(Lumpkin County, GA) August 8, 2018 – On Wednesday, August 1, 2018, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the University of North Georgia Police Department to assist in an investigation involving threats of violence made to a university professor. The threats, made by email and letter, involved a threat of gun violence to the professor, other staff, and students if the professor did not resign. An extensive investigation by the GBI and the UNG Police Department resulted in the arrest of Jose Gomez, 23, of Alpharetta, for Terroristic Threats and Acts. Gomez was arrested at his Alpharetta home on August 4, 2018 by the Alpharetta Police Department.
Gomez was transported to the Lumpkin County Jail where he will face the charge in Lumpkin County Superior Court.
Following the recent Veterans Benefits Fair that Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) held in Dahlonega last month, the Ninth District Representative met with the Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce recently to hear from business leaders about the local economy and related issues. Dahlonega’s Mayor Sam Norton and County Commission Chairman Chris Dockery were among those in attendance.
Collins asked Chamber members for their perspectives on a variety of policy issues and took questions focused on the implications that national policy discussions have for Lumpkin County.
“I’m thankful that the Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce continues to share their time and insight with me. The leadership in this community remains committed to promoting smart growth opportunities, and hearing from them allows me to work effectively with the White House and my colleagues in Congress to break down barriers to economic success,” said Collins following the event.
The group emphasized the challenge presented by unreliable broadband access in the area, which Collins has been tackling in his work with the Federal Communications Commission and as a legislator. Collins introduced the Gigabit Opportunity Act this Congress to incentivize private investment in rural broadband infrastructure and has praised President Trump for his executive order focused on improving rural broadband, which he issued this January.
The discussion focused on Dahlonega’s economy, as Collins asked for an update on growth, whether anything was holding the community back and what impact tax reform seems to be having locally. The consensus seemed to be that the economy is strengthening as demand is growing across industries, though more regulatory relief from Washington would be welcome. Government agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have negatively affected industries and consumers, and Republicans in the House continue voting to roll back harmful regulations.
Many business owners would also like to see northeast Georgia’s workforce grow. Collins echoed calls for a greater emphasis on vocational training in schools in order to prepare the next generation of workers for fields that demand specific technical skills. He also noted that workforce development has become more of a focus in Washington recently
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) awarded approximately $8.6 million for road projects in Senate District 51 as part of a $54 million statewide construction and maintenance upgrade. Projects for Senate District 51 were announced as part of the 2016 November and December awards.
“Maintenance and upgrades for existing roads continue to be a critical issue for our local communities,” said Senator Steve Gooch(R – Dahlonega). “I commend GDOT for acknowledging the needs within our community and awarding projects to Senate District 51. These projects will increase safety, decrease congestion and ensure that existing infrastructure needs are met.”
Dawson County was awarded a project totaling around $3.8 million. This funding will go toward construction of a roundabout on State Route 53 at State Route 183. The anticipated completion date for this project is May 31, 2018.
A project totaling around $4.5 million was awarded to address approximately 53 miles of plant mix resurfacing and surface treatment paving at five locations across Fannin and Pickens Counties. These upgrades will be completed by November 30, 2017. Along with this award, Pickens County was awarded an additional project totaling $292,243. This project will increase safety throughout the county by funding signing and pavement marking upgrades at railroad crossing location throughout the county. The anticipated completion date for these projects is May 31, 2018.
Information on schedules, lane closures and detours will be made available on the Georgia DOT Website in advance of construction activities.
Details on all projects awarded can be found through the Award Announcement Downloads link at https://www.bidx.com/ga/letting?lettingid=16052001. Click on Award Announcement on the right.