News from Banks County...

 October 23, 2000

Banks County

Banks County
Banks County

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Angie Gary
Baseball bats and a big horse track

Baseball bats and horse tracks are two things that have never been top on my list of favorite things. I haven't held a baseball bat since my elementary school days and have thought about them very little, if at all. As for . . .

Drew Brantley
One last focus on jumps, screams

I enjoyed a rare if not unique experience this weekend. I don't mean to say that I discovered a way to produce unlimited power from a glass of tap water, but it was a series of events that have never happened to me before. Covering the high school softball teams . . .


Leopards run over Apalachee, 32-10
Banks County ended five games of frustration Friday with a 32-10 win over Apalachee.
The Leopards amassed more than 300 yards of total offense on their way to the victory.

State softball title results

Neighborhood News...
Wickliffe pleads guilty to bid-rigging
Jerry Wickliffe, owner of the private sewage firm Water Wise, entered a guilty plea Friday in federal court on charges that he and others engaged in a wide-ranging bid-rigging scheme.

'Referendum A' would cost county $162,255 in taxes
If a statewide referendum to eliminate property taxes from farm equipment passes on Nov. 7, it would cost Jackson County approximately $162,255 next year.

News from
BOE fields questions about system's financial woes, agrees to hold public forum
Members of the Madison County Board of Education began answering questions about the school system's finances at their regular meeting Tuesday night, and agreed to hold a public forum on the subject in the near future.

Judge still considering lowering Fortson bond
A judge was still considering Wednesday morning whether or not the half million dollar bond set recently for accused "cement murderer" Tracy Lea Fortson is too high.
The Banks County News
Homer, Georgia
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The dads of Cub Scout Pack 106 were busy all day Saturday cooking chicken for the Scouts' chicken-cue. They started at 6 a.m. to cook 800 chicken halves for the event. The barbecue was held to raise funds for a trip to the Yorktown in Charleston, S.C., in February. The Scouts sold around 600 dinners. Dinners that were left over were donated to the boys' home, A Better Place. Donations of clothing and toiletries were also being taken for the battered and abused women's shelter.


Arbitrator rules in Baldwin's favor
Arbitrator G. Grant Brantley ruled in favor of Baldwin in the dispute between the city and Demorest over ownership of the water plant.
The two cities have been at odds since Baldwin officials contracted with Aqua Source, a private company, to run the water operations. Officials in Demorest maintained that Baldwin did not have the power to enact the contract and refused to hand over plant operations citing an agreement between the two cities.
In an arbitration hearing held Oct. 2 and 3, Baldwin and Demorest argued their cases to Brantley. Tuesday, Brantley signed a document stating "that a verdict and judgment should be rendered in favor of Baldwin."
The ruling will now be passed to another judge for a final determination. If he agrees with Brantley's decision, it will cost the city of Demorest $33,070 in legal fees. Demorest will also have to allow Baldwin to install Aqua Source as the plant operator.

Lula council to pursue curfew for minors
A curfew for minors could soon come into effect in Lula.
Candy Loggins came before the Lula City Council Monday night asking the council to adopt a curfew.
Loggins presented a petition with over 200 signatures of residents requesting a curfew.
"We are having a lot of thefts and damage to property," Loggins said. "It may not be affecting everyone, but it's affecting lots of people."
Loggins said she had spoken to Hall County Sheriff Bob Vass and he agreed to enforce an ordinance for the city.
However, she said Vass wants to meet with the city to establish a system to first issue warnings to violators.
For the ordinance to be enforced citywide, Lula will also have to request enforcement by the Banks County Sheriff's Office on the Banks County side of Lula.
"I'll see if I can get (Sheriff) Bob (Vass) to be here at the next meeting and talk to (Banks County Sheriff Charles) Chapman," Lula mayor Tim Allen said. "We'll see if they'd be willing to enforce it."
At its meeting Monday, the council also:
·agreed to accept Sonny Saxton's $7,700 bid to grade and gravel the outer driveways and three cross driveways in the Westview Cemetery. The council also agreed to have the roads surveyed.
·learned Allen had placed an order for an International garbage truck for the city.
·learned the city is awaiting a survey for Shockley Road.
·heard from attorney Brad Patton that the best way for Barry Wickle to give a proposed $25,000 gift would be to give a straight cash donation.
·agreed to rebid work on the city sidewalks. The council decided to allow city workers to remove the old sidewalks. The council also agreed to seek a bid to put a brick sidewalk in front of city hall.
·accepted a resolution transferring the city's cable franchise agreement from Benchmark Communications to Adelphia.
·heard from District 20 State Representative Carl Rogers, who asked the city to submit requests for state appropriations.

DOT says Baldwin responsible for cost of relocating water line
For the past few months, the Baldwin City Council and Georgia Department of Transportation have been arguing over who is to blame for the broken water line along Wolford Creek and who should pay for it. Last week, the council learned that Baldwin will have to fund the relocation of the line.
At a meeting in September, councilmember Mitchell Gailey said a 400-yard stretch of four-inch water line on a ridge near Wolford Creek had been relocated in the process of re-routing Highway 441. He said that the DOT ended up burying the water line 80' deep with dirt, rock and boulders causing the line to break. It was "leaking thousands of gallons a day into the creek," according to Gailey.
The water loss has been costing the city an estimated $2,500 per month and placed a strain on the water system, city leaders said.
Gailey said at the time, "What I'm really afraid of is that that line is going to let loose and the 10 houses down there are going to be in desperate need of water."
Officials felt that the problem should be corrected as quickly as possible, whether DOT helped with the cost or not. Mayor Mark Reed looked into an emergency loan from Georgia Emergency Management Association.
After Monday night's council meeting, Gailey said that Baldwin was accountable for the repair costs. The city and Summit Pipeline engineers had approved the laying of the lines, according to DOT officials. The engineers had not consulted the Hwy. 441 construction plans and the line was laid improperly, he said.
A new line is being installed and will soon be completed, he said.

Political forum planned Oct. 24
The Banks County Chamber of Commerce will host a political forum at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the Banks County High School auditorium.
All local candidates in the Nov. 7 election have been invited to participate. Dennis Robarge will serve as moderator. The audience will be allowed to submit questions to the candidates in writing.
For more information, contact the chamber office at 677-2108.



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Commissioners meet with C. Jordan Road residents on road improvements
The Banks County Board of Commissioners met with property owners and residents along C. Jordan Road for more than an hour Friday morning to discuss a proposal to make improvements to the road.
Residents of the road presented a petition in September asking the BOC to not use taxpayers' money to reroute the road around a 90 degree curve on its north end. But David Cook, who attended Friday's meeting, said the residents do want their road maintained and widened, if necessary.
Cook asked the commissioners why the county needs the right of way along the road and what the improvement plans are.
Commissioner Ernest Rogers, who said he rode through the road Sunday, said the plans include improving the "S-curves," widening the road and straightening the road.
Cook said the residents who signed the petition want the road maintained and widened, but they don't want something put in that isn't needed.
"This is not an expense the taxpayers should have," he said.
Commissioner Pat West-moreland, who pointed out that he worked with the Georgia Department of Transportation for 34 years, said he "knows when a road needs to be improved." He said the county's responsibility is for all people who travel on the road.
Westmoreland also said the project is not a "pet project" of his and is not a personal favor to anyone.

Pilot not seriously injured in crash
A South Carolina woman escaped serious injury Saturday in a plane crash in Banks County.
Svetlana Dramoua, 18, a native of the Ukraine, was on a solo flight from Clemson, S.C., when she crashed around 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Banks County Sheriff Charles Chapman said she was able to walk away unharmed from the crash.
Dramoua was on a solo flight when the engine failed, according to the sheriff. She reportedly tried to make it to the Habersham County Airport in Baldwin, but was unable to do so. She was three miles west of Homer at the intersection of the Yonah-Homer Road and Bellamy Road when the plane nose-dived into a pasture. She had no power in the aircraft at that time, according to the sheriff.
The front end of the plane received extensive damage. The investigation was turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration.