News from Jackson County...

May 23, 2001


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OPINIONS
Jackson County opinion page



SPORTS
Tigers Put On Pads

The State Champion Commerce Tiger's football team is back on the practice field preparing for another shot at the crown. There are some big shoes left empty from last years squad that must be filled, however.

Dragons in baseball's final four
Jefferson High School's varsity baseball team took another huge step forward in the Class A state playoffs Saturday, sweeping host Wilcox County in a doubleheader to move on to this weekend's semifinal round.

Watts accepts Davidson College post
JACKSON COUNTY girls' basketball coach Annette Watts accepted the position of head coach at Davidson College last week. Davidson representatives apparently approached Watts about the position several weeks ago, and offered her the job last Monday.


Neighboorhood News ..
MADISON COUNTY
Kesler dismissed as softball coach
Doug Kesler is no longer Madison County High School's fast-pitch softball coach.

Hull Festival set for Saturday
The third annual Hull Spring Festival gets under way this Saturday.
The festivities begin at 7 a.m. with a 5K Fun Run beginning at Joy Baptist Church on Glenn Carrie Road.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Chigger Mountain saw mill burns
Chigger Mountain Saw Mill, on Yonah-Homer Road in northwest Banks County, burned to the ground Friday afternoon.

Upcoming seniors score higher than state average on grad test
Banks County juniors scored higher than the state average in every subject on the high school graduation test.


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 MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE

Members of the Jackson County Comprehensive High School JROTC installed flags and crosses with the names of Jackson County's war dead at Woodbine Cemetery in Jefferson this week in honor of Memorial Day. The JROTC is also participating in the salute to "The Greatest Generation" service planned for Friday night at Panther Stadium at Jackson County Comprehensive High School. Shown are (L to R) 2nd. Lt. Alex Davis, Corpl. David Lloyd and 1st Lt. Zach Tinsley.

Salute to 'The Greatest Generation' planned Friday
More than 100 Jackson County veterans who served during World War II, known as "The Greatest Generation," will be among those honored at a special Memorial Day program planned for Friday.
Sponsored by the Jackson County Board of Education, the program will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at Panther Stadium at Jackson County Comprehensive High School. Veterans of World War II, along with those who served from Korea to the present in the Armed Forces, will be honored.
The program will include a tribute to the World War II veterans who will be presented with an achievement medal for their service. Information on their time in service will be given.
Jackson County School System superintendent Andy Byers said the service will be a tribute to "the sacrifices of the soldiers and the men and women who fought on the battle front and served in the military during that time." These World War II vets have come to be referred to as "The Greatest Generation" following a book of that title by Tom Brokaw.
Byers said comments will also be made to honor "the portion of that generation that stayed home and worked 90 hours a week in the factories" during the war-time.
Another highlight of the ceremony is expected when flags are placed on crosses on the field representing the Jackson Countians who have died in foreign wars. As their names are called, flags will be placed at each cross by the JROTC with "Taps" to be played after all flags are in place.
JCCHS teacher Dana Richer will be the master of ceremonies. The schedule also includes:
·a prelude melody of American tribute music presented by the Jackson County Comprehensive High School band.
·the posting of the colors by the JCCHS JROTC.
·JCCHS chorus to sing the "Star Spangled Banner" with music provided by the band.
·JCCHS chorus to do a medley of songs that includes "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "My Country Tis of Thee."
·recognition of individuals and their families who are currently serving in the Armed Forces.
·JCCHS band to do an Armed Forces salute with veterans from all branches of service to be recognized.
·band and chorus to present "America the Beautiful" and band to perform "1812 Overture."
·JROTC to retire the colors.
Byers said volunteers, the JROTC, band and chorus are assisting the BOE in coordinating the program. Veterans who would like to be recognized who have not yet called the BOE can still be a part of the program. Byers encourages these veterans or their families to call the BOE office at 367-5151.


Armyworms Join Drought As Threat To Jackson Pastures
If the drought wasn't a big enough problem for local cattlemen, now they have to contend with an invasion of armyworms.
Extension agent Mark Shirley said his office has received reports of armyworms from all over the county.
"I've had calls from all over. From Talmo to Nicholson and below Commerce on 334," he said. "Usually, we have fall armyworms, but every once in a while, we have true armyworms."
The good news is that true armyworms are less of a problem than the fall armyworms. Shirley said the Extension experts at the University of Georgia say that once the current crop of worms dies out, there will not likely be any more generations coming along this year. With the fall armyworm, there are often several generations with which to contend.
The armyworms seek the new growth on plants, particularly in hayfields, said Shirley.
"I've seen and had reports of them in bermudagrass hayfields," he said.
"The worms grow to an inch and a half in length and are dark greenish-black," Shirley said.
Recommended treatment is to spray with an 80 percent Sevin solution or, if the grass is ready, to cut the hay.
And while this week's rains have helped, Jackson County pastures are suffering from the continued drought. Shirley said he'd rate them from poor to fair. Saturday's storm dumped from an inch of rain to two and a half inches around the county, but little has fallen since.
Even with the rain of the past few days, statewide watering restrictions still apply, as do restrictions on burning in Jackson and area counties.


Landfill requests to again go before planning board
Another meeting of the Jackson County Planning Commission is likely to be dominated by landfill matters as two requests go before the group Thursday night.
Requests from Earth Resources Inc. and CKS Properties Inc. are on the agenda for the planning commission meeting set for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Administrative Building in Jefferson.
Earth Resources Inc. is requesting a conditional use permit for 94.48 acres on Lanier Road, zoned I-2, to locate a construction demolition landfill. The planning commission has already reviewed this proposal, but is being asked to do so again by the board of commissioners due to a change in the proposal. The developer now plans for access to the site to from Lanier Road be directed to Brooks Road.
In a separate matter, CKS Properties Inc. is requesting to rezone 195.08 acres on Cedar Grove Church Road from A-2 to I-2 with a conditional use permit to locate a landfill.
The BOC will hold a public hearing on these matters and those listed below when it meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 4, at the Administrative Building in Jefferson. The BOC receives input at this meeting, but postpones voting on zoning matters until its second meeting of the month, which has been set for 7 p.m. on Monday, June 18.
OTHER COUNTY REQUESTS
Other planning requests for property located in unincorporated areas of Jackson County include:
·Country Wise Homes Inc. to rezone 15.77 acres at 8195 Hwy. 124 from A-2 to R-1 to locate 15 single-family, site-built homes.
·Jacque Marlowe to rezone 13.71 acres at 4159 Maysville Road from A-R to B-2 to locate a commercial service area.
·Lisa Wytiaz to rezone 156.824 acres at 1211 Athens Street from A-2 to A-R to locate 15 single-family, site-built homes.
·Mark Graham to rezone 34 acres on Wheeler Road from A-R to A-2 with a conditional use permit for the purpose of allocating three 10-acre tracts with a 60' wide private dirt road.
·Randy McKinney to rezone 2.204 acres on Academy Church Road from A-2 to B-2 as two tracts, both for business uses.
·a proposed amendment to Section 8.1 of the Jackson County Zoning Ordinance to correct an error when the ordinance was recompiled and readopted.
HOSCHTON
·William Simpkins to rezone 1.30 acres at 4051 Hwy. 53 from R-1 to C-1 to locate a professional insurance office.
The Hoschton City Council will consider the request when it meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 4.
JEFFERSON
·Gilleland-Merritt to rezone 52.77 acres on Old Pendergrass Road from A-R and A-G to R-1 to locate 54 single-family, site-built homes.
The Jefferson City Council will consider the request when it meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 11.
OTHER BUSINESS
The planners will also consider the following request which will not require further action by another governmental body:
·David Tolar to subdivide 13.061 acres on Trayham Road into two parcels for the purpose of locating one additional building lot.



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BOC seeks sit-down with BOEs, fire districts
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners agreed Monday night to seek joint meetings with two other groups.
At the suggestion of commissioner Emil Beshara, the board voted to have county manager Skip Nalley arrange meetings with representatives of each of the 11 fire districts and with all three boards of education in the county.
As for the firemen, Beshara said the meeting would be "to establish a means of communications and to discuss current issues, problems and the future of firefighting."
Regarding meeting with the school boards, he said that there are "several areas of concern that both this commission and the boards of education face. The decisions we make affect these boards of education."
In other matters, the commissioners approved a new priority list for grading roads. Tops on the list is the first phase of the Steven Tanger Boulevard Extension, which will allow shoppers at Tanger II ingress and egress on Ridgeway Church Road.
Other roads on the list include W.L. Williams/Whitlock Road, Fincher Drive, Maddox Hill Road, Scenic Drive, Guy Maddox Road, Bana Industrial, Tal Phillips Road and Panther Drive.
Panther Drive is a proposed entrance to Jackson County Comprehensive High School from the southbound lane of U.S. 129 bypass of Jefferson. That road, for entrance only, would be built with help from the Georgia Department of Transportation.
Commissioner Tony Beatty appeared less than enthusiastic about the partnership.
"They (the DOT) created the problem and they're going to help us with it ­ somewhat," he observed.
Jackson County will provide grading and the base; the DOT will pave the road.
Road superintendent Sam McClure indicated that the county crews could grade all of the roads on the priority list this year.
The commissioners also approved a list of "non-prioritized" roads, a list of proposed roads that, for the most part, the county has yet to gain rights of way for. The commissioners agreed that the second phase of Progress Road was the top priority on that list.
For the rest of this story, see this week's Jackson Herald.


CHS Juniors Do Better On Grad Tests
Commerce High School juniors exceeded the state average in all areas of the state graduation test, and the percentage of students passing the toughest section jumped up 15 points.
Eighty-one percent of CHS juniors passed the science section, according to Elaine Roller, guidance counselor. That compares to 71 percent statewide and ­ more importantly to CHS ­ to the 61 percent of this year's seniors who passed the test a year earlier.
The results, compiled by the Department of Education, are for first-time test takers only. The test was administered in March.
In the area of social studies, 92 percent of CHS students passed the test. That's 10 percentage points better than the Georgia average of 82 percent and a point better than last year's 91 percent.
In math, 96 percent of first-time test takers passed the section. The state average is 93; last year's CHS average was a point higher.
In English, 97 percent of CHS juniors passed the test, compared to 96 percent statewide. Last year, the CHS passing rate was 100 percent.
"We're proud of all of our scores, but the science score is pretty exciting," said Roller. "We're real proud of the science. The science teachers offered an after-school session. They didn't have a lot of participation, but they offered some coaching, mainly in the second semester."
This year's juniors who failed one or more sections of the test will have five more opportunities to pass it, the first of which is July 27, Roller said. Of last year's juniors, only one failed to eventually pass each section. That student has yet to pass the science section, which has the lowest passage rate of the four state-mandated graduation tests.