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'Ya gotta have heart!'
On a recent weekend, I covered the Banks County Fire Department's
Boot Drive. What a job they had! There they were risking life
and limbon Hwy. 441 at the I-85 interchange no lesscollecting
money for children with Muscular Dystrophy.
Region 8-AA takes to the field this Friday
Banks County is in a new region this year
for football. The realignment shook things up last spring. But
now is the time to see what those changes will mean in real competition.
See this week's Pigskin
Leopards, Panthers to open regular season Friday night
Friday night's football foes will be fighting
over the gas pedal and the brake.
The Banks County Leopards will host the Jackson County Comprehensive
High School Panthers for the opening game of the 2000 football
season with a pair of very different streaks.
Bell presses Water Wise issue; says Tolbert skipped
legislative committee meetings
The atmosphere was tense Tuesday night as
the two candidates vying for state representative for District
25 met for the second time in a public question and answer session.
City Making Little Annexation Progress
A committee working to convince people to
have their property annexed into Commerce appears to be making
little headway toward its first target.
Moore's departure surprises county
Madison County school superintendent Dennis
Moore retired from his post on the fourth day of the 2000-2001
school year. His resignation takes effect Sept. 1. Moore informed
the county school board of his decision Tuesday night in a closed
meeting, following a heated meeting with parents over busing
Money, building approved for counseling program
Madison County commissioners promised $25,000 and the use of
the old registrar's office for a drug and alcohol counseling
center in the county Monday.
The Banks County News
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Shown at Home Place, a wholesale plant business in Banks County,
are (L-R) county extension agent John Mitchell, board of commissioners
chairman James Dumas and owner Tom Harden.
Impact fee advisory
committee named by Baldwin City Council
An impact fee advisory committee of five
people has been nominated by the Baldwin City Council. The committee
is required under the town's impact fee ordinance.
Those nominated were: Lamar Wilbanks, Charlie Miller, Elsie Sumner,
Jim Wilke and Erford Harrison. The members must agree to serve
before the action becomes official.
Experience in development and real estate is a requirement for
committee members. The committee will serve in an advisory role
and help the council make decisions on impact fees.
When discussion about the committee began at this week's city
council meeting, Harrison voiced concerns about the members being
from outside the city of Baldwin.
Mayor Mark Reed tried to alleviate any concerns of the residents
present at the meeting by emphasizing that it would only be an
advisory group making recommendations to the council. He added
that it sometimes can work for the betterment of the city to
have an outside party with experience in development matters
and no "vested interest."
Banks County top
in state in agriculture production
Banks County officials got some good news
last week when it was announced that the county leads the state
in agriculture production.
Banks County farmers added $264 million to the Georgia economy
in 1999, according to county extension agent John Mitchell.
It's been nine years since Banks was at the top of the agriculture
list. Since then, Banks has ranked in the top five agriculture
counties in the state.
"If we added up every type of business enterprise, including
Tanger, the pottery and Wal-Mart, agriculture would still be
the biggest producer of revenue for the county," Mitchell
Banks County Board of Commissioners chairman James Dumas said
the revenue from farming surpasses all retail sales. He added
thanks to the agriculture community for "doing such a great
job to push us to number one."
"We've got a lot to be proud of as a county," Dumas
said. "Farming provides a lot of jobs and revenuea
Poultry and cattle are two of the main types of farms in the
county. Mitchell said that the close proximity of Banks to some
of the major processors of chicken makes poultry an economically
Dumas added that more poultry houses are being built this year.
However, with rising interest rates, that surge could spiral
down, he said.
In addition to helping the Banks County economy, poultry litter
has also been a boon to the regeneration of topsoil for pastures
Cattle and foraging crops are also on the increase in Banks County
as hay production accounted for $2.2 million and put Banks in
fourth place in the state for that commodity.
Other agri-businesses have been cropping up as well, according
to Mitchell, such as nurseries, greenhouses and turf grass operations.
Mitchell said that Banks really isn't suited for row crops.
"We had crop production in the past and it just eroded the
topsoil away," he said. "It's also an extremely expensive
enterprise with all of the equipment needed to manage the large
parcels of land."
A new crop that could be grown in northern Banks County is grapes,
which could lead to wine-making being established in the county.
Mitchell and Dumas both said that there has been talk of state
financial encouragement for grape production.
The wine industry is already making money in Habersham, Jackson
and White counties, both as a sales commodity and as a tourist
attraction. The grape industry leaders are hoping that the commodity
will catch the interest of other farmers as well.
The extension agent said that consumers sometimes have misconceptions
about what actually goes into the production of crops, poultry
and cattle. He said it takes more hard work and more money than
most people realize.
Dumas said, "It's a business worthy of our protection. The
county commissioners have worked hard to protect the agriculture
community through strict re-zoning regulations. We want to do
all we can to help the farmer and help the residents preserve
the natural beauty of Banks County."
Go to Banks
Public Meeting Dates
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Man killed in four-wheeler
A Smyrna man was killed Friday when a
four-wheeler he was riding overturned on Hwy. 51.
According to Banks County Sheriff Charles Chapman, Deward Cash,
74, and his wife were visiting a residence they owned on Hwy.
51 N. Chapman said Cash left his home around 4 p.m. Friday to
ride along his property line.
When Cash didn't return after several hours, neighbors began
searching for him and the sheriff and fire departments were notified.
After a search of the property, Chapman said Cash was found about
10:30 p.m. with his four-wheeler lying on top of him.
"We don't have anything from the autopsy," Chapman
said. "But foul play is not suspected."
for Maysville council seats
Several familiar names will be on the
ballot in Maysville when a city election is held on Nov. 7.
Qualifying isn't over yet, but several former council members
had qualified as of Tuesday.
Qualifying will be held through 4:30 p.m. Thursday at city hall.
In the mayor's race, the only one to qualify so far is former
mayor Jerry Lewis. Incumbent Richard Presley hasn't qualified.
In Ward 1, former councilman Andrew Strickland has qualified.
Incumbent Jim Saville hasn't qualified.
In Ward 2, former mayor Marion Jarrett has qualified. Incumbent
Scott Harper has qualified for the Ward 4 seat because he is
moving to that district. No one else has qualified for Ward 2
No one has qualified for Ward 3, which is now held by Andy Martin.
The qualifying fee is $7.20 for members of the council and $13.20
for the mayor.