ACCG awards Dawson County health benefits grant

News

ATLANTA — Dawson County is one of 38 members to receive the Health Promotion & Wellbeing Grant based on its commitment to employee health and demonstrated collaboration with other community groups and organizations engaged in health promotion.

“A successful wellness program is designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, which helps to control health care costs and contribute to a happier, more productive workforce”, said Chatham County Commissioner and President of the ACCG-GHBP Board of Directors, Patrick Farrell. “Wellness programs greatly benefit employees, their families and the employer – everyone benefits.”

The Health Promotion & Wellbeing Grants are awarded statewide to our members that are undertaking health and wellness initiatives to transform their living and working communities into healthier environments. The grants are to provide assistance in promoting worksite programs designed to enhance the health and wellness of county employees and family members.

As part of the grant process, the member designates a Health Promotion Champion to develop a workplace health promotion action plan and to attend the Health Promotion Champion training class offered by Local Government Risk Management Services (LGRMS). In addition, employees will be offered a confidential health assessment program using a Health Risk Appraisal, with blood pressure screening and health improvement feedback.

Wellness programs have a reliable track record of improving employee health and quality of life while reducing medical claims and improving workplace morale. ACCG offers wellness services to all members through LGRMS, a not-for-profit agency operated jointly with the Georgia Municipal Association.

The ACCG – Group Health Benefit Program is available to all ACCG members. Currently, 85 counties and authorities participate in the health plan, and all are eligible to apply for the Health Promotion & Wellbeing Grants on an annual basis. ACCG is pleased to support Georgia counties in this important endeavor.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze Celebrates Dawson County

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PRESS RELEASE

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — A long-time staple in Dawson County will be kicking off its fall season with a new look and location.

Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze is now located at 125 Bannister Road in Dawsonville. The maze is slated to open Saturday, September 14 at 10 a.m.

Every year, Uncle Shuck’s designs the corn maze with a theme. This year, Uncle Shuck’s
has partnered with the Dawson County Office of Tourism Development to create a maze
that is sure to wow and challenge its visitors.

“We can’t wait for visitors to see and experience the corn maze at Uncle Shuck’s this
year,” Dawson County Office of Tourism Development President, Christie Moore, said.
“The design will bring a challenge to maze-goers of all ages. It is a great reflection of
some of the exciting activities that can be enjoyed in our community.”

In an intricate and creative way, the corn maze features the outline of Dawson County, Amicalola Falls, sunflowers, fishing, an Appalachian Trail hiker and of course, moonshine.

The corn maze is 14 acres and has approximately four miles of trails. “In planning this design with the team at Uncle Shuck’s, we wanted to showcase and celebrate all the wonderful activities people can enjoy when they visit Dawson County,” Moore said. “From taking family pictures in the sunflower fields at Fausett Farms to picking the perfect pumpkins at Burt’s Farm to capturing the picturesque scenery at Amicalola Falls, Dawson County is blessed with an abundance of family friendly adventures, particularly in autumn. We were thrilled to be given the opportunity by Uncle Shucks to help create a corn maze design that celebrates the beauty and experiences Dawson County has to offer.”

In addition to the corn maze, Uncle Shucks has plenty for attendees to see and do, including a pumpkin patch, towering goat walk, jumping pad, refreshments and more. For more information about Uncle Shucks, visit the website at uncleshucks.com or call 770-772-6223. For more information about planning a fall trip to Dawson County, please visit destinationdawson.org or call 706-265-6278.

The Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and Office of Tourism Development markets more than 40 local accommodations, attractions, and restaurants and represents a greater than $50 million local industry. The purpose of the organization is to attract visitors to Dawson County in order to achieve increased investment in the local economy. Located just north of the intersection of Georgia 400 and Highway 53, the Office of Tourism Development provides a Welcome Center and visitor information to visitors and local citizens. To plan a trip or learn more about tourism in Dawson County, please visit www.dawson.org.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

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Dawson County falls to North Forsyth in Scrimmage Game 34-15

All of TeamFYNSports, Dawson County High School, Dawson County High School, Sports, Team FYN Sports

 

In a battle between 2 young teams, Dawson’s potential shined in spurts. The turnovers and penalties are what kept Dawson County from getting the win.

The Dawson County Tigers (Region 7-AAA) faced off against the North Forsyth Raiders (Region 5-7A) in a game that featured a much larger opponent than what the Tigers will be playing in their region games. This type of experience early on will benefit Dawson County in the  long run.

Having graduated 28 seniors last year, the Tigers were prepared for mistakes early on, and that is just what happened.

They opened the game with a 3 and out, where the drive was cut short by a penalty that set the Tigers back a bit. The Raiders fed off their defense and methodically drove the ball down the field, but were held to a field goal due to a touchdown being waived off by a flag.

On Dawson County’s next possession, they fumbled the ball on an option play, and it was recovered by North Forsyth. However, sophomore Braedon Hubbard responded defensively with a 92-yard pick 6 to give the Tigers the lead 6-3 with 6:31 remaining in the first quarter.

The excitement was short lived, as the Raiders followed a couple of short runs with a 57-yard touchdown pass. 2 possessions later, they delivered a 19-yard touchdown strike to extend their lead to 17-6 early in the second quarter.

Dawson County received a spark from freshman Keegan Stover, who threw a 56-yard touchdown pass on the third play of his first drive to cut the deficit to 17-13 with 10 minutes remaining in the half.

For nearly 2 more quarters, neither team could get much going.

With 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, North Forsyth hit a 23-yard field goal to extend their lead to 20-13. On the ensuing possession, Dawson County fumbled the ball in Raider territory, setting North Forsyth up with an opportunity to put the game away. However, the penalty bug hit the Raiders, forcing them to punt from their own 5-yard line. A bad snap resulted in the ball sailing over the punter’s head, giving the Tigers 2 points and the ball.

Down 20-15 with an opportunity to retake the lead for the first time since the 1st quarter, Dawson County couldn’t get anything going and had a quick 3 and out. The Raiders then sealed the deal with a long drive finished by a touchdown run with 3 and half minutes remaining. However, the Tigers lost the ball on a bad snap, giving North Forsyth great field position that resulted in them tacking on another touchdown.

The final score was 34-15.

Dawson County will kick off their season officially on August 23rd against Habersham Central at 7:30pm

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Scott Hilton featured speaker at Rotary luncheon

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — One of the first things Gov. Brian Kemp did after being sworn into office in January was issue an executive order to create the Georgians First Commission, with the belief that small business is the backbone of the state’s economy.

Scott Hilton, a commercial banker with an MBA from Emory and undergraduate degree from Georgetown, was chosen to head the commission. He explained the purpose of the organization at Thursday’s Rotary Club of Dawson County luncheon at Chestatee Golf Club.

“Our goal is simply this: Cut red tape, remove barriers, streamline government and promote small business in Georgia,” Hilton said.

The commission’s advisory board is made up of 18 small business owners from all across the state. “They text me all day with ways we can get government out of the way,” he said. “The No. 1 thing I hear is if you can just get government out of the way, I can grow, expand and do all the things that make our community so great.”

The commission has one year to develop a list of recommendations it can make to Gov. Kemp about what the state can do legislatively through the General Assembly or through changing the rules and regulations that control the more than 80 agencies that make up state government.

“The needs of our state are so different, it really gives you an appreciation for how diverse our state is, how big the state is and what different areas are struggling with,” he said. “What we struggle with in Atlanta is very different to what rural Georgia is struggling with.”

Members of the commission are looking at what other states are doing to make things better for small business owners, or prospective owners. States that are being closely assessed are Indiana, Ohio and Arizona.

“One of the things we’re working on is a one-stop business site where you can access the Department of Revenue or Department of Labor or whatever and update your information,” he said. “You’re in, you’re out, you’re done, saving hours of your time dealing with the frustration of state and local government.”

Rotarians Marcus Sewell, State Rep. Kevin Tanner and Scott Hilton

The commission is also looking into making improvements in occupational licensing requirements which is a barrier to entry into the workforce. Georgia requires licenses for 41 different professions, everything from cosmetologists to librarians.

Hilton pointed out the difficulty of military families who often are frequently required to move from state to state. “When they move here to Georgia, we require them to go through the same process all over again of getting a license, paying a fee, taking a test. Maybe that is some place we could create reciprocity.”

Hilton said the commission is working on other ideas, including tax reform and innovation in technology.

“We have so many technology assets here in the state,” he said. “What is the next big idea – 3D printing, aerospace, autonomous vehicles, drone technology? What is the next big thing we can plant our flag in and say Georgia is going to lead the way in this area?”

One of the Rotarians pointed out that access to capital is one obstacle that has to be overcome.

Hilton agreed and said “One of the things that keeps me awake at night is those kids at UGA or Georgia Tech who say, ‘I have a great idea but all the money is out in California of Austin, Texas, or Boston.’ How do we create an ecosystem here so from birth all the way through, a company has access to the money it needs?”

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

 

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Dawson County surrenders operation of Fire Station 8 to Pickens Co.

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Following the resignation of 12 of 13 volunteer firefighters at Fire Station 8 in the Wildcat Community, Dawson County has relinquished operational control of the station to Pickens County.

Commissioners ratified a new intergovernmental agreement (IGA) at Thursday’s work session that also gives Pickens County responsibility for training and equipping the volunteers and providing workers compensation insurance. Pickens also will continue to provide insurance for the building and contents of the station. Dawson County will transfer title of the fire engine and other contents of the station to Pickens which will insure both the engine and tender. Existing hoses and equipment will remain at the station.

Both counties will continue to utilize the station to provide automatic aid to adjoining areas under the Dawson/Pickens County Automatic Aid Agreement.

Fire Station 8 was constructed in 2009 to provide emergency services to the Wildcat Community, a very remote community, parts of which are in Dawson and Pickens County.

Dawson County attracted strong criticism from residents of the community after a home on Burnt Mountain Road was destroyed by fire late last year. A flaw in the county’s 9-1-1 system failed to notify Fire Station 8, which was the closest one to the fire.

Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond said he and Pickens County Chairman Rob Jones and Dawson County Emergency Services Director Danny Thomas worked together to draft the new agreement and that Thompson is working to modify the Automatic Aid Agreement between the two counties.

 

 

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Dawson gets first look at Pickens IGA proposal counters with key modifications

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Commission Billy Thurmond

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Officials in Dawson and Pickens counties, who have been working to re-write a 10-year old intergovernmental agreement (IGA) in an effort to get Fire Station No. 8 in the Wildcat Community operating again, exchanged first drafts Wednesday.

The station was effectively closed earlier this month when the 13 firefighters – all volunteers – refused an order by Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson to participate in training to help them gain state certification and turned in their resignations.

The area served by Station No. 8 is located in both counties and the two governments entered into an IGA in 2008 to facilitate purchase of the land, construction of the building, and provide for management and training. Since the mass resignation, Dawson County Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond and Pickens County Chairman Rob Jones have been working to re-negotiate the IGA.

“The meetings went very well,” Thurmond said Wednesday. “We both realize the main goal is to protect the community. To do that, we need an agreement in place that everyone can get along with.”

Dawson County received Pickens’ first draft of a new IGA Wednesday and, while there are still many issues to be negotiated, one issue that appears to be agreeable to each side is that Pickens County will assume operational control of the station.

After reviewing the draft, Thurmond said, “This is a work in progress. There probably will be more changes.” Late Wednesday, he discussed Pickens’ draft with Thompson and there were several additional areas of agreement that included, but are not limited to:

  • Pickens will maintain the fire station;
  • Pickens County shall provide insurance for the building and its contents;
  • Pickens County shall assume operation of the fire station and operate it as a substation of Pickens County Emergency Services;
  • Dawson County shall transfer title of Engine 8 and Pickens County will insure it;
  • Dawson County shall maintain the title of the existing tanker truck and insure and maintain it;
  • Pickens County shall obtain the necessary Compliance Certification for the fire station from the Georgia Firefighters Standards and Training Council.

There are also a number of areas where Dawson County wants modifications to the Pickens proposal. They include, but are not limited to, how the counties will respond to situations where automatic aid is provided, who will provide radio equipment for the station, who will provide insurance and drivers for the tanker.

While Pickens County agrees to provide training, equipment and workers compensation insurance for volunteer firefighters, Dawson County wants Pickens to also provide cancer insurance for them just as it does now.

Where the Pickens proposal states that it will provide administrative support and leadership, Dawson wants it clearly spelled out that “All personnel will operate as to their level of certification as outlined by the Georgia Firefighters Standards and Training Council. The newest edition of this manual shall be in effect and the Jurisdiction having Authority shall have operational control at all emergency incidents.”

Once the two sides agree on a draft, it must be submitted to the Boards of Commissioners in both counties for final approval.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

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Pickens Co. decision to train volunteer firefighters violates a 10-year agreement with Dawson County

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County Manager David Headley

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – What has been a simmering disagreement between Dawson and Pickens counties for months, erupted into something far more serious Monday when it was learned that Pickens County Commission Chairman Rob Jones plans to violate an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) that has existed between the two counties since 2008.

Jones has made it clear Pickens County will take over training for the volunteer firefighters at Station 8 in the Wildcat Community, part of which lies inside both counties.

Dawson County Manager David Headley said Jones’ decision violates Section 5 of the IGA which states: “Dawson County shall provide training, equipment and workers compensation insurance for up to ten volunteer firefighters.”

It could also violate Section 12 of the IGA if Pickens plans to pullout of the agreement completely. Section 12 states: “The terms of the agreement shall be renewed automatically each year unless 180 days written notice of termination is provided by the other party.”

Pickens Co. Chairman Rob Jones

“I’m disappointed with the position (Jones) has taken,” Headley said Monday morning. “Dawson County has always been there for that community. Unfortunately, the Pickens County Chairman has chosen not to adhere to the IGA.”

Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson said he has a training class scheduled for the volunteers at Station 8 tomorrow (Dec. 4) at 6 p.m.

Jones decision to violate the IGA places volunteers in the difficult position of deciding whether to attend training provided by Dawson or Pickens counties. Sources have told Fetch Your News the volunteers are being pressured to attend the Pickens training which won’t begin for several more weeks.

Fetch Your News reached out to Chairman Jones but he did not return our phone call.

Station 8 was constructed in 2008. Under the terms of the IGA, Pickens County assumed responsibility for acquiring the land, making improvements to the land, construction of the station, building and contents insurance and LP gas.

Dawson County’s responsibilities include operation of the station, providing fire apparatus, including a fire engine and tanker truck, training and equipping the volunteers as well as administrative support and leadership.

The agreement worked well until recently when a dispute arose over the need for an additional water tank. The existing tank at Station 8 holds only 45,000 gallons of water and once it is drained, it takes several days to refill. The need for an additional water source was driven home last month when a home on Burnt Mountain Ridge Road was destroyed by fire.

In a townhall meeting following that fire — which Headley said was meant to ambush Dawson County officials — Clayton Preble, president of the Wildcat Community, said there was a firm agreement that Dawson County would provide a tank and move it and that Pickens County would construct the foundation.

Headley said that is nonsense. “There was an informal discussion but it never went any further than that,” he said. “Something like that would have to be approved by the Board of Commissioners and the issue was never placed before them.”

Headley said former Emergency Services Director Lanier Swafford located a tank the county could have obtained for the price of moving it, which Swafford estimated to be about $10,000. But the actual cost turned out to be much higher — between $50,000 and $60,000. Moreover, no contractor was willing to bid on moving it.

Headley and Thompson spent more than an hour being grilled by the residents of Wildcat Community during the townhall meeting while Jones sat in the back of the room and was never questioned.

“It seems like their refusal to adhere to the IGA is in retaliation for us not giving them what they want with regard to the water tank,” Headley said.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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County receives health and wellbeing grant

News

PRESS RELEASE

For more information:
Kristen Cloud
706-344-3501
kcloud@dawsoncounty.org

Dawsonville, Ga. – Dawson County has been awarded the ACCG – Group Health Benefits Program Health Promotion & Wellbeing Grant by ACCG, Georgia’s County Association. The grant will be used to fund flu shots for county employees.

Dawson County is one of 36 members to receive the Health Promotion & Wellbeing Grant based on its commitment to employee health and demonstrated collaboration with other community groups and organizations engaged in health promotion.

“A successful wellness program is designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, which helps to control healthcare coshealth caretribute to a happier, more productive workforce,” said Douglas County Commissioner and president of the ACCG – GHBP Board of Directors, Michael Mulcare. “Wellness programs greatly benefit employees, their families and the employer – everyone benefits.”

The Health Promotion & Wellbeing Grants are awarded statewide to ACCG members that are undertaking health and wellness initiatives to transform their living and working communities into healthier environments.  The grants are to provide assistance in promoting worksite programs designed to enhance the health and wellness of county employees and family members.

As part of the grant process, the member designates a Health Promotion Champion to develop a workplace health promotion action plan and to attend the Health Promotion Champion training class offered by Local Government Risk Management Services (LGRMS). In addition, employees will be offered a confidential health assessment program using a Health Risk Appraisal, with blood pressure screening and health improvement feedback.

Wellness programs have a reliable track record of improving employee health and quality of life while reducing medical claims and improving workplace morale. ACCG offers wellness services to all members through LGRMS, a not-for-profit agency operated jointly with the Georgia Municipal Association.

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