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Bats Hot, Gloves Cold For Baseball Tigers
The hitting is there and the pitching is
coming around, but if the Commerce Tiger baseball team doesn't
find some defense, it'll be a long season.
Lady Dragons earn school's third state title in five
It looked to be a runaway from the start,
but Saturday's state Class A championship final turned out to
be anything but.
Jefferson's Lady Dragons recovered from a 12-point second-quarter
deficit to defeat the Lady Wolves of Wesleyan 55-52 to claim
the 2001 girls' state crown.
Jackson County 3-1 after first week of play
AFTER their first week of play, the Jackson County baseball team
is off to a solid start at 3-1.
Comer Elem. principal suspended
Large crowd shows support for Almond,
anger toward BOE for unspecified allegations.Comer Elementary
School principal Mac Almond has been suspended with pay for unspecified
3 arrested in carjacking incident
Two Athens men and a Colbert man have been
arrested for alleged involvement in a carjacking and kidnapping
incident in Madison County last week.
New county flag leads to emotional debate
A new county flag resembling the former state flag will soon
fly over Banks County. The Banks County Board of Commissioners
began the process Tuesday night for approving a county flag.
SPLOST vote coming up Tuesday
Banks County voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to cast their
ballot on extending the special purpose local option sales tax
(SPLOST) for five more years.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the special called
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Members of the Jefferson girls' basketball team
throw up a cheer for the fans after winning the state Class A
championship Saturday at the Macon Centreplex. The championship
was the third state team title for Jefferson this school year.
For complete coverage of the basketball championship, see page
Nicholson set to
on council slots
Outcome will decide the balance of power in a town torn by zoning
The question of whether Nicholson will have zoning or will not
have zoning will likely be settled next Tuesday when the town
holds a special election to fill two vacancies on its four-member
The issue has been in limbo since September, when the city government
fell apart after the resignation of its mayor, first, and then
two council members who sought election to other posts.
Nicholson has 555 registered voters. Votes will be cast at city
hall on paper ballots.
The two seated council members, Thomas Gary and Margaret Ward,
favor implementing a zoning ordinance. Mayor Ronnie Maxwell,
elected in December, opposes zoning.
Seven candidates are running for the two posts, and the two candidates
with the most votes Tuesday night will be awarded those seats.
Of the seven running, three candidates are on the record in favor
of zoning, three oppose it and one hasn't taken a position.
The candidates are David Crawford, James Kesler, Billy Kitchens,
Deborah Moore, Daniel Sailors, Sandra Sailors and Chuck Wheeler.
Crawford, 50, has lived in Nicholson all of his life and is an
electrician at the University of Georgia.
"I am for zoning, but what they have now (the proposed ordinance)
is not carved in stone. There will probably have to be some changes
down the line," he said.
Kesler, 67, owner of a barbecue restaurant, retired after working
at ABB (formerly Westinghouse). He has lived in Nicholson 61
"I have no quarrel with those buying and living in mobile
homes, but I'm against trailer parks," Kesler said. He indicated
he would support a zoning ordinance as long as it grandfathered
in existing mobile homes and allowed people to live in mobile
"When a man buys land and puts his hard-earned money on
it and puts a trailer on it, I expect that's the best they can
do," he said.
Billy Kitchens, 48, has lived in Nicholson for 28 years and is
self-employed with a body shop and painting heavy equipment for
national rental companies.
Kitchens is known as an opponent of zoning, but declined to publicly
state his position on the issue.
"If I get elected, I will stand behind the people like I
have in the past," he said. "I think the people should
have a voice in what's going on."
Kitchens says he is chairman of the "Concerned Citizens
Group" in Nicholson.
Deborah Moore, 50, has owned Southern Rest Personal Care Home
in Nicholson for the past 12 years.
"I am for zoning, 100 percent," she said.
Moore worked 10 years with Clarke County's Department of Family
and Children Services and over six years as the city clerk in
Commerce. She is a volunteer in the "preemie" unit
at Athens Regional Medical Center.
"I think I've got a lot of qualifications and experience
I can pull on," she says. "There are not too many things
(in city government) I haven't been involved with and done."
Daniel Sailors, 74, a native of Nicholson, served on the council
but quit in the fall to seek election as a county commissioner.
He is retired after 33 years at Armstrong and Dobbs, Athens,
and considers himself pro-zoning.
"I want another public hearing on the thing before I'll
go for it," he cautioned. "They never did get it completed
and the people need to understand what's what. At the last meeting,
some questions came up and they were supposed to have another
hearing to satisfy some of the requests."
Sandra Sailors, 51, is Daniel Sailors' daughter and was born,
raised and educated in Nicholson.
"I have no comment about zoning until I view the plan,"
she commented. "I want Nicholson to move forward. I want
to keep our charter and I am for all the people," she stated.
Sailors has been a teacher for 30 years and is K-12 gifted instructor
for the Jackson County School System. She also owns Electric
Beach, a tanning salon, in Commerce.
Chuck Wheeler did not respond to messages left on his phone.
He has spoken against the implementation of a zoning ordinance.
JHS to use state
funds for health occupations lab
Jefferson High School is looking at using state funds to convert
a classroom in the home economics building into a health occupations
lab and then offering a course in that discipline next year.
Jefferson Board of Education chairman Ronnie Hopkins shared correspondence
from Rep. Pat Bell Thursday with BOE members, explaining that
Rep. Bell has $10,000 in state funds allotted for the classroom
conversion to a lab setting.
Rick Townsend, JHS assistant principal, told the board that a
state grant may bring in additional funds for the project and
for equipment for the lab. He added that the school has formed
an advisory committee made up of representatives from the health
For the rest of this story, see this week's Jackson Herald.
Rep. Bell opposed
Rep. Pat Bell said in a letter to the Jackson County Board of
Commissioners that she is opposed to a proposed landfill in North
Jackson. Meanwhile, the action has been tabled at the request
of the landfill developer.
In the letter, Rep. Bell cited five reasons why the BOC should
deny a conditional use permit to locate a construction and demolition
landfill on Lanier Road.
Rep. Bell said the landfill did not fit in Jackson County's land
use plan and would negatively affect surrounding property and
the city of Pendergrass. She also said roads in the area could
not handle the additional truck traffic and the maintenance of
the roads would be a "constant drain" on county taxpayers.
Rep. Bell added that increased truck traffic would cause safety
problems in the area.
"I have sat where you are sitting and made a decision on
three landfills," Rep. Bell said in the letter. "None
of them were easy, and I do not envy you as commissioners having
to make this decision."
Robert Lovett, the attorney representing the
company that applied for the permit, sent a letter to the BOC
asking them to table the hearing on the landfill.
The BOC unanimously voted to table the matter until their April
The Jackson County Planning Commission recommended denial of
the conditional use permit at its meeting in February.
At the February meeting, several people spoke in opposition to
the landfill, citing pollution and odor concerns.
Looks At Non-Resident Student Policy
The Commerce Board of Education held the first reading of a policy
regarding non-resident students Monday night. The policy, which
will be available for review for 30 days at the central office,
establishes guidelines for how non-resident students will be
accepted in the future as the school system continues to grow.
Non-resident students who have withdrawn from the system previously
because of disciplinary action, poor attendance or unsatisfactory
academic performance will not be enrolled. The board also reserves
the right to limit non-resident enrollment when the student population
exceeds 95 percent of the limit set for a class or school. The
board of education reserves the right to levy tuition for non-resident
Enrollment priority for nonresident students will be given to
those who are currently enrolled; siblings of those currently
enrolled; children of alumni; children of city or school system
employees; those who apply earliest; and those who are children
of parents or guardians who pay ad valorem tax to the city of
Non-resident students may be removed from Commerce schools for
unacceptable behavior or attendance; lack of effort or poor academic
performance; falsification or misinformation during the application
process; or "other good and sufficient cause."
The policy will come before the board again at 7:30 p.m. Monday,
April 9, when the board meets at the high school.
Go to Jackson
Public Meeting Dates
Endorses 120-Unit Apartment Project
The Commerce City Council voted unanimously Monday night to support
a company's plans to seek a state tax credit so it can locate
120 units of apartments in Commerce.
Cooperative Resource Center Inc. is applying to the Georgia Department
of Community Affairs for "affordable housing tax credits"
to finance the construction on 15 acres fronting Mt. Olive and
The developer needed the city's endorsement to seek the DCA credits
so it can set aside 96 of the units for low-income housing, according
to paperwork submitted to the city.
The land is not currently in the city limits, but the developer
seeks annexation. That matter will go before the Commerce Planning
Commis-sion at its March 26 meeting. The planning commission's
recommendations will then be considered by the city council at
its April 9 meeting.
Councilman Sam Brown raised the only question about the proposal,
asking city manager Clarence Bryant how much sewage such a development
would generate. Bryant estimated that each unit would average
225 gallons per day, which means the development would take up
some 27,000 gpd of the city's remaining sewage plant capacity,
estimated at 200,000 to 250,000 gallons.
The tract is already zoned R-5 in Jackson County and is located
in the shared tax district, which means most of the school taxes
levied on the property will go to Jackson County.
"The bottom-line advantage to us is getting the sewer capacity
charge," Bryant explained.
The city may get another large sewer capacity charge and apartment
complex. Bryant said developers are considering another complex
of up to 144 units on Mount Olive Road near Harden Orchard Road.
"We've had three different people talking about utilities
for that tract. It's another government program, so they may
be working on some kind of deadline," Bryant said.
officers to get raise
In a 3-2 vote, the Jefferson City Council agreed Monday night
to a $1 per hour raise for its certified police officers.
Councilman Jim Joiner, chairman of the council's police committee,
made the recommendation that the officers be given the raise,
effective April 2. He presented a salary comparison of officers
from area departments and said Jefferson is on the bottom of
A number of uniformed police officers, along with chief Darren
Glenn, were present for the discussion, but none spoke. At one
point, councilman C.D. Kidd III, who opposed the raise, asked
if the officers were at the meeting to "try and intimidate"
"Just about all of the force is here," he said.
The discussion lasted more than 30 minutes and included a call
by councilman Kidd for the matter to be moved into closed a session.
The meeting was briefly closed to the public, but was re-opened
with city attorney Ronnie Hopkins stating that the discussion
of an across-the-board pay raise must be discussed in open session
to be legal. The closed meeting had been called for a discussion
"We need to look at this before we start losing officers,"
Joiner said in calling for the action. "Other departments
are actively recruiting our officers."
Joiner, Steve Kinney and Marcia Moon voted in favor of the raise.
Kidd and Bosie Griffith voted against raise.
Kinney said he is concerned about the department losing officers.
He said Jefferson has lost two in the past three weeks and that
five more are being recruited by other departments.
Kidd said the matter should be considered during budget hearings
for the next year, not in the middle of a budget that has already
"I don't think we're that far off that we can't wait to
budget time," Kidd said.
Griffith pointed out that the council has given raises to the
police department for the past three years.
"What are we going to do next year?," he asked.
Joiner said the raises would cost the city $30,000 for the remainder
of this year, including Social Security and Medicare costs. The
starting pay for a certified officer is now $10.33.