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What WOULD Jesus Do?
While covering a meeting on domestic violence,
I had the opportunity to talk with some of the members of the
task force. In talking with them, I came to understand . . .
'Titans' veers from reality
Hobbies cost money. Pastimes are free, or
so I have heard. But I have a hobby that was passed down.
My mother grew up in East Point, a city in Fulton County. She
used to tell me stories about . . .
SEE THIS WEEK'S PIGSKIN PICKERS!
BCHS set for homecoming
Banks County High School will look to get on the winning track
Friday night with a homecoming game against the Apalachee Wildcats.
A bonfire is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the high school to begin
festivities for homecoming.
Charter School Proposed For Area
Because school systems do not adequately prepare young people
for jobs and careers, a new charter school is expected to open
next year in northeast Georgia.
Tolbert threatens suit over Bell campaign sign
The hotly contested race for the District 25 House seat got another
dose of gasoline last week after incumbent candidate Rep. Scott
Tolbert threatened to sue a supporter of his opponent, Pat Bell,
over a campaign sign.
Fortson hearing set for Thursday
Tracy Lea Fortson's legal counsel is scheduled
to appear in the Madison County courthouse at 3 p.m. Thursday
in hopes of getting the accused murderer's bond lowered, District
Attorney Bob Lavender confirmed Wednesday.
$25,000 contract approved for drug counseling program
A contract was approved Monday night for a drug and alcohol counseling
program, but not without some tense moments.
The board of commissioners voted 4-1 to approve a contract for
Rev. Jess Martin's proposed Northeast Georgia Alcohol/Drug Addiction
Prevention Program and Aftercare Services (AADAPP).
The Banks County News
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PLAYTIME FOR SCOUTS
After the parade Saturday morning at the Maysville Autumn Leaf
Festival, Cub Scouts from Pack 106, Banks County, couldn't wait
to check out Joey Rider's "Gameboy Color." On the left
is Brian Linn and on the right is his brother, Brandon Linn.
In the back are Trent Mathis and Paden Presley.
Banks BOC takes
over senior citizens' center
The management of the senior citizens' center was thrust onto
the county government Sept. 29 with the closing of the management
company, Peak Services.
Previously, the Banks County Board of Commissioners had a contract
with Legacy Link, the area agency on aging for Northeast Georgia,
who in turn held a contract with Peak Services. Peak Services
handled the management of Banks County's senior citizens' services
and several other counties in Northeast Georgia. The company
received federal, state and local funds to do so; however, commission
chairman James Dumas reported that Peak closed its doors with
an uncertain financial standing. In fact, Dumas reported to the
board that the county will probably have to give additional funds
to the center in order to provide all of the services for the
remainder of the year.
Legacy Link temporarily took over operation of the center at
the closing, but federal law will not allow them to retain employees
for an extended period of time. Legacy Link asked the Banks County
Board of Commissioners to enter into a subcontract agreement
whereby Banks would provide the services of homecare, congregate
meals, home-delivered meals and transportation services and would
employ three full-time employees.
Dumas asked the board to look over the contract before their
next meeting so action can be taken.
"We're going to have to let the federal funds come through
us," Dumas said. "And as you know, federal funds come
with lots of strings and red tape."
Dumas asked the board for permission to reassure the employees
that the program was not in danger.
"I don't see how we can not go ahead and proceed with the
transition," commissioner Pat Westmoreland said. "We're
not going to close the program. There's no danger of that."
In other news, the board:
·learned that the risk management ACCG-IRMA dividend for
the county is $13,488.
·authorized a change in the 457 deferred compensation
plan for all employees from Pepsico to the Government Employee
Benefits Corporation of Georgia, a creation of the Association
County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG). The BOC felt the change
was needed because Pepsico announced their decision to discontinue
personal representatives. As a result, all employees had to do
their business over the phone or on the Internet. ACCG has representatives
and is scheduled to come to Banks County Oct. 17 to discuss benefits
·announced the old health department will be ready within
three weeks. Some offices are expected to move, including 4-H,
the planning office and the coroner.
·learned that a meeting between the architect and the
county will be scheduled for mid-October to discuss the new DFACS
building plans. While the project is in progress, Dumas announced
that the plans will not be available by Oct. 26.
Dry ice burns child
A parent upset over an older student burning her son with dry
ice while on a school bus put the Banks County Board of Education
on the hot seat at Thursday night's work session.
Pam Redmond said her third grade son was burned by dry ice on
the school bus on Sept. 29.
"I don't know if it will scar or not," she said.
Redmond said that she knows of other children who were burned
on other buses and does not think the school officials handled
the "problem well enough to ensure that it didn't happen
"We had to sign a student behavior code when school started,"
she said. "And there are descriptions in the behavior code
as to what the minimum and maximum action should be taken. From
where I stand, it wasn't even looked at. The minimum on battery
is suspension. None of that was addressed at all.
"It frightens me that kids can get on the bus and do stuff
like that and the school system knows about it before the buses
pull out of the parking lot and still let those buses pull out.
I don't want another child to get hurt before we take steps to
do something about it. I want to know that we have some kind
of procedure in place to see that this doesn't happen again."
The four students who took the dry ice on the bus reportedly
had to write a two-page report on the frozen gas as punishment.
Redmon said this was inadequate for the harm done and added that
she is worried about future incidents with items of possible
harm that students might bring with them to school from home.
Superintendent Deborah White explained that the dry ice came
on campus via a delivery of candy. Four students managed to hide
a few pieces in their backpacks and pockets, it was reported.
"I'll be the first to admit that we did not dispose of the
ice responsibly," said White.
School officials had not been notified that dry ice was in the
White added: "As the buses were pulling out, one of the
bus drivers did find the dry ice on her bus. She radioed out
here and I was the person who went out and got on the bus and
saw the girl who had been burned on her finger with the dry ice."
The superintendent said the students didn't know the danger dry
ice could cause. She told the students that dry ice "was
like playing with fire, it will burn you."
"I can't say that they intentionally took the ice to try
to burn others with it or whether they were just playing with
it," said White.
Redmond responded: "The child that burned my son, burned
another student on that bus. How could he not know it would cause
harm and how could he use it on a child that is half his age."
She said her son asked the boy what he had in his pocket that
was smoking and he took it out of his pocket and stuck it on
"If you don't take action to make the students understand
that they have a responsibility for their own personal being,
as well as not harming another child, they're going to do whatever
they want to do," she said "I'm not after the kid who
did it, I'm not after the school system. I'm after the safety
of kids on the bus. That's my number one concern."
White said that the school assumed that the only bus involved
was the one that had been stopped before leaving the school grounds.
The following Monday morning, the driver of another bus told
officials what happened on the trip home Friday with dry ice
and gave the names of the students who had the ice with them.
"We apologize," White said. "I apologize. I apologize
to every parent who had a child that was burned. Some way, somehow
the kids who had the ice were not burned. We're in total agreement
with you - that we want to prevent this from happening again.
We now have a procedure in place should dry ice be brought again
to the school."
Banks County Middle School assistant principal Jeff Webb apologized
for what happened and said: "I feel personally responsible
for what happened. It's hard to place more blame on the children
than myself. They're only sixth graders. The action I took in
no way reflects that I thought this was not serious. I did not
take any action to downplay that this kid did something wrong.
I just feel that what happened caught everyone by surprise. Decisions
are not as simple as looking in a book."
Go to Banks
Public Meeting Dates
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BOE signs off on
high school contract
Even though there are a number of repairs left to be completed
at the new Banks County High School, the board of education unanimously,
but reluctantly, approved a resolution Monday night to pay the
contract with Southern Engineering.
School superintendent Deborah White showed the board a letter
from Roy Denny, CEO of Southern Engineering, that certified the
completion of the contract. She told them that this meant they
had no choice but to approve the resolution due to state regulations.
"The state department should require some sort of assurance,"
said Neal Brown, board member. "How are we going to get
them back, if we pay them off?"
BOE chairman Don Shubert agreed, asking, "Why do we have
to pay when the repairs haven't been made?"
Board member Ron Gardiner said: "I've got a bad feeling
about those gutters."
He said he has little confidence that they will remain up and
in place since a few of them have already come loose from the
The BOE is also concerned with leakage around door frames. The
company fixed the problem by caulking along the threshold, according
to board members. The BOE members said that they have little
faith that the repair would be sufficient for the problem.
Worries over the roof of the school also were on their minds.
Currently, according to the board, Southern Engineering is in
litigation with the roofing company. The building has several
spots that are leaking, it was reported.
The only money that would be withheld is the $3,700 for the school
logo. That will not be completed until basketball season is over.
The board decided that they would pass the resolution only if
it included a clause that assured the list of repairs would be
Package store hit
by armed robbers
Three armed robbers held up a Banks County business Monday night,
taking cash and cigarettes.
Banks County Sheriff Charles Chapman said the three men went
into County Line Package Store, located on Hwy. 59 on the Banks-Franklin
County line, around 8 p.m. Monday with two deer rifles and a
shotgun. They were dressed in camouflage clothing with orange
ski masks and latex gloves on.
The sheriff said an elderly man running the store was the only
one inside the business. He said the three suspects went behind
the counter where the man was and took cash and several cartons
"All three were armed," the sheriff said. "They
The sheriff said that while the robbery was taking place that
two customers, a man and a woman, came into the store.
"The perpetrators pointed the guns at them also and told
them not to do anything funny," the sheriff said. "One
of the persons thought it was a joke, but then they realized
that it was real."
No one got hurt, but a med-unit was called to the store to check
out the store clerk.
"He was shook up pretty bad," the sheriff said.
The three suspects are described as being younger white males
of slender to medium build from five-seven to six feet tall.
They reportedly left the store in a dark-colored late '80s Chevrolet
Blazer or Jimmy.
"We got a vague description of the vehicle," the sheriff
said. "That is really the best lead that we have."