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SEE THIS WEEK'S PIGSKIN PICKERS!
Timely Play Overcomes Miscues
Commerce lost three fumbles but gained more
than 300 yards from senior tailback Monté Williams to
down Athens Academy 20-15 Friday night.
Panthers fall to 0-3 in region play
In many sporting events, the scoreboard can
only tell part of the tale. Such was the case Friday as the Jackson
County football team endured its fourth straight loss, a 29-7
decision at the hands of region opponent Eastside.
Jefferson edges Oglethorpe County 21-18
Maybe it was Jefferson's solid defensive stands inside the red
Or maybe it was the extra point attempt Blake Gooch blocked in
the first quarter.
Either way, it was a strong Jefferson defense that came through
in the clutch to help the team to a 21-18 victory over the Oglethorpe
County Patriots Friday night.
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).
Dry ice burns child on bus
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.
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
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Like An Early Christmas
It was like an early Christmas for the Commerce Public
Library this week when four new computers arrived. The Gateway
computers being unboxed by Anna Hoover and Sandra Holliday of
the Piedmont Regional Library and Susan Harper, Commerce library
director, were given to the library by the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation. In fact, libraries in Jefferson, Maysville and Nicholson
also received four computers apiece. The library will be closed
Thursday and Friday so staff can be trained on the computers,
but an open house and demonstration will be held Thursday from
4:00 to 5:00.
agrees on areas for 'green space' designation
Jefferson leaders met briefly Wednesday night to allocate areas
of the city they would like to be allocated as "green space."
Mayor Byrd Bruce, council members Jim Joiner and Steve Kinney
and county green space committee member Grant Seibert met to
discuss the program. They decided that all rivers and streams
with a buffer, the city park, the I-85 and Central City sewer
plants, flood plain areas and wetlands should be allocated as
The city and county are working toward designating 20 percent
of its land as "green space" in order to qualify for
state funds. These funds can be used to purchase additional and
for "green space" or for other recreation uses.
The group agreed to seek additional information on the specifics
as to what the state money can be used. for. Walking areas are
one project city officials have mentioned for possible use with
Wreck claims life
of JHS senior, two others
A large crowd of Jefferson High School students and parents held
white candles as they sang hymns Tuesday night in a service at
the school honoring the senior student killed in a wreck Monday.
Two Jackson County men, Daniel Goza, 18, and Timothy Lee Parker,
28, were both killed in the accident on Ga. Hwy. 82 at the intersection
of Bowman Mill Road in Barrow County, four miles east of Winder.
Also killed in the wreck was Kevin Musgrove, 23, Athens.
Coach Chuck Cook, who attended Faith Baptist Church with Goza,
opened the ceremony in the JHS gymnasium Tuesday by reading from
the Book of Isaiah. The home side of the gym was packed with
several guests having to stand on the gym floor.
A number of family and friends came to the microphone and spoke
about Goza. Various photos and basketball awards of the athlete
were displayed. A large portion of the student body crowded around
the family to offer condolences and share tears.
The crowd moved to the parking lot, holding candles, while singing
hymns. They stopped to kneel for a moment at Goza's parking space.
JHS principal Pat Blenke said Tuesday that everyone is "heartsick"
about the tragedy.
"Daniel was a very popular young man, and very well-liked,
so it's been a very difficult day at Jefferson for students and
teachers as well," he said. "We've had several counselors
and youth ministers here, and I appreciate everybody's effort.
I think that has at least helped some of the students. Some have
been so upset they've had to check out, and others couldn't even
come to school, and we understand that. It's a tragedy to have
someone so young with such promise in their life to have it end
Goza was a two-year starter for the Jefferson boys' basketball
team for Coach Bolling DuBose. He was the leading rebounder and
second-leading scorer in 1999. He also played golf. He has three
sisters, including JHS sophomore Annie, a two-year starter and
one of the top players for the Jefferson slow-pitch softball
team and girls' basketball and track teams.
"I think that is probably the hardest for us at school is
that you've lost a really good kid," DuBose said. "It's
been really somber and quiet all day. You rarely see a kid who
has an impact on that many students."
The coach said Goza was a joy to teach and coach.
"He worked extremely hard," he said. "He was the
kind of kid you'd love to have in a school, even if he didn't
play any sports. The hardest thing is that they're such good
people. It's just sad. We had a lot of colleges call and express
an interest in him, and he was really looking forward to basketball
season coming up Oct. 23. We've lost a good kid from a really
good family. I don't know that you ever get over that. As a coach,
you lose kids to graduation every year. When they leave due to
graduation, you get over it. This is a really hard way to lose
The two-vehicle wreck occurred around 11 a.m. Monday when Parker
reportedly failed to stop at a stop sign and struck the truck
driven by Daniel Wayne Thornton, 26, Athens. Both trucks caught
on fire and Parker's truck ended up upside down. Goza was a passenger
in Parker's truck and Musgrove was a passenger in Thornton's
Parker worked for Goza's family's business, Goza Fence Company,
and the two were reportedly doing a job in Barrow County Monday.
It was a student holiday and Goza had agreed to help Parker out.
Parker was to have been married within two weeks. His fiance
is Christy Fowler. He was a member of Arcade Community Church.
See this week's Jackson Herald for information on the funeral
action for duplexes, office complex
In a 4-1 vote, the Jefferson City Council approved a zoning classification
Monday night for 9.9 acres on Washington Street that would not
allow the duplexes and office complex developers had planned
for the site. The city council zoned the property, owned by Marsha
Hunter and Dale Overstreet, to R-1. The developers had asked
that the property be zoned to C-2 and R-2 to locate a commercial
office building and eight duplex lots.
Council member C.D. Kidd III was the only vote against the zoning
The vote came after much discussion from area property owners
opposed to the C-2 and R-2 zoning and the developers.
Overstreet said her office, which is located next door, and a
beauty shop are both commercial. She added that Bell's Grocery
Store, located across the street, is also a commercial district.
County BOE may
roll back millage
County residents may get a break on their school tax bills this
Jackson County schools superintendent Andy Byers said the Jackson
County Board of Education may be able to roll back its millage
rate if the county's tax digest has grown as expected.
"There has been some indication that there will be a substantial
increase in the digest on new and unbefore-reported properties,"
Byers said at a work session Thursday. "I will recommend
we roll back the millage if everything looks like the estimates
(tax commissioner) Don Elrod gave me."
Byers said he was told reassessments and tax from the new Georgia
Power plant will also add to the anticipated digest.
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.
The Technical Career Academy of Northeast Georgia will attempt
to connect students to jobs and careers, according to Dr. Howard
Ledford, director of planning. He addressed members of the Jackson
County Area Chamber of Commerce at its monthly membership breakfast
The school grew out of a survey taken for Family Connections
in Oglethorpe County in which one of the main concerns turned
out to be high school graduation rates. Ledford told the group
that students found "little connection" between school
and jobs and careers.
Ledford said the group's research showed that only 20 percent
of new jobs will require a four-year college diploma, but 75
percent will require a high school diploma and specialized training.
Meanwhile, 75 percent of the work force population either drops
out before graduating or graduates but receives no other training.
Statewide, only 68 percent of high school students will complete
high school on time, with eight to 11 percent dropping out prior
And although most students do not go on to college, Ledford said
80 percent of the time they spend in high school "is directing
them to the college preparatory seal." Thus, the lack of
connectivity between traditional education and jobs.
High schools offer a college preparatory seal and a general education
diploma, which Ledford called "a diploma to nowhere."
"They may leave high school. Some go to college. Some are
incarcerated. Some hang around five or six years if they ever
get linked (to a career)," he said.
The state's education "reform," he said, still buys
into the notion that a college diploma is the American dream.
"We've all bought into that," Ledford declared.
One of the goals of the Technical Career Academy is to reach
the potential workers who do not even show up in statistics.
They're the "invisible workforce" that never held a
job long enough to be considered part of the labor force or to
qualify for unemployment.
"This is the work force we have to identify and develop
to get industry and business to come in (to Oglethorpe County),"
The TCA has more than 175 "partners" as it seeks its
first campus. Where that will be located has not been determined,
but Ledford indicated that work sites at industries in a 16-county
area around Athens could be used as "academies" for
The school's mission will be to teach through hands-on work,
including the teaching of work ethic and career skills and on-the-job
training. It will instill, he said, such basic skills as reading
newspapers, job applications, etc., provide math skills for the
management of bank accounts and budgets, stress citizenship (paying
taxes, voting), teach the need for teamwork and reliability and
offer specific job training.
The school was chartered under the auspices of the Oglethorpe
County Board of Education and will be managed by Athens Area
Technical College. Ledford said it hopes to open its doors to
students in the fall of 2001, pending funding next spring by
the Georgia General Assembly.
City Council To
Consider Helping DOT At Intersection
Helping the Georgia Department of Transportation put traffic
warning devices at the intersection of Georgia 326 and the bypass
will be on the agenda when the Commerce City Council meets Monday
The council will meet at 6:30 at the Commerce Civic Center. The
meeting was postponed from this past Monday night.
The DOT has announced plans to make the intersection more visible
but will not install a traffic light. The intersection already
has raised warning stripes on the approaches of Georgia 326 and
a stop/warning light that flashes red toward 326 and amber to
City Manager Clarence Bryant said the DOT is interested in city
assistance in adding other devices.
Go to Jackson
Public Meeting Dates
& Convenience Stores
After getting the approval of the board of commissioners, the
Jackson County Board of Health voted to raise environmental health
fees to match Barrow County.
Health board chairman Henry Slocum told the board during a called
meeting Thursday afternoon that the commissioners had approved
matching Barrow County's environmental fees.
"We want to increase fees to hire another environmentalist
so that we would have three," Slocum said.
The board approved Slocum's request. The new fees will be advertised
in The Jackson Herald before they take effect. They will be as
·$150 for a small restaurant inspection and $225 for a
large restaurant, an increase from $100 for either.
·$150 for a residential septic systems inspection, an
increase from $60, and $225 for a commercial system, an increase
·$150 for "tourist courts" or motel and hotel
inspections, an increase from $50.
·$55 for water samples inspection, an increase from $20.
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.
In an Oct. 6 letter to Dan Gunnels, a retired county extension
agent and extension director, Rep. Tolbert said he would pursue
a "restraining order, libel claim, punitive damages, court
cost and attorney's fees allowed by law against you, your candidate
or any other person attempting to use a 'staged phony photo op.'"
The threat revolves around an apparent coincidental meeting of
Gunnels with a group of Republicans on a statewide bus tour Thursday
afternoon. Gunnels said he drove to the Jackson County courthouse
to see his wife, who works in the probate judge's office. In
the back of Gunnels' pickup truck was a 4'X4' campaign sign slated
to be put up this week that reads, "Republicans for Pat
Bell." He parked the truck near a barber shop across the
street from the courthouse.
But Gunnels said he didn't know at the time that on the northeast
corner of the courthouse lawn was a small group of state and
local Republican candidates doing a statewide courthouse tour.
Although the event was primarily a push for state Senate candidate
Mike Beatty, Tolbert was also on the lawn.
In the meantime, several Republican candidates, including Tolbert,
called The Jackson Herald requesting a photographer make a photo
of the Republican event. Rep. Tolbert apparently thought Gunnels'
sign was an attempt to stage a photo that would indicate the
Republican gathering supported his opponent Pat Bell.
"I must put you on notice now that any attempt to use a
'staged phony photo op' picture by you or your candidate will
be met with swift rebuttal and legal action," wrote Tolbert
in his letter to Gunnels.
Time To Take Out
It's a week for which Commerce residents have waited a whole
year. It's time to take out the trash.
The annual citywide cleanup week will be held next week, Oct.
16-20, five days when city crews will pick up the accumulated
unwanted junk and debris of hundreds of city residents
at no charge.
"We'll collect the 16th through the 20th," said city
manager Clarence Bryant, who noted that the usual exceptions
will be observed.
So, while the city will haul off scrap metal, furniture, appliances,
bedding, anything biodegradable, glass, carpet and other materials,
it will not accept hazardous materials.
Anyone who puts paint cans by the side of the road can expect
them to be ignored as the city crews pick up the debris. The
same goes for auto tires still connected to the wheels. Tires
will be accepted and wheels will be accepted, but they must be
Bryant asks city residents to put all of their materials out
this weekend and to not put more out once the pickup has been
made. He also asks that metal be separated from other items.
The cleanup week is one of the city's most popular events. Citizens
like it because they can get rid of materials at no charge that
they'd normally have to take to the landfill and pay to have
disposed of. The city council members like it too, because their
constituents have good things to say about it.
FB wants farm
equipment exempt from local taxes
Group also wants $2,000 fee on all new homes in county
The Jackson County Farm Bureau called last week for support of
a measure that would exempt farm equipment from property taxes.
On the other hand, the group also called for action that would
tax every new home in Jackson County $2,000 to go toward education.
The call came during the bureau's annual meeting Thursday night
If passed during the November 7 balloting, "Referendum A"
would eliminate local property taxes on farm equipment. Farm
Bureau president Tom Crow said the tax puts Georgia farmers at
a disadvantage because eight of 10 Southern states don't have
the tax. "Three-hundred and twenty-nine acres disappears
every day in Georgia to a developer," said Crow. "Passing
'Referendum A' would help preserve the family farm. Every YES
The Farm Bureau also called for a minimum charge of $2,000 for
each new home built in Jackson County. Farm Bureau board member
Dennis Sikes said the charge was necessary to help balance the
burden Jackson County residents face in paying for education.
Sikes said Jackson County does not have the facilities or the
money to fund all of the growth necessary. He felt that the charge
would give the budget the boost it needs to deal with the influx
of new people.
The organization also called for legislation that would mandate
disclosure to all buyers that their property borders agriculture
land. Sikes said that such a law would clear farmers of liability
should a homeowner claim noise pollution as a result of machinery,
or foul odors as a result of a chicken house. The bureau has
also supported legislation for an EPD advisory committee because
the EPA and EPD have created regulations in the past that he
said are detrimental to the farming community. The governor vetoed
the legislation, however.