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MAY 21, 2003


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SPORTS

Jackson County’s Samples calls it quits; Roberts named as replacement
Jackson County will have a new bench leader when the Panthers take the field next season on the baseball diamond.
Van Samples stepped down from his position as the Panther head coach last week following a meeting with the team at the end of the season. He stated that the demands of being a head coach have taken their toll on his family life and that relinquishing his coaching duties will allow more time for him to spend with his wife and two children.

Flint 7th, Eason 11th At State
Senior Kenny Flint threw a 130’6” in the Class A discus finals to finish seventh in the state while junior Tommy Eason threw a 43’5.75” in the shot put preliminaries to place 11th Thursday at the Georgia Olympics in Jefferson.

Jefferson takes third, see two leap to state crowns
One repeat state champion, one first-time winner and several near misses highlighted one of the better Jefferson boys’ team track performances in several years last week at the 32nd Georgia Games at Memorial Stadium.


Neighboorhood News ..
MADISON COUNTY
Class of 2003 to graduate Fri.
Members of the Class of 2003 will end their high school careers Friday night at a graduation ceremony at the Classic Center in Athens.

Planners nix Athens couple’s plans in Poca
The Madison County Planning Commission nixed an Athens couple’s plans Tuesday night to place a doublewide mobile home on a small lot in the Poca community.

Lack of quorum leads to latest delay in water system expansion
The lack of a quorum at a state agency meeting — this is the latest delay in the county’s water expansion efforts in Hull.

Hull Spring Festival set Saturday
The Hull Community Spring Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 24.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
BOE unsure about art camp at BCPS

Citing questions about personal gain, the Banks County school board Thursday tabled a request for an art camp at the primary school.

BJC loses top two officials; CEO Lawrence terminated
The BJC Medical Center Authority replaced its two top officials Monday afternoon, one through a firing and the other hired away by a competitor.

30th annual Memorial Day service to be held Monday
The 30th annual Memorial Day service will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 26, at Veterans Park in Homer.

Lula council receives requests for annexations
The Lula City Council discussed two separate annexation requests that would bring 200 acres in Banks County into the city limits at Monday’s meeting.

A Day at the Fort planned
A Day at the Fort will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 24, at Fort Hollingsworth/White House.

Republican party to meet Tuesday
The Banks County Republican party will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 27, in the courthouse. The guest speaker will be Sen. Ralph Hudgens. All registered voters are invited to attend, leaders say.

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SPECIAL OLYMPICS TORCH RUN

Arcade police chief Dennis Bell (front right) carried the Special Olympics torch through the first segment of the torch run through Jackson County Thursday morning. Mayor Doug Haynie (front left) led the flag bearers. The local leg of the torch run began in Arcade and continued through Jefferson up to Pendergrass, with local officials, law enforcement and JCCHS JROTC students participating.

BJC Loses Top 2 Administrators; Interims Hired
The BJC Medical Center Authority replaced its two top officials Monday afternoon, one through a firing and the other hired away by a competitor.
The authority voted unanimously to "terminate" the contract of long-time chief executive officer David Lawrence, effective immediately. The resignation of Nursing Facility administrator Dana Carey, who is joining Hill Haven (formerly Crystle Springs) nursing home, became effective Monday.
Lawrence has been administrator since 1987, but came into disfavor in recent months. Things came to a head after a long closed session of the authority at its April 28 meeting. The motion to terminate him was made by Rick Massey, seconded by Jackie Whitfield and passed unanimously.
Carey had been an administrator less than a year and by all accounts was well-regarded by the authority.
The authority approved a contract with Quorum Health Resources, Brentwood, TN, to provide Wesley W. Oswald, a recently retired CEO of Brazosport Memorial Hospital, Lake Jackson, Texas, as CEO and named Joe Waters of Evans as interim administrator of the Nursing Facility. Waters is on "war leave" from a position in Saudi Arabia, but said his contract expires in June "and I won't be going back."
Oswald will be paid $10,000 per month and Waters, an employee of Temporary Medical Management, $2,400 a week plus expenses.
"This process is unlike any I've ever gone through," said Charles Blair, authority chairman. "David Lawrence had a 16-year productive tenure. David was certainly burned out, and this was good mutually for us."
In a related move, the authority voted to enter a contract with Quorum, which has managed Habersham Medical Center for 20 years, to conduct a survey, which is to be completed by the June meeting.
The survey will evaluate BJC Medical Center's strategic, financial and operational and management needs and develop recommendations.
At that time, Blair said, the authority will have three options. It can retain Quorum to manage the medical center, retain Quorum to find a permanent CEO for a fee equal to 28 percent of the CEO's annual salary, or terminate its agreement with Quorum and pay $17,000 for the survey.
"Today's vote by the members of the Authority reflects our opinion that the Authority needs new leadership to guide BJC Medical Center through the variety of challenges we expect to face during the coming months and years," said Blair. "We understand and appreciate that change can be unsettling. However, all nine members of the authority are confident that the people in the communities we serve will continue to receive quality health care from BJC Medical Center."
Quorum provides management and consulting services to more than 300 non-profit hospitals and healthcare systems in 43 states.


High schools to hold graduation ceremonies Fri.
After years of preparing for tests, working on homework and participating in extracurricular activities, graduates from two local high schools will be receiving their diplomas on Friday night.
Sixty-eight seniors will graduate from JHS and 229 from JCCHS.
Jackson County Comprehensive High School will hold its graduation ceremony at 8 p.m. at Panther Stadium, while Jefferson High School’s graduation ceremony will start at 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
JCCHS valedictorian Lindsey Venable and salutatorian Jason Powers will speak at the ceremony.
Also speaking at the ceremony will be: Nickee DuBose, senior class president, pledge; Dana Van Nus, senior class vice president, welcome; Jan Weinberg, counselor, scholarship recipients and HOPE scholars; Dr. James R. Hines Jr., principal, presentation of the senior class; Andy Byers, Jackson County School System superintendent, awarding of the diplomas; Rose Pethel, senior class treasurer, introduction of the senior song; Lindsey Knight, Amber Masters and Stephanie Walling, senior dedication song; Callie McGinnis, senior class president, conferring of diplomas; Jessica Stansel, honor graduate, closing; Salvador Randazzo, STAR Student, introduction of alma mater and Britney Compton, senior class secretary, moment of silence.
The JCCHS JROTC and band will also be performing at the graduation ceremony.
Should it rain, however, JCCHS’s graduation will be held on Saturday, May 24, at 10 a.m. at the stadium. A second rain date is set for that night at 8 p.m.
At JHS, a Scottish bagpiper will welcome the graduating class to the ceremony on Friday night.
Speaking during JHS’s graduation ceremony will be John Murray of Lochgilphead, Scotland. Murray is a head teacher in Argyll Butte, Scotland and has been involved in JHS’s Scotland Exchange Program.
Also speaking are Kelli O’Clare, valedictorian; Heather Baker, salutatorian and Ronnie Hopkins, Jefferson City School System superintendent.
In the event of rain, JHS’s ceremony will be moved to Saturday, at 10:30 a.m. Should the rain continue, graduation will be held that day at 2 p.m. A third rain date alternative is set for Sunday, May 25, at 2 p.m.
JCCHS HONOR GRADUATES
Krystle Renee Allen, Tania Nichelle Appleby, Sophia Bailey, Laura Elizabeth Baker, Malorie Brook Barnett, Jordan Lee Breit, James Randall Brewer, Valerie Nicole Brock, Katherine Ginger Brock, Selena Michelle Cape, Joseph Raymond Caufman, Britney Lynne Compton, Carissa Marie Dethlefs, William Arthur Dodd Jr., Dy Narath Eang, Jackie Renee Evans, Christopher Lawrence Fair, April Michelle Fortner, Emily Ann Freeland and Amanda Caroline Hancock.
Matthew Lemuel Hayes, Jennel Megan Hulsey, Jennifer Lee Jackson, Jennifer Kay Jenkins, Jessica Leigh Johnson, Sara Lindsey Knight, Lindsey Marie Labarge, Melissa Ann Lerette, Lydia Danielle Lively, Brittany Jade McFadden, Callie Elaine McGinnis, Kevin Tyler Minish, Miriam Iasha Myers, Rachael Leah Nichols, Elizabeth Ruth Norris, Leena Kanubhai Patel, Mary Rose Pethel, Brandy Machille Pittman, Katie Elizabeth Poe and Jason Hall Powers.
Salvador Mario Randazzo, Angela Christina Rhodes, Bradley Dwayne Richards, Phasalee Sayasean, Emily Ann Serpa, Aubrey Christian Shirley, Mallory Lawana Shook, Jessica Lee Stansel, Jessica Renee Taylor, Kimberly Dawn Tucker, Dana Frances Van Nus, Lindsey Miranda Venable, Thomas Monroe Veuleman, Shayla Brittany Watson, Tabitha Joan Wheless, William Eugene Wilbanks III, Levi Shane Wilkerson, Darea Jill Wilson, Bradley Keith Wilson, Carey Leigh Yonce and Crystal Lynn Yonce.
JHS HONOR GRADUATES
Kelli O’Clare, Heather Baker, Erica Ashley, Kristen Beck, Michelle Boring, Brittany Buffington, Sunny Bush, Katie Champlin, Molly Cleveland, Mary Conner, Breanna D’Zamko, Brantley Gilbert, Brad Holder, Sarah Holden, Keosha Jones, Shalan Metcalf, Sarah Nail, Ross Rainey, Linsey Rees, Ashley Sanders, Ben Songer, Erin Thompson and Will Wilbanks.


KOA Annexation Would Open
Door To Annex Apartments
The Commerce Planning Commission will consider a request for rezoning for annexation of part of the Kampground of America (KOA) on Mt. Olive Road.
The planning commission, which makes recommendations to the Commerce City Council, will meet Tuesday night at 7:00 at the Commerce Civic Center.
Gary Grissom hopes to annex 21.79 acres. That would enable the owners of Heritage Crossing Apartments on Progress Road to annex as well, said Shirley Willis, city clerk.
Grissom seeks a change from M-1 to C-1 for the property.
Several years ago, a KOA attempt to annex was foiled because it created an "island" of unannexed land near the KOA, which is against state law. The goal at the time was to annex the site now occupied by the apartment complex.
The "island" issue was avoided this go-round by annexing only a portion of the KOA property.
Also on Tuesday night, the planning panel will consider the request of Laura Chandler to rezone 13.04 acres off State Street from R-1 to R-2 for an 18-lot subdivision. The issue was on the agenda for the April meeting, but was tabled because the surveyor was not present.
In addition, the planners will get another proposal from Jerry Chastain for rezoning of 2.13 acres at the corner of Hospital Road and Old Maysville Road.
The first proposal – for duplexes – got a thumbs-down recommendation from the planning commission. But Chastain pitched a new proposal to the Commerce City Council in which he would get R-3 zoning but be limited to building single-family residences. The city council sent the matter back to the planning commission.
Chastain has presented a plat featuring six lots for the property.
The city council will have the final say on all of the zoning changes at its June 9 meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Commerce Civic Center.


Pendergrass discusses benefits
But closed-door meeting violated state law
The Pendergrass City Council’s personnel committee held a closed-door meeting on Thursday to prepare a proposal for a benefits package for full-time city employees.
The committee met for an hour and 15 minutes to discuss a health insurance, life insurance and retirement policy that could be presented to the city council. No motion was made when the meeting was opened to the public.
“We need to clear up a few things with benefits,” city clerk Barbara Thomas said after the meeting about the committee’s plans to submit a proposal to city council.
The meeting was attended by council members Sandy Beck, Rebecca Danner and Gail Parish; police chief Rob Russell and Thomas.
According to Georgia law, the closed-door meeting was illegal since officials weren’t discussing a personnel policy related to a specific person.


Memorial celebration planned
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners and the City of Commerce will hold a Memorial Week celebration on Thursday, May 29.
A reception honoring military personnel, veterans and their families will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Commerce Civic Center. Congressman Charlie Norwood will speak at 6 p.m.


411 homes approved in Jefferson zoning
The Quad Cities Planning Commission approved preliminary plans Tuesday night for four subdivisions that will bring 411 new homes to Jefferson.
The commission approved the preliminary plats for the following projects:
•The Village at Creekside, which calls for locating 52 homes on 61.954 acres on Jett Roberts Road.
•The Heritage at Jefferson, which calls for locating 137 homes on 97.579 acres on Roy Garrett Road and Storey Lane.
•The Arbors of Jefferson, which calls for locating 57 homes on 57.219 acres on Jett Roberts Road.
•Jefferson Station, which calls for locating 165 homes on 96.6 acres on Old Pendergrass Road.

In other business, the planning commission recommended approval for a conservation subdivision ordinance, which allows smaller lots as long as 40 percent of the project remains undeveloped as greenspace.


Classified ad deadline moved up
The deadline for classifieds for next week’s issue has been moved to 5 p.m. on Friday due to the Memorial Day holiday. However, The Jackson Herald office will be open on Monday and the deadline for news will not change.

 

 


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526-home subdivision denied by Braselton PC
A rezoning request seeking to construct 526 homes on 122 acres on Zion Church Road was recommended for denial by the Braselton Planning Commission on Monday.
No one representing the rezoning request, Oakmont Residential LLC, appeared at the public hearing. Instead, the town planning commission heard from two opponents on the request, despite a relatively crowded room at the Braselton Community Center.
“We need good development in Braselton, but not like Gwinnett County,” Carl Alexander said.
According to the rezoning application, Oakmont Residential LLC wanted to construct 4.4 single-family detached homes per an acre with 5,000 square-feet lots at the site. The development company also wanted to leave 15 acres as open space and 1.2 acres for a recreational amenities center.
But, Braselton Planning Commission member Allan Slovin said the application request to rezone the land adjoining I-85 from light industrial (M-1) to residential wasn’t completed properly.
“I’m certainly against this, as well, for a whole bunch of reasons, including just the sloppiness of this application.” he said. “And then they don’t show (at the meeting).”
“It’s prime property to keep it light industrial use,” said planning commission member Kathy Schaaf. “The state has wanted to keep I-85 the industrial corridor and I think that’s what we should be doing.”
Another prime concern for the proposed development was the condition of Zion Church Road, a narrow road connecting Highway 124 to Highway 53 that often sees traffic jams during peak times.
“All of us have traveled on Zion Church Road and it’s a dangerous road to travel on,” said Ken Bray, while adding the R-3 zoning would create too much traffic for the road.
Braselton Planning Commission member Rita Herren said the intersection of Zion Church Road and Hwy. 53 won’t be widened for at least two years and that Jackson County officials have objected to the subdivision just having one entrance.
“To add 2,000 cars (at the intersection), I’m sure you know would be a nightmare with all of the accidents,” she said. “It’s an absolute nightmare.”
Kevin Keller, the town’s planning director, recommended denial of the request since it doesn’t fit Braselton’s future land use plan. The site was zoned M-1 in late 2001 when Tramell Crowe Atlanta Development wanted to build a 2.6 million-square-foot industrial warehouse.
The site plan showing 5,000 square-foot lots also isn’t conforming to the town’s policy, Keller said. In April, the town council approved minimum lot sizes of 10,000 square-feet. Unless the developers wanted to build a conservation subdivision, which requires 20 percent of the land be devoted to greenspace, Oakmont Residential’s request doesn’t fit the town’s laws.
Monday marked the third month Oakmont Residential’s request has been on the Braselton Planning Commission’s agenda. In March, there was no quorum of the planning commission to vote on the request; in April, the development company asked to table the request for one month.
Town manager Jennifer Scott said Braselton officials haven’t heard why Oakmont Residential representatives weren’t present for the meeting.
Braselton Planning Commission member Stephanie Braselton recused herself from voting on the request, while member Bill Braselton wasn’t present for the meeting. The vote to recommend denial was unanimous.
The Braselton Town Council will vote on the rezoning request during its regular council meeting on June 9.

RUBY-FORREST, LTD.
A rezoning and annexation request from Ruby-Forrest, Ltd. that was once scheduled for Monday’s town planning commission meeting was rescheduled to June 16.
The request is seeking to rezone and annex 178 acres on Highway 211 in Hall County for a Planned Unit Development (PUD) that would include 338 residential units and approximately 157,400 square-feet of retail/office space.
Hall County filed an objection to the request saying it has a problem with the development’s plans for that amount of commercial space and residential density, Scott said. Hall County also said the development company failed to show the rerouting of Thompson Mill Road and flood plains on their application maps.
Ruby-Forrest, Ltd. said it would make some changes to the development’s plans, she said. Braselton officials haven’t heard from Hall County officials if the changes are sufficient.

ANNEXATION REQUEST
Also at Monday’s meeting, the Braselton Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of an annexation request by Linwood Burns for 4 acres on Thompson Mill Road in Gwinnett County.
Burns’ septic tank field area, which is adjacent to the third phase of The Village in Chateau Elan, is too close to the development. By annexing into the town, Burns can be placed on Braselton’s sewage system and Chateau Elan officials won’t have to worry about his septic tank, explained Phil Mulherin of Chateau Elan Realty.
The town planning commission voted to recommend approval.