Governor Kemp acknowledges Habersham's Hard Work During COVID-19 Pandemic


While in Cornelia Thursday to sign bills from across North Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp paused to acknowledge the work of local communities in the past year’s fight against the Coronavirus.

0:19 {KEMP: “You all, in local communities, have just had to figure how to fight through this, how to get kids back in school, how to do more than just protect yourself from COVID, but figure out ways to protect people’s paycheck and their livelihood in the local community – which in many ways is just as important as fighting COVID.”}

Kemp is commending elected officials at all levels of government, saying COVID presented unique challenges such as mental health issues and the struggle for many people to house, clothe and feed their families.

Kemp says Georgia’s unemployment rate is a point and a half below the national average.

In Baldwin, city leaders will meet as scheduled Tuesday night for a work session, with one topic sure to be the city’s police department.


Baldwin officials are not sure yet how the city will proceed with rebuilding the police department.

Since mid-week, more than half the city’s current police officers have resigned.

That includes Interim Chief Matt Nall.

The city has police on patrol for the next 10 days or so, but the council still is deciding how to proceed with a long-term solution.

Mayor Joe Elam says he is disappointed the officers are leaving. The city was about to act on suggestions made by a consulting firm.

We were all a little disappointed to receive the resignations. At this time, those gentlemen are working out a two-week notice, so rest assured we have a full police department and plenty of protection for our citizens at this time.”

The city’s current budget allows for eight police positions, and five are currently filled, says City Clerk Emily Woodmaster.

The department also has seven full-time Georgia Crime Information Center operators and is allotted two part-time positions. Only one of the part-time positions is not filled.

And, North Georgia Technical College president John Wilkinson has named Leslie McFarlin of Carnesville as vice president of economic development.

McFarlin replaces Keith Powell, who recently left his role to spend more time with his family and is serving as a part-time special assistant to the president. 

McFarlin has served as dean of academic affairs for the industrial technology, transportation and public service programs at NGTC since 2018. She has been employed by the college since 2007, serving in various roles as a math instructor, Quality Enhancement Plan coordinator, and academic dean of general education, learning support and personal services.

As part of her new position, McFarlin will oversee economic development, continuing education non-credit courses, and all of the adult education programs.