News from Banks County...

 September 11, 2000


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OPINION

Shar Porier
Heart to heart
Before heading for the Homer office last Friday, I had to lay in some supplies for the long day. So, I stopped at my Kangaroo on 365. I had a craving for a cheese danish and they're the only place I have found that carries this one brand that I cannot resist.

Drew Brantley
Morris good example for field's visitors
One time I was riding in the car with my parents to the farm where my father grew up. In one of the main fields leading up to house, rows and rows of corn were standing waiting to be picked.


SPORTS
See this week's Pigskin Picks!

Jefferson thwarts Banks County, 48-21
After missing out on the playoffs after an overtime loss to Banks County last year, the Jefferson Dragons had a 48-21 victory well in hand long before the end of regulation.


Neighborhood News...
JACKSON COUNTY
Water Wise trial set Mon.
The ongoing battle over the Water Wise issue will move into a Jackson County courtroom next week after months of controversy and several weeks of behind-the-scenes political wrangling. The outcome of the courtroom showdown could have an impact on local taxpayers and the future of county sewage treatment projects.

Go ahead with county manager search, says Thomas
But Beshara says current BOC shouldn't be involved
One candidate for the District 3 post of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners wants the search to start right away for a county manager. But her opponent says the existing board has no authority to do that and labeled the idea "destructive and divisive."


News from
MADISON COUNTY
MCHS still among best in area SAT scores

No municipal elections to be held in county
While a slew of county posts are up for grabs this year, no municipal elections will be held in 2000.


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PRACTICE RUN


Taking part in a training exercise, volunteers and paid members of the Banks County Fire Department took turns going into a blazing house last Thursday evening. The house had been "donated" to the department for burning by the owners, who have plans to build a new home on the site on Rock Springs Road. Divided into teams, each group performed an excercise in putting out the fire. One team was also selected to do a "rescue" of another firefighter lost in the smoke-filled house.


BANKS CO. GOVERNMENT

Banks County building inspector resigns
Banks County building inspector Tony Vento has resigned.
His last day on the job will be Friday, Sept. 8, according to a letter of resignation submitted to the Banks County Board of Commissioners.
"The hassle and harassment has gotten to the point where he doesn't want to deal with it," BOC chairman James Dumas said in a meeting Friday morning. "...I really regret it, but I do understand it."
Commissioner Pat Westmoreland said: "He has done an excellent job for us. He has worked well with us."
Dumas said the county must have a certified building inspector to handle Vento's duties. The BOC agreed to advertise for someone to fill the position. In the meantime, Dumas said that the county could contract with a private firm or individual to handle the work load.
In other business Friday, the BOC discussed how to utilize the old health department in Homer. It was agreed that the county extension offices would be moved to the building.
The BOC didn't agree as to which other offices would be moved to the building, but did mention the planning and building office and coroner's office.
OTHER MATTERS
In other business, the BOC:
·agreed that the final classification and compensation plan, which outlines salaries and raises for county employees, be used as a guideline by the county.
·learned that the county had received a letter requesting that Hwy. 198 be renamed as Conrad Boling Memorial Highway. County leaders said this decision would be made by the Georgia Department of Transportation since it is a state road.
·agreed to review a list of nominees from the Banks County Department of Family and Children Services to fill two vacancies on the board and make a recommendation.
·briefly discussed the youth hunt tentatively set for Dec. 26-27. It will first be limited to Banks County residents. After that, if any spaces are available, out-of-county youth may apply to hunt.
·agreed to come up with a list of three nominees to send to the BJC Medical Center Authority. The hospital group will select one of the nominees to serve on the board.
·agreed to consider several re-appointments to the Development Authority of Banks County.
·agreed to review the policy on now allowing alcohol sales on election day and take action at the September meeting.
·heard a request from Peace Place for a $5,000 donation for the shelter.


Closed or not? Purcell Road topic of debate at BOC meeting
Residents of Purcell Road who want their road to be officially closed appeared before the Banks County Board of Commissioners in a work session meeting Friday morning to plead their case. But a man who owns property on the road has asked that the county leave the road open and maintain it.
More than two hours of discussion, which was often disorderly, with several people speaking at one time, was held on the matter, but no action was taken by the BOC. County officials said that in order for the road to be closed, it would have to be advertised in the newspaper, letters would have to be sent to property owners, a public hearing would have to be held and the BOC would then vote on the matter.
Many of those living on Purcell Road who spoke pointed out that the county has not maintained the road for years and they considered it closed. But county leaders said the road has never been officially closed or abandoned.
"Merely not working it is not abandoning it," BOC chairman James Dumas said. "...I don't feel comfortable maintaining both ends (of the road) and leaving that stretch in the center. We're either going to maintain all of the road or close a portion of it. We're not going to maintain one end and then go all the way around with our equipment and scrape the other end."
Johnny Williams has already petitioned the county asking that the road be maintained. Many of those who spoke said they are afraid that his plans for his property on the road include a subdivision. Williams said he has never said that his plans are for a subdivision for the property.
"We didn't buy the property to cut it up to a mobile home park," he said. "We bought it to conform to what is already there."
Lucille Chambers, who has lived on Purcell Road, for many years, said she doesn't want the "quietness" of the road to be destroyed. She said that, in its present condition, the road doesn't bar anyone access to their property.
"Historically, this little stretch of road has been both difficult and expensive to maintain," she said. "...I respectfully request that this short section of Purcell Road remain impassable as it has been for over 20 years. No mail vehicle, no school bus and no county vehicles­even scrapers­have passed over it past the Bolton (home) on the north and the Emory (home) on the south in that period of time."
Another resident said the road would again become a "party road" if it is maintained and used by the public. He pointed out that this had been a problem in the past.
"We're trying to block traffic, partying and jack-lighting," said Alton Emory.
For the rest of this story, see this week's The Banks County News.

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Banks County SAT scores again below state average
Banks County's Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) scores are continuing on a downward slide.
The latest average SAT score for Banks County students is 859, which is down from the 1999 figure of 889 and the 1998 figure of 900. The average verbal score was 425 and the average math score was 434. Banks County students also scored below both the state and national average this year. The state average is 974 and the national average is 1,019.
Fifty-four students, or 60 percent of the graduating class, took the SAT last spring. Superintendent Deborah White said the percentage of local students taking the SAT is significantly higher than the state or national average.
"Many students who are planning to enroll in a vocational technical school take the SAT and are included in this average," White said. "These students did not follow a college preparatory curriculum."
The average score for the top students was much higher than the overall average, she added.
"For the students who were ranked in the top 10 of the class, the average verbal score was 529 and the average math score was 504," she said.


Seabolt seeks magistrate office as write-in candidate
A Banks County man has announced his intentions to be a write-in candidate for magistrate judge of Banks County.
Ray Seabolt, who was unsuccessful in his recent bid for sheriff, has filed the proper paperwork with the probate office to be a write-in candidate. The only legal requirement is that his intentions be published in the newspaper. Those who wish to vote for Seabolt will have to write his name on the ballot.
Incumbent Henry David Banks was the winner of the recent non-partisan election for magistrate judge.