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Consumer-Driven Legislation Headline the Week

By Sen. CHIP PEARSON Columnist

Georgia consumers and businesses stand to benefit from two bills that have already received final passage by the full legislature this session. Banking customers in good standing, notably businesses and homeowners, now have a greater chance of getting their loans renewed. Current state law restricts state-chartered banks from lending more than 15 percent of their capital to any one borrower. With the recent pressure on bank capital levels, current law has had the unintended consequence of preventing banks from renewing loans, even with great customers. This hurts banks by kicking out some of their paying customers, and it hurts borrowers who are meeting their obligations. House Bill 926 gives more flexibility to state-chartered banks whose legal lending limit has been lowered because of declining capital on their balance sheet. Experts predict this will help Georgia consumers, businesses, and large borrowers in addition See LEGISLATION, page 3A


Union County Republican Party: The Union County Republican Party will be holding its February meeting on February 20th at 9:00 AM at JB Roosters (next to Save-A-Lot) at 117 Murphy Highway, Blairsville, GA. There will be an optional buffet breakfast at the meeting for $6.  Attendees are asked to please bring some canned or dried food goods for our local Union County Food Bank as they are in desperate need of foods.   Speakers for February include: Kathy Cox, incumbent for State Superintendent of Schools - Kathy has been State Superintendent of Schools since 2003 and in that time, she has set Georgia’s schools on a path toward excellence. Guided by the Georgia Department of Education’s Strategic Plan, Superintendent Cox has overseen many improvements to public education in Georgia. See SPEAKERS, page 3A


Young Harris College 2009 Year in Review

Volume 16, Issue 7

Sears contributes to

Local Scholarship Campaign Young Harris College recently received a 50-inch Panasonic HD plasma flat-screen television from Andy Burks, owner of Sears of Blairsville, Ga., as a contribution to the College’s Local Scholarship Campaign. YHC President Cathy Cox and Board of Associates Chairman Rick Davenport, of Rick’s Rental in Blairsville, Ga., presented the television to Mary Colwell, of Blairsville, Ga., for her fundraising efforts in the College’s Local Scholarship Campaign. Colwell was the Board of Associates member who raised the most scholarship funds for local students between November 2009 and January 2010. About the Local Scholarship Campaign More than 150 students from the surrounding counties of Towns, Union, Fannin and Gilmer in Georgia and Cherokee and Clay in North Carolina are currently enrolled at Young Harris College. Reflecting a commitment by the College and the local community to these students, the Local Scholarship Campaign was established to raise funds to support the educational goals of local students at Young Harris College. The Young Harris College Board of Associates, a 29-member group of local business and civic leaders who serve as ambassadors for the College as well as a sounding board for the community, leads this effort. Each fall the Board of Associates launches the annual Local Scholarship Campaign in an effort to assist in providing aid to the students coming to Young Harris College from these six communities. Students like Julie Kelley, a sophomore allied health major from Union County, benefit from the scholarship money raised. “By receiving support from the Local Scholarship program, I have been able to stay close to home to attend college. I was not ready to move somewhere else for college, and I don’t think I would have achieved as much if I had moved away to a bigger school. This is home for me,� she said.

Contributed Photo

Young Harris College President Cathy Cox ( far left), Sears of Blairsville owner Andy Burks (second from left) and Board of Associates Chairman Rick Davenport ( far right) present a 50-inch Panasonic HD plasma flat-screen television to Board of Associates member Mary Colwell, of Blairsville, Ga., for raising the most YHC scholarship funds for local students between November 2009 and January 2010. Sophomore Kendric McDonald, and empowers students through the an education major from Cherokee highest quality liberal arts education. County, N.C., said, “My scholarship Long known for nurturing students has meant a lot to both me and my during the first two years of college, parents. When deciding which col- Young Harris College received aclege to attend, cost was a determining creditation in 2008 to grant bachelor’s factor. Thanks to the Local Scholar- degrees. The College currently has ship Campaign, I was able to attend approximately 700 students across the college of my choice and play four divisions—Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and baseball at Young Harris College.� Social and Behavioral Science—and About Young Harris College Founded in 1886, Young Harris plans to increase enrollment to 1,200 College is a private, baccalaureate de- over the next few years. The historic gree-granting college located in the campus in Young Harris, Ga., is curbeautiful mountains of north Geor- rently undergoing major campus gia. Historically affiliated with The improvements to accommodate the United Methodist Church, Young College’s growth. For more informaHarris College educates, inspires tion, visit

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Top Priority: Finding Jobs By Lt. Gov. C ASEY C AGLE Contributing Columnist

Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time talking about one of my top priorities this session: creating new jobs for Georgians. While government can’t create jobs, we can create the right environment for business to thrive and grow. The first step we must take is to provide a balanced budget that will keep our taxes low and control spending, allowing us to find new ways to spur business growth. The facts are stark: Georgia’s unemployment rate has climbed from 4.3% in January of ’07 to 10.3% today, tying the record high for Georgia and exceeding the national unemployment rate of 10.0%.  This means that more than a half-million Georgians are out of work and the number continues to grow. Although we have our challenges, our state is weathering the storm better than most other states, we are one of only 7 states with a AAA bond rating and our fiscal conservatism is going to lead us through this economic downturn. States like California and New York are falling off a cliff with budget deficits in the tens of billions of dollars and are looking to tax everything that moves.  Oregon just voted to raise its income taxes on high-earning individuals and to raise fees on businesses.  These are not the kind of actions you will see here in Georgia.     Instead, you will see Senate Republicans investing heavily in making jobs a top priority amidst a struggling economy.  Recently, we rolled out a jobs package for the 2010 legislative session.  This newly revised legislation includes tax incentives to create jobs for out-of-work Georgians and for businesses to relocate to Georgia. It would waive startup fees imposed by the state on new businesses, offer tax credits to companies hiring unemployed Georgians, and reduce the capital gains tax by up to 50% through various trigger mechanisms. A piece included in the package that I have been pushing for includes an “Angel Investor Tax Credit.�  Research proves that 80% of new jobs in Georgia are created from small businesses.  Angel investors are individuals who write a personal check providing a boost to high-risk, early state entrepreneurial endeavors.   In this current economy, it is extremely difficult for new businesses to find the capital necessary to expand and grow. Angels fill a critical role in financing and many businesses stay open and See JOB CREATION, page 3A

Did you know that same business hired more than 60 new employees in 2009, growing to a total workforce of 210 fulltime, parttime and temporary employees in the past year? Would you be surprised to know that business spent almost $2 million in its day-to-day operations with at least130areabusinessesoneverythingfromofficesupplies to automobiles, auto repairs, video productions, carpeting, painting, printing and graphics, plumbing supplies, hardware, food and lodging for guests, cleaning services, advertising, flowers, gifts and more?

Through Mountain Mists

Last week’s column gave a summary of the family of Juan Wellborn and Emma Lance Reece. Their son, Byron Herbert Reece (1917-1958) became the famous poet and novelist we are hearing more about recently as we through the Byron Herbert Reece Society seek to perpetuate his memory and his works.  Let’s take some “time-out� to enjoy a bit of his inimitable poetry.  Think of relaxing by your fire or under a warm blanket during these cold days and read with meaning and absorption.  I offer first: Two Byron Herbert Reece   Poems In the Far Dark Woods Go Roving   (Reece Family Series, Part 6) Whenever the heart’s in trouble Caught in the snare of years, And the sum of tears is double

The amount of youthful tears,  In the far, dark woods go roving And find there to match your mood A kindred spirit moving Where the wild winds blow in the wood.   This poem was published in Bow Down in Jericho, 1950. The mind is a remarkable organ of the body.  When troubles perplex and answers seem absent, when one is “caught in the snare of years,� there is a quick escape.  This poem describes in brief but exceptionally crafted lines how this escape is possible. Just think of another, more pleasant purview.  Since Poet Reece loved the woods, nature and everything about his mountain environment, he would think of

See COLLEGE, page 8A

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By Jim Fitzgerald


Sentinel Guest Columnist

Sarah Palin, bless her heart, is such a perfect spokesperson for the tea party crowd. I watched portions of her speech in Nashville before the tea party elite and could only shake my head. She has such a way of saying nothing so well it grabs your attention and leads you to believe she is on to something big. However, after the euphoria dies down, you sit there reflecting on her speech and think, “uh?� It slowly dawns on you that she speaks in broad strokes, stringing together a series of popular sound bites that convey little more than patriotic fervor. As someone trained in critical thinking, I winch when I hear Sarah talk about drill, baby, drill, and realize that she has failed to drill down into her “positions.� Do not think that critical thinking is about criticizing everything. Indeed, it is about taking an argument apart, looking at its components, and making up your mind whether the argument has validity, whether the argument has merit, or whether the argument is robust or weak. It is examining an argument to make sure you are not suckered by the snake oil salesperson. However, Sarah fails to provide any details. Therefore, you cannot assess the impact or the consequences should her broad statements be converted into policy. For a thinking person, this is heresy. She mines the shallows and collects the easy pickings, leaving behind complexity and detail. Sarah taps into anger. She taps into emotion. She taps into the

mood of her audience. However, she does not tap into reason. She is the best snake oil salesperson I have ever seen working a crowd. She is like a mirror, reflecting the mood, and misinformation, of her audience. You really have little idea about her true, behind-the-scenes beliefs. She is so good at reflecting your beliefs you believe they are her beliefs. She reflects, and feeds, the worst emotional excesses of tea party members. When she says, “We want our Constitution back,� I wonder what part of the Constitution is lost. I am unaware that I have lost any of my rights granted in that document. At the tea party convention in Nashville, it was said that we do not need any document but the “four pages of the Constitution.� I guess they forgot the Bill of Rights, the abolition of slavery, giving women the right to vote, gun ownership, and a host of other issues not addressed in the Constitution. Sarah reflects the tea party crowd because they speak before they think. They forget that the states had to ratify any changes to the Constitution. There is little doubt I would like sitting down and having a beer with Sarah. I think we could have a great conversation. However, I do not think the conversation would have much substance. Interview after interview reveals that she does not know basic facts about the issues important to our country. Anybody who thinks looking at Russia from Alaska constitutes foreign policy experience has just included anyone who has ever travelled to a foreign land. What Sarah has going for her is

a folksy, down-home friendliness. It is with a smile that she criticizes everything without offering solutions. Indeed, her criticisms reflect her lack of understanding of the issues. You cannot help but like her as a vivacious person but the shallowness and negativity of her arguments does little to lift the political discourse. Or, include facts. To listen to Sarah is like listening to a string of marginally related ideas. Her talks go something like this: “We need to be energy independent and give our hard working people a tax cut and make sure there is a gun in every home and put our country first and get our Constitution back and reclaim the freedoms we have lost, and ‌ did I say give our people a tax cut?â€? I will make a deal with you. I will show you Obama’s birth certificate if you show me Sarah’s high school diploma. Sarah quit the governorship of Alaska after two years because she recognized that more money could be made running around the country talking sound bites. Compared to running a state – which requires detailed, complex thinking - addressing angry crowds who demand little more than platitudes is easy pickings. People who refuse to do their homework are destined to follow snake oil salespersons like Sarah. Intellectually, the easiest route to travel is to rail against positions for which one lacks understanding and detail. However, to be a true patriot, one needs to be informed about the issues facing this country and appreciate the complexity of society, and thus solutions.


The GOP (?) TEA Party

To the Editor: The Democrats are jumping with joy that the tea-party crowd has splintered into its more than 200 entities and disrupted the Republican Party, to boot, they say.  The Republicans are oblivious to the tea-party phenomenon and claim victories for themselves in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.   And the tea-party movement keeps on truckin’ like some disjointed “herd� of cats towards a platform of balanced budget, small government, and low taxes.  But wait, wasn’t that the platform of the Good Old Party circa mid 20th century, and before?  And wasn’t that about the time we sent men to the moon and before we sent jobs overseas, in droves? 

A time before the Bush dynasty, Newt, and whatever it is we have now?  But what came out of Nashville is that the teaparty folks are putting away their flags and forming PAC’s to support conservative candidates from both parties. Rasmussen says independents (teaparty folks) make up a third of the population and gaining.    So maybe the tea-party phenomenon is not something new.  Maybe it’s just the mid-stream American heartland majority waking up from a long nap like Rip Van Winkle.  If this is the case, perhaps you should join the movement, whatever it is, where ever it is?    M. J. Blanchard Blairsville

The Green Column Are you thinking of building or remodeling? The best time to start working on lower energy costs is before the plans are made. The greatest savings for the least cost starts with how the building sits on the site. By putting the most glass where the warm winter sun shines, the least where the hot summer sun shines, and designing the roof to keep summer sun off the house, heating and cooling costs can often be cut in half. Add protection from cold winter winds, allow cool summer breezes, and you have a building that not only costs much less to heat and cool, but it is much more comfortable. Is there more that can be done? Yes. A little more money spent on good quality spray foam insulation, windows, and doors, and some homes hardly need heat or air conditioning at all. Air tight, well insulated buildings are much easier and less costly to keep comfortable. Following these principles first usually brings the greatest increases in efficiency for the least cost. It might also leave enough budget to afford some other green features. Everyone asks about solar and wind. In most areas of our moun-

By RICHARD C . MACCREA Andrews Valley Initiative

tains, the best of these options is a solar water heater with an electric tank water heater for backup. Attaching this system to radiant floor heating system can also be very efficient. The system is simple, very efficient, and might help you qualify for some tax credits. And everyone loves radiant floor heat! Geothermal heat pumps are also very efficient ways to heat and cool your home or building. They usually add several thousand to the cost of a typical home. By using the ground temperature, they can extract heat all winter long. They are a great option where it is not possible to design the glass for solar. By adding spray foam insulation, the geothermal system can be smaller, and cost a little less.

If you are buying new appliances, why not choose energy efficient models? Have you considered an induction stove, a smaller convection/ microwave oven instead of the standard oven? You might enjoy a basement root cellar too. You can also have a switch to shut off the outlets to your electronics. Many of these electronics use electricity even when they are not running. In some homes this can consume more than $20 per month. All of these are convenient ways to save energy. Another field being studied is energy efficient lighting. At this time fluorescent lighting is the best deal for most buildings. But this might soon be surpassed by LED lighting. Meanwhile the engineers have gone back to the laboratories and are developing some super efficient incandescent bulbs. Our next column will consider our Greening of Andrews Valley Program. Your question might be the perfect topic for a future column. Email me. Richard C. MacCrea is the director of The Greening of Andrews Valley, a program of Andrews Valley Initiative. He works in the field of energy efficient, green building.


I never think about being old until I think about how old my children and grandchildren are! My thought today: Old age is fifteen years older than I am.—Oliver Wendell Holmes. As I mentioned in last week’s article, my husband and I just returned from Florida, visiting with his mother who was celebrating her 104th birthday. She constantly tells the family members that we will never live as long as she has! “The world has gone crazy!â€? This is her favorite expression, and her second one is, “You children just don’t understand how it feels to get old!?â€? She is right; we don’t know how it feels to be 104! (Sometimes I think I may feel close?!) Getting older is one of those things that nobody welcomes but no one can avoid. There is no alternative to getting older. Therefore, we have to find a way to welcome our advancing years with a positive frame of mind. Here are some suggestions on how to keep old age from acting up! Keep Active – Getting old does not mean we have to vegetate in front of the TV, with the highlight of the week a trip to Walmart or the grocery store. It is important to keep our mind and, where possible, our body active. If we don’t exercise our mental faculties, it will not be a surprise if we lose our concentration and ability to engage in critical thought. We should try to be a lifelong learner; if we keep our mind permanently busy we will retain our mental faculties for longer. We shall also gain a feeling of continuing self improvement right into old age. Live in the Here and Now – Don’t live constantly thinking about: “if only‌â€?. There will be many things we might have done differently, but we have to feel the past is dust. Focus on what you can do now to improve your life. This does not mean we can-


not cherish fond memories; but, at the same time we need to give most importance to the present moment. None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm. – Henry David Thoreau. Age is in the Heart – We can be in our 20s and have the attitude of an old person. Similarly, we can be in our 70s and still have a childlike approach to life. Age is very much a mental perspective. To remain young at heart we need to retain an open mind and look for the good things in life. Don’t allow yourself to focus on the limitations of age. Instead, think about what you can do. Offer gratitude for small things that you perhaps didn’t have time to appreciate when young. They say that age is all in your mind. The trick is keeping it from creeping down into your body. – Author Unknown. Newness – No matter how old you are, try to look for newness in life. Avoid repeating the same routine, try learning new skills or visiting different places and making new friends. If we are constantly expanding our horizons, life will offer new challenges whatever our physical age. If we compare ourselves to other people and what we could do when we were young, we will always feel a sense of inadequacy. We start from where we

are and seek to make progress in our own way. The personal joy is in making an honest effort; it gives a sense of satisfaction that doesn’t depend on outer results. Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. – Henry Ford. Don’t Complain – Forgive me, but I often find that certain old people become chronic complainers. It seems in life, especially when we are older, there is no end of things to criticize and complain about. In one way they are right—there are many imperfections in life. But, if we only see the darker side of life, we focus excessively on negative things and this will be reflected in our unhappy state of mind. It is important to be detached from the problems of the world. Also, when our body slows down we have to work hard to focus on other things. This helps us avoid focusing too much on the limitations and pains of our body. There is always a lot to be thankful for, if you take the time to look. For example, I’m sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don’t hurt. – Author Unknown. Always keep in mind a healthy diet and moderation in your consumption of sweets/desserts/ alcohol. As for nourishing your aging body, the best diet is still low fat with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Add proteins of chicken, fish and pork. Keep in mind to drink plenty of water and fruit juice. Claudia Parks, RN, is a former doctor’s office and emergency room nurse and retired as an educator from Fulton County Schools. She writes Your Health Matters as a public service; the information here is designed to help you make informed choices about your health. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your physician. Claudia and her husband now make their home in the north Georgia Mountains, near Blairsville. Claudia can be reached at yhm@

HEROES provides books for babies Several weeks ago Prevent Child Abuse Habersham ran a simple ad in the paper requesting help with the “First Steps� program. North Georgia Technical College student Tasha Horne saw it and immediately took it to her HEROES (Having Equity Resources and Opportunities Equal Success) student organization. First Steps is a community-based parenting support and education program that is provided to families of newborns after the birth of their baby at the Habersham County Medical Center.   First Steps volunteers offer emotional support, a gift packet of helpful information specifically selected for parents of newborns, and referrals to community resources. 

Tasha’s idea was to have the club collect children’s books for the First Steps program gift packets. Club advisor Trudy Ayers contacted First Steps Coordinator Tari Ramos and the students were soon kicking off their drive. Placing collection stations throughout the campus, more than 60 new and “gently loved� books were taken by a very appreciative Ms. Ramos on Wednesday, February 10. She will include them in her gift bags to new mothers in the maternity ward at Habersham County Medical Center. “I have always wanted to include books in these packets for the new mothers, but I could only stretch the budget so far,� explained Ramos. “Reading is so important and we want new mothers to start reading from the get-go.� “It was the best thing that we have done in this club so far,� said an excited Krystal Moss, President of the Clarkesville Campus HE-

ROES. “We have a lot of plans for the future!� The group plans to continue collecting books, taking advantage of the momentum that is building. “I have several books at home that I need to bring in,� said new club member Dana Sullens. The HEROES club is an organization for non-traditional students. Non-traditional students are persons who meet one of the following criteria: must be 27 years of age or older, a single parent, a single pregnant woman, a displaced homemaker, or enrolled in a program in which they are of a minority gender. The purpose of the HEROES club is to develop leadership, teamwork, and technology skills of the members. For more information on Prevent Child Abuse Habersham or First Steps, contact or e-mail          

Tari Ramos is surrounded by NGTC's HEROES students with children's books for First Steps.


NE WS Mists:


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the “far, dark woods� where he had walked and meditated. They weren’t really that far away.  Just a thought away.  And so it is with us.  It’s not that we shirk from the troubles we might be facing.  Instead, a brief refreshment, even in the mind’s eye, can bring release and restoration.  Try replacing the “Far Dark Wood� (which might seem foreboding to you) with your own favorite resting place.  You will be surprised how much the recollection will aid your ailing spirit.   Another poem, “The Speechless Kingdom,� also published in his 1950 Bow Down in Jericho collection, seems, to me, to be stating his purposes for writing.  When I lead a writers’ workshop or speak to a group on the poetry of Reece, I always read this poem as his statement of purpose for writing.  What a calling he had, and how well he fulfilled it in his gift of poetry to us:   The Speechless Kingdom Unto a speechless kingdom I Have pledged my tongue, I have given my word To make the centuries-silent sky

As vocal as a bird.  The stone that aeons-long was held As mute through me has cried aloud Against its being bound, has spelled Its boredom to a crowd   Of trees that leaned down low to hear One with complaint so like their own --I being to the trees and ear And tongue to the mute stone.   And I being pledged to fashion speech For all the speechless joy to find The wonderful words that each to each They utter in my mind. I cannot add an iota or even a thought to such a proclamation of purpose for the poet.  To be the voice, the tongue for “a speechless kingdom,� the “ear to trees,� the “tongue to mute stone.�  And, furthermore to be able to “fashion speech� so that the

very stones can cry out, the trees can register their voice, the skies stretched in silence above are heard through his poetry! What a gift, and how well he executed his gift, his calling to allow us to see in new and vibrant ways the “Speechless Kingdom� for whom he spoke.  I need space to point out metaphor, simile, personification, rhyme, rhythm, other poetic elements he employed with such expertise.  But if you are one who likes to pursue poetry on your own, I ask you to go back and reread each of the poems, absorbing all the nuances of excellent poetry you find in these two offerings from Reece. The Reece family has a long and rich heritage in America, Wales and England as we’ve seen by previous articles.  Through the words of one of them, Byron Herbert Reece, mountain farmer, poet and novelist, we are able to look at the things he wrote about in a different and more lucent light.  The speechless speak through his words. We are rich, indeed, because he wrote.

Richard Woods, candidate for State Superintendent - Richard has a great passion for education. Even after twenty-one years, the pulse for education beats as strong as it did when he first walked into the classroom. This passion has led him to ask the question, “Am I happy with education in Georgia?� Sadly, the answer is no. Richard has had a great burden over the direction education has taken and continues to take in Georgia for many years. Therefore, he has decided to continue to make a positive change for Georgia’s children, parents, and educators on a statewide level.  Linda Herren, current National Committeewoman - Linda has served the Republican Party on many levels for over 35 years. Her focus in every elected position has been communication. She constantly strives to keep every activ-

ist informed and receiving information and tools to assist them in electing Republicans in their communities. She has always made herself available to assist activists throughout the state with their input, questions and requests. She intends to continue the service as your National Committeewoman bringing the RNC to Georgia’s grass roots Republicans. Tom Knox, candidate for State Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner – Tom currently serves in the State House of Representatives. He has been a life-long Republican, starting out going door-to-door as a child for Dwight Eisenhower and serving in a number of grassroots roles in his local GOP, including Chairman of the Forsyth Republican Party where he won the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award for dedication to conservative principles.  Tom was first

elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2000, rising to become the first-ever Republican Chairman of the House Insurance Committee in 2005. On March 13, 2010, the Union County Republican Party will be holding its first annual Ronald Reagan Day Dinner to honor America’s fortieth President. Radio host and television commentator Martha Zoller will be the guest speaker.  The dinner will be held from 6 to 8 and tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.  Proceeds from the event will go to the Union County Republican Party’s Ronald Reagan Memorial Scholarship.  Everyone is urged to attend and “win one for the Gipper�.  Additional information on these events may be obtained at http:// or by calling David at 706-781-1013.

and a way for Georgia to step up its game as a major player in the bioscience and technology industries – key growth sectors for the future of Georgia’s economy. This targeted approach will lead the way to job creation as Georgia sits as one of the nation’s leaders in new discoveries and boasts unmatched research institutions.  Georgia has always prided itself in being an innovator and this strategic focus on our intellectual assets will reap rewards.  In fact, we’ve seen it already. One Georgia company, In-

ternet Security Systems, was saved from closing its doors because of an Angel investor. And a few years later, sold their business for millions to IBM.  I believe we can see more success stories just like this if we make this piece of legislation a priority. Our economy will recover and businesses will expand again.  By proactively enacting these incentives, Georgia will be positioned as the destination for job creation.

not others, typically rural carriers. Rural customers will benefit in the balancing of rates, as their carriers typically must charge more for service. Regional carriers who may lose revenue while trying to reach financial parity will be temporarily compensated from a special Universal Access Fund. Best of all, this bill does not burden the consumer with new fees or taxes. In a state that’s severely financially strapped, we are doing all we can this session to make state government as efficient as possible while continuing to provide core services. Sometimes this requires utilizing creative tools. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Boy Scouts of America have come up with just such an idea to keep our state parks in top condition. Georgia’s state parks are a huge asset to the state’s economy, particu-

larly our tourism industry. They have suffered from painful budget cuts, requiring maintenance and improvement projects to be put on hold. Cuts have been made to staff, losing valuable jobs for the state and vital personnel for the parks. The Scouting for State Parks initiative represents the ingenuity and creativity of Georgia citizens that make our state a great place to live. Through this partnership, state parks will receive maintenance and care at no additional cost to taxpayers by enlisting many of Georgia’s 200,000 scouts, volunteers, and alumni. Each of Georgia’s thirteen Boy Scout chapters has committed to undertake a service project for a local state park during this year. Additionally, councils will encourage youth pursuing Eagle Scout, scouting’s highest rank, to perform their capstone community project in a Georgia State Park. Annually, 1,200 Georgia Boy Scouts earn the Eagle Scout rank. The partnership comes during the centennial anniversary of scouting, and I was honored to welcome scouts from across Georgia to Boy Scout Day at the Capitol and recognize this notable milestone. Sen. Chip Pearson serves as chairman of the Economic Development Committee. He represents the 51st Senate District which includes Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Pickens, and Union counties and portions of Forsyth and White counties. He may be reached at 404.656.9221 or via e-mail at chip.pearson@senate.

Job Creation: Continued from page 1A

stay in Georgia because of their participation. To encourage more Angels to invest in Georgia’s entrepreneurs, we will provide a tax credit of half of the total investment, up to $50,000. Twenty-one other states have implemented programs to incentivize Angels and North Carolina’s tax credit program along resulted in nearly 700 new jobs with average salaries of over $58,000. This is bigger than a simple tax credit, however; it is an investment in emerging technologies

Legislation: Continued from page 1A

Sen. Butterworth Hosts Toccoa-Stephens County Day at the State Capitol


State Sen. Jim Butterworth (RClarkesville) hosted Tocooa-Stephens County Day at the State Capitol. It was an opportunity for state and local leaders to come together, foster relationships and work collaboratively to further economic growth in Northeast Georgia. “These counties will be strong leaders as Georgia grows out of this economic downturn,� said Sen. Butterworth. “I was honored to host the over 40 local leaders and citizens who came to visit the State Capitol and I look forward to discussing how to further

promote job growth and economic prosperity in Stephens County.� Officials from the city of Toccoa, Stephens County, Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce, and Stephens County Development Authority travelled to the State Capitol to meet with their legislators and other state leaders. These local leaders and citizens, along with Sen. Butterworth and Rep. Michael Harden (R-Toccoa), attended to the legislative priorities of Toccoa-Stephens County including improved infrastructure, economic development and tourism. The Senate adopted Senate Resolution 1031, sponsored by Sen. Butter-

worth, recognizing Feb. 10 as ToccoaStephens County Day at the State Capitol. The resolution mentioned several notable aspects of the counties. The City of Toccoa and Stephens County were deemed a Signature Community City by the Department of Community Affairs and an Entrepreneur Friendly county by Governor Sonny Perdue. Sen. Jim Butterworth represents the 50th Senate District which includes Towns, Rabun, Habersham, Stephens, Banks, Franklin, and Hart counties along with a portion of White County. He can be reached by phone at 404.463.5257 or by email at

to state banks. Every day, Georgia businesses depend on these loans to stay afloat. This will help keep the door of more businesses open, and helps keep banks in business. As Georgia continues to lead the nation in bank failures, this legislation could not have come too soon. As I’ve said before, the legislature’s responsibility is to create an atmosphere across the state that encourages economic growth. Part of our effort to achieve such an atmosphere includes reforming telecommunications throughout the state to encourage free-market competition. We passed a vital telecom reform package (House Bill 168) that levels the playing field between carriers by reducing regulations and lowering access charges that applied to some telecommunications companies and

DDS in Blairsville begins new operating schedule Open Thursday and Friday each week Effective the week of February 15th, the Department of Driver Services (DDS) customer service center located at 37 Chase Drive, Blairsville, will change operating hours to Thursdays and Fridays only from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. The center will be closed each week on Tuesday and Wednesday.  All centers are closed on Monday. 

“DDS continues to evaluate data statewide to make operational changes to best manage our resources based on customer demand,� said DDS Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier. “As always, customers may conduct many transactions such as replacing a lost license or initiating a change of address online via even when centers are

closed,� he added. For customers who must visit in person on Tuesday or Wednesday, the DDS center in Blue Ridge, Fannin County, 211 Industrial Blvd, Blue Ridge, hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm.  Please visit for all location and service information.

Subscribe to the Sentinel 1 Year - $25

Call (828) 389-8338

Sen. Pearson celebrates 100 years of scouting alongside Georgia Boy Scout troops

New tax break for contributions to the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund A new tax relief law allows people who contributed in 2010 to charities providing earthquake relief in Haiti to claim these donations on their 2009 tax return. You can receive an immediate tax benefit, rather than having to wait until you file the next year’s return.

Certain requirements apply: Only cash contributions made to these charities after January 11, 2010 and before March 1, 2010 are eligible. This includes contributions made by text message, check, credit card, or debit card. The contributions must be specifically for the relief of victims in

areas affected by the January 12 earthquake in Haiti. You may deduct these contributions on either your 2009 or 1020 returns, but not both. For additional information go to and search Haiti Earthquake Relief.

Page 4A


C A L E NDA R U n i o n :  U p c o m i n g   E v e n t s UG Hospital Auxiliary to host a Gold Buying Event on Tuesday, February 23rd from Noon to 7:00pm at the Union General Hospital in Blairsville. Go through your jewelry box and pull out all the old pieces you no longer wear—broken chains, a single earring, out of style earring jackets, class ring, a forgotten boyfriend ring or pendant, an old gold watch (doesn’t matter if it works) and bring it to the hospital. Southeast Gold Buyers will determine if its 10K, 14K

or 18K and you can trade it for current market prices and get PAID on the spot!!!! Southeast Gold Buyers will be making a GRQDWLRQWREHQHĂ€WWKH+RVSLWDODQG1XUVing Home Special Needs and to provide scholarship for local medical students. For more information on this event, please contact Pat Cook at 706 781-1908 or email

Grassroots group

Will be meeting on February 11th at 6:30 P.M. at the Civic Center. Advocacy discussions will be conducted. Jeff Langley candidate for 'LVWULFW$WWRUQH\ZLOOGLVFXVVWKHRIĂ€FH-HUHP\

Jones candidates for 9th District will discuss the grassroots efforts and his campaign. Please bring non-perishable food for the 9th district food bank. Contact 706/745-7201.

Free native plant symposium

February 20, 9am-3pm at NC Arboretum, Asheville, presented by NC Native Plant Society. Ed Schwartzman, NCDENR, Natural HerLWDJH3URJUDPSUHVHQWVRQĂ RUDRI1DQWDKDOD River; Scott Dean, WNC Naturally, on Great 6PRN\0RXQWDLQV1DWLRQDO3DUNZLOGĂ RZHU hike and many other presentations. Brought to you by Gardens of The Blue Ridge & Carolina

U n i o n :  R e c u r r i n g     E v e n t s SUPPORT Road to Recovery

Are you a cancer patient? Do you need a ride to and from your treatment sessions? A lack of transportation should not be the reason why cancer patients do not receive the life-saving cancer treatment they need. The American Cancer Society offers their Road to Recovery program to help transport cancer patients to and from their treatment. The Society has a toll-free number that you may call, and an operator will put you in touch with local volunteers that give cancer patients without personal transportation rides to and from their cancer treatment sessions. Give them a call at 1-800-ACS-2345.

Man to Man

Prostate Cancer Support Group—3rd Monday of every month from 5:00-6:30 p.m. at The Cancer Treatment Center Auditorium, 750 Deep South Road, Blairsville.

Parkinson’s support

Our group meets at 3 p.m. on the 2nd Wednesday of each month in the conference room of the Union County Public Library. For further information contact Paula Wilde at (706) 745- 6594 or Peter and Helen Schultze at (706) 745-9171.

Alcoholics mous


Blairsville group meets every Monday and Wednesday night at 8 p.m. and Saturday mornings at 8 a.m. at the Mountain Presbyterian Church on Hwy. 515. For more information call 706-994-4462.


TOPS (Take Pounds Off Sensibly) support group is moving to a new location at Zion United Methodist Church, 4812 Young Harris Hwy. Time weigh in 5:00; meeting starts at 5:30. Come join us to learn how to lose weight the sensible way. Membership fee of $24 includes monthly magazine subscription. Monthly awards and contests, weekly programs on nutrition and health. For more information call Sandy at 706-835-1607.

Morning Group


Regency Hospice announces Men’s Morning Coffee Group at Mary Ann’s Restaurant. For men who have a lost spouse, partner, or experienced other losses and would like to share with other men, please join us on Tuesday at 10 a.m. We meet the first and third Tuesday morning of each month. For more information call Suzanne Repp, Bereavement Counselor at Regency Hospice in Hiawassee, Ga., at 800-577-8791.

Cancer Group


At the United Community Bank in Hayesville, N.C. Patients, families and friends are all welcome to attend. United Community Bank is located at the corner of Hwy. 64 and Hwy. 69. Meeting time is 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The group will meet twice a month (on the 2nd and 4th Mondays). For more information, please call Janet Curns evenings at 828-3890295.

Mourning to Joy

GriefShare is a Biblically-based weekly support group for people grieving the death of someone close. It’s a place where you can be around people who understand how you feel and the pain of your loss. At GriefShare, you’ll learn valuable information that will help you through this difficult time in your life. A GriefShare group meets every Tuesday, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. starting September 1, at All Saints Lutheran Church in Blairsville. Call 706 745-7777 for more information.


Chapter J of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) meets the fourth Saturday of each month at Daniel’s Steakhouse, Hiawassee, GA. We eat at 11 AM followed by the meeting at 12:00 during which rides and other activities are announced and discussed. We encourage current members of the GWRRA and anyone interested in becoming a member to join us. All motorcyclists are welcome and we look forward to seeing participants from other chapters. There are great rides coming up and we hope many of you will join us. For further information, contact Chapter Director, June Gottlieb, 706-8967403

Tri-State Women

Formerly known as Business Women of Blairsville, the Tri-State Business Women is an organization of entrepreneurial women in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee who own and operate their own businesses and are a positive force in the community. Their vision and mission is to support one another in continuing success through networking and marketing. If you are a woman in business in the area, there is a place for you to receive support, gain leads, and spread the word about your practice or business in the area. Meetings are held every Tuesday of the month at 8 a.m. at Grinds N Glazes in Blairsville. For more information, please contact Susanne Johnson, President, at 706-781-1678 or Cathy Wheeler at 706781-1050.

Ga. Mtn. Writers Club

We meet 10 a.m. to noon the second Wednesday of the month at the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic church on the Young Harris Highway. We have no membership dues or electHGRIÀFHUVDQGPHHWWRVKDUHRXUZULWLQJV and provide helpful criticism, inspiration, motivation and encouragement to each other. Everyone is welcome. You do not have to be a writer - just visit and enjoy listening to readings and discussion. You will be entertained – and maybe acquire a new interest. Call for information: Larry Casey at 781-6636 or Ellie Dobson at 745-0678. Knights of Columbus, North Georgia Council Knights of Columbus, North Georgia Council, monthly meeting is on the second Thursday of the month and meets 7:30 p.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Blairsville. All active members are invited to attend the meeting and social hour.

and Drums bagpipe band is offering free instruction to all who want to learn how to play the Great Highland Bagpipe or learn Regimental Drumming. The band meets each Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon in the Parish Hall of Saint Clare’s Episcopal Church for instruction and practice. For further information, please call 706-835-9071 or 706-745-3526.

Young Harris Al Anon

The Young Harris Al Anon Family Group will meet at 12 Noon every Tuesday in Young Harris, Ga., at Sharp Memorial United Methodist Church, Room 105. For more information, please call 706-781-3158.

Just 4 hours a week can make a big difference in caring for abandoned and abused animals. Just 4 hours to walk dogs. Just 4 hours to groom dogs or cats. Just 4 house to clean the cattery. Just 4 hours to transport dogs and/or cats to the vet. If you have just 4 hours a week to volunteer your time and energy, please contact Castaway Critters at 706-7813992 or call Martha at 706-379-2729.

Trout Unlimited

Trout Unlimited meets the 2nd Thursday of each month at Cadence Bank conference room in Blairsville at 7:00 p.m. For more information, please call Marcus Tuschel at 706-835-9010.

Experimental Aircraft Association

The Experimental Aircraft Association - local tri-state EAA Chapter #1211 meets the third Thursday, 7 p.m. of each month at Blairsville airport. For more information, contact Jim Olson at 828-557-2446.

Guild meets on the 2nd Wed. of each month from 9:45 until 2:00 at the ShootLQJ &UHHN &RPPXQLW\ &HQWHU ÀUH VWDtion) in NC. Refreshments are served and a business meeting is held before a weaving project is presented. For more information, contact Joan (Guild president) at 706-896-1534.

UC Republican Party

The Union County Republican Party holds its monthly meetings on the third Saturday of each month at Victoria’s Sweet Shop. Meetings begin at 9am and have an optional breakfast for $6. More information can be found at

Tri-State Women


Women business owners in the tri-state area are welcome to attend and join our weekly meeting every Tuesday at 8am. Meetings are held at the Blairsville Restaurant with breakfast available to those interested. Come and see how women are making an impact as leaders in our community. For more information visit www.

Republican Women of Union County


"Blairsville Mothers of Preschoolers will meet February 18th at the First Baptist Church of Blairsville from 6-8pm. Join us as marriage counselors Phil and Mary Mason answer all your relationship questions and offer tips on keeping the SIZZLE in your marriage! MOPS is open to mothers of children birth-Kindergarten. To make a reservation IRUFKLOGFDUHSOHDVHFDOOWKHFKXUFKRIĂ€FHDW 706-745-2469. Visit us at for more information!"

Union General Hospital Auxiliary

more information about joining the Club or becoming a HAM, call Don Deyton at 706-781-6665. Amateur license testing will be held on December 7th in Blairsville at 310 Welborn Street, Blairsville, GA. Contact Bob Ochs at 706-838-4728 for more information.

DAR Meeting

The December meeting of the Old Unicoi Trail Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution will be held at the Big Springs meeting room at The Oaks in Hiawassee, GA, Saturday, December 12th, 2009, at 10:15 AM. OUTDAR members will tell about their memories of celebrating Christmas in other countries. Members will also KROG D &UDIWV DQG %DNH 6DOH WR EHQHĂ€W club chapter projects. If you are interested in learning more about DAR, an organization for women who have Revolutionary War patriots in their family history, contact Eloise Wolfersteig, Regent, 706-379-2533. Old Unicoi Trail Chapter serves Towns, Union, and Fannin Counties. The Old Unicoi Trail homepage is found online at

Computer Club

The Mountain Computer User Group Will meets in November on TUESDAY at 7 PM in the Goolsby Center, Young Harris College. Please note this is a change from our normal meeting date. At this time we will be presenting a program on all the new technologies that you can expect to get for Christmas. Come join us as we travel into the land of new technology. You might just get a glimpse of what Santa has in store for you at Christmas this year. Don’t forget we are meeting on Tuesday, November 10th. at 7 PM and not on Monday as we normally do. We will start the evening with our usual Q&A session. Come and join us for a lively session that is bound to increase your computer knowledge. Our Q&A session begins at 6 PM. Bring a friend and join us for the evening, you’ll be glad you did.

Union County Republican Party

will be holding its monthly meeting on Saturday, January 16th at 9:00 am at Victoria’s Sweet Shop at 2386 Young Harris Highway, Blairsville. A buffet breakfast for $6 will be available and is optional. Everyone is invited to attend and meet FDQGLGDWHV IRU VWDWHZLGH RIÀFHV  6SHDNers this month are: Max Wood, running for Attorney General - By way of Presidential appoint-

is hosting a gold buying fundraiser on Tuesday, February 23rd from Noon to 7:00pm at the Union General Hospital in Blairsville. Go through your jewelry box and pull out all the old pieces you no longer wear—broken chains, a single earring, out of style earring jackets, class ring, a forgotten boyfriend ring or pendant, an old gold watch (doesn’t matter if it works) and bring it to the hospital. Southeast Gold Buyers will determine if its 10K, 14K or 18K and you can trade it for current market prices and get PAID on the spot!!!! Southeast Gold Buyers will be making a 20% GRQDWLRQWREHQHÀWWKH+RVSLWDODQG1XUVLQJ Home Special Needs and to provide scholarship for local medical students. For more information on this event, please contact Pat Cook at 706 781-1908 or email

ment, Max Wood served as the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia beginning in 2001. He served as the Chief Prosecutor and law enforcePHQW RIĂ€FHU IRU WKH 8QLWHG 6WDWHV LQ WKH 70 county Middle District of Georgia. This district includes the cities of Athens, Macon, Columbus, Albany and Valdosta. 0DULD 6KHIĂ€HOG VHHNLQJ WKH RIĂ€FH RI Insurance Commissioner - She is a conservative running to serve Georgia as Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner. Pro Fair Tax, Pro Gun, and Pro Life. Doug MacGinnitie, candidate for Secretary of State Candidate - Doug believes the key to creating jobs during the current recession is a focus on small business.“More than 75 percent of jobs that are created in this kind of recession are created at the small business level,â€? he said. “If you care about jobs in the state, then you should care about small business.â€?. Melvin Everson, running for Labor Commissioner - Republican Melvin Everson has developed a reputation for strong, conservative leadership as a State Representative from Gwinnett County. Prior to being elected to the State Legislature, he was elected City Councilman in Snellville twice. Everson has made a difference for those he has served at both the local and state level. He served 23 years in the military before retiring in 1999. Additional information may be obtained at or by calling 706-781-1013.

Patriots County



Church Saved by Grace Full Gospel Church will be having a All Weekend Service on Saturday, February 20thSunday February 21st. Saturday, February 20th Services will be at 10 a.m. until ?, Saturday evening 7 p.m. to ? Sunday Morning Service begins at 10 a.m. all day food and refreshments will be served on Sunday. The church is located on Burnt Schoolhouse Ridge Road. Everyone is invited to attend. Reverend Shannon Burrell. For more information contact Mary Jane Kitchens 828-389-4180

The Patriots of Union County meet on the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 P.M. at the Civic Center (next to Steve's Steak House). 185 Wellborn St. This is a non-partisan group and everyone is invited. The meetings will feature discussions on Constitutional rights, state's rights, right to bear arms, Fair Tax, border security, energy dependence and more. A canned and non-perishable food drive will be held in conjunction with the meeting for the 9th District Food Bank For more information call: 706-7457201

Auto Club

The next meeting of the Good Neighbors Auto Club will be on Thursday, January 21st, starting at 7:30 PM. Meeting to be held at Brothers Restaurant in Murphy, NC . All meetings are open to the public and are held on the third Thursday of each month.

Mountain Community Seniors meets second Thursday each month at Senior Center in Hiawassee at 2:00 P.M.. We invite and welcome all Mountain Seniors from Towns, Union and Clay Counties to join us. We have Music, ,QIRUPDWLYHVSHDNHUVSLFQLFVDQGĂ€HOG trips. On Thursday Feb. 11th We have Roy Perrin, Principal of Towns County High School who will give us his very entertaining rendition of Elvis. Light refreshments served. Do come join us.

Fannin:    Upcoming   Events MOAA

The Blue Ridge Mountains Chapter of WKH0LOLWDU\2IĂ€FHUV$VVRFLDWLRQRI$PHULca (MOAA) meets the third Monday of each month at various area restaurants. All active duty, National Guard, reserve, retired, former military, Public Health Service, NOAA RIĂ€FHUV ZDUUDQW RIĂ€FHUV DQG VXUYLYLQJ spouses are invited to attend. For information please contact one of the following individuals, in North Carolina: Jim Ferrell at 828-335-9203, and in Georgia: John Quinlan at 706-896-2430, or visit

Community Prayer Meeting

This Thursday, February 11,2010 a community prayer meeting will be held at WKH )DQQLQ &RXQW\ (07 RIĂ€FH V Ă DJSROH downtown, Blue Ridge at noon. Everyone is invited to attend as we continue to pray for our nation'sand community's leaders and true repentance for our country. Please come and support our efforts as we join with RWKHUV WR NHHS WKH SUD\HU Ă DPH DOLYH$Q\ questions please contact : Lydia Long 706374-4750

WorthConsidering Athoughtfortoday

The RWUC meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7pm. Meetings are held in the Brackett Room at the United Community Bank. For more information visit

Mothers of Preschoolers

0236 ,QWHUQDWLRQDO D QRQSURĂ€W mothering organization, creates communities and resources to help make "better moms who make a better world." A MOPS group is a place where moms can come-just as they are-to build friendships, receive mothering support, practical help and spiritual hope. Join us - because better moms, make a better world! Visit us at Mothers of Preschoolers meets on the Third Thursday of each month in the new fellowship hall at First Baptist Church of Blairsville from 6-8pm. Call the church RIĂ€FHDWIRUPRUHLQIRUPDtion or email us at mopsofblairsville@


“I’ve  learned  from  experience   that  the  greater  part  of  happiness  or  misery depends  on  our  dispositions and  not  on  our  circumstances.�       -Martha  Washington

Smokie Mountain Mountain High Hik- Melodies Smokie Mountain Melodies is a ladies ers Schedule barbershop-style chorus whose members Mountain High Hikers schedule two hikes each Tuesday, occasionally specialty hike, and regular trail maintaining trips- all in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina and Georgia. Check the web site: for schedule and meeting locations or call 828-389-8240 for information.

Club Bereavement Sup- Kiwanis The Kiwanis Club of Blairsville is dedito serving and supporting young port Group - Meet- cated people in the immediate area around Blairsville through numerous projects. ing Changes The Kiwanis Club meets at the Cobb’s Welcome to a community bereavement support group. A place to share your thoughts and feelings and grow together with others who have experienced the loss of a loved one. First Thursday of every month at United Community Bank, Small Community Room, Blairsville from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. We will only meet once per month. Facilitator: Suzanne Repp, LCSW. The group is presented by Regency Hospice and is free of charge. Please call 1-800577-8791 or 706-896-1251 for more information.

Just 4 Hours

Shooting Creek BasWeavers Guild Business ket The Shooting Creek Basket Weavers

Narcotics Anonymous Weekly MeetBagpipe Instruction ings List The Appalachian Saint Andrew’s Pipes Mondays - 7 p.m. 12-Step meeting at Union County Annex Building located at 71 Hospital Street. This is an open meeting. Union County Anti-Drug Coalition Tuesdays - 4 p.m. Open discussion meeting at Towns County Avita Community Partners. Meet at 1100 Jack Dayton Circle, Young Harris, Ga. Tuesdays - 7 p.m. Discussion meeting at Union County Annex Building & New Hope Counseling at 71 Hospital St. Wednesdays - 6 p.m. Open discussion meeting at Union County Avita Community Partners. 41 Hospital St., Suite 100, Blairsville. Fridays - 8 p.m. Open discussion meeting at Union County Annex & New Hope Counseling, 71 Hospital St. All the meetings are open & anyone can attend. For more information regarding any of these meetings, please call 706-897-9775, 706-896-6263 or 706745-4066.

from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30p.m. at the Senior Center in Blairsville. No matter if you just started playing the dulcimer or if you are experienced, come join us for a good time playing your favorite songs and learning new songs. For more information, please contact LaDale at 706-835-1688 or Hope to see you at our next meeting!


Mill restaurant in Blairsville at 12:00 Noon each Monday. Come join in the fun with us. For more information, contact President Charlie Krick at (706)7816793.


The Disabled American Veterans meet monthly on the second Monday of each month at noon in the Old Nursing Home, Room 116, in Blairsville. Please join them.

Club 180 for Teens

Join us on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. for fellowship, fun and snacks at Choestoe Baptist Church, 4455 Choestoe Church Rd., located south of Blairsville off Hwy. 129 and Hwy. 180. For more information and directions, please call the church at 706745-6370.

Mountain Sounds Your Journey from Dulcimer Club

We meet every 2nd & 4th Tuesday

FRPHIURPĂ€YHFRXQWLHVLQ1RUWK*HRUJLD and Western North Carolina. As a chapter of Sweet Adelines International, the chorus is committed to a goal of advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education and performances. Smokie Mountain Melodies meets every Tuesday night at 6:30 at the First United Methodist of Union County in Blairsville, Georgia located at 859 Highway 515. Any women who have a love of singing are welcome to join. For more information call the Director, Phyllis Baker at 706-379-3836.

Forming Gourmet Dinner Club

6KDUH VXSHUE GLQQHUV ZLWK RWKHU ÀQH dining connoisseurs, must have some gourmet cooking skills and room to host candle light, sit down dinners in your home. Full time and part time residents welcome. Hiawassee and Young Harris. Limited membership. Call Diane 706835-5007

Amateur Radio

Attention HAMs and anyone interested in Amateur Radio The North Georgia Tri-State A.R.C. (Amateur Radio Club) meetings are KHOGRQWKHĂ€UVW7XHVGD\RIHDFKPRQWKDW 7 p.m. at Branan Lodge in Blairsville. All of our meetings are open to the public. Our next meeting is to be held December 1st and will begin with a special technical session on Amatuer Radio Emergency 6HUYLFH $5(6 DQGPRUHVSHFLĂ€FDOO\WKH Tarheel Network in North Carolina. For


Some  look  to  things  to  satisfy, To  bring  euphoria  and  contentment. But  pursuit  of  more  can  lead  to  misery And  the  never-satiated  desire  for  greater  possessions. Some  hope  to  have  a  life  without  trials And  so  seek  to  avoid  pitfalls  that  would  bring  sorrow. Along  the  journey  the  traveler  must  take  heed  to  self. Peace  and  joy  are  inward  traits;  the  way  we  think  is  who  we  are.             -Ethelene  Dyer  Jones  


CO M MUN I T Y Tributes Joseph Murray Brown Jr.

Mr.Joseph Murray Brown Jr. age 71 of Deerberry Drive Blue Ridge passed away on Thursday Feb.11, 2010 in the Union General Hospital following an extended illness. Mr.Brown was born on Dec.30,1938 in Richmond,VA.,the son of the late Joseph Murray Brown and the late Coy Eloise Ward Brown.He was a veteran of the US Navy.Joseph was a loving father and grandfather.He was preceded in death by a son,John Brown in 2006 and by a sister,Judy Pointer.Mr.Brown was of the Catholic faith. Surviving Mr.Brown are one son and daughter in law,Patrick and Stephanie Brown of San Antonio,TX.,one daughter and son in law,Anna and

Steven Balser of Stauton,VA.,five grandchildren,Evan Williams,Logan Hogan,Jaron Brown,Katherine Brown and Emily Brown,many other relatives and friends also survive. A memorial service will be held at a later date and will be announced.In lieu of flowers if you wish,the family requests that memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society in memory of Mr.Brown. Mountain View Funeral Home of Blairsville in charge of the arrangements.You may sign the family guest book and send condolences on line at

Loretta Elizabeth Butts Thomas

ise Butts of Blairsville,Ivan Butts of Blairsville,four grandchildren,Franklin Geer,Mindy Totherow,Tyler Totherow and Mindy Mosser,three great grandchildren,Kennedy,Jackson and Carter,many other relatives and friends also survive. Funeral services were held on Saturday Feb.13,2010 at 11:00am from the Mountain View Chapel with the Rev.Tommy Jones officiating. Special music was presented by the Philadelphia Church Choir.T he following gentleman served as pallbearers,Vernon Patterson,Vester, Jonathon, Buck,Jacob and Joshua Dills. Intermen followed in the Philadelphia Baptist Church Cemetery.T he family met with friends at the funeral home on Friday evening from 6-9pm. Mountain View Funeral Home of Blairsville in charge of the arrangements.You may sign the family guest book and send condolences on line at www.

Mrs.Loretta Elizabeth Butts Thomas age 75 of Home Run Rd. Blairsville passed away on Feb.10,2010 in the Willow Wood Nursing Home following an extended illness.Mrs.T homas was born on May 16,1934 in Union County,the daughter of the late Homer Butts and the late Minnie Ledford Butts.She was a native and lifelong resident of Union County.Loretta was a loving mother,sister,grandmother and great grandmother.She was preceded in death by a grand daughter,Bridget Totherow. Mrs.T homas was a member of Philadelphia Baptist Church Surviving Mrs.T homas are one daughter and son in law,Raelene and David Geer of Tuscaloosa, AL.,three sons and two daughter in laws,Tony and Robbin Totherow of Gainesville,GA.,Flint Totherow of Buford,GA.,Nathan and Mary Totherow of and Mario Oliverio,Brook Wilson and Michael NY.,one sister,Lorene Grace Shepherd of Dalton,two Harry Leroy Dennis Mr.Harry Leroy Dennis age 88 of 120 Fine Drive Verrico,three great grandchildren, Domenic,Victoria brothers and one sister in law,Arnold and LouMurphy passed away on Thursday Feb.11,2010 at and Rocco Oliverio,many other relatives and friends also survive. Stonehenge Drive Blairsville following an extendServices w ere held on Saturday Feb.13,2010 ed illness.Mr.Dennis was born on Dec.8,1921 After moving to Montvale, NJ during her senior year at 5:00 pm from the Mountain View Chapel Eileen Theresa Walsh in Niagara Falls,NY.,the son of the late Wilof high school, Eileen returned to Worcester, Mass. to Eileen Theresa Walsh, 60, a ten year resident of with Minister Terry Stuart officiated. Interliam Rimert and the late Alice Dennis graduate from Marian High School. She earned her Blairsville, Georgia and previously of Vero Beach, ment followed in the Bushnell National Rimert.He was a veteran of the US Navy Bachelor's Degree from St. Joseph's College in W. Florida, died on February 9, 2010 at home after a Cemetery in Bushnell,FL.,where he will of WWII.He was preceded in death by his Hartford, Conn.and then, following her dream, long battle with cancer and lupus.  rest next to his wife Dorothy.The family wife,Dorothy Louise Conoway Dennis became a successful folk artist, jeweler and She was born on September 13, 1949 met with friends at the funeral home on in 2006.He retired in 1986 from NY.State equine portrait painter. in Worcester, MA to the late Claire LilSaturday from 4-5pm. Power where he worked there and Niagara Services and interment are private.  In lian (Whelan) Walsh and Vincent Martin Mountain View Funeral Home of BlairsMohawk for over forty years.Mr.Dennis was lieu of flowers, memorial contributions Walsh, Sr.  Survivors include her long-time ville in charge of the arrangements.You may sign of the Protestant faith. may be made to St. Francis of Assisi Cathofriend, Sandra Campbell of Blairsville; her Surviving Mr.Dennis are two daughters and one son the family guest book and send condolences on line lic Church, 3717 Highway 515, Blairsville, brother, Vincent M. Walsh, Jr. of Boylston, in law,Barbara and Roland Verrico of Murphy,Linda at GA, 30512-3288. MA; two sisters, Joanne C. Carlson of ManDennis of Pittsburg , PA.,three grandchildren,Kelli Mountain View Funeral Home of Blairschester, Conn. and Sheila M. Shrewsberry of ville in charge of the arrangements.You may sign Edgewater, MD. and nine nieces and nephews.  this of Mt.Carmel,IL.,John Anderson and Terry Eileen was predeceased by her brother, Martin J. the family guest book and send condolences on line Jeramiah�Jeremy�David Haist at Mr.Jeramiah�Jeremy�David Haist age 32 of Hem- Powell,special friends,Katrina Smith-Mays and Austin Walsh of New York City, NY. Mays,many other relatives and friends also survive. bree Crossing Roswell,GA.passed away on Tuesday A memorial service will be held on Saturday Feb.9,2010 following a brief illness.Mr.Haist was Feb.13,2010 at 2:00pm from the Mountain View born on May 4,1976 in Indiana,the son of RobChapel with the Rev.James T.Paul officiating. ert L. Haist and Catherine Wells Haist.He Special music will be presented by Kristi was a loving son,brother,grandson and was Conley.In lieu of flowers if you wish,the The Fifth Annual Habitat for Huposed of four bowlers with at least a friend to many.He was preceded in death family requests that memorials may be manity Bowling Tournament will by his grandparents,Elizabeth Bohl Haist two women per team. Handicap made to ActionAid International,1420 K take place Saturday February 27th and Lloyd and Edwina Haist.Mr.Haist was will be based on 90% of 210 at the St.N.W.Suite 900 Washington,DC. 20005 at the Galaxy Bowling Center in of the Christian faith. time of the tournament. Cash and or to Castaway Critters in memory of Jer- Blairsville. Surviving Jeremy are his door prizes will be provided as well emy.The family will meet with friends at the parents,Robert and Catherine Haist The tournament is open to the ing perpetuates the problem. as fun and fellowship. funeral home on Saturday from 12-2:00pm. of Blairsville,one brother,Joshua Haist of public and is designed to bring the Deadline for team registration Sharing your blessings with Mountain View Funeral Home of Blairsville in community together for fun and those in need makes us all winners! is Feb. 20th. Cost is $25 per perRoswell,grandparents,Paul and Dorothy Hussey of Lawrenceville,IL.,aunts and uncles,Sally and charge of the arrangements.You may sign the family fellowship. Proceeds from the tour- Local businesses are rallying to sup- son, $100 per team. Registration Mel Lockwood of Columbia,SC.,Carol and Da- guest book and send condolences at www.mountain- nament will be used to further the port the bowling tournament. All forms are available at Galaxy Bowlvid Gaddey of Tuscola,IL.,Cindy and David An- Habitat Mission to provide afford- we need is your team to compete in ing Center and through the Habitat able housing in the Towns Union this fund raiser. office at PO Box 270, Young Harris, County community. If your business or organization GA 30582 or by calling the Habitat Reducing poverty in this eco- has not been contacted and would office at 706-379-2484 or by emailnomically depressed time is chal- like to be a sponsor, contact the ing tons of biological life. Earthworms aer- to the busy microorganisms and worms lenging. We all have had to cut and Habitat office for a “sponsor packHabitat for Humanity of Towns By JENNIFER CORDIER working in the pile. ate the soil and fertilize it with their castget back to the basics however, for et� and Habitat will promote your Union Counties is a nondenominaPlant Rescue Team Learning from nature is both edu- some of our friends and neighbors business during the tournament. ings. Millions and millions of microtional Christian housing ministry As I sit by my woodstove on this cold organisms – bacteria, fungi, algae and cational and rewarding. Following her this has been a way of life for many This is a non-sanctioned tour- building affordable housing for the February day, I find my thoughts driftprotozoa – work in the top  six to twelve lead will point us towards a sustainable years. Doing without or having to nament and no previous handicap needy in our community. ing towards that bright spring day when inches of the soil decomposing, digest- future! pay most of their income for hous- is required. Teams should be comI will pick the first sugar snap peas growThe Preservation Committee sponing plant and animal matter and feeding in my garden. Soon I’ll be sowing ing nutrients to plants. Nature’s perfect sors projects to promote environmenflats of seeds, watching in amazement as recycling system is in constant motion tal stewardship and the preservation the tiny seedlings beg to be transplanted turning plant and animal matter into of native plants. For more informainto larger pots which will fill my greenrich humus and top soil. But nature tion about projects and volunteer ophouse with promises of summer flowworks slowly, taking up to 500 years to portunities, contact Jennifer Cordier ers and fresh garden vegetables. (706-745-9317) or Clare Johnston build one inch of topsoil. I have gardened for more than twenI have always believed that close ob- (706-745-2655;; ty-five years and yet, each spring, I am servation of the natural world can be Georgia Mountain Research and Eduawestruck by the magic and productive one of our greatest teachers. Nature cation Center). power of a tiny seed. This same magic is patient, slow and precise. In nature takes place every year on our forest nothing is wasted. If we want healthy floors. Where there is now a dusting of and productive soil that will sustain us snow across leaf litter, there will soon for many years, we must nourish that appear hepatica, bloodroot, trillium, soil. solomon’s seal, trout lilies and ladies Composting is a perfect lesson from slippers. Whether scattered by the wind nature. By creating a home composting and wild life or carefully planted by the area, we can recycle our food and yard human hand, seeds fill our world with wastes and produce our own “black beauty and life sustaining nourishment. gold� which feeds our soil, our plants As impressive as the seed may be, it and ourselves. Compost enclosures can could not survive without Mother Nabe as simple as a hardware cloth cylinture’s black gold ---- rich fertile soil. Durder large enough to circle the compost ing the quiet months of winter as well as heap, to a commercially produced respring, summer and fall, the living soil is Shaena B volving drum unit. Turning the pile will levins, M Northeast replete with activity. One acre of fertile Georgia P D hysicians hasten decomposition, lending a hand Group Neu topsoil contains approximately eleven rology

Habitat for Humanity Bowling Tournament

Compost: Mother Nature's black gold

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Now Accepting Patients in Blairsville! Neurologist Shaena Blevins, MD, of Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Neurology, is now accepting patients in two locations: BLAIRSVILLE 77 Weaver Road, Suite B Blairsville, GA 30512 Friday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. GAINESVILLE 1315 Jesse Jewell Parkway, Suite 300 Gainesville, GA 30501 Monday through Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Call 770-219-6520 to schedule appointments.




Page 6A



Shed Weight & Feel Great Workshop at Unity 12:30 Sunday afternoon February 21st Kara Merjia will present a free mini-workshop at Unity Church of the Mountains. Kara is the developer of the "Natural Body Make Over" system. She will present her "Shed Weight & Feel Great" program, describing a simplified 30-day health and life style program. As a natural health advocate, motivational speaker and lecturer, Kara will teach you a new way of cooking and eating that will increase your health and vitality.

Come and hear this dynamic speaker and attend her free introductory workshop. You can also check out her website Unity Church of the Mountains is located at the 19/129 Plaza, 226 Gainesville Highway, Suite F, Blairsville, GA. Sunday service starts at 10:30 AM. The Course of Miracles Class starts at 10:00 AM every Tuesday. You can visit our web-site at www.unitychurchofthemountains. com

Union County Chamber of Commerce announces Membership Meeting & STAR Student/Teacher Presentation

The Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce will hold its first Membership Meeting of the year on Thursday, February 25, 2010 starting at 11:45 at North Georgia Technical College Conference Center. Tickets for the meeting

Send news tips, photographs, letters, opinions and suggestions to

and lunch are $10.00 each for Chamber members and $20.00 each for non-members. The event will include a recognition ceremony for the STAR Students and Teachers of Union County High School and Woody Gap, a 2009 Re-

view/2010 Outlook of Chamber activities, and the presentation of the 2010 Community Magazine. Those who attend will be among the first to receive a complimentary copy of the publication. If you plan to attend please

R.S.V.P. by Friday, February 19 to reserve your seats either online through the Chamber website Events Calendar at www. or by calling the Chamber office at 706-745-5789. Advance payment is requested.


Missions Conference “Why Stand Ye There Gazing?� Acts 1:11  Grace Presbyterian Church of Blairsville, GA is privileged to have with us this year four missionaries whose service have nearly covered the globe.  Dr. David Cashin who is currently a professor of Intercultural Studies at Columbia International University, Columbia, SC, serving in the Biblical Seminary and School of Missions.  He is fluent in several languages, served as missionary in Bangladesh, been a church planter, educator and development worker with SIM International.  He has authored several books and numerous articles on Islam and other subjects.   Melanie Currie is a young lady preparing to soon return to Thailand for long-term missionary service.  She realized God’s call to missions as a teenager and followed that call on many short-term missions trips serving in many parts of the world.  In 2007, she answered God’s call for a two year term to Thailand where she used her skills serving the people there while sharing the message

of God’s love through Jesus Christ. While there she sensed God’s calling for long-term service and will soon be returning to disciple the children and young women of the church in their faith in the Mahathai community of Thailand.  Sam and Elizabeth Goodwin are with Mission to the World (MTW) through the PCA and will be serving the Lord in England.  There they will join with the British Reformed denominations and groups to plant churches in urban settings.   Also, Major Chip Huey a military Chaplain, will be joining us.  What a privilege to share the  Gospel, while serving Christ in our armed services.  Mark your calendars and plan to attend one or all the special meetings and hear what God is doing around the world.  The church is located at 1700 Young Harris Highway (just past Arne’s going east from Blairsville on the right).  Visit us on the web at www.gracepcablairsville. com or call the church at 706 7453653



TVA and Blue Ridge Mountain EMC can help you lower your energy use. It starts with an In-Home Energy Evaluation. You’’ll get a number of recommendations to make your home more energy ef¿cient, including cash incentives for half the cost of quali¿ed home modi¿cations (up to $500). To learn more, call Blue Ridge Mountain EMC at (706) 379-3121 ext. 781 or (828) 837-1017 ext. 781

PUBLISHER: Frank Bradley EDITOR: Randal MacCrea Bryan Hughes EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Debbie Walker CIRCULATION: Debbie Walker BOOKKEEPING: Pat McCollum

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The Union Sentinel (USPS 015363) is published weekly each Thursday. Subscriptions are $25 a year in Union County; $45 out of area. Periodical postage paid at Blairsville, Georgia.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the address listed below: Union Sentinel, PO Box 1996, Blairsville, GA 30514.


CORRECTIONS: If you find a mistake of fact in the Union Sentinel that is serious enough to warrant a correction or clarification, call or stop in so we can make it right in the next week's edition. Email us at

Worship at the Church of your choice Advertise Here  

Bruce Masonry & Concrete 706-781-0950 Cell: 706-483-8366


Information line 706-745-8888


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Royal Crest & Mastic Vinyl Siding

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Mountain Building Supply

Rock,  Brick,  Block,  Stucco,  Decks   Stampcrete,  Flat  Work,  &  Patio


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Deadline for classifieds is Monday at 3:00. All classifieds received after this time will be printed the following Thursday. 100 - Autos Bobcat T300 Track Loader, Cab-Heat-Air, 81 Hp, 1870 Hours, Good Condition! Rock bottom price $4500, contact: dmant5@ / 678-609-1528

200 - Employment Real Estate Attorney fulltime office position: Experience with real estate transactions and /or mortgage lending background required. Send resume to : P.O. Box 2807, Blairsville, Ga 30514 Caremaster Medical Service is now hiring CNA’s for in-home care positions in the Hiawassee and Clarkesville area. We offer flexible staffing, competitive pay, and benefits. To begin your application process, go to our website at You may also call our Job Hotline at 1-866-703-1566. EOE/ Drug -free workplace. CNA’s needed for Cherokee and Clay County. Please call Helen @ (828) 835-8147

300 - For Sale Seasoned firewood for sale: $55 a load, delivered. 706-7817590

500 - Services

Housing Crisis hitting home? Payments straining your wallet? Call 877-835-8904 to lower your Mortgage payments. Walker Storage Corner of Old Highway 64 West and West Cherry Road. Convenient to Warne, NC. and Western Clay County. Variety of sizes. Concrete block Construction 828-389-4926 Hours 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Will baby sit your child or children: Any age. Reasonable rates.References available. Call 706-299-1614 Massage Therapy - in the comfort of your home. Licensed and insured. 18 years experience, call Gerri; 1 hour $40; Half hour $25; 706-896-6108.

700 - Miscellaneous Paying cash for gold! Rings, necklaces, bracelets, watches, etc.In most cases, paying at least DOUBLE what any pawn shop will pay. Gold tested, weighed and you are paid on the spot! 706-896-1380-

800 - Wanted We buy junk, wrecked, rusted old cars and trucks. Call George 706-455-1129 Wanted : Old Pinball Machines, Electro-mechanical, Call 828-389-6459

900 - Lost & Found

Meow Meals on Wheels. Joy/ Glen. $15 per visit- your home; 706-896-9521. Tile installer your tile or mine, 26 years experience have references and liability insurance. Ask for Don at 828-389-9394 D&L Painting & drywall INC. 1BJOUJOH4UBJOJOH  *OUFSJPS t &YUFSJPSt3FTJEFOUJBMt$PNNFSDJBM %3:8"--)BOHt'JOJTIt5FYUVSF all types of finishes & textures 100% Quality Driven. Free Estimates cell: 828-508-5270 office(1): 828-321-2111 office(2): 828-479-4052

Black and white Australian Shepherd lost on Gum Log near county line. Bob tail dog, no collar, male. Please call 706-8978150 or 706-781-3974.

990 - Real Estate Investment Property near YH College? 3 BR Brick House , remodeled on 1.24 acres in city limits. City water & sewer. Located below Elementary School. $195,000.00 Steve 201-315-9818


Your classified advertisement will be seen in 4LGML 3MULQ ?LB%?LLGL Counties all for one low price

(828) 389-8338

1000 - Rentals 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath partially furnished home, Lakeview, Hwy 175 $850.00 per month. 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath $450.00 per month. 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath furnished $35.00 per month. References and Security deposit required. 828-507-1617 BEAUTIFUL CREEK FRONT CABIN – 2 Bedroom, 1 bath cabin on rushing creek just minutes from marina and downtown Hiawassee. Very private, end of lane location. Updated kitchen, hardwoods throughout and large wood burning fireplace in great room. Being offered fully furnished, or will consider offering unfurnished or partially furnished if desired. Must have references and good credit. Small pet ok with pet deposit. Prefer year lease, but will consider 6 month lease with good references. Call Scott at 404-5422152. $675.00/mo. plus 1 month security. FOR RENT – 2 BR/2.5 BA, Mountain Home w/ long range views. LR, eat-in Kit., Appliances & W/D, Wood burning fireplace., carport, deck, & shed. $700.00 month. 706-897-1734 NEW NAME, NEW DEALS! NOW Renting 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath, 2 Bed-

Local Subscriptions in

room, 1 1/2 Bath from $475 to $595, includes all appliances, free water and trash disposal. NO steps and Pet friendly. Ridgeline Apartments, 3346 Highway 64 East, Hayesville, NC. 828-389-1545 Small lake house on Lake Chatuge with dock. 2BR/1BA, partialy furnished, $600 plus deposit. Annual lease, no smoking, no pets. Valerie 404-849-9010. Available January 9th. 1 BR, 1 1/2 BA Large Duplex Apt. + Bonus Room in Blairsville. Flp., jacuzzi, custom kitchen. $550/ mo. + deposit. 706-745-2297 or 770-7122107

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Hughes Pool & Stone Carries a full line of Landscaping products including: t0BL $ZQSFTT 3FEBOE#SPXO.VMDI t#SPXO 8IJUF BOE(SBZ%FDPSBUJWF1FB(SBWFM t4UBOEBSE(SBZ(SBWFMBOE3JQ3BQ t8IJUF4BOE BOE3JWFS3PDL Located behind Downtown Pizza in Murphy on Church St.

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Page 8A



Were you aware that, over and above its day-to-day operations, this business also spent an additional $7 million in the local economy on building materials, equipment and subcontractors as it builds new facilities to support its current and future growth? Who is this North Georgia economic powerhouse? It is Young Harris College, the 124-year-old institution of higher education that is experiencing unprecedented growth as it began offering baccalaureate degrees in Fall 2009 and saw total fall enrollment hit a record high for the third consecutive year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The community knows we are providing a great education to college students,â&#x20AC;? said Young Harris College President Cathy Cox, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but not everyone sees the impact our operations have on the local economy and on area businesses. We make a conscious effort to buy locally and spend locally whenever and wherever we can â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and the dollars prove that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re having a huge impact.â&#x20AC;? From employment, to consumption of utility services and purchasing, to giving back through service to othersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Young Harris College is making a significant effort to support local businesses, local governments and local communities. Conducting Business As Usual With approximately 700 students enrolled for the 2009-2010 academic year, Young Harris College paid in excess of $603,000 to Blue Ridge Mountain EMC for electrical and Internet service in 2009. YHC is a huge customer of the City of Young Harris, paying more than $105,000 for water and sewer service over the last year, and assuming costs to improve city infrastructure in areas where it connects to the campus with no cost to the city. Additionally, the College contributed a parcel of property for the City of Young Harrisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; new water tank. The College spent more than $250,000 with local businesses for propane and oil for heating its facilities, and almost $90,000 for cable television and Internet services. While the College is exempt from many taxes as a non-profit entity, it still paid property taxes to Towns and Union counties and the City of Young Harris totaling more than $35,000 for properties that are not used in its educational operations. Leading in New

the Way Construction

The building boom on Young Harris Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s campus has led to significant expenditures in the local area. In constructing a new 200-bed residence hall that opened in August 2009, the College spent nearly $4.5 million, or approximately 30% of the total project cost, on building materials, equipment and subcontractors in the region. A new student recreation and fit-

ness center currently under construction and slated to open in August 2010 has likewise benefitted local businesses with $2.6 million already spent locally on building materials, equipment and subcontractors. Both the new residence hall and the student recreation and fitness center are being constructed to LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), making them environmentally friendly and energy efficient. They will serve as models for future construction on the campus, and, hopefully, as examples for future construction throughout the region. For both of these new facilities, the building contractor hired by the College, Hardin Construction Company, estimates that it has hired around 4060 local laborers on the projects with a payroll of $200,000-$260,000 thus far. Non-local laborers and managers on the projects have stayed at local hotels, rented local homes, and purchased meals at local restaurants. The College has a 12-court tennis complex under construction as well, andalmostallofthe$400,000spenton it to date has been spent with local subcontractors for services and materials. Improving Existing Structures While new buildings catch most of the attention on campus, Young Harris College has engaged local contractors to renovate, repair and build out office spaces in numerous existing buildings throughout campus. During 2009, the College paid more than $306,000 to local contractors and businesses for these shorter construction, renovation and repair projects. Bringing New Residents to the Area The dozens of new faculty and staff at Young Harris College have likewise put new money into the local economy through the direct purchase of goods and services, with more than $30,000 spent with local moving companies, plus numerous homes purchased and rented. More than 53 percent of all YHC employees live in Towns County; 22 percent live in Union County; almost 10 percent live in Clay County, N.C., and the remaining number live in other northeast Georgia, western North Carolina or suburban Atlanta communities. The College hosts numerous guests for meetings, performances, lectures, its annual Homecoming, and other events on campus. To that end, YHC spent more than $68,000 with area hotels and resorts on lodging and meals for guests and special events. YHC ramped up its campus activities in 2009 with the employment of a full-time campus activities director, but it still introduced students to a variety of local entertainment venues, spending more than $7,500 with nearby businesses for student meals and off-campus activities. Almost one-fourth of Young Harris College students are from Towns, Union, White, Fannin, Clay and

campusâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;working at Towns County Family Connection, the Hinton Rural Life Center and other organizations like the Humane Societyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mountain Shelter and the City of Young Harrisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Cupid Falls park project. Student-athletes were involved in mentoring elementary school children, moving furniture for elderly residents, landscaping at Towns County schools and local churches, and offering free baseball clinics for local students. YHC media studies honors students are working with the Towns County Food Pantry to develop and coordinate a public relations and marketing campaign to increase donations to the organization. A favorite annual event for students and the community alike, the YHC Fall Fest hosted more than 500 community children and parents for safe trick-or-treating and other fun fall and Halloween games. Students also participated in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Shop with a Copâ&#x20AC;? program with Contributed Photo/Jeffrey Senk the Hiawassee Police Department, Cherokee counties, and the College and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am Wonderfully Created awarded $1.4 million of its own schol- Pageantâ&#x20AC;? at Towns County Middle arship funds to these local students to School. The College also hosted two blood make their education at YHC posdrives for the American Red Cross. sible. Many of these local students also hold work-study jobs on campus Encouraging Civic Engagement to further support their education. Young Harris College students served area businesses and governFostering Philanthropic Efforts ments in a variety of internships, inMembers of the Young Harris Colcluding working with Towns County lege community opened their hearts in 2009 and gave of their time, energy Herald and local radio station WACF and resources to aid local and locally 95.1FM/WYHC 770 AM, or those working with the City of Young Harsponsored outreach programs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The faculty, staff, administrators ris as project managers, on theme and students of the College are very development for the Cupid Falls sensitive to the needs of our area, and park project, or for grant writing and they stepped up this year to help in zoning research, and with the city of Andrews, N.C. A number of other many ways,â&#x20AC;? President Cox said. The YHC menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cross students participated in two clean-up country teams host the annual â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jingle days for the City of Young Harrisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; CuJogâ&#x20AC;? to raise money for the Drug-Free pid Falls park project. Talented YHC students who sing Towns County Coalition and the in a cappella groups The CompulUnion County Anti-Drug Coalition. sive Lyres and Southern Harmony An annual â&#x20AC;&#x153;yard saleâ&#x20AC;? was held by performed for Blue Ridge Mountain College employees to raise more than EMCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; s annual shareholdersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; meeting, $1,100 for S.A.F.E, and the Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for the Towns/Union retired educachapter of Circle K International, a branch of Kiwanis, raised more than torsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Christmas banquet and for local $600 for the Union County SAFE civic clubs, churches and schools. StuHouse. Circle K students also ran the dent-musician instrumental ensemguest concession stand at several local bles also performed at area churches, football games and volunteered at nu- nursing homes, high schools and at other special community events. merous local festivals. The 200-plus faculty and staff During the Christmas season, YHC members of Young Harris College employees raised nearly $700 to help pay electrical bills for needy families set a high standard in their committhrough Blue Ridge Mountain EMC. ment to the community. College They collected more than $300 in employees served as officers, memcash and enough canned goods to fill bers and speakers for local Kiwanis, up an SUV to help the Towns County Rotary and Lions clubs, the Stephens Food Pantry feed more than 600 fam- Lodge, Towns County Fire Board, Towns County E-911 Board, Union/ ilies at Christmas. The construction crew working on Towns Employer Committee, the Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new recreation facility S.A.F.E., D.A.R., Towns and Union donated hundreds of dollars in toys chambers of commerce, the Byron to Towns County Sheriff Chris Clin- Herbert Reece Society, Mountain tonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s toy drive for needy children. Stu- Regional Library, Northeast Geordents from YHCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Circle K chapter gia Youth for Christ, Towns County also sang Christmas carols at Union Sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Community Advisory Board, Butternut Creek and Friends, County Hospital. Each member of Coach Rick Rob- Summerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Last Kiss Arts & Crafts insonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s baseball team made shoebox- Festival, Towns County Fire Departes for Operation Christmas Child, mentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fire-in-the-Mountains Chili a global effort to provide Christmas Cook-Off, Southern Appalachian gifts for needy children sponsored Sustainable Building Committee, by Franklin Graham. The Dorcas Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition, Society and students active in the Tri-County Junior Golf Association, Religious Life program also collected Towns County Extension Leaderand assembled almost 100 shoeboxes ship Committee, Wilderness Scouts, from students for the project as well. and book clubs. They volunteered Dorcas student-members also volun- with Habitat for Humanity, served teered with childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities at a lo- as poll workers, worked with various cal church. YHC students volunteered for a variety of other projects through the Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Religious Life program, including co-sponsoring community service days in Hayesville, N.C., through the Hinton Rural Life Center, where they organized to paint, sand, hammer, wonder-bar and clean homes. The newly established Bonner Leaders program at YHC, a program focused on service- and experiential-learning and civic engagement, logged more than 1,000 hours for student volunteer service during fall semester 2009 aloneâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;their first on

leadership groups and gave their time to numerous other civic and community organizations. Faculty also led international trips to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Greece, in which members of the local community were able to participate. Numerous YHC faculty and staff worked with area schools, including those consulting with Union County Schools on upcoming music-accreditation events, mentoring students at Mountain Education Center or making presentations at all area schools on various programs at the College. Fine arts faculty members judged senior projects at Towns County High School, led workshops at area high schools, hosted area high school students at YHC fine arts events, served as guest designers for community performances and performed for local school, church and community events. Numerous YHC faculty and staff serve local churches as choir members, choir directors, Sunday School teachers, pianists and organists. Additional faculty and staff participate in community choirs and other local musical groups. Enhancing the Cultural Landscape The Division of Fine Arts of Young Harris College provides a continual array of cultural offerings and programming throughout the year, with most events presented to the local community for free or nominal charges. During 2009, the College hosted approximately 30 different art, music and theatre programs on campus to literally thousands of area residents, including about 4,500 elementary school students, and almost all art exhibits and music programs and concerts are offered at no charge to the public. Another public favorite, the Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rollins Planetarium offered nearly 100 separate shows to school groups, senior citizen groups, scouting groups and others during the year, plus 34 Friday-evening shows open to the public. More than 9,000 people from the local area viewed the planetarium and observatory shows during 2009. Supporting Local Education and Life-long Learning As Young Harris College prepares to launch degree programs in education, it is becoming increasingly involved with area educators and local school systems. Numerous Towns and Union educators and administrators are contributing input and ideas to the development of the YHC education programs. The College hosted the first Area Educator Appreciation Luncheon in the fall, and YHC education professors serve on the board of advisors for the Early Childhood Education program in Union County schools. YHC faculty also participated in faculty exchanges with Union County High School. In addition, approximately 35 YHC students each completed 10 observation hours in Towns and Union county schools. A large number of YHC faculty and staff use their expertise in teaching classes for the Institute for Continuing Learning (ICL), a volunteer-run continuing-education program affiliated with the College that utilizes college facilities. During 2009, YHC faculty and staff taught classes in poetry, the Russian Revolution and Stalin-

ism, China, Brazil, music, politics and political science and other topics. One YHC professor taught in Blairsvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Master Gardener Program, a business professor provided leadership instruction to the Towns County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, an instructor lectured on and demonstrated yoga to the Hayesville Middle Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Health Fair, and another led the North Carolina Writersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Network poetry critique group that meets monthly at Tri-County Community College. Other YHC staff also offered presentations on policecommunity relations. The Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Duckworth Library is open to students and to the public more than 70 hours per week, seven days a week, when school is in session, and community members are welcome to use College library materials. The Library jointly sponsored lectures with the Mountain Regional Library and hosted programs with the Byron Herbert Reece Society. In celebration of the 200th anniversary of President Abraham Lincolnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s birth, Duckworth Library and YHCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history department co-sponsored a Lincoln lecture for the College and community and made the Libraryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extensive Lincoln collection available for public viewing. Making A Lasting Impact Young Harris College positively impacts the communities that surround it through a number of different avenues that include spending for business operations, educational and cultural offerings, and the time, talent and generosity given by each member of the YHC campus community. In return, local citizens have a long history of embracing the College as well as the individual faculty and staff members and students who call North Georgia home. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Communities with colleges are almost always enriched by the talent and resources that come with a campus,â&#x20AC;? said President Cox. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The cities and counties surrounding Young Harris College surely benefit not just from our significant expenditures, but also from the generosity of our talented and compassionate faculty, staff and students. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been here so long that sometimes folks forget the wide variety of things weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re involved in, but we have a great story to tell, and we will always strive to be a strong and responsible citizen of this area.â&#x20AC;? About Young Harris College Founded in 1886, Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of north Georgia. Historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. Long known for nurturing students during the first two years of college, Young Harris College received accreditation in 2008 to grant bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degrees. The College currently has approximately 700 students across four divisionsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Scienceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and plans to increase enrollment to 1,200 over the next few years. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., is currently undergoing major campus improvements to accommodate the Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growth. For more information, visit -YHC-

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02.18.10 Union Sentinel  
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