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Volley Cats to kick off 2000 fall sports
A year after a successful season that saw
them qualify for the state sectional tournament, Jackson County's
volleyball team has a quite a few big shoes to fill.
Tony Bennett and Love in victory lane
Tony Bennett's dream season continued Saturday
night at Lanier National Speedway as he took the lead with eight
laps to go in the 50-lap Coca-Cola Pro Late Model feature enroute
to his seventh win of the season.
Gridiron Tigers Among Decades' Best in Class A
With just more than three weeks before the
first game of the season, Commerce coach Steve Savage said hisTigers
still have "a long ways to go."
Now that the 1990s are over, it's time to look at the aughts -
'00s that is. But before we go too far into the present and future,
it makes some sense to regard the recent past.
'Tiny' Hanson credits strong faith for his successful
David "Tiny" Hanson, of Madison County's Paoli Community,
says he knows what it's like to "be carried by God."
For over a year, he and his wife Debra waited for the call that
could save Tiny's life. The call came - three times - but it
wasn't until the third time that Tiny received the transplant
organs he needed to survive.
Nash, Dickinson win run-offs
Democrat Nelson Nash and Republican Phyllis Dickinson won runoffs
for the county commission chairman and coroner's seats by wide
Thomas wins probate seat
Garnering just over 62 percent of the vote,
Betty Jean Evans Thomas defeated Ben Whisnant in the run-off
Tuesday for probate judge.
"I'm just elated," Thomas said the votes were totaled.
"I thank God and I thank the voters of Banks County for
turning out again and electing me as their probate judge. Your
votes have been a mint to me."
Fire dept. seeking $2.2 million
Banks County fire officials are hoping to
receive an early Christmas present from the Banks County Board
of Commissioners-a $2.2 million funding burst.
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Malik Turner was all smiles on the first day of kindergarten
at Jefferson Elementary School Friday as he waved good-bye to
Tolbert in District 3
They were supposed to have been two close races.
With a small turnout of only 2,291 voters countywide, about 15
percent, former county commissioner Harold Fletcher handily won
the seat for chairman of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners
for the next four years. Fletcher rolled over Tommy Stephenson
for the seat 64 percent to 36 percent. Fletcher lost only one
voting district, Wilson, on his road to victory.
In the North Jackson and West Jackson District 3 race, political
newcomer Emil Beshara trounced Pendergrass Mayor Mark Tolbert
for the Republican nomination 64 percent to 36 percent. Beshara
will face former county commissioner Fran Thomas, a Democrat,
in the November General Election.
"I want to turn the attention to the future," Fletcher
said Wednesday. "We have to look to bring about the realization
of a new form of government."
The chairman's race had become bitter in the two weeks following
the primary as Stephenson slammed Fletcher's real estate business
and Fletcher in turn highlighted Stephenson's history of personal
financial problems. But Wednesday, Fletcher said the campaign
was over and wished to put those issues behind him. The chairman-elect
said he would now turn his attention to getting "back up
to speed" with specific issues affecting the county.
"I've been out of county government for 12 years,"
he said. "Things have changed."
Beshara carried all but Tolbert's home area of Pendergrass on
his route to victory. In the final days of the campaign, Tolbert
unleashed two direct mail attacks on Beshara, saying he was pro-landfill
and that he wanted to tax dogs in the county.
Beshara responded to the attacks only on his campaign web site,
which is one of the first political web sites to be used in a
"We are very pleased with the results of the runoff this
evening," said Beshara Tuesday night. " The credit
for the success of this campaign goes to all of the people who
chose to support my candidacy through their personal desire for
a more responsible and responsive government.
"I thank each and every voter who chose to inform themselves
of the issues and vote for the candidate that they felt was the
"I look forward with great anticipation to continuing this
campaign into November and will continue to focus solely on the
issues and the qualifications of the candidates."
The winner of the Beshara-Thomas contest will serve a two- year
term on the board.
Rotary Education reform bill needs changes made next year
State School Superintendent Linda Shrenko told members of the
Jefferson Rotary Club Tuesday she wasn't completely opposed to
H.B. 1187, the Education Reform Act, she just wanted to modify
"Of course, it's the law and of course we're going to implement
it," Shrenko said. "But parts of it are not good for
our kids and we've got to get the legislation to change it."
Shrenko told Rotary members the biggest problem wasn't the lack
of resources, but the way those resources were being utilized.
"We need to take from those programs that don't work and
give to the ones that do," she said. "If you don't
use what you have, then there's no use having it."
Shrenko addressed three main parts of H.B. 1187 that she believes
do not take the best interest of Georgia's children into account:
class size, school safety and improving accountability.
First, Shrenko said limiting class size didn't attack the real
problem of poor teacher training. She also said it wasn't fair
to reduce class size at the expense of important non-vocational
"I think we can reform education without stealing from one
program and giving to another," she said.
Shrenko said she was also concerned about the school safety aspect
of the bill. She said the bill mandates one nurse per school,
but only provides funding for one nurse per school district.
Shrenko also said putting a nurse in schools wasn't going to
take away guns and she proposed allotting wasted lottery profits
on more bus monitors and school safety equipment.
As for accountability, Shrenko disagreed with the method of accountability.
She said a student's background should be factored into the evaluation
of a teacher's effectiveness to prevent all of the state's good
teachers from going to the schools with the best students. She
also said more testing was not going to cause students to learn
"This bill is predicated on the fact that if we give our
kids more tests, they'll do better," said Shrenko. "More
testing does not equal more learning."
In a questioning session, Jackson County school superintendent
Andy Byers and Jefferson school superintendent Dr. John Jackson
both said they were concerned about not knowing how much, if
any, funding they were going to receive from the state for certain
"We have implemented parts of the program that are not in
our budget because we have been promised they will be in the
supplemental budget," Jackson said. "We are operating
on blind faith. If it doesn't come through, we've got a real
Shrenko said school boards throughout the state were dealing
with the same problem. Some, she said, were cutting programs
and hoping the funds would materialize, while others were raising
taxes at the expense of their seat on the board.
Shrenko offered little hope, besides saying she was going to
work to get legislators to change the parts of the bill that
don't make sense. She also said the problem could worsen as H.B.
1187 continues to be phased in.
"We are only in year one of a four-year plan," she
said. "So conceivably, year two could be worse. I'm not
against reform. We just need to fix what is broken."
Resigns, Clerk Reinstated
The town of Nicholson got back its city
clerk but lost its mayor during the past week.
Last week, city clerk/city manager Dana Wilbanks submitted a
letter of resignation, effective Sept. 1. This week, Mayor Steve
Wilbanks submitted his resignation, effective Aug. 31, Mrs. Wilbanks
withdrew her letter, the town council discussed plans for a special
election and one member announced his plans to run for mayor.
Mayor pro tem Stanley Fouche read the mayor's letter of resignation
at Monday night's city council meeting: "Due to unfortunate
circumstances beyond my control, I have no choice but to turn
in my resignation as mayor of Nicholson effective Aug. 31, 2000.
I have fully enjoyed my term in office and working with each
council member over the years."
Steve Wilbanks was in his second term and seventh year as mayor.
Prior to that, he had served three years on the town council.
But during that time, he and Mrs. Wilbanks divorced, and he recently
remarried and reportedly moved to Athens. Mrs. Wilbanks had cited
difficulty communicating with her ex-husband about city business
as her reason for resigning.
The council never acted on Mrs. Wilbanks' letter, so she agreed
to withdraw it.
The council voted to accept the mayor's resignation, and Fouche
announced that Mrs. Wilbanks had agreed to stay on as city clerk.
"That's wonderful," commented councilman Daniel Sailors.
"I am delighted she has re-considered and am grateful for
the work she has done for the city of Nicholson," added
councilwoman Margaret Ward.
The council also voted to rescind its recent vote making Mrs.
Wilbanks city manager, but increased her authority, making her,
in effect, the city administrator.
The mayor's term will expire Dec. 31, 2001, so the city must
hold a special election to fill the unexpired term. While the
council cannot officially call the election until the position
is vacant, members agreed to try to get the matter on the Nov.
7 General Election ballot and to hold qualifying the Thursday,
Friday and Monday following Labor Day (Sept. 7, 8 and 11). The
qualifying fee is $10.
After the meeting, Fouche said he would seek the office. To do
that, he must resign, which means Nicholson voters will likely
return to the polls the second Tuesday in March for a special
election to fill his unexpired term.
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Moving Toward Better Pay For Mayor, Council
The next elected Maysville City Council
may get a heftier compensation for its time.
The council voted Monday night to begin the process to raise
the mayor's salary from $450 to $2,500, the mayor pro tem's salary
from $260 to $1,250 and the council's salary from $240 to $1,000.
Now, the council must advertise its proposed raise, and will
meet again Sunday, Aug. 27 at 2 p.m. to take final action before
candidate qualifying Aug. 28.
"I think we need more money, whether it's us or someone
for the next term," councilman Scott Harper said.
Mayor Richard Presley said the funding for the raises will come
from excesses in the city's general fund. The raises will not
take effect until the next term begins.
The council took action after evaluating the time spent on city
business and comparing its pay with salaries made by other councils
of similar size.
Presley suspended the meeting briefly to allow the citizens at
the meeting to discuss the matter among themselves and give the
"We haven't got a problem with an increase in salaries,"
said Guy Baker, who was speaking on behalf of several citizens.
"We think y'all deserve it."
The council's original increase changed the mayor's salary to
$2,000, the mayor pro tem's salary to $1,250 and the council's
salary to $1,000 per year. However, after discussing the issue
with citizens, the council decided to give the mayor $2,500 per
year. After the meeting, Presley announced that he will seek
"Most of us are not in it for the money, but the mayor needs
a salary, so it makes it at least worth a little bit of his time,"
councilman Jim Saville said. "I would even say to cut my
salary and give it to him."
Baker, however, disagreed with Saville's idea.
"It's admirable what you're saying, but there's not a citizen
in Maysville that would want the council to cut their pay to
give to the mayor," Baker said. "But, as an elected
official, we all need to understand what you get into when you
take on this responsibility."
Local families featured
in Ga. textile book
Members of two prominent Jackson County families - the Hardmans
and the Bryans - are included in the narrative and photographs
of a book about the history of the textile industry.
"For One Glorious Purpose: Georgia Textiles, Our Heritage,
Our Future," written by Jan Pogue for the Georgia Textile
Manufacturers Association, Inc., follows the history of the Georgia
textile industry from the days of the old mill villages to the
global competition of the present day.
Members of the Bryan family of Jefferson, and longtime owners
of The Jefferson Mills, are featured heavily in the history book.
One "Profile of a Leader" in the book focuses on Morris
M. Bryan, Jr., who became president of The Jefferson Mills after
his father's death in 1948. He later became the youngest president
of the Cotton Manufacturers of Georgia in 1955 at age 37.
His two brothers, Southworth and Tom Bryan, were also involved
in the mill, with Tom becoming president in later years before
selling to Texfi Industries.
Three members of the Bryan family are still active in the textile
industry: Southworth F. Bryan, Lee S. Bryan and Morris M. Bryan
III. All three were also featured in the book.
The Harmony Grove Mill, founded in 1893 by Lamartine Griffin
Hardman, remained in the Hardman family for nearly 100 years,
passing in leadership to former governor Lamartine Hardman Jr.
and then to Lamartine Hardman III, who sold the mill to Mount
Vernon Mills in 1991.