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The Banks County News
January 19, 2000

BOC should say 'No' to motel moratorium
A few weeks ago, the Banks County Board of Commissioners were asked to place a moratorium on additional motel units locating at I-85. There has been no action on the request, but it is one that should soon be denied.
The motel owners are upset because the new developments are bringing them in some competition. It should never be up to government to control the marketplace in this manner.
Commissioner Ernest Rogers was right when he said that the motel owners can lower their rates or upgrade the rooms. That is what a free marketplace is all about.

The Banks County News
January 19, 2000

Concerned with Jamieson's 'counterfeit Bible bill'
Dear Editor:
It is very difficult for me to believe that in light of the tragic moral disintegration of our culture that our children face daily, that we have a major conflict in our state over the funding of an elective high school Bible course and its content.
Since the state board of education made the decision not to approve the funding for an elective Bible course in Georgia, Rep. Tommy Smith (D) and Sen. Tommy Williams (R) decided to introduce legislation in both the House and Senate that would call for state funding for an elective Bible course in Georgia.
Jeanette Jamieson (D), while knowing a fellow state representative, Tommy Smith (D), was going to introduce a Bible bill in the House, struck a pre-emptive blow with the Democrat leadership and introduced a Bible bill on Monday, Jan. 10, in an attempt to keep the "real" Bible bill from coming to the floor or coming out of committee.
Rep. Jamieson's counterfeit Bible bill is co-sponsored by the House Democrat majority leader, Larry Walker, and others. Rep. Smith's Bible bill has 68 co-sponsors, which includes 16 Democrats and 52 Republicans.
Differences between the Smith Bible bill, HB 1200, and the Jamieson Bible bill, HB 1114, are as follows:
·The Smith bill does not have the state censor the Bible. It would not tell the students that the Bible is true or false, but allows them to draw their own conclusions. The Jamieson bill, however, allows for censoring parts of the Bible such as creation, the Virgin birth, the miracles of Christ and the Resurrection.
·The Smith bill gives control to the local school boards, which is how other states handle the issue, while the Jamieson bill gives total control to the state board of education.
·The Smith bill supports a curriculum that 90 percent of the people polled in Georgia prefer. The Jamieson bill supports a curriculum which is favorable to the ACLU.
·The Bible course that the Smith bill describes has been taught successfully using the King James version in hundreds of cities in 29 states. Why should Georgia be any different? The Jamieson bill is opposed to using the King James version. To deprive Georgia's children of the original documents that inspired Americanism and our religious heritage is violating students' Constitutional rights.
Since the Bible was the foundation and blueprint for our Constitution, Declaration of Independence and our educational system, how can we submit ourselves and our children to Rep. Jeanette Jamieson's Bible bill that is void of the truth?
We must all join in the effort to support the Tommy Smith high-school elective Bible course, HB 1200.
Nancy Schaefer
Family Concerns Inc.

By Sherry Lewis
The Banks County News
January 19, 2000

What about all of the good coverage?
Last Tuesday night, I was sitting in the board of commissioners' meeting listening and taking notes as usual. Interim fire chief Perry Dalton got up to speak about a proposal for a new fire truck and his comments shocked me, quite frankly.
Moments into his talk, he suddenly began to criticize this newspaper about an article that appeared a few years ago. It was not because of content but because he didn't feel as if the story got adequate coverage. He told BOC members and the audience about how the article ended up on the third or fourth page in some inconspicuous place and continued to complain about the headline. Needless to say, my pen dropped.
I have worked long and hard hours to cover fire department activities and events and was hurt that Dalton chose to dwell on one incident several years ago that he didn't like. What about all of the good coverage we've had on the fire department?
Everyone wants their article on page one, but unfortunately, that can't happen. The editor makes decisions each week on what makes the front page. Often Tuesday night meetings don't make the front because of time constraints. At this point, who knows why that article didn't make the front three years ago? I am sure that our readers go beyond page one when checking out the paper each week. Instead of making a point of this, I wish Perry had spoken about the coverage we have had of all of the good things the fire department does every year.
The article in question was sent in by a fireman and it dealt with the decrease of insurance rates to homeowners "because the fire department got the ISO rating lowered." A citizen in the audience last Tuesday was quick to remind Dalton that the ISO rating was also based on the development of a countywide water system. However, I do agree that the fire department did contribute greatly to that happening.
In looking at past editions of The Banks County News over the last couple of years, I'd say we have been more than fair to the fire department. In 1999, we put out our first ever special edition to cover the fire at New Salem United Methodist Church. Last year, we gave the department press coverage galore about the events surrounding the fire, including the unveiling of a monument and memorial services in honor of fallen firefighter Loy Williams.
One Saturday, I spent half a day at a fire department muster. We gave them a full-page spread the following week, and I also wrote a column about the event, praising the fire department.
At Christmas, the fire department and emergency medical services made contributions to a needy family. Guess who got front-page coverage with a color picture and story about their generosity?
In 1998, I spent the evening at a controlled burn, put on turn-out gear and again they got a story, a page of pictures and a column about the good things the fire department was doing.
If Dalton will take the time to look back through The Banks County News, he will see that there have been plenty of page one articles about the fire department. I hope he will also realize that it doesn't have to be on page one to be "news."
Sherry Lewis is news editor of The Banks County News.

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