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OPINION PAGE - JANUARY 5, 2000 - HOMER, GA

Editorial
The Banks County News
January 5, 2000

A vision for Banks County
The arrival of 2000 brings a time of reflection on past successes and goal-setting for the new year. Many countians have already set their personal goals and resolutions for the new year. These serve as a guide and reminder of what they hope to accomplish in the coming year.
With that in mind, we offer the following as our list of goals for Banks County in 2000:
·Our state leaders should proceed with legislation prohibiting annexation across county lines without a county's permission. This will finally settle any worries about Commerce or Jackson County annexing Banks Crossing and harming our county tax base. Annexation and consolidation have been long been discussed as methods of accomplishing this but both scenarios are plagued with problems. Legislation would be the best method to finally put this worry to rest.
·Homer needs to finalize its zoning ordinance. Town leaders, along with a volunteer citizen's committee, have worked long hours to get this ordinance ready and it is time to approve it. Zoning must be in place to protect Homer as growth continues to head this way.
·The Banks County Board of Education should move swiftly in naming a new superintendent. A strong leader is needed to guide our school system into the next century.
·A new fire chief also needs to be named soon for our county. This is a crucial position and it should also be filled with a strong leader who can oversee this department.
·In this election year, voters will be going to the polls to elect many important county, state and national leaders. Voters need to elect qualified individuals who have the best interest of this county at heart.
·Economic growth continues to be important to Banks County. Our county leaders should continue their efforts toward this in order to be ready for the growth that is coming our way.


Letters
The Banks County News
January 5, 2000

Thanks for help with youth hunt
Dear Editor:
The first-ever youth hunt on county property in Banks County was an outstanding success. Twenty-seven kids were selected and 25 hunted. Seventeen kids harvested a deer and several harvested more than one. Many of the kids experienced their first hunt and harvested a deer. Everyone saw deer.
While we did not harvest any record-breaking bucks, everyone, adult and youth alike, had a very fine experience.
Many people put a lot of work and time into this event and I wish to express my most sincere thanks to them all. Especially the members of Grove Level Christian Sportman Fellowship: Trent Wilson, Jeff Butler, Allen Coggins, Andy Barnett, Tim Garner and Tim Boyer.
Also, our most sincere thanks go to Phillip Cronic of the recreation department, Ben Whisinant of the commissioner's officer, John Mitchell, county extension agent, all the BSA members, and the county commission members, James Dumas, Pat Westmoreland and Ernest Rogers.
A special thanks goes to Don Wofford and his sons, who field-dressed and aged all the deer. Don and his sons provided us with a good look at the age range of the deer herd.
Also, thanks goes to David Carlock for evaluating the herd for us. Also, thanks to all the surrounding landowners for their assistance and understanding. This event will always be remembered by those young people and adults that participated.
If I have left anyone out it is not intentional. So many people did so much in a short period of time for a group of our fine young people. Again, thanks.
Sincerely,
W.L. Popphan, DNR Ranger

Column
By Sherry Lewis
The Banks County News
January 5, 2000

Holiday plans change
I had big plans for the Christmas holidays. They were not elaborate plans, but I wanted to spend some quality time with my children. I had a few days off and we planned to go to the mall, see a couple of movies, go shopping and whatever else we decided to do.
In a matter of moments, that all changed. I ended up spending a part of last week in a different place - the visiting room at the intensive care unit.
As I sat in that room, all of our other plans seemed insignificant.
It all started last Wednesday. I was going to the courthouse and out to lunch when I got a page. My mother-in-law, Doris King, had been admitted to Habersham County Medical Center on Tuesday after an asthma attack. Wednesday, she had a breathing treatment and quit breathing sometime later. The page from my sister-in-law was "Something's happened to mother. They told us to get to the hospital."
Those were words I'd never expected to hear that day but nonetheless, prepared or not, I did. My husband, Chris, went to the hospital and I stayed home with my children and my nephew, Douglas, who was visiting from Florida.
I must admit those were some tense hours waiting by the phone, waiting for some news of her condition. Finally, I got a call that Doris was about the same.
On Thursday, again Chris went to the hospital and I kept the children, which I learned later was the easier of the two jobs. I found out that a second grader can be entertained quite nicely going shopping for toys and eating pizza.
It was Friday when I made my first trip to the hospital. Doris was well taken care of before my arrival and would have done just fine, but I wanted to see firsthand what was going on. I went back to her room in the ICU and could hardly believe my eyes. There she was lifeless, with tubes in her body and on a breathing machine. Doris has been a fighter for years, but weighing her past lung problems, I had my doubts.
It was upsetting to me. I hurt for my children at the thoughts of losing a grandmother. I hurt for my husband at the thought of losing a mother.
The news got better by Saturday. When we arrived at the hospital, she was sitting up in bed. Granted, she was still very disoriented, but she was moving. By Sunday, she had been moved to a regular room.
My observations during the time were that Doris has a family who really loves her. Her children kept tabs on her condition and said to heck with everything else. This was their mother and they, much like their mother, were not willing to give up.
Not only did this trial bring the family closer together, but it helped them to develop a kinship with a neighboring family whose son and brother were in the next room. Each day, I too, would check the condition of Doris, then check the condition of the other man. When we left the ICU room on Sunday, I was happy but also sad to leave this family behind. Their news has not been as good as ours. This patient was later transferred to another hospital due to his worsening condition.
While I celebrate my family's good fortune, my thoughts have been with this family. I know the family would appreciate your adding their son and brother to your prayer list.
While my week didn't turn out the way I'd planned, I am thankful for the outcome.
Sherry Lewis is news editor of The Banks County News.


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