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Center offers top notch entertainment
When traveling, I always look forward
to going to a Broadway play, concert or other cultural event.
I have programs from all of the plays I have been to in Atlanta,
New York City, Chicago, Boston and other large cities.
site I go out of my way to avoid
I am interested in history and learning
about historical sites, but Ill admit it, there is one
historical site no make that two sites in Charleston,
S.C., that I will go out of my way, way out of my way, to avoid.
to Wildcats, 0-17
Leopards are scoreless in two consecutive
The Leopards lost a difficult game Friday, September 24, to the
Rabun County Wildcats. The score was 17-0.
For the second week in a row the Leopards were unable to put any points on the scoreboard. They were scoreless against Greater Atlanta Christian on September 18.
BOC adopts $32
Millage rates set at 8.69 and 9.77
By again tapping into its dwindling reserve funds, the Jackson
County Board of Commissioners added the annual lease payment
on the new courthouse when it adopted its 2005 budget last week.
An earlier draft of the budget had omitted the $1.1 million lease
County BOE term
limit change to be on ballot
Voters in the Jackson County School System
district will be asked when they go to the polls on Nov. 2 to
consider changing the term limits for board of education members.
The 56th annual Madison County Agricultural
Fair will continue through Saturday at the Comer Lions Club Inc.
Fair Grounds off Hwy. 22, Comer.
There are rides, shows, kiddieland, games, food and exhibits.
The fair opens nightly at 6 p.m., with a Saturday matinee from
noon to 4 p.m.
Year-long conflict leaves taxpayers in
So how much of an increase will county property owners actually
see in their tax bill this year?
Well, thats like asking how much is X plus Y?
The equation is incomplete.
The Banks County News
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Fax: (706) 367-8056
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Weekend festivities in Homer
During the Civil War, soldiers were expected
to fire off three rounds in one minute. Not an easy task when
you have three steps to go through with every shot. Lined up
for the competition during the Heritage Days festival Saturday
were 5th Georgia Company reenactors. They are: (L-R) Danny Vaughn,
Commerce; Greg Deese, Augusta; and Michael Coke, 16, Thomson.
Colonel Edward Coke, Thomson, timed the men. See this weeks
Banks County News for more photographs from the festival.
case numbers on the rise
92 cases investigated
The Banks County Department of Family and Children Services staff
is seeing a marked increase in the number of reported cases of
Director Renota Free gave the sobering statistics at the recent
board meeting. Some 31 reports of child abuse were reported in
August, including six for physical abuse, three for sexual abuse,
one emotional abuse and 21 for neglect. Six of the reports were
screened out after initial investigations; seven cases were substantiated
and opened; 13 were closed after case workers found no evidence
to support the alleged abuse; and 17 cases remain pending further
investigation by staff.
That left the staff with 48 on-going child abuse cases, bringing
the total case load of 92 for August.
We have three workers taking care of these 92 reports,
Free said. We normally might have 15 to 18 new cases a
month and eight or nine on-going as we work the families. This
is extremely unusual to have 48 substantiated cases.
The county now has custody of 17 children who have been placed
in foster homes or with other family members.
In the economic services report, government support for food
stamps is holding steady at $90,607 for 457 Banks County families.
Temporary assistance for needy families dropped slightly to $9,608
in August for 46 families.
Child care and employment services costs came in at $1,697, up
from last month.
Free said there are 17 families still waiting to have children
placed in day care. Currently, the state has a hold on funds
and it is not clear when more money will be released for this
In other business, Free said she had been in contact with the
state office about the new building, but there was no good news.
The new facility approved three years ago would not even
be considered in the next two years.
While the state office shared our concerns and hardships,
they cannot support any building project of fiscal years 2005
or 2006, she said.
Board member Novella Simmons said she had read Governor Sonny
Purdue had found $200,000 and gave it to Hall County for
spaying and neutering dogs and cats.
I dont see how he can do that on one hand and on
the other tell us we cant get this new building done,
Free said Rep. Jeanette Jamieson has been in contact with state
officials and plans a visit to the current facility.
That building was recently sold and the owner has leased it to
Baldwin seeks federal funds for storm damage
City officials asking for $17,000
The City of Baldwin is seeking $17,000 in federal funds for storm
damage caused by Hurricane Ivan.
The federal emergency management agency declared several counties
in Northeast Georgia, including Banks and Habersham, as disaster
areas allowing the towns, cities and counties to apply for disaster
Baldwin fire chief Joe Roy told city council members this week
that in an almost 24-hour span, Ivans 60 mile per hour
wind gusts and 10 inches of rain cost the city $17,738 in overtime
as employees worked on tree and debris removal and damage to
Roy and public works director Scott Baum compiled a list of infrastructure
problems that incurred as well as the work orders that came in
to city hall.
Firefighters and road crews worked over 20 downed trees on power
lines that created road hazards and four others involving damage
to homes in the city.
When the power went out in a large portion of the city and Habersham
County, the wastewater treatment plant and water plant were knocked
out as well. An automatic back-up generator at the wastewater
plant kicked in and kept it on line. Things at the water plant,
where water is pumped from the Chattahoochee, didnt go
as well. Debris in the water and heavy sedimentation from storm
water runoff caused the intake pump to clog when power was restored.
Rescue teams also responded to several emergency calls and one
accident during the storm.
Street crews were dispatched to roads that had been damaged due
to the heavy rainfall. One sinkhole on Heartwood Way was reported.
Five paid and four volunteer firefighters were called in that
evening, as were two men from the street department, three men
from the water department, two wastewater treatment plant operators
and two water plant operators. The cost for the overtime, a figured
by Roy and Baum, totaled $3,497.
The cost for tree removal was over $12,000. Damage to city property
came to $1,776. And that was just in Habersham County.
In Banks County, Baldwin crews were dispatched to the heavily
hit area of Wofford Creek where a dozen trees bought down power
We made our way in to check on the residents, he
said. It was tough, but I had to be sure everyone was safe.
On the side roads, Wofford Creek Lane and Wofford Creek Trail,
we found several trees down and cleared them out the best we
Roy said they also cleared trees from Highway 105, Wheeler Circle
and Nix Road.
He explained that he had passed on preliminary figures for work
done in Banks County to emergency management and E-911 director
Diedra Moore. Banks County had just been declared a disaster
area as of Monday and so could apply for storm recovery costs.
Councilman Robert Bohannon suggested the council discuss equipment
needs for emergencies and how to get it when needed.
Roy said two additional chain saws would have helped and could
also be used during winter for damage from ice storms.
We also could use some large tarps to cover structural
damage to homes, he said. In such situations, people
need all the help we can give them. Its just like using
tarps when we fight fire in a home. If the fire is contained
to one room, we cover the furniture to prevent water damage if
we can. This is no different. We cover the roofs to prevent further
damage. We would, of course, have to retrieve them.
He also suggested a four-wheel drive vehicle for patient transport
when an ambulance cannot get to the home. The stretcher could
be placed on the four-wheel drive thus saving time and any further
endangerment of the patient.
Bohannon suggested the council talk with owners of local equipment
rental supply companies to get their help by opening up during
In other business, Roy asked the council to allow him to amend
the budget to reflect the sale of used air packs that were surplused
after the department received a $74,000 federal grant from Homeland
Security to purchase new turnout gear and air-packs.
Roy sold four air packs to a volunteer unit for $6,000. He asked
that he be allowed to use that money for lettering and striping
and a generator for the used rescue truck recently purchased
with special local option sales tax money, additional rescue
harnesses, egress packs, helmets, hoods, gloves and boots.
He said he found a possible source for the generator at a cost
The council did not take action on his request and will discuss
it at the next work session scheduled at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday,
Other agenda items also tabled for discussion at the work session
were the proposed18-percent increase in sewer rates and the annexation
of two lots totaling 3.86 acres on Banks Highland Drive.
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scores below state average
Banks County students taking the SAT during
the last school year fell slightly below the state average.
Students in Banks County averaged a 959 total score, while the
state average was 987. Banks County students averaged a score
of 475 in math and 484 in verbal.
In 2003, Banks County averaged a 960, with a score of 477 in
math and 483 in verbal. The state average in 2003 was 960.
Beginning in Spring 2005, students across the nation will be
taking a new version of the SAT. It will contain a new writing
section that will include multiple-choice questions involving
grammar and usage, as well as an essay question. The current
verbal section will be renamed Critical Reading and will no longer
include analogies. It will, however, include more short reading
passages. The math section will be expanded to include more Algebra
II, while eliminating quantitative comparisons.
According to the college board, the new SAT will improve
the alignment of the test with current curriculum and institutional
practices in high school and college. By including a [writing
section], the new SAT will help colleges make better admissions
and placement decisions.
Festival ahead this weekend
The annual Maysville Autumn Leaf Festival
will be held Friday through Sunday, with an ole timey country
fair as the theme. The weekends events will include
a Battle of the Bands on Friday night and a street
dance on Saturday night. A parade will be held Saturday morning.
Craft vendors will have their wares available throughout the
three-day festival. Comedian Billy Holeman will perform at various
times throughout the weekend and in-between bands on Sunday.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Noon festival opens
5:30 p.m. Battle of the Bands begins.
Dance all evening to the different bands competing for cash prizes.
7 p.m. hayride begins
9 a.m. festival opens
10 a.m. parade
11 a.m. opening ceremonies, MAR-JAC chicken cook-off;
trivia contest all day with $5 prizes
Noon Commerce School of Dance
12:30 p.m. Banks County cheerleaders
12:30-2 p.m. cake walk
1 p.m. Herbie the Love Bug
2 p.m. Akido of Commerce
2:30 p.m. Akido of Commerce Gymnastics
3 p.m. pie-eating contest
3:30 p.m. hula hoop contest
4 p.m. pumpkin painting contest
5 p.m. cake walk
7 p.m. hayride, street dance
8 p.m. rifle raffle
Noon-5 p.m. Gospel and bluegrass bands perform all
day, including: Midnight Praise, Heavenly Expressions, McAllister
Sisters and Crystal River Bluegrass Band.
Vote on ballot in Baldwin
A liquor-by-the-drink referendum will go before the
citizens of Baldwin on Tuesday, November 2.
The Yes or No vote must be cast at Baldwin
city hall, said Mayor Mark Reed, since it is the only Baldwin
precinct that will have the ballots.