News from Banks County...

April 25, 2001


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OPINION
Phillip Sartain
Loading the dishwasher and other essential husbanding skills

It happens almost nightly. I finish off the rest of the milk, rinse out the glass and open the dishwasher. Looking in, I discover that there is nowhere to put my dirty glass. After a second look, I also realize there are only four items total in the whole thing.

Shar Porier
Oh no, not shoe shopping!

A fax came in one day recently, a media hike to the floor of Tallulah Gorge. Hmm sounded interesting, fun. I've always wanted to go down there. I've been around the rim a time or two, but I've never been down it.


SPORTS
Mighty Leopards sit at the top
Win over GAC puts Leopards first in region. The Banks County Leopards have perfected the recipe for success.
A pinch of smart coaching. Two cups of power. A dash of solid pitching. A little melted defense on the side. And a few cloves of experience marinated in good old-fashioned in-your-face baseball.



Neighborhood News...
JACKSON COUNTY
Lanier Road landfill going back before planning board
A request to locate a landfill on Lanier Road will go back before the Jackson County Planning Commission when it meets at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Administrative Building in Jefferson.

Chamber Honors Community Leaders
JEFFERSON -- The Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce honored one of Georgia's premiere nurseries, the chairman of the Industrial Development Authority, the chairman of the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority and the owners of Jackson County's two newspapers at its annual banquet Saturday night.



News from
MADISON COUNTY
Ila Festival set for Sat.
The Ila Festival 2001 will be held Saturday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Ila.
The theme of the festival is "Promoting Unity in the Community." Eagle's Nest Christian Fellowship will host the event, which will be located at the ballfield adjacent to the Mt. Hermon Cemetery across from Ila Elementary School.

Uncovering the past Family in Shiloh Community works to restore old cemetery
For many years, a clump of trees and weeds in an otherwise open field was all that marked an old run-down cemetery near the corner of Faye Carey Road and Hwy. 174 in the Shiloh Community.


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FIGHTING FIRE


Rich Henderson and Barry Goodine, both firefighters from District 3/Station 310 Banks Crossing, were among those attacking a two-acre brush fire behind a residence on Beaver Dam Road Friday.

Planned burn gets out of control
When Chuck Brown, of 151 Beaver Dam Road, Commerce, started a fire last week to burn off some of the logs from his cleared land, he soon found he could not control the blaze.
Banks County firefighters from District 3 arrived on the scene and, in two teams, attacked the fire that had been quickly spread by the strong swirling winds to sporadic areas covering about two acres on a hillside. The flames threatened a neighboring structure, according to District 3 Battalion Chief Gilbert French. One team worked from the bottom of the hill, the other from the top. Fire Chief Perry Dalton called the Georgia Forestry Service for assistance.
Deputy Fire Chief John Creasy snapped a bough off a pine tree and began beating at the flames where hoses could not reach. He was soon joined by firefighters manned with rakes to make a firebreak in an attempt to control the fire. Shawn Alexander and Roger Lane of the Forestry Service arrived with equipment to plow a fire break around the fire to ensure it would spread no farther in the dry brush.
Hoses from other trucks were hauled to the site and coupled to be able to reach the entire spread of the fire. Firefighters soaked the area. An hour and a half later, all that remained were a few smoldering piles.
Brown did have a permit for the burn.
Lane said that there was a "real problem with control burns getting out of control due to the dry, hot weather."
"There's fuel everywhere for a fire," he said. "And with the burn ban coming May 1, we anticipate more of these fires."
He explained that the firebreak being established by Alexander was the only way to stop and contain the fire under the circumstances. He gave all the credit, though, to the firefighters.
"The initial attack is the most part of controlling a blaze," he said. "It keeps the danger down and the size of the fire. These men have done a great job."
Dalton said of his team, "We all work well together. We train together. We know what to do and how to do it."
He, too, expressed concern over the coming ban.
"People just don't realize how quickly a fire can get out of control," he said. "They don't think about how dry everything is. All it takes is one spark, one ember in stuff this dry and it'll run."




BJC Authority honors Barnett, Griffeth
The Banks-Jackson-Commerce Medical Center Authority honored its two "emeritus" members during a brief meeting Monday night.
The authority presented resolutions honoring William Barnett, who served on the board from 1989 until just recently, and Dr. Joe L. Griffeth, who served from 1979 to 2000.
The resolutions, read by Charles Blair, paid tribute to the men for being "caring and wise members of the health care community," for their "unquestioned dedication to the hospital, nursing facility and community" and for their "honest guidance and vast experience."
In honoring Griffeth, Blair said he was "not sure this resolution does justice to what Joe Griffeth has done for this hospital and this community. I'm not sure they make doctors like Joe any more."
Blair also said Griffeth "did not know what time it was" during the years he served as a physician.
"If it was two in the morning or three in the afternoon and someone needed doctoring, he would do it," he said.
OTHER BUSINESS
In other business, the authority:
·approved a request from administrator David Lawrence to spend $20,000 to renovate the old wellness center so it can provide offices for up to two physicians.
·heard Lawrence report that during March, the hospital averaged 15.8 patients per day.
·accepted the recommendation of the medical staff to grant Dr. Kirk Brown with courtesy staff privileges. Brown is joining the emergency room staff. "He was previously employed with the previous emergency room staff," noted chief of staff Dr. Robert Marshburn. "He had to wait two years to reapply to the new (company)."
·heard director of nursing Jo Totherow report that child care classes will begin in May and that the BJC Auxiliary is helping renovate the OB area.


Baldwin looks at request for de-annexation
Baldwin resident John Lowe may be getting a positive answer to his request for de-annexation from the city of Baldwin soon. The matter was discussed at the city council meeting Monday.
The council had asked city attorney David Syfan to look into the process of de-annexation of property. He gave his report saying the process is very similar to annexation.
"There is one difference in that the governing authority, which would be the county in which the property is located, would have to adopt a resolution, basically consenting to the de-annexation of the property," he said. "Once it's de-annexed out of the city, then the city services would be lost and the county would have to pick up the responsibility of providing fire protection, law enforcement, and all the other services of the city. The interesting thing about this is that it is not totally under your control in that the county does have to consent to the de-annexation by way of a resolution."
The governing body in this instance is Banks County, he said.
Syfan told the council that Lowe had to provide a plat of the property. Then, the city would have to have a first and second reading on the de-annexation. Banks County would have to be notified by certified letter of the request.
The council entered into a discussion about drafting a "de-annexation" ordinance in order to recoup some of the costs that are involved. It decided to proceed with drafting an ordinance concerning de-annexation. The council then voted to proceed with Lowe's request promptly and not hold him to any fees.
In other business, the council:
·held a closed session for 45 minutes to discuss potential litigation.
·approved the purchase of a $300 time clock for the police department.
·held the first reading on the annexation ordinance of Banks Ridge, Phase Two.
·held the first reading on the zoning ordinance for Banks Ridge, Phase Two.
·declared certain items as surplus from the fire and police departments so the items could be auctioned.
·approved the purchase of three shotguns and racks for the police department, at a total of $1,710. The department's budget will absorb the cost.

 

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Baldwin takes over waste water plant operation
The city of Baldwin began operation of the waste water treatment plant formerly run by the private company Aqua Source, Monday, April 23, according to Mayor Mark Reed.
For the past two months, the city and the company have been hashing out a mutual termination agreement, Reed said. One of the reasons that the city chose not to continue with the private company was the increase in fees for the services provided.
The termination agreement states Baldwin owes Aqua Source the sum of $89,734 for services from January 1, 2001, through March 31. The sum includes a termination fee of $5,000. The due date for this sum is set for Wednesday, April 25. In 150 days, if Aqua Source agrees, the city will pay them an additional $19,800 for services rendered from April 1 through April 21.
Three former employees of Aqua Source have been hired by the city to maintain operations. The transition went smoothly, according to Reed, and caused no interruptions to the city's customers.


Maysville looks at Better Hometown Program
Maysville City Council members heard a report last week from the beautification committee about how it wants to start improving the city.
The biggest question is where the money is going to come from to revitalize the city. City attorney Gary Freeman, who spoke for the beautification committee, told the council members that the first step in making Maysville a "better town" would be to get involved in the Better Hometown Program.
The program is a self-help community development program that will open up different avenues for the council to take in getting grants and loans for the beautification project. As of now, Jefferson is the only city in Banks and Jackson counties that is a Better Hometown City.
"This is the first logical step to take for what we want to do," said council member Scott Harper.
The first step to become eligible for the program is implementing a downtown development authority. The process to get the authority started will be fairly easy, said Freeman. The city council will pass the resolution to have the authority and then appoint members. The downtown development authority will consist of one council member and six Maysville City residents. They will have to attend mandatory training for one day, which will cost the city $50 to $75 per person.
Joe Walter, representing Precision Planning Inc., told the council members that in order to get funds from the state, they are going to need a common vision of what they want to do in Maysville and have it well planned.
"To get into the Better Hometown program, they want to see that you have hired someone to do studies, and they want to see that you are doing something and planning," said Walter. "The state also has money to loan, but they want to see a well-thought-out plan with business owners backing it. They like to see public and private partnerships working to revitalize the city."
The two main projects that the beautification committee wants to begin with are the group of buildings beside the fire station and the city park.
Walter said that the committee needed a feasibility study done on the buildings, to see what needs to be done to them and an estimate of how much it will cost. The study will probably cost around $3,600.
The city council took no action at the meeting. This is in the very beginning stages of the project. They have planned to continue to meet as needed to get the project going.