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 November 8, 2000


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OPINION

Shar Porier
Remember this?

I happened across this poem I wrote back in March 1996. I thought I'd share it with you, remembering rainy days of the past.

Phillip Sartain
Tricks of the trade

These are modern times we're living in. And that means men shouldn't be ashamed to admit they have taken on new roles. So I'm here to announce that I intend to fly my new banner high.


SPORTS
SEE THIS WEEK'S PIGSKIN PICKERS!

BCHS seniors take the field one last time Friday night
The big hill, the American flag, the bright lights and the cheering crowd.
That's what Banks County senior lineman Scott Garner will miss most about Leopard football when he plays his final game Friday night.


Neighborhood News...
JACKSON COUNTY
Bell tops Tolbert by 54
What a finish! After eight long hours of ballot counting which saw the lead change hands several times, challenger Pat Bell has apparently defeated incumbent Scott Tolbert for the House District 25 seat with a razor thin margin of just 54 votes. Nearly 13,000 votes were cast in that race.

Rec staff sacked
Gambling, porno sites found on county computer; no charges expected
Allegations of gambling at the Jackson County recreation department has led to three employees resigning this week.


News from
MADISON COUNTY
Incumbent Patton toppled
In the Madison County school board District 5 race, Republican challenger Ric Power defeated incumbent Democrat Patton with 56.5 percent of the vote (803 to 617).

Comer mayor calls for change in how council vacancies are filled
Future vacancies in Comer's mayor and council posts will be filled by special elections, if new mayor Chris NeSmith has his way.


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'FRIDAY'S GONE, GONE WITH THE WIND'


Banks County High School's senior football players will play in their final game Friday night at Bobbie Morris Field. Pictured are: (L-R) Bray Maxwell, Scott Garner, Hank Jones, Chris Ivey, Drew Gowder, Steven Caudell, Jason White and Tim Williamson. Chris Keyros, who is out due to a knee injury, is not pictured.



BANKS CO. GOVERNMENT


Brady edges out incumbent Dumas; Chapman to stay
Beginning in January 2001, the Banks County Board of Commissioners will be under new leadership.
Political newcomer Kenneth Brady narrowly defeated incumbent BOC chairman James Dumas by just over 300 votes.
"I got nervous towards the end," Brady said after votes were tallied. "I'm ready to go to work. That's all I got to say."
Brady, who will be taking public office for the first time, said he would work well with the existing two commissioners.
Dumas appeared disappointed but said he had enjoyed his time in office.
"I was really glad to honor and serve the citizens of Banks County," he said. "We accomplished a lot. We protected Banks Crossing and improved our water system. We relocated many new businesses to the county. It's unfortunate that that's not the direction in this election that the people want to take."
Dumas added that he would work with Brady to make the transition into office smooth.
SHERIFF'S RACE
Banks County Sheriff Charles Chapman will remain in office for two more years. Chapman defeated Republican challenger Mike Boyle, taking 59 percent of the vote.
"I feel good-I feel real good," Chapman said at his headquarters at the sheriff's department. "I appreciate the confidence the citizens have showed in me. We'll continue to give it our best. I feel good about this victory."
Chapman carried all but two precincts, Anderson and Poplar Springs.
"I'm really overwhelmed-I really am," the sheriff said. "I carried most of the precincts with a good margin. I only lost in two of the precincts. I appreciate the support."
Chapman pledged to continue to work for Banks County as he has for the past four years.
"I've always done what I believe to be right and honest and I'll keep doing that," he said. "I'll keep working with the same dedication and do the hard work I've been doing."
MAGISTRATE RACE
In the magistrate race, incumbent judge Henry David Banks handily defeated write-in candidate Ray Seabolt 3,303 to 53.
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION
Voters overwhelmingly approved a local referendum to increase the homestead exemption for those over 65 and the disabled from $12,000 to $16,000. The measure passed 88 percent of the vote.
STATE REP. DISTRICT 22
Incumbent democratic representative Jeanette Jamieson defeated challenger Bill Grant by over 1,000 votes. Jamieson also picked up enough votes in Stephens and Franklin counties to be re-elected. In Stephens County, Jamieson had 5,227 votes, while Grant had 2,921. The district also includes one precinct in Franklin County, where Jamieson had 414 votes and Grant had 343.
"I am delighted with the results of the election," she said Wednesday morning. "The numbers we have say it's 2,836 to 1,753. That is certainly a wonderful margin of support. I cannot say enough for those people who have put up signs, who have helped in our campaign...The toughest part of a campaign is doing the job while you're running for the job. Banks County has been extremely kind to us. We have represented Banks County in the manner that they expected...I can assure them that we look forward to continuing that service and are as committeed to them as always."
VOTER TURNOUT
Voters in Banks County followed state and national trends, turning out in record numbers.
Sixty-nine percent, or 4,773 of the county's 6,936 registered voters, cast a ballot Tuesday. Turnout was the highest it has been in years.
Election officials predicted a high turnout Monday afternoon because of the unusually high number of absentee ballots that were cast.

Veterans Day event set Fri. at BCHS
Banks County High School will be hosting a Veteran's Day program at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 10.
Henry David Banks, a veteran of World War II, will be the guest speaker. All Banks County veterans and their families are invited to attend, according to school leaders.
The observance of Veteran's Day can be traced back to 1921 when an unknown American solider was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in France and England with an "unknown soldier" being buried in each nation's highest place of honor. In England, it was Westminster Abbey and, in France, it was the Arc de Triomphe. These memorial gestures all took place on Nov. 11, giving universal recognition to the celebrated ending of World War I hostilities at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918. The day became known as Armistice Day.
Armistice Day officially received its name in America in 1926 through a Congressional resolution. It became a national holiday 12 years later by similar Congressional action.
Shortly after the holiday was proclaimed, World War II broke out in Europe and ended the Armistice Day observance. In 1947, the holiday was again observed when Raymond Weeks of Birmingham, Ala., organized a Veterans Day parade to honor all American veterans for their service. Later, U.S. Rep. Edward H. Rees of Kansas proposed legislation changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor all those who have served America in wars.
In 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the bill proclaiming Nov. 11 as Veterans Day and called upon Americans everywhere to rededicate themselves to the cause of peace. He issued a presidential order directing the head of the Veterans Administration, now the Department of Veterans Affairs, to form a Veterans Day National Committee to organize and oversee the national observance of Veterans Day.
In 1968, Congress moved Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. However, it became apparent that the Nov. 11 date was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great many Americans. As a result, Congress formally returned the observance of Veterans Day to its traditional date in 1978.

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Council member concerned about hazards at pumping station
At a recent visit to the pumping station along the Chattahoochee River, Baldwin council member Mitchell Gailey was dismayed at Demorest's failure to provide safety measures at the plant's site.
Baldwin officials are preparing to take control of the water plant following a recent ruling giving the city control of the plant which had been operated by the city of Demorest.
Fifteen feet above the river, rotting steps lead out to the old pumping platform, which has apparently been neglected. In the floor of the platform are two gaping yawns above a pair of three-foot-diameter holes left from the old pumps going deep into the river bed.
There is nothing to prevent anyone from falling through the holes, Gailey worried.
The pumping station in use now lies open with no door. For the past year, a removed pump left a vacated hole, uncovered. It has a 15-foot fall to the shallows below.
The fact that there is nothing to prevent anyone from entering the plant area is and has been a cause of worry for the Baldwin city council for some time. Baldwin and Demorest had agreed to jointly pay for the area to be fenced over a year ago. At last week's visit, Gailey asked the operator, Jim Holloway, what he knows about the fencing and why it had not been erected. When the final dimensions had been figured, Holloway said he noticed that there would not be enough room to maneuver trucks and equipment on the small lot. He stopped the project. Gailey was surprised that no explanation had been given about Holloway's decision.
Holloway has been working on a proposal for Baldwin and Demorest to purchase a lot adjacent to the plant. The one-acre lot would allow plenty of room for maneuvering trucks and equipment and permit the area to be fenced, he said. He presented his idea to Gailey during Gailey's visit.
Gailey said he sees the council approving some safety measures that could be implemented quickly. His plan is to cover the holes and concrete over them; to disassemble the pumping platform; and put a door up to keep people away from the pumps.
He spoke to the council about the safety issues at last Thursday night's special called meeting and gave them Holloway's proposal of the land purchase. The council agreed to begin immediate actions to resolve the problems.


Water pump essential to Baldwin grant
The Baldwin City Council is still waiting for an explanation on the current status of a water pump that has been out of service for the past year.
The pump is necessary in order to move ahead into Phase II of the water project. Also hinging on it is Baldwin's $300,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission for the project.
Over the past few weeks, the council has received varying answers from different people on the status of the water pump. Answers have ranged from "waiting on parts" to "it's installed and running," officials said.
This past Monday, the representatives from the company doing the repair told city clerk Stacey Jacobs that they are waiting on parts to finish repairing the water pump. At Thursday night's special called meeting, city engineer Fred Hawkins said that he was told the repair was complete, that the pump had been re-wired and re-installed, and that it was running.
City attorney David Syfan recommended getting Demorest to affirm in writing that the pump is running functionally. He said he wants something to show Jack Stanick, of the Rural Development Council, to prove that the city is moving ahead with Phase II of the water project so the city doesn't lose its grant. "We need some kind of verification," he said.
Council members Mitchell Gailey and Ray Holcomb decided to go out to the plant and see for themselves if the pump has indeed been repaired, installed and is working in series with two other pumps. Hawkins told them that once they verified the pump's status, he would send a letter to Stanick informing him of the progress of Phase II.