News from Jackson County...

November 7, 2001

Jackson County

Jackson County
Jackson County

Tues., Nov. 6

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.

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Elder 8th, Parr 18th in state cross country meet
For the first time ever, Jackson County Comprehensive High School was represented by two runners in last weekend's boys' state cross country championships, and both finished among the top 20.

Dragons can't capitalize on three turnovers
A week after dropping their seventh straight game to rival Commerce, the Jefferson Dragons will travel to Wesleyan Friday for a game that will determine the final two state playoff spots from Region 8-A.

Neighboorhood News ..
Comer mayor's race still to be decided William Burroughs will face Sue Carithers in a runoff in the Comer mayor's race Nov. 27.

Comer faces $30,000 shortfall
Comer faces a $30,000 shortfall in its 2002 budget unless changes are made, said outgoing mayor Chris NeSmith.
If revenues and expenses remain the same as 2001, the city will exhaust its reserves and go into negative financing.

Neighborhood News...
Election results in
Alto council seat decided by one vote. City elections were held in Alto, Homer and Lula on Tuesday with the closest race being in Alto where a council seat was decided by one vote.

CVB adopts articles of incorporation
Separation from chamber complete. The Banks County Convention and Visitors Bureau is now a separate entity as the board voted last week to adopt articles of incorporation.
The Jackson Herald
Jefferson, Georgia
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John Blackstock is shown voting in the town election Tuesday in the City of Jefferson. His son, Hart, went with him to vote.

Jefferson, Braselton get new mayors
Long-time mayors Bruce, Braselton fall to challengers.
Two long-time Jackson County political icons were defeated in town elections Tuesday.
In Jefferson, former councilman Jim Joiner defeated Mayor Byrd Bruce 545-226. Bruce has served as mayor for 26 years.
"I'm thrilled with the turnout and I'm thrilled with the response of all those who chose to vote for me," Joiner said. "It was overwhelming. I wasn't expecting such a sounding victory. I think it is just a call from the people saying they are ready for a change. I pledge to bring about change to the City of Jefferson that is going to be beneficial to everyone."
In Braselton, Patricia Graham won over long-time incumbent Mayor Henry Edward Braselton 322-190.
"I'm looking forward to working with the people of Braselton, the business community, the surrounding counties and the other council members to make Braselton a great place to live," Graham said. "I spent a lot of time meeting the people of Braselton and we have a lot of wonderful people who live in the town of Braselton and I'm very thankful for their support."
Braselton council member Pam Braselton Jackson was also defeated in the Post 1 council race by Elise Cotter 120-45. Councilman Kit Braselton didn't seek re-election.
The election results mean that for the first time in the town's history, a member of the Braselton family won't be on the city council.
In Jefferson, Ward 2 incumbent Marcia Moon defeated Bobby Patterson 93-33.
Nicholson Mayor Ronnie Maxwell defeated challenger James Kesler 159-118. Also in Nicholson, those elected to serve in the four at-large council seats were: Lamar Watkins, 217; Howard Wilbanks, 158; Paul Cartledge, 145; and Chuck Wheeler, 132. Other candidates were: Deborah Moore, 125, and Billy Kitchens, 107.
In Hoschton, Brian Boehmer defeated incumbent Roslyn Clark for the Post 1 council seat in a 100-68 vote. In Post 2, Benjamin Davis won with 70 votes, while Glenn Evans had 62 and Larry Stancil 59. In Post 3, incumbent Joyce Peppers won over Sandi Romer in a 102-84 vote.
In Commerce, incumbent Archie Chaney won the Post 2 council seat with 324 votes over Neal Smith, who had 193 votes. In Ward 1, incumbent Riley Harris defeated Oliver Pittman in a 116-72 vote.
In the Commerce Board of Education District 2 race, incumbent Mary Seabolt won over Curtis Stowe in a 71-33 vote.

Tues., Nov. 6

Maxwell Turns Back Kesler In Nicholson
Incumbents Chaney, Harris And Seabolt Win In Commerce; Jim Joiner Is New Jefferson Mayor.
Ronnie Maxwell was re-elected mayor in Nicholson, all Commerce incumbents won easily and Jefferson has a new mayor following Monday's municipal elections.
Maxwell held off Kesler 159-118 to win his first full term as mayor. Maxwell won a special election last December to fill the unexpired term of Steve Wilbanks, who resigned in September, 2000.
City council members elected in Nicholson included incumbent Chuck Wheeler, 132 votes, along with Lamar Watkins, 217 votes; Howard Wilbanks, 158 votes; and Paul Cartleget, 145. Deborah Moor had 125 votes, and incumbent Billy Kitchens, 107
Forty-nine percent or 270 of Nicholson's 552 voters participated.
In Commerce, 25 percent of the voters turned out, but there were no surprises. Incumbent Archie D. Chaney Jr. easily turned back Neal Smith, 324-193 for the at-large, Post 2 seat while Ward 1 incumbent Riley Harris beat back Oliver Pittman, 116-72. Ward 2 incumbent Donald Wilson had no opposition.
In the school board election, only incumbent Mary Seabolt had opposition and she crushed next-door-neighbor Curtis Stowe 71-33 to retain the District 2 seat. Arthur Lee Pattman was re-elected in District 1 without opposition.
Jefferson will get a new mayor. Former city councilman Jim Joiner defeated long-time incumbent Byrd Bruce, 545-229. In the city council race, incumbent Marcia Moon beat challenger Bobby Patterson, 96-33 in Ward 1 and incumbent Bosie Griffeth was re-elected without opposition. Approximately 33 percent voted.
In Braselton, Pat Graham defeated incumbent mayor Henry Braselton 322-190 and challenger Elise Cotter beat incumbent Pam Jackson 120-45 in District 3.

Talmo to place another bid on depot
The Talmo City Council announced Tuesday it will make a firm bid soon with the owner of the historic depot in a nearly decade-long attempt to purchase the depot as a city hall.
"We obviously have an interest in purchasing the depot," said Councilman Trapper Brissey. "We would like to make a firm bid with the owner at this time."
That bid, according to Brissey, would include a 30-day clause to hear back from the owner concerning a potential agreement. With the bid offer formally presented to the owner in a written letter within the next few days, the council expects to know something by the next council meeting Dec. 4.
Yet, before the council approved the bid, they met in a closed-door executive session for several minutes to discuss the details of the bid. Following the session, the council publicly stated the firm bid for the depot would be presented to the owner, but did not state for what dollar amount.
Also during Tuesday's meeting, Mayor Larry Wood said there is still little new business to report on the traffic light situation for the town.
Rep. Pat Bell, who has been working with the city council for a traffic light in the town's main street, told Wood Talmo would not receive a traffic light, but instead flashing lights, similar to those at the school.
In a conversation with Wood and a representative of the Dept. of Transportation in Gainesville, Wood told the council the DOT representative did not expect to install a traffic light in Talmo.
"His explanation was that they have lots of requests for traffic lights and they cause too much confusion," said Wood about the DOT representative.
"Hey, it's better than nothing," added the mayor about the possibility of flashing lights.
In other business discussed during Tuesday's meeting, the city council:
·announced it has hired a new librarian, Jackie Breltloard, who will start Wednesday.
·approved a motion of $400 to purchase a hardware system, with a printer, for a computer in the library. ECS Gainesville will install the system, which should be available by the end of the week.
· will investigate with Georgia Power the feasibility of stringing seasonal decorations from the town's light posts.
· approved a motion to add two street lights along the town's main street through downtown Talmo.
· determined the mayor would serve on the "Blueprint Jackson County 2020" commission starting this month, through next year. David Clabo, director of the Jackson County Planning & Development Commission, sent a letter to all municipality and county leaders recently, seeking representatives for the development of the comprehensive plan.
· reported the county spelling bee, which will be held Feb. 26, will encourage churches to sponsor teams in an effort to drive up attendance and possibly reduce the registration fee for participants.

Christmas in Braselton Nov. 8-11
The annual Christmas in Braselton events are scheduled for Thursday through Sunday.
A carnival is planned for all four days, including rides and food. Advance tickets for $10 will allow for unlimited rides on Thursday and Friday.
A parade will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, with Santa Claus featured. A live concert will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday at the school gym.
A car show will also be held Saturday, with registration from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Show judging will be from 1 to 3 p.m. and awards will be presented from 3 to 4 p.m.
For more information, contact Jan or Frankie at 654-3625.

BOC pledges money for WJ library
Piedmont Regional Board applies for library grant. The Jackson County Board of Commissioners agreed Monday night to join the effort to locate a new public library in the West Jackson area.
The BOC agreed to a motion by commissioner Emil Beshara to provide $125,000 from the county's contingency fund for the project, if the Piedmont Regional Library Board receives a state grant to construct the facility. Beshara said the total cost of the library would be approximately $1.2 million with local funds to be 10 percent and the remaining 90 percent to come from the state grant.
BOC chairman Harold Fletcher pointed out that West Jackson is the fastest-growing area in the county and that it is now being served by two small book depositories.
"It is long past due for that area to have a library that would adequately meet the needs of the people in that area," he said.
In other business, the BOC agreed to a motion from commissioner Tony Beatty to provide $15,000 to the Northeast Georgia Food Bank. This money will also come from the county's contingency fund.
In other business Monday, the BOC:
·agreed to ask the airport authority to develop a job description for a fixed base operator to serve the facility. Commissioner Sammy Thomason called for the action and said the airport authority should seek input from the pilots and others who use the facility as to what the requirements for the position should be.
·learned that Vickie Underwood has been named the new county warden.
·held a closed session to discuss personnel, land acquisition and pending litigation. No action was taken when the meeting was opened to the public.

Beshara: Animal control not on the 'back burner'
Jackson County commissioner Emil Beshara responded Monday night to reports in last week's paper that the animal control issue had been placed on the "back burner" by the county.
Beshara was responding to comments made by Bob Wells at a meeting of the Humane Society of Jackson County.
At Monday's BOC meeting, Beshara said he is moving forward with animal control and hopes to have the proposed ordinance ready for a vote by the BOC at the January meeting. He said the revised ordinance would likely be presented at a December BOC meeting. Beshara said he has met with several municipalities and interested citizens to receive input on the proposed ordinance and is modifying it.
"The process is ongoing," he said. "I have not dropped any kind of commitment to pushing this thing...nor has this board formally voted..I hope this (his remarks) gets as much newsprint as the other."
Beshara said that since funding will be tight next year, he expects animal control would have a "bare bones" budget to start with. He said the county is now receiving 16 to 18 animal-related complaints each week and law enforcement officers have no means to respond.

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Rabid Raccoon Attacks Dog In City
A Commerce woman's dog had to be destroyed in the sixth Commerce area rabies case of the year last week.
Because the dog was not inoculated against rabies as required by state law, the owner opted to have it killed rather than keep it under quarantine for six months, according to Jackson County environmental health specialist Shad Slocum.
The dog was on a run in the yard of its owner, Kasi Crews, on Land Way in Commerce, when it was attacked Wednesday by a raccoon it had treed in the yard. The owner pulled the dog to the far end of the run in the hopes that the raccoon would leave the tree and flee, but instead, the animal came down and attacked the dog, a large lab cross.
The owner managed to kill the raccoon with a large rock, but not before it had bitten the dog several times.
The animal was shipped to a state facility in Albany, which found it positive for rabies.
State protocol calls for either destroying exposed animals or keeping them in a quarantine for six months, Slocum explained. The quarantine involves construction of a roofed pen enclosed by another roofed pen.
Earlier this summer, two dogs had to be destroyed after they were attacked in their pen by a rabid raccoon on Minish Drive. Another rabid raccoon turned up on Georgia 326 at the Banks County line, but the dogs it attacked had current rabies shots and were not destroyed.
Also this summer, a rabid skunk was found on Dunson Cemetery Road, a rabid raccoon was killed (but no animals or people were exposed) on Harris Lord Cemetery Road, Slocum said, and a youth received post-exposure treatment after being nipped by a fox near Clayton Street.
Georgia law requires that all dogs and cats be vaccinated annually against rabies. In the event that an animal is not protected and is exposed to rabies, the state protocol calls for either killing the animal or the quarantine.
"Everybody's dogs were either vaccinated or they were older dogs and people decided to put them down," said Slocum. "People don't want to put up with that quarantine period."
Local veterinarians work closely with the health department to promote vaccinations, but Dr. Larry Meadows of the Commerce Veterinary Hospital estimated that perhaps as few as 25 percent of the county's dogs and cats are protected.
Slocum praised Meadows and other rural veterinarians.
"My hat goes off to Dr. Meadows and the other vets who work in rural areas and do the rabies clinics," he said. "There's no excuse (for not having animals inoculated)."
Slocum points out that rabies, once acquired, is always fatal, and this year a south Georgia man died from the disease, apparently contracted from bats in his house.
Locally, rabies shots cost about $10, less if the animal receives other vaccinations or treatments at the same time. In addition, every May Commerce Veterinary Hospital and the Jackson County Health Department hold a series of rabies clinics in 10 or more locations around the county. This year's clinic resulted in 1,600 animals getting rabies shots.

Britt calls for zoning moratorium
Jackson County commissioner Stacey Britt has called for a public hearing to discuss a possible temporary moratorium on new rezonings.
The hearing will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3, at the Administrative Building in Jefferson.
At this week's BOC meeting, Britt said he is concerned about lot splits that are not required to go before the commissioners for approval. The county's ordinance allows a property owner one lot split. These splits are handled by the planning office and do not require action by the BOC. The splits usually come in the A-R and A-2 zoning classifications.
Lot splits among family members are also allowed without action by the BOC. Britt said he is concerned about abuse of family subdivision splits and would like to discuss ways to control this. He added that he approves of property splits for families, but wants to ensure that this is not being abused.
Britt also spoke on concerns with hardship cases which allow adding a dwelling unit without changing the zoning for medical reasons.
Commissioner Sammy Thomason proposed a 90 day moratorium on all residential zonings until "emergency problems" with the zoning ordinance are corrected. This is one of the proposals that will be discussed at the Dec. 3 meeting.
But several members of the building community at Monday's meeting complained about the proposed moratorium. Shannon Sell, president of the Jackson County Builders Association, said the construction industry is important to the county and said that "shutting it down" for 90-days would hurt the industry.
Sell also spoke on a zoning moratorium several years ago imposed by the former commissioners.
"This game is being played with different players," BOC chairman Harold Fletcher said.
Developer Bob Wollaston also spoke on concerns about the construction business being shut down and said it would have a significant impact on the county. He said the county has enough "checks and balances" in place to address the concerns discussed by the commissioners.

Deadline for kids' photos is Nov. 23
The annual children's Christmas section will be published in The Jackson Herald, The Commerce News and The Banks County News on Wednesday, December 19. The newspapers will be accepting photographs of infants up to children 8 years old from these counties to include in the section through the November 23 deadline.
Black and white or color photos can be used, but no Polaroids or photographs printed out from a computer onto laser paper will be accepted, as they do not reprint well.
Please submit the following information along with the child's photo: the first and last name and age of the child, as well as the parents' names, their city of residence and phone number. The photos may be dropped off at or mailed to any of the newspaper offices before the November 23 deadline and may be picked up there after the publication runs in the paper.