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Support bond vote
To say that the student population in Jackson
County is growing would be an understatement. Because of the
growth coming to the county, classrooms are getting full at a
pace we've never seen before.
U.S. Once Again At The
Mercy Of OPEC
The bad news is that a gallon of regular
gasoline averages $1.41 as of last week in America. The worse
news is that we can expect a 25-cent increase in mid-spring,
and $2 per gallon is not out of the question.
Keep it rural!
A controversial rezoning request on Floyd
Road was withdrawn Monday after neighboring residents voiced
fears that the zoning change would spark more residential development
in the agricultural area.
No county coverage
BOC says 'no' to health insurance for county's elected
Madison County's elected officials will continue to seek health
insurance apart from the county.
County voters to show presidential preferences
Madison Countians will get their turn to
select their favorite party hopefuls in the race for president
Low voter turnout expected Tues. for Presidential Primary
A low turnout is expected Tuesday when Banks
County voters go to the polls to cast their ballots in the Presidential
Bush, Gore win in 'mock election'
Banks County Middle School students favor
Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore as the top two
candidates in the presidential race.
Volunteers help New Salem UMC rebuild
In a gesture of good will, teenagers and
adults from three northeastern states spent last week helping
to rebuild New Salem United Methodist Church.
Tiger Track Opens Season At Dome
CHS Sends 6 To Statewide Meet In Atlanta Friday
One can look at Friday's action by the Commerce
track and field team at the Georgia Dome as a start to the season
or a finish.
Jefferson Girls Bow Out Of State Basketball Tournament
Jefferson's Lady Dragons were one of several victims in a weekend
of upsets in the state basketball sectionals. Jefferson fell
to Landmark Christian Friday, finishing their season with a 20-9
4-0 Panthers playing serious hardball
Rusty Hendricks must be delighted.
Hendricks' Panther baseball team won its fourth straight game
Tuesday night, assuring the team of being in Saturday's Bi-County
Tournament championship game.
The Jackson Herald
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056
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Workers from ConAgra clean up after
a truck transporting broilers overturned on Georgia 334 early
Thursday afternoon just east of the intersection with U.S. 441.
Driver David Biggers of Cleveland lost control of the truck as
it traveled west around a curve, crossed the center line and
overturned on the shoulder of the east lane. Biggers was not
hurt, but hundreds of chickens perished a few hours prematurely.
NO MORE MOBILE
The Jefferson School System is
using several mobile units as classrooms due to growth at the
system. The March 7 bond referendum is to provide funds for expansion
at the system's schools. Jenny Bellnap's kindergarten class is
shown above. She has 17 students in the class. Two other mobile
units are used as kindergarten classes.
Photo by Travis Hatfield
Ho-Hum: Not Much Interest
Seen In Presidential Primary
A low turnout is expected Tuesday when Jackson County voters
go to the polls to cast their ballots in the Presidential Preference
Jackson County probate judge Margaret Deadwyler, who is the election
superintendent, said she expects no more than 25 percent of the
county's 15,607 registered voters to cast ballots. The turnout
could be higher in Jefferson than in other areas because of a
bond referendum vote for improvements and expansion of the city
If that proves correct, it will be in contrast to recent primary
elections in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Michigan, where
record numbers of voters went to the polls, thanks to an unexpectedly
competitive race for the Republican nomination.
The Republican candidates in the presidential primary are Arizona
Senator John McCain, Texas Governor George W. Bush and Alan Keyes,
but the surprising strength of McCain has generated a two-candidate
race in a primary season when conventional wisdom said Bush's
nomination was inevitable. Bush is the son of former President
The names of Steve Forbes, Gary Bauer and Orrin Hatch will also
be on the ballot, but they have dropped out of the race.
Democrat candidates are Vice President Al Gore and former professional
basketball player and New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley.
Georgia is but one of 11 states holding presidential primaries
on what is billed as "Super Tuesday."
The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the various Jackson
Locally, five board of commissioners seats, along with other
county and state offices, will be up for grabs in the July 18
primary. Qualifying will be from 9 a.m. Monday, April 24, through
noon Friday, April 28.
Says Commerce Should Concentrate On Restaurants And Retail
By the year 2003, Commerce could support
possibly seven downtown restaurants, according to the authors
of a $10,000 marketing study conducted for the city at the request
of the Downtown Development Authority.
Dr. Alice Ford-Collins of the Stetson School of Business at Mercer
University, and Eleanor Matthews, of Marketek, presented the
study Monday morning at the Harber House Inn before an audience
of DDA members, city councilmen and officers of the Commerce
Area Business Association.
Among the recommendations the study makes are that the city focus
on recruiting retail businesses, particularly restaurants, that
it utilize its upstairs spaces for offices and apartments and
that building owners be more selective about to whom they lease
"Usually, whoever comes in and asks for it gets it,"
noted Ford-Collins. "Uh-uh." She added that the city
should try to encourage retail business as a means of building
the "critical mass" of businesses needed to make the
The two women said the marketing study had two purposes. First,
it analyzed the current situation; second, it addressed potential
Matthews used demographic data from Banks and Jackson counties
to make the case for the city, pointing out the rapid growth,
median income and even analyzing the lifestyles of residents.
She said the low median household income of $30,228 "is
the only bad news," and presented figures showing that retail
sales in the two-county area more than doubled from 1992 to 1999.
From those figures, the two concluded that Commerce could add
47,779 square feet of "sustainable retail space" by
2003, of which 7,400 square feet could be for food and beverage
Respondents to the marketing survey identified a lack of restaurants
as the biggest weak point of the downtown, followed by a lack
of retail variety and a lack of entertainment businesses. When
asked what services they desired, respondents led with movie
theaters, followed by restaurants and an exercise center. As
for items they wished to be offered in the downtown, respondents
listed women's casual apparel and children's clothing as the
Interestingly, 88 percent of 15 businesses who responded to the
survey reported that business had improved in the past year.
Only one reported a decline.
Ford-Collins listed the "strengths" of the downtown
as its proximity to Interstate 85 and the outlet stores, several
large "anchor" businesses or institutions, significant
nearby residential neighborhoods and the growth rate.
Its weaknesses also include the proximity to I-85 and the outlet
stores, the fact that so much prime retail space is either vacant
or has a non-retail use, a lack of variety in businesses, including
a lack of restaurants, poor pedestrian flow, largely because
of the railroad tracks and heavy four-lane traffic, and limited
store hours that make it impossible for people to shop downtown
after they get off work.
Ford-Collins proposed three "clusters" of businesses
to address the problem.
The first, Elm Street from Georgia Avenue to Pine Street, would
focus on home furnishings and accessories such as bed and bath
linens, fine china, galleries, consignment stores, upholstery
shops and interior design.
The second, on Broad Street from State Street south to Sycamore,
would feature specialty clothing for women and children, support
businesses, and perhaps stores selling books or toys and games.
The third cluster, along North Broad Street from State Street
north, would specialize in restaurants, cafes, perhaps a bakery,
entertainment and specialty shops.
"It would be casual, low-key, somewhat funky," she
"I should be right at home," cracked Commerce councilman
Bob Sosebee, whose office is in that area.
"There is a large, unfilled demand for restaurants. The
bulk of them should be in that cluster," Ford-Collins proposed.
"That's your best bet for drawing people from the malls."
Drawing people from Banks Crossing is seen as a goal. The seven
million shoppers that go to the Tanger Factory Stores each year
are a potential bonanza, the researchers said, but only if they
can be lured into the downtown.
Ford-Collins made the following recommendations:
·improve the "gateways" to Commerce from the
north and south so people realize they're entering the downtown.
·focus on retail businesses, including restaurants, on
bottom floors, and office and residential use on subsequent floors.
·recruit quality businesses.
·improve other outlying areas, particularly along entrances
to the city.
THE NEXT STEP
Jan Nelson, executive director of the DDA, says the next step
will be, in the 2000-2001 budget year, to develop marketing materials
utilizing the survey results.
"We want to be able to actively work on bringing in those
businesses that the survey says are needed and wanted,"
she said. "We want to be able to develop a marketing packet
that can be tailored to whatever business we are trying to court."
She estimated an expenditure of $8,000 to $10,000, half of which
she believes will be funded by a grant.
begin soon at Freightliner in Jefferson
Freightliner is set to begin construction
on a new $13 million truck dealership in Jefferson.
Grading is being done on the 26-acre tract of land north of Jefferson
on Hog Mountain Road and Jett Roberts Road. Construction is slated
to begin soon and be complete in approximately six months.
Two buildings will be located on the property, one 72,000 square
feet and the other 45,000 square feet. The company will employ
100 people and be in operation seven days a week, 24 hours a
In addition to a truck dealership, the company will also sell
new and used parts and have 25 maintenance bays. The firm initially
wanted to locate in Braselton, but faced opposition from town
Go to Jackson
Public Meeting Dates
& Convenience Stores
Announces For Commissioner
The first candidate to announce for the Jackson County Board
of Commissioners under the new five-member structure made his
intentions known this week.
Stacey Britt, 38, of Jefferson, announced that he will run for
the Post 1 seat on the board, a district that covers from just
south of Jefferson up to the Plainview community. Jefferson is
the only incorporated town in the district.
Britt works in a family real estate business in Northeast Georgia.
He served as a councilman and mayor of Grayson for 10 years and
was a member of the Gwinnett County Planning and Zoning Board
for eight years. Britt also served for eight years on the Gwinnett
County Industrial Development Authority.
"I'm running for this position because I'd like to be a
member of this new county commission structure and a team player
to make Jackson County a better place for all of us," he
John Blackstock, Jefferson, will serve as the chairman of Britt's
Britt was born in Lawrencville and is married to the former Melanie
Willis of Cairo. They have two children, Abraham, 8, and Fallin,
wreck Sat. night
Nine injured from three county wrecks
in less than 30 minutes
In less than 30 minutes Saturday night, nine people were transported
to area hospitals as the result of three wrecks, two of which
involved ambulances rushing to the scene of the first accident.
The series of events that led to the multiple wrecks began at
8:38 p.m. when the Jackson County E911 Center received a call
about a wreck on Hwy. 441 South at Dee's Chevron in Center. Callers
indicated that several cars were involved in the wreck and that
there were multiple, serious injuries.
Two ambulances were dispatched to the scene, one from Commerce
and another from Jefferson. Nicholson fire and rescue units were
also called to the scene.
A Jackson County sheriff's deputy arrived on the scene at 8:41
p.m. and confirmed the multiple injuries and entrapment of some
of the patients. The E911 center then called for an ambulance
from Athens Regional Medical Center to the scene and for Commerce
rescue units to respond.
Octaviaro Otel of Nicholson was driving south on Hwy. 441 when
he crossed the double yellow line and struck the left side of
a vehicle driven by Joseph Miller, Homer. According to the Georgia
State Patrol, Otel reportedly continued on and struck the left
front of a car driven by Teresa Williams of Athens.
Williams was transported to Athens Regional Medical Center with
serious injuries. She was listed in fair condition on Tuesday.
Otel and a passenger in his vehicle were also transported to
Athens Regional Medical Center with visible injuries.
Otel was cited for failure to maintain a lane and giving false
information to a law enforcement officer.
Five minutes after this wreck occurred, at 8:46, the Jefferson
ambulance heading to the Hwy. 441 scene radioed that it had been
involved in a wreck on Hwy. 129 at the red light in front of
Jefferson High School. The ambulance was heading south on Hwy.
129 on its way to the Hwy. 441 wreck when it hit a pickup truck
driven by Steve Deacon, who had just left a Cub Scout function
at the school. Jefferson rescue units and the West Jackson ambulance
responded to that wreck and transported Mr. Deacon and his daughter
to ARMS. They were treated and released. The Jackson County ambulance
was apparently totalled in the wreck.
The ambulance driver, Dennis Leroy Brookshire, had the sirens
on and lights flashing as he traveled southbound on Hwy. 129.
He also began to blow his horn as he approached the intersection
and saw that the truck pulled out to turn left. The truck pulled
into the path of the ambulance, according to the state patrol
reports. Brookshire and a passenger in the ambulance were transported
to Athens Regional Medical Center.
No charges were filed.
ANOTHER AMBULANCE WRECKS
With the Jefferson ambulance out of service and the West Jackson
ambulance now tied up responding to the Jefferson wreck, the
E911 center called for Banks County and St. Mary's Hospital in
Athens to send ambulances to the Hwy. 441 wreck.
But at 9 p.m., the E911 center was notified that the St. Mary's
ambulance had hit a car on Hwy. 129 South near the Overhead Door
company. St. Mary's sent a second ambulance to the scene of that
wreck and members of the South Jackson rescue squad were called
to the scene.
Paul Sartain of Athens was driving the ambulance and Diane Greene
of Jefferson was driving the car. Greene and a passenger in her
car, Brett Huntley of Athens, received minor injuries.
Greene was charged with failure to yield right of way to an emergency
"When I went by the office at 7:30, it was quiet for a Saturday
night and I thought it might be an easy night for our people,"
said E911 director David Murphy. "But then it all broke
loose an hour later."
WEDNESDAY AMBULANCE WRECK
Adding insult to injury, another Jackson County ambulance was
involved in a wreck Wednesday morning on Gordon Street in Jefferson.
Although no one was injured in the incident, the ambulance did
receive enough damage to be towed by a wrecker to the county
shop for repairs.