News from Banks County...

AUGUST 27, 2003


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OPINIONS
Angela Gary
Internet hoaxes are annoying
Have you heard the story about the boy who was stuck by a heroin-filled needle while playing in one of those ball pits at a fast food restaurant?

Rochelle Beckstine
Justice must be blind
Is it any wonder that the “Ten Commandments Judge” ignored a federal order to remove the two-ton granite monument of the Ten Commandments from the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court Building in Montgomery?


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Let the season begin
Leopards to host Oglethorpe in opening of football season
With a lead late into the fourth quarter, Banks County had a shot at winning their opening game last year.


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
Courthouse suit to be heard Tues.
Citizens’ group legal battle with BOC on the agenda
A key hearing will be held next Tuesday on the lawsuit between a group of local citizens and the Jackson County Board of Commissioners.

Mill WorkforceTo Be Cut To 33 Jobs This Fall
Two-thirds of the jobs at Mt. Vernon Mills will be moved to Alto this fall, leaving only 33 workers in the 350,000 square foot building that has been a Commerce institution since 1893.


Neighboorhood News ..
MADISON COUNTY
Commissioners back park plans
Group votes 4-1 to overrule earlier zoning board recommendation
“Park issue still far from resolved” — See editorial .
The controversial land off Hwy. 72 looks no different today than it did last week. But Monday, nearly 33 acres off James Holcomb Road officially changed from farm property to industrial land.

Inmates to inhabit new county jail soon
Inmates will most likely be inhabiting the new county jail sometime within the next two weeks, according to chief deputy Bill Strickland

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DISCUSSES RENOVATIONS

At last week’s work session, members of the Gillsville city council and members of the planning and zoning board met at the old buildings in town to discuss power placement, clean-up and renovations. Pictured are: (L-R) Mayor Larry Poole, city clerk Paula Whiting, councilman Todd Dale, planning and zoning board member Rudess Hooper, and councilmen Richard Ferguson, Ronnie Whiting, and Keith Segars.

Reviving the past
Plans for new town hall in Gillsville take shape
In between recollections of five-cent candy, men gathered around a pot-bellied stove for afternoon chats and shelves with old button-down shoes, the Gillsville City Council members walked around a century-old former general store that will one day be turned into the new town hall.
New city clerk Paula Whiting, wife of councilman Ronnie Whiting, said she envisions a small library and museum along with administrative offices and a conference room for the council meetings.
Such visions remain for the future, though, as there are problems of deteriorating mortar, a leaking roof and broken windows that need to be repaired.
While some of the mortar has been repaired and brick re-laid, the back sides of the buildings must be repaired before power can be connected.
Councilman Richard Ferguson said he had spoken with a Georgia Power official and they had determined the best way to bring power to buildings is by coming off a nearby power pole and running the lines underground.
Mayor Larry Poole and councilmen Keith Segars, Tim House, Todd Dale and Whiting agreed.
Once the power is connected, interior work can begin.
As they walked the buildings last week, Poole said: “We’re lucky the support walls have held up so well. The buildings are in remarkably good shape. The windows will be a problem, though. We need to keep the historical nature of the building in order to be eligible for restoration grants. Some of the windows may be repairable. But, those that aren’t need to be built the same as these.”
After some discussion, he said he would contact two firms that may be able to provide the special-sized windows for the town hall and the two other buildings.
The council also talked about the heating and air conditioning systems for the buildings.
In other business, the council:
•discussed qualifying dates and fees for the upcoming election for the seats held by councilmen Ferguson, Dale and Segars. Qualifying will run from Monday, September 8, through Wednesday, September 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The three councilmen did not comment on whether or not they would run again.
•discussed the department of transportation project to re-direct Highway 52 through town. Poole said the plans for the project would be available by the next council meeting, September 2.
•discussed allowing a coon hunting club to use the community center and park for bi-monthly meetings. Poole said the members had asked if they could do some in-kind work instead of paying the $20 per meeting fee. The council will address the issue officially at the next meeting.
•discussed working on the sidewalks in town that need to be back-filled and grassed.


Qualifying dates set for area elections
Qualifying dates for town elections in Alto, Baldwin, Gillsville and Lula have been set.
ALTO: Monday, September 8, and Tuesday, September 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday, September 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Seats up for election are council Post 2, held by Susan Wade; and Post 4, the seat vacant since December 2002; and mayor. The qualifying fee for the council seat is $36 and for mayor is $54.
BALDWIN: Monday, September 8, through Wednesday, September 10, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The council positions of Beverly Holcomb, Mitchell Gailey and Jeff Bohannon are up. The qualifying fee is $25.
GILLSVILLE: Monday, September 8, through Wednesday, September 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Seats held by Richard Ferguson, Todd Dale and Keith Segars will be up for election. The qualifying fee is $9. For more information, call clerk Paula Whiting at (770) 869-3827.
LULA: Monday, September 8, through Friday, September 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are three council seats up for election, District 1, held by Mike Ostrander; District 4, held by Perry Bridgeman; and District 5, held by Lamb Griffin. The qualifying fee is $18.
The election will be Nov. 4. Those who would like to vote and are not registered, should register by Oct. 6.


‘Heritage Days’ weekend ahead; parade, entertainment, games planned
Members of the Banks County Chamber of Commerce, the Banks Crossing Saddle Club and the Appalachian Heritage Guild have been working hard finishing up last-minute details for “Heritage Days” this weekend.
The festival will begin with a parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 30, from Banks County Middle School to the ball field concession stand at the Banks County Recreation Park on Thompson Street, where judging of categories will be held.
State Rep. Jeanette Jamieson will be the grand marshal of the parade.
Organizer Katie Harrison, BCSC, said she received requests for parade entries from around 50 applicants. There is a $3 fee for entries, which will go to offset costs of putting on the event, she said.
“We have classic cars and trucks, antique tractors, mules and wagons, horses and buggies and a float lined up for the parade,” she said. “We will also award prizes in each of the categories and for most authentically dressed in period clothes.”
Following the parade, festivities will begin at noon in the field across from the horse arena on Eaglenest Road.
There, festival goers will find members of the AHG demonstrating crafts of old including, spinning, weaving, carving, blacksmithing and throwing pottery. The demonstrators will have some of their art for sale along with other crafters.
Pottery won’t be the only thing being thrown at the festival. One of the featured games is the “Iron Throw” for the ladies.
At three throws for $1, ladies will be hurling a cast-iron iron at the painted silhouette of a man running away.
Tammy Kennedy, vice president of the chamber, said other games planned were shinnying up a greased pole, rock wall climbing, bingo from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (on Saturday only), and horseshoes.
“The games will go on all day, so anyone can come and give them a try,” said Kennedy.
Area bluegrass musicians will be gathering onstage for a little pickin’ and grinnin’ throughout the day on Saturday, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Saturday night, the street dance will begin at 7 p.m. and will feature the country music of recording artists Karen Shayne and Craig Collins backed up by the band, “High Lonesome” (see separate story inside).
An entry fee of $3 per person, children 2-years-old and under are free, will be charged at the gate.
For more information, contact the chamber at 677-2108.

Volunteers Needed
The Banks County Chamber of Commerce is looking for volunteers to help with Heritage Days this weekend.
Chamber director Rick Billingslea said 61 people are needed to handle the gate, the grounds and the beverage stand.
Vice president Tammy Kennedy said she will be calling on all chamber members to come and lend a hand for the two-day event.
To help, call Billingslea at 677-2108.



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BCN office closed Monday;
Early deadlines set next week
The Banks County News will have early deadlines for next week’s issue due to the Labor Day holiday on Monday.
The deadline for classified advertisements will be at noon on Friday, while the deadline for display advertisements will be at 3 p.m. on Friday.
The news deadline will be at 5 p.m. on Friday. This deadline is for news items submitted from the public, including school, social and church news.
The office will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 29, because of the early deadlines.


School board gets tour of new website
The Banks County school board got an in-depth look at the system’s new website during a meeting Thursday night.
Technology director Karl McElwain, the primary designer for the new site, gave board members a quick tour of the database-driven web pages.
The site allows more communication between teachers, parents, students, administrators and those in the community.
Features include the ability to post news items on the website, an interactive calendar, online board policies and photos of administrators.
Though work continues on the site, teachers are able now to log in from home to enter grades into the system.
“I think it’s fantastic,” board member Ron Gardiner said. “That’s pretty neat.”
The website can be accessed at www.banks.k12.ga.us.
OTHER NEWS
At Thursday’s meeting the school board also:
•approved the $23 million 2003-04 school system budget.
•approved the consolidated application to help bring federal and state money to the school system.
•learned the system has sent its appeal of the recent adequate yearly progress (AYP) report. Leaders say they are confident the school system will be granted a passing grade at the middle school after the appeal is reviewed.
•approved the hiring of Autumn Nix as a half-time business education teacher at BCHS.
•approved the following facilities use request: Banks County Farm Bureau for the annual county meeting on October 14 in the BCHS lunchroom.
•approved the following field trip requests: BCMS gifted to go to New York from March 28 to April 1; and BCHS FFA to go to the National FFA convention in Lousiville, Ky. from October 29 to November 1.
•approved the following project requests: BCMS gifted to hold a dance August 28; BCMS to sell items for money for awards; BCMS to make and sell student pictures on September 4 and February 22; BCMS council for school improvement to hold a spirt night at Chick-Fil-A bi-monthly; BCMS council to sell spirit items; BCMS football cheerleaders to sell spirit ribbons for football games; BCMS council to host a dance on September 26; BCMS athletic booster club to hold a fund-raiser dance on October 11; BCMS to sell chicken November 3-12 and March 1-10; BCHS FFA to hold a chicken-que for the JEMC annual meeting on September 25-26; BCHS FFA to sell chicken-que October 29-November 14; BCHS FFA to sell chicken-que March 24-April 16; and BCHS golf team to hold a golf tournament at Scales Creek on November 8.
•met behind closed doors for 40 minutes to discuss the disclosure of personal information from a student’s educational records. No action was taken.