News from Banks County...

October 24, 2001


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OPINION
Phillip Sartain
In the zone

This is hard for me to talk about, but I have to do it. Everyone tells me I need to express my emotions at a time like this. But how do you tell a bunch of strangers that you just lost your best buddy?


Adam Fouche
Cell phones don't cause wrecks, singing does

People I see out on the streets come up to me all the time. Some of them throw money and gifts at me, but most just stop and talk.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Leopards heading into the mountains
Banks to take on undefeated Union County. The Banks County Leopards will have a long bus ride awaiting Friday evening.
The Leopards are traveling to Union County to take on the undefeated Panthers.


Neighborhood News...
JACKSON COUNTY
Hearing on landfill set for Thurs.
A public hearing on a request to locate a construction and demolition landfill in the county will be held Thursday.
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners will hear the request from Kelly Henderson and several other zoning requests when it meets at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Administrative Building in Jefferson.

Murder Suspects Turns Self In
Tuesday Afternoon

Frankie 'Chunk' Burns Charged In Drug-Related Slaying Sunday
The suspect in a shooting death that occurred early Sunday morning in Commerce surrendered Tuesday afternoon to a Jackson County deputy.


News from
MADISON COUNTY
County taxpayers feel the pinch
Mill rate up 19% in unincorporated areas.Taxpayers in unincorporated areas of Madison County will face a 19 percent tax rate increase for the county government.

School board passes 17% tax rate increase
Madison County's Board of Education adopted millage rates for the 2001 tax year. The Maintenance and Operations assessment is 16.94 mills, up 2.97 from the previous year, or 17 percent. The bond tax was set at 1.26 mills, a reduction of .33 mills from 2000.


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Firefighters extinguish tractor blaze

Banks County firefighters finish off flames that destroyed a tractor-trailer after the engine caught fire on I-85 north.

Gridlock on I-85
Tractor-trailer fire snarls traffic Friday afternoon.
A tractor-trailer fire on I-85 North Friday afternoon caused a back-up of traffic on the expressway for miles.
No one was injured.
Sean and Debbie Kennedy and their cat, Thumper, were traveling from Florida to South Carolina with a load of greens and eggs when the accident occurred.
"We were heading for a repair shop because the engine of the truck had been acting up," said Kennedy. "My wife noticed smoke coming from underneath the hood and I started to slow down to pull off to the side of the road."
Within seconds, he said, smoke began filling the cab and flames erupted from the hood.
"It got really bad and I told Debbie to get out of the cab," he said.
She said she jumped out and yelled at him to get out, too. But he replied, "Not without the cat." He searched the cab for their cat, reaching around on the floor behind him. Flames were coming inside the cab as he felt the soft fur of Thumper flattened to the floor in fear.
"I grabbed the cat and jumped out," he said. "This cat has gone with us on all our trips, I wasn't going to just leave him."
All three escaped without injury, though Debbie was shaking from the scare.
"You were supposed to get out," she scolded. "What was I supposed to do, lose you and the cat? Then where would I be?"
Their truck and all their belongings, including a small TV and refrigerator, were completely destroyed in the fire. A molten, smoldering mass lay where the truck had been.
Fire had broken through to the cargo they had been carrying and firefighters hosed down the cartons containing the eggs and greens.
As they stood watching the firefighters at work, a woman from Gainesville approached them and scolded them for holding up traffic. "It's hard to believe someone would say such a thing," said Debbie in tears. "We almost lost our lives in that fire."
Kennedy said they had decided before they left their home in Rochester, N.Y., to give up life on the road and that this was going to be their last trip.
"It's just too dangerous," she said. "People don't think about pulling out in front of you. And when you're carrying a load, it's hard to stop. It's hard on the nerves sometimes."



Commissioners to again seek bids on construction of two fire stations
The Banks County Board of Commissioners agreed Monday to throw out four bids on the construction of two new fire stations and seek new bids.
The four companies who submitted bids will be invited to rebid and other companies will also be allowed to submit bids, leaders said.
The four bids were discussed in depth at Friday morning's BOC meeting. County leaders said there was some confusion during the bid procession and the same procedure was not used by all who submitted bids.
Those who bid will be asked to attend a pre-bid meeting with county leaders and the architect.
In other business Friday, the BOC:
·received a contract from tax commissioner Margaret Ausburn from DTSI, the company which will collect back taxes for the county.
·agreed for fire/emergency management service director Perry Dalton to submit a bid for purchasing seven breath apparatuses from the City of Baldwin.
·agreed for Dalton to take bids for replacing a furnace at the fire station across from the courthouse and accept the low bid.
·agreed to a request from Billy Griffin concerning the paving of a portion of his road, Griffin Drive. Griffin will pave the portion of the road that goes from John Morris Road to his shop. He will fund the project, but the county will cover the costs of the base. County leaders pointed out that the county pays for the base for anyone who agrees to cover the costs of paving their road. It was pointed out that Griffin must meet county regulations since the county will be responsible for maintaining the road.
·agreed to seek bids for a new recreation director following the resignation of Barry Brooks.
·heard that a new accounting system has been set up for the recreation department, due in part to Brooks being charged with embezzlement last week. The funds collected at the recreation center will now be turned in daily and the county will match up all registration forms and fees. All checks for fees must also be made out to the county and not the recreation department, leaders said.
·held a pre-construction conference over the sewage plant expansion project at I-85, near the race track. Work on the project, by contractor Billy Griffin, was expected to begin this week and be completed within 240 days. The project, which will be funded with a $1 million loan and $300,000 grant, calls for increasing the capacity of the system from 70,000 gallons a day to 300,000 gallons a day.

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Beatty to run for lt. governor
Senator Mike Beatty filed papers last week with the Secretary of State forming a campaign committee that will allow him to raise funds for the 2002 lieutenant governor race.
Beatty was the legislative voice in the effort to ban video poker in Georgia during the regular session and the second special session of the General Assembly earlier this year.
Senator Casey Cagle has agreed to chair Beatty's campaign. Senator Tommie Williams will serve as treasurer of the campaign.

Red Ribbon Week marked in county
Red bows decorate county signs as part of 'drug-free' campaign
Red bows are being placed around Banks County by Family Connections and the sheriff's office in honor of the effort to fight illegal drug and alcohol use.
The eight-day national campaign is officially known as Red Ribbon Week. It runs October 23-31 and is supported by the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth (NFPDFY) and federal and state governments, said Robin Trotter, Banks County Family Connections director.
Trotter and Banks County Sheriff's Office resource officer Clint McCoy began putting the bows on county signs last week. At each of the schools in Banks County, bows are being placed on the flagpoles to bring the effort to the attention of the students.
"We want to do our part to stop drug, alcohol and tobacco use," said Trotter.
Red Ribbon Week originated in 1988 by the NFPDFY after the murder of a federal drug agent, Enrique Camarena, according to Red Ribbon Week organizers. He had been infiltrating Mexican cartels for four-and-a-half years before his true identity was discovered. Authorities say he was kidnapped, tortured, then murdered in 1985. His family and friends wore red ribbons to honor him. As word of his story became known, others began wearing the red ribbons. Today, millions of Americans wear the red ribbons to show support for the war against drugs, alcohol and tobacco, leaders say.