Banks County Opinions...

June 7, 2000

The Banks County News
June 7, 2000

Leave those signs alone
It's childish and a waste of time.
But it happens every time an election year rolls around.
Candidates start complaining about their political signs being stolen or vandalized. The culprits who are guilty of these crimes should be ashamed of themselves. They also need to know what a waste of time their actions are.
Tearing down a campaign sign doesn't stop anyone from voting for the candidate they prefer. Of course, it does hurt the candidate in that the money they spent for the signs is wasted. Maybe that's the goal all along.
Let's hope our county residents are too mature to participate in these juvenile activities. If you support a candidate, volunteer to help with the campaign. But don't try to do this by hurting his opponents. And if you see someone destroying or stealing a sign, report them to the authorities.

By Adam Fouche
The Banks County News
June 7, 2000

I'm going pro in badminton
Last summer, I made an effort to join the pro Putt-Putt golf circuit. Unfortunately, that effort died after only a couple of hours.
But this year, I have a new passion. I'm leaving the green and I'm putting away my putter. No more windmills and waterfalls. This year, I'm going pro in badminton.
Now, I think I'm prepared to do this. The first semester of this past school year, I took badminton at UGA. For fifteen weeks on Tuesday and Thursday, I went to the Ramsey Center at school at eight in the morning to play badminton.
For one hour at a time, I went through drills and practices. I learned the rules, for both singles and doubles play. My teacher, who had not played badminton ever before teaching my class, taught us all the shots-a drop shot, a clear shot, backhand, forehand, underhand, overhand, lefthand, righthand.
I practiced a good bit and got on top of my game. But I didn't play like the rest of the people in my class. They would drag in lazily at 8 a.m. and just stand around. Oh no, not me.
I played with heart. I played with passion. I played with determination. If had to dive on the gym floor, I dove. If I had to leap into the air, I leaped. If I had to run and slide and put out some effort, I did it. I was an excellent player.
Last semester, I wanted to take badminton again. But I can't. UGA won't allow you to take the same course twice, provided you passed it the first time. And, there is no intermediate badminton, only beginners. I wanted to play really bad, though.
As last semester moved on, I eventually forgot about badminton. I didn't have the class anymore, and I just didn't think about it. But as the weather has gotten warmer, outside sports are on my mind again.
Recently, I picked up badminton once more. My girlfriend put up a badminton net at her house. And, oh yeah, I've been playing.
The passion is back, and I'm still good. I've got all the moves and all the shots I had before. That's right, I've still got game.
I'm trying to help my girlfriend out too. Lori is a really good player, don't get me wrong. In fact, she's even taught me a couple of shots. But, I'm going to get her on my comprehensive training program, and she'll be a pro in no time. Then, maybe we can go in as a team.
Next week, at the company picnic, there is supposed to be a badminton net set up. We are going to have a little tournament. My co-workers just don't know what they're in for. After I get done training, and after I get Lori through the training program, we'll be unstoppable. Guys, you better watch out. I'm hoping the tournament will jump start my pro career.
I've been practicing hard and I'm searching for sponsors. In fact, if there are any sporting goods manufacturers out there who need a big-name badminton spokesman, I'm here. Just call my agent. We'll get things set up.
In the meantime, I'll be hanging out at the house, practicing for the big tournament next weekend.
Adam Fouche is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.

The Banks County News
June 7, 2000

Disappointed in feature article
Dear Editor:
This is in response to the article in last week's Banks County News about our mobile support team with the fire department.
As a member of Banks County Mobile Support Team, First Responder and a firefighter, I cannot express my disappointment and outrage in this article.
There are many members of support team and I feel this article belittled and alienated myself, along with the other members who were not mentioned or thanked for their time and efforts.
It takes everyone in the group to make this organization work with daily operations, scene successfulness and, of course, fund-raisers.
This article to me, as a member, was one-sided and did not paint the picture I wish it had for everything we have done and hoped to do. I was proud to be a member of Banks County Mobile Support, but not anymore.

Sincerely, Starla Smallwood, Commerce

By Angela Gary
The Banks County News
June 7, 2000

Intent was to recognize group, not individuals
A couple of weeks ago, I saw an announcement in this paper about the Banks County Mobile Support Group being formed to assist the fire department during emergencies. These volunteers respond to fire calls with cold drinks and other supplies. I know that most of these volunteers have full-time jobs and families which take up much of their time. They likely also have other church and civic responsibilities which cuts their free time down even more each week. I also assumed that the volunteers could use as much help as possible in their efforts.
As editor, I make news and feature assignments each week. I thought this would be a great feature to highlight the selfless devotion of these volunteers and to bring more helpers to the group. I assigned a feature article to reporter Beth Chester. I asked her to contact a few members and write about what they do. I was pleased with her feature and thought it was not only newsworthy, but might help the group out.
I was shocked to find out that some members of the group were "outraged and disappointed" because they were not mentioned in the article. The intent was not to list every member of the group, although I have no problem doing that. The intent was to bring attention to the new organization and, hopefully, bring in more volunteers or even donations.
A look through past issues of this paper or any other newspaper will show you that a feature article does not have to provide a list of all involved in order to have an impact or to provide helpful information. Last week's feature was on Day at the Fort at Fort Hollingsworth. Many people had displays at this annual event and many people worked to make it a success. There was not a list of names of those who had exhibits nor were their pictures of everyone involved. The reporter who handled that feature got photographs and comments from several representatives.
In this week's issue, the feature front is on the high school graduation. It does not include a list of all 88 graduates, or photographs of all of them. This doesn't mean that they all aren't very important. We are proud of all the graduates, just as we are proud of all of the volunteers in the mobile support group.
I want everyone to know that the ladies quoted in our feature article did not contact us. They did not call us and asked to be quoted in a story. We contacted them at random and did not intend to slight anyone. The story was on the group as a whole, not on individual people. I assume the volunteers are dedicated and caring because they want to help someone, not because they want to get their name in the paper. We certainly appreciate everyone in the group. They are all serving a much-needed role and are to be commended for volunteering.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News.

The Banks County News
June 7, 2000

Thanks all members of group
Dear Editor:
This is in response to the article about Banks County Mobile Support in the paper last week. As president of the mobile support team, I feel that the article was very selective with its information. Our team is made up of lots of people, not just a few. I don't feel like our team as a whole was properly represented. It takes every single person in our group for us to be a success.
Most of our group are trained in other areas also. Ten out of the 12 active members are also nationally certified first responders. Three of these same members are also firefighters. We are a diverse group, in which everyone brings something good into the group. I'd like to thank everyone who was not mentioned in this article for all of their hard work and time. It is each of you that makes us a team!
Thank you: Chris Bray, Carence Burks, Kedra Burks, Denise Kreig, Starla Smallwood, Kyllie James, Perry Smith, Cindi Cheek, Sandra Evens and Nicole Evens. Thank you for everything you do! Thank you also to the Banks County Board of Commissioners and Perry Dalton and the firefighters, whom without your support, we wouldn't be here.

Sincerely, Jessica Hoyt, President, Banks County Mobile Support

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