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
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Tigers Outlast Georgia Military College
Clutch Defense, Clutch Drive Give Commerce 3-0 Win.
Commerce's 3-0 win over Georgia Military might not look pretty
in the scorebook, but for a team in the playoffs, it was a smashmouth
work of art.
Jefferson Jackson County: Time to play
Call it bad blood, hard feelings or just plain spite, Jefferson
and Jackson County just can't seem to come together.
JCCHS to host 8th Panther Invitational this weekend
Jackson County Comprehensive High School will host the 8th annual
Panther Invitational wrestling tournament Friday and Saturday.
Neighboorhood News ..
Brave new world
The threat of terrorism affects even rural communities like Madison
County. The threat of terrorism is affecting the lives of everyone,
even those who live in rural areas such as Madison County, according
to some local officials.
Supt. seeks district changes to keep BOE members from facing
Madison County school superintendent Keith Cowne is asking for
two minor changes in proposed county district lines to prevent
members of the current board from having to compete for a seat.
Lula residents speak against proposed Mar Jac feed
Second public hearing set on annexation, rezoning request.
Residents of Lula made known their fears about Mar Jac's proposed
feed mill at a public hearing Monday night. No action was taken
by the city council, but a second hearing was scheduled.
Baldwin takes no action on West Airport Rd. rezoning
A proposed planned unit development (PUD) rezoning on West Airport
Road in Baldwin has stalled.
The Baldwin City Council decided Monday night not to take any
action on a request to rezone 55 acres to PUD zoning.
The Jackson Herald
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056
NEWS / ADVERTISING
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MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.
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Three suspects in a bank robbery Monday in Jefferson
crashed near Hoschton after a high-speed chase. The car they
were in, shown above, is believed to have been carjacked in DeKalb
Al Crace named
Al Crace has been named the new county manager for Jackson County.
Crace's salary will be $95,000 annually.
The board of commissioners unanimously agreed Monday night to
hire Crace and he began work immediately. He joined the commissioners
at the table for the BOC meeting and participated in the discussion.
He was also at the Administrative Building early Tuesday morning
meeting with county officials.
Crace replaces Skip Nalley, who has served as the interim manager
since Jan. 1. Nalley was Jackson County's first county manager
and the BOC decided in October not to renew his contract. No
reason was given.
Crace comes to Jackson County after having served as the manager
in Gainesville and Athens.
"The opportunity to be the manager of Jackson County offers
much from my perspective," Crace said in his application.
"Because Jackson County is a rapidly urbanizing area along
the vibrant Interstate 85 corridor, it offers significant challenges
and opportunities in a number of positive ways. My experience
and training have provided me with a wide range of tools and
skills to work as a key member of the Jackson County team."
Crace served as the manager of the unified government of Athens-Clarke
County from 1995 to 2000 and as the city manager of Gainesville
from 1988 to 1995. He has also served as the city manager of
Rome, Waycross and Alma. He has a bachelor of industrial and
systems engineering degree from Georgia Tech. He is married and
has two sons.
Fletcher said that Crace was at the top of the list of the 37
who applied for the post and that all of the commissioners agreed
on his selection. He added that Crace will be moving to Jackson
County and becoming a part of the community. Crace now lives
"When we looked at those, one resume stood out above all
the others," Fletcher said. "That was the one from
Al Crace. We look forward to having Al on board and seeing Jackson
County move forward. Al brings to the table a great deal of experience
that I think will benefit Jackson County tremendously."
Crace was one of the top three candidates when Jackson County
city manager search to top three
The Jefferson City Council has narrowed its search for a city
manager to the top three candidates.
Jackson County's director of planning and development, David
Clabo, is one of the candidates. The others are Charles "Tony"
Hammond of Jacksonville, N.C., who is town manager of the resort
community of North Topsail Beach, N.C., and Albert Mitchell of
Athens, who is assistant facilities management administrator
for the unified government of Athens-Clarke County.
The city manager is expected to be in place by the first of January.
This will be the first time that Jefferson has had a city manager.
The action comes after legislation was created earlier this year.
bond in bank robbery
Suspects fire at deputies during high-speed chase.
Jackson County Magistrate Court Judge Billy Chandler denied bond
Wednesday morning for three suspects in the Monday bank robbery
at Community Bank and Trust in Jefferson.
The three suspects in the armed robbery are James Robert Hamm,
23, Tucker; Kari Ann Ross, 24, Monroe; and Barry Craig Smith,
30, Stone Mountain.
They appeared briefly before the judge in a preliminary hearing
in the State Courtroom in Jefferson. All three said they would
not need a public defender and would hire their own attorney.
They were dressed in orange prison clothing and had wrist and
ankle shackles on.
Ross was charged with armed robbery, party to the crime of aggravated
assault and theft by receiving. Hamm was charged with armed robbery,
aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,
possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and
theft by receiving. Smith was charged with armed robbery, party
to the crime of aggravated assault and theft by receiving. All
of the charges are felonies.
The suspects were to appear in federal magistrate court later
Wednesday. Their arraignment hearing in Jackson County Superior
Court will be at 9 a.m. on January 11. At this hearing, they
will appear with their attorney and enter a plea of guilty or
The three were taken into custody Monday morning following the
bank robbery and an ensuing high-speed chase through West Jackson.
In the chase, deputies were reportedly fired at by one of the
A fourth suspect, Brian Smith, who is the brother of Barry Craig
Smith, was taken into custody Monday night and is being held
in DeKalb County. Jefferson Police Chief Darren Glenn said he
is suspected of being the "lookout" in the bank robbery.
He is expected to be charged with party to the crime of armed
The four are also suspects in other bank robberies and car- jackings
in Georgia, according to Major David Cochran, chief investigator
with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department. He said numerous
other charges from those areas are also likely.
The Jefferson bank was robbed at approximately 10:30 a.m. on
Monday. The three suspects reportedly went into the bank with
guns drawn and dressed in all black and wearing masks. They pepper-sprayed
two employees in the bank, including one pregnant woman, Cochran
said. Neither women received serious injuries.
The suspects jumped over the counter, took cash from the drawer
and then left the bank, according to law enforcement officials.
A small amount of cash was taken in the robbery, according to
A woman at a neighboring business made the first call to law
enforcement officers when the three were spotted entering the
bank, Cochran said. A lookout was placed on the vehicle and a
Jackson County Sheriff's Department investigator, Kelly LaCount,
spotted the vehicle at the intersection of Hwy. 124 and Hwy.
11. One of the suspects reportedly fired at LaCount during the
high-speed chase. Cochran said LaCount was fired at five or six
times but neither h, nor his car was hit.
The chase ended on Hwy. 53 in West Jackson after the suspects
wrecked. A Barrow County law enforcement vehicle reportedly bumped
the suspects' car as it sped along Hwy. 53 near the Jackson-Barrow
County line. Cochran said a "pit maneuver," a trained
technique to disable vehicles, was used. He said the three suspects
were taken into custody without further incident.
Jefferson police chief Darren Glenn and officer Jon Ward from
his department were reportedly at the bank within "90 seconds,"
but the suspects had already left. Glenn and the officer headed
toward Barrow County and were at the scene when the crash occurred.
"We appreciate the work of the county deputies and the Barrow
County Sheriff's Office and the job they did," Glenn said.
As many as 12 law enforcement vehicles were involved in the chase.
Inside the vehicle, automatic weapons, cash, two-way radios,
pepper spray and bullet-proof vests were found.
"We were very fortunate not to have some of our officers
hurt," Cochran said.
The vehicle used by the suspects was reportedly stolen from DeKalb
County Sunday. Cochran said all three have a previous record.
Hamm has a very lengthy criminal record, including theft and
assault charges, according to reports. Smith has a history of
simple battery charges, which were dismissed. Ross also has a
previous charge filed against her.
A fifth suspect was arrested Tuesday night in connection with
another bank robbery the gang is suspects in. This bank robbery
occurred Oct. 12 in Stone Mountain. This man is not a suspect
in the Jefferson bank robbery.
Tax assessor board
appeals three rulings of board of equalization
The Jackson County Board of Tax Assessors has filed an appeal
in Superior Court over three recent decisions by the county's
board of equalization.
The appeals were filed because the tax assessor board disagrees
with the value of the property being lowered. The board of tax
assessors is seeking a jury trial in the cases.
"The value was dropped so much that the board of assessors
disagreed," county tax assessor Cathy Johnson said.
The appeals filed at the Jackson County courthouse state that
the value given to the three tracts is not equal or comparable
to other property in the area.
The appeals are on decisions of the board of equalization concerning
property owned by Michael and Deborah Housworth on Berea Road
in Commerce, Steven and Deborah Donaldson in Quail Crossing in
Hoschton and Walter Cook.
At least one of the cases deals with the board of equalization
combining two tracts of property for the evaluation. County leaders
say this is not allowed under state law.
County leaders are also concerned that the actions of the board
of equalization are threatening the overall accuracy of property
evaluations in the county.
"The state wants us to try to be as close to 40 percent
as possible (on overall property evaluations)," commissioner
Emil Beshara said. "Before the board of equalization started
fooling around with this, they were at 40.3 percent and now they
are down to 38.2 overall. Once we get down to 36 percent, we're
back in trouble again."
Beshara said all of the work the county has done on property
re-assessments is being compromised by the board of equalization.
"The board is appointed by the grand jury and they answer
to nobody," he said. "They also don't have to give
any justification for their decisions while the tax assessors
have to give reasons."
Members of the board of equalization are: Yvonne Wilkes, Tom
Crowe, Sammie Rucker, Jerry Fletcher, Willie Hughey and Pat Hodsdon.
Members of the board of tax assessors are: Bill Dundore, Edna
Sell and Alan Parks.
Goes To The Philippines For Nurses
BJC Medical Center is going abroad to help solve its perpetual
shortage of nursing help.
The authority, which operates BJC Hospital and Nursing Facility,
voted Monday night to spend $70,000 to recruit seven nurses from
"It is our first attempt in recruiting foreign nurses in
some years," explained administrator David Lawrence.
The money goes to the recruiting company and will be repaid by
the nurses, who are guaranteed to be available for three years.
Lawrence explained that it could take as long as a year to get
the nurses aboard; but they could also be available as early
"We can go back and stagger them (additional nurses) if
they turn out to be the quality people we think they are,"
Assistant nursing director Maura Cobb recently flew to the Philippines
to interview the prospects. The facility selected 10, with the
hopes of getting seven of them into the States. Two of the nurses
would work in the hospital and the rest in the nursing home.
All are RNs.
More than 20 years ago, BJC tapped the Philippines for nurses.
The small contingent that arrived in Commerce was generally well-received.
BJC Medical Center, like medical facilities all over the country,
has struggled to keep a full nursing staff. It has spent a lot
of money recently on more costly "agency" nurses to
In a somewhat related move, Charles Stills, administrator of
the nursing facility announced that Nancy Warner, the nursing
director for the nursing facility, had resigned. Darleen White
has been named interim nursing director and the facility is accepting
applications for the permanent position.
"We were aware some months ago (that Warner might quit),
but I had hoped she would stay. She was very well qualified,
I think. She just got burned out," Lawrence said.
In other business, the authority voted to borrow $690,000 for
30 days. This is the facility's obligation to the Georgia Indigent
Care Trust Fund; the good news is that when the trust fund pays
out, BJC Medical Center will receive a total of $1.38 million,
exactly doubling its money, according to Tommy Patey, chief financial
For the current year, the facility's obligation (and return)
to the trust fund was $390,000.
The authority also:
·approved the expenditure not to exceed $225,000 to replace
monitors and the telemetry for the monitors in the intensive
care unit, emergency room and northeast wing. The wireless devices
will enable staff to monitor patients wherever the patient may
be in the facility. Six of the units will go in the ICU, two
in the emergency room and four in the northeast wing. There will
also be a central station.
·heard Lawrence announce that the average daily hospital
census for October was 12.4 patients and Stills report that the
census in the nursing home was 161, with three more admissions
expected this week.
Go to Jackson
Public Meeting Dates
Auto Parts &
Retail Stores & Outlets
Galilee Preschool Flyer
Parade Set Sunday At 2:30
Commerce will officially open its Christmas season Sunday when
the Commerce Area Business Association and the Downtown Development
Authority hold their Christmas parade.
Two high school bands, floats, a group doing precision maneuvers
with shopping carts and Santa Claus riding on the city's antique
fire truck will be among the 30 or more entries. The parade begins
"I've got 22 confirmed entries, but it's going to get bigger,"
said Jan Nelson, executive director of the DDA and coordinator
of the event. The deadline for entry is Friday; Nelson will be
out of town, so contact Terry Minish at Jay's Department Store
(335-4300) for an entry blank.
The theme is "City Lights," in tribute to Bill Anderson's
first country music hit, which Anderson wrote in his room at
the Andrew Jackson Hotel (now Community Bank and Trust) during
a stint as a disc jockey at WJJC. Anderson, a member of the Country
Music Hall of Fame, puts on the City Lights Concert annually
Judges will award $300 to the first-place entry, $200 for second
and $100 for the third-place entry.
Groups wishing to be judged for the prizes should be at the staging
area at Commerce High School by 1:00, Nelson said. All entries
should report to CHS, entering at the entrance by the tennis
courts. Use of the Commerce Presbyterian Church parking lot is
not available this year, due to a church function.
The parade will travel down Lakeview to Jefferson Road, turn
right, then left onto Washington Street. It will turn right on
Elm Street and proceed south to the First Baptist Church of Commerce,
where it terminates. Refreshments will be available for participants
at the church.
Kids' photos for
Christmas edition due Fri.
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
through 5 p.m. Friday to be published in the section.
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 and may be picked up there after the publication runs
in the paper.
BOC set to kill
New group to be created with new members. A major shake-up in
the Jackson County Planning Commission is planned for Monday
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners plans to take action
at its meeting Monday to abolish the planning commission, according
to those close to the matter. The BOC then plans to re-create
the board and appoint its own members by district. The terms
of service of the planning commission members and other changes
are also likely.
The BOC meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday in the Administrative
Building in Jefferson.
Commissioners to again discuss moratorium
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners will hold a public
meeting to discuss a possible temporary moratorium on new zoning.
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday in the State Court
auditorium at the Administrative Building in Jefferson.
The public hearing will be followed by the monthly work session
of the board of commissioners.