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All children are scolded by their parents at some time for acting
out of turn.
Parents teach their children...
Collins breaking in
GSU track team
Banks County graduate Keyonia Collins has been a part of Georgia
Southern's first women's track and field team.
As a freshman, Collins was one of the leaders for the Eagle team
that claimed sixth...
Waddell pleads guilty to DUI
Jackson County Board of Commission chairman Jerry Waddell pled
guilty to driving under the influence of intoxicants in State
Court proceedings Thursday.
Jackson/Banks receive state funds for road projects
The Georgia Department of Transportation has announced that Jackson
County will receive state funding for the resurfacing of 10 roads.
The Jackson County roads include...
County purchasing policy proposed
County officials say a proposed purchasing policy will lead to
a more fiscally responsible government. The Madison County Board
of Commissioners met briefly Tuesday night to review proposed
MCHS tassels to be turned Friday
Two hundred seventeen Madison County seniors will begin a new
chapter in life Friday.
The Banks County News
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VETERAN COACH DIES
BCHS coach Bobby Morris is shown signaling plays during a
football game. He died Friday of a sudden illness.
BCHS mourns loss of coach
Banks County High School coach Bobby Morris
died Friday after a sudden illness.
For more than 24 years, Morris has worked for the Banks County
School System as a teacher and coach.
Banks County Middle School assistant principal Dennis Marlow
worked alongside Morris for 18 years as fellow coaches for the
football team. In that time, Morris became more than just a co-worker,
"When I first came to Banks County, he was the first person
I met," Marlow said. "After talking to him for about
five minutes, I felt like I had known him my whole life. The
fact that we worked together for 18 years is a testament to Bobby.
In the whole time we worked together, we never had a crossed
Morris, a BCHS graduate, began his coaching career at Commerce
in 1976. He returned to BCHS in 1979 and, for 20 years, he walked
football fields, basketball courts and golf courses as a Leopard
coach. Among the highlights of his coaching career was working
with now NFL running back Terry Allen and beating Commerce for
the first time in football in 1990 with a 29-23 victory. But
the biggest highlight of his career has come on the golf course
the past two years, as the boys' golf team claimed region titles
in 1998 and 1999.
"Winning back-to-back region titles was pretty nice,"
Morris said in an interview last year "Each one of them
was nice, but it was even better to get both of them."
In that interview, Morris credited his father with being a strong
influence in his life, including his encouragement to get an
education. He also named former Banks County coach Stan Brookshire
as a role model for him.
Morris became a worthy influence in his own right, an influence
proved by those that attended his funeral, Marlow said.
"You couldn't have a better friend," Marlow said. "Testimony
to that was the packed church Sunday. He didn't get all the credit
he deserved. But a lot of people know what he did. They know
what kind of person he was. They honored him."
Since he was a senior adviser, Morris' absence at the school
is felt even more in the last few days of the school year.
"Bobby was a senior adviser and his son Reggie is ready
to graduate," BCHS principal Jan Bertrang said. "That
just makes this harder. Friday, the students knew how upset the
teachers were. All day long, they were asking the teachers if
they were all right."
Those who remembered him commented on his seemingly perpetual
"When I think of Bobby Morris, I think of the incredible
amount of patience he had," Bertrang said. "I never
heard him lose his temper. I never had a complaint about him
as a teacher."
His demeanor was also well suited to have students under his
care, BCHS athletic director Rance Gillespie said.
"He was just a super, super good person," Gillespie
said. "He was a good person to have your kids around. I
don't think you'll find anybody to say a negative word about
Marlow credited loyalty among Morris' traits as well.
"It didn't matter if you were winning or you were losing.
You didn't have to worry about Bobby Morris," he said. "He
was a true friend. Some people you see coming you might want
to avoid. But you didn't run from Bobby Morris. If anything,
you would run to him."
Four arrested on
During two separate "buy-busts" Memorial Day weekend,
local law enforcement authorities seized approximately four pounds
of suspected marijuana and arrested four Alto men, making last
week one of the county's largest drug seizure weeks in recent
The four men arrested "had been supplying many in the north
end of Banks and parts of Habersham" counties with narcotics,
said Banks County Sheriff Charles Chapman.
Arrests began Friday night, when Aubrey Brent Martin, 19, allegedly
sold about one pound of suspected marijuana to an undercover
narcotics agent, Sheriff Chapman said. Martin was charged with
felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, sale
of marijuana and possession of a firearm during the commission
of a felony, Sheriff Chapman said.
Back-up agents with the Northeast Georgia Narcotics Task Force
and Banks County Sheriff's Department were waiting nearby and
arrested Martin immediately after the transfer of drugs for money
The sale and arrest occurred along a dead-end road in Alto, Chapman
The following day, agents returned to Alto, where a larger narcotics
purchase had been planned. There, three males allegedly arrived
with approximately three pounds of suspected marijuana in their
possession, Chapman said. The marijuana had been compressed into
a large brick, he said.
Authorities also seized $3,400 in United States currency.
Lopez Fernandez Matias, 33; Garcia Garcia Mario, 30; and Lara
Rojelio, all of Alto, were charged with possession of marijuana
with intent to distribute and transported to the Banks County
Detention Center, where they await first appearance hearings.
The arrests are products of a lengthy investigation, the sheriff
Sales tax from Banks
since new 'super center' opened
When the Wal-Mart 24-hour super center opened at Banks Crossing
in March, county officials knew they could expect an increase
in sales tax revenue, but they weren't certain how great an increase
they should bank on.
If increases posted during the national retailer's first partial
month of operation are a good indicator, gains could be substantial.
The Georgia Department of Revenue collected $158,462 in local
option sales tax for Banks' coiffeurs during March, up $46,339
over the same period last year. And officials haven't yet received
collection revenues for April, the first full month of the new
super center's operation.
Saying revenues will likely decrease slightly once excitement
over the new store's opening settles, Banks County Board of Commissioners
Chairman James Dumas estimates the county may see sustained revenue
increases of as much as $40,000 per month in sales tax alone,
"unless the economy takes a down turn."
Wal-Mart shouldn't be credited with the entire sales tax increase,
Dumas said. Additional revenue generated by new restaurants like
Chick-fil-A and a new motel also play a role, he says.
Accurate sales tax revenue projections are especially important
during budget time, as county commissioners try to determine
how much income they can expect to flow in, and in turn, how
much they can allocate to county departments.
Making that determination is not easy. Commissioners know to
expect higher sales tax revenues around the fall, for example.
Last September, sales tax collections totaled $151,000 - even
before super Wal-Mart opened.
But in January, 2000, collections fell to $105,000, rising to
$117,000 the following month.
Now, with one month's sales tax revenue yet to be transferred
to the county prior to this fiscal year's end, collections since
July, 1999, total about $1.4 million, according to county clerk
For the next fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2000, commissioners
are "hoping" for sales tax revenue of $1.9 million
through June, 2001, Lewallen said.
Continued growth at Banks Crossing will also increase the county's
property tax base, another source of revenue. Completion of the
Wal-Mart center, which Dumas estimates to be an $8-million-facility,
is a prime example of how significant one development can be,
to make water decision
Maysville should be able to approve Phase I of its water service
plan as soon as the council's meeting Monday night. Mayor Richard
Presley and council member Adam Martin Monday were the only members
of the council present at Tuesday's meeting, so no decisions
could be voted on.
Precision Planning engineer Jerry Hood presented several feasibility
options requested by the council for the town's water service
that would reach the eastern part of the town, while supplying
greater pressure to the industrial park. Hood also showed the
council preliminary figures on the cost of buying new water tanks
versus refurbishing the existing ones.
Presley said the council should be able to adopt Phase I at the
next meeting from the final plans to be shown at Monday's meeting.
Go to Banks
Public Meeting Dates
& Convenience Stores
heard at zoning meeting
Bringing zoning to the the City of Homer is proving to be a difficult
task for the citizen's committee and the city council.
As city attorney, David Jones put it, "The thing about it
is everything is so mixed up and this town's been un-zoned for
so long. It's hard to go in there and say this area's going to
be this and this area's going to be that."
Basically, that is the problem Homer now faces as it tries to
get a handle on the current state of affairs and future growth
predicted over the next few years. The city council and Mayor
Leon Ray want public input about the new zoning regulations proposed
by the citizen's committee.
They hope to hear more from residents as each draft is presented
until a final agreement can be reached that will satisfy the
majority of Homer's population.
Tuesday night, a meeting was held to discuss the first draft
of the new zoning regulations drawn up by the citizen's committee,
made up of Homer residents and assisted by Larry Sparks of the
Georgia Mountains Regional Development Center. Sparks has worked
with other small municipalities and used their ordinances as
a basis for Homer's regulations. Together, they have held 12
meetings trying to iron out the problems Homer faces.
The first issue addressed Tuesday was Section 53 of the draft.
This deals with "Discontinuance of a Non-Conforming Use".
It states: "All non-conforming uses of land shall be discontinued
and all non-conforming buildings or structures shall be torn
down, altered or otherwise made to conform with the use provisions
of this ordinance within the following periods of time, from
the date of adoption or amendment off this ordinance."
It goes on to declare that in 10 years (from the adoption of
the ordinance), all commercial poultry houses, wood frame, one-story
block, or metal buildings, and all other structures must be torn
down. This means that if a poultry house, outbuilding, or house
lies unused it must be disposed of in 10 years or redesigned
to conform with the zoning area regulations.
Harold Hill is concerned that since his poultry business lies
within an R-1 zone (single family residence), that this would
definitely be a problem for him. Under this section, he would
have to destroy his poultry buildings and his livelihood.
Jones warned the council, "You can't do that. You can't
take away somebody's property without compensation. It's unconstitutional."
Hill asked the council if his parcel could be re-zoned agricultural.
That led to a discussion about spot-zoning which some officials
thought would only add to the problems that now exist.
It was then suggested by officials that Section 53 be dropped
from the ordinance completely since the aim of it was in some
manner covered under Section 52, Continuance of a Non-Conforming
Section 55, Street Access, also came under fire. It states: "
No building shall be erected on a lot which does not abut a publicly-dedicated
or maintained street."
Larry Cagle said the city is "asking for problems"
with that qualification. Jones agreed with him saying, "It's
discrimination against people on a public road versus people
on a private road. It's got to be equal and fair to everybody."
Problems also arose with Article XII which gives requirements
of lot sizes, density multi-family, and principle building set-backs.
The lot size section is divided into three segments dealing with
lots with public water and sewer; without public water; and with
public water but no sewer.
Homer has no public water or sewer at this time, but plans have
been discussed, according to a Banks County source, for a dam
to be built on the Hudson River to provide public water.
The segment dealing with "public water but no sewer"
leaves the determination of lot size up to the Banks County Health
The council decided that that article also needs re-working as
the Department of Natural Resources now grants septic tank permits
percolation and soil tests are completed.
Jones summed things up by saying, "You've got to let people
know where they can build and what they can build. We've got
to think ahead."
The mayor and city council agreed to send the ordinance back
to the citizen's committee for revision and to try to incorporate
the opinions of the public.
The date of the reading of the second draft will be publicized
in The Banks
County News, according to City Clerk, Carol Ayers. Mayor Ray
encourages all interested residents to attend and be heard. The
ordinance as it stands is available at the city clerk's office
in Homer. Copies are being sold for $5. Contact Ayers at (706)
677-3510 for more information.