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The Homer tree
Ok Homer ! You keep asking: "When's
there going to be something about Homer in the paper?" Well,
doesn't . . .
Mouse Trap fights rat race blues
Life is not fair. I figured that out at least
a year or two ago. I don't expect life to be fair. But I still
expect life to make some sense. But it doesn't. This week
I . . .
SEE THIS WEEK'S PIGSKIN PICKERS!
East Hall downs Banks County
Take away two turnovers and a blocked punt
and the Banks County Leopards' football game against East Hall
last Friday night would have turned out a lot differently.
Natural Gas Prices High As Heating Season Nears
So you think gasoline prices have gone up
over last year? That's nothing. Natural gas prices have doubled,
and that could result in some very high winter utility bills.
Nicholson's City Government Can't Function
There are seven candidates qualified to run
for mayor in the November special election, but the recent resignations
of the mayor and two city councilmen leave Nicholson without
enough public officials to conduct business.
Bond set for Fortson
Tracy Lea Fortson, the former deputy accused
of killing her ex-boyfriend, Doug Benton of Colbert, and encasing
him in cement, could be set free on bond - though she remained
in jail as of Tuesday.
Northern Judicial Circuit Judge Thomas Hodges set bond Friday
at $500,000 for Fortson, who will go before a Madison County
grand jury Oct. 16.
Sorrells resigns as authority chairman
Madison County Industrial Development and
Building Authority (MCIDBA) chairman Steve Sorrells resigned
earlier this month and fellow board member John Scoggins was
chosen as his replacement in a called meeting Tuesday morning.
The Banks County News
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NEW DEPARTMENT IN PLACE
Maysville police chief Ricky Armour directed the placement
of the department's new home behind the Maysville Fire Department.
The used mobile home was donated by the Georgia Emergency Management
Association. The police department will be relocating in the
next few weeks.
Maysville Police Department
gets new home last week
The Maysville police chief and his men
were all smiles as their new home was delivered and set up behind
the Maysville Fire Station last week.
The used mobile home, donated to the department by the Georgia
Emergency Management Association, made the long trip through
Atlanta up to Maysville Wednesday afternoon.
According to police chief Ricky Armour, it took longer to go
through the paperwork and get the mobile home out of the compound
than it did to drive it to Maysville.
The old office is too small to keep up with the growing number
of files and additional equipment, the chief said. It is also
in a deteriorating state, with one wall unstable.
Armour said that over the next two to three weeks, considerable
work will be done to adapt the trailer to its new purpose and
to meet county and city codes.
Underpinning and laying the concrete block foundation will take
a couple of days. Sewer and water lines and an underground electrical
line will be installed. An air conditioning system and possibly
a heating system will also be installed. Armour said a porch
off the back door would also be built.
There will be parking in front for police cruisers and cars.
Dalton to serve
as head of EMS and fire departments
The Banks County Board of Commissioners
has named fire chief Perry Dalton to also serve as the head of
the emergency management services department.
The BOC had named Perry to temporarily serve as EMS department
head two weeks ago while it looked into a discrepancy in the
maintenance log kept at the ambulance station at Banks Crossing.
Former EMS director Doug O'Neal now handles administrative and
shift duties for the department. His salary has also been decreased
and he is now paid on an hourly basis. Dalton's salary has not
On a related mater, the BOC promoted paramedic Jim Crisp to be
battillion chief and oversee the day-to-day activities of the
The personnel changes came after the BOC discovered a discrepancy
in the maintenance log. Commissioner Pat Westmoreland 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 later turned into the county 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.
County leaders also checked the repair records for the Banks
Crossing station. It was reported earlier that the records don't
include any specifically listed for routine maintenance.
BJC approves staff
privileges for five new doctors
The BJC Medical Center gave "courtesy"
staff privileges to five new doctors Monday night, four of whom
will work in the emergency room.
The emergency room physicians include Dr. Sherry Brock, Dr. James
Corpus, Dr. Fred Gose and Dr. Oguguo C. Okoye. In addition, Dr.
Shiv Raj Khandelwal, an oncologist associated with an Athens
practice, was given courtesy staff privileges.
In other business during the 10-minute meeting, the authority
re-elected member Don Brown to another term representing Banks
County on the nine-member board. He was elected unanimously from
a slate presented by the Banks County Board of Commissioners
that included Danny Maxwell and Willene Dyer.
Also Monday night:
·administrator David Lawrence reported that the average
daily census for August was 11.4 patients. "That's up from
the past two years," he said. "We're seeing an overall
increase in the census. We hope that will help us further along."
·at the suggestion of Charles Blair, the board agreed
to draft and sign a resolution honoring Jim Mertz, whose retirement
was to start Tuesday, for his service to the medical center.
·Henry Webb of the BJC Medical Center Auxiliary reported
that his group earned $1,400 from its annual jewelry sale. The
money will be used on a project benefiting the obstetrics section
of the hospital, Webb indicated.
Traffic up in Baldwin,
police chief says
More motorists are traveling through Baldwin
than in the past.
Baldwin police chief Frank Andrews presented the city council
at Monday's meeting with statistics about the increase in traffic
going through the city.
The survey by the Georgia Department of Transportation showed
that in a 12-hour period at Willingham and Hwy. 441, 15,000 cars
"Most of the time, when you think of a population of a city,
you're only thinking of the people who live here," Andrews
said at Monday night's meeting. "But, we have to also provide
services like fire, rescue, and police to those who pass through
He estimated that, from those figures, 35,000 people could be
passing through the Baldwin area each day.
"When you add the increased traffic on Hwy. 365, we're talking
about a lot of people," he said
This influx can mean an increase in accidents, theft and fraud,
The police chief also gave the council a report on statistics
compiled over July and August showing the number of accidents,
traffic warnings and arrests, which are also on the increase
in some cases. Andrews said he wants to make the council aware
of the future needs of his department and the fire department.
In other business:
·it was reported that residents of Baldwin will be getting
a quarterly newsletter about the city business and important
dates starting this month. The newsletter is called the Baldwin
Buzzer and the first issue will be going out this week.
·it was reported that a dirt median on Hwy. 441 will soon
be filled with flowering trees and plants..
·the council voted to build a road side park along an
abandoned section of the old Hwy. 441.
Go to Banks
Public Meeting Dates
& Convenience Stores
ahead on new building
Renota Free, director of Banks County Department of Family and
Children's Services, told the board at last week's meeting that
the commissioners have given her the go-ahead on a new building
with more space and offices.
The department has outgrown its current facility, she said, and
the staff has to juggle limited office space to get their work
done. Sometimes, the break room is the only available place for
part-time regional DFCS employees who have reports to complete
concerning Banks County, she added. Free said there is also a
pressing need to have a confidential conference room for the
families who come for help to discuss their needs and difficulties.
Free said she recently met with BOC chairman James Dumas to go
over the details of the department's needs as far as the number
of offices and space required.
"Since the meeting, they have sent me a proposal as to the
size and number of offices, which I approved and sent back,"
The next stage is to meet with the county commissioners and architects
to make final decisions and have the initial plans developed.
Free said she hopes to have the new plans for the board's approval
by the October 26 meeting.
The building DFACS now occupies is for sale.
In other business:
·it was reported that the department is receiving three
radios for staff in the field, so that they can stay in touch
with the main office.
·it was reported that the reception honoring XX Bell,
who had been with the DFCS for 31 years, has been planned. The
event will be held at the Garrison Civic Center on Thursday,
Oct. 26, at 3:30 p.m..
Boys and Girls Club
up and running
Forty five children are now participating
in the Boys and Girls Club of Baldwin.
Thanks to the work of police chief Frank Andrews, latch-key kids
now have a safe place to go after school until their parents
come home from work.
The club meets at Baldwin Elementary School from 3 p.m. until
6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, for a fee of $3 per day.
For the past few years, Andrews and the city council have wanted
to start a Boys and Girls Club in Baldwin. Recently, an advisory
board was formed and work has begun to try to raise money for
supplies and equipment for the children. Serving on the board
are: councilman Kevin Gaddis, Mayor Mark Reed, assistant police
chief Chad Smith and Erford Harrison, a member of the Baldwin
impact fee advisory committee.
Parents wishing to enroll their child may call Gerald Roach at