News from Banks County...

 July 5, 2000


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OPINION
Jana Adams
Fashion, Harmony Grove-style
At the turn of the century, the 20th century, that is, fashionable ladies in Harmony Grove cinched in their waists to impossibly small measurements...

Drew Brantley
Hall still rules nation's all-time rushing roost

Last year, Commerce's Monté Williams became the all-time leading rusher in his school's history. This year, he has a chance to break the Georgia record for career rushing...


SPORTS
District tourneys up and running
The Banks County Recreation Department all-stars will continue play in their district tournaments this week.


Neighborhood News...
JACKSON COUNTY
Rabid Dog Bites Commerce Man
A Commerce man is receiving treatment to protect against rabies after being bitten by a rabid dog last week in Banks County. Charles Vickery of Wood Street said he was...

Political forum set Thursday
The Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce and Farm Bureau are planning a political forum featuring candidates in the upcoming election. The forum will be held at 7 p.m...


News from
MADISON COUNTY
Drought hits county cattle farmers hard
The summertime blues have hit Madison County farmers once again - ponds are low, pastures are dying and some...


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The Banks County News
Homer, Georgia
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LITTLE PATRIOT

Jake Howington, 1, waves a flag while waiting for fireworks to began Tuesday night in Homer.


BANKS CO. GOVERNMENT

BOC reviews proposed salary study
County employees interested in long-term Banks County careers may soon have a set salary schedule to help them determine future earnings potential.
For several weeks, county commissioners have been reviewing the preliminary results of a $12,000 salary study, commissioned through the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and completed by a private Atlanta area firm.
The board of commissioners is expected to vote whether to adopt the proposed schedule at its regular meeting on July 11.
Currently, salaries are not consistent among workers who perform essentially identical job functions; they are determined largely by individual department heads, within budget constraints set by the board of commissioners.
If adopted, the schedule would remove the guesswork and set uniform entry-level salaries within specific job titles, doing so for the first time in the county's history, BOC chairman James Dumas said.
With the proposed plan, county workers and those considering county employment would have a tool to help them determine whether positions will meet their future needs. The plan would set up pay grades. Minimum, mid-point and maximum salaries would be defined within each grade.
The mid-point salary might be reached after approximately seven years of county employment, commissioners have discussed. Increases from minimum to mid-point and maximum would be based upon merit and would vary from employee to employee, reflecting the score of an annual performance review of each worker.
Cost-of-living increases, when granted, would be given in addition to any merit increase, under the plan. Once maximum salaries are reached, merit increases would cease, but cost-of-living increases could continue to advance the salary beyond the maximum figure, officials say.
Every three years, the county should conduct a less extensive survey of salaries in surrounding counties, Dumas said, to determine whether adjustments should be made to the schedule.
Under the proposal, a custodian would enter county employment at the lowest pay grade, #7, at an annual entry-level salary of $14,683 and reach a merit-based maximum at $20,556.
At the opposite end of the scale, employees in five management positions would enter county employment at pay grade #35. The county clerk/finance officer, communications/emergency management agency director, emergency medical services director, water department director and fire chief would enter at $32,447, reach mid-point at $38,936 and maximum at $45,426.
Job descriptions within each job classification are not yet complete, but some delineations have been made.
(See this week's Banks County News for the complete story.)


BANKS COUNTY CRIME
Arrests end drug investigation
Two men were arrested on drug charges Friday to end an investigation by the Banks County Sheriff's Office and the Northeast Georgia Narcotics Task Force.
Based on undercover agent purchases, a warrant was served at 247 Trout Lane on Friday. After serving the warrant and searching the premises, Paul Clinton Kelly, 24, Commerce, and Gregory Steve Nations, 27, Maysville, were both arrested, Banks County sheriff Charles Chapman said. Kelly was charged with possession of methamphetamines with the intent to distribute. Nations was charged with possession of the same drug.
Chapman stated that the arrests came as the result of several weeks of investigation.
OTHER ARRESTS
Others charged last week by the sheriff's office include:
·Louis Vohrer, 31, Baldwin, criminal trespass.
·Larry Junior Sain, 48, Homer, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana and three counts of aggravated assault.
·Larry Brown Logan, 47, Homer, disorderly conduct and obstruction of an officer.
·Billy Wayne Gerrells, 41, Cleveland, possession of cocaine.



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BCN wins 10 state GPA awards
The Banks County News won 10 awards in the annual Georgia Press Association's "Better Newspaper Contest," including placing among the top three newspapers in the state in its category.
The News placed third in overall general excellence. The News has placed in the general excellence category for the past five years.
The Madison County Journal, Danielsville, which is also owned by MainStreet Newspapers of Jefferson, won second place in general excellence. First place went to The Morgan County Citizen.
The News won first place for hard news writing, news photograph and headline writing; second place for business coverage, local news coverage and photo essay; and third place for community service, sports photograph and sports section.
The first-place hard news writing award for former news editor Sherry Lewis was for a series of stories on the fire set by an arsonist at New Salem United Methodist Church that led to the death of a volunteer firefighter and destroyed the historic church.
The first-place news photograph award for photograph editor Travis Hatfield was from the funeral of the firefighter killed in the blaze.
The second place photo essay award for Lewis was for a page spread on the fire muster held by the local fire departments.
The third place community service award was for three editorials, a column and various features and news stories on domestic violence written by Lewis and editor Angela Gary.
The sports photograph was a basketball shot taken by Brantley.
OTHER MAINSTREET WINNERS
MainStreet Newspapers, which also owns The Jackson Herald, The Commerce News and The Madison County Journal, won a total of 34 awards.
The Jackson Herald won 10 awards, including: first place in editorial page and spot news photograph; second place in feature photograph, headline writing, photo essay; and third place in local news coverage, news photograph, religion coverage, sports section and spot news photograph.
The Commerce News won five awards, including: second place in editorial page and sports photograph and third place in religion coverage, spot news photograph and information graphics.
The Madison County Journal won nine awards, including: first place in editorial writing, feature photograph, sports photograph and sports section; second place in general excellence, page one, religion coverage and feature photograph; and third place in sports writing.
(See this week's Banks County News for the complete story.)

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