News from Banks County...

NOVEMBER 6, 2002

Banks County


Banks County

Banks County

among all
Georgia weekly newspapers
by the Georgia Press Association

June 29, 2001

mainstreetnews Home
Search Site
Area Sports
Business Directory
Place A Classified Ad
Banks Legal Page
Banks Opinion Page
Banks Obituary Page
MainStreet Photoshop
Send A Letter
List Your Business
Banks County Stats
Directions to Area Schools
Election Information

Sex Offender Registry

Go to Jackson County
Go to Madison County


Phillip Sartain
Getting your mind out of the gutters
It’s that time of year, again. Summer has sounded the retreat. And as usual, it slunk out of town like a coward. In its wake, the sky is full of falling leaves.

Rochelle Beckstine
Eight hours sleep good, Nine hours sleep deadly
Too much sleep can kill you or so Boston University School of Medicine says.

Frank Gillespie
Safety measures needed for Glenn Carrie Road
It finally happened. I have been expecting it for some time now.
A young girl died as a result of a Monday afternoon accident just off Glenn Carrie Road. This tragedy is the result of too many vehicles, too many kids in the streets and no sidewalks.

Margie Richards
Things are sweet at Sourwood
A getaway.
We all need just that sometimes.
And I’ve found that no matter how busy we are, my husband Charles and I have to take time to “get out of town” (or out of the county) every couple of months, even if it’s just overnight.


Directions to Area Schools

Leopards close out at home with Lumpkin
Lumpkin County’s record (5-3) isn’t a good reflection of the team’s abilities.
The Indians lost two close games thanks to several costly mistakes. Lumpkin fell to Wesleyan early in the season on a missed point-after kick and a handful of turnovers cost the Indians in a game against Dawson County two weeks ago.

Neighboorhood News ..
Republican tide swamps Jackson
Bell upset by Elrod in House race. Having the (R) beside your name in Jackson County was as good as gold in Tuesday’s balloting as Republican candidates swamped Democrats in local votes.

Chamber’s ‘Taste Of Jackson’ Scheduled For Thursday Night
The Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce's tenth annual Taste of Jackson & Business Showcase is planned for Thursday night from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Commerce Civic Center.

County manager working without signed contract
Jackson County manager Al Crace has been working without a signed contract since being hired a year ago.

Nativity scene at issue in Hoschton
A question of church versus state is being debated in Hoschton following the tabling of a request for a live nativity scene on city property.

City Moving To Declare Pardue’s MHP A ‘Nuisance’
Following code inspections last week that found more than 80 health and safety violations, the city of Commerce is moving to declare Pardue's Mobile Home Park a public nuisance.

Neighboorhood News ..
GOP favored by county voters
Madison County voters joined the national shift to the right by voting heavily for Republican candidates in Tuesday’s general election. All but two Republican office seekers carried the county by large margins.

Child dies after being struck by motorcycle
The flags flew at half-staff at the middle school Tuesday in memory of a sixth grade student who died late Monday evening after being struck by a motorcycle as she walked in her subdivision.

Edwards remembered as good student, friend
A popular sixth grader who played the flute in the band, had a good singing voice and a sunny disposition.

Comer council to consider new beer and wine ordinance
Restaurants in Comer could soon be able to serve beer and wine to their customers.
The Banks County News
Homer, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056


® Copyright 2002
MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Copyright / Terms / Privacy


Regina Nash casts her votes on the new electronic voting machines at the Homer precinct inside the county courthouse. Nash said she liked the new touch-screen machine.

Westmoreland stays, Rogers out
Come January 1, Banks County will have a new commissioner and the school board will have its only member without children.
Republican Rickey Cain garnered 54 percent of the vote in the only decisive race in his victory over incumbent Ernest Rogers (D) for the commissioner Post 2 seat.
Incumbent Pat Westmoreland (D) slid by Danny Maxwell (I) in the BOE Post 3 seat with 50.63 percent of the vote. He won by just 50 votes.
But in the closest county race, Ben Ramsey (R) edged out Rob Boswell (D) by only 45 votes for the school board Post 3 seat.
“I am very happy,” Ramsey said after the votes were tabulated. “This is how the race should be. There should be two good opponents and the county should decide how the race ends.”
Cain said he was pleased to win his post over the incumbent.
“I appreciate all the people who supported me and I’m going to put all my heart into making them proud for what they’ve done for me,” he said. “I want to make sure the county goes forward.”
Rogers said he would help Cain make the transition into office.
“I’m willing to help any way I can,” he said. “I just want to do what’s best for the county.”
Westmoreland expressed his appreciation for winning re-election and said he looked forward to four more years in office.
In a special election on the ballot for a homestead exemption for elderly citizens earning less than $10,000, voters approved the measure six to one.
In the regional State Senate District 47 race Ralph Hudgens (R) had nearly a 100-vote lead over Robert Banks (D) with 83 percent of the votes counted. Hudgens won Banks County with 59 percent of the vote.
Late Tuesday night, Gov. Roy Barnes conceded victory to Sonny Perdue (R) in the gubernatorial race.
Perdue lead with just over half the votes with 84 percent of the precincts reporting.
He also won Banks County with 62 percent of the vote.

Voters warm up to new machines
The new touch-screen voting machines went over well in Banks County on Election Day Tuesday.
“I liked it,” Regina Nash said after voting in Homer. “I thought it was a lot easier.”
One voter said she had practiced with the machines and found them less confusing than paper ballots.
Homer poll worker Sandra Smith said the machines had worked out well there without any problems.
“It’s gone great,” she said. “People have been curious.”
Smith and other workers said the new machines may even have contributed to higher than normal turnout. In fact, at the Davids precinct, the line was so long that those who showed up at 7 p.m. were still voting an hour later.
“The poll workers and voters have been real positive,” election superintendent Judge Betty Thomas said. “We’ve had great turnout.”
Fifty-five percent of the county’s 6,487 active registered voters cast ballots Tuesday.
While the polls were open, workers and voters experienced few problems, Thomas said. Diebold, the machines’ manufacturer, had technicians on site to offer help.
“From the standpoint of the touch-screen machines, I think it was a banner night,” technician Jon Hendrix said. “I think it went very well.”
Much like other areas of the state, the county did experience problems when officials began vote tabulation. Results were delayed until nearly 10 p.m. as technicians worked to solve communication problems between computers.
After repairing the glitches, Thomas and her staff tabulated the results and announced them to the large crowd in the courtroom.
“I expected some delays,” Thomas said.

CVB budget up $6,000
Members of the Banks County Convention and Visitors Bureau approved the 2003 budget at $128,000 at last week’s meeting.
Gordon Eanes, chairman of the budget committee, told members the $128,000 budget reflects a $6,000 increase over last year. He said he anticipates more travelers coming to Banks Crossing.
He reported the breakdown of income as follows: $118,000 from motel/hotel tax; $2,500 membership dues; $7,000 gross profit from the upcoming spring golf tournament; and $500 listed as “miscellaneous.”
As for expenses, $18,000 will go into the new Banks County Visitors Conference Center fund. Members said they are excited to be starting the fund for a conference center, which will also house CVB offices. No plans were discussed as to the location of the center, though the area of Banks Crossing was mentioned. Members would like to keep the center near the lodging accommodations and restaurants.
Eanes said the $18,000 would be used as “seed money to go forward with the project and to develop grants to help pay for the center.”
“We have a need in this community for the center, he said. “No hotels are able to handle a convention setting.”
The budget also includes $5,200 for CVB president Bonnie Johnson for “expense reimbursement” to be paid at the rate of $433 per month. Also, $2,400 is the projected figure for travel expenses to meetings and conferences.
Executive director Sherry Ward received a $1,000 pay raise bringing her salary to $31,000, with $2,800 allocated for payroll taxes.
Other expenditures include: $3,000, golf tournament; $5,000, advertising; $7,500, brochures that will include a shopper’s guide and map; $10,000, advertising; $1,000, county website; $33,000, Phase 3 of the Banks Crossing Beautification Project; $3,600, office expenditures and postage; $1,800, professional services; $2,250, dues and memberships; and $1,448, contingencies.
Two new line items include $1 for office rent and $1 for office utilities. Eanes said this allocation is meant to recognize the value the CVB gained by using Johnson’s basement as the CVB headquarters. Johnson said she declined the $2 and requested it be placed back into the CVB account.
In other business:
•Bonnie Hill, Herbert Garrison Civic Center manager, thanked hotel and motel managers for referrals. She said many groups come to the center for family reunions, company parties and other events.
•a bouquet of roses was presented to Johnson to honor her work on behalf of the Banks County CVB.
•co-chairpersons Alicia Andrews and Carolyn Harvel were presented with crystal bowls for their tenure.
•a gift was also presented to Ward for her work for the CVB.

Go to Banks
Community Page

Public Meeting Dates
On-Going Services

Northeast Georgia
Business Directory
Auto Dealers
Auto Parts & Service
Financial Institutions
Garden & Agriculture
Industry & Manufacturing
Personal Care Services
Real Estate
Retail Stores & Outlets

Child abuse reports continue to rise
The September report from the Banks County Department of Family and Children Services showed that staff members are seeing a continued rise in child abuse cases.
With 29 new referrals of child abuse, case workers researched 68 child protective service investigations for the month, said Freddie Lingerfelt, the eligibility supervisor, standing in for director Renota Free.
Of the new referrals, seven were reported as physical abuse, one sexual abuse, 18 neglect, and three were concerning medical issues. Two of the new reports were unfounded and closed, she said.
The 29 new referrals were added to the 20 cases still pending outcomes from investigations last month.
Of those 49 cases, five produced evidence of abuse and were opened. One case was substantiated and closed. Some 19 were closed due to lack of evidence of abuse.
Two were transfers from other counties. Some 22 cases remain pending. She added that 19 previous reports are still being monitored.
September also produced five new reports of adult abuse. Four of those were neglect and one was exploitation. Four of the cases remain pending until results are compiled. Three cases remain under “on-going” status as staff continue to monitor the situations.
Currently, Banks County DFACS has custody of 29 children and is boarding five children from other counties. Six children are now available for adoption.
In other business:
•Lingerfelt reported an increase in the number of families receiving food stamps, with 382 families that met qualifications to obtain $63,167 in food stamps.
•$994 was requested from the county for child welfare expenses. $45 of that was for board member travel expenses.
•$9,356 was spent on temporary relief for 45 needy families. That figure is up nearly $2,000 more than at this time last year.
•20 children are currently on the waiting list for childcare assistance.

BOC names Deidra Moore as county EMA director
E-911 director Deidra Moore’s interim stint as emergency management head has become permanent.
The Banks County commissioners approved her appointment last week. She will retain her E-911 duties and will begin certification courses early next year.
Fire chief Perry Dalton volunteered assistance from his department if Moore needed any help with her duties.
In other action, the board:
•agreed to allow the county’s attorney to seek a court order to allow the tax assessors office to collect ad valorem taxes from the first of next year. Commission chairman Kenneth Brady said the tax digest was late and the county needs a judge’s order to allow citizens whose car tags expire in January and February to renew them in December if they’d like.
•approved a 30-day leave without pay extension for a fire department employee who has been out of work for health reasons. During the leave time, she will not receive salary or benefits and must pay her own insurance.