Kemp opens bars and renews state of emergency

State & National

ATLANTA, Ga – Gov. Brian Kemp decided to continue the state of emergency and stay at home order for the elderly and at-risk individuals through July 12. However, the governor also announced the reopening of bars, amusement parks, night clubs, professional sports, and overnight summer camps.

Music venues must remain closed.

Kemp issued timelines for the lifting of each restriction.

May 31 Openings

  • Overnight Summer Camps

June 1 Openings

  • Gatherings of 25 people will be allowed – if the area meets space requirements
  • Bars
  • Night Clubs
  • Professional Sports
  • Amateur Sports

June 12 Openings

  • Amusement Parks
  • Water Parks

Georgia will not mandate citizens to wear masks, but Kemp highly encourages everyone to wear masks in crowded areas and public places.

66 percent of nursing home residents have been tested for COVID-19. On June 1, the Department of Public Health will move to once-daily updates of coronavirus numbers.

Union County declares public health state of emergency, some businesses to close

Community, News, Police & Government
state of emergency

UNION COUNTY, Ga – At 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris approved a state of emergency in Union County on the courthouse steps. The declaration is to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Union County.

The order goes into effect on March 30 at 12:01 am. and will last until April 30 at 11:59 p.m. It can also be rescinded at an earlier time by the commissioner or will automatically terminate if Gov. Kemp ends the statewide state of emergency. The procedures enacted are based on the current threat level in Union County and can be reassessed as the pandemic progresses in the state and Union County.

Blairsville City Council declared a state of emergency on March 25, which goes into effect at 9 p.m. on March 26.

Under this state of emergency, all restaurants in the county can only offer carry-out, curbside, or drive-thru services. All on-premise dining is prohibited while the order is in effect. Restaurants licensed to sell alcohol may continue to sell by the package in sealed containers without obtaining an additional license. However, the sale of beer or wine is only allowed with the purchase of a meal. It may not be sold separately.

Businesses that provide “body care services which require physical contact between the provider and client, including but not limited to, barbering, hair design, cosmetology, massage therapy, body waxing, or nail care shall be closed for business.” This directive doesn’t restrict any services provided under the direct supervision of a licensed medical doctor, nurse, dentist, physical therapist, chiropractor, or other healthcare professionals.

All establishments not mentioned in the state of emergency declaration must post signage on entrance doors informing customers to maintain at least six feet of distance between themselves and others. If stores can’t maintain the social distancing of six feet of separation, then only ten individuals can be allowed in at any one time.

Any business certified as “essential” by Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and pursuant to O.C.G.A. 38-3-58 or designated by the Governor as “critical infrastructure” or medial or health services are still free to conduct business.

Meeks Park playgrounds and the outside exercise areas are going to be closed on Wednesday, March 25. However, Meeks Park isn’t being shut down at this time and will be signs placed at the park’s entrance stating that it is open for local use only. This means that taxpayers or Union County residents may use the park for walking/ jogging if it’s not in an organized group larger than 10 people. Social distancing will also be in place at the park. No one should be within six feet of each other, unless immediate family.

Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 as recognized by the CDC can’t enter public areas, businesses, shops, public transportation facilities, restaurants, or any area where “the public ingresses or egresses.” This person should seek medical treatment with their primary care physician and follow their directions until cleared to return to public interaction.

Copy of ordinance.

All public gatherings – organized groups larger than 10 – are prohibited on any county-owned or controlled property. This doesn’t prohibit the use of sidewalks or pedestrian areas in parks for walking or other exercises as long as it isn’t part of an organized group of 10 or more.

The county is not issuing a shelter in place or curfew order currently but reserves the right to do so in the future. Residents can choose to quarantine themselves or shelter in place, but it’s not a current directive by the local government. This means individuals only leave their homes for groceries, medication, or medical assistant.

Union County Sheriff’s Office is authorized to enforce the orders, rules, and regulations enacted during the state of emergency.

Anyone who violates any provision of the ordinance could be subject to a misdemeanor charge with a fine up to $1,000 and imprisonment of up to 60 days for each separate violations. Individuals found assisting in “commission of a violation shall be guilty of separate offenses” as well.

Enotah District Attorney Jeff Langley informed Fetch Your News that each day the failure to comply continues it will count as a separate violation.

The EMA director is authorized to “obtain an injunction to restrain the violation of laws, code sections, orders, rules, and regulations that are contained in the GEMA act, the ordinance, or implemented by the commissioner.

The courthouse to closed to “casual traffic.” Someone must be granted permission from an employee to enter. Courthouse employees are still working. There are exceptions for the Clerk of Court Office and all court-related functions. Please visit the Union County Government website for details.

Paris hopes that the United States Forest Service (USFS) will close the Appalachian Trail and other public trails by Friday, March 27. This requires coordination with other counties from Georgia to Maine. The Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw issued a letter earlier in the week urging the USFS to close the trail. USFS must publicize the decision to close in order to keep people from the metro area and other parts of Ga, Tenn., or N.C. from entering the county.

Union County government can’t control federal or state highways to limit the number of people from entering the area. USDOT and GDOT must make those decisions. However, several metro-counties and some rural counties are now under a shelter in place directive, which should keep people from traveling to Union and potentially spreading COVID-19 or limiting local supplies.

On a Facebook post, Paris addressed the request from residents to close the county off to the individuals who aren’t necessarily considered “local”:

“Several have suggested that we keep everyone that is not local, out of the county. This is not practical or legal at this time. We cannot keep people from other towns or cities out of our stores. That is strictly the prerogative of store owners and managers. In addition, many of the people in our county may have an out of state tag, but they still own property here, pay taxes here and are part-time residents and certainly have the right to stay here.”

As of 12 p.m. on March 26, there aren’t any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Union County. However, several neighboring counties do have cases, including Fannin, White, Lumpkin, and Cherokee County N.C. It’s a good idea for all citizens in Union County to follow the CDC guidelines of hand washing and social distancing whenever possible to prevent the spread.

Blairsville City Council closes on-premise dining, gyms, and salons in emergency declaration

Community, News, Police & Government
emergency declaration

Blairsville, Ga – Blairsville City Council passed an emergency declaration and ordinance in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19. It closed many non-essential businesses and banned on-premise dining within city limits.

In a 3 p.m. teleconference call, councilmembers Tony Dyer, Rhonda Mahan, and Mary Ruth Cook all voted to approve the public health state of emergency. Buddy Moore and Betty Easter were not in attendance, and Mayor Jim Conley doesn’t vote unless needed.

The ordinance goes into effect on Thursday, March 26 at 9 p.m. and lasts until Tuesday, April 7. The council can choose to extend the measure on April 7.

Restaurants must close their in-dining services but can offer to carry out, curbside, and drive-thru orders. However, establishments have to maintain “at least six (6) feet of personal distance between themselves and others.” If the restaurant has an alcohol license, it can sell unopened bottles or cans of beer or wine for take-out consumption off-premises.

Additionally, gyms, fitness centers, pools, social clubs, amusement facilities, massage parlors, hair and nail salons, and any other similar facility must close and remain closed for the duration of the state of emergency.

Grocery stores, pharmacies, and other businesses not addressed in the emergency declaration are instructed to “post signage on entrance doors informing consumers to maintain at least six feet of personal distance between themselves and others and shall not allow more than ten people into such establishment at any one time if such social distancing cannot be maintained.”

Public gatherings of ten or more are now prohibited on any property owned or controlled by the city, including “parks, public square, public space, playground, recreational area, or similar place of public gathering,” The ordinance does not restrict pedestrian use of sidewalks or “designated pedestrian areas of parks” for exercise “if they are not participating in an organized gathering.”

The major has the right to cancel any meetings under the city’s jurisdiction during this emergency. The council, boards, and commissions can conduct teleconference meetings as well.


Mayor Conley has the power to determine “required” and “discretionary” services under the emergency ordinance.

For the duration of this state of emergency, the city won’t disconnect or turn-off any public utility service for non-payment. “Unless otherwise ordered by City Council, after the conclusion of the declared emergency, persons will have a period of forty-five (45) days to make such payments before service may be disconnected.”

At this time, the council did not issue a curfew or shelter in place directive but reserves the right to do so in the future.

See the entire declaration: Ordinance 2020-02.

The mayor can now identify city services as “required” or “discretionary” and assign employees to those services and can periodically review and modify categories. He can also use his discretion to permit telework. Discretionary services and direct employees may be instructed to not report to work until the service suspension is lifted or the Mayor “redirects the employee to other services.” He can contract and expend non-budgeted sums and services to meet the demands upon the city during the public health emergency. The expenses will be reported to the city’s governing authority.

If the major can’t fulfill his duties, then the emergency interim successor pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 38-3-50 will perform the duties. This person will be chosen by the city council. Again the emergency declaration will be reevaluated on April 7.

Deal Expands State of Emergency to Include ALL 159 Counties

News, State & National

Acting on a recommendation from the state’s Emergency Operations Command and ahead of heavy rains, strong wind and potential flooding from Hurricane Irma, Gov. Nathan Deal today expanded the emergency declaration to include an additional 65 counties. The state of emergency now includes all 159 counties in Georgia. State government will be closed Monday and Tuesday for all employees except essential personnel.

Following a briefing from officials and visit with emergency responders, Deal will hold a media avail tonight at the State Operations Center at 6 p.m.

Follow this link to read the executive order.

For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency website.

How Will President Donald Trump Pay for the Border Wall

Featured, Politics

The media won’t be happy until they see a picture of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto presenting President Donald Trump with the BIG check. You know the Publishers Clearing House size check that has written in the memo area “Mexico payment for the wall”.

Congress has to pass a spending appropriations bill before the end of April to prevent a government shutdown. Trump is asking for money to start the famous wall. You know the one, Mexico will pay for.

Attorney General, Jeff Sessions along with Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly stress we need to start construction of the southern border barrier now.

Sessions is determined to shut down America’s worst criminal gang MS-13. Kelly warns that the next major attack will come from terrorist groups like ISIS partnering up with Mexican drug cartels.  Both Kelly and Sessions sound the alarm on the enormous amounts of opiates, heroin and cocaine coming across the border. Just recently Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed a State of Emergency to deal with opiate addiction problem.

The media keeps asking how we are going to pay for the wall? We have paid for the wall. We have paid with the blood of our children butchered by illegal alien gangs like MS-13. We have paid with the lives of our children who are dying daily from drug addiction.  

Don’t accept your congressman asking how we are going to pay for the wall. Tell them they need to support the President and the wall is already bought and paid for!


Deal Issues State of Emergency Ahead of New Winter Storm

Featured, Featured Stories, News

January 21, 2016
Ahead of a second winter storm this week, Gov. Nathan Deal issued a new state of emergency for 21 counties beginning Thursday evening and lasting through Sunday, Jan. 24, at midnight. The emergency declaration extends to 21 counties under a winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service. They include Banks, Catoosa, Dade, Dawson, Fannin, Franklin, Gilmer, Gordon, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Lumpkin, Murray, Pickens, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, Walker, White and Whitfield Counties. Deal continues to monitor an additional 24 counties, including those in metro Atlanta, under a winter storm advisory.

“In order to prepare for the second round of storms, I’ve directed state agency heads to encourage employees to telecommute where appropriate,” Deal said. “Capitol Hill agencies and other state government offices will close at 12:00 p.m. on Friday to allow time for roads and bridges to be treated in advance of possible freezing rain and snow. I encourage municipal governments and private businesses in metro Atlanta and other affected areas to follow suit. I will continue to monitor those counties under a winter storm advisory and revise my executive order as needed.”

The National Weather Service has issued the advisory for Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Elbert, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Haralson, Jackson, Madison, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Paulding, Polk, Rockdale and Walton Counties.

GEMA/HS and Emergency Operations Command will continue coordinating response efforts between the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Natural Resources.

Deal mobilizes state resources ahead of winter storm

Featured, Featured Stories, News
January 19, 2016

On Tuesday evening, Gov. Nathan Deal issued a state of emergency for 15 counties under a winter storm warning. These counties include Dade, Walker, Catoosa, Chatooga, Whitfield, Murray, Gordon, Fannin, Gilmer, Union, Towns, Pickens, Dawson, Lumpkin and White Counties.

“The winter storm is predicted to cause snow and ice accumulations on roads and bridges in affected areas, and the safety of our residents is my top priority” Deal said. “I’ve directed the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA/HS) to coordinate with the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Natural Resources to move assets to area where snow and ice are expected. GEMA/HS will work with local officials, including those school systems, to ensure resources are available as needed.”

Governor Deal Declares State of Emergency in North Georgia

Featured Stories, Legal Notice, News

Following heavy rains, thunderstorms, and flooding Georgia Governor has declared a State of Emergency in three counties in north Georgia, Fannin,  Pickens,  and Gilmer Counties.

More severe weather is in the forecast for Christmas day.  Governor Deal has stated they will continue to monitor the situation.  Additional counties may be added.

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