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Final thoughts on flag issue
Now that I've calmed down a bit, had some time to think and talked
with some of you, I have just this one last thing to say about
the proposed county flag.
Banks County Letter
Votes for 'no flag'Dear Editor:
I am a black woman and have lived in Banks County all of my life.
I am a 1995 graduate of Banks County High School.
Lady Leopards take out Rabun Win is first ever in girls'
The Banks County Lady Leopards' soccer team got a much needed
shot in the arm Friday night.
Banks downed Rabun County 2-1 for the first ever win in the girls'
program history. The two goals were also the first for the Lady
Leopards this year.
Trial begins for December 1998 murder case. Jury sequestered as Wayne Cochran goes on trial for
murder of Kimberly Warren. A 12-member jury was selected Wednesday
and opening arguments were given in the murder trial of Emory
Wayne Cochran, who is charged in the December 1998 murder of
Zoning Foes Win In Nicholson ElectionWheeler, Kitchens
Win Council Seats --
Voters in Nicholson braved gusting winds and driving rain Tuesday
to reject the concept of zoning in a special city council election.
Mac Almond resigns BOE releases allegations against
Mac Almond has resigned as principal of Comer Elementary School,
a post he held for the past 26 years.
The Madison County school board accepted his resignation Monday
and on Tuesday school board attorney Lane Fitzpatrick released
approximately 150 pages of evidence to support allegations that
Almond has shown a "pattern....of personal abuse of school
We back Mac!
Large crowd shows support for long-time Comer principal
At least 300 Comer parents packed the Madison County High School
library Tuesday night to support suspended Comer Elementary School
principal Mac Almond.
The Banks County News
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Search party finds child lost in woods
Missing child found
in woods near grandparents' home
A 5-year-old child was missing for several hours Friday before
being found in the woods near his grandparents' home in Banks
Some 25 men from the Banks County sheriff's office, fire department
and emergency medical service (EMS) gathered at the home of Bill
and Carole Jackson on Cates Bridge Road to search for their missing
5-year-old grandson, Griffin.
The Jacksons' son, Barth, and his wife, Racheal, had come to
enjoy the weekend in the quiet countryside at their home.
"We were trying to escape the Saint Patrick's Day celebration
that goes on in Savannah," said Barth.
Griffin's grandmother, Carole, said the family was preparing
to go on a short hike with Griffin and told him to go on ahead
as they put hiking shoes on. When the family came back out, Griffin
was nowhere in sight. They began searching and calling for him,
she said, but there was no response. After around an hour of
looking, said Bill, they called 911 and Banks County deputies,
Fire and EMS personnel and volunteers responded quickly.
The Jacksons said it was unusual for Griffin to go off by himself.
Racheal said that he was fascinated with turtles and snakes.
With the river only a short distance away, she was worried that
he had gone there.
A command post was set up in the Jacksons' yard as the family
tried their best to hold back tears and fears. Perry Dalton,
fire chief, divided his men into groups and the search began.
Joining the Banks crew were Terry Parr, of Commerce, and Mike
Parr, of Maysville. The cousins had been watching "Divorce
Court" on TV, when they heard the report over a scanner.
"We just thought we'd come over and help," said Terry.
Mike said, "When a 5-year-old is missing, you gotta come
The family waited as minutes turned into hours. Then a yell came
up from the woods about a quarter of a mile away followed by
the radio message - the boy had been found and he was fine.
The men who found him, the Parr cousins and Sergeant James Savage,
walked a laughing Griffin up to his waiting mother.
He told her excitedly, "I saw two turtles. One of them had
He was lifted over the fence and his teary-eyed mom, dad and
grandparents reached out to hold him.
The Parrs said they had found him on top of a pile of logs, "screaming
and crying for his mom and dad."
As the medics checked him over, Racheal asked if he had learned
"I learned about red-striped turtles," he said smiling.
She said, "Griffin, I mean about being lost in the woods."
He said, "Oh, it was scary, I thought I'd never get back."
Carole told him, "From now on, you better keep the house
in sight when you go out."
He said, "OK. I think that's a good idea."
Banks County Sheriff Charles Chapman said he had called for a
helicopter to come search the area, but the boy was found before
it arrived. He praised the firemen and volunteer rescue workers
assisting in the search.
"They always do a great job with anything like this,"
he said. "You couldn't ask for anthing better. We appreciate
what they do in these times."
More than 500,000 gallons
of water lost when vandals open hydrants across Banks County
Banks County lost more than 500,000 gallons of water over the
weekend after vandals opened fire hydrants across the county.
Banks County water employees and firemen were kept busy Saturday
night, trying to keep up with vandals who were opening fire hydrants
across the county. Fire chief Perry Dalton said he was paged
at 10:30 p.m. and was told by Louie Dean, Banks County water
department, that if any fires broke out, his department probably
would not have water to fight them.
"I was told that half the county's water had been drained,"
Hydrants on Bennett Road, Scales Creek Road, Yonah-Homer Road
and Wynn Lake Road had been opened, according to Dalton and Dean.
Officials speculate that whoever did it used a large pipe wrench.
Water department clerk Debbie Poole said the department's voice
mailbox was full of complaints from people without water. She
said there was no way to tell how many customers had been affected
or how long they had been without water.
Dean said that the first calls started coming in around 9:30
p.m. from customers complaining about not having water.
"We lost around 500,000 gallons of water," he said,
"costing the county around $1,130."
His crews worked in conjunction with fire personnel and volunteers
checking all the hydrants in the county.
Water crews were out until 1:30 a.m. checking hydrants and the
county water system. He said a water operator had to be called
in to work the plant and begin recovery. Water was pumped from
the reservoir, said Poole.
"At around 7:30 a.m. Sunday, we were back to full capacity,"
No suspects have been arrested in conjunction with the crime.
Go to Banks
Public Meeting Dates
Banks County voters overwhelmingly voiced their support for a
proposed special purpose local option sales tax Tuesday.
Voters approved the SPLOST 732-82 on a special ballot. The "yes"
votes garnered 89.15 percent of all votes cast.
"It's a good day," Banks County Board of Commissioners
Chairman Kenneth Brady said after the vote tally was announced.
"I appreciate all the voters going out and supporting it.
It's a great day for Banks County."
The SPLOST will generate an estimated $15 million in revenue
for the county over the next five years.
The revenue will be divided as follows: water/sewer, 40 percent;
jail, 25 percent; fire/EMS, 15 percent; roads, 12 percent; and
recreation, eight percent. Homer, Baldwin and Maysville will
also get a percentage of the revenue.
Country music legend
Watson performs at BCHS
Country music legend Gene Watson performed Saturday night at
Banks County High School to a fan-packed auditorium.
This was his second year appearing at BCHS to help the Banks
County Band Boosters Club.
"I like Banks County, and I'm glad to be back," he
told the crowd.
The Texas entertainer came in spite of the fatigue and discomfort
caused by his ongoing battle against colon cancer. He is currently
receiving radiation treatments and will start another round this
week. Due to his illness, he told his fans that he would be unable
to sign autographs at the end of the show, at the recommendation
of his doctor.
Joined by band members Joe Eddy Gough, keyboard, Clay Richard,
bass, Darren Turner, drums, Corky Owens, steel guitar, and Travis
Smith, lead guitar, Watson played his old hits from the past
to everyone's delight.
He said he likes "doing shows like this."
"They're my fans and they made me who I am today,"
he said. "Without them, I would be nothing."
Watson announced his new CD would be coming out in late spring.
The concert was part of an all-day event held Saturday by the
band boosters. It included a car show and other entertainment.