First Citizens Donates to TFC

First Citizens Foundation presented a donation for $10,000 to Toccoa Falls College! President Dr. Robert Myers and Lee Yowell, Vice President for Advancement, received the check on April 21, 2014. Ninety-nine percent of the students who attend TFC receive financial aid and scholarship support every year. This donation will help students receive scholarships from the school. Toccoa Falls College is extremely grateful and blessed to have organizations in the community partnering and supporting the students and their education.
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Political atmosphere amps up


We have had some interesting political debates lately. This year is a more intense election year because of the shortened campaigning season. With primaries coming in May, we are seeing our county covered with political signs, radio stations filled with ads and debates set up to keep voters informed. We are just glad that there is more than one candidate in manyof our  races.


In an effort to keep citizens informed, WNEG Radio ( awesome source for local news) sponsored a recent debate. The debate was held at the Schaeffer Center in Toccoa. This gave voters a chance to hear their choices for local and state offices.

In the race for Board of Education, we see some of Toccoa’s finest leaders stepping in to the arena. District 1 will see a matchup between Steve Tilley and Jim Bellamy District Two will pit Incumbent Jeff Webb against Brenda Kelley.  District three will have Laura Biggers facing David Fricks.

In the race for District 28 House seat, we see Rep. Dan Gasaway and Truett McConnell Athletic Director Stacy Hall facing off.  Gasaway has long been a champion for Toccoa. Their debate focused on economic development and the handling of a local composting company.
Incumbent Doug Collins and challenger Retired Gen. Bernard Fontaine both appeared at the political forum at the Schaefer Center. Their focus was also jobs. They went on to discuss infrastructure and insurance.

No matter what you choice, we all need to vote. Our registration and turnout level could be greatly improved. Take time to register and vote!


Nancy Basket Demonstration at Tugalo Bend

Nancy Basket learned pine needle basketry from her friend, Judy Arledge, in 1981. She met a Cherokee man, Mr. Lee, in Yakima, Washington at a bead store. He shared his family collection of pine needle baskets with her and the stories behind them. The collection included a cradle board and an effigy bear basket. After offering to buy the collection, he told her, "Your job isn't to buy these baskets. Your job is to make them." Nancy remembered what he told her and to get more instruction, she helped form the first basketry guild in the US. in recent times. This Seattle, Washington group, The Vi Phillips/Northwest Basketweavers Guild is still active. (note: rye straw Bee Skep basket makers had basketry guilds until the mid 1800's when these bell shaped hives were outlawed and white boxes for bees were made mandatory.)

She moved to Illinois where she helped form another basketry guild and experimented with cattail leaves as no pine needles grew there. Teaching her skill at national basketry conventions, she found that pine needle baskets took too long, cost too much (bundled pine needles sold then for $14 a lb.) and the students wanted bigger baskets for their money.  In 1989, she moved to SC to be closer to the Long Leaf pines so she could collect her own needles, and closer to the Cherokee reservation to learn the stories of respect her own grandmother never knew. Then, she taught her own children about the culture to end the unknowing.

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