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Panthers with chance
to win third straight Friday
It appears Jackson County is in the mood
to make some changes this year. A week after ending what had
been a nearly three-year consecutive losing streak, the Panthers
became the programs first team since 1992 to pull off back-to-back
wins by beating Rockdale County.
Set For Round Two
Tigers Go Into Game After Hardigrees
Game-Winner Vs. Towns County Thurs.
If it werent enough that Commerce and Jefferson were facing
each other on a softball field, throw in the fact that two playoff
hungry teams are crossing paths Thursday and youve got
the potential ingredients for another pressure cooker.
coach questions strength of Dragon schedule, ranking
If there wasnt all that much excitement
in the Jefferson locker room surrounding this Fridays region
opener against No. 10 Athens Academy heading into this week,
there certainly is now. The No. 9 Dragons (5-0) will no doubt
be motivated a bit more for Fridays clash by some post-game
comments made by Spartan head coach Mike Gunn following last
Friday nights home loss to No. 6 Lincoln County in Athens.
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.
Banks SAT 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.
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 Jackson Herald
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056
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TWO IN A ROW
By defeating Rockdale County, 15-12, last Friday
night at Panther Stadium, the Jackson County football team won
consecutive games for the first time in 12 years. Above, a rowdy
group of Panther fans prepare to storm the field following a
late game-winning touchdown drive. Jackson County hosts Loganville
this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. during homecoming. For complete
Panther football coverage see this weeks Jackson Herald.
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
Last Friday, the BOC unanimously approved the $32 million budget
and millage rate, 9.77 in the incorporated area and 8.69 in the
unincorporated area, with little discussion. Tax bills are expected
to be sent out Oct. 15.
Although the BOC adopted this budget, that board will change
January 1 with three new members. Many observers expect the budget
to be amended by the new majority in an effort to cut county
expenses and rebuild the countys almost-depleted reserve
The budget adopted last week contained no pay increases for county
NO INMATE HOUSING FUNDS
While the BOC added in the lease payment, the budget still left
out funds for the housing of jail inmates in other counties due
to overcrowding. For 2005, that amount was expected to be $400,000
to $600,000. However, no funds were allocated to the jail budget
to cover those housing costs.
Sheriff Stan Evans said he requested $600,000 to cover the cost
of housing the inmates.
Were going to have to do it, he said. That
is a specific need. It is not something we can handle here. We
cant keep that number of people in this run down jail that
we have. Were going to have to house them out, and theyre
going to have to come up with the money somewhere...For constitutional
officers like myself, the proper procedure is for us to submit
the budget, and it is the commissioners responsibility
to fund it.
ADDITIONAL COURTHOUSE COSTS
In addition to adding the lease payment, the BOC also budgeted
additional funds for utilities at the new courthouse facility
and $84,500 for a Hoschton firm, J Clean, to clean the building.
No bids were taken on that contract.
Previously, inmate labor had been used to clean the old courthouse,
but reportedly some officials in the new facility didnt
want inmates cleaning that building.
Electricity at the new courthouse was budgeted at $100,500 for
2005 and telephone expenses at $100,000. Water and sewerage was
budgeted at $25,000 and natural gas at $19,000.
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 BOE members are now limited to two terms in office. Three
members of the five-member board, chairman Kathy Wilbanks, Tim
Brooks and Jill Elliott, are currently serving their second term
Autumn Leaf 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 give-away
Noon-5 p.m. Gospel and bluegrass bands perform all
day, including: Midnight Praise, Heavenly Expressions, McAllister
Sisters and Crystal River Bluegrass Band.
Pendergrass council member resigns
Pendergrass council member Sandy Funderburk
handed city officials a letter of resignation on Wednesday afternoon,
the day following the councils regular meeting.
Funderburk, who was named to the council in an uncontested election
in November 2003, didnt offer a reason for her sudden resignation
in her one-sentence letter. She couldnt be reached for
comment prior to press time.
Barbara Thomas, city clerk, said it may be too late to hold a
special election this year to fill Funderburks post, but
she and city attorney Walter Harvey are discussing the citys
He said to just take her resignation letter and there wont
be a need to have a called meeting, Thomas said.
The citys charter states if a council member resigns within
six months of an election, a special election will be held at
the next regular election, Thomas said. She added that she plans
to speak with state election officials today (Wednesday) to clarify
how the city should fill the council seat.
Fall break next week for area students
Fall break, or acceleration days, are
ahead next week for Jackson County and Jefferson City Schools
Jackson County schools will have acceleration days Wednesday,
October 6, through Friday, October 8, for students in need of
additional instruction. Other students will have those days as
Jefferson City Schools will have fall break all week, Monday,
October 4, through Friday, October 8, with remediation days available
for students who need extra instruction.
Planners deny subdivision after hearing opposition
Two other requests approved Thursday
Two zoning changes for proposed subdivisions that brought opposition
from area property owners were denied Thursday by the Jackson
County Planning Commission, while two requests that were presented
with no opposition were approved.
The planners unanimously denied a request from Diamond Developers
for a land use map amendment from Rural Places to Residential
Growth Areas for property located on Sheep Pasture Road and Waterworks
Road. Plans call for a 142-lot residential subdivision to be
located on 142 acres. Dorothy Park Swindel is the property owner.
Attorney Renee LEplattenier presented the plans and several
area property owners spoke in opposition to the request.
Bob Head presented a petition with the names of 119 people opposed
to the development. He said the property is surrounded by timber,
poultry and cattle farms.
In her rebuttal comments, LEplattenier said the area is
slated for residential growth on the land use map.
The planners also unanimously denied a request from Wayne Frazier
for a land use map amendment from Rural Places to Residential
Growth Areas for property located on Jefferson River Road. Plans
call for locating 171 homes on 128 acres. Several area land owners
spoke in opposition to the request, including Mack Cates, who
said the area should remain rural places.
This subdivision is a prime example of people coming here
out of Atlanta for quick money and then moving on, he said.
The rural places is in keeping with the immediate area.
Homes are situated on several acres.
Planning commission member Don Segraves asked Frazier if he would
consider an open space subdivision with one and half acre lots
instead of three-quarter acre lots.
The numbers dont work, he said. ...Were
not going to build small houses.
The planners approved zoning changes for two subdivision requests,
including one from Apalachee Oaks to rezone approximately 72
acres on Wehunt Road from A-2 to R-1 for a 140-lot residential
subdivision. Virginia Feise is the property owner.
Mark Tolbert presented the plans and there was no opposition.
The planners also approved a request from Levko Land Development
to rezone 66 acres on Hwy. 124 from A-2 to R-1 to locate a 117
single-family residential subdivision. There was also no opposition
to this request.
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners will consider these
request when it meets at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 18, at the new
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Panel Shoots Down
Zoning Change For Cluster Development
A Cumming developers hopes of building
134 small houses on 85.5 acres on Whitehill School Road took
a beating Monday night when the Commerce Planning Commission
voted unanimously to recommend that the rezoning be denied.
The group had sought a change from A-2 to R-2.
The Commerce City Council will take up the Sierra Groups
request and the planning commissions recommendation Oct.
11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Commerce Civic Center.
What doomed the groups request was the idea of building
small houses, and its proposal to cluster them tightly to leave
40 percent of the 85.5 acres in open space didnt help either.
Chairman Greg Perry set the tone for the evening when he pointed
out that in Commerce it takes a house valued at $231,000 to provide
enough property taxes to educate a single child.
So, for every child, they (the houses) wont pay one
and the other property owners have to pick up the burden,
Perry stated. Would that be smart on our part?
Charles Daugherty, one of the designers, presented a brochure
showing compact houses with stone or brick fronts and vinyl on
three sides, that he said would sell in the mid to upper
hundreds (of thousands). His reference to the project as
upscale caught member Joe Leffews attention.
Do you consider $200,000 upscale? Leffew asked.
Looking at the brochure, Perry stated, This, in my opinion,
is a picture of a starter home.
Daugherty, along with designer Brad Harris, defended the property,
noting that it provided tennis courts and a pool, something they
said the area does not lack. They also touted the cluster
concept as a means of saving some of the large oak trees in the
project, calling it more environmentally friendly
than typical developments.
Vicky Kesler, who lives in Highland Estates, voiced opposition
to the smaller houses, which she said are similar to the development
in which she lives and where her husband makes a living
repairing these houses. She repeatedly proposed nicer
homes on bigger lots.
Bob Head, who lives on Whitehill School Road, reminded the panel
that hed presented a petition with 79 signatures in opposition
to the project. He said that the average resident of the area
owns 17 acres and charged that the developers would go
back to Cumming and leave us to clean up the mess.
Other residents expressed concerns over the traffic and the availability
In the end, Leffew made the motion to recommend denial of the
request, and the group withdrew from consideration a companion
zoning request to change 8.5 acres from A-2 to C-2 for commercial
use at the U.S. 441 end.