News from Banks County...

OCTOBER 2, 2002


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OPINIONS
Zach Mitcham
There are photos we need to keep
A photo never changes.
Well, actually, it does. It changes as we do.
A seventh grader’s yearbook shot is one thing during his seventh grade year. It is quite another during his 70th year.

Kerri Graffius
Technology and apologies
Technology, lately, has been a source of apologizes for me.
When we all started surfing the Internet and using personal e-mail accounts several years ago, many people thought it was the “revoluntary” way to keep in touch with friends and family members. Instead, it has made us into a bunch of slackers—and I’m sorry for that.

Frank Gillespie
Expect flag to have impact in governor’s race
The question is, “What effect will the flag fight have in the November elections?”
The answer appears to be, “More than the liberal media are willing to admit.”

Zach Mitcham
There are photos we need to preserve
A photo never changes.
Well, actually, it does. It changes as we do.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Leopards looking for win at home
Banks County football coach Greg Moore believes his team is doing what it must to be successful—it’s just got to get better at doing it.


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
Planning commission denies industrial rezoning for Possum Creek Properties
A rezoning request for an industrial development on Wayne Poultry Road was denied by the Jackson County Planning Commission Thursday night.

WJ couple killed in murder-suicide
A Jackson County couple was found in their Braselton home Tuesday afternoon after an apparent murder-suicide.

Teen pleads guilty to murder
A Jackson County teenager pled guilty Thursday to the September 2001 murder of Juana Gonzalez, 38, Jefferson.

‘Partnership’ Talks To Continue In Nicholson
NICHOLSON -- As part of what the Nicholson City Council called "a partnership" with the newly-appointed Nicholson Water Authority, city leaders began voicing some of its specific concerns dealing with the future of the water system in a called meeting Monday night.


Neighboorhood News ..
MADISON COUNTY
‘Vanishing
Charlotte Bond remembers the day she took the old photo of Madison County farmers in front of their mules to Jennie V. Williams’ birthday party.
She asked Mrs. Williams, who lived to be 106, if she recognized the only black man in the photo.

DOT offers update on Madison Co. projects
The Georgia Department of Transportation is planning four projects in Madison County over the next three years, according to DOT spokesperson Terri Pope of Gainesville.

Murder case on Oct. 8 court calendar
The case of Hope Bertha Buie, the former Colbert resident accused of killing her infant son, is one of 75 hearings on the criminal trial calendar set for Madison County Superior Court next week.

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ALL BOARDED UP

For the second time in just two months, boards cover half of the windows on the store front at Golden Pantry. A man driving a truck crashed through the windows when his throttle got stuck. No one was injured, though the store was closed for several hours and hundreds of dollars in merchandise was damaged.

Car drives into Golden Pantry, again
When a car drove into the Homer Golden Pantry in early August, store manager Bonnie Thompson was shocked.
But the same thing happening a second time in the same spot was even more shocking.
Thompson said she was talking to a milk delivery man when she heard squealing tires and a crash.
“I said ‘what was that,’” Thompson said. “I looked in the back of the store and said ‘Oh my Lord, not my window again.’”
For the second time in as many months, a car had jumped the sidewalk and crashed through the large windows near the left side of the store.
Banks County Sheriff Charles Chapman said a man driving a new Ford F-150 SVT Lightning was pulling into the parking lot when the throttle stuck, sending him through the store front.
No one was injured, but Thompson said a lot of merchandise and a large portion of the building were damaged.
“It was worse than last time,” Thompson said. “I was closed for four and a half hours. I lost all of my two liter Pepsi and Mtn. Dew, a bunch of beer and 12 packs of soda and a lot of oil.”
Thompson said she was just glad the truck hit the store and not any customers.
She also said she has become a little more leery of cars coming into the parking lot.
“Yesterday, a guy was coming in kind of fast,” she said. “I heard squealing tires and I found myself wanting to jump out of the way. It’s scary. It really is. You don’t know if it’s coming through the window or not.”


Teen night club, game room could be coming
Banks Crossing may soon get a night club for teens and a game room to go with it.
The Banks County Planning Commission voted 2-1 Tuesday to approve Michael Bramonte’s conditional use permit for a game room at 113 Frontage Road (formerly Georgia Gold). Bramonte’s plans for a teen night club do not need approval since it is a permitted use in C-2 (general commercial) zoning.
Ed Lindorme and Alicia Andrews both voted in favor of the application. Sammy Reece voted against it, with no explanation.
The matter will come before the board of commissioners next Tuesday night for final approval.
The issue that drew the most questions, however, was not the conditional use permit but the use permitted under the property’s current zoning—the teenage night club.
Bramonte explained the club would be open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. with age limits between 13 and 20 years old.
Bramonte said he is concerned with kids going out and partying around the county.
“If I can get them in there, I can control them,” Bramonte said of his planned night club.
The night club and the game room will be two separate businesses with no shared entrance, Bramonte said. His security staff would also check IDs of those coming in to the club to prevent overage adults from interacting with the children at the club, he said.
He also said hanging out in the parking lot, hanging out in cars or cruising will not be allowed.
“They’ll be no mingling outside the building,” he said. “Everything will be inside and in my control.”
Bramonte said he is an experienced night club owner, having run teenage clubs in Tampa, Fla. He also said he had trained his security staff to recognize alcohol and drug use and to put a stop to it.
One concern Bramonte himself brought up was the possibility of kids going out to cars to drink and do drugs and then coming back into the night club.
“If you are in the club and you leave, you will have to pay a double coverage charge to get back in,” he said. “That will keep it from happening.”
Bramonte also indicated he may hire an off-duty sheriff’s deputy to help with security and add an authoritative presence. He said he had planned and was prepared for any negative events that could happen at the night club or game room.
Andrews said she thought the club and game room could be a positive addition to the area, though she was concerned about the traffic congestion.
“There’s nothing for kids to do over there,” she said. “They just cruise around the malls.”
Planning commission chairman Harold Ivey agreed: “If you can control this and do what you said, I applaud you. If not, we’ll shut you down. It’s that simple.”
The night club will not be serving alcohol and will not allow alcohol on the premises either.
As for the game room, Bramonte explained that his plans are to use it as a place for children to play video games while their parents shop. The business, he said, will also give race track visitors a place for entertainment.
The game room will be open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and, at Lindorme’s request, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
“During church hours, kids ought to be in church,” Lindorme said.
The establishment will not sell alcohol and will not allow alcohol on the premises.
The only person who spoke in opposition to the application, ???? ??????, said she was concerned with the location of the business in a congested area and with game rooms in general.
“I don’t approve of game rooms,” she said. “I’ve been in them and I’m against them.”
???????? said she did not approve of game rooms because she says they are not “a good influence and are not wholesome.”
Bramonte assured the planners he and his security team would keep the site clear of alcohol and drugs.
Ivey said he used to run a game room in Lula and understood they could be a positive business if run correctly.
“There are some bad influences there but you can put them on the road,” Ivey said. “If it’s run right, it can be a good thing for the kids.”
OTHER BUSINESS
In other business, the planning commission:
•recommended approval of a subdivision ordinance change that drops the requirement that a subdivider give 40 feet of right of way for family and minor divisions. The change keeps the right of way requirement on class II and class III subdivisions.
•recommended approval of a sign ordinance change to delete the annual renewal fee for signs.
The BOC will vote on both ordinance changes at Tuesday’s meeting.
The planning commission also announced it would be meeting next Monday with Buckeye Trails developers at the subdivision to inspect recently completed road work there.
The planners will also meet next Monday night at 7 p.m. in the courtroom with the BOC, the Industrial Development Authority, the Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Education to discuss growth and the county’s future.



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Rep. Jamieson helps BCFD get new truck
Rep. Jeanette Jamieson has come through for Banks County once again by working with the Georgia Forestry Commission to procure a new rural firefighting truck
At a special ceremony held last Wednesday in the pouring rain, Roger Browning, Georgia Forestry Rural Fire Defense coordinator, presented the keys to fire chief Perry Dalton.
Browning said Banks was one of only 12 counties to receive the trucks, which are actually leased to the county for 50 years at no cost.
The 2002 Ford F-250, valued at around $75,000, comes equipped with four-wheel drive, a 250-gallon water tank, pump, and hose, along with other gear necessary to fight brush and grass fires, said Browning.
Dalton said with a big smile: “We love Jeanette Jamieson. She’s been working on getting this truck for us and thanks to her we got it.”
Jamieson said: “This is just a small payment for the dedication of this county’s fire personnel. This nor any other county could pay for the services of the fire department without the volunteers that give freely of their time.
“This truck will provide the county with better fire protection. The citizens of Banks County deserve no less,” she said.
Browning said 1,350 vehicles have been presented over the years through such programs to assist small rural counties with fire defense.
“The truck is available for response county-wide,” he said. “It can get in places the big engines can’t and let firefighters get a jump on brush fires before they get out of control. It will help save property and lives.”
Board of commissioners chairman Kenneth Brady said the truck would be less expensive to run as well.
The truck will be housed at the administration center in Homer, said Dalton.


Demonstrations planned of new voting machines
Several demonstrations are planned for the new voting machines for the Nov. 5 election.
The schedule is as follows:
•8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, at Rob’s Supermart.
•10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 3, Hill’s Hardware.
•1-3 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 3, Community Bank and Trust at Tanger Mall.
•8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, Banks County Health Department. The office is closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch.
•8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 8, at Banks County Health Department. The office is closed from noon to 1 p.m for lunch.
•8-11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, at BJC Medical Center.
•10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, at Wal-Mart Super Center.
•6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, at political forum at Banks County High School.