Tues., Nov. 6
Georgia weekly newspapers
by the Georgia Press Association
Place A Classified Ad
Banks Legal Page
Banks Opinion Page
Send A Letter
List Your Business
Banks County Stats
to Area Schools
Sex Offender Registry
Go to Jackson County
Go to Madison County
me Aunt Angie
Preparing for the arrival of a new baby is exciting and hectic. There is the shower and all the preparation that goes into it. Then there is planning for, shopping for and decorating the nursery. Not to mention shopping for all of those cute little clothes.
Slap a name
tag on the new kid in town
Why must introductions be so formal? As a kid on the first day of school, everyone had to stand up and introduce themselves to the class. We had to state our name, age, where we were born and maybe something that made us a little different from the other 24 kids saying the same thing throughout the day.
Directions to Area Schools
Taking it to the hole
Leopards, Lady Leopards to begin season
After what could be seen as a down year last season, the Lady Leopards are looking to put together a successful team in 2001. And Banks County may just have the tools to do so.
Neighboorhood News ..
Jefferson may OK conditional use zoning
Jefferson residents wanting conditional use of their land in ways not congruent with their zoning may soon have a route to take.
The Jefferson City Council voted unanimously Monday night to give it the right to grant conditional use permits in residential zoning. The Jackson County Planning Commission will vote on the amendment at its December meeting. Then, the city council will have to approve the planning commission's recommendation before the amendment becomes effective.
BOE pushes for JMS
to open in Jan.
All the Jefferson Board of Education wants for Christmas is for its new middle school building to be ready when students and staff return in January.
Neighboorhood News ..
Health dept. offices to combine
Madison County will soon have only one county health department office.
Bioterrorism:Health official talks about need for local preparedness
The medical director of the Northeast Health District told Madison County Board of Health members that the country needs to be better prepared for bioterrorism outbreaks.
The Banks County News
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056
NEWS / ADVERTISING
® Copyright 2001
MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Copyright / Terms
Banks County firefighters Lt. Lee Burks, Mark Burks and John Hoyt put water
on the blaze that destroyed a mobile home on Rucker Road at about 8:00 a.m.
Thursday. A passer-by saw the smoke and called 911, but the structure was
totally destroyed when firemen arrived. A neighbor said it was the home of
Kenya and Nickie Rucker. The cause of the fire is unknown.
Proud to be an American
Patriotism ran proud and strong at the Veteran's Day ceremony
in Homer Sunday, even among the youngest in the crowd. 2-year-old
Montre' Callaway waved his flag as the gathering sang "The
Battle Hymn of the Republic."
Who will move the
Coroner, EMS in verbal brawl over who
will transport. An argument over who was responsible for the
removal of a body from a home earlier this month was the center
of another heated dispute during Friday's meeting of the Banks
County Board of Commissioners.
At issue was a demand by coroner Tommy Herbert that a Banks County
ambulance transport the body of Patrick Renshaw on Nov. 4 from
his home near Baldwin. Renshaw had been killed accidentally.
According to witnesses and a tape of 911 calls, the dispute began
after Herbert requested that a Banks County EMS unit transport
the body to a hospital to obtain a death certificate. Capt. Lori
Thomason, supervisor of the shift that day, told Herbert that
she couldn't use the ALS (advanced life support) ambulance which
was on the scene to transport the body, but that he could use
an older unit that was back in Homer for the transport. She could
not provide manpower for the transport, however.
Herbert apparently became angry at that point and began a verbal
barrage of disparaging remarks about the EMS staff as family
members of the deceased looked on. The altercation became so
heated that someone called Banks County E-911 and requested a
deputy come to the scene to restore order.
During the dispute, Thomason called fire chief Perry Dalton to
get clarification over who was responsible for transporting the
body. The call, which had been patched through the E-911 center,
was recorded and played during Friday's meeting.
"Listen, I've got a dead body out here that needs to be
moved," Herbert told Dalton after getting the phone from
Thomason. "Your paramedics are not going to tell me they're
not going to transport when I have jurisdiction over the body."
Herbert and Dalton argued over the phone for several minutes
about who was responsible for transporting the body.
"When I tell you to move a body, you better move it,"
Herbert said during the call.
When Thomason came back on the phone with Dalton, the chief advised
her to go ahead and transport the body "this time."
"He was threatening me with physical harm," said Thomason.
Dalton told her to later make a report about the incident, but
to "take care of it and get out of there."
At Friday's BOC meeting, Dalton and commissioners Pat Westmoreland
and Ernest Rogers requested that the incident be aired. But that
meeting also became a shouting match.
BOC chairman Kenneth Brady, whose wife is Herbert's sister, said
he believed the EMS should transport bodies from scenes. The
chairman also took Thomason to task for refusing to transport
"Since you're a shift supervisor, you should be able to
make a decision like that on your own. Like I said, that situation
should never have happened. It should have been taken care of.
The body should have been hauled. If you had a problem after
the fact, come in and talk to us. It was a very embarrassing
situation for Banks County as a whole, not just for the EMS or
the coroner. I feel like you should have handled that situation."
But Rogers and Westmoreland disagreed with that view.
"In the past, the coroner has been responsible for transporting
the remains," said Rogers. " And I don't mind changing
that. What I'm saying is the way it was handled is wrong. It
should have been brought to us back when the coroner's van was
Herbert said he brought it to the commission's attention. He
also said the van had broken down during transport. Barbara White,
deputy coroner, affirmed mechanical problems with the van, saying
it had caught fire three times.
Herbert said he understood the original agreement about providing
a van for transport included having it manned and brought to
the scene. He was not responsible for getting the van to the
scene, he said.
Rogers asked for a copy of the agreement, but Herbert said it
was a verbal agreement he had with former E-911 director Lisa
McClure. Herbert added that former commission chairman, James
Dumas, said it was not part of the coroner's job to transport
"And I'm here today to tell you I am not transporting any
more bodies," said Herbert. "Sometimes I have to stay
on the scene for an hour or more before I can even leave that
scene to do more investigation work. There's no use for a body
[to remain there]. You've got a $100,000 ambulance that you'll
run up and down the road to a grass fire, but you won't transport
a dead body?"
But EMS officials said using the ambulance to transport a dead
body would require a lengthy decontamination period and would
take the vehicle out of service.
Rogers brought up the E-911 tape that was recorded while Thomason
talked with Dalton. Herbert can be heard yelling at Thomason
while she tried to talk with Dalton.
The BOC meeting then turned into a shouting match with Herbert
and his family members, including Brady's wife, shaking fingers
and yelling about Herbert's status as an elected official and
that he is supposed to be obeyed.
Mrs. Brady pointed at Rogers and Westmoreland and yelled, "You
ain't even over him. The coroner is an elected official. She
(pointing at Thomason) is paid by the hour or by salary and her
butt can go out the door."
Rogers said Thomason had made the call to Dalton in order to
get clearance to comply with his request. "She says to you
- Tommy let me call Perry and get clearance. That's what's on
Herbert shouted, " should have been calling chairman Mr.
Westmoreland asked Herbert to be quiet as well as the family
members present in the courtroom.
Mrs. Brady yelled, "We are taxpayers. He was voted in by
the taxpayers. You don't say that."
Herbert threatened, "In just a few more months, it's coming
down the road for both of y'all." He pointed at Rogers and
Westmoreland and said, "You'll be out, and you will, too."
The meeting turned to chaos with the shouting of Herbert and
his family members. Brady asked for Herbert to calm down or leave
the courtroom. Herbert left.
Dalton said his department is willing to work with the commissioners
"I didn't come here to criticize Tommy," said Dalton.
"I think he has done an outstanding job as coroner.... But,
Tommy has never asked me to transport a body. I was never told
that we were supposed to transport bodies. As soon as I was paged
and found out the situation, I told her it was OK to transport
the body. My people work hard and they don't deserve to be treated
like this. We've worked with Tommy for years, and I'm really
surprised at some of the comments that have come out here today.
I'm not against Tommy, I consider him a friend. I will do whatever
I can to help him resolve this issue."
The BOC decided to establish a policy that would place the coroner's
van's maintenance under the fire department's responsibility.
The board also decided to compile a list of volunteers from each
of the fire districts in the county willing to transport bodies
who could be called. The volunteers would be paid on a per-call
basis with payment coming late in the year.
The architectural firm of Pieper, O'Brian, Herr has been chosen
by the Banks County Board of Commissioners to do the architectural
design of the county's new jail.
The commissioners sifted through potential firms and narrowed
the field down to three who gave presentations last Friday. Mike
Fisher, county administrative officer, recommended the county
go with the firm and the board agreed.
The fees are set on a per-site-visit basis at a cost of $184,500.
Commissioner Ernest Rogers said in two to three months the project
should be in the bidding stages.
Fisher said what sold the board was the presentation of a proto-type
that is almost exactly what Sheriff Charles Chapman had wanted.
The design will be similar to a jail the firm recently built
in Madison County at a cost of $3.175 million.
Go to Banks
Public Meeting Dates
Auto Parts & Service
Garden & Agriculture
Industry & Manufacturing
Personal Care Services
Retail Stores & Outlets
grant land to BOE
The City of Baldwin may grant some land
to the Banks County Board of Education if it can further its
quest for county water, according to Superintendent Debra White.
White told the board at its meeting Monday night that Mayor Mark
Reed had contacted her about donating land to the board for a
future school. She said she told him that no new school would
be built in the next five years, but that at that point, it might
be good to have an elementary school on that side of the county.
White said Reed wants to build a new subdivision, but there are
concerns about water.
"He knows the water will run up there, if we're up there,"
"Things are just in the talking stages right now. Reed will
get back in touch with me when things are more certain."
given for next weekThe Banks County News
will have early deadlines next week due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
The deadline for news will be at 5 p.m. on Friday. The deadline
for classified and display advertising will be 3 p.m. Friday.
The Banks County News office will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5
p.m. on Friday of this week. It will be closed from noon to 12:45
p.m. for lunch. The office will be closed on Monday.
The News will be printed a day early next week due to the holiday.
The paper will go to press on Tuesday night and be mailed on
Wednesday instead of Thursday. It will also be on the news stands
late Tuesday night.
The News office will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23
for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Still no property
taxes in Homer
The Homer Town Council agreed at Tuesday's meeting that there
are still no city taxes for residents.
The council again set the millage rate at zero, which means no
property taxes for residents. The action passed with no opposition
and virtually no discussion.
In other business Tuesday, the council expressed concerns over
unpaid water accounts by property renters. It was previously
determined that several people who were renting moved out and
new occupants took the place of previous renters without notifying
the city of the change.
The water bills were left unpaid, and the previous renters could
not be contacted, officials said. The previous renters have also
been neglecting to notify the new renters to pay their water
deposit bill at town hall, so the water would be cut off after
two months if not paid for, it was reported.
On another matter, Mayor Leon Ray recommended that the fire department
members drive around the streets at night looking for street
lights that are not functioning properly. It is important to
the council to have them repaired, since the town pays a rate
for each individual light, rather than electricity consumed,
In other business, the council:
·increased employee wages by five percent.
·heard Mayor Ray say he is looking for a licensed surveyor
to survey the land where the new town hall will be constructed.
He is also looking for grants to help fund the project and an
·agreed to hold a Christmas program on Saturday, Dec.
1, at 6 p.m. at the historic courthouse.
The Homer Town Council meets on the second Tuesday of every month
at the town hall at 6 p.m.