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Jackson County drops first district tourney
The Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department all star teams
endured a pair of losses in their first district tournament appearance
of the season. The 13-14 boys' baseball team coached by Darren
Glenn was eliminated...
Ryan Crane back in action this weekend
Jefferson teenager Ryan Crane will join his racing counterparts
Saturday at Montgomery Motor Speedway in Montgomery, Ala., for
the eighth stop on the 2000 NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series.
Drought hits county cattle farmers hard
The summertime blues have hit Madison County farmers once again
- ponds are low, pastures are dying and some...
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 Jackson Herald
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Jefferson police believe Cheryl Newton may have fallen asleep
at the wheel Friday afternoon before threading the needle between
two large trees along US 129 south. Newton was treated for minor
injuries at a local hospital and released Saturday.
Tolbert's actions in forum
BY ANGELA GARY
The gloves came off in the District 25 House of Representatives
race at a political forum Thursday night as Democrat Pat Bell
called incumbent state Rep. Scott Tolbert's actions "bait
and switch." She also pointed out that he received an Atlanta
newspaper's "sleaze award" during the recent legislative
Tolbert didn't respond to any
of the comments, saying only that he plans to run a "positive
The comments from Bell were the only fireworks in a two-hour
forum in which candidates were given two minutes to give opening
introductory comments and one minute to make closing statements.
The comments from Bell were the only direct attack made by a
"Five years ago, Mr. Tolbert promised our senior citizens
70-years-old and older school tax relief," she said. "Now,
five years later, the same promise, but now it's 75. Ladies and
gentlemen, this is called bait and switch."
Bell also spoke on Tolbert's relationship with Water Wise, a
private firm which made an effort to privatize sewage service
in the county.
"Water Wise a client of Scott Tolbert's wanted
utility status...to condemn your property or mine without being
regulated," she said. "This company could have controlled
the growth of this county. To keep Water Wise alive, when the
county options ran out, he turned to Pendergrass where he had
She also spoke of Tolbert's action in trying to gut Senate Bill
343, which limits condemnation rights of private utilities like
"For this action in the House of Representatives, Tolbert
was awarded the "Golden Sleaze" award for self interest
a blatant conflict of interest," she said. "His
client was more important than his constituents. I take no pleasure
in what I tell just said. It's sad. Ladies and gentlemen, you
As for his change to a Republican she read a quote from Tolbert
saying that he "did it for spite more than anything else."
"To me, it is more than dishonest when you represent something
that you're not," she said.
For his part, Tolbert outlined his campaign platform and said
that he wants to run a "positive campaign."
"Unlike my opponent, ladies and gentlemen, I want you to
join me in a positive campaign," he said. "A campaign
that puts results over rhetoric. A campaign that wants to eliminate
the school tax for the elderly, a campaign that wants to examine
the possibility of floating exemptions in Jackson County."
Other goals included: eliminating the sales tax for volunteer
fire departments; resolving the debt problems in the state of
Georgia; and "real education reform." He said his campaign
will be one "that believes in real education reform
not one that blames the educator and fires paraprofessionals."
"One that in which we actually do something," he said.
"One in which we can institute better curriculum; more intensive
education funding; better incentives; more parental involvement.
I want you to join me in a campaign that puts people above power.
A campaign that puts principles above politics."
city square project
At a work session Thursday morning the Hoschton City Council
discussed several issues including progress on the pending city
square project and options involved with the Panther Creek sewer
The city square project is continuing on schedule and a proposed
plan will be on display at the city hall as soon as the rendering
is complete. The council made provisions for a few parallel parking
spaces on the main square for trucks with trailers to park without
obstructing the view of those people attempting to pull into
the traffic of Highway 53.
The Hoschton City Council is working closely with the EPD to
settle Panther Creek's sewage problems and the council expects
that the issue will be resolved and construction complete in
eight or nine months. Hoschton's Engineer Charles Armentrout
met with EPD on Wednesday and he said they are receptive to any
plan Hoschton adopts as long as the situation is rectified in
a timely fashion.
The council has yet to make a firm decision between replacing
the existing grinder pumps or installing a new gravity flow system.
Because of the prohibitive cost of a gravity system, the council
favors replacing the grinder pumps. However, because the pumps
were improperly installed by the developer with most of them
below ground level causing surface water intrusion, many of the
houses will have to have new holding tanks dug before their new
pumps can be installed.
A public meeting will be held in approximately thirty days to
explain to the residents the steps that need to be taken and
their responsibilities in regard to that system. Any decision
by the council will result in a surcharge paid by the residents
every month on their water and sewage bill. The council also
plans to arrange for maintenance and repair of the new sewage
system either through city hall or through a private contractor.
At their work session, the council also announced their intention
to have new zoning guidelines finalized and established in ninety
days. The zoning regulations will be discussed further at the
Monday night council meeting at 7 p.m. as will the issue of Garner
Plumbers, Lengrin Maddox's re-zoning request from C1-C2 and the
annexation request of New Hope AME Church.
Rabid Dog Bites
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 helping his son work
on a poultry house at a Route 3, Carnesville address in Banks
County when he was bitten on the leg by a beagle.
"It kind of slipped up behind me," said Vickery, a
retired Commerce mail carrier, Monday. "It gave me a pretty
The dog was a stray and because of its strange behavior, Vickery's
grandson shot and killed it.
"We called the Banks County Health Department and they came
and got it and sent the head to Atlanta. They were real cooperative.
It came back positive the next day," said Vickery, who termed
the incident "just one of those things."
Vickery went to Dr. Sam Vickery, who referred him to St. Mary's
Hospital for treatment. Vickery received the first six shots
Friday, got the seventh shot Monday and will receive three more
over the next 28 days. He's had no ill effects from the bite
or the shots.
"The doctor checked it this morning and said it was doing
fine," C. Vickery said.
Meanwhile, veterinarian Dr. Kinsey Phillips reported that a local
man came in to Commerce Veterinary Hospital Saturday morning
and reported that he'd been bitten by a bat.
"Since he didn't have the bat, I told him he definitely
had to take the rabies shots," said Phillips, who did not
identify the man.
Mother of murder
charged in Lance arson
The mother of a 1997 murder victim in Jackson County has been
charged in connection with a fire at the home of the man convicted
in the killing.
Shirley Ann Love, 60, 265 Wayne Poultry Road, Pendergrass, has
been charged with first degree arson in the fire that destroyed
the home of convicted killer Donnie Lance. A warrant has also
been taken for her daughter, Jill Love, in connection with the
Jackson County Sheriff's Department chief investigator David
Cochran said the two are not accused of being participants in
the fire, but knew of it beforehand and made the arrangements.
He also said that the mother allegedly promised to give money
to someone for burning the home.
Two men were charged in September 1999 in the fire at the home
of Lance on Wayne Poultry Road. Thomas Roy Matthews, 43, Gillsville,
and Jeffery Scott Watson, 28, Pendergrass, were both charged
with first degree arson.
The Sept. 9, 1999, fire totally destroyed the Lance home. Lance
was convicted earlier in 1999 on murder charges for killing his
estranged wife, Joy Lance, and her boyfriend Butch Wood. Donnie
Lance was sentenced to death for the killings.
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Jury finds local
man guilty of sixth DUI
Convicted drunk driver Jeffrey Stinchcomb was sentenced to one
year in jail and given a $1,000 fine by Judge Jerry Gray in Jackson
County State Court Thursday after being convicted for his sixth
A six-person jury found him guilty of one count of driving under
the influence of alcohol (DUI) and one count of operating a vehicle
with a blood alcohol content of 0.10 grams or more. He was found
not guilty of one count of reckless driving.
The conviction was Stinchcomb's sixth DUI since 1980, including
a conviction earlier this year in Hoschton City Court on a charge
from an arrest that happened nine days prior to the current case.
In Hoschton, Stinchcomb was given probation and fined $1,150.
In 1980, he pled guilty to vehicular homicide following a head-on
wreck that killed three people in Braselton. He served two and
one-half years of a five-year sentence for the deaths.
Judge Jerry Gray didn't allow Stinchcomb's previous record to
be admitted in Thursday's trial.
The Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce and Farm Bureau are
planning a political forum featuring candidates in the upcoming
The forum will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Jackson Electric
Membership Corporation auditorium.
Each candidate in a contested race will be given two minutes
to introduce themselves. Following this, each candidate will
be given an additional one minute to make follow-up comments.
The moderator will then pose questions to the candidates. Written
questions will be solicited from the audience and will be reviewed
by a panel of Farm Bureau and chamber members.