News from Jackson County...

SEPTEMBER 22, 2004

Jackson County

Jackson County
Jackson County

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CHS Has Two Weeks To Recover From Loss To Red Devils
During the summer, Commerce head coach Steve Savage pegged the Tigers’ impending schedule one of the most imposing that his program would face in recent memory.

Dragons 5-0 for first time in 24 years; enjoy bye Fri.
After picking up their fifth win of the season last Friday night, Jefferson (5-0) will enjoy a bye this week before opening up Region 8-A play at home against Athens Academy on Oct. 1.

Overtime triumph ends Jackson County’s
28-game losing streakJackson County football fans, players and coaches were able to breathe a sigh of relief Saturday night — they shed an infamous label too.
The Panthers outlasted host Eastside 21-14 for their first win in almost three years, and in the process rid themselves of the state’s longest losing streak of 28 games.

News from
Trees, power lines down, flooding reported across Banks County
The considerable remnants of Hurricane Ivan blew through Banks County Thursday bringing down power lines and trees, flooding streets and bridges and causing erosion of some roads.

Regions Bank held up by armed robber
“Don’t do anything stupid, I have a gun,” read a note handed to a teller working at Regions Bank on Friday, September 17.

News from
Ivan encounter leaves parts of Madison County...
Twister damages homes, county facilities; injuries reported, but no fatalities
A tornado tore through Madison County Thursday afternoon around 3:30 p.m., injuring three people, completely leveling two homes, damaging numerous others, harming several county facilities off Hwy. 98 and leaving some 8,000 households temporarily without power.
The Jackson Herald
Jefferson, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056


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Had help with curls

Audryanne Dutton, 6, Commerce, got some help with her curls from her mother, Gloria Pittman, and grandmother, Marie Wilder, both also of Commerce, before the Miss Autumn Leaf Pageant held Saturday night at Jackson County Coomprehensive High School. See page the weeks Jackson Herald for more pageant photographs.

$70 million school bond vote narrowly approved
A close vote
A low voter turnout and a narrow margin weren’t what county school officials were looking for in Tuesday’s $70 million bond vote.
The measure, the largest bond referendum in the county’s history, passed by only 137 votes — 886-749. Only nine percent of the county’s registered voters turned out.
“I’m certainly relieved,” superintendent Andy Byers said after the final votes were counted. “I am disappointed with the turnout. We had more ‘Yes’ commitments. (But) we are living in a democratic society and the majority rules.”
As the votes started to come in Tuesday night, county school officials were alarmed as the “No” votes were ahead after the first eight precincts were counted.
In the final tally, three of the county’s 14 precincts had a majority of “No” votes. In six other precincts, there were only a few votes different.
Byers said the students would benefit from the bonds passing with work to start immediately on the new $30 million East Jackson High School. The first step will be to cut the timber on the property, located near East Jackson middle and elementary schools. Construction will get under way before the end of the year.
Byers said the situation is critical at Jackson County Comprehensive High School in Jefferson, which was built to accommodate 1,250 students. There are more than 1,621 students enrolled at the school this year and the numbers are expected to continue to increase rapidly.
In addition to the new high school, another priority will be a middle school in South Jackson. Other projects to be funded with the bonds include: Classrooms, offices and bus-loading area added to Maysville Elementary; classrooms added to South Jackson Elementary; classrooms added to North Jackson Elementary or a new school in the North Jackson area; offices and bus-loading area at West Jackson Primary; possible new elementary school in West Jackson; and land acquisition for future school sites.
School leaders anticipate the bonds can be paid with an additional 2.9 mills based on the existing tax digest. As growth adds to the digest in the coming years, the millage rate may be lowered.
For an average home with a market value of $150,000, the tax hike would be $174 per year in additional taxes. Some senior citizens will get a break, depending on their yearly income and value of property they own. The increase will not be reflected on this year’s tax bills.

Storm damage reported
Trees down, power out across county
Hurricane Ivan hit areas of Jackson County last week, although only minimal damage was reported. That was not the case in nearby Madison County, where a tornado touched down and widespread damage was reported.
In Jackson County, Hurricane Ivan caused several trees to fall in roadways and the sheriff’s office received a report of one barn being damaged.
At the height of the storm last Thursday night, Jackson EMC had more than 18,500 customers out of service throughout its 10-county service area.
Late during the night, the EMC still had 14,500 customers out of service, including: 5,000 customers in Jackson, Banks and Barrow counties. Power had been restored by the weekend.
While schools closed in surrounding counties, schools in the Jackson County, Jefferson and Commerce systems remained open for classes on Friday.

Weekend at the park
Art in the Park Festival ahead this weekend
The 14th annual Art in the Park Festival will be held by the Tumbling Waters Society Saturday and Sunday at Hurricane Shoals Park.
The festival will include children’s activties, events at Heritage Village, music at the park stage, crafts, the 5K Mill Race and the “Duck Dash.” Smokey the Bear, Tangaroo and “Splash” will make appearances.
Some of the highlights of the two-day, free festival include the following:
•10 a.m.-6 p.m. — arts and crafts, educational exhibits, food booths and concession stand open: children’s art will be in round pavilion; children’s activities will be held on Maysville side, including puppet show, moonwalk and pony rides; grist mill operating; arrowhead display and historic video at Freeman Cabin; quilting at Veal Cabin; cornbread and beans at Pethel Cabin; Heritage Village buildings open for tours. A TWS table will offer information and items for sale.
•11 a.m. - the 44th Georgia Volunteer Infantry Civil War Re-enactors will be camped all day at Heritage Village and will drill at this time.
•11 a.m.-4 p.m. — storytelling and children’s historical crafts at Freeman Cabin, Heritage Village.
•11 a.m.-12 p.m. — Crystal River Bluegrass Gospel Band, New Rhythm perform at stage in the park
•12-1 p.m. — Southern Travelers perform
•1-2 p.m. — Old Time Sounds of Praise perform
•2-3 p.m. — Crystal River Bluegrass Gospel Band performs
•2:45 p.m. — children’s art winners announced
•3-4 p.m. — The Journeymen perform
•4-5 p.m. — Almost Bluegrass perform
•6 p.m. — festival closes for the day
•12 p.m. — park opens on Jefferson side for runners
•12:30-5:30 p.m. — booths open; children’s art in round pavilion; children’s activities, including puppet show, ponies, petting zoo; grist mill open; re-enactors camped at Heritage Village; arrowhead display and historic video at Freeman Cabin; quilting at Veal Cabin; cornbread and beans at Pethal Cabin. A TWS table will offer information and items for sale, including ducks for “Duck Dash” and cornmeal.
•1 p.m. — registration, check-in for Fun Run/Walk and 5K Mill Race at pavilion #4.
•1-2 p.m. — New Rhythm performs
•1:45 p.m. — Maysville entrance closed for races
•2 p.m. — Fun Run/Walk begins
•2-3 p.m. — Almost Bluegrass performs
•2:30 p.m. — 5K Mill Race begins
•3-4 p.m. — Crystal River Bluegrass Gospel Band performs
•3:30 p.m. — race awards at amphitheater
•4-5 p.m. — Old Time Sounds of Praise perform
•4:30 p.m. – “Duck Dash” at the foot bridge over the shoals
•5:30 p.m. — festival closes

Herald wins three national awards
The Jackson Herald won three awards in the National Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. The awards were presented last week at the NNA annual convention held in Denver, Colo.
Editor Mike Buffington won third place in best editorial writing for an editorial about a speed trap in Arcade.
“Resonates with anyone who’s been ticketed unfairly,” the judge wrote. “The message is clear.”
Features editor Jana Adams Mitcham won third place for best humorous column.
“There’s nothing like a good skunk story,” the judge wrote. “Well-written and lots of fun.”
The Herald also won second place for best legal and public notice section.
“Public notices as all newspapers should do them,” the judge wrote. “Public notices obviously are a priority at this newspaper. Large type, good leading, some of the most easy to ready we’ve seen anywhere. Great presentation. Bravo.”
Other winners from sister newspapers to The Herald, all owned by Mainstreet Newspapers, Inc. were:
•The Commerce News, three awards: Honorable mention in general excellence; Ben Munro first place for best sports column; and third place for best editorial page.
•The Banks County News, two awards: Third place for best sports section and honorable mention for investigative series.
•The Madison County Journal, two awards: Third place for best investigative series and second place for best sports column.

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Six More Parcels Up For Annexation
Into Commerce

The Commerce Planning Commission will consider three rezoning requests and six zoning for annexation requests Monday night at 7:00 in the Peach Room of the Commerce Civic Center.
The planning commission makes recommendations to the Commerce City Council on zoning and land use issues. The recommendations it makes Monday night will be voted on by the city council at its Monday, Oct. 11, meeting at 6:30 p.m., also in the Peach Room of the civic center.
Three of them have been on the agenda before.
They include two tracts owned by the Sierra Group, Cumming, on White Hill School Road at the U.S. 441 end. The owners seek to rezone 85.5 acres from A-2 to R-2 for a residential development and want to rezone another 8.5 acres from A-2 to C-2 for commercial development.
In addition, Barry Lord and Eric Dorsey will be back before the planning commission seeking to rezone a small tract in the Stark Street area from M-1 to R-2 for a residential development. The matter was tabled from the August meeting so Lord and Dorsey could consider an offer of the planning commission for larger houses in exchange for more lots.
Other matters on the agenda include:
•a request from Harold L. and Jeanette Brown to rezone for annexation 1.59 acres on Waterworks Road from R-1 in the county to R-1 in the city.
•a request from C. Dan and Betty Phillips to rezone 1.5 acres from A-2 in the county to R-1E in the city.
•a request from Carl A. and Sybil T. Simpkins to maintain R-1 zoning on two lots totaling 1.03 acres on Delia Drive as they are annexed.
•a request from Brad Thompson to rezone from HRC and I-2 to C-2 in Commerce for three acres at the corner of U.S. 441 and Georgia 59.
•a request from Valerie Boone to rezone from A-2 in the county to R-1 in the city a 1.1-acre lot on Nunn Road.
•a request from C.T. and Evelyn Fitzpatrick to rezone from A-2 in the county to R1-E in the city 1.5 acres on Oconee Lane.
In addition, the planning commission will hear a request from Gralen and April Talbot to approve the division of a lot on Bowden Street.