News from Banks County...

JULY 10, 2002


Banks County
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OPINIONS
Angela Gary
Glad so many criminals are
not very smart
A lot of criminals are stupid...and I’m glad.
You always hear true stories about bank robbers who go to the bank where they do business to rob it. A friend of mine was working as a bank teller years ago when a man she went to high school with came in to rob the bank.

Phillip Sartain
Middle school is all about spit
When I think about my middle school career, one of the first things I remember is spit. Nasty brown spit all over the sidewalks between the school building and the trailers.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Summer cheerleading camp coming up
The Banks County High School cheerleaders and the recreation department will be sponsoring the annual cheerleading camp July 29 through August 2.
Sessions will be held Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Camp will be open for girls who will be in first through eighth grades next year and will be held at Banks County High School.


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
Man wanted in South Jackson murders arrested in California
A man wanted in the murder of a South Jackson couple has been found in California driving the vehicle that belonged to the victims.
Jackson County Sheriff's Department chief investigator David Cochran said that David A. Hodges was arrested in California Saturday.

School year will start without spring test results-CRCT, Stanford 9 scores delayed
It may be two months after school starts before local educators have results from the spring CRCT and Stanford 9 testing in hand.

Braselton’s moratorium lifted Tues.
Braselton should begin booming once again when it hears annexation and rezoning requests in August.


Neighboorhood News ..
MADISON COUNTY
Rec board dismayed with reprimand
Madison County’s recreation board voiced their dismay Monday with a recent reprimand issued by county commissioners to recreation director Dick Perpall.

Complaint alleges Ralph Hudgens isn’t
legitimate candidate
A complaint filed with the Secretary of State’s office alleges that Senate District 47 hopeful Ralph Hudgens is not a legitimate candidate because he doesn’t actually live in the 47th district.

Man shot by deputy booked into county jail
An Ila man, shot last Thursday by a deputy during a domestic disturbance call, was recovering from his injuries enough to be booked into the Madison County Jail around mid-day Tuesday.

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Waved flags

Milinda Dalton, Banks County Emergency Management Agency Director, her brother Jeff, Jessica Haggard and her son, two-year-old Tristan Haggard, came to the 4th of July celebration with flags to show their patriotism.

Armed robber hits Banks Crossing motel
At approximately 7:40 p.m. Monday evening, a man walked into the Hampton Inn at Banks Crossing and robbed a clerk at gunpoint.
Banks County Sheriff Charles Chapman said the man had a handgun and left the scene with less than $400 cash.
Authorities are still searching for the suspect.
Chapman described the man as approximately 5’9” tall and weighing 170 pounds. He was wearing small-rimmed sunglasses, a dark-colored hat with a brim and a dark-colored shirt. Chapman said he is black and had an afro, “like from the 1970s.”
Chapman said the man left the motel on foot and may have had a getaway vehicle parked nearby. However, he said investigators were unsure whether the man had any transportation.
He said officers converged on Banks Crossing quickly and searched the area for several hours but were unable to locate the suspect.
The sheriff’s office is still investigating the robbery and investigators are studying a surveillance tape from the motel lobby.
Chapman said a man fitting the description of the robber was seen walking around the truck stop earlier Monday afternoon. The man witnesses saw had a gun under his belt, Chapman said.
Later Monday night, a man was spotted around the truck stop that matched a general description of the suspect, Chapman said.
“We’re not sure if it was the same guy,” he said. “If it was the same guy, he had changed his outer garments.”
Chapman said officers searched the area for several hours but did not find the man.
“We are going to do everything in our power to get this guy,” he said. “We don’t need those kind walking the streets.”
Chapman added that the man may be transient and may never be in the area again.


Doug Cheek named new Homer mayor
Doug Cheek, a Homer town council member, was named mayor on Tuesday following Sandra Garrison’s six-week term as mayor pro tem.
Garrison, who has been serving as mayor pro tem since Leon Ray’s death on May 28, said she wanted to continue to serve in the role.
“I have said in the past that I am interested in filling the mayor position,” Garrison said.
She then called for any motions for mayoral candidates.
Council member Larry Whitfield motioned for Cheek to serve, which was seconded by Betty Borders.
Garrison asked Cheek for his comments on the motion.
“Well, I was thinking about that and it would be really easy to say that I don’t have time...everybody is busy,” he said. “But everybody’s got the same amount of time as the next person.”
Cheek then continued to say his family has lived in Homer for generations and that he would be honored to accept the nomination as mayor.
Last month, council member Bobby Caudell called for the decision on filling the mayor position to be tabled. At Tuesday’s meeting, he motioned for the nomination process to be closed, which was seconded by Borders.
Cheek’s appointment was unanimously approved; Garrison didn’t vote.
Sometime this week, Cheek will be sworn into office for the remaining three-and-a-half year term. His vacant town council seat will be filled later, when a list of potential candidates is prepared. The town council voted unanimously to table the issue until next month.
CODE ENFORCEMENT BOARD
Also on Tuesday, the Homer Town Council voted to adopt a local code enforcement board that will hear and decide potential code violation cases.
The code enforcement board has the authority to enforce all town ordinances and resolutions, such as zoning ordinances and litter control.
Town attorney Gary Freeman told several potential board members last week that they will not bring their neighbors to the board for potential violations. Instead, town engineer Calvin Smith will act as a prosecutor and will present the alleged cases to the board. Freeman will serve as advisor.
“You’re actually both judge and jury,” Freeman told the potential members.
But during the council meeting, several concerns were raised about potential board members and their connection to the city.
Council member Caudell asked Freeman if there was a conflict if board members were already being paid by the city.
One of the proposed members is routinely paid by Homer for automobile repairs, Garrison said.
Freeman said he wasn’t certain of a potential conflict, but warned it might be safer to name other members to the board.
In separate motions, the city council named the code enforcement board’s five members and their terms. They are: Doug O’Neal, two years; Faye Reynolds, two years; Betty David, four years; Janice Freeman, four years; and Robin Trotter, four years.
Rickey Blackwell and Bobby Blackwell, who were listed as potential board members, were not named to the body.
The board will meet when needed.
OTHER BUSINESS
In other business, the Homer Town Council:
•heard from Freeman about tabling a decision for a month on several zoning ordinance amendments, such as accessory building requirements and language for signs.
•voted unanimously to re-appoint Danny Mason and Max Sanders to planning committee for one-year terms.
•heard from Borders about community invitations to Homer’s Fourth of July BBQ. Borders asked who was invited and whether the event is open to the public. Garrison and town clerk Carol Ayers explained the BBQ has only been open to members and their families of the town fire department, planning committee and city council. The BBQ cost $720 this year and fed about 80 people, Ayers said.


Ivey wants water for western
citizens
Harold Ivey is worried he won’t get county water any time soon.
Ivey spoke before the Banks County Board of Commissioners Tuesday night asking the commissioners when the county would provide water in the western end of the county along Hwy. 51 near Lula.
“I think its time you move up to that end of the county,” Ivey said.
Board of commissioners chairman Kenneth Brady said the county has plans to put water in that area.
“We are not ignoring it,” Brady said. “Eventually it will get to you.”
County commissioner Pat Westmoreland added that the county has already done the engineering work on a water loop in the Antioch Road area and has preliminary engineering work on two water tanks planned for Yonah-Homer Road.
“We have it in the plans, we just don’t have the money right now to do it,” Westmoreland.
Ivey was unsatisfied.
“I’ve been hearing this for 12 years,” he said.
He added that he is worried that Lula’s plans to extend a water line loop into Banks County near Antioch Road would cause the county to ignore that area.
“I think you are creating a situation where 100 homes will be out of water,” Ivey said.
Westmoreland assured Ivey that the county has plans to build more water lines throughout the county with sales tax money as soon as the jail is built and paid for and the planned fire department improvements are finished.



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BOC, Baldwin reach fire contract deal
After more than a month of negotiations, Banks County and Baldwin have struck a deal on fire service.
The board of commissioners accepted a $27,000 contract for service during a meeting Tuesday night.
Commission chairman Kenneth Brady and commissioner Pat Westmoreland voted in favor of the contract. Ernest Rogers voted against the contract.
Brady said the county is planning on building a new fire station north of Hollingsworth during the next year and warned Baldwin that the county probably would not renew the contract next year.
Baldwin councilman Ray Holcomb told the BOC that even with a new fire station, there may still be some areas the county could not adequately cover.
“I think the city would be willing to work with you on that,” he said.
The BOC had tabled the contract two weeks ago.
OTHER ITEMS
Other action the BOC took Tuesday included:
•approved alcohol licenses for China One and Ruby Tuesday, both restaurants at Banks Crossing. Rogers added that he would like for the county to begin doing background checks on anyone applying for an alcohol license.
•authorized Brady to enter contracts to accept a $15,000 state grant to design health services for senior citizens and a $20,000 grant for a new senior citizens van. Rogers urged the senior centers to purchase a low-profile van that would fit under the canopy at the center.
•approved a contract with the Georgia Department of Corrections for a prison work crew from the I.W. Davis Correctional Institute.
•approved contracts with Legacy Link for the nutrition program and transportation at the senior center.
•approved a contract with the state department of transportation for public transportation assistance in the county. Brady added that any citizen could get public transportation for a “reasonable fee” by calling 677-6200.


Don Shubert recovering after massive heart attack
Banks County Board of Education member and board of commissioners candidate Don Shubert is recovering in an Athens hospital after a heart attack over the weekend.
Banks County school superintendent Deborah White said Shubert was playing tennis Saturday when he began having chest pains.
He was taken to BJC Medical Center and later transported to Athens, where he underwent surgery to remove a 75 percent blockage in an artery.
White said he appeared to be recovering well from the incident and was expected to return home Tuesday.