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See this week's Pigskin
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.
Raiders top Panthers 21-6
Though it may have been a little closer than
the past two years, Madison County still proved to have Jackson
County's number, downing the Panther squad 21-6 Friday night
Forsyth Central edges Commerce, 16-15
Forsyth Central ended Commerce's 20-game
win streak Friday with a 16-15 win at Tiger Stadium.
CHS coach hospitalized
Commerce High School football coach Steve Savage was hospitalized
Saturday after suffering a tear in his esophagus.
Savage went to Athens Region Medical Center Saturday afternoon
after the tear occured.
Madison County SAT scores are among the area's best
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.
Banks County building inspector resigns
Banks County building inspector Tony Vento
His last day on the job will be Friday, Sept. 8, according to
a letter of resignation submitted to the Banks County Board of
Banks County SAT scores again below state average
The Jackson Herald
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Campaign Signs Burned
City employee Donald Angel dumps campaign
signs picked up around Commerce into a fire at the Public Works
Department lot on Waterworks Road. The city said dozens of campaign
and some real estate signs were illegally posted on the city
rights of way. They were removed Thursday afternoon.
Water Wise settles
lawsuit against county
The ongoing battle between a private sewage
firm and the Jackson County government was settled out of court
Friday. The county agreed to an offer from Water Wise and Prinvest
Financial of $2.7 million for the old Texfi sewage facility in
Jefferson. The county had paid $1.5 million for the facility
after condemning it last year. Water Wise and Prinvest had appealed
that amount and the parties were scheduled to go to court Monday.
County leaders said they believe the settlement is a good deal
for the county and is far less than the $8-10 million Water Wise
had contested the plant was worth. Water Wise had paid $1.3 million
for the plant in July 1999.
County leaders said that the offer of $2.7 million was well within
what its own consultants show would be viable for the plant to
One of the main considerations in accepting the offer was a concern
over what could have been a lengthy appeals process, said officials.
Until the lawsuit was settled, the county couldn't issue bonds
to put lines in the ground and begin operating the facility.
A key user of the plant will be the Mulberry Plantation development
on Hwy. 124, but that project had been put on hold pending the
outcome of the lawsuit. With that, and several other projects
on hold, county leaders said settling the case was less expensive
than fighting a protracted appeal that would have kept the plant
idle for up to two years or longer.
Another concern expressed by county leaders was the impending
change in county government. Leaders said they didn't want to
saddle the new board of commissioners with a major lawsuit if
a reasonable settlement could be reached.
Set System Goals
Students in the Commerce School System are expected to show improvement
this year in all standardized tests, according to system goals
adopted for the current school year.
Superintendent Larry White went over updated system goals for
students taking the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), the Georgia
High School Graduation test and the Stanford Achievement Test
at the board's "work session" meeting last Thursday
For example, while last year's seniors at Commerce High School
scored 933 on the on the SAT, the system goal for the Class of
2001 has been set at 953. And the seniors taking college preparatory
classes will be expected to score 1021, up 20 points from the
1,001 they averaged this year.
"I have asked the principal to come up with a plan for improving
the scores," White said after the meeting.
Similarly, goals for seniors on the graduation test are as follows:
language arts, 100 percent passing, the same as achieved last
year; math, 100 percent passing, compared to 97 percent last
year; social studies, 95 percent passing, compared to 91 percent
last year; and science, 80 percent passing, compared to 69 percent
Other test-related goals for CHS include:
·students will score above the state average on the SAT
during the school year.
·students will score above the average on the ACT (to
be offered for the first time this year).
·CHS seniors will average a 20 or higher on the ACT.
Goals set for Commerce Middle School include:
·Improvements in reading achievement of eight percent,
reading comprehension, six percent; vocabulary, 12 percent and
grammar and punctuation, five percent, as measured by the Stanford
Achievement Test. These results will be difficult to quantify,
however, since they will be compared to scores on the 2000 Iowa
Test of Basic Skills. The change from ITBS to Stanford is the
result of HB 1187.
·CMS students will achieve scores on the Stanford test
that exceed the state average. The school exceeded the state
average on the ITBS last year.
The goals for Commerce Elementary School also will compare Stanford
results to last year's ITBS scores as follows:·First grade:
An improvement of one percentile (to 80th) in reading and language
arts (to 84th) and a class ranking above the 50th percentile
in both areas.
·Second grade: improvement of two percentile points in
reading (to 69th) and one percentile (to 72nd) in language arts
and a class ranking above the 50th percentile in both areas.
·Third grade: improvement of five points (to 55th percentile)
in reading and one point (to 77th percentile) in language arts
and a class ranking above the 50th percentile in both areas.
·Fourth grade: Improvement of two points (to 60th) in
reading and one point (to 70th) in language arts and a class
ranking above the 50th percentile in both areas.
Fifth grade: Improvement of two points (to 62nd) in reading and
one point (to 71st) in language arts, and a class ranking above
the 50th percentile in both areas.
In addition, a system goal is for all three schools to receive
an "A" in both areas of the new state report card under
Go ahead with
county manager search, says Thomas
But Beshara says current BOC shouldn't
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."
Fran Thomas, a Democrat running for the District 3 seat on the
BOC, asked the BOC Tuesday night to begin advertising nationally
for a county manager. She suggested that the current BOC and
the new board elected in November could jointly interview the
top candidates. No one would be hired until the new BOC takes
office in January, however. Thomas, a former commissioner, said
this would give the new board a head start when it takes office
"We can get prepared for the transition," she said.
"...We don't want the county to be in a bind."
But Republican candidate Emil Beshara said Wednesday that he
opposed such a plan, saying the existing board has no authority
to interview or hire a county manager.
"There is no such position or requirement for a county manager
under the current law that describes the Jackson County Board
of Commissioners," he said. "The BOC which assumes
office January 1, 2001, has sole authority under the law to hire
a county manager for Jackson County."
Last year, voters approved the changing of the Jackson County
government from a three-member board with a full-time chairman
as CEO to a five-member all part-time board with a hired county
manager as CEO.
One of the reasons Thomas gave for requesting the action was
the impending departure of executive assistant David Bohanan.
Bohanan had been widely viewed as the likely interim county manager
to run the day-to-day operations until a county manager was hired.
But Bohanan announced his resignation last week and has taken
a job as city manager of Dahlonega.
Current BOC chairman Jerry Waddell offered support for Thomas'
"I personally don't have a problem with it," he said.
"I'm willing to do anything we can to keep the county from
going into a tailspin."
Commissioner Pat Bell also said she had no problem with such
a plan, but wanted to get comments from the newly elected chairman,
"I feel like this board would be a conduit only and would
not make any decisions," she said. "The new board would
make those decisions...I will do anything I can to make the transition
City Poised To
Annex Land For New School
The Commerce City Council will annex 64
acres Monday night, land upon which the Commerce Board of Education
plans to build a school.
The Commerce Planning Commission has recommended that the tract,
located on the Jefferson Road, be annexed in a C-2 district.
It is AR in Jackson County.
The council meets at 6:30 Monday night at the Commerce Civic
Also on the agenda is a recommendation from the planning commission
to rezone from C-1 to C-2 strips along South Elm Street and Georgia
98 (Maysville Road) from the Clinkoco to Hospital Road and Roosevelt
Boulevard. The change is recommended to more accurately reflect
the existing use of the area and is supported by most of the
businesses in the two strips.
In other business Monday, the city council is expected to:
·hear a request from Peace Place, the battered women's
shelter, for funding.
·consider an agreement with the JEB Stuart Chapter of
the United Daughters of the Confederacy for city use of the UDC's
Spencer Park. The agreement will allow the city to use all portions
of the park except for the monument area.
But property sales flat in first half
Although property sales were flat during the first half of 2000,
building activity continued its double-digit growth. Permits
issued in Jackson County for the first six months of 2000 topped
$70.8 million, a 19 percent jump over the first half of 1999.
Total building permits in 1999 were $118.8 million.
Property sales, meanwhile, were flat, declining one-half of one
percent. Property sales for the first half of 2000 were $78.9
million, down from $79.2 million in the same period of 1999.
Total property sales in 1999 were $153.6 million
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SAT scores are
Although all three high schools in Jackson
County improved their SAT scores over last year, only one school
was above the state average for the year.
Jefferson High School seniors who took the SAT last spring had
an overall average of 990, 16 points above the state average
of 974. Students at Jackson County Comprehensive High School
and Commerce High School fell below the state average for the
third year in a row. JCCHS students scored a 941 on the test
while CHS students scored a 933.
While the overall scores for all three high schools were below
national averages, students taking college prep classes fared
much better than their classmates. College prep students at JHS
averaged 1,062 on the SAT while JCCHS college prep students had
a 1,004 and CHS college prep students had a 1,001.
JHS principal Pat Blenke attributes his school's increased score
to recent programs put in place.
"We've emphasized the SAT tutorial program," he said.
"We've really hit on kids taking more stringent, challenging
The school has also implemented several changes to help continue
increasing the scores.
"For this year, we've beefed up some of our academic electivesadding
astronomy and ecology to our curriculum," he said. "I
think the keys are obviously the foundation that they get in
elementary school and middle school, as well as the challenging
course work they take when they get into high school. The more
challenging course work they take, the better their scores are
going to be. That has been my experience with the SAT. If they
will take some of these more challenging courses, it will definitely
help their SAT scores."
Seventy-one JHS seniors took the SAT last spring while 106 seniors
at JCCHS took the test and 46 at CHS took the test.
It'll Be Incumbent
Mayor Against Former Mayor In Maysville Election
MAYSVILLE -- The voters will have a choice
between the incumbent mayor and a former mayor when Maysville
holds its municipal elections Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Incumbent mayor Richard Presley and former mayor Jerry Lewis
were the only two candidates to qualify for mayor.
Meanwhile, seven candidates qualified for the four seats to be
filled on the town council.
Former councilman Andrew Strickland and Todd Dorsey qualified
to challenge incumbent Jim Saville for the seat from Ward 1.
In Ward 2, former mayor Marion Jarrett was the only candidate
to qualify. The incumbent, Scott Harper, qualified to seek election
in Ward 4, since he is moving to that ward.
The Ward 3 race will pit incumbent Andy Martin against challengers
Richard Parr and Frank Chesonis in a three way contest.
Harper was the only candidate to qualify for the city council
seat for Ward 4.
Candidates for mayor had to pay a $13.20 qualifying fee, while
those seeking seats on the town council were required to pay
Drop In At CHS
A pair of U.S. Army helicopters created
quite a stir at Commerce High School last Thursday morning when
they landed on the school's practice field.
The two $6.5 million OH 58 Delta Kiowa Warriors were forced to
land at about 11:15 because of a low ceiling and diminished visibility.
"It was the only spot we could see where we figured we could
land and not cause a big stink," laughed CW3 Clint Logwood,
pilot of one of the machines.
The members of the 82nd Airborne Division were en route from
mountain training near Dahlonega to a fuel stop at Columbia,
SC, on the way back to Ft. Bragg, NC.
According to Logwood, Army regulations require that the helicopters
be grounded when the ceiling is under 500 feet and the visibility
less than a mile. Thursday's drizzling rain created that condition,
so the four airmen found themselves surrounded by curious students.
They fielded questions and even let the students sit in the cockpit.
The helicopters were not armed, but were configured to carry
14 rockets. In a battle situation, they would be used primarily
They are also expensive to fly, costing the taxpayers $2,400
per hour in the air. Burning fuel at the rate of less than two
miles to the gallon is only part of the expense; virtually everything
in the machines is changed out based on the amount of flying
time, said Logwood.
The airmen were able to resume their flight at about 12:40.