News from Banks County...

 September 20, 2000


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OPINION

Shar Porier
The 'I hate to cook' reporter
One of the nice things about being a reporter is getting to eat out... a lot! Now, I could eat at home before an assignment, or pack a lunch, but where's the fun in that? It's much more enjoyable to . . .

Drew Brantley
Bad times will become good memories soon
Sometimes you catch the ball. Sometimes you drop the ball. Sometimes you drop the ball, and it breaks into a million pieces with such force that they blow away into a tornado that levels the entire countryside. But as long as the ball is . . .


SPORTS
SEE THIS WEEK'S PIGSKIN PICKERS!

BCHS opens 8-AA schedule Friday
Banks County did not open the 2000 football season with the effect it had desired. Friday night, the Leopards will get a chance to put the two non-region losses behind them against a tough Dawson County team.
The Tigers, ranked in the top 10 in the state by some polls, reached the playoffs last year for the first time in school history and won. This year, Dawson County is 3-0, again for the first time ever.


Neighborhood News...
JACKSON COUNTY
Hoschton's fall festival ahead this weekend
Hoschton's annual fall festival will be held on Friday through Sunday, September 22, 23 and 24, on the city square. The event will begin Friday when booths open at 8 a.m.

Nicholson Residents Get To Air Opinions About Zoning
More than 40 people crowded into the Nicholson Public Library Thursday night to air their views on zoning.
The city has been working toward bringing zoning to the town for two years and the public hearing was held to get citizen input before the council votes on the matter.


News from
MADISON COUNTY
Emergency workers rescue choking infant
Little Emerald Eveion Prather loves marshmallows.
And when the 9-month-old baby saw her sister's white soft drink bottle top lying on a nightstand around 8 p.m. Aug. 16, she put it in her mouth, perhaps expecting the familiar soft, sweet treat. Instead, the bottle top moved down her windpipe and began to choke her.

52nd Madison Co. Fair opens Tuesday
The 52nd annual Madison County Agricultural Fair is set for Tuesday through Saturday, Sept. 26-30, at the Comer fairgrounds. The fair will be open from 6 to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 12 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The fairgrounds will be closed from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday.


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TRAINING SESSION HELD


Baldwin Fire Department holds a training session for the volunteer firemen involving cutting their way into a smashed-up car from the rear to get to the front seat and the "victim" trapped inside.

BANKS CO. GOVERNMENT

Deadline ahead to qualify to vote in Nov. 7 election
Countians who want to cast a ballot in the Nov. 7 General Election who are not already registered to vote have a few more weeks to do so.
The deadline for registering to vote is Tuesday, Oct. 10. Countians can register by going by the voter registration office at the county courthouse in Homer, the Banks County Public Library, the Banks County Department of Family and Children Services or at the Georgia Department of Transportation driver's license posts.
Four local races will be on the ballot in November, including sheriff, board of education Post 4, board of commissioners chairman and chief magistrate judge. Banks County's state representative and senate seats are also up for re-election.
In the sheriff's race, incumbent Charles Chapman (D) will face challenger Michael Boyle (R).
In the BOE Post 4 race, Democrat Dottie P. Morris will face Republican John D. Williams. Incumbent Len Dalton is not seeking re-election.
In the BOC chairman's race, incumbent James C. Dumas (R) will face Kenneth Brady (D).
Incumbent chief magistrate judge Henry David Banks was the winner in the non-partisan primary election. However, Ray Seabolt has announced his intention to be a write-in candidate for the seat.
State races to be decided include the District 22 House of Representatives seat where incumbent Jeanette Jamieson (R) will face challenger Bill Grant (D). In the District 47 State Senate race, incumbent Eddie Madden will face Republican Mike Beatty.
Other state races on the ballot include several public service commissioner seats. Banks Countians will also be joining voters across the country in casting votes for their choice for president.
CITY ELECTION
Banks Countians who live in Maysville also have a city election slated for Nov. 7. This will be a separate ballot which will be available at city hall.
Incumbent Mayor Richard Presley will face former mayor Jerry Lewis in the Maysville city election set for Nov. 7.
The incumbent council members in Ward 1 and Ward 3 will also face challengers in the election. In Ward 1, incumbent Jim Saville, former councilman Andrew Strickland and Todd Dorsey qualified. In Ward 3, incumbent Andy Martin, Richard Parr and Frank Chesonis qualified.
In Ward 2, former mayor Marion Jarrett was the only one to qualify. Ward 2 incumbent Scott Harper qualified for the Ward 4 seat because he is moving to that district. Harper is the only candidate for the Ward 4 council seat.


Go-cart track owner gets approval to operate business
A Banks County man finally has approval to run his go-cart track on Otis Brown Road.
The board of commissioners approved Mitchell Payne's request in a meeting Friday morning to rezone seven acres from agriculture to C-2 (general commericial).
The request was tabled by the planning commission two times before being sent to the BOC for action in July. At Friday's meeting, planning commission chairman Harold Ivey told the BOC that the county ordinance states that a request is considered denied if action is not taken within 60 days. Friday's meeting fell 66 days after the BOC first heard the request.
"That is the whole reason this has been done," Payne said. "That's an easy way to say no."
County attorney Randall Frost said that the 60-day period could be extended if both parties agree. Payne and the county signed a statement that they agree to the extension.
"This is something we never deal with because we don't table," said BOC chairman James Dumas. "We take action."
After two and a half hours of discussion, the BOC voted to approve his rezoning request for the go-cart track, with several conditions.
The conditions include: the business only operates on Friday nights; the racing stops at 11 p.m. and the business closes for the night; the owner controls dust and mud; a "No Trespassing" sign be put up immediately and a fence be put up within six months; and the zoning be restricted for this use only. If the property is sold, the new owner would have to re-apply for the business to be used as C-2, county leaders said. Payne must also submit a letter within two weeks from the health department stating that the restroom facilities meet all standards.
Before the vote was taken, a neighbor, Mrs. Doug Burrell, spoke about her concerns about the business.
"Sticking a race track in the middle of a subdivision is ludicrous," she said. "...I can handle it one day a week...(but) it is definitely going to affect my life."
Payne had also asked that he be allowed to operate the business on Sunday afternoons if he can't open it on Friday nights during the winter because of the cold weather.
The commissioners didn't agree to this.


Lawsuit against Baldwin dropped
The residents of Baldwin who live in Banks County dropped their lawsuit against the city over taxation issues, according to city attorney David Syfan.
The residents filed the suit when Baldwin sent them property tax notices. The city had been receiving a portion of the sales tax money from Banks County and the residents opposed what they had called "double taxation."

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Holcomb wins Baldwin council post
Ray Holcomb won Tuesday's election in Baldwin to fill a vacant seat on the city council.
Of the 169 votes cast, Holcomb won with 90 votes. Helena Dyer had 44; Michael Carroll had 20; Phil Hull had nine; and Marion Hampton had six. Four absentee ballots were rejected because they were not signed.
"I look forward to working with the council and the mayor to make Baldwin a better place to live," Holcomb said.
Under unusual circumstances, a called meeting was held minutes before the closing of the polls to name an election superintendent. City attorney David Syfan reported that Ann Gerald was unable to fulfill her role as election superintendent because she had just gotten out of the hospital. Betty Cloer was certified as election superintendent.
The council had the called meeting to vote to accept Cloer as the election superintendent. Mayor Mark Reed asked if Cloer would swear that she had the required training to fulfill the role. She did and the council voted to approve her. Cloer was then sworn in and the votes were counted by the election officials.


Dalton named temporary head of EMS
The Banks County Board of Commissioners has named fire chief Perry Dalton to serve as the temporary head of the emergency management services department.
The action was taken in a called meeting Friday morning after the BOC met behind closed doors for 15 minutes to discuss "personnel." Dalton will serve until the board discusses a discrepancy in the maintenance log kept at the ambulance station at Banks Crossing with EMS director Doug O'Neal. O'Neal is on bereavement leave due to a death in his family, but the matter is expected to be settled once he returns to work.
This is the second time the BOC met to discuss the maintenance logs. At the earlier meeting, commissioner Pat Westmoreland said that he had visited the Banks Crossing station several weeks ago to check the maintenance log and found only one entry. This led him to request that all maintenance logs be turned in for review.
The log from the Banks Crossing station that was submitted had eight to nine entries. Westmoreland questioned why it had been changed since he saw it at the station. O'Neal said that he made the additional entries by going back and estimating when the maintenance was done on the equipment since it was not written in the log at the time.
Since the earlier meeting was held, county leaders have checked the repair records for the Banks Crossing station. It was reported that the records don't include any specific expenses listed for routine maintenance.
"When the county invests that much money in two vehicles and the department head doesn't have enough responsibility to make sure they are taken care of, it costs every citizen in the county," commissioner Ernest Rogers said. "...Anything that happens on a regular basis is the responsibility of the department head."