bradshaw said that he intends to comparison shop. The commissioner announced that Towns County Recreation Center recently profited $2,300 from gate and concession sales, a result of the 12U basketball tournament.
During the meeting, Commissioner Bradshaw updated the county’s work safety and seatbelt policy while updating the county’s record retention policy. Towns County High School Senior Emily Williams presented a speech on the importance of confidence and the goals of the Future Business Leaders of America. Williams has competed in public speaking for the past three years. Towns County Conventions and Visitors Bureau (CVB) Board Member Haley Burch displayed the CVB’s new logo, accompanied by the art designer winner, Shelby Lawrence of Young Harris College. J.C. Berrong stressed the importance of community participation in the county’s two week “Clean Sweep” litter clean-up initiative in April. Towns County High School student Summer Rahn closed the meeting with a singing rendition of “God Bless America.”
Commissioner Bradshaw will hold the next county meeting Tuesday, March 19 at 5:30 in the Towns County Courthouse. Meetings are open to the public. Questions and comments are accepted at each session.