News from Jackson County...

September 5, 2001

Jackson County

Jackson County
Jackson County

Our Time and Place:
A History of
Jackson County, Ga

A complete history of Jackson County, Georgia from 1796 to the present. Written in narrative style for easy reading. Includes material not found in other books about Jackson County.

Order this book online

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Dragons rout Athens hristian, 40-6
The Jefferson Dragons came into last week's game with Athens Christian as heavy favorites, and it didn't take the Dragon offense long to show why.
Sophomore running back Courtney Wiley took the handoff from quarterback Kyle Potts on the Dragons' first offensive play and broke out on a 58-yard run to give his team the early lead.

Taking Care Of Business
Commerce Gets 121 Yds. From Jennings In Rout Of Franklin Co.
No Monté. No Michael. No problem so far.

Turnovers kill Panthers, 12-7
"Our kids know what they want to be, and what we saw Friday night was not what they want to be."
So Jackson County head football coach Greg Lowe summed up the Panthers' performance in last week's 12-7 home loss to Banks County.

Neighboorhood News ..
Sorrells rehired as Comer clerk
NeSmith announces he won't seek re-election.
Former Comer city clerk Steve Sorrells was rehired Tuesday night to fill the position left vacant by the firing of Elaine McGee-Tate. Sorrells has resigned from the position of transportation director for the Madison County Board of Education in order to return to the city post. He will also resume the position of city clerk for Carlton.

Colbert man completes 7,000-mile cross-country motorcycle trek
Lee Dickinson fulfilled a long-held dream this summer - to ride 7,000 miles across the country on his motorcycle, and to cover the first 1,000 of those miles in 24 hours or less.

Neighborhood News...
Banks County Festival coming up
Annual parade to kick off festivities at 10 a.m. Saturday
The 29th annual Banks County Festival will be held on the historic courthouse lawn in Homer on September 8-9.

SPLOST comes before voters Sept. 18
Voting on renewing the one-cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) for education will take place in Banks County on Tuesday, Sept. 18.
The Jackson Herald
Jefferson, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056


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Jackson County Comprehensive High School Junior ROTC members Tracie Minish (R) and Zach Tinsley fold the flag after Friday night's football game.

JCCHS SAT scores rise while JHS results fall
Both schools below state and national averages.The results of SAT testing last spring showed local results to be mixed, with students from Jackson County Comprehensive High School scoring 19 points better than last year while students at Jefferson High School saw the average score fall 28 points. Scores at Commerce High School were up 15 points over last year.
But despite some increases, the averages for all three schools for all students taking the test were below both the state and national averages. JHS has the highest local average of 962.
While the overall averages were low compared to the state and national, college prep students at all three high schools did better than the overall averages. JHS college prep students had an average score of 1,040 using the highest score for each student on each part of the test while JCCHS college prep students had an average of 998. Some 89 students at JCCHS took the test while 54 students at JHS took the test. (The College Board which administers the test shows 54 students, but Jefferson officials only show 50 having taken the test.) College prep students at CHS scored 1,012 on the SAT.
Like many standardized test in schools today, the SAT has critics who say the test results do not reflect the full range of school offerings. In addition, some critics say having non-college prep students' scores in the results skews the average down since many of those students have not taken classes that would have prepared them better for the SAT.
Still, many colleges and universities use the SAT results as one part of their admissions standards.

Local SAT Results
All Students Taking Test, Spring 2001
2001 2000 1999 1998 1997
USA 1020 1019 1016 1017 1016
GA 980 974 969 968 967
JHS 962 990 959 998 1007
JCCHS 960 941 939 917 952
CHS 948 933 930 924 974

Jackson Keeps A Representative
Reapportionment Plan Enables Jackson To Still Elect District 25 Representative
She came out bruised and bloodied, but Rep. Pat Bell figures she accomplished what she set out to do in the special reapportionment session of the legislature.
"Jackson County will have a representative for the next 10 years," she said, referring to the final House map. "It's been a long, hard month, I can tell you that. I've been over early and left late to keep us out of a multi-member district. I made sufficient friends and networked enough to do that."
House District 25 will no longer contain any Hall County precincts. Nor will the districts of Hoschton, Porter and Randolph be in the district, and half of Cunningham is gone too. The new map adds Statham and the lower part of Barrow County to District 25.
"Basically, the choice was this or a multi-member district. There was no decision, as far as I was concerned," said Bell. "The main thing is that we will have a representative for the next 10 years. That was my goal. I went there to keep Jackson County whole."
The process was an eye-opener, Bell said.
"It's a process that is totally political, right down the line. Everybody is in there for themselves and their area. That's just the way the system is," she observed. "That includes the Republicans. In North Carolina, it's in Republican control and the Democrats are taking them to court.
"It's hard to be nonpolitical when everything is political. You get in there and do the best you can for your area. You do it day and night, make contacts, talk to the people in charge. You are just constantly working on what you want and everything you do affects somebody else."
Bell said she expects the Republicans to challenge the maps in court.
As for the proposed ban on video poker, Bell said she plans to vote to have it banned, but the bill as of Monday was in the Rules Committee.
"My gut feeling is that if it comes out, there are enough Democratic members of the House to vote to ban it, along with the Republicans, but I don't know what's going to come out of Rules," Bell stated.
Bell's reason for voting to ban video poker is the cost to Jackson County of policing the industry.
"I want video poker stopped mainly because of the cost to the taxpayers of trying to police the whole mess," she said. "It would cost Jackson County two or three more deputies, not including whatever Jefferson and Commerce would have to do. As a former commissioner, I can see the cost of policing it."

Fall festival time ahead in county
The nights are getting cooler...Football season has arrived...Shorts are being replaced with long pants.
All the signs are here that fall is approaching. Another sign of fall is also ahead with several long-time area festivals planned.
The first fall festival in the county will be the 11th annual Art in the Park festival planned for Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 15-16, at Hurricane Shoals Park.
The festival will feature hand-made arts and crafts, entertainment and concessions. Fresh-ground cornmeal will also be on sale at the grist mill and kids' activities will be offered.
The 44th Georgia Volunteer Infantry Re-enactors and Indians will be camped Saturday and Sunday at Heritage Village. Crafts, story-telling, children's games and other activities will be featured from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15.
The 5K mill race will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15. A one-mile fun run or walk will take place at 8:30 a.m. Fees are $12 to pre-register and $15 on the day of the event.
The finale of the two-day festival will be the duck dash at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16. Ducks can be "adopted" for $5 each or five for $20. Grand prizes will be given.
The hours on Saturday, Sept. 15, will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The hours on Sunday, Sept. 16, will be 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Hurricane Shoals is located on Hwy. 82 Spur, Jefferson.
The Tumbling Waters Society sponsors the annual festival. All proceeds are used to maintain and improve the park.
For more information, call Crystal Weise, (706) 335-5563.
Next up will be the 30th annual Hoschton Fall Festival planned for Friday-Sunday, Sept. 28-30. The city of Hoschton is sponsoring the festival.
This year's Hoschton Fall Festival will include a new attraction - a "Mr. and Miss Hoschton Fall Festival" children's pageant sponsored by the Hoschton Women's Civic Club to raise funds for the train depot renovation project.
The application deadline for the pageant entrants is September 14. Winners in each age category will be selected during the Hoschton Fall Festival at 7 p.m. Friday, September 28, on the square in front of city hall.
The pageant is open to boys and girls age 8 and under, with categories for 2 and under, 3 to 5 and 6 to 8. The dress for the pageant is church clothes and no talent competition is held. All participants will receive a prize and there will be a first, second and third place winner in each age category.
Applications may be picked up and turned in at city hall. The fee is $25 per child.
Saturday's schedule includes a parade at 11 a.m. Other plans for the day are cake walks, a horseshoe tournament, craft show, concessions and a street dance.
The event will conclude Sunday with gospel music performed by groups from across the state.
For additional information regarding booth or parade registration, contact Hoschton City Hall at (706) 654-3034.
The 34th annual Maysville Autumn Leaf Festival will be held Friday-Sunday, Oct. 5-7.
Organizers are seeking applicants for booth spaces for arts and crafts vendors. Food booth spaces are no longer being taken, but all other booth space requests will be taken through October 1. Booth fees begin at $40. For an application, call Nancy Smith, (706) 652-2413.
Those interested in other aspects of the festival may call the following numbers for more information: Cynthia George, chairperson, general information, 652-2532; parade and car show, Candice Oppenheimer, 652-2967; talent show, womenless fashion show and magazine ads, Ginger Smith, 652-3698; and entertainment, Deb Greenway, 652-2044.
The attendance is estimated at 15,000. Maysville is located on the Banks and Jackson County line, four miles from I-85.
The festival is sponsored by the Maysville Community Improvement Club and the City of Maysville.

Bigger Lot Size Goes To City Council Monday
Ordinance Amendment Would Reduce Density Of Multifamily Developments. The Commerce City Council will decide Monday night whether or not it wants to drastically reduce the density of future multifamily housing developments.
One of the items that will be on its agenda when it meets at 6:30 at the Commerce Civic Center will be a recommendation from the Commerce Planning Commission to amend the zoning ordinance to require developers to put fewer duplexes, apartments or townhouses on each acre of land developed for multifamily housing.
The planning commission recommends that the lot size per dwelling unit be increased from 6,250 square feet in R-3 (duplexes) and 5,500 in R-4 (multifamily) to 10,500 square feet.
If the council agrees, that means a developer who could previously put an average of almost 6.5 dwelling units of duplexes per acre would in the future be allowed only four units (two duplexes) on an acre. Likewise, while a developer could squeeze 7.9 apartment or townhouse units per acre under the current zoning ordinance, the amendment would reduce the density to four units per acre.
The planning commission voted unanimously at its Aug. 27 meeting to recommend the change. No one appeared at its public hearing that night to oppose the amendment.
Increasing the amount of land required for multifamily housing will have the effect of increasing a developer's cost per unit and, in most cases, reducing the development's profit potential. That, in turn, is expected to slow down the number of rezoning requests for multifamily housing.
The city council will also make the final ruling on a request from Beverly and Warren Toney to rezone from R-2 to R-3 a one-acre lot fronting on Troy and Park streets so they can build a duplex. The planning commission recommended that the request be denied.

Jackson County history book now available
A new history of Jackson County is available for purchase beginning this week at The Jackson Herald in Jefferson and The Commerce News in Commerce. Taken from past issues of The Herald and The News, as well as numerous other sources, the book is designed as a complement to two previous county history books which are now out of print.
The book, titled "Our Time and Place: A History of Jackson County Georgia," was written mostly by Herald staff members Angela Gary and Jana Adams and edited by Herald editor Mike Buffington.
"We believe this book will be a welcome addition to the ongoing history of the community," said Buffington. "The book is written in a narrative style and follows the county's development from its birth in 1796 to current-day events."
The book begins with an early history of the county, including early Indian tribes and the first white settlers to the area. Unique to the book are sections on the history of African-American communities in the county and on the county's notorious "crime era" of the 1950s and 1960s.
"This is an unvarnished look at our history, good and bad," said Buffington.
Included in the book are histories of each of Jackson County's nine incorporated towns as well as information on earlier, unincorporated communities; a history of how cotton was important to the county at the turn of the last century; a section on how the Civil War affected the county; a list of early schools and churches; and much, much more.
The last county history published was "Historical Notes on Jackson County," printed in 1967 and written by Frary Elrod, the "father of Jackson County history." An earlier book by G.J.N. Wilson entitled "The Early History of Jackson County Georgia" was published in 1914. The new book incorporates some of the material from both previous books, but is mostly new information not found in the earlier editions.
"We hope both newcomers and long-time residents will better understand this county after having read through this book," said Buffington.
The book is available at The Herald office in Jefferson and The News office in Commerce for $23.50 (not including tax) and is also available from the newspaper's web site at
"We'll make the book available at other locations in the county in the coming weeks as well," Buffington said.
Libraries or schools wishing to purchase copies should contact Buffington at 706-367-5233 or by email at


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Nicholson Council Sets 'Work Session'
Thursday, Regular Meeting Monday. The mayor and city council of Nicholson will meet twice in the next week.
They'll hold a "work session" Thursday night at 7:00 and the regular September meeting Monday, Sept. 10. Normally, the council meets on the first Monday of each month, but that fell on Labor Day this week. The work sessions are held on the Thursday prior to the Monday meeting.
Both meetings are open to the public.
One item on the agenda is the resignation of city attorney Wanda David. In addition, the council will consider streets to be submitted to the Department of Transportation for its LARP paving assistance program, a request for a donation to the Jackson County Literate Community program and the appointment of poll officers for the Sept. 18 SPLOST referendum and the Nov. 6 city elections.
Nicholson will elect its mayor and four city council members in November. Qualifying is Sept. 10-13. Ronnie Maxwell is mayor. Councilmembers are Margaret Ward, Chuck Wheeler and Billy Kitchens. The seat formerly held by Thomas Gary is vacant.

Qualifying coming up for town elections
Town elections are planned throughout Jackson County on Nov. 6 and qualifying for the seats that are up for grabs is coming up soon.
In Arcade, the seats to be on the ballot include: Mayor, held by Doug Haynie, and the five at-large council seats, held by Ron Smith, Polly Davis, Tom Hayes, Dean Bentley and Cindy Bone.
Qualifying will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, Sept. 10-14. The qualifying fee will be $156 for the mayor's post and $18 for the council seats.
In Braselton, the mayor's seat and all four council seats are up for election. It will be the first time that the council seats are elected by district rather than at-large. The mayor's seat is now held by Henry Edward Braselton. The current council members and the district their seat will represent include: District 1, Bruce Yates; District 2, H.B. "Kit" Braselton; District 3, Pam Jackson; and District 4, Dudley Ray.
Qualifying will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Sept. 10-12. The office will be closed from noon to 1 p.m. each day for lunch. The qualifying fee for the mayor's post and each council seat will be $35.
In Commerce, the following seats are up for election on the city council: At-large Post 2, Archie Chaney; Ward 2, Donald Wilson; and Ward 1, Riley Harris.
Seats up for election on the Commerce Board of Education include: District 1, Arthur Lee Pattman; and District 2, Mary Seabolt.
Qualifying will be held Monday through Friday, Sept. 10-14. The qualifying fee is $81 for the city council seats and $18 for the school board posts.
In Hoschton, the offices up for election include: Mayor, held by Billy Holder; Post 1, held by Roslyn Clark; Post 2, held by Jan Buchanan; and Post 3, held by Joyce Peppers.
Qualifying will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Sept. 10-12. The office will be closed from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. each day for lunch. The qualifying fee is $15 for each seat.
In Jefferson, the following seats will be up for grabs on the city council: Mayor, Byrd Bruce; Ward 2, Marcia Moon; and Ward 4, Bosie Griffith.
Seats to be on the ballot for the Jefferson Board of Education include: Chairman, Ronnie Hopkins; Ward 2, Steven Hix; and Ward 4, Derrell Crowe
Qualifying will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday, Sept. 10-14. The qualifying fee is $216, mayor; $75, council seats; and $35, BOE seats.
Maysville will not be holding a city election in November.
In Nicholson, the mayor's seat and all four at-large council seats are up for grabs. The mayor's seat is now held by Ronnie Maxwell and the current council members are Margaret Ward, Thomas Gary, who recently resigned, Billy Kitchens and Chuck Wheeler.
Qualifying will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Sept. 10-12.
Pendergrass will not be having an election in November.
In Talmo, the Mayor's post held by Larry Wood and council Posts 3 and 4 held by Jill Miller and Trapper Brissey are up for election. For qualifying information, contact Dana Kinney at 693-2241. There is no qualifying fee in Talmo.
Those who are not registered to vote and would like to cast a ballot in the Nov. 6 election must register by Oct. 9. Polls will be open on election day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Meetings changed due to Labor Day holiday
Several local government meetings that were scheduled for Monday, Sept. 3, have been changed due to the Labor Day holiday.
They new meeting dates are as follows:
·the Jackson County Board of Commissioners will hold its work session meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 10, at the Administrative Building in Jefferson.
·the Nicholson City Council will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 10.
·the Hoschton City Council will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 10. The work session was held Wednesday, Sept. 5.
·the Maysville City Council meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 10.