News from Banks County...

December 12, 2001


Banks County
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OPINIONS

Letter to the Editor
Maysville resident demands tax audit of Jackson County finances
Dear Editor:
Just look who is crying—Cathy Johnson. Complaining about the so-called equalization board members for going against her wishes. I certainly did not hear of any complaints from her about the equalization board when she tripled my taxaes in 1999 and 2000.

Kerri Graffus
Whatever happened to the ‘cool’ Christmas gifts?
Remember when you were a kid how excited you were throughout the night on Christmas Eve?


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Banks to begin subregion schedule
There will be no time for play for the Leopards this weekend.
Banks is slated to open its subregion schedule with Greater Atlanta Christian School Friday and host rival Commerce the next night in two games the Leopards are sure to take seriously.


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
Five indicted on murder charges
Five people were indicted by a Jackson County Grand Jury last week with murder. Another man was indicted for vehicular homicide and the three people charged with the recent robbery of a Jefferson bank were also indicted.

Panther Creek woes continue in Hoschton
Is it a pump design flaw? Are the lines too small for the pressure of a 29-house subdivision? Or maybe the plat is wrong?


Neighboorhood News ..
MADISON
COUNTY
BOC votes no on business licenses
There’s no requirement for a license from the Madison County government to operate a business in the county.
And county commissioners voted to keep it that way Monday.
The board voted 3-2 against implementing a business license in the county.

A friend for those in need
Local pastor collaborates with doctor on counseling ministry
Charity begins at home for evangelist, minister and pastoral counselor Jon Ainbinder of Colbert.


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Taking time to stop and pray

Zach Shirley portrayed a guitarist drawn to the manger scene by angels Kellie Cheek and Lauren Reiselt, in the Christmas show presented by the youth of Homer United Methodist Church. Similar Christmas programs are being held at churches across Banks County. See the church page for information on upcoming events.


Saving a life
Two students, bus driver recognized by BOE for saving the life of local woman
Two students and a bus driver were honored by the Banks County Board of Education Thursday night for saving the life of a local woman.
Superintendent Deborah White began to cry as she related how two students, Jamie Rednour and John Sadzman, and bus driver, Sandra Roberts, saved the life of a fellow student’s mother.
“The mother didn’t pick up her students from school on Monday afternoon and apparently a missing person’s report was filed that night,” she said. “On Tuesday, Jamie [Rednour] and John [Sadzman] saw the vehicle in a ravine as the bus passed by it. They told the bus driver and Roberts called the bus office. Then the bus office called 911. When [911] got there they had to cut [the woman] out of the car. Apparently the car was in a position that the only way to see it was if you were traveling in a vehicle that sets high off the ground, like a bus.”
White said the woman, whose name she didn’t release, was due out of the hospital on Friday or Saturday.
Rednour, Sadzman and Roberts were given good citizen certificates.


Statham man charged with armed robbery at Zaxby’s
A Statham man was charged in the armed robbery Saturday of Zaxby’s at Banks Crossing.
Timothy Edward Adams, 40, was charged in the incident after an investigation by the Banks County Sheriff’s Office.
A man was in the office of the restaurant around 5 p.m. on Saturday when the manager took a cash drawer in, according to Sheriff Charles Chapman. He reportedly had a knife and took cash from the drawer before leaving the restaurant. He reportedly made the manager go outside with him and then let him go.
Chapman said officers were at the restaurant in a matter of minutes. He said they gathered information from the manager and another employee and identified the suspect. The sheriff said a warrant had been taken for Adams in connection with the incident when he was involved in a car wreck in Clarke County. Chapman said Adams is also a suspect in several armed robberies in Clarke County.
Chapman said that after Adams wrecked in Clarke County on Sunday he allegedly didn’t stop and was involved in a chase with the Athens law enforcement officials. He said Adams then allegedly hit another vehicle and jumped out of his car and ran. He was apprehended by Clarke County.
He said that Adams had a knife with him when he was apprehended and it matches the description of the knife used in the robbery, a 10 to 12 inch hunting knife.
Adams is being held in Clarke County on armed robbery charges and other violations from the wreck. He is also facing the Banks County charges.
Chapman said a Banks County investigator talked with Adams in the Clarke County jail and he confessed to the Banks County armed robbery.


Griffins given probation for assault charges
Billy Griffin and his sons, Bill Griffin and Wesley Griffin, were given probation for assault charges stemming from an incident in which a teenager was shot in the ear.
The three were given 12 months probation which is to be terminated after they each pay a $700 fine. The sentence came after a mistrial was first declared in the trial. District attorney Tim Madison said the mistrial was declared after a juror allegedly made “improper remarks” in front of the other jurors.
Madison said that after the mistrial was declared, both sides sat down and agreed on the sentence.
Billy was charged with battery and two counts of simple assault. Bill and Wesley were charged with two counts of simple assault.
The incident they were on trial for last week involve the charges filed against the three men for allegedly injuring a boy they found on a piece of their equipment that was parked at the roadside.
When these charges were filed, Sheriff Charles Chapman said: “The equipment was parked just off the roadway. The boy had apparently got up on the machinery and started it up. There were weapons brandished. He got his ear shot. I think it was permanent damage. He’s a young boy.”
The three were also cited in another altercation, but charges are expected to be dismissed in this case. In this altercation, which occurred in December of last year, the three men allegedly severely beat a man suspected of taking two to three quarts of oil from their building.
Madison said the charges against the Griffins will be dismissed and the theft charges against the victim are all expected to be dropped.
Just prior to the trial getting underway in Banks County last week, a warrant was taken against Billy Griffin by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department with criminal solicitation and threatening to kill someone. These charges stem from Griffin allegedly threatening a witness in the earlier cases filed against him.


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Rec. board to be named by commissioners
16 applications taken for director’s position.The Banks County Board of Commissioners is looking into naming a new recreation board with one of its first duties being to review the 16 applications for the vacant director’s position.
The matter was discussed at the BOC meeting Friday morning and the commissioners had planned to name three representatives each at Tuesday night’s meeting. However, at that meeting it was announced that the city attorney will look into the matter before any action is taken.
If a new board is created, one of the first tasks will be to review the 16 applicants for the director’s position and interview the top candidates. The board would then make a recommendation to the BOC on who should fill the position. The commissioners would take final action on hiring a director.
The recreation board would serve in an advisory capacity only and make recommendations to the BOC on other matters. It will serve as a “go-between” for the BOC and citizens, according to the commissioners.
There has been a recreation board in Banks County in the past, but it has not been active. The terms of all of those serving last expired in 1996.


Baldwin, Demorest councils meet behind closed doors on water issue
The city councils of Baldwin and Demorest and their respective attorneys met behind closed doors Thursday to discuss the water treatment plant that supplies water to both cities and other customers.
Negotiations as to when and how Baldwin will begin operating the water treatment plant were done in a closed session at the recommendation of the attorneys of both cities.
At the end of the meeting, Baldwin Mayor Mark Reed said: “We have a mutual agreement not to talk to the press about the plant. There are some details that need to be worked out.”
The Banks County News contested the reason for the closed session, but was told via letter from Baldwin city attorney David Syfan the city still had a case pending, and therefore had reason to close the session to the public and the press.
“It involves a discussion of possible settlement of this pending litigation, and is hoped that this discussion will result in a potential settlement to resolve the outstanding matters,” he stated.
Baldwin won a suit obtaining the right to take over operation of the water plant currently run by the City of Demorest.