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The door is open or the door is shut
Few sights are more distressing to some public
officials than the citizen (or newspaper reporter) who comes
into a public meeting, takes out a pad and pencil and takes notes-particularly
notes about "controversial" matters.
Ivey competes in state track meet
Banks County's Chris Ivey finished out of
the top six...
North Jackson man killed in Wednesday morning stabbing
A North Jackson man was apparently stabbed
to death early Wednesday morning following a domestic dispute.
City Council Shows Interest In Impact Fees
Members of the Commerce City Council developed
a sudden enthusiasm for charging impact fees...
JHS graduation set Fri. night
Jefferson High School will hold its commencement
ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, May 19, at Memorial Stadium.
ITBS results mostly good news for local schools
Results of the annual ITBS testing in Jackson
County schools showed general improvement this year, according
to school averages released last week.
Harold Gaulding says he believes in standing
up for what he believes is right - even if it means being arrested.
Hull spring festival set for Saturday
The city of Hull will hold its second annual
Community Spring Festival on Saturday, May 20, beginning with
a parade at 10 a.m.
'One good call'
When Wendy Rice went into labor one night
a few weeks ago, she and husband Brian knew they were probably
not going to make it to St. Mary's Hospital in Athens for the
County students above national average on ITBS
The 2000 Madison County ITBS report card
closely resembles the 1999 results, with county students generally
above the national average in basic skills.
The Banks County News
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056
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GOATS CAN BE
Arturo Orozco and Damien Abernathy pet a baby goat
during the Banks County Elementary School's Farm Day last week.
The Farm Day featured goats, sheep, tractors, a Georgia Forestry
Commission display, a peanut butter display and various classroom
inspection reports listed
Scores for restaurants graded by the Banks
County Health Department during March, April and May are listed
The health department scores on a 100-percent basis, with 85
percent and above passing. If an establishment receives a failing
score, it will be re-inspected. After the second inspection,
if it is still in violation, the health inspector schedules a
meeting with management to assist in bringing the restaurant
into compliance. Kitchens are required to post their current
score within public view.
The most recent grades and the recommendations for improvement
are as follows:
SONNY'S BAR-B-Q: 97
Clean the fans.
Clean can opener immediately after each use; clean under shelf
on prep table; clean women's employee restroom; and label use
of each sink.
WAL-MART RADIO GRILL/SNACK: 100
BANKS COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL: 100
BANKS COUNTY PRIMARY SCHOOL: 100
BANKS COUNTY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: 100
WAFFLE HOUSE #717: 91
Don't leave bacon uncovered in cooler; clean utensils and equipment;
do not stack anything wet; let cups dry before stacking; maintain
good cleaning methods.
19TH HOLE-SCALES CREEK COUNTRY CLUB: 100
CAPTAIN D'S SEAFOOD: 91
Keep personal drinks in designated area; keep food covered in
prep coolers and freezers; clean and check seals around ice machine;
and clean around dumpster.
toward stricter animal control laws
By Shar Porier
Dog owners must now register their pets with the City of Baldwin.
The first reading of the new animal control ordinance was read
at last Monday's meeting of the Baldwin City Council. The ordinance
carries strict requirements and regulations for animal owners
living within Baldwin's city limits. City attorney David Syfan
used other local municipalities as a foundation for the ordinance.
Baldwin's new ordinance requires owners of dogs and dangerous
animals to register them with the city. All owners will be required
to obtain a tag from city hall at the cost of $2 for neutered
or spayed dogs and $5 for all other dogs. Forms will be available
at city hall for dog owners to fill out. Residents must bring
a certification of current rabies inoculation with them, officials
The ordinance also specifies that dangerous dogs, potentially
dangerous dogs, vicious animals or dangerous animals will not
be permitted unless the animal is fully enclosed within a steel
chain link fence made to withstand the animal's strength to protect
the public from harm. Any animal, except for a dog, cannot be
outside of the containment area at any time. Such a dog must
be muzzled to prevent biting and restrained by a substantial
leash if it is taken out of the enclosure, according to the ordinance.
In addition, the owner must obtain an additional license at a
cost of $200; permit inspection of enclosure by the animal control
officer; must post the premises with a clearly visible sign of
warning; must carry an insurance policy of at least $200,000
issued by an insurer authorized in the State of Georgia; and
post a surety bond in the amount of $200,000 issued by a surety
company authorized in the State of Georgia. The resident must
maintain these policies, or the animal control officer will impound
the animal for three days. If proof of insurance is not provided
within those three days the animal will be destroyed in an expeditious
and humane manner, according to the ordinance.
Other highlights of the ordinance include:
·tags cannot be switched from dog to dog.
·trained attack dogs will not be permitted within city
·residents will not be permitted to allow their dogs to
roam at large.
·female dogs in heat must be kept confined and cannot
come in contact with male dogs, except for controlled breeding
·new residents who own dangerous dogs, potentially dangerous
dogs, vicious or dangerous animals will have three days to comply
with the above restrictions.
·any animal confiscated under these provisions will be
returned to the owner upon compliance with the ordinance and
payment of confiscation costs, veterinary expenses incurred and
charges for maintenance of the animal.
·upon the written complaint of three or more citizens
living within 500 feet of an annoying or loudly barking dog,
a determination of the municipal court judge of the City of Baldwin
that the dog has created a serious annoyment or interference
with the use and enjoyment of neighboring premises will be made
and the owner will be liable for expenses incurred by the City
of Baldwin plus the sum of $35 for court costs. If the owner
fails to pay these expenses, the dog will be turned over immediately
to the animal control officer for impoundment.
·wild and domesticated fowl are also subject to regulations:
Limit of five animals per property; owner must not allow the
fowl to roam on any property other than his/her own; they must
be kept in an enclosure to prevent their escape, be placed in
the rear of the yard, and be kept 20 feet from the property line;
owner must keep enclosures, pens, and cages clean; a pit or bin
must be maintained so that flies and other pests have no access
to the manure.
A copy of this ordinance is on file at the Baldwin City Hall
for residents to read, leaders say.
Homer makes move
to regulate cell towers
BY BETH L. CHESTER
The Homer Town Council has made a move to regulate the location
of cell towers in the city.
The town council signed a restrictive ordinance when it met on
May 9 intending to regulate the placement and characteristics
of communications towers. But the ordinance won't go into effect
unless the town enacts a set of proposed zoning regulations up
for consideration later this month.
A mandatory public meeting to hear citizen input on zoning is
set for May 30 at 6 p.m. at the town hall. Council members received
their copies of the proposed regulations at the council's regular
meeting last week. Copies of the proposed regulations are available
at city hall for $5.
City attorney David Jones was not present at the council's May
meeting. When council members signed the cell tower ordinance
Jones had drafted, they were uncertain whether it would go into
effect immediately, or whether it too was subject to a hearing.
Jones' assistant has since advised The Banks County News the
tower ordinance is not yet in effect and will not take effect
until/unless the city enacts zoning.
The zoning regulations were drafted by the Georgia Mountains
Regional Development Commission (RDC) and call for implementing
the following zoning classifications: Single family residential,
multi-family residential, commercial highway business, community
business, agricultural, institutional and industrial.
Town representatives have "plenty of studying to do"
in preparation for the hearing, one member said.
"When questions start coming, we need to have an answer,"
said Mayor Leon Ray. "We need Larry Sparks [of RDC] and
the attorney here."
Go to Banks
Public Meeting Dates
& Convenience Stores
Homer ready to
move forward on new city hall facility
By Beth L. Chester
It's time to get serious about a new town hall for citizens and
officials of Homer, council members agreed May 9.
At the regular meeting, members adopted a resolution to move
forward with a construction feasibility study.
Around the mid-1990s, Homer purchased a small tract next door
to The Banks County News office, planning then to construct a
facility which would house both the town hall and the fire department.
For years, town business has been conducted at Hill Business
Services. Town hall was too small to accommodate office space,
city clerk Carol Ayers said. The official town hall has been
used for council meetings only.
"We've got zoning coming in and no spare table to even spread
a map out on," Ayers said.
The council earmarked $50,000 for town hall construction during
budget sessions last year.
Council members aren't certain whether the lot is large enough
to house both departments, but a joint facility remains the goal
"We need to get the fire chief and department together and
see if we can't get something rolling," council member Sandra
The topic arose when Mayor Leon Ray announced a tentative agreement
with chamber of commerce officials for the relocation of town
hall to the historic courthouse. Under that proposal, Homer would
sub-lease office space from the chamber at the rate of $200 per
month, Ray said.
Chamber officials are excited about the possible move, he said.
Initially, town hall would have operated from one room in the
historic courthouse, with more space available as old records
stored there could be relocated.
"For hearings, we could go upstairs in the old courtroom,"
But council member Sandra Garrison voiced concern that chamber
officials may not realize the potential impact of the move.
"I'm iffy on the courthouse myself," she said.
City clerk Carol Ayers agreed, saying city water and other customers
would create "a lot of traffic in and out." Chamber
staff are "used to being by themselves," Ayers said.
Garrison suggested members delay a move now and consider construction
plans for a permanent facility instead.
Alto still dealing
with water lines
By Shar Porier
The replacement of water lines through town continues to be a
concern of the Alto Town Council.
At the council meeting Tuesday, May 9, Mayor Jack King said that
some connections have not been completed. He said that payment
of around $4,000 for some of the contracted work will be withheld
until the job is finished.
Blue Contractors of Athens is the company working with the city
to up-date the old asbestos lines.
On a related matter, council member Susan Wade commented on the
condition of the roads where the work had been done, citing cracking
in the roads from improper packing of the ground after the lines
Former mayor Grover Stewart also pointed out that the connection
at the Holiness church has not been completed. He also questioned
the mayor about the Apple Pie Ridge problem.
King said, "The Apple Pie Ridge well is not a good well.
I'd rather not use it if we can avoid it."
However, King reminded the council that for two days last summer,
they had no choice but to use the well to supply water to the
community. Stewart said the new lines should be disconnected
from it to prevent any backflow from the well into the new system.
"I don't think [anybody] wants to drink water from that
well, nor their kids," he said.
When the job is completed, an inspector and engineer will check
the project out. When they sign off on the job, Blue Contractors
will be paid.
The council also discussed the $12,000 needed to run lines from
the end of Cook Street to the end of B.C. Grant Road. King thought
that cash flow funds could be used instead of a loan. He also
gave an estimate of $17,000 to replace lines on Crane Mill Road
from Hwy. 365 to Yonah Post Road.