News from Banks County...

DECEMBER 25, 2002


Banks County
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OPINIONS

Angela Garyt.
Cherish those Christmas memories
My 1-year-old nephew squatting down, his mouth wide open, to look at the train race around the Christmas tree.
His same look of wonder as he looks at the lights on the Christmas tree in another room.

Local couple should be an inspiration
They are relatively newcomers to Banks County, having lived here only two years. But that hasn’t stopped Paul and Michelle Skeggs from taking on several large volunteer projects that have made our community a better place to live


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Two in a row
Leopards gets second straight win with low-scoring victory over Towns
It wasn’t pretty, but the Leopards will probably take it anyway.


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
Christmas gifts provided by Holiday Connection, DFACS for hundreds of children this year
The hallways at the Jackson County Department of Family and Children Services office in Jefferson were lined with toys, bicycles, clothes and boxes of food last week as caseworkers and volunteers readied to play “Santa” for hundreds of children in Jackson County.

DDA Office Among Decorating Contest Winners
The Commerce Garden Club Council has announced the winners of its annual decorating contest. Judging was Tuesday night, Dec. 17, and winners are as follows.


Neighboorhood News ..
MADISON COUNTY
A true holiday blessing
“Before I shocked him (Nale) the first time, I said a prayer...
I remember thinking his guardian angel was surely with him that day.”
— Paramedic Millie Temple
Man who helped bring 911 to the county credits 911, EMS for saving his life

Planners vote to stick with uniform water system standards
Future developments will have to adhere to the Industrial Authority’s new water system standards, no matter where they are located in the county.
The commission didn’t have any rezoning hearings to deal with last week, so the group focused on the possibility of having a different set of standards for small (nine or less) lot subdivisions not connected to the county’s expanding water system.

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SERVED BEVERAGES TO SENIORS

Janet Galloway and Sue Rogers helped serve beverages to the seniors during the Christmas luncheon last week at the Banks County Senior Citizen’s Center.

Spreading Christmas cheer
Couple works with seniors in Christmas spirit
Though they’ve lived in the county only two years, Paul and Michelle Skeggs have showed they are concerned with the welfare of the residents.
Last week, they provided a Christmas luncheon for 40 seniors and guests at the Banks County Senior Citizen’s Center. They cooked up stuffed chicken breasts, green beans almondine and mashed potatoes and gravy. For dessert, they provided cake and ice cream.
Mr. Skeggs played the keyboard and prompted the group to sing Christmas carols. Though some of the words to second and third verses had been lost to time, the melodies survived intact. Many just hummed along, smiling, remembering Christmases past.
While serving up plates Mrs. Skeggs said: “At Christmas, the children are always remembered. The seniors of the community are not. Many of them need some attention, need to know they’re still important. If someone would just bring a few dozen donuts by the center once a week, it would show them they are not forgotten. They don’t need much, just a little appreciation, a little attention.”
She said she enjoyed working with the seniors throughout the year.
Mr. Skeggs said: “Volunteering is worth more than most could imagine. The time we’ve spent with these wonderful people has been an experience we won’t forget. They’re a great bunch.”
The Skeggs “adopted” the senior center this year as their yearly community “project.”
Mr. Skeggs said they had taken the senior ladies out to lunch at Ryan’s for Mother’s Day, complete with corsages.
“That was a lot of fun,” said Mr. Skeggs.
Mrs. Skeggs said they had bought hats and everyone decorated them for Easter. Some of the creations were truly unique — like the man’s hat with the chicken on top. Janet Galloway, center director, pointed them out hanging proudly on the wall.
“The Skeggs have been so good to us,” Galloway said. “I wish more people would realize the treasure that’s found here.”
Seniors aren’t the only ones who have come to know the Skeggs’ generous hearts. Last year, they helped a grandmother who was raising five grandchildren on her own.
Mrs. Skeggs added: “We just love helping people. Maybe there’s others out there wanting to help. I just hope they pick up a phone and call. There’s a lot that can be done.”
For more information on helping at the senior citizen’s center, call 677-3275.


BOC approves fire contract for Bold Springs area
The Banks County Board of Commissioners approved a five-month fire contract for the Bold Springs area in a brief called meeting Friday morning.
The contract will begin Feb. 1 and last through July 1, which is when the BOC annually renews all of its fire contracts.
The area the contract covers is in the lower portion of the county, including Hwy. 326 and Carson Road, according to fire chief Perry Dalton. The fee for the five months period will be $833, he added.
The contract will allow the area to go to a class six ISO rating, officials said
“That area down in there is a long ways from any station we’ve got and it’s something I’ve worked on,” commissioner Ernest Rogers said. “We’ve pretty much got the county covered and we’re treating everybody equally and that was my concern.”


Alto to hold called meeting Jan. 6
A special called meeting of the Alto town council will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday January 6, for the purpose of reviewing the 2003 budget and the closing of the 2002 budget.
The town of Alto has also announced a change in the date of the regular council meeting. The next regular meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 13, at city hall.


Chamber to hold banquet Jan. 9
The Banks County Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual banquet at 6 p.m., Thursday, January 9, at Jackson EMC in Jefferson.
The “Sunday-best” event is open to the public and all chamber members.
Claude McBride, humorist and motivational speaker, will speak. The new board will also be presented at the meeting. Banks County Volunteer of the Year will be named.
The cost is $25 per person, $40 per couple, and includes a full meal. Pre-paid reservations are required. Corporate sponsorships are $500 for a table for eight people.
Contact the chamber at 677-2108 to make reservations and obtain additional information. The deadline for reservations is Friday, December 27.


Historical calendars on sale
The Banks County Historical Society is offering its 2003 keepsake calendars for $7 each.
The 2003 calendar will be dedicated at the society’s regular meeting on Jan. 6. It will be dedicated to the Banks County Sunday School Celebration, which celebrated its 125th anniversary this past July. Many Banks County family members are pictured in this year’s calendar.
To order a calendar by mail, send a $9 check, which includes postage and handling, and send it to: Banks County Historical Society Inc., P.O. Box 473, Homer, Ga., 30547.
The calendars may also be purchased at The Banks County News office, the Banks County Public Library or the Banks County Chamber of Commerce or from members of the Banks County High School junior class.
The organization also has some 2002 calendars available at a cost of $3 each.


Early deadlines for next week’s issue
The Banks County News will have early deadlines next week due to the New Year’s Day holiday.
The deadline for news will be at 5 p.m. Friday, while the ad deadline will be at noon on Friday. The papers will be on the news stands Tuesday night.
Mail deliveries will be on the regular schedule. The Banks County News office will be closed Monday-Wednesday, Dec. 30-Jan. 1, in observance of the holiday. The office will reopen at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2.



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Where will they go now?
BOE set on continuing current direction
With Deborah White just six months away from stepping down as superintendent, the Banks County school board must decide about the direction of its future.
White asked the board at a meeting Thursday to think about whether it wanted to pursue programs she and her staff had started, programs that will force the future administration into committing a substantial amount of funds amidst a dwindling state education budget.
The board verbally agreed that it didn’t need to turn away from any progress the school system was making.
“I don’t think we can go backwards,” chairman Ron Gardiner said.
White assured the board she would continue to work hard until her contract expired.
“We’ll carry forth until the end of the school year all that we are working on,” she said.
The major program White wanted the board to think about was the Thompson school improvement model.
The new model, which the system had planned to implement in the near future, requires several thousands in up-front training and materials costs.
All teachers, White said, would have to be trained on the new teaching model, a model that intermingles short periods of instruction with periods of practice and discussion.
Each of the school principals have already received training on the improvement model.
White said she wasn’t comfortable committing the next superintendent to the financial burden of the program unless the board desired to continue implementation of the model.
“I believe in this enough that I would have tried to find enough money even with the state budget cuts,” White said. “If you do this, the new superintendent must be committed to this approach because if it is implemented or done piece mill, it will not be effective and teachers will get a bad taste. I think this is what we need but you may find a new superintendent that thinks differently.”
White added that the principals had been receptive of the new teaching and thought it was what each school improvement plan needed.
The school board didn’t make any official decisions on whether to pursue the program and will likely question potential superintendents about the program during its interviews.