News from Banks County...

JUNE 26, 2002


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OPINIONS
Shar Porier
Planning the attack
When you have three acres to mow, time seems to stand still. Now, I know some people might just grab the earphones and listen to music or the radio to pass the time. But, I prefer to let my mind wander.

Roshelle Beckstein
Curl up with a good book
I had been waiting for weeks for the book to come. With my fast-pace life always doing, doing, doing, I ordered it one morning while I checked email.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Leopards using summer to bulk up
Though its summer for most, some Banks County athletes are taking advantage of the time off to bulk up.
“We’ve got to get bigger,” junior football player Tim Brown said. “Our team is too weak.

Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
Sales tax shortfall
Past year brings dip in local sales tax proceeds.What has happened to revenue produced by the three cents (on the dollar) of local sales taxes in Jackson County?

‘Lights’ Concert Draws Biggest Crowd Ever
The sixth annual City Lights Concert drew the largest crowd so far last Friday night. Country music superstar Vince Gill, Commerce’s favorite son Bill Anderson, Ray Price and George Lindsey played to the closest thing Tiger Stadium has had to a full house since the 2000 Class A state football title.

Residents file lawsuit over zoning decision
A group of Jackson County residents have filed a lawsuit against the board of commissioners over the rezoning of property on Jackson Trail Road for a 121-home subdivision.


Neighboorhood News ..
MADISON COUNTY
Negotiations continue on jail completion
Firm to formulate ‘remediation plan’. With the building of a new jail halted due to faulty construction, county leaders are negotiating a plan to get the project completed — and done right.

Colbert prepares for July 4th parade
The city of Colbert is preparing for its annual “Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration” on Thursday, July 4.
Colbert’s Canna Run, a 5K and one-mile race, will begin at 6:30 a.m. at the Colbert Elementary School. The 5K run will start at 7:30 a.m. and the one-mile walk will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Johnson Jr. to run unopposed for BOE seat
Arlen Johnson Jr. will run unopposed for the District 2 post of the Madison County school board.
Qualifying for the District 1 and 2 seats on the county BOE, as well as the county magistrate’s post, concluded Friday, with Johnson the only candidate in his district. Elaine Belfield did not seek re-election to that position

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Potters donate crockery

The ten potters at the second annual North Georgia Potters Festival donated a piece of their work to be raffled off to benefit fellow potter, J.H. Perdue. Pictured are: (not in order) Dwayne Crocker, Michael Perdue, Steve Turpin, Jeff Standridge, Wayne Hewell, Lynn Craven, Todd Hewell, Wilford Dean, Brian Wilson and Melvin Crocker.

Busted!
Officers seize $89,500 in drugs, cash money. Two men and a woman face multiple drug charges after officers seized an estimated $77,000 in suspected cocaine and marijuana.
Banks County Sheriff Charles Chapman said officers from the sheriff’s office, Northeast Georgia Narcotics Task Force and Georgia Bureau of Investigation served a search warrant on a storage unit at the intersection of Dodd Road at Hwy. 164 Wednesday, June 19.
The officers found seven pounds of marijuana, 13 ounces of crack cocaine and nine ounces of powdered cocaine. Chapman said the drugs have an estimated street value of $77,000.
Afterwards, Chapman said the three agencies also searched a Timberlane Street, Homer, home, leading to the arrest of the three suspects.
Several vehicles and more than $12,500 in cash were seized at the home.
Leonardo Gabriel Steeple, 24, Homer, was charged with trafficking cocaine, trafficking crack cocaine, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, felony possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
“This was a good bust for us,” Chapman said. “This guy was a major pusher and supplier in this area.”
Also charged after the search warrants were: Howard Ray Brown, 48, Cornelia, possession of cocaine, and Monique Reoun Rucker, 26, Homer, felony possession of marijuana.
As of Monday morning, Chapman said all but one of the suspects had made bond over the weekend.

BOC holds first public hearings on budget
Friday’s board of commissioners public hearing on the budget yielded little public input.
The budget stands at just under $7.9 million. BOC chairman Kenneth Brady said he did not anticipate the board having to raise the mileage rate this year.
Brady said the BOC would not set the tax rate until the tax assessors office finishes the tax digest. He was unsure when the digest would be ready.
Only two citizens were at the meeting to look over and ask questions about the new budget.
Lou Sokowosi asked about contingencies in the budget for emergencies. Brady said $100,000 had been budgeted
Tanger general manager Mark Valentine asked about funding for the chamber of commerce and about funds for a proposed advertising campaign joint venture with Jackson County.
Brady explained the chamber funds came from the non-divisional account. He said the board had not voted on the advertising campaign but expected to discuss it at a meeting and public hearing Friday in the courthouse conference room.
At last week’s meeting the BOC also:
•approved the Boy Scout’s request to build a storage building at the Uchee Lodge at the county farm.
•agreed to allow Alpha and Omega, the county’s ambulance billing service, to file paperwork with the Magistrate Court to collect bills that were more than six months overdue.
•agreed to abandon a portion of Beasley Road, also known as Old Echols Road, from Janet Varner’s property to the Franklin County line.
•agreed to abandon Old Short Road and maintain Mince Road from W. Ridgeway Road to a new private drive called Thompson Drive.
•tabled action on approving the purchase of a new mower for the recreation department. Recreation department head Trey Donaldson wanted to make his proposal in front of all three commissioners. Commissioner Ernest Rogers could not attend Friday’s meeting.
•agreed to reduce the public health budget by $35,000 and place the funds in contingency to use for animal control expenses. Brady said the county has a contract with a Habersham County man to remove stray animals.
•heard from commissioner Pat Westmoreland who stated that he would like to put curbs and gutters and a sidewalk on Thompson Street when the county and the state get ready to pave and straighten the road. He said he did not think the county would have to pay any more money for the project.


Nine qualify for August 20 primaries
Five candidates will be vying for board of commissioners seats this fall.
In BOC post two, incumbent Ernest Rogers and Sara Yarber Cross both qualified as Democrats. Ricky Cain qualified as a Republican candidate.
For BOC post three, incumbent Pat Westmoreland will be the only Democratic candidate. Former school board member Don Shubert will run for the post as a Republican.
In the board of education race, incumbent Bo Garrison qualified as the only Democratic candidate in post five. No one will run on the Republican ticket.
For BOE post three, Rob Boswell qualified as a Democrat. Republicans Ben Ramsey and Wylene Parson Boyle also qualified for the seat.
The primaries for each party will be held on August 20.
The General Election will be November 5.



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Alto reinstates outdoor water ban
The town of Alto has announced a total ban on outdoor water use until further notice.
The town is reportedly experiencing water problems from the drought.
Leaders say no outdoor use of water is permitted and a fine will be imposed for anyone caught washing cars or watering grass and gardens.


Early deadlines next week
The news and ad deadlines for next week for The Banks County News have been moved forward due to the July 4 holiday.
The deadline for news will be at 5 p.m. on Friday. The deadline for classified and display advertising will be at 3 p.m. on Friday. The BCN office will be open until 5 p.m. on Friday, June 29. The office will close at noon on Monday, July 1, and be closed all day on Thursday, July 4.


Planning commission to meet July 8
The Banks County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m., Monday, July 8, in the superior courtroom at the Banks County courthouse.
Items on the agenda include:
•a request from James Wheelus Jr. for a conditional use permit to move a 1993 manufactured home to Rattletrap Road. This property is zoned ARR, Agricultural, Rural-Residential.
•a request from Chad and Sabrina Johnson for a conditional use permit for a deer processing cooler as a home occupation at 974 Ga. Hwy. 105. This property is zoned ARR, Agricultural, Rural-Residential.
•a request from Barnes’ Quality Signs for a variance to construct an 85 foot on-site sign at 157 Steven B. Tanger Blvd. This property is zoned C-2, General Commercial.
•several ordinance amendments.
The Banks County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on these matters at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9, in the superior courtroom at the Banks County courthouse.