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Family reunion time
Summertime is family reunion time, when families all across the
county - and the country - gather together at church fellowship
halls, civic centers, homes and parks for a meal and catch-up
The Great Mike Schmidt
Mike Schmidt is the greatest baseball player ever to put on cleats.
Maybe the greatest man of this century.
Directions to Area Schools
Going to state
The Banks County 12-and-under softball team is going to the state
tournament July 19-20 in Adele.
3 Rabies-Related Incidents Reported
A trio of incidents in and near Commerce have officials concerned
about rabid animals.
Maysville man charged in Commerce murder
A Maysville man has been charged with "malice murder"
in the Friday stabbing death of Ralph Douglas Stockton, 56, of
68 Chestnut Street, Commerce.
Fortson stands trial for murder DA, defense give opening
arguments, call first witnesses
The Tracy Lea Fortson murder trial got under
way Tuesday afternoon with District Attorney Bob Lavender presenting
evidence linking Fortson to the murder of Doug Benton of Colbert.
Fortson trial won't be televised by Court TV
Cable television's Court TV was denied permission
Tuesday to tape the Fortson murder trial for broadcast later.
The Banks County News
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Fax: (706) 367-8056
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Ready for the show
Five-year-old Pearl Oppenheimer, Maysville, was all ready
for the Homer 4th of July Celebration. She was there with her
mother, Candice. See this week's Banks County news for additional
seek BOC help with fly problem
There is a fly problem at Banks Crossing and business owners
and managers came to the board of commissioners meeting Tuesday
night to ask for the county's help in solving it.
Ed Conner, a Wal Mart manager, said that the Wal Mart at Banks
Crossing spent $75,000 to fight flies last year. He said that
the store had purchased 55 fans, 11 air gates, 31 bug lights
and had three employees whose only job was to eradicate flies.
"(The Wal Mart at Banks Crossing) has given $4 million to
the state and the county in taxes and we need some help,"
Conner said. Conner came to the meeting with a clear plastic
garbage bag filled with fly strips that were covered with thousands
of flies. He said that in the bag was one day worth of flies.
Margaret Phillips, operator of the Chic-Fil-A at Banks Crossing
said: "If these were rats we'd be closed. Flies are filthy,"
Some tension grew between those who came to the meeting to report
the problem and some of the poultry farmers on the board and
in the audience that believed the problem was being blamed on
them. One man who represented himself as a poultry farmer who
owns two 500-foot hen houses, stood for nearly 20 minutes listening
to the complaints. Finally, he said: "Last year, I alone
spent $8,000 to keep flies down on my farm. Next year, it will
cost me $24,000 to exist if the EPA and EPD pass the regulations
they are suggesting. Think about that before you spend my money,"
he said loudly and rushed out of the back of the courtroom.
Chairman Kenneth Brady said: "I am a poultry farmer and
proud of it. I'll do what I can do. We will all do what we can.
But what can we do?"
Suggestions, such as trucks that spray pesticides to kill mosquitoes
in Tallahassee, were discussed but no action was taken.
In other news the commissioners:
·passed the 2002 budget of $7.3 million.
·agreed to send a raise in the homestead exemption to
the state legislature. The commissioners want to raise the exemption
from $16,000 to $20,000 for the disabled and citizens over 65.
This exemption will have to be applied for in the Banks County
tax office unless one already receives the current exemption.
·agreed to take bids for the engineering that needs to
be done so that Christmas Tree Road and Emory Chambers Road can
·agreed to pay all of the county's monthly bills except
for a questionable billing for a $668.02 door that the county
is not sure was received.
Homer council proceeds
with new town hall plans
Mayor Leon Ray asked Jason Bond and other members of the Homer
Fire Department Tuesday night to figure out what kind of space
the department will need in the new town hall and fire station
"We need to know what kind of rooms you'll need, how much
space and what kind of bays," Ray said. "You don't
have to design it, just tell us what you'll need."
Ray told the council and the fire department that he had spoken
at length with the town's new architect, David Matheny of Armentrout,
Roebuck, Matheny. Matheny asked for an idea of the number of
rooms and the kinds of area the complex will need so that he
can begin to design the building.
Ray said that Matheny suggested the council consider going with
a single-story building rather than a two-story as the council
had previously planned.
"We don't know what we'll be able to fit in our lot,"
said Ray. "It all depends on the state highway and the amount
of right-of-way required."
According to Ray, Matheny also raised the possibility of not
completely finishing the entire complex since all of the building
will not be used for several years. Bond suggested that the city
leave the firemen's bunk rooms unfinished and the shower rooms.
"Let's have them tell us how much finished would cost first,"
said councilman Roy Broome. "Then, if we need to, we can
take some off."
Matheny also suggested a complex design that would allow for
additions later on.
Ray said that as soon as Bond gets the information about space
requirements to city clerk Carol Ayers, she will draft a letter
to Matheny and the project can get started.
The council plans to have the property surveyed to make sure
there will be no problem with the bordering cemetery.
In an unrelated matter, Bond told the council that he can purchase
a fire truck from American LeFrance that has 1,700 miles on it
for less that $230,000. No action was taken.
on Alto well aquifers
Alto Mayor Jack King told council members Tuesday night that
testing of the connection well aquifers had been completed.
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division had required Alto
to test for benzene levels in the town's well water system before
allowing the re-opening of a well that had been closed due to
benzene contamination. The EPD wanted documentation proving whether
or not each well's aquifers were connected in any way allowing
benzene from the closed well to circulate through the underground
King said reports of the testing "showed a definite conduit
between the three aquifers" and that benzene can travel
from the tainted well to Well 4 and the Wright Street Well "if
it's not taken care of." Testing reports showed benzene
levels in untreated water to be 5.8 parts per million (ppm) and
1.88 ppm in treated water. The latter figure is below the EPD
maximum of 5 ppm, he said.
Since the levels were within the acceptable range after treatment,
King said he saw no reason to stop the opening of the tainted
well. He plans to present the finding to the EPD in Atlanta this
He said he would contact the council members and request a special
called meeting to vote on opening the well.
"This is a major thing and I'd like us all to be closely
bound in it," he said.
Go to Banks
Public Meeting Dates
Auto Parts &
Retail Stores & Outlets
Movie theater proposed
for Banks Crossing
A movie theater company wants to open a business in Banks County.
The theater group, which has been talking to the county about
moving in, has expressed a need to add an additional 790 parking
spaces which required a change in the ordinances.
At its meeting Monday night, the Banks County planning Commision
agreed to send the change in the ordinaces to the board of commisioners.
The change stipulates that theaters are permitted use and therefore
can move into the old Tanger Mall and build the parking that
it will need.
No further details on the theater were disclosed at the meeting.
In other business, the planning commision voted that work be
stopped at Buckeye Trails Subdivision until the developers "show
up at meetings and do what they agreed to do"
On another matter, Brian Watkins of Grove River Estates showed
the commission the revisions they had requested for a subdivision.
The subdivision will be 23 lots from six to 50 acres. The commission
agreed that Watkins had made the changes and agreed to send the
plat before the board of commissioners for consideration.
For the rest of this story, see this week's Banks County News.
hold annual picnic Thursday
The Banks County Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual picnic
at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at the Civic Center in Homer.
Tickets are $7.50 and can be purchased at the chamber office
in the Old Historic Courthouse or at the civic center.