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Time to clean up
Banks Countians need to take note of the
clean-up day planned by the City of Baldwin Saturday and join
Several Industrial Prospects Considering Jackson Sites
JEFFERSON -- A company has signed a lease
to occupy a 102,000-square-foot building for a distribution center,
Pattillo plans to build yet another spec building and a deal
is in process that could open up the 600,000 square feet of Mitsubishi
buildings in Braselton to industry.
Bell To Challenge Tolbert
County Commissioner To Make Run For State Representative's Job
JEFFERSON -- A week ago, the Democratic Party
was so desperate for a candidate to take on Rep. Scott Tolbert
that it ran newspaper ads seeking a candidate.
Duke-Weeks holds WJ groundbreaking
More than 50 people gathered under a white
tent Monday afternoon in Braselton to celebrate a new industrial
development venture by the Duke-Weeks company.
County BOC opposes Pendergrass annexation
A request from the McEver estate to annex
a 191-acre tract into Pendergrass is on hold following opposition
from the county.
Let the races begin
Qualifying opens for local posts, ends Friday
As of Wednesday morning, a number of candidates had qualified
for local offices.
Storm water restrictions still up in the air
Proposed restrictions on storm water management in Madison County
were discussed at Monday's commissioners' meeting, but no action
Architect firm hired for new county jail
An architectural firm was hired for the proposed
Madison County jail Monday night.
BCHS golfers take 2nd, 4th
Lady Leopards runners-up in region; GAC, Providence take boys'
state tourney berths
Banks County's run at a third straight Region
8-A golf title slipped away Monday on the Leopards' home Scales
Gridiron Leopards set for 2000
After all the changes of realignment, the
Banks County's football schedule for next fall is official.
The Banks County News
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SCIENCE FUN AT
Zackery Overacker is shown trying
his luck at the river tributary experiment at Family Science
Night held Thursday at Banks County Middle School. The event
was held to give parents an opportunity to see the educational
activities students have done throughout the year. Other activities
included the "electricity center," the "balloon
rocket" and the star lab. Photo by Angela Gary
Probate judge and
sheriff races heat up
Qualifying ends at noon on Friday
BY ANGELA GARY
After two days of qualifying, the sheriff and probate judge races
in Banks County are the ones with the most interested candidates.
In the sheriff's race, four Democrats and one Republican had
qualified as of press time Tuesday afternoon. The Democrats include
incumbent Charles Chapman, Cecil Calloway, Ray Seabolt and David
Dunson. The only Republican candidate to qualify so far is John
In the probate judge's race, the candidates who have qualified
so far include: Billy Poole, Carol Ayers, Ben Whisnant and David
Gunter, all Democrats.
Others who had qualified as of Tuesday night include: Kenneth
Brady (D), chairman of the board of commissioners; incumbent
Tim Harper (D), clerk of courts; incumbent Tommy Herbert, coroner;
incumbent Margaret Ausburn (D), tax commissioner; incumbent Neal
Brown (D) and Kathleen Hooper (D), both for post 1 on the board
of education; incumbent Ron Gardiner (D), post 2 on the BOE;
Dottie Morris (D), post 4 on the BOE; and incumbent Henry David
Banks (D), magistrate judge.
Qualifying ends at noon on Friday. Qualifying will be in probate
judge Milton Dalton's office for both Republican and Democratic
As for the state races, incumbent Jeanette Jamieson (D) and Bill
Grant (R) have qualified for the District 22 seat in the Georgia
House of Representatives. In the District 47 Senate race, incumbent
Eddie Madden (D) is the only one to qualify so far.
For updates on qualifying, check our web page each day at www.mainstreetnews.com.
The primary election is set for Tuesday, July 18, and, if a run-off
is necessary for the primary, it will be held on Aug. 8. The
general election will be Nov. 7 with the run-off scheduled for
Four drug charges
result of 'interstate interdiction'
BY BETH L. CHESTER
Area law enforcement officials netted four felony narcotics arrests
and several misdemeanor citations during a multi-agency alcohol
and narcotics interstate interdiction last week.
Banks County Sheriff Charles Chapman organized the check-point,
which began around 10 a.m. Thursday, April 20, along the I-85
off-ramp at Martin Bridge Road.
After agents reportedly located several plastic bags of a green
leafy substance behind the dash of one vehicle, officers arrested
Cedrick Lamonte White, 25, and Alomie Lisa James, 28, both of
Florence, S.C., charging them with felony possession of marijuana
with intent to distribute.
"The marijuana was packaged for sale," said Sheriff
Officers also charged two other out-of-state motorists with felony
possession of illegal narcotics, when they reportedly located
a small quantity of a substance believed to be ecstasy in a vehicle
occupied by two Maryland teenagers, 18-year-old Josepth Michael
Sullivan and 17-year-old Gloria June Flanders. Officers also
charged Sullivan with misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
Canine units played a key role in narcotics seizure during the
day, authorities said.
If a narcotics detection canine "hits" on a vehicle,
indicating the presence of a controlled substance, case law allows
a thorough roadside search of the vehicle, without a warrant
or occupant consent, according to Northeast Georgia Drug Task
Force Commander Chance Oxner.
Guidelines covering roadside searches are less restrictive than
those outlined for searches of homes, Oxner said, because a vehicle
may be easily moved.
Officers are not allowed to walk narcotics detection canines
around vehicles detained at road checkpoints unless officers
are able to articulate reasonable cause for suspecting illegal
"We look for certain indicators, including conflicting stories,
which may lead us to believe a crime is being committed,"
Officers also made one arrest for driving under the influence,
two arrests for driving on suspended or revoked licenses and
one arrest for no proof of insurance.
Chapman said his office organizes interstate check-points several
times each year. Past interstate interdictions have been more
successful, according to the sheriff, who said similar efforts
since 1997 have resulted in the seizure of more than 100 pounds
of marijuana and at least $120,000 in United States currency.
Thursday's cooperative effort teamed agents from the Northeast
Georgia Drug Task Force, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources,
the Georgia Public Service Commission, the Georgia Department
of Public Safety and the Banks County Sheriff's Department.
Canines certified in narcotics detection were on hand with handlers
from Lee Arrendale State Prison in Alto and the local drug task
Alto council to
bring zoning to town
BY BETH L. CHESTER
Zoning is on its way to the City of Alto - on its way, that is,
unless any local residents who may be opposed to the move are
able to sway their representatives' thoughts.
During a work session Monday night, Alto town council members
made their positions clear: They want zoning in Alto as soon
Members unanimously adopted a resolution that Mayor Jack King
begin proceedings aimed at drafting a binding zoning ordinance.
With the council's endorsement, King asked Georgia Mountains
Regional Development Center (RDC) planning director Larry Sparks
to place the city on the short list of cities and counties in
need of assistance for zoning ordinance development.
Sparks attended the work session at the council's request, giving
members an overview of typical zoning regulations.
Council members of the one-mile-wide city, split along railroad
tracks between Banks and Habersham counties, are tired of being
left behind in the race to attract quality growth, King said
following the meeting.
The city will begin courting good growth once zoning is in place,
"We are trying to make the town attractive," he said.
"We don't want to be left out because we did nothing."
With zoning in place, council members are hoping adjacent property
owners will want to join the city, King said, expanding its size
and giving it room to grow.
The mayor doesn't expect dissension within the council.
"We are all of one mind," he said.
Council members may agree with zoning, but RDC planning director
Sparks told the council it should expect complaints from citizens.
"Some say zoning is telling people what to do with their
property," Sparks said, "but at the same time, it protects
residents who thought they were building in a quiet area."
Under authority of the state's Constitution, city and county
governing boards are empowered to implement zoning without putting
the issue before the voters, Sparks told council members, recommending
they utilize that authority.
In other jurisdictions where citizens were given the opportunity
to vote, zoning measures failed, Sparks said, pointing to White
County as a recent example.
"You have the power to plan and zone your community,"
"Inevitably, people complain, and you will have to deal
with that if you decide to do this," he said, adding that
many believe the benefits of zoning out-weigh the draw-backs.
"Zoning can also enhance and protect property values by
preventing undesirable uses from coming in right next door and
hurting your property values," he said.
If zoning is enacted in Alto, the city's future land-use map
must be updated, Sparks said.
In reviewing the map, council members pointed to an area which
was designated for agricultural use. It has since been developed
for another purpose, members said.
Without zoning, the future land-use map is useless, Sparks told
board members, because there is currently no city ordinance which
authorizes the city to regulate the usage of land.
Sparks told the council to begin forming a committee of citizens
to draft a proposed ordinance with the RDC's assistance.
The committee could remain in place and become the city's planning
commission, which would hear requests for rezonings, variances
to the ordinance and conditional use permits. State law requires
such a board be in place.
Zoning would not be retroactive, Sparks pointed out.
"You pretty much have to live with what you've got,"
Existing uses of land which fall outside approved land-use in
any given area will be grandfathered and allowed to continue,
The council has wide discretion in determining whether grandfathered
uses may continue indefinitely, passed on when the land is sold
or conveyed through wills, for example, or whether new owners
must conform the land to permitted usage.
In other business during the work session, council members unanimously
accepted an employee handbook, which includes numerous employee
policies. Copies of the handbook will be presented to each city
Go to Banks
Public Meeting Dates
& Convenience Stores
EPD hearing held
on landfill permit
BY ANGELA GARY
A routine hearing of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division
outlining new regulations for permitting for landfills Thursday
night in Homer turned into a session for neighbors of Chambers/R&B
Waste to air their concerns about the operation.
Jimmy Johnston, permit program director for the air protection
division of EPD, said the meeting was held to discuss the new
Title 5 permit that is required for landfills. He said the new
permit brings no changes in the regulations for landfills but
provides one document for all existing requirements. He said
it is a method of additional monitoring and record-keeping.
"It doesn't bring in any new requirements for controling
emissions," he said. "It doesn't allow them to do anything
different that they don't already do...If we don't issue it,
they can still operate."
A draft Title 5 permit for the landfill, which is located on
Frank Bennett Road in Homer, was issued to Chambers/R&B on
Jan. 13. A notice of this was placed in The Banks County News
on Feb. 16, giving citizens 30 days to file concerns or request
a hearing in Homer. Johnston said the EPD received a written
request for the hearing, which is why it was scheduled. Other
air and land quality experts and engineers were present to answer
questions from those who attended.
The majority of the questions didn't address the new permit but
dealt with concerns about odors and water quality and how testing
for emissions is handled.
"We're looking at the impact as far as public health,"
Johnston said. "Odor, while it may be a nuisance, is not
being monitored for public health."
A man who lives near the landfill said his lake is polluted with
buzzards and seagulls.
"We don't regulate the birds that come into the landfill,"
Johnston said. "That is inherent with any landfill."
Several questions also dealt with what kinds of materials are
being placed in the landfill. Harold Gillespie of the land protection
branch said PCBs, batteries and hazardous waste are not allowed
in the landfill. He said household and industrial waste are accepted.
Baldwin to hold annual clean-up campaign on
The City of Baldwin is seeking volunteers for its plans during
the upcoming Great American Cleanup and Keep Georgia Beautiful
The city will participate in the clean-up planned for 9 a.m.
Saturday, April 29. Residents are encouraged to participate by
cleaning up. This is the third year the city has participated
in the Great American Cleanup.
Hoping for a good turnout Saturday, Baldwin city officials have
plenty of bags, gloves and free T-shirts ready for residents
who want to help clean up the city. So far, 50 people have signed
up and more are expected by Saturday. Following the clean-up,
a barbecue will be held. For more information contact Baldwin
City Hall at 706-778-6341.
The Great American Cleanup has been a part of the Keep America
Beautiful program for 15 years. This year, residents of Baldwin
will join more than two million volunteers in more than 10,000
communities in 35 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico
and Canada who are set to take part in the campaign.
Last year, volunteers across the country picked up millions of
pounds of litter, collected recyclables, eliminated illegal dump
sites, renewed parks, planted community gardens by the thousands
and cleaned up lakes, rivers, seashores and roadsides from coast