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Letter to the Editor
Says columnist needs lessons in reporting
This letter is in response to Shar Porier's column on Wednesday,
October 3, 2001.
I fully support freedom of speech but irresponsible statements
by Shar in her column are evidence of her lack of experience
and youthfulness. Remember, Shar: "The pen is might'er than
Normally I don't respond, but...
To Mr. Sokowoski I would like to say, "Thank you."
You and the men, including my father, who fought in World War
II performed a great service. And for that you deserve honor,
as do all the men and women who have served in the military since
the beginning of our democracy.
Directions to Area Schools
Gordon says goodbye to softball
His name is synonymous with slow-pitch softball in Banks County.
"I look around and I don't know of any coaches that have
coached softball since it started at their school," coach
Mike Gordon joked. "It's been a fun process for me. I just
feel like I don't have the same energy level I had 20 years ago."
Jefferson rejects feed mill request
Mar Jac threatens legal action after council denies rezoning
The Jefferson City Council rejected a rezoning request for a
feed mill to be located off Holder Siding Road Monday. But Mar
Jac, the companay seeking to build the mill, isn't backing down.
Ho-Hum; No Comment As City Sets 16.3-Mill Tax Rate
After three public hearings in which only one question was asked,
the Commerce City Council officially set its 2001 ad valorem
property tax rate Monday night.
Convicted kidnapper escapes from Madison Co. jail.
A convicted kidnapper is on the loose after breaking out of the
Madison County jail early Tuesday morning.
Tate appears before Comer council
Former city clerk Elaine Tate had her say at the Comer City Council
meeting Tuesday night. Tate made it clear that she was not trying
to change anyone's mind.
The Banks County News
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056
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Learning to make wall pockets
Laura Yoder's fourth grade class at Banks County Middle School
learned how to make clay wall pockets during a class last week.
Commerce teen charged
in armed robbery
A Commerce teenager has been charged in the recent armed robbery
at the Waffle House at Banks Crossing.
Timothy Martin Fricks, 17, was charged Tuesday in the Sept. 27
armed robbery at the restaurant. A warrant has also been issued
for a second suspect in the armed robbery, Lee Murphy, 17, Anderson,
S.C. Murphy is being held in the regional development center
in Gainesville on other charges.
Banks County Sheriff Charles Chapman said the two were allegedly
involved in a group who are suspects in the armed robbery of
several Waffle House restaurants.
"Our investigators in solving the armed robbery here at
the Waffle House at Banks Crossing helped solve three more robberies
and two burglaries," the sheriff said. "The Waffle
House in Lavonia had been robbed by a part of this group."
A Waffle House in Clarke County and one in Gwinnett County were
also robbed by part of the group, according to the sheriff.
Fricks was arrested Monday at the residence where he was staying
after the sheriff's office received tips. The arrest also followed
a probe by the Banks County Sheriff's Office that led investigators
to Franklin County. The sheriff said Fricks has confessed to
the armed robbery.
"With the assistance of some concerned citizens who gave
tips and the investigative work by our own officers, the two
subjects are now incarcerated and charged with armed robbery,"
The two robbers were described last week by the victims as being
black males, but the sheriff said the two suspects are both white
males. They had their faces concealed during the robbery.
The sheriff said the two suspects will also probably face charges
in other counties.
and visitors bureau has full-time staff
Sherry Ward to serve as executive director; Bonnie Johnson to
serve as president. The Banks County Convention and Visitors
Bureau, which was formed several years ago, now has a full-time
Sherry Ward has been hired as executive director of the organization.
She will no longer be employed by the Banks County Chamber of
Commerce, where she had served as executive assistant. Ward said
the function of the convention and visitors bureau is to promote
tourism. The function of the chamber is to promote existing and
Bonnie Johnson has also resigned as president of the chamber
to serve as president of the convention and visitors bureau.
This position will reportedly not be paid, although Ward's will
The chamber has not yet named a new executive assistant or president
to serve its organization. The chamber's nominating committee
is reportedly compiling a list of nominees to present to the
chamber to fill these two positions.
Information as to where the office for the convention and visitors
bureau will be located and when the monthly meetings will be
held, along with other information, was not provided by Ward
this week following questions from The Banks County News.
In the monthly chamber newsletter, it was reported that the convention
and visitors bureau has "completed its independent incorporation
"As such, it will begin operating separate from the chamber
in October," the newsletter reads.
Alicia Andrews and Carolyn Harvel will lead the newly incorporated
convention and visitors bureau as co-chairs of the organization.
Former convention and visitors bureau chairman Dennis Robarge
resigned from this position as he has taken a new position with
the NBA in Roanoke, Va.
Johnson and Ward released this joint statement in the chamber
newsletter: "We both have loved working with the chamber
of commerce and will continue to work closely with the chamber
to promote Banks County. We've been a part of the CVB for the
past 10 years and are really excited to be a part of this new
phase of the Banks County CVB. And, with two strong organizations
such as the Chamber and CVB working together to promote Banks
County, we can accomplish twice as much for the betterment of
In the past, the county has provided the hotel and motel tax
from the Banks Crossing area each month to the chamber of commerce.
This money will now go to the convention and visitors bureau.
The chamber will continue to get the $20,000 the board of commissioners
budgeted for it next year.
The hotel and motel tax has ranged from $5,000 to $15,000 per
month in the past year. From June 2000 through July 2001, this
tax brought in more than $166,167 for the chamber. As stated
above, these funds will now go to the convention and visitors
bureau to promote tourism.
The convention and visitors bureau has not had an audit done
in the past few years, although leaders did recently release
a two-page financial statement for the years of 2000, 1999, 1998
and 1997. In 2000, the organization listed $78,026 in expenses.
The largest expenses were $21,757 for advertising and $20,370
for billboards. Other expenses include: $10,000 for a beautification
consultant; $10,424 for wages and expenses; and $5,200 for an
honorarium for Johnson (the total for the money given to her
in December was over $10,000).
Hudson Falls community
asks for bus service
Request denied until road is county maintained. The Hudson Falls
community won't see bus service in their neighborhood until the
county commissioners agree to make the road into the subdivision
a county road.
Ken Baker, president of the homeowner's association at the Hudson
Falls subdivision, told the board of education Monday night that
the entire community would like bus service.
"We don't have school bus service and we'd like to get the
bus rolling down the road to pick up our children," said
Baker said there are at least six kids in the neighborhood attending
Banks County schools and that more families with children are
moving into the area.
Superintendent Deborah White told Baker that the board could
not offer bus service to Hudson Falls because the road was not
"If and when you can get [the road] county maintained, we'd
be glad to send a bus down that road," said White.
Baker said that the road is privately owned and some of the residents
will not sign the 30-foot right of way over to the county. He
told the board that the few residents who will not sign have
no children and he doesn't feel like the residents will sign
the rights of way.
White told Baker that there is nothing the school board can do
until the road is county maintained.
Go to Banks
Public Meeting Dates
Auto Parts &
Retail Stores & Outlets
Raise in taxes
coming for Baldwin The first step in increasing
the tax rate for Baldwin residents was taken at Monday's meeting
as the council approved the first reading of the new millage
The council said the rate hike from 4.05 mills to 5.25 mills
would be necessary to meet budget needs of $1.622 million.
City attorney David Syfan said the city would run an advertisement
informing the public of the rate hike.
"Be prepared for phone calls," he told the council.
Public hearings, as required by state law, will be held Tuesday,
October 23, and Monday, November 12, at 7 p.m. in the council
needed for tribute
The advisory group for the "United We Stand" tribute
is seeking help and support.
Volunteer groups or choirs are needed to sing under the direction
of Jack Banks during the service on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 2 p.m.
at the Veterans Park in Homer.
The group also needs the names and rank of current military personnel
from Banks County and their parents' name in order to recognize
them during the program.
For more information, contact Clifton "Pete" Hill at
(706) 677-3314 or Janet Galloway at (706) 677-3275.
Jeffrey Jackson, 16, suffered head injuries from a one-car accident
on Hwy. 441 North just south of Homer last week. He was taken
to Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Jackson apparently lost
control of his truck and struck a street sign, causing the truck
to roll over, according to highway patrol officials.