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Recreation Activities In Commerce
The Commerce Parks and Recreation Department has announced its
schedule of summer activities.
Rodeo Classic to visit Braselton July 27-29
THE FIFTH annual Chateau Rodeo Classic will be
held July 27-29 at the Château Élan Winery &
Resort Equestrian Center. The show will begin at 8 p.m. on the
27th and 28th, and 2 p.m. on the 29th.
manager has Lanier on the pole
Lanier National Speedway manager Stan Narrison has no doubt had
his critics during the first few months of his tenure, as all
new guys on the job will.
Neighboorhood News ..
considers legal action to collect license fee
The city of Ila may soon be forced to take a business to court
for refusing to purchase a business license.
to try speed 'humps' for Madison St.
In an ongoing effort to remedy school traffic problems on Madison
Street, the Danielsville City Council voted unanimously Monday
to equip the road with speed humps (not bumps), if they can receive
approval from property owners on the street.
site planned by DOT for 85 acres in Banks County
Banks County is the location of one of the Georgia Department
of Transportation's re-created wetland sites.
approves new position for 911 department
The Banks County Board of Commissioners agreed Friday to spend
$1,730 for a computer server to back up files and a new employee
to cut down on overtime at the 911 dispatch center in Banks County.
The Jackson Herald
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FIREWORKS LIGHT UP THE SKY
The fireworks display lit up the Jefferson sky Saturday
to conclude the Jefferson Area Business Association's July 4
festivities. A street dance, featuring the BTUs, games and activities
for children and food concessions were part of the celebration.
For additional photos see this week's Jackson Herald.
Photos Now Available to Order Online
MainStreet Newspapers Inc. announces that photos
from its four newspapers available for the ordering of prints
on-line at its website, mainstreetnews.com. Based in Jefferson,
MSN owns The Banks County News, The Commerce News, The Madison
County Journal and The Jackson Herald.
"We get a lot of demand from readers
in all three counties to have prints made," said Mike Buffington,
editor of The Jackson Herald and one of the owners of MSN. "This
service allows readers to access an on-line catalogue that shows
thumbnails of each photo. From that, prints of various sizes
can be ordered."
In addition to photos that run in the four
newspapers, companion photos from events that are not published
are also available on-line.
"For example, we may not have printed a photo of your daughter
at a basketball game, but she may be in another photo that was
taken, but not published," Buffington said.
Access to the photos catalogue will be available
from a button on the mainstreetnews.com web site. The photos
are hosted by DotPhotos Inc., a firm which specializes in making
prints from digital photographs and which manages photos for
a number of newspapers across the country.
There will be around a one week delay between
the time photos are published and their availability at the on-line
site. Click HERE
to view photo albums.
County to pitch
animal control plan to towns
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners took the first step
Monday night toward bringing animal control to the county.
The BOC unanimously agreed to approach the nine municipalities
in the county with a proposed animal ordinance presented by commissioner
Emil Beshara. It was made clear that the proposal could be amended
before final action is taken on it.
The proposal calls for the creation of a county animal department
to handle complaints. The ordinance also calls for all cats and
dogs over age four months to be registered with the county on
a yearly basis. The owner would have to provide a current rabies
certification from a licensed veterinarian, along with such information
as breed, age, physical description, address and phone number
of owner and reproductive status of the animal. The county would
provide a tag to be worn by the pet.
The ordinance also allows for a registration fee to be charged.
The fee would be established by the BOC. Beshara said the fee
would be a "potential mechanism to fund the department,"
but would not be the sole source of funding it.
The ordinance also states that pet owners must not let their
animals go on another person's property without permission.
"It's not a leash law," Beshara said. "It merely
requires the owner of domesticated animals to maintain control
of their pets and keep domesticated animals on their own property.
It provides a mechanism for people who might otherwise have their
property rights violated by a neighbor..."
The ordinance also outlines how abandoned and dangerous dogs
would be handled and the procedures and violations for dangerous
dog violations. Copies of the ordinance are available in the
county manager's office for review.
The BOC didn't discuss details on funding for the department
at Monday's meeting, with Beshara saying that would be "premature."
He said the first step in the process should be to determine
the "scope of the ordinance" and get acceptance of
it from all nine towns in the county.
Beshara also spoke on how the Humane Society of Jackson County
would be involved in the county's animal control plans. He said
the group could possibly provide volunteer labor to handle adoptions
and other services.
over mobile home rezoning
Despite a neighbor's protests, the Jackson County Planning Commission
approved a Braselton man's request to subdivide 2.153 acres on
Edanville Road to locate a mobile home.
Property owner Ronnie Richardson asked the commission to split
the land into two one-acre tracts so he could conform to the
county zoning laws to keep a single-wide home that he had already
placed on the property.
But John Van Allen, who lives adjacent to Richardson's property,
claimed the mobile home had been illegally placed in the location.
He said Richardson shouldn't have placed the single-wide there
before the property was subdivided and alleged that a mobile
home hadn't been there in the past five years. According to zoning
laws, mobile homes cannot be replaced if one has been absent
more than two years.
Van Allen also said the home was "practically in his back
yard" and would affect the value of his property and his
family's "quality of life."
Furthermore, Van Allen said that Richardson had illegally gone
ahead and started installing all utilities for the single-wide.
Van Allen said he had to call the county marshall twice to halt
Richardson's work on the mobile home.
Richardson said he was given permission by the zoning office
to start with the work.
Van Allen said that he learned that planning director David Clabo
had allowed Richardson to set up the mobile home, alleging that
Clabo told him "he'd went out on a limb to do this for Mr.
Van Allen then further hinted that there might have been possible
favoritism in the deal-claims Clabo strongly denied-by telling
the planning commission that Richardson had bought several pieces
of property in the county and was involved in a nearby subdivision
"I don't know what the relationship is there," he said.
Richardson responded by saying "he had no relationship"
with anyone on the planning commission and then added that he'd
obtained mobile home location and occupancy permits from the
zoning office prior to purchasing the mobile home and had met
Clabo then said a permit was issued to Richardson because a mobile
home had, in fact, already been on the site before and added
that he "took great offense to the accusation that I have
acted unprofessionally for anyone who has come in for an application-that's
not my way of doing business."
He said that Richardson was under the understanding that if the
subdivide didn't go through, the home would have to be removed
from the property.
Clabo also said he and the marshall "weren't together"
on Richardson's permit because he was out of town at the time
Van Allen made the complaints.
Further action on this request will not be necessary.
For the rest of this sory, see this week's Jackson Herald.
City Lights 2001
Believed To Be Best One So Far
It keeps getting bigger and better. The 2001 City Lights Festival
ran smoother, created more excitement and involved more people
than ever, say those who organized and put on the three-day event.
It will be a matter of weeks, however, before officials can determine
exactly how much money was made to be put toward the construction
of the Bill Anderson Center for the Performing Arts.
By far, the musical end of the concert was the biggest hit.
"The only one that might have been as big was the year Steve
Wariner came (1999)," said Rob Jordan, "but I'm not
convinced it was as big."
Both Charley Pride and Little Jimmy Dickens had followings to
complement Bill Anderson's loyal fans, who arrived from all over
"The artists all loved it and were very pleased with the
way they were treated by the city and by everybody," Jordan
noted. "Bill was ecstatic as always. He stayed around until
the very last person was given an autograph or whatever they
wanted. It was a good day, a good weekend."
It began with an 18-team golf tournament Thursday afternoon,
followed by Dinner with the Stars that night. If there was a
glitch in the process, it was the enviable one of having more
people than expected for the dinner.
But two days later, those who attended were still talking about
it particularly about Jeannie Seely's comment that she
and her husband divorced over religious differences.
"He thought he was God. I didn't," she said, breaking
up her audience.
Friday night's concert drew between 4,000 and 4,500, Jordan estimated,
and the old-time music provided by the artists seemed to strike
a chord with the audience. It also made for smoother transitions
between sets; virtually no time was lost between The Jordans
and Anderson, Anderson and Dickens, and it took only 15 minutes
to make the transition between Dickens and Charley Pride.
"It went beautifully, there were a bunch of people,"
noted Jan Nelson, executive director of the Downtown Development
And the rains held off. Organizers worried that the National
Weather Service's 50-50 chance of rain might spoil the concert,
but Mother Nature cooperated.
"I could see the lightning, but it never got close enough
that I could hear the thunder," Jordan noted. "I thought
it was a really good show. I haven't heard any complaints."
On Saturday morning, more than 50 groups and vendors manned booths
in the downtown, up 20 percent from last year, according to Nelson.
And while the threat of rain (it sprinkled three times, but did
not shower until 2:00) seemed to have made the crowd smaller,
Nelson said preliminary reports from vendors suggest that they
"As I was talking to everybody, they seemed happy,"
she said. "Gems by Jim had a very good day. The Friends
of the Library said they brought twice as much stuff as last
year and they'd sold more than half of it by the time I saw them,
so I think they were doing very well. Rainmaker Studio had a
very good day, Riverwood Farms in the park brought many more
things than last year and they were all selling, and the First
Baptist Church music ministry seemed to be doing real well. Sno
Biz was doing well; I kept seeing people with their cups all
over the downtown."
As for the music, having two stages provided room for more musicians,
not to mention more variety, and Nelson said the children from
Commerce School of Dance and T-n-T Dance brought parents and
grandparents in to the event.
As for the festival's inspiration, Bill Anderson is already thinking
about the 2002 event, according to Jordan. Anderson has also
written a song soon to be released by Kenny Chesney, Jordan said.
"That doesn't mean Chesney's coming next year, but everyone's
expecting that this will be a big hit," Jordan commented.
The News Wins
Eight Awards In GA Newspaper Contest
The Commerce News was recognized as one of Georgia's top weekly
newspapers by the Georgia Press Association. The News received
eight awards Friday night at the awards banquet for the GPA's
2001 Better Newspaper Contest for newspapers published in 2000.
Among the awards was second place in "General Excellence,"
the top award category, among newspapers with circulation of
4,000 or less.
The News also captured first-place awards in the categories of
editorial page, for a photo essay by Travis Hatfield, for headline
writing and for coverage of religious news. It won second place
for the Dec. 16 special section after the Commerce Tigers won
the Class A state football championship, second place for sports
coverage and third place in sports writing.
Go to Jackson
Public Meeting Dates
Auto Parts &
Retail Stores & Outlets
Rogers seeking earnest
funds in home sale effort
Country music star Kenny Rogers believes he should get the $634,250
in "earnest money" for the purchase of his Oglethorpe
County home, Beaver Dam Farms.
A Jackson County man, Thomas Threatt, and his brother, James,
were the high bidders, at $6.3 million, for the property in November
1999, but the purchase was never finalized. Rogers has filed
a lawsuit against the Threatts and their attorney, George Butler,
over the deal.
The Threatts originally gave the $634,250 check to Pat Graham,
a lawyer both sides agreed on, but they later stopped payment
on that check and gave a second check to their attorney. The
Threatts' attorney eventually gave that second check back to
his clients instead of to Rogers.
A hearing was held Monday morning in Jackson County Superior
Court over the actions filed against Butler. Rogers is seeking
the $634,250 from Butler and alleging that he acted irresponsibly
in the transaction. Neither Rogers nor the Threatts attended
Judge David Motes heard testimony for two hours Monday morning,
but no ruling was given. Attorneys for each side have 15 days
to file a brief on the issue. Another hearing has been set for
July 23 in Jackson County Superior Court.
At this week's hearing, Butler and his attorney, Tyrone Brown,
spoke at length about their motion for summary judgment on the
motions filed against him. Brown said that the first check given
to Graham was canceled because of concerns the Threatts had about
the contract. He said the second check was given to Butler to
hold until the matters were resolved.
Rogers' attorneys, Donald Harkleroad and Timothy McGaughey of
Atlanta, said that Butler should have turned over the check to
their client as of Dec. 6, as the contract stated. They said
another option would have been to turn the check over to the
There was also much debate over whether Butler had served as
an escrow agent in the deal. Brown said he had not, but Rogers'
attorneys pointed out that he referred to himself as an "escrowee"
in a document.
15 state awards
The Jackson Herald won 15 awards in the Georgia Press Association's
2001 Better Newspaper Contest, including third place in the coveted
"General Excellence" category. The Herald competes
in the large weekly newspaper category for newspapers over 7,000
circulation. It was the third time since 1997 The Herald placed
in General Excellence.
The awards were presented last weekend in Savannah during the
association's annual summer convention.
First place awards won by The Herald were: best sports section,
best editorial writing, best hard news writing and best spot
A second place award was won for best spot news photograph.
Third place awards were won for best lifestyle coverage, best
feature writing, best local news coverage, best headline writing,
best page one, best sports photograph, best humorous column,
best editorial page and best newspaper web site.
The Maysville Town Council has postponed its July meeting.
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16, at the
Maysville Public Library.
The regular schedule for the council meetings is on the first
Monday of each month.
Blood Drives Upcoming
In Commerce, Nicholson
The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive from 1 to 6 p.m.
Tuesday, July 10, at the First Baptist Church of Commerce.
Officials say that most healthy people age 17 or older, who weigh
at least 110 pounds, can donate blood. Blood donors of all types,
especially O and B, are urgently needed by the American Red Cross
blood services southern region, leaders say.
"The regional blood supplies for O negative and O positive
blood are at a critical level," said Cammie Barnes of the
American Red Cross. Supplies of these blood types are currently
insufficient to handle potential emergencies. Right now, there
is less than one-third of a day's supply of O negative blood
and less than one day's supply of O positive blood in the inventory
at the main donor center on Monroe Drive in Athens.
Approximately 1,200 units of blood are needed each day to supply
hospitals throughout the region, officials say.
The American Red Cross blood services southern region provides
blood and services to approximately 140 hospitals and health
care facilities, including BJC Medical Center, St. Mary's and
Athens Regional Medical Center. For more information, call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE.
The Antioch United Methodist Women will sponsor a Red Cross blood
drive from 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, in the church fellowship
hall. The blood drive will be in honor of church member Toni
McGinnis, who is undergoing treatment for cancer.
The church is located at 885 Antioch Church Road, Nicholson.
For information or to donate, call 757-2531 or 546-0681.