Banks County Opinions...

March 28, 2001


Editorial
The Banks County News
March 28, 2001

Flag project has brought out
negative side of Banks County

The flag project has unveiled a side of Banks County that is not pleasant.
A group of concerned citizens in opposition to the flag proposed for the county that includes the St. Andrew's Cross had planned a meeting. An area meeting hall was promised to them, and then the offer was rescinded.
A person who wrote a letter to the editor opposing the flag project had someone go to her employer and complain.
Letters to the editor with false claims in them have flooded this newspaper. Many of the letters sing the praises of chamber president Bonnie Johnson. The work she has done for the chamber has never been questioned. She has worked tirelessly for the organization. But one letter in this week's paper was a bit deceiving in stating that she does it all without pay. While she has never received a salary, Mrs. Johnson did receive a $10,400 "honorarium" from the chamber in December. This is a fact that not many chamber members are even aware of. Executive assistant Sherry Ward states that this is for her "eight years of service" and "outstanding leadership."
Letter-writers and Mrs. Johnson herself have also accused this newspaper of printing slanderous remarks, including a personal column written by a reporter. This reporter only put her opinion about remarks made by Mrs. Johnson, which is what an editorial page is all about.
As for the flag project itself, board of commissioners and chamber officials said it was an effort to unite the county and bring it together. It has not united the county. Instead, it has pulled people apart. At least one member of the chamber has resigned and others are publicly distancing themselves from the action. Some of the cities want no part of the flag that is proposed to feature six small stars representing each town. If the intent of the flag project was really to unite the county, it has failed miserably.
It's time for the county officials to put aside this flag effort and get down to more important issues. A special purpose local option sales tax has just passed. The county has plenty of work ahead in planning and implementing the projects approved in this vote. The county water system and industrial development are other areas commissioners need to be concentrating on. Banks County officials need to get down to business and not waste time on this flag project.

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Column
By Angela Gary
The Banks County News
March 28, 2001

More adventures in the medical world
Just how large is a large glass of water? Is it eight ounces or maybe it's one of those jumbo cups you get at fast food restaurants. Who knows?
How would you define clear gelatin and juice? Does it mean white gelatin only? What about yellow? Doe it count? Is pineapple considered clear? Is lemon-ade a clear juice? The questions are endless.
I don't know if I have too much common sense or not enough, but the instructions I received in a "prep kit" I needed to complete before getting another medical test left me with a headache. I needed to complete the steps in the kit over a two-day period before the test. The problem is that it took me two days to figure out the instructions.
It also took me a long time to find the few things I could drink, not eat, for the two days in the grocery store. They were items that usually don't make my grocery list. I must admit I usually spend more time on the cookie aisle than I do on the clear liquid aisle.
It's hard to believe that it took two days to prepare for a four-minute test. I had to check my instructions a couple of times each day to make sure I was doing, or not doing, everything I was supposed to. For nine hours each day, I had to drink one large glass of water each hour. I don't usually drink that much water in a week, or even a month. I know I should, but I don't. My mother's sweet tea just tastes so much better than water.
The no food for two days was also tough. I know I could go weeks without food and survive, and should cut back on the sweets, but who wants to voluntarily starve? I went to sleep thinking about how hungry I was. I woke up with a growling stomach. I felt guilty even being hungry over a short 48-hour period knowing that there are starving people in this country. I couldn't help it. I'm spoiled. I'm not used to being hungry.
The prep also included a 5 p.m. glass of medicine, mixed with juice, that is the worst stuff I have ever put in my mouth. The juice didn't help. I shivered every time I took a big gulp. The "tonic" sent me to the bathroom where I was sicker than I think was intended.
I believe the prep is so horrible so that the test won't seem as bad. The four minutes were painful, but nothing unbearable. I left the office with a skip and planned to hurry through the X-rays. Unfortunately, the X-rays took almost an hour and were pretty painful. If you ever hear the words, barium enema, be prepared for pain.
Since I first wrote about my mystery illness, many kind people have shared their stories with me. Some had similar incidents that left them in pain for a year or more only to disappear without ever being diagnosed. Others were diagnosed with blood disorders and other ailments. For me, the quest continues. I pray that the pain just goes quietly away like it did for one Jefferson lady.
Angela Gary is associate editor of The Jackson Herald and editor of The Banks County News. She can be reached at AngieEditor@aol.com.


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