|News from Banks County...||
SEPTEMBER 1, 2004
Wait for new BOC, Walker proposes
BOC hears complaints from veterinarians, park owner
Couple charged with hauling 24 pounds of cocaine
Trooper pulls driver over for speeding
Driving too fast led to the arrest of two illegal immigrants for allegedly trafficking over 24 pounds of suspected cocaine, worth an estimated street value of $4 million.
Martha S. Oviedo-Vsla, 23, mother of two children, Peru, and Victor Orozco Indante, 20, Mexico, were traveling north on I-85 in a 1996 Ford Windstar van when they were stopped for speeding by a Georgia State Patrol trooper early Thursday morning, said Banks County Sheriff Charles Chapman.
Trooper B. Smith said he became suspicious after asking a few questions. As it turned out, both are illegal immigrants and Oviedo-Vsla had an expired Georgia drivers license. Smith asked if he could search the van and they gave him permission, he said. He then called on the K-9 units from Commerce and Lee Arrendale Correctional Institution to assist in the search.
When the 10 wrapped packages were found, Smith called Banks County to obtain an arrest warrant. Deputies contacted magistrate judge Bobby Blackwell at 1 a.m. to issue the warrant.
Chapman said the two suspects are in county custody awaiting an appearance before the superior court judge to set bail.
Smith said bail could be set as high as $1 million.
If convicted of the felony, the two could serve 25 years to life.
He indicated the case would be tried in state court and possibly federal court.
BC investigator Kyle Bryant said the two were still being held this week and that no bond has yet been set.
County employee seeks $1.2 million in lawsuit
In last weeks issue of The Banks County News, it was stated the Banks County Board of Commissioners is being sued for a total of $400,000 in a sexual harassment suit.
Attorney Nancy Val Preda said Monday that that figure was just for one count. The total is actually $1.2 million, based on three charges, harassment, retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, she said.
Two qualify for mayor in Maysville
Qualifying ends Friday
Maysville Mayor Richard Presley will be facing opposition in the Nov. 2 city election.
Presley and Catherine Daniel had both qualified for the mayors race as of noon Tuesday.
Qualifying will be held through 12:30 p.m. on Friday at city hall.
Others to qualify as of Tuesday were: Ken Mize, for councilperson in Ward 1; and Trent Strickland, for councilperson in Ward 2. Also on the ballot will be Ward 3 and Ward 4 council members.
Entertainment set for Heritage Days Festival coming up Sept. 25-26
Entertainer Dusk Wilson-Weaver and his band Sky will be one of the groups performing at the Banks County Heritage Days festival to be held Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26.
In December 2001, Weaver released his debut CD album containing 10 original songs that range from maverick country to walking/talking blues to comedy. Since release of the Dusk CD, Weavers songs have received airplay in various southeastern states, and have been featured eight times over the 15-station network of Georgia Public Broadcasting Radio. His tunes have also garnered airplay in England, France, and New Zealand and the lyrics of two songs from the album were published in Apotheosis, international journal of the Poetic Genius Society.
Also in 2002, Weaver co-penned the stirring song Colors with hit-writer Christopher Moon, and this recording was released as a CD single sponsored locally by Habersham Hardware & Home Center and Community Bank & Trust.
During the 2003-2004 holiday season, Dusk released his second CD album, Dedications & Dreams, with supporting performances by 20 Arizona and Georgia musicians, including bassist Rich Neville of the classic rock band Poco and Navajo flute player Kelvin Bizahaloni of the nationally known Native American group Burning Sky.
Dedications & Dreams includes 10 new compositions by the artist, the cover songs Quicksilver Daydreams of Maria and Indian Wars, and a music video entitled The Sunlight of Your Smile. This album, too, has earned broad airplay, including four features on Georgia Public Radio, and rotation on Nashville subscription radio Sisyphus Tracks.
This year, Dusk has been appearing widely with his quartet known as Dusk & Sky. Dusk and/or the entire band performed at the most recent Mountain Laurel Festival (fourth appearance), Golden Hill Concert Series (third show), Appletree Farms, Sautee-Nachoochee Community Center (second), Big Red Apple Festival (second), and last years Heritage Days Festival, in addition to their many auditorium, coffeehouse, storefront, and civic club concerts.
In both April and May of this year, Dusk & Sky did a full hour appearance on Terrance McKnights Studio GPB over public radios statewide network, and on the evening of September 17, they are to open for The Tams in Dusks third appearance at Chattahoochee Mountain Fair.
The well-known gospel group Mercy Tree and singer-songwriter Anne Greene will also be performing.
The Banks County Chamber of Commerce, the City of Homer and various organizations have been working hard to finalize plans for the second annual Banks County festival, Heritage Days, which will be held Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26.
The free event will begin Saturday at 10 a.m. with a parade of bands, classic cars, antique tractors, carriages, horses and floats. The route will start at Banks County Middle School and will end at Veterans Park in Homer.
At the recreation departments horse arena, a village of 30-some demonstrators will be exhibiting their skills as they re-create the 1800s and the everyday tasks of people living off the land.
Musical entertainment will continue throughout the day. Mercy Tree will start things off, followed by Anne Green and Dusk Wilson -Weaver.
The Banks Crossing Saddle Club and the Banks County Horse Association will be putting on exhibitions of horsemanship and riding.
There will be a classic car show, an antique tractor show, a carriage/buggy show and a stock show, sponsored by the Banks County 4-H Club.
For the sportsman or sportswoman, there will be a musket competition, an archery contest, a knife-throwing contest and a sanctioned horseshoe tournament. Trophies will be awarded.
The children will also have a variety of games to enjoy.
The Banks County Senior Center will be the location for a flea market village.
In the evening, a sock-hop will be held in the new recreation center on Thompson Street. Admission is $3 per person, which will go to the recreation center and the deejay who will be spinning golden oldies as well as current music.
Sunday activities will begin with a morning service, followed by gospel and blue grass groups.
Rick Billingslea, chamber director, said more craft vendors and artists are needed. For more information, contact the chamber at 677-2108.
Schools to be closed Mon. for Labor Day
Banks County schools will be closed Monday in observance of the Labor Day holiday.
The next break for students will be Friday, Oct. 15, when a teacher work day is held.
Thanksgiving holidays will be Wednesday-Friday, Nov. 24-26. The Christmas break will be Dec. 22-Jan. 5.
Deadlines moved up due to Labor Day holiday Mon.
Baldwin to see vote on liquor license
Baldwin residents will have one more reason to hit the voting booths election day, Nov. 2.
The city council voted four to one to put a referendum on the ballot giving residents the choice of allowing liquor by the drink sales in the city.
During Mondays special called meeting, councilman Mitchell Gailey started the discussion off by stating he thought the city should look for other sources of revenue to bring in needed funds and avoid continually raising taxes. He said it would be advantageous to the city if a restaurant like OutBack or Red Lobster locates here.
Id like us to have some nice restaurants, but we need to allow liquor sales to bring them in, he said. I talked to one [prospect] a few years ago and the first thing he asked about was the pouring license. I told him we didnt allow it.
Councilman Ray Holcomb disagreed with Gailey and said: If a restaurant has good food, it doesnt need liquor. Cracker Barrel does a great business and they dont serve alcohol.
Mayor Mark Reed suggested the council leave the decision up to the residents, like the City of Cornelia is doing.
More people vote in the presidential election than in the others, he said. We can have public hearings, but give the people the opportunity to vote on it, like Cornelia is doing.
There is enough time to get it on the November ballot, according to Betty Harper, city manager. The council would have to advertise the referendum three times 60 days prior to the election.
Holcomb then said he objected to the issue being discussed and voted on since it was not listed on the agenda.
I have no objection to allowing the people to vote on this, he said. I do object to the way you brought this up. We could have talked about this at the work session last week, but that was cancelled. You didnt have the nerve to call us up and let us know this was going to be discussed.
Growth is coming and we need to be ready for it, said councilman Robert Bohannon.
Bohannon agreed the residents should have a say.
A number of residents at the meeting said they would approve of the referendum, especially if it meant lower taxes.
Linda Caudell said: Growth is coming north from Lula up [Highway] 365. Nice restaurants will want to build here. If we dont address the issue, theyll move farther north, into Cornelia.
Councilwoman Beverly Holcomb said the issue should have been advertised so that more people would be able to voice their opinions. She voted against putting the referendum on the ballot, remaining steadfast in her promise that she would not approve any the sale of any form of alcohol.
Bohannon reassured the gathering: We might say strong words to one another, but we leave as friends.