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Letter to the Editor
Memories of Christmas
I am writing this about what Christmas is about in Banks County.
My name is Kenneth Poole. I live on Brady Creek Road.
On Dec. 9, we had a Christmas dinner in memory of our parents,
James Wilson and Florence Poole.
Hunters at the door
Well, maybe not at the door, exactly. But Tommy Glavin could
sure nail one with a fast ball easy enough.
Now, it's not I'm against hunting, exactly. It just . . .
Banks teams slam White County
Whether or not the White County Warriors knew it, they were in
for a rough ride at Banks County Friday night. Banks' teams swept
White County, at both the junior varsity and varsity levels.
New deputy warden charged
The new deputy warden at the Jackson County Correctional Institute
has been charged with theft by taking.
Jackson County gets greenspace grant of $139,450
Jackson County has received a $139,450 state grant for its greenspace
program. The Georgia Greenspace Commission approved six grants
under Gov. Roy Barnes' new Georgia Greenspace Program.
Budget on hold amid commissioners' conflict
Approval of the 2001 budget was put on hold Monday amid the conflict
over the payment of commissioners' legal expenses.
The board voted 3-2 to deny the budget proposed by chairman Wesley
Nash. BOC members Nelson Nash, Patsy Pierce and Melvin Drake
voted against the proposal, while Bill Taylor and Bruce Scogin
voted to approve the budget.
16th annual luminarias and live nativity planned
The 16th annual Booger Hill/Moon's Grove Luminarias and Live
Nativity is planned for Saturday, Dec. 16, from 6:30 to 9:30
The Banks County News
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Roy Garrett, fisheries technician, is shown flipping a
batch of channel catfish into the lake at Scales Creek County
Club in Homer. The 2,000 fish should be ready for the baited
hooks of kids up to the age of 16 at the fish rodeo in June.
The Banks County Board of Commissioners completed the third phase
of its county employee salary upgrades Friday, approving several
The BOC voted to give raises to employees who have worked for
the county for seven or more years. The raises, ranging from
two to five percent, were based on one-quarter percent for every
year of employment and also on how close each employee's salary
is to the mid-grade level for that position.
The BOC did not decide on raises on EMS personnel, instead leaving
that decision up to the department head. The commissioners agreed
that that EMS department head would be better able to access
employees' performance and responsibilities in that department.
The board also upgraded grants writer/purchasing administrator
Michael Fisher to an administrative financial officer and approved
a 10 percent raise for the position. His salary will now be $33,000.
Board members cited Fisher's completion of financial officer
training and the responsibility he will take on to ease the transition
to a new BOC chairman at the beginning of the year.
The BOC also decided to raise the salary of several other county
employees to correct discrepencies between newly hired employees
and veteran employees within several offices. Some of the raises
compensated for additional work loads.
Employees who received raises included: fire chief and EMS director
Perry Dalton, five percent; assistant fire chief and EMS director
Jim Crisp, five percent; county maintanance employee Kenny Crumley,
five percent; assistant county clerk Erin Decker, two percent;
road crew equipment operator A.J. Murphy, two percent; tax clerk
Susan Kesler, one percent; tax clerk Nancy Rylee, two percent;
and chief tax clerk Rebecca Taylor, three percent.
BOC agrees on
tentative SPLOST allocations
The Banks County Board of Commissioners is one step closer to
finalizing the proposed Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax
Friday, the BOC agreed on a tentative percentage breakdown for
the SPLOST, planned to come before citizens for a vote in March.
The BOC must finalize the breakdown by mid-January.
Of the estimated $12 million in SPLOST revenue, the board tentatively
agreed to devote 40 percent to water and sewerage, 25 percent
to a new county jail, 15 percent to fire and EMS, 12 percent
to roads and bridges and eight percent to the recreation department.
Next Friday, the BOC will meet again to fine-tune the SPLOST
allocations, including a decision on a dollar amount for the
new county jail. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. in the BOC
Last week, after viewing floor plans and pictures of a $1.2 million
recreation building in Roswell, the BOC agreed to allot nearly
$900,000 for a similar building in Banks County. The roughly
23,000-square-foot multi-purpose facility will likely house two
separate basketball gyms, restrooms, a game room, a community
room and office space.
"If we are going to do something, we want to do something
we're proud of," BOC chairman James Dumas said.
The BOC has yet to decide what amount of the proposed SPLOST
the county must devote to the cities. SPLOST regulations mandate
that SPLOST projections must benefit more than 50 percent of
the citizens in the incorporated areas of Banks County.
The BOC's decision of how much SPLOST money to give to which
cities will revolve around county attorney Randall Frost's opinion
of whether the jail and recreation department can be counted
as benefiting citizens living within Banks County cities. If
those projects are determined to benefit at least 50 percent
of the citizens in the county's cities, the county will be able
to use all of the SPLOST money.
If not, the county will have to give a portion of the money to
a city government or a combination of city governments.
Dumas said he would ask Frost to render an opinion on the matter.
Under the current SPLOST, Homer and Maysville receive funding.
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Dr. Len Dalton attended his last Banks County Board of Education
meeting Monday night.
Dalton, who has served on the board for eight years, did not
run for re-election.
Chairman Don Shubert presented Dalton with a set of pens and
his nameplate from the board table.
"Your being an educator has brought balance to our board,"
Shubert said. "We may have to be calling on you for your
wisdom and insight."
Dalton said: "I'm real excited about the direction our system
is heading in. It's been an honor to serve with y'all."
Board member Ron Gardiner told Dalton he needs to keep coming
to the meetings: "You could sit in the back and just shake
your head at us."
"I leaned heavily on him when it came to school situations
with him being a teacher," said Gardiner. "It meant
a lot to know how he felt about things from a teacher's standpoint."
Superintendent Deborah White said, "His leadership has just
John Williams will replace Dalton in January.
nets $62,000 in drugs and cash and four arrests
A weekend drug bust in Maysville resulted in the recovery of
$43,000 in drugs and over $19,000 in cash and four arrests
Banks County Sheriff Charles Chapman said the Northeast Georgia
Narcotics Task Force, the Banks County Sheriff's Office and the
Georgia Bureau of Investigation served a search warrant on a
Comer Street, Maysville, house in the early morning hours Friday.
Chapman said officers seized 12 ounces of methamphetamines, one
pound of marijuana, various prescription drugs, $19,000 in cash
and one vehicle. The methamphetamines and marijuana have an estimated
street value of $43,000, Chapman said.
"That is a lot of methamphetamine," Chapman said. "It
was a good lick for us."
Four people were arrested in connection with the drug bust, Chapman
·Russell Keith Cochran, 42, Maysville, two counts of trafficking
methamphetamine, possession of hydrocodone and possession of
marijuana with intent to distribute.
·Kimberly Ann Cochran, Maysville, one count of trafficking
·Steve Aubrey Doss, 44, Commerce, possession of cocaine,
possession of hydrocodone with intent to distribute and possession
of marijuana less than one ounce.
·Kirby Michael Gary, 45, Commerce, possession of hydrocodone.
Arrest warrants for two other suspects in the drug bust have
yet to be completed, Chapman said.