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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Nine area girls qualify for state track meet
Jefferson to send four individuals, one relay team. Region track meets concluded earlier this week, and nine area girls will be heading to Albany next week after finishing among the top two in their respective region events.
Roller Rolls On To State Meet
Anna Rollers stellar senior season will have one more chapter left in it.
Roller, whos been a dominant distance runner all spring long for the track Tigers, qualified Monday for the state track meet in Albany by placing second in the 1600-meter race at the girls Region 8-A at Wesleyan with a time of 6:00.
Neighboorhood News ..
Keeping it green
Meeting focuses on conservation subdivisions proposalKeeping the county green.
Thats the aim behind an alternative subdivision proposal which would allow tighter clustering of home lots in subdivisions as long as developers agreed to keep large tracts of land on the property undeveloped.
Nash urges total rec dept. expansion plan
Says focus shouldnt be just on newly acquired land
Madison County commission chairman Wesley Nash said he thinks the county should look at the entire recreation department when considering what to do with just over 30 acres of recently purchased property for recreation expansion.
Madison County Grand Jury makes recommendations
After touring Madison County school and government facilities and hearing reports from local officials, a Madison County Grand Jury made the following recommendations:
First through eighth graders tackle the CRCT
What is the range of 10, 10, 20, 30 and 40?
What verb best completes the sentence, The cat _____ fluffy?
All of the following are arthropods except....
Action for a Clean Environment plans
Mobile Chernobyl Caravan this weekend
The 16th anniversary of the deadly Chernobyl nuclear disaster is Friday-Saturday, April 26-27.
Radioactive fallout from the explosion at that reactor contaminated land, plants, animals and people hundreds and even thousands of miles away, Adele Kushner, Action for A Clean Environment leader said.
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Lee Chapman aka Perfectly Spicy was crowned as Miss Jackson EMC at a fund-raiser Friday night. All funds raised from the beauty pageant will benefit the American Cancer Societys Relay for Life. Other contestants were: Mike Nicholson, Andy Barnett, Scott Martin, Jim Smith, Ken Thomas, Tim Sweat, Larry Banks, Greg Keith, Scott Burley, John Whitmire and Roy Stowe.
Note payment due, but who will pay?
Water board chairman calls for an end to BOC sniping
A $150,000 note payment on Jackson Countys share of the Bear Creek Reservoir is due Thursday and that could lead to a showdown between the Jackson County Board of Commissioners and the county water and sewer authority.
With no water yet flowing, the authority has no income to make the payment. Last week, the authority agreed to borrow the money to make the payments, but only if the BOC adopted a resolution asking for the loan and guaranteeing payment. So far, the BOC has not met to discuss the resolution.
An intergovernmental contract between the authority and the BOC adopted in October 2000 states that the BOC is responsible for Bear Creek debt payments. Once water is available to sell, the authority plans to reimburse the county for that debt, but with no water yet available to sell, the authority has no funds to make the payment, said a spokesman this week.
From July 2001 through March of this year, the authority made the note payments for the BOC by using leftover SPLOST funds. That was apparently done at the behest of the BOC, but now several BOC members argue that it shouldnt have been done and have alleged the water authority mismanaged those dollars.
AUTHORITY ANGERED BY CRACE COMMENTS
That idea was apparently the source of some comments made last week by county manager Al Crace at a Leadership Jackson County meeting. A meeting of the water authority was called Tuesday to refute Craces allegations and to consider what further action the authority should take in its ongoing war of words with the BOC. The meeting was held at the behest of member Keith Ariail.
The board of commissioners and the county manager continue to question this boards ability to manage the water and sewer system, Ariail complained. He cited three individual cases, including last weeks comment, allegedly by Crace, that the spending of money had not been kept up with properly.
Ariail challenged the county to send Crace, the county attorney and county auditor to meet with the authoritys professional staff to end this now so we can move forward. If there are serious doubts about this authority, the professional people should sit down in this room and work it out, he said.
Authority chairman Elton Collins agreed.
There is an undercurrent all the time that needs to be put to an end, he said. It is not good for the people of Jackson County to hear this kind of sniping.
Last week, the authority drafted a resolution for the signature of the county commissioners agreeing to establish a $1 million line of credit for use in making upcoming bond payments on the reservoir. The resolution names several conditions, including the commissioners acknowledgment that the debt belongs to the county, not the authority, and that the county must pay it if the authority is unable to do so. On Tuesday, the authority added a further condition that it would not borrow more money if it is unable to repay the line of credit.
I think we have reached the end as far as borrowing money in the near future, Collins said.
Member Tom Crow shared Ariails hesitancy about borrowing money to fund a BOC obligation.
Instead of using our money paying their obligation, we should be putting pipes in the ground, he commented. Let us get back on track and let them take care of their obligations. Crow also lamented that the authority gets belittled by the commissioners for spending money to cover commission obligations at the commissioners request and challenged county officials to show some examples of board fiscal mismanagement.
Collins pointed out that the only deviations from SPLOST project plans were lines moved from one SPLOST project for another, good business decisions made when opportunities arose in SPLOST projects to serve more people and the addition of lines, pumps or tanks for hydrological needs.
He also defended the authoritys management, operation and spending, noting, for example, that if there were any fiscal management problems, the county auditor is duty-bound to report them. The auditor has reported none.
The commissioners have not taken it upon themselves to be updated and to know what is going on here, Collins added, holding up a sheaf of reports the authority has forwarded to the commissioners. We have the best leadership down here on a daily basis weve ever had.
Escapee caught after running from court Fri.
A Jackson County man appearing in State Court Friday escaped from custody and led officers on a chase on Hwy. 15 before wrecking.
Eric Keith Carter allegedly ran from the State Court auditorium and up Lee Street where he got into a car that had been parked in front of Regions Bank.
He was allowed to go to the bathroom and he broke from the officer, Sheriff Stan Evans said.
Carter was chased by officers onto Hwy. 15 toward Commerce where he reportedly ran a roadblock and crashed into a telephone pole. He ran to a nearby unoccupied home where he forced his way in, according to the sheriff.
The sheriff said several officers and investigators joined in the chase.
Everybody jumped in their car and took off, he said. One of the investigators spotted him at Hwy. 82 and 15 and gave chase...Two other investigators were near Hwy. 15 and they attempted to slow the vehicle by blocking the road. The driver lost control of his vehicle and wrecked and jumped out and ran.
The sheriff said officers chased Carter on foot to the home, but they heard a weapon being loaded as they approached the residence.
The homeowner was contacted and we discovered there were some guns in the house, along with some ammunition, that he had access to, Evans said.
The sheriff said Carter talked to officers on the telephone before giving himself up. He asked that his girlfriend be brought to the house. She was picked up in Commerce and taken to the home and Carter reportedly talked to her before surrendering.
He gave himself up without an incident, the sheriff said.
He was charged with escape, burglary and traffic charges.
The girlfriend, Kathy Jacobs, is being charged as an accomplice in the incident, according to the sheriff.
Pendergrass council member dies
Pendergrass city council member Joyce Wilkerson, 63, passed away Saturday, April 20, following a long battle with cancer.
Wilkerson, who has served on the city council for more than 11 years, was the mother of five children and step-mother to two step-children.
Joyce was sort of a mainstay of our council, said Pendergrass Mayor Monk Tolbert. She provided a lot of leadership.
The city council members, Tolbert said, will miss Wilkerson and extend their sympathy to her family.
With Wilkersons passing, Pendergrass city clerk Josephine Strickland is currently reviewing the citys charter to see how the vacant council seat will be filled, Tolbert said.
Tolbert said he believes the city wont hold an election until November to fill Wilkersons post, but Pendergrass officials should have a decision on the matter within days.
The Pendergrass City Council will hold its regularly-scheduled meeting Tuesday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m.
Riverdale man gets life for road rage
A Riverdale man was sentenced to life in prison last week for a road rage incident on I-85 last August that left a man dead.
Kenneth Augustus Mills Jr. was found guilty of felony murder, vehicular homicide, aggravated assault and failure to stop at an accident. He was sentenced to life in prison, which means it will be 14 years before he is eligible for parole.
The victim, Christopher Rober-tson, 38, Hampton, was driving north on I-85 toward South Carolina when Mills intentionally hit his car twice, according to reports. Robertsons vehicle left the road and overturned. He was killed in the wreck, while his wife and three sons, ages 17, 8 and 4, suffered minor injuries.
Robertson was driving in the passing lane when the incident occurred.
He wouldnt get out of the fast lane and then Mills hit him twice with his vehicle, forcing him off of the road, Jackson County Sheriffs Department chief investigator David Cochran said. He kept going. It is a clear case of road rage.
Mills didnt stop and continued on into South Carolina where he was stopped by the highway patrol.
Better Hometown meeting set May 3
The City of Jefferson Better Hometown program will have a luncheon meeting at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, May 3, at Mikes Grill in Jefferson.
Dale Jaeger of the Jaeger Company will present proposals regarding the master plan. The master plan will be presented at the Jefferson City Council meeting on May 9.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. and is held in city hall. Jaeger will also present the plans at this meeting.
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Jackson under summer burn ban
The Georgia Forestry Commission has announced a general burn-ban issued by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division for 45 north and middle Georgia counties, including Jackson, Banks and Madison counties, to be effective May 1 through Sept. 30.
Alan Dozier, GFC chief of forest protection, said burning restrictions are the result of changes in the EPDs rules for air quality control.
The basic reason for the ban is simply because smoke from outdoor burning heavily contributes to Atlantas air pollution, especially in the summer, Dozier said. Consequently, open burning in metro Atlanta and surrounding counties must be restricted.
According to the restriction guidelines, permits for outdoor burning in the designated counties will be suspended except for specially-approved types of burning including: fires for recognized agricultural practices, fires for recreational purposes or cooking, fires for training firefighting personnel and prescribed (understory burning) for timber stands in 26 of the 45 counties. Local GFC units should be contacted for burning-type confirmations. GFC and local governments will issue a limited number of permits.
Dozier emphasizes the primary role of the GFC during the restriction period is to protect life and property in the event of wildfire and provide advice on outdoor burning. Enforcement of restrictions is the responsibility of the EPD or their designated representative in the area; the EPD can also provide legal advice on various aspects of outdoor fire.
Jerry Presley to seek District 3 BOC seat
Jerry Presley has announced his intentions to seek the District 3 seat on the Jackson County Board of Commissioners.
Incumbent Emil Beshara has not announced whether he plans to seek re-election.
Presley is the only candidate so far to announce for the Aug. 20 BOC primary elections. Qualifying for the primary will be held from 9 a.m. Monday, July 29, through noon on Friday, Aug. 2.
Other local races on the ballot will include the District 4 BOC seat held by Tony Beatty, and three Jackson County Board of Education seatsDistrict 2 held by Tim Brooks, District 3 held by Kathy Wilbanks and District 5 held by Jill Elliott.
The state senate and house of representative seats and the governors post will also be on the ballot. The general election will be Nov. 5.
Presley, 28, is a single father of two boys, ages 3 and 5, living in the Jackson Trail community. He is employed as a transportation planner with the Georgia Mountains Regional Development Center, providing transportation related technical assistance and guidance to 13 counties and 38 municipalities in Northeast Georgia. Prior to this, he was employed as an assistant branch chief with the Georgia Department of Transportation. He has resided in Jackson County since January 1999. He moved to the area after completing his undergraduate studies in political science at the University of Alabama.
Small town communities have always been an important part of my life, Presley said. Most of my childhood was spent growing up in a small rural community in South Mississippi, one very much like Jackson County. It was during that time of my life that I learned the true meaning of community values, trust, respect and love for ones neighbor.
Over the years, I have found that small town communities provide the best that life has to offer. They have a much stronger community bond and provide a more hospitable, neighborly atmosphere. Communities in small towns stick together and work together in efforts that benefit the whole community rather than just a few folks. It was for these reasons that my family and I chose to live here in Jackson County.
Presley said that his love for the rural lifestyle and rural communities has molded and shaped his political philosophy. I grew up firmly believing in the values of Constitution of the United States and Ive become an avid supporter of the peoples right to sovereign authority over government, he said. I believe that its not the right or privilege of any government or any elected official to tell citizens how they should live their lives. Its not my place or any other persons to tell you what you want, what you need, or what is best for you in your life. Its not about what I want for you or Jackson County. Its about what you want for yourself and what we want as a community.