News from Banks County...

NOVEMBER 20, 2002


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OPINIONS
Our Views
Crucial need for literacy center
At age 55, she began studying to earn a GED. She had not been in school since she was 12-years-old.

Kerri Graffius
Grandparent logic
Sometimes, the gap of understanding between the generations is something that can’t ever be negotiated. But, every now and then, the generations can reach an agreement on things that just sound plain dumb or make brilliant sense.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Mud Bowl Showdown
Friday night’s gridiron contest more resembled a mud wrestling match than it did a football game.
Heavy rains before and during the contest at Union County created a field with more mud than grass.


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
Jefferson by-pass to open Thurs.
Cars could begin riding along Jefferson’s Major Damon J. Gause Bypass on Thursday afternoon — weather permitting, of course.
Traffic is expected to be lead onto the bypass by law enforcement officials between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., said Georgia Department of Transportation Area Engineer Tim Knight.

'Ladder One' To Take Commerce
Fire Department To New Heights
What's bright red, cost $497,864 and has a siren? "Ladder One," Commerce's newest fire truck, which arrived at the J. Nolan Spear Public Safety complex last week.


Neighboorhood News ..
MADISON COUNTY
BOE approves SPLOST project list
A number of Madison County school improvement projects will be addressed over the next five years if county voters approve a renewal of a one-cent sales tax for schools in March.

Closing date for water system deal remains up in the air
The date to close the deal on the Industrial Development and Building Authority’s (IDA) purchase of Hull water lines from Athens-Clarke County (ACC) remains in limbo for now.

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Man carried out of ravine

Banks County District 2 firefighters and rescue personnel carry Dwayne Howard Hardeman, 50, Lula, up from a ravine. Hardeman was injured in a single vehicle wreck on Mt. Sinai Rd.

Lula man airlifted to Atlanta with hypothermia after Mt. Sinai wreck
Rescuers unsure how long man lay amongst pines
Dwayne Howard Hardeman, 50, Lula, was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta Monday morning with severe hypothermia and unknown injuries after what appeared to be a single-vehicle accident.
Barbara White, volunteer firefighter, and Banks County Deputy James Savage were first to arrive on the scene after a school bus driver called to report a wrecked truck down an embankment on Mt. Sinai Road.
“We weren’t sure if there was an accident victim or not,” said White. “We just started looking around and found a few items that appeared to have come from the truck. Then I saw a pair of shoes.”
They circled the area of small pines surrounding the wrecked truck and White saw a cap and a pair of shoes. As she bent over some young pines, she heard a faint voice calling for help.
“It’s a good thing he was able to speak,” she said. “He was curled up under these pines and he wasn’t visible.”
White said she and Savage immediately began to try warming Hardeman, whom she said felt very cold. She took off her fleece jacket and wrapped it around him.
When medics EMT Battalion Chief Brad Seagraves and fire chief Perry Dalton arrived with other District 2 volunteers and firefighter personnel minutes after he was discovered, they too began efforts to raise his body temperature. Hardeman had to be carried up the steep bank on a backboard to protect him from any further injury. Once inside the warmth of the ambulance, Hardeman was wrapped in a “space blanket”—a thermal blanket that holds in body heat, said District 2 Battalion Chief Andy Kitchens.
Dalton said: “His core body temperature was very low. He had little feeling in his extremities. He didn’t know what had happened to him or how long he had lain there. He was very disoriented.”
Emory Lifeflight was called to airlift Hardeman since his condition was so imperiled and unknown.
“It’s hard to tell how bad he was hurt when he’s that cold,” said Dalton.
Details from the accident are sketchy, according to the state highway patrol. Hardeman was unable to answer any questions.
Savage and Trooper Charles Steele attempted to find the point where the F-150 Ford truck Hardeman was driving left the road. From tire tracks, it appears the truck went off the road plowing through a stand of young pines and then hurdled off a 20-foot drop-off and landed around 40 feet away in a semi-clearing. The front end of the truck was crushed.
Hardeman is in critical condition, according to Grady Hospital officials.


Stalemate
The decision was made much to the dismay of the townspeople at the November 4 meeting, who have been waiting for months for the council to act.
Five Alto residents had submitted their names for the vacant seat as the council had requested at the September meeting. The five were: Shawn Shirley, nephew of councilman Gary Terrill, Sharon Christmas, Rufus Ritch, John Closs and Patricia Irvy. Of those five, council members narrowed the selection down to two, Shawn Shirley and Sharon Christmas.
Susan Wade and Donald Wade chose Sharon Christmas. Gary Terrill and Audrey Turner selected Shawn Shirley. Mayor Carolyn Gulley refused to break the tie.
“I will not break a tie on this,” she said. “I said I will not appoint anyone to the council because that’s what started trouble before.”
Gulley was referring to past councils who appointed members continuously. She was instrumental in getting the council seats on the ballot and believes that is the way the city council seats should be filled.
But, town residents didn’t want to wait until November 2003 to have a full council seated. At every meeting over the past year, the subject had been broached and discussed. Finally, in September, the council said they would appoint someone to the vacant seat at the October meeting. That meeting was canceled as only two council members and the mayor showed up.
Resident John Closs said at the November 4 meeting: “We had to have this meeting tonight because one family (Susan and Donald Wade) did not show up for the last meeting. There would have been a quorum, if the seat had been filled by a qualified, interested individual months ago. It’s sad. The city has lost. You’ve nominated a young man (Shirley) who has been to two meetings. You feel he is qualified? You feel he is responsible? This city should have good representation, more than just one family to represent us.”
Gulley, who is Donald Wade’s sister, said: “That’s what I was waiting on right there. Family. We were the only ones who would run. I’m tired of hearing family, family, family.”
Closs replied: “Put a member on here who’s not, and you won’t.”
Grover Stewart, former mayor, said Closs should have been considered for the seat.
“He has come to all the meetings over the past several months, but you won’t even consider him,” he said. “Why?”
City attorney Jim Acrey suggested the contenders for the council seat campaign by talking to the current council members.
“You can solicit these people to change their votes,” he said. “Nothing should keep you from talking to the council. Carolyn is standing up for her principles. She’s not going to vote. Tonight nothing is going to happen.”
Donald Wade said: “If we did appoint someone you’d still be hollering ‘Family!’”
Wade later said he was thinking about making a motion that if a resident wanted to speak at a meeting, the resident would have to notify the clerk seven days in advance to get on the agenda and give the reason for wanting to speak.
“They can talk if they’re on the agenda,” he said. “If not, they can’t.”
Susan Wade agreed with him.
Stewart asked: “We can’t ask questions about what you’re talking about?”
Acrey stepped in and said: “There is a constitutional right to freedom of speech in town hall meetings. For things that are not on the agenda, I can understand why you want some notice to be prepared to discuss the subject. But any item on the agenda, the people can certainly speak about.”
Wade did not make the motion and the matter was dropped.


Judge Robert Adamson: ‘Secure the courthouse’
Banks County steps up courthouse security with detectors, deputy. Citizens visiting the Banks County courthouse in Homer will now have to pass through a metal detector at the main entrance on Yonah-Homer Road, the only entrance that will be unlocked and open for the public to use.
According to Sheriff Charles Chapman, an order was handed down Tuesday by Superior Court Judge Robert Adamson to “secure the courthouse.”
Chapman said: “All citizens need to know the only doors open to the public will be the front entrance. They will also have to pass through a metal detector. There will be deputy on guard at the courthouse during working hours.
“It’s our responsibility to protect people working in the courthouse and coming into the courthouse. Times are changing. People are changing. This has been coming. Today (Tuesday), we are implementing it.”



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Early deadlines set for next week’s Banks County News
The Banks County News will have early deadlines for next week’s issue due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
The deadline for news will be at 5 p.m. on Friday, while the ad deadline will be at noon on Friday.
The papers will be on the news stands Tuesday night and will be delivered to subscribers with Wednesday’s mail.
The Banks County News office will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 28-29, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.


BOE meets in closed session
The Banks County Board of Education called a special meeting Monday night and met behind closed doors for two hours and 15 minutes to discuss personnel and consult with the board’s attorney.
The BOE took no action after the closed meeting. However, after reopening the meeting, board member Bo Garrison said he had information on nearly-new lockers being auctioned off at a minor league baseball stadium in Columbus.
The baseball team there is relocating and Garrison suggested the less than two-years-old lockers as a possibility for the new field house. He also said a commercial washer was being auctioned. The board took no action.
Chairman Ron Gardiner announced the BOE would meet again next Monday evening at 6:30 at the board office.


Banks County Chamber of Commerce accepting ‘Volunteer of the Year’ nominations
Banks County Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for the annual “Volunteer of the Year” award.
Carole Moores, executive director, said anyone in Banks County can nominate a person (or persons) who have given freely of their time and hearts to the citizens of Banks County.
Submittals are to be typed on one sheet of paper and mailed to: The Banks County Chamber of Commerce; P.O. Box 57; Homer, Ga. 30547.
Entries can also be faxed to 677-2109 or emailed to: bankscountychamber@alltel.net.
The winner will be announced at the chamber’s annual meeting to be held Thursday, January 9, at the Jackson Electric Membership Corporation building in Jefferson.