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DECEMBER 10, 2003


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OPINIONS
Jackson County opinion page


SPORTS
CHS Girls Basketball Looking To Build Upon First Two Games
Twenty practices with a full squad were nice, but live action this past week provided a much better litumus test.

Homeward Bound
First Jefferson homestand of the season begins Friday
Lady Dragons improve to 2-3 with Tues. win over Indians

Panther hoopsters fall on road Tues.
MORE JCCHS HOOPS COVERAGE ON PAGE 5B of this weeks Jackson Herald.
Jackson County made the trip to Rockdale County on Tuesday night and came home with losses in both the girls and boys varsity games.


News from
BANKS COUNTY
Chimney fires spark warning
Fire dept. offers safety tips for wood stoves
Residents cranking up their wood-burning stoves and fireplaces need to be aware of the dangers that exist with such heating systems.
Banks County volunteer assistant fire chief John Creasy said the chimneys and pipes should be checked or replaced before starting that warm fire.

Bids for BCPS classroom addition to go out soon
Addition projected to be open by August
Bids for the 11 classroom addition at Banks County Primary School are set to go out in February and officials are hoping to open the new wing by the start of next school year.


News from
MADISON COUNTY
South Madison water purchase completed
Acquisition is key component
of development plans in Hull area
Madison County’s Industrial Authority signed final papers and wrote a check for $507,187 on Monday, Dec. 1, to complete the purchase of the existing South Madison Water System.

Journal kids pic deadline set for Fri.
The annual children’s Christmas section will be published in The Madison County Journal on Wednesday, December 24.

Our Time and Place:
A History of
Jackson County, Ga

A complete history of Jackson County, Georgia from 1796 to the present. Written in narrative style for easy reading. Includes material not found in other books about Jackson County.

Order this book online

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DECORATING THE ‘REMEMBRANCE TREE’

Members of the Pilot Club of Jefferson and Jefferson City employees decorated the “remembrance tree” on the Jefferson square Friday, just in time for the parade and festivities on Saturday. Shown putting strands of memory and honor decorations on the tree are (front to back) Virginia Aultman, Marion Mahaffey, Paula Morgan and Jo Strickland. Randy Hurley is pictured in the background and Danny Hubbard, who also helped, is not visible. Proceeds from sales of the remembrance tree ornaments will be used for local civic projects, club members said.

Jefferson looks at impact fees
Jefferson leaders are apparently moving toward enacting impact fees for the town.
Consultant Bill Ross gave a one-hour presentation on impact fees at the Jefferson City Council meeting Monday night. City manager David Clabo asked what the next step would be and Ross suggested the town seek proposals from consultants who would lead the town in the development of impact fees. Ross said it would take eight to nine months to get impact fees approved.
Ross said the city also needs to decide how the impact fees would be implemented, determine whether there is enough data to calculate the fee and form an advisory committee.
Impact fees “sets rules for local governments that wish to charge new development for a portion of the additional capital facilities needed to serve it.” Under state guidelines, local governments may impose fees on developers to help expand the infrastructure. Only specific types of projects may be funded with this money.
The projects that may be funded with impact fees include: water supply; wastewater collection; roads, streets and bridges; stormwater collection; parks, open spaces, recreation areas and related facilities; public safety facilities; and libraries and related facilities.
“This is an important issue that we’ve talked about for some time,” Clabo said.
The Jefferson council has been discussing the possibility of impact fees since March, and, more recently, hosted a Georgia Municipal Assocation District 5 conference in October with the topic of impact fees discussed.
At Monday’s meeting, Ross also addressed the controversy in some communities over impact fees.
“They don’t drive away business,” he said. “There are a lot of myths out there about impact fees.”
Ross said the average impact fee for a town the size of Jefferson is $1,200. He also suggested that the fee not be over $2,000. He said that the “higher you get over $2,000, the more opposition you have.” He added that non-residential fees are based on the number of employees a company has.


Suspects sought
Robbers pose as salesmen and gain entry to Pendergrass home
Three men robbed an elderly Pendergrass man on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at his Mtn. Creek Church Road home, according to an incident report filed at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
Two men went to the man’s home and reportedly gained entry by posing as Social Security workers. When the men got inside the home, they started talking about selling the man flooring, according to the report. The two suspects kept the victim in the living room, while a third suspect allegedly went into his bedroom and took money.
One suspect is described as being a while male, 5’5’’ with a knot in the right side of his neck. He is in his mid-50s and was wearing a tan ball cap, blue jeans and brown jacket.
The second suspect is described as being a white male, 5’10’’ to 6’, in his mid-30s and was wearing jeans and a long-sleeve shirt. The victim didn’t see the third suspect.
The three suspects were in a new model vehicle, possibly a Dodge truck, extended cab, silver or white in color.
Approximately two hours before the incident in Pendergrass, the same type of robbery occurred in Franklin County, according to law enforcement officials.
The suspects took money from the purse of an elderly woman. They also gained entry into her home by trying to sell her flooring. They were driving a newer model silver Dodge truck.


BOE changes self-surveys approach
In a move driven largely by the perceived lack of accuracy of a recent report on gang activity within the county, the Jackson County Board of Education voted Monday to change to another survey administer in the school system.
The board chose to switch to the BART survey, which is recommended by the Northeast Health District Board of Directors and is cost-free. The system will no longer use the current administer, Safe and Drug Free Schools Survey, which was budgeted to cost $400.
Stating that he agreed with a recent news report in The Jackson Herald that the survey did not reflect the actual situation in Jackson County, school superintendent Andy Byers advised that the change be made. The board agreed unanimously with his recommendation.
The survey deals with issues such as students using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, as well as gang activity and bullying in schools. More than 800 county school students took part in the survey last spring.
Middle school students who reported they’ve participated in “illegal gang activity” were shown to have increased in numbers over the past three years, according to the survey.
Seventeen percent of eighth graders in the Jackson County School System reported they had taken part in gang activity, a number that has been questioned.
Almost seven percent of county eighth graders reported taking part in a gang in 2002, while nearly four percent said the same in 2001.
The surveys, which were optional, were administered to students in fifth, eighth and 10th grades. Local educators use the


Santa to visit Nicholson Fri.
The holiday festivities are continuing this week with a visit from Santa in Nicholson, a luminary service in Jefferson and a tour of homes in Maysville.
Santa Claus will visit the Harold S. Swindle Public Library in Nicholson from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 12.
“He will be visiting with children and checking their Christmas lists,” organizers stated. “There will also be a time of music and fellowship.”
A “Grandma’s Fan” queen-sized quilt will be given that evening by members of the Friends of the Harold S. Swindle Library. The quilt was handmade by the Jackson County Senior Citizens Center and is on display at the library. Tickets are $2 each and may be purchased at the library or from any member of the Friends of the Library.
For more information, call Bea Pearre at (706) 757-3577.
LUMINARY FESTIVAL
A Festival of Luminarias is planned for 6 p.m. Thursday, December 11, at the courthouse square in Jefferson to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Jackson County Relay for Life efforts.
Hundreds of candles will light the night, each one a tribute to a cancer patient – in honor of a survivor or in memory of a loved one. Luminary bags will display the names of those being honored or remembered, with a minimum donation of $5 per luminary. In honor and in memory names will be read at 7 p.m.
A singing of Christmas carols will also be a part of the program.
“What an inspirational sight and what a great way to start the Christmas holidays,” said Sandra Fite.
All proceeds will go to the Relay for Life in Jackson County. The Festival of Luminarias will be an annual event and similar programs will be held at multiple sites in 2004, Fite said.
For more information or to order a luminary bag, call Fite at 367-8574 or Gail Banks at 367-9721 or contact a Relay for Life team captain.
‘CHRISTMAS IN MAYSVILLE’
Maysville businesses are sponsoring “Christmas in Maysville” from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, December 13. The event will feature tours of three Maysville homes, carriage rides around the town to look at decorated homes, a live Nativity and carolers, said Catherine Daniel, one of the organizers.
“People need to come by and get their free tickets from The Short Stop service station, Regions Bank or the Yellow Rose in Maysville in order to participate,” she explained.
Rebecca and Friends will also be open and offering hot cider, she added.
“We want to invite everyone to come and share this wonderful night with us,” she said.
Also, the Maysville Community Improvement will hold a Christmas get-together in the park from 5 to 9 p.m. Refreshments and crafts will be available.
BRASELTON LIBRARY
The Braselton Library is planning two special programs during the holiday season.
On Tuesday, December 23, “Grandmother Goose” will visit the library to “spin stories.” At 2 p.m. December 30, magician David Ginn will perform at the community center.


Request for added quarry hours denied
Jefferson asks company officials to meet with citizens
A request from a rock quarry to extend its hours of operation to 24 hours Mondays through Saturdays was denied by the Jefferson City Council Monday night.
Steve Kinney made the motion to deny the request from Martin Marietta rock quarry, located on Academy Church Road, for a variance to extend its hours. Councilman Bosie Griffith, C.D. Kidd III and Marcia Moon also voted to deny the motion. Philip Thompson recused himself from the discussion and vote because of the ties his company has to Martin Marietta.
Kinney asked that a work session be set up in January between company officials and residents of the area who appeared at a city council meeting last week to oppose the request for extended hours. For the rest of this story see this weeks Jackson Herald.


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Jim Yarborough Named CEO At BJC
After a search process that lasted months, the Board Authority has hired Jim Yarborough, CHE, as the new CEO for BJC Medical Center. He will begin his employment Jan. 5, but has visited the Commerce area several times in anticipation of his arrival.
“We’re pleased and excited to have someone of Jim’s caliber to lead BJC Medical Center,” said Charles Blair, chairman of the Authority. “He will ensure that we’re able to continue to provide quality health care services to the communities we serve, and we are confident that a bright future lies ahead for BJC. It’s clear that our affiliation with QHR enabled us to attract a broader spectrum of candidates than we might have seen if we were working on our own.”
A North Carolina native selected from a field of more than 50 applicants, Yarborough comes to BJC from Barnwell Community Hospital in South Carolina where he is the chief executive officer. Before he moved to Barnwell, he was the CEO at Allegheny Memorial Hospital in Sparta, NC, for 8 years. Yarborough also worked as an associate administrator at Doctor’s Hospital of Jefferson in Louisiana upon leaving the Air Force in 1992, where he worked in healthcare administration as a Medical Services Corps officer since the late 1970’s.
During his more than 20-year tenure in the Air Force, Yarborough was stationed at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, and at Clark Air Base in the Philippines, among others. He received the Tactical Air Command Medical Services Corps Officer of the Year Award in 1985 after receiving the equivalent award for the Pacific Air Command in 1982.
During his career, Yarborough has developed outpatient specialty clinics, upgraded hospital computer systems, established a foundation, obtained millions of dollars in grants, developed a master plan for additions and renovations, and increased cash reserves and equivalents 254 percent through difficult years. Allegheny earned an average 6.73 percent operating margin during his tenure, while comparative hospitals earned an average margin of 0.03 percent.
Yarborough is a diplomate of the American College of Healthcare Executives, he has served as president of the North Carolina Hospital Association for District II, he served on the Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corpora-tion Community Advisory Board, is a past president of the Allegheny County Chamber of Commerce, and served as a member of the Allegheny County Schools Cyber Classroom Advisory Board.
His interests include golf, bicycling and fishing. He is married to Deborah Yarborough. They have three children, all of whom are in their twenties.
BJC Medical Center is an authority governed 90-bed acute care hospital and a 167-bed nursing facility in Commerce.
In its most recent survey by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, BJC scored a 93 out of 100. The Medical Center is managed by QHR, which currently provides management consulting and related services, implementation support, and education/training programs to more than 300 non-profit hospitals and healthcare systems in 43 states.


Arcade City Council holds closed session on potential litigation
The Arcade City Council held a 30-minute closed session at Monday night’s meeting for the discussion of “pending or potential litigation, settlements, and claims.”
Once in open session, the council took no action and had no discussion on the matter.
OTHER BUSINESS
For the rest of the story see this weeks Jackson Herald.