News from Banks County...

September 12, 2001


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OPINION
Angela Gary
Pets bring smiles and laughter

She suddenly takes off in hot pursuit of a small yellow butterfly. She jumps and twists in the air in her quest to get the small colorful thing flying by her.

Shar Porier
A writer afraid to write?

There it sits. My Christmas present from my nephews. I feel bad I haven't done anything with it yet. They were so happy when they gave it to me. "We picked it out just for you, Aunt Shar." And it was a great gift.



SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Lady Leopards fall to Washington-Wilkes, to face Elbert
After an area loss to Washington-Wilkes last week, the Banks County Lady Leopards will look to get back on track this week.


Neighborhood News...
JACKSON COUNTY
Two men from Jackson at WTC during attack
Two men who grew up in Jackson County were in or near the World Trade Center Tuesday when it was attacked by terrorists flying commercial airliners into the buildings. Both men are reportedly safe, said family members.

Waste Management Wins Contract
Starting in January, a new company will provide residential and light commercial garbage pickup service in Commerce.
Accepting the recommendation of city manager Clarence Bryant, the city council voted Monday to enter a five-year contract with Waste Management.


News from
MADISON COUNTY
County reacts to national tragedy
Downtown Danielsville was unusually quiet Tuesday afternoon, as many stayed home or in their offices, glued to their televisions and radios as the unprecedented terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and other American government buildings unfolded.

BOC denies request to reverse work stoppage order
The Madison County commissioners unanimously agreed to stick to a work stoppage order on a manufactured home on Hwy. 106.
J. Stuart Teague Jr., an attorney for Classic City Homes, asked commissioners to reverse a work stoppage order issued by the county on a manufactured home on Hwy. 106 for Brenda Witcher.


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SPLOST-FUNDED PROJECT

The new Banks County High School facility was funded in part by money generated in the SPLOST initiated in 1997. If the next SPLOST is voted in on Tuesday for Banks County, the funds would be used for a new middle school, as well as renovations and improvements at other county schools.

Voters go to the polls Tuesday
SPLOST on the ballot.Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to cast their ballot on renewing the one-cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) for education.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at voting precincts across the county.
The SPLOST referendum calls for a maximum collection of $16 million over the five-year time period.
The SPLOST currently in place for education was initiated in March 1997 and it produced over $6.25 million. That revenue was dedicated to pay for construction of the new high school.
In an effort to relieve over-crowding, a new middle school would be constructed with funds from the next SPLOST, according to Deborah White, school superintendent. Also planned are additional elementary school classrooms and renovations and improvements to existing kindergarten through eighth grade facilities. Completion of the athletics complex at Banks County High School is also included in the plans, she said.
"Currently, 14 mobile units are being used for classrooms and the number will continue to increase with growth in the student enrollment and with smaller class sizes," White said. "All available permanent classroom space in grades K through 8 is being used.
Space designed for other purposes is being used for classrooms, she added, and some classes with smaller required class sizes are sharing a room.
"We have two classrooms with two teachers in them," she said. "With the addition of a ninth kindergarten teacher this past week, two Reading Recovery teachers are sharing space at Banks County Primary School. The only way to relieve the overcrowding is through addtional classrooms."



New 911 signs arriving at planning office
The new 911 number signs are arriving and being prepared.
New homeowners will receive a 911 sign with their permits at the Banks County Planning Office. Current residents in the county will be able to purchase one by either calling the non-emergency number at the 911 center (677-1234) or purchasing one at the Banks County Planning Office.
In addition to the complete sign package, residents may also purchase the decals only if they may need to display the number in a second location. This is offered for those residents that have more than one structure on their driveways and for those who post their mailbox in another location. This is needed for everyone to be in compliance with the 911 numbering resolution, director Deidra Moore said.
The complete sign package is $11.50. Decals for an extra house number are $2.04 per address. A single decal may be purchased for 34 cents each if a decal is torn and needs to be replaced.
Moore said that the public needs to post these numbers to aid units in finding their residence when there is an emergency call for help.
"Too often, the units have delayed arrival time because they can't find someone when the number isn't posted or isn't posted properly," she said. "At night, an emergency driver's vision is limited and thus the need for reflective numbering large enough to see. Another problem arises when there is more than one residence on a driveway and neither home is marked; it becomes a guessing game.
"In emergencies, there is no time for guessing. The minutes wasted in attempting to locate someone may mean the difference between life and death! Please do not wait until an emergency arises to realize your numbers aren't posted. Let 911 and emergency officials know where you are so they can quickly and efficiently get you whatever help you may need. Again, don't wait until it is too late. Are your numbers posted? Can we find you quickly? Please help us to help you."


Chamber president injured in wreck on Hwy. 441
Johnson, another woman injured. Banks County Chamber of Commerce president Bonnie Couch Johnson was injured in an accident last Wednesday when she failed to yield right-of-way and was struck by an oncoming car. The accident occurred in Baldwin.
According to Baldwin police reports, Johnson was traveling across old Hwy. 441 to enter traffic heading north on new Hwy. 441. Johnson's 1999 Ford Explorer was struck by a 1997 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck driven by Sandra Diane Watts, Cleveland. Johnson's Explorer left skid marks 129 feet long after impact, according to one report.
Joe Roy, Baldwin fire chief, said the vehicles had collided in such a way as to cause both drivers' doors to stick. The doors had to be "popped" to free the occupants for treatment, he said.
Both women were injured in the accident and transported to Habersham Medical Center.
Watts suffered chest injuries and is in stable condition at Habersham Medical Center.
Johnson was transferred to Lanier Park Hospital in Gainesville, say hospital authorities. She sustained three fractures in her arm, according to Sherry Ward, chamber executive assistant. Johnson was released from Lanier Park on Monday, hospital officials said.
Baldwin officer Jonathon Morris said Johnson would be charged with failing to yield right-of-way.


Country music concert at BCHS to benefit band booster club
Country music star T. Graham Brown will be in concert this weekend in Banks County. Joe Olds' Smoking Joe Band will also perform.
The concert is planned for 7 p.m. Saturday, September 15, at the Banks County High School auditorium. Funds raised will benefit the band booster club, with proceeds to go toward band uniforms. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. They are available at the high school, 677-2221, or from Willene and Mike Boyle, 677-4200, or Dennis Shirley, 652-3064.

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Video poker ban initiated by Sen. Beatty passes state House.
A video poker ban initiated by Sen. Mike Beatty of Jefferson passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives last week.
Beatty thanked his fellow legislators for passing the ban that he has pushed for since last fall. He has been a proponent of eliminating the machines used for illicit gambling for over a year. When Beatty took office in January, he offered a series of bills and worked to eliminate the machines in Georgia. Since that time, he has been joined in his efforts by a number of senators and representatives and by the governor.
"This is a great day for Georgia," Beatty said when the legislation passed. "When good people stand firm for what is right, mountains will move and justice will prevail. Today, Georgia won out over special interest groups."
Beatty said that a year ago most legislators were not aware of the problems presented by illicit video poker gambling and how it was moving into Georgia.
"But since that time, the people of Georgia raised their voices to their elected officials," he said. "The families and people of our state have won a battle against special interests and we are better for it."



Blood drives to aid terrorist attack victims
The terrorist attacks reported Tuesday have led to a flood of calls to area hospitals and medical centers from area residents about donating blood.
There was already a blood shortage in place before the crisis and it is expected to get worse, according to Oscar Weinmeister of BJC Medical Center. Several area blood drives are planned in coming weeks, including the following:
·Thursday, Sept. 13, 1 to 6 p.m., St. Albon's Church, Monroe.
·Thursday, Sept. 13, 1 to 6 p.m., Young Harris Memorial United Methodist Church, 973 Prince Avenue, Athens.
·Thursday, Sept. 13, 1:30 to 7 p.m., St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, 3195 Barnett Shoals Road, Athens.
·Friday, Sept. 14, 2 to 7 p.m., UGA Administration, east campus, animal sciences building, corner of River Road and College Station Road.
·Monday, Sept. 17, 1:30 to 6:30 p.m., Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 498 Prince Avenue, Athens.
·Tuesday, Sept. 18, 1 to 6 p.m., UGA Wesley Foundation, 1196 South Lumpkin Street, Athens.
·Wednesday, Sept. 19, 1 to 5 p.m., Walton Electric Membership Corporation, 2499 Pannell Road, Monroe.
·Friday, Sept. 21, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., UGA College of Education, south campus, Aderhold Hall.
·Monday, Sept. 24, noon to 5 p.m., UGA Army ROTC, central campus, Memorial Hall, Athens.
·Tuesday, Sept. 25, 1 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25, UGA Brumby Community, Brumby Hall, Baxter Street, Athens.
·Tuesday, Sept. 25, 1 to 6 p.m., Trus Joist, Colbert, Hwy. 72, Colbert.
For more information on blood drives, call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE.