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 December 20, 2000


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OPINION

Editorial
'Yes, there is a Santa...'

Adam Fouche
County could be volatile in new year


SPORTS
Official in Leopards' GAC game to be written up

The Banks County Leopards will have a week of rest and practice over the holiday break before they return to the court in the WJJC Holiday Classic in Commerce next weekend.


Neighborhood News...
JACKSON COUNTY
Zoning standoff shuts down Nicholson gov't
There's not a "Gone Fishing" sign on the door of the Nicholson City Hall, but there might as well be. Nicholson is closed.

Maysville's 2001 Budget To Be Up By Four Percent
The Maysville City Council's budget for next year's general fund shows an increase of four percent, but the water and sewer budget is down 13 percent. Both budgets were approved at the council meeting Monday night.


News from
MADISON COUNTY
Christmas celebration delayed, but not canceled
Cold, windy weather didn't stop many of the neighborhood folk along Booger Hill and Moon's Grove Roads from presenting their annual gift to the community - a live nativity and luminaria.

'Teachers of the Year' named
Each of Madison County's seven schools has named a "Teacher of the Year." Those teachers honored were selected by their fellow teachers.


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FIRE DESTROYS HOME


Two Banks County firemen apply water to a home on Poole Road Saturday night. The house was completely destroyed by fire.


Fire destroys Poole Road home Saturday night
A fire Saturday night completely destroyed a home on Poole Road.
Firefighters responded to the home of R.C. Morgan to find it almost completely involved in flames.
"It was not 100 percent involved, but it was burning with more force than we had water to fight it," Banks County assistant fire chief David Creasy said. "We tried to protect the surrounding structure. We couldn't save the house."
The cause of the fire is undetermined.
Banks County Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene of the fire Saturday night to calm a resident of the home. Creasy said the man became upset when firefighters refused to allow him to re-enter the home to grab some of his belongings.
"Emotions run high when emergencies happen," Creasy said.
Fire chief Perry Dalton said one firefighter suffered a minor knee injury but no one else was injured.


Baldwin council looks at sewage contract with Lee Arrendale Correctional Institution
At a special called work session Thursday night, the Baldwin City Council began going over a draft of the contract with the Georgia Department of Corrections to provide Lee Arrendale Correctional Institution in Alto with waste water treatment.
The council discussed the possible problems confronting the city in completing the revised $3.9 million project by LACI's contract deadline of December 1, 2001.
"We can't commit to December because we can't commit to Environmental Protection Department's (approval)," city engineer Fred Hawkins said. "If it's out of our hands and in the EPD's hands, we can't make a commitment."
City attorney David Syfan agreed: "We need to build in some wiggle room in case of a wrinkle. We need to add something regarding our best efforts to complete."
Hawkins said that in his talks with the EPD on this project that "they like this idea because it combines two discharges into one." The only dilemma that they have is that the discharge goes in the Lake Lanier basin, he added.
Phosphorus, typically found in detergents, is the main troublesome chemical because it causes algae bloom in the lake, he explained. He said that its treatment would create additional solids that would not be that difficult, nor expensive, to deal with. It would create more solids that have to removed from the plant.
Testing of the city's and the prison's effluent will be done in the next few weeks, he said.
"Basically, what EPD told me was that they won't require any more phosphorus removal than what the plant is doing right now," he said.
If that is the case, there would not be a big problem. He added that the new plant would do a better job in phosphorus removal biologically than the old plant.
However, he said that the EPD discharge findings from the tests could create problems and that would need to be addressed in the contract.
Reed said the prison would have to comply with the city's sewer use ordinance, which is thorough in its effluent restrictions.
The council also heard how permitting problems could arise if the combining of permits is not allowed. If a new permit had to be acquired, the city would have to submit to a watershed assessment study by the Georgia Environmental Protection Department, according to Syfan and Hawkins.
Easement problems were also brought up by Syfan.
"What I would want is to basically tighten up that language, to be sure we do get an easement," he said. "The reason for that is y'all are going to be spending Baldwin funds to put that lift station and that force main line in. There's a value to that equipment that you're buying with public money. And generally under a license, the licenser has the right to terminate the license. And that means you would be improving someone else's property with public funds. That's why I wanted a permanent easement. I want to beef up the language, make it an ironclad commitment."
Syfan also questioned the waste water treatment clause in the contract. The contract now states that the city provide "treatment facilities for a minimum of 180,000 gallons of sanitary waste per day with a peak flow of 450,000 gallons per day." He said that quantity was more than what was being added on to serve the prison, which is 400,000 gpd.
"It's normal to have a peaking factor," responded Hawkins.
Hawkins said it would be better to define that as "instantaneous peak flow." He explained that it "can get confusing" explaining average daily minimum flows versus average daily maximum flows. There is a fluctuation in flow and the average is taken of the minimum and maximum to establish the daily flow figure.
For the rest of this story, see this week's Banks County News.
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Woman found dead at Banks Crossing motel
A Danielsville woman was found dead in a Guest House Inn room last week and a Commerce man has been charged with her murder.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Bill Malueg said Cecil Jackson Hix, 60, Commerce, was charged with felony murder for the death of Kathy Craft Gee, 42, Danielsville.
As of Tuesday, the results of an autopsy performed on Gee had not been released.
Malueg was unable to disclose information regarding the case due to an ongoing investigation.
A Banks County Sheriff's Office police report said Gee was found dead in Room 109 at Guest House Inn. No other information was available.


Deadlines moved up for next week
The Banks County News news items and ad deadlines have been moved up for the next week due to the Christmas holiday on Monday, Dec. 25.
The deadline for classified and display ads will be at noon on Friday, Dec. 22. The deadline for legal notices will remain the same, noon Thursday.
The news deadline will be 5 p.m. Friday. This includes school, social and other news submitted to the paper.
The Banks County News office will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday due to the deadlines being moved up. The office usually closes at noon on Fridays. The office will be closed Monday, Dec. 25, for the holiday.