Union and Towns Partner for the 2020 Census

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2020 Census awareness

Blairsville, Ga – Union and Towns County formed the Trusted Voices committee for assistance with the 2020 census.

With the 2020 Census rapidly approaching – April 1, 2020, Union, Towns, Blairsville, Hiawassee, and Young Harris partnered with the Patrick Malone to form the Trusted Voices committee to ensure maximum participation.

“We had a meeting six week ago with a lady from the Governor’s Office, Anna Miller,” said Mayor Jim Conley “Commissioner Paris put together an agreement with Mr. Patrick Malone who is here tonight that puts [Malone] in charge of the working end of the Census.”

Mayor Jim Conley

Mayor Conley asks for committee members for Trusted Voices.

In the 2010 report, Union recorded around 85 percent of the total population. Towns recorded 87 percent.

Malone hopes to increase Census participation in 2020. The organization serves to encourage individuals to answer the survey through door-to-door visits and community engagements. These efforts will gear up in the fall to promote awareness.

“The committee’s known as the Trusted Voices Campaign. The responsibilities are really minor. It’s just being aware what’s going on with the Census and make sure that we exceed last Census’ participation rate,” explained Malone.

Blairsville City Council appointed Councilman Mary Ruth Cook and Councilman Rhonda Mahan to serve on the Trusted Voices committee to represent Blairsville’s interest. They will have one meeting with Malone and then spread the word in the community.

The city paid Trusted Voices $500 to utilize the service. Hiawassee and Young Harris also paid $500, but Union and Towns are expected to cover the rest of the cost.

Downtown Square to be bustling with activity in 2019

Community

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. – Blairsville Downtown Development Authority spokesperson Darren E. Harper introduced an exciting schedule of upcoming events for the town’s square.

Harpers enthusiasm as he read through the list held the attention of board members and other attendees.

The current schedule is as follows:

May 18: The Blairsville Cruisers.

May 25 and 26: The Spring Arts, Crafts and Music Festival.

May 25: The Tom Floyd Band.

June 6: Shop Late Thursday.

June 8: Steven Phillips and the Midnight Express.

June 15: The Blairsville Cruisers.

July 4: Shop Late Thursday.

July 20: The Blairsville Cruisers.

July 27 and 28: The Green Bean Festival.

July 27: Betty and Friends Band.

August 1: Shop Late Thursday.

August 17: The Blairsville Cruisers.

August 24: A Taste of the Mountains in Blairsville.

August 24: Modern Vinyl Band.

August 31: The Mountain Heritage Festival.

August 31: Music on the Square (Band to be announced.)

September 5: Shop Late Thursday.

September 21: The Blairsville Cruisers.

October 3: Shop Late Thursday.

October 19: The Blairsville Cruisers.

October 31: Hometown Halloween on the Square.

November 7: Shop Late Thursday.

December 5: Shop Late Thursday.

December 7: Christmas on the Square.

Darren E Harper, D.D.A. spokesperson

The DDA will continue to “add events throughout the season.” They will be posted on the website https://www.visitdowntownblairsville.com/.

The monthly meeting of the Blairsville City Council was held on Tuesday, April 2, 2019.

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Union County Schools hold “No Empty Chair” Campaign

News

Blairsville, Ga – M.A.D.D., the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, and the Georgia State Patrol are having a campaign to ensure there are no empty seats for Union County’s upcoming graduation.

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Union County adopts April as Child Abuse Proclamation

Featured Stories, News

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga.- Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris greeted each person in the audience at the Union County Courthouse with a handshake before taking his place at the podium to begin the meeting on March 21, 2019.

He made a correction to the February 21 meeting minutes to read “the new access road from Highway 515 to Panther Way.” It was erroneously stated by the Commissioner as “the new access road from Highway 515 to School Circle”.

Paris then introduced Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Executive Director Linda D’Angelo

D’Angelo approached the Commissioner’s Office to obtain his signature on a proclamation claiming April 2019 as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Blairsville Mayor Jim Conley was not able to be at the meeting, but met with Paris earlier in the day to place his signature on the proclamation.

Paris signed the document with D’Angelo watching. A round of applause was heard throughout the audience.

In two other items of business, Paris mentioned a contract was made between the County and Hayes, James and Associates for Groundwater and Methane Monitoring for the Union County Transfer Station (Advanced Disposal Services) located on Deep South Farm Road. The monitoring will ensure methane levels are minimized and ground waters are not damaged.

Hall, Booth, Smith, P.C. has signed a contract with Union County to provide legal services. The firm is “a full-service law firm with six regional offices strategically located throughout Georgia: Albany, Athens, Brunswick, Columbus, and Tifton.”

The Commissioner’s Office granted Painted Bunting LLC a business license.

Paris concluded the meeting at 6:17 p.m stating he needed to be in another meeting at 7.

The next Commissioner’s meeting will be on April 18, 2019.

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SOURCE: https://hallboothsmith.com/about/

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Woody Gap – Vocation program or not

News

A packed room of parents, students, teachers, and School Board members filled the Board of Education meeting room on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, with the air of anticipation. On the agenda was the future of a vocation program at Woody Gap School.

According to the school’s website, “Woody Gap School, a member of the Union County School System, is the smallest public school in the state of Georgia. We are a K-12 school located in the “Valley Above the Clouds” in Suches, Georgia. Our low student-teacher ratio ensures that students receive unparalleled individual attention in a supportive learning environment.”

The school is located at 2331 State Highway 60, Suches, GA and enrolls approximately 75 students from the surrounding area.

On the agenda was the topic of the future of Woody Gap’s Mountain Heritage program; Career Technical & Agricultural Education.

The program has served many students and helped to obtain employment in various areas such as auto mechanics, agriculture, and woodworking.

The school was facing a future without Gary Butler leading the school’s program. He had submitted his resignation effective end of the school year 2019.

Union County School Superintendent John HIll and Woody Gap’s Gary Butler

However, Superintendent John Hill surprised the audience announcing the program would continue as Butler reconsidered and rescinded his resignation. The crowd let out their voice of approval with a round of applause.

Lisa Sweet speaking on behalf of keeping the Woody Gap program

“Out of the box thinking”, as Lisa Sweet, a local citizen, stated, will continue in the “Valley Above the Clouds”.

Hill announced Mark Hughes was promoted as UCS Custodial Supervisor. Hughes has been with the district for many years serving in various vital roles.

Accolade announcements for:

  • UCES Early Intervention Program: Sandy Gribble, Barbara Hyatt, Brittany Combs, and Judy Hughes.
  • UCHS State Grand Champion Steer Award went to Bailey Rayfield.
  • Extra Mile Award: Assistant Superintendent David Murphy.
  • Phillip Wright Award: Dr. Daffney Sorrell.
  • Board Member Appreciation: Janna D. Akins, Tony Hunter, Cynthia Odom, Keith Potts, and Patrick White. (see award pictures at end of article)

Hill mentioned later in the meeting he is confident teacher pay raises will go into effect in 2019. The last such pay raise for these educators was 11 years ago.

Lisa Vaughn, Curriculum Director Union County Board of Education gave the following statement:

  • School teams have worked diligently to build the calendars that follow the Georgia Standards. The calendars provide a timeline for teaching throughout the school year. We are currently working on formatting and plan to make the calendars available on the school website this summer.
  • Math Textbook Adoption: Core math team members from each school have met with company representatives through webinars, face-to-face, or corresponded by email to set up accounts and view programs that have been vetted through research. On Monday, over 30 teachers and administrators attended presentations by two companies. The high school and middle school considered five programs, and the elementary and primary considered four. The core team narrowed the decision to two companies and will now evaluate both programs using a rubric. Members of the team plan to present to the Student Government Teams. We would like to have the decision made so materials can be ordered by early summer.
  • End of Course and Grade Testing: The district is preparing for testing to begin on April 10th.

Tiffany B. Setzer, Special Education Director, shared the following:

  • Enrollment: There have been 14 special education transfers to the system since January.
  • We have had 8 early graduates.
  • Our special education population is at a high with 449 students with IEPs enrolled in the system.
  • G.O. IEP (Georgia Online Individualized Education Plan): Union County is in the process of moving toward using the state’s IEP platform for writing IEPs and managing data. This program is offered through the Department of Education and is of no cost to districts. The goal in pursuing this platform is accuracy of data. Data reported in GO comes through Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and is updated each January 30th when the Student Record report is submitted to the state.

Courtney Waller, Union County School Nutrition Director, shared:

  • Have purchased two steers from the FFA program for fresh beef.
  • Georgia Grown Event will be held on May 3, 2019 at the Ag Center for Union County Middle School. Lunch will be provided by the school nutrition program featuring school raised beef.
  • Will be purchasing fresh beef from Brasstown Beef. The meet will be delivered directly to the school.
  • Union County joins with four other surrounding counties on bids to increase buying power and to reduce costs.

The next Board of Education meeting will be held on April 16, 2019.

Dr Judy Hale, STAR Teacher and Paige Dyer acceptiing for Matthew Patrick STAR Student

 

Timothy Jennings UNG Extension with UCHS State Grand Champion Steer Award winner Bailey Rayfield.

Union County Assistant Superintendent David Murphy

Tiffany B. Setzer, Special Education Director with the Phllip Wright Award winner Daphne Sorrell

Board Member Appreciation: Janna D. Akins, Tony Hunter, Cynthia Odom, Keith Potts, and Patrick White.

 

 

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Wal Mart Blairsville bomb threat a hoax

News, Police & Government

Shoppers at Blairsville’s Wal Mart Super Center were rushed out of the building last week due to a suspicious package found in the store on February 28, 2019.

The incident was reported to law enforcement at about 7:41 p.m.

Three store employees saw something unusual and immediately notified Management on Duty (MOD). Law enforcement authorities were notified as approximately 100 personnel and customers were requested to leave the business location at once.

Upon arrival, Lt. Daren Osborne, Union County Sheriff’s Department Investigation division, contacted Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) to assist with the incident.

GBI safely dismantled the suspicious package concealing it was a confetti popper similar to the one pictured.

This item is similar to the one found by employees.

The popper, a hand-held tube of compressed air and confetti, had no packaging label on it to signify it was a toy item thus lending the air of a ‘suspicious package’.

No further information has been released concerning this incident at press time and still an active case.

Attempts were made to reach Wal Mart’s Media Relations division since Friday. No response has been received as of this date.

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This Week’s Events in Union County April 2, 2018

Business, Community
Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce
GOOD MONDAY MORNING FROM THE BLAIRSVILLE-UNION COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE!
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Get up, go out, enjoy what this beautiful community has to offer, and have an AMAZING week!
April 2, 2018
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This Week’s Events in Union County March 26, 2018

Community
Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce
GOOD MONDAY MORNING FROM THE BLAIRSVILLE-UNION COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE!
We’d like to thank you for making us a part of your weekly routine! You are receiving this email because you are subscribed to the Blairsville-Union County’s Weekly Events Newsletter.
Get up, go out, enjoy what this beautiful community has to offer, and have an AMAZING week!
March 26, 2018
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