Place A Classified Ad
Banks Legal Page
Banks Opinion Page
Banks Obituary Page
Send A Letter
List Your Business
Banks County Stats
Sex Offender Registry
Go to Jackson County
Go to Madison County
My, my, my! It's nice to know so many of you read the opinion
page. Such a response to Rochelle Beckstine's column!
Two halves don't make a whole
There's a theory going around that men and women are different.
At first, I thought it was just a rumor.
Banks County reaching for wins in next three
An old adage claims that "there's no place like home."
Banks County's varsity basketball teams hope that adage rings
true over the next two weeks.
Bell, Beatty vote against flag change
Georgia has a new flag, but not everyone is happy about it.
Randall gets $1,500 fine in girl's death
An Arcade man charged in connection with the October 1999 hit-and-run
accident which killed a young girl was sentenced Tuesday in Jackson
County Superior Court to 24 months of probation and given a $1,500
Recreation dept expansion in works
Some major additions may be in the works at the Madison County
Recreation Department in coming years, such as a multi-purpose
building and more land for recreation activities.
DOT may widen portion of Hwy. 98
The Georgia Department of Transportation is looking at widening
Hwy. 98 from the senior center to the forestry department to
help improve traffic flow in the growing area.
The Banks County News
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056
NEWS / ADVERTISING
® Copyright 2000
MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Copyright / Terms / Privacy
Ranger Winford Popphan of the Georgia Department of Natural
Resources visited Cynthia Stevens' farm in Banks County over
the weekend to check out the plaster casts Stevens had made of
tracks left by a young black bear. At top are close-ups of the
of the bear kind
When Cynthia Stevens found the large tracks in the horse paddock
on her 50-acre Banks County farm a few weeks ago, she assumed
they were from a large dog. She made plaster casts of the prints
thinking the Boy Scouts would enjoy seeing them.
Little did she know that the tracks would actually turn out to
be those of a young black bear.
Saturday, Winford Popphan of the Georgia Department of Natural
Resources, visited Stevens and took a look at the casts. The
prints, along with her description of the five-foot stride and
the claw marks with the tracks of the animal, convinced Popphan
that a young black bear, possibly a two-year-old weighing roughly
150 pounds, had raced through her paddock.
According to Popphan, during late summer and early fall, mother
and older bears will run the youngsters off. With the drought,
a scarce food source and the continued destruction of their habitat
by development, bears, young or old, often find themselves in
close encounters with humans.
Black bears require a large area encompassing a few square miles.
"The problem is that we have too many people living in what
was previously bear habitat and their territories shrink,"
Popphan said. "Most of the bears we see in our territory
are just passing through and will wander off if left alone."
The ranger said that problems occur when people leave out food
for their pets, keep food where a bear can smell and get to it
or let garbage pile up. "They'll stay around if there is
a steady food source," he said.
"The best way to avoid attracting bears, or any wild animal
such as coyotes, opossums, skunks, raccoons and stray dogs and
cats, is to ensure there is no food for them.
"Store your animal food in a secure area," he suggested.
Bee keepers may find bears destroying their hives to get to the
honey, the ranger added.
"Putting up bear-proof, electric fencing will protect the
hives," Popphan said.
A simple thing like a bird feeder can be an attraction. He recommends
raising feeders high enough so that bears cannot reach them.
Even the outdoor grill used for those week-end cook-outs can
be an attraction due to the odor of cooked meat.
"Any food odor can attract a bear," he said. "Usually,
bears are not a threat to humans. They will run away. However,
any animal will defend itself if it feels threatened. It's just
a matter of common sense. If you feed it, it will stay. If you
don't, it will move on."
He suggests anyone suspecting a bear problem contact the DNR
in Gainesville at (770) 535-5700. Popphan can be reached at (770)
Baldwin moves forward
on plant expansion
The Baldwin City Council voted unanimously Thursday night to
begin construction on the expansion and upgrading of its waste
water treatment plant.
With the $600,000 check in hand from Lee Arrendale Correctional
Institution, the council decided to proceed with the site grading
and concrete work, which is expected to take about four months.
This phase, according to Fred Hawkins, city engineer, will allow
the city to start construction even though financing for the
second phase, which includes purchasing and installing the necessary
equipment, pumps, electrical work and lines, is not secured.
David Syfan, city attorney, proposed two options to seek the
$4.2 million financing of the project that includes expansion
and updating of the current waste water treatment plant, Phase
I and providing treatment operations for LACI, Phase II.
The two options are issuing a bond anticipation note or revenue
bonds, he said. The bond anticipation note anticipates revenue
coming in from the plant.
"It gives us immediate money in hand for construction to
continue," he said.
When permanent financing is procured, then the bond note has
to be repaid, he said. Revenue bonds, on the other hand, require
a waiting period and a bidding process, which could take up to
Hawkins has worked up a cost estimate for the project. He said
after speaking with a few contractors, he felt his estimate is
viable and that the revenue bonds could be issued based on his
figures. He said he felt bids would come in at his estimated
The problem which could occur by going this route, which concerns
Syfan, is that the contractor already hired, WPC Industrial Contractors
Inc., may have a waiting period between the time they finish
the site and concrete work and moving on to the equipment installation,
completing Phase I of the project.
WPC officials had previously indicated to the council that they
would be willing to wait for the financing to come through. After
listening to the two options, the council chose to go with revenue
bonds and bidding out the project.
The council also requested that Hawkins work up a flow chart
showing the construction steps of the project.
For the rest of this story, see this week's Banks County News.
Go to Banks
Public Meeting Dates
& Convenience Stores
BCPS, BCMS principals
give BOE resignation notice
The Banks County Board of Education accepted the resignations
of two school principals at a called meeting Monday night.
Jimmy Hooper, principal of Banks County Primary School, and Kay
Rogers, principal of Banks County Middle School, resigned from
their positions effective the end of this school term. Superintendent
Debra White said that neither indicated a reason for leaving,
but both had indicated earlier in the year that they would not
be returning next year.
Also at the called meeting, the board hired Holly Hill as the
school social worker to replace Bobby Whitlock, who resigned
Hill currently works as the school social worker for Peach County,
but the board agreed to release her from her contract so that
she could take the job with Banks County. She has two years of
experience and she holds an undergraduate degree in psychology.
Hill will begin work February 19.
In an unrelated matter, the board approved the contract of understanding
between the Georgia Board of Regents on behalf of the Cooperative
Extension Service and BOE. The contract relates to a Board of
Regents employee that is paid by Banks County.
The board also agreed on meeting dates to hear SPLOST presentations
from investment groups.
Each presentation will take an hour, so the board agreed to hear
two on March 5 at 6:30 p.m., one on March 8 at their work session
and one on March 12 at the regular meeting.
coming up Feb. 8
The Banks County Chamber of Commerce will hold its breakfast
meeting at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, at the Herbert Garrison
Civic Center in Homer.
The speaker will be Judy Brownell of the Georgia Family Connections
program. Georgia Power Company will be the sponsor.