The following articles were authored by LeAnne

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July 4 Flood Run on Braselton’s Mulberry RiverWalk added to Centennial activities lineup

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Flood-Run-2016-flyer-finalAs the town of Braselton is celebrating its 100th anniversary, the slogan “It’s Better in Braselton” is taking on special meaning this July 4 holiday.

While the Peachtree Road Race is a popular place to be on Independence Day morning, Jacob Flood is encouraging other like-minded people to opt instead for Braselton Mulberry RiverWalk and join him, family and friends for the second annual Flood Run, starting at 10 a.m.

And best of all, it’s free. You can register at www.tinyurl.com/floodrun2016 and contact the event organizer at thefloodrun@gmail.com.

Mulberry RiverWalk, a walking path developed by the town with perennial gardens, footbridges and picnic areas along the 200 acres purchased by the town to protect the community’s drinking water supply, was a Godsend for Jacob Flood after his 2011 surgery to repair ruptured discs in his back. After suffering for years with back pain, his surgeon recommended walking more and his wife, Christine, walked with him as he regained his strength and eventually began running.

“We knew about the trail but hadn’t used it until [he needed to] as a health necessity” and the trail became fun. He even enlisted a co-worker to join in and they began running and ended up liking the exercise so much that the Peachtree Road Race became his goal.

“I always like trail running more than on the streets or sidewalks,” said Flood, who notes the beauty of Mulberry RiverWalk which winds along the river and goes under tree cover means a refreshing outdoor environment for wellness pursuits so close to home.

Although rain kept some friends away in 2015, the excitement for this year’s event grew to the point that Flood, who works as a permit coordinator for Actavo Engineering in Braselton, determined he should check with the town about any needed permits.

Jacob Flood is looking forward to the second annual Flood Run on July 4 along Braselton's Mulberry RiverWalk. He sits on a bench at the shady entrance to the trail which begins on Liberty Church Road near Highway 211.

Jacob Flood is looking forward to the second annual Flood Run on July 4 along Braselton’s Mulberry RiverWalk. He sits on a bench at the shady entrance to the trail which begins on Liberty Church Road near Highway 211. See his photo gallery below of some of the scenes along the RiverWalk.

Flood met with Town Manager Jennifer Dees and he found her helpfulness overwhelming when she welcomed the Flood Run into the Braselton Centennial Celebration activities. The town is marking the 100th anniversary of its founding throughout the year with a special Aug. 20 celebration on tap. She said the trail run/walk is a perfect complement to the town’s offerings on July 4 which include a festival in Braselton Park from 5-9 p.m., a 6 p.m. parade and fireworks at dusk.

Flood said he was seeking permission for the growing gathering, and “What I got was an amazing response from Jennifer in addition to her offering up tremendous help and resources,” said Flood.

“What do you need?” asked Dees, who is delivering with Braselton “Be Local. Buy Local” support, Braselton Visitors’ Bureau Authority backing and volunteers as well as connections to other sponsors. Debra Swantek was enlisted to assist with web services and other promotional aspects of the fun.

S&S Ace Hardware is sponsoring and providing overflow parking on the grassy area in front of the store located just yards from the entrance to Riverwalk off Liberty Church Road near Highway 211. Garbage Hound is sponsoring garbage cans and collection.

Longstreet Clinic, which will have its Braselton offices in Highpoint Medical Center when that project is completed, is also partnering in the event. Also a regional Advocare distributor is going to set up some samples and give information on health-oriented products.

Other sponsors are also welcome, and if additional sponsorship comes in, the vision of adding T-shirts to next year’s run may come in 2016. The prospect of goodie bags and other offerings is growing the run beyond Flood’s expectations. He said a small entry fee may be added next year to finance much-in-demand shirts. Fliers are going up and there will be signage, banners and post dressing on the new mileage posts.

Although not long after the 2013 Peachtree Road Race, Flood had another medical setback when his appendix ruptured, requiring emergency surgery and slowing his activities to nothing, he returned to the trail when he regained his strength. While he acknowledges his appearance on the trail changes with the seasons and his busy work schedule, he’ll be there at least once a week.

Jacob Flood, who was the winner of the first Flood Run, is hoping he’ll be joined by others who want to experience Braselton’s Mulberry RiverWalk which now has mile markers, thanks to the town responding to his request for signage to assist walkers and runners gauge their progress.

Flood said he hasn’t previously been one to get involved in community happenings but the excitement and engagement he is seeing from Braselton is encouraging him to be a volunteer in other happenings including the Pooches in the Park on June 11. Learn more about that event at the Buy Local Braselton Facebook page.

Interested in becoming a Flood Run sponsor? Contact Jacob Flood at thefloodrun@gmail.com or see tinyurl.com/facebookfloodrun2016.

Fewer than 10 votes separate commission chairman from challenger

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15 ballots to be counted Friday could swing the election

Fewer than 6,000 of the 30,462 registered Jackson County voters took part in Tuesday’s primary, and the closely-watched contest between incumbent Commission Chairman Tom Crow and challenger Ben Stephens was separated by a mere eight votes, according to unofficial results.

Election Supervisor Lori Wurtz and the Jackson County Board of Elections and Voter Registration will convene Friday to count the 11 military ballots and four provisional ballots which could swing the election.

Incumbents facing opponents fared well throughout the county with District 1 Commissioner Jim Hix outballoting Dan Torbett 68.9 percent to 31 percent, Sen. Frank Ginn receiving 76 percent of the Jackson County votes to opponent Tyler Hollifield’s almost 24 percent, Rep. John Wilkinson tallying almost 70 percent against challenger Roy Benifield’s 30 percent and Rep. Tommy Benton securing re-election in a 73 percent to 26 percent contest with Wes Lewis.

In Barrow County, the commission chairman race — between incumbent and former Braselton mayor Pat Graham and Billy Parks, a county commissioner who resigned to challenge Graham — was also a nail-biter with only 274 separating the incumbent from the challenger.

State Rep. Terry England handily defeated opponent Lucretia Consuela Hughes by a margin of 90 percent to less than 10 percent. Incumbent Sen. Frank Ginn also fared well in Barrow against Tyler Hollifield.

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EAGLE winner Desmond Vaird earns GED, overcomes addiction to continue education and ‘give back’ as tribute to late grandmother

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Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Gretchen Corbin presented the statewide EAGLE Award to Desmond Vaird, who earned his GED while enrolled at The Potter’s House, a long-term, residential discipleship program for chemically addicted men located in Jefferson.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Gretchen Corbin presented the statewide EAGLE Award to Desmond Vaird, who earned his GED while enrolled at The Potter’s House, a long-term, residential discipleship program for chemically addicted men located in Jefferson.

Desmond Vaird says he is on cloud nine after being selected as the Technical College System of Georgia’s 2016 Adult Education Student of the Year.

Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education (EAGLE) honors were presented March 16 by Gov. Nathan Deal, TCSG Commissioner Gretchen Corbin and Beverly Smith, TCSG assistant commissioner for adult education, during an event at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Atlanta.

Vaird, who was selected by a panel of judges from business and education, will receive a full scholarship to the technical college of his choice. In addition, his fees and books will be paid for through a stipend from the Brenda Wise Scholarship Fund, established in 2014 in memory of Brenda Wise, a lifelong supporter of adult education.

Continue reading EAGLE winner Desmond Vaird earns GED, overcomes addiction to continue education and ‘give back’ as tribute to late grandmother

Arts council seeking volunteers and members

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The Jackson County Arts Council needs you.

Celebrate the Arts student art show, fine art scholarships for our seniors, a fine art exhibition and gala for our members and friends, art classes for children and adults — these are just a few of things we hope to accomplish in 2016-17, but we need your support, according to JCAC president Teddie Lohmeier.

“We need volunteers to serve on our board, join our committees and work at events. We need a storage place for our art display panels and a place to meet and hold classes. We need donations and members. We need your creativity and ideas,” said Lohmeier.

“Help make Jackson County a vibrant and exciting art, music, dance and drama destination,” she said.  “We promote, encourage and advocate for the arts in Jackson County.”

Lohmeier expressed appreciation to all who supported the arts council during the past year. Donations to the 501-c-3 are tax deductible.

Learn more about the Jackson County Arts Council at www.jacksoncountygaarts.com and see Jackson County Arts Council GA on Facebook.