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Ellijay, GA
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Early E-SPLOST voting slow

With only one initiative on the ballot March 17, early voting is predictably slow and not being helped any by winter weather that closed the registrar’s office last Tuesday. Registrar Nelda Spires said the office will adhere to the schedule of the county courthouse. “If the courthouse is closed, so will we,” she said.
Report: Dunn falsely signed up for conferences

Report: Dunn falsely signed up for conferences
Over a two-year period, Jeffery Mark Dunn was “embezzling” funds while in his position as chief executive officer of North Georgia Medical Center by falsely registering himself and other employees for conferences they never attended, an incident report from the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office states.
School system facing superintendency vacancy

The Gilmer County Charter School System will soon be looking for a new superintendent. Jason Kouns, who has held that position in the system since Sept. 2013, has announced his plans to submit a letter of resignation to the Gilmer County Board of Education. He made known the decision Friday morning in an email to the school system’s faculty and staff.
Ellijay line rehab tops water authority’s 2015 projects

Replacing old water lines below South Main and River  Street is at the forefront of the Ellijay-Gilmer County Water and Sewerage Authority’s (EGCWSA) 2015 capital improvement schedule, the authority’s director said following a Feb. 9 workshop session held to prioritize future projects.
Children taken from their home returned safely to Gilmer County

Two Gilmer County children who were reportedly taken from their home last week by their father without their mother’s permission were found safe a few hours later in Tennessee, the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office reported.
BOC takes no action on gas tax HB 170

The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners did not take any action on one controversial bill pending in the state legislature, but vehemently opposed a second. The board members discussed House Bill 170 at some length during a work session last Thursday but then took no action at the regular meeting. The bill would take away tax revenue from gasoline sales in the county.

BOE speaks out against part-time worker benefit cuts, bill

The Gilmer County Charter School System is speaking out against some of the things happening under the golden dome of the capitol in Atlanta. In particular the board of education has expressed concerns about how the local school district will be impacted by an item in the governor’s proposed budget and the Transportation Funding Act of 2015 (House Bill 170).
SunLink head comments in wake of charges against former CEO

The chief executive officer of SunLink Health Systems, which owns North Georgia Medical Center in Ellijay, returned a phone call Wednesday after the Feb. 12 issue of the Times-Courier came off the press with a story about former hospital CEO Jeff Dunn being charged with 21 counts of theft by deception.
Former hospital CEO Dunn charged with theft

Former hospital CEO Dunn charged with theft
An investigation one official said has been going on for over a year has resulted in the arrest of a former chief executive officer of North Georgia Medical Center for allegedly stealing around $1 million from the hospital, authorities announced Monday.
Proposed transportation bill a ‘disaster’ and ‘catastrophic’

The Georgia House of Representatives is considering a resolution that has been called a “disaster” and “catastrophic” by local officials.  House Bill 170 would take away local gasoline tax revenue from counties and cities and replace it with a 29.2-cent excise tax per gallon that would go to the state for transportation needs and repairing highway infrastructure.

Ellijay man sentenced in motorcycle gang case

Ellijay man sentenced in motorcycle gang case
The final two men accused in a north Georgia motorcycle gang investigation by the FBI were sentenced Friday in federal court in Gainesville. Walt Verrill, 50, of Sautee Nacoochee, and Tony Parrott, 38, of Ellijay, were the last two defendants in a 28-defendant investigation related to the Black Pistons Motorcycle Club and other clubs.
News Briefs

News Briefs
School bus in accident
The Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page reported a motor vehicle accident with no injuries on Old Highway 5 South near Freeman Gas Tuesday, Feb. 10, that was found to involve a Gilmer County school bus.

BOE to vote on superintendent
The Gilmer County Board of Education will hold a special called meeting next Thursday, Feb. 19, at 5 p.m. to vote on whether or not to extend the contract of Superintendent Jason Kouns.

What happened to the hotels?

For a sign that’s been standing for around six years now, it’s in pretty good shape: “Holiday Inn Express & Suites — Coming Soon, Opening Fall 2009.” The only thing is, no one has seen hide nor hair of Holiday Inn. But that doesn’t mean the worldwide hotel chain — or any other potential business — is out of the picture.
E-SPLOST election deadline Feb. 17

The deadline to register to vote for the March 17 special election on renewing the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST) referendum is Feb. 17. The election will determine if the 1-cent sales tax is continued. If approved, the measure would raise a maximum of $25 million for education capital improvements.
Ellijay readies for November election

With a city election on the horizon this fall, the Ellijay City Council voted to approve qualifying fees for their seats and the mayor’s position during their January meeting. Qualified applicants, who must live within the city limits of Ellijay, will pay $716.37 to run for mayor and $91.50 to qualify for a council seat.
Home sales rebounding with $91 million in 2014

Quietly, the housing market in Gilmer County has been rebounding with 644 closings last year worth a total value of more than $91 million, according to figures from the Multiple Listing Service.
Long-in-works reservoir project completed

Long-in-works reservoir project completed
Physical labor on a long-in-the-works project to establish a new water supply port the Ellijay-Gilmer County Water and Sewerage Authority (EGCWSA) could use in case of a drought is finally done, the authority’s director told the Times-Courier Friday.
School specialist attorney addresses BOE on archival email issue

School board specialist Phil Hartley waded into the local school system’s email archiving discussion during a Gilmer County Board of Education meeting Thursday, Jan. 15.
County to appeal $171,000 fine

A $171,415 fine levied by the Georgia Department of Revenue against the Gilmer County Assessors Office will be appealed, the county’s chief appraiser said at a Jan. 15 public meeting dominated by talks of  budget concerns and how future penalties can be avoided.
Former bank officer convicted of fraud

Former bank officer convicted of fraud
William R. “Rusty” Beamon Jr., was convicted by a federal jury last week in Gainesville for carrying out a scheme to defraud the former Appalachian Community Bank of Ellijay, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta.
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