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Double OT Win
Sets Off Pandemonium In Jefferson
Blacks Field Goal Extends Tigers
Streak To 10 Over Jefferson
With one sweep of his right leg, Dusty Black instantly became
the most popular man in Commerce.
Trip Friday to North
Oconee not important, coach says
Were it not for a pair of late game-winning
field goals by two ranked opponents, the Jefferson football team
would be preparing for first-year North Oconee this week with
an unblemished record.
Instead though, the Dragons are looking to pick up their sixth out-of-region win of the season this Friday night, with a pair of devastating losses behind them.
prepare to visit first-place Salem
Seminoles boast 28 seniors, bevy of backs
for Panthers to contend with
If there were any teams in Region 8-AAAA still not convinced
that the Jackson County football program has made some dramatic
progress in the past year, those skeptics were likely turned
into believers with a glance at the region scoreboard last Friday
face off at forum
Banks voters test candidates on issues
More than 100 residents of Banks County came out Tuesday night
to a political forum in Homer to questions candidates in the
Nov. 2 election on the issues they believe are relevant to the
$140,515 to aid with industry infrastructure
Rep. Jeanette Jamieson has announced a grant in the amount of
$140,515 has been awarded to the City of Baldwin.
What lies Beneath
A look at pipelines, problems, politics
in Madison Co. and beyond
Little goats run in their fenced-in pen off Colonial Drive in
Madison County, oblivious to the vast pipelines just a few feet
below them lines that carry millions of gallons of
fuel to jetliners, factories and families from Texas to New Jersey.
estate guide inside
This issue of The Madison County Journal includes the inaugural edition of a new, local real estate guide, MainStreet Homes. The initial distribution of this guide will be over 24,000 copies, 19,000 of which will go out as paid circulation in The Jackson Herald, The Commerce News, The Banks County News and The Madison County Journal.
The Jackson Herald
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056
NEWS / ADVERTISING
® Copyright 2002
MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Copyright / Terms
POLITICAL SIGNS RESULT IN JOB LOSS
Felton Rainey is pictured with his truck, which has "Re-Elect
Stan Evans Sheriff" signs in the front window. Rainey was
fired from his part-time job after the landlord of Jefferson
Real Deals first had him removed from the property by police
because he would not remove the signs.
from business over Evans sign
A Jackson County man who worked part-time
for a tenant in the Jefferson Real Deals complex was reportedly
kicked out of the business last week by a Jefferson policeman
because he had a sign in his car supporting incumbent sheriff
Stan Evans. He was subsequently fired from working at the business.
Felton "Tommy" Rainey, who did contract work for furniture
dealers Marisa and Jeff Humphries, said he was told by Real Deals
owner Stan Atkins to remove an Evans sign from the window of
his vehicle last Wednesday.
"He told me, 'You don't want to mess with me,'" Rainey
The Humphries lease space from Atkins in the building for their
Rainey said he refused to remove the signs from his car and Atkins
called the Jefferson Police Department. Rainey said he was told
by a policeman to leave the building and was watched as he packed
his tools and left the facility.
"I was just doing my job," he said.
Jefferson police chief Darren Glenn said the department had "no
choice" in the matter.
"We were called by the property owner, and he has rights
over the property," Glenn said. "Who can work there
and stay there on the property is one of his rights. Whether
the property owner is right or wrong, is not up to me to decide.
While I may not always support the decision that is made by the
property owner, I have to abide by his decision. We have to enforce
it. While we may not personally agree with what he does, the
property owner still has the property rights over the property."
Rainey said he was parked near Cobb Street and said he had had
the Evans sign in his truck for almost two weeks before the incident
Atkins has been a vocal critic of Sheriff Evans and has signs
on the Real Deals building saying, "Be stupid, Re-elect
Stan Evans." He also purchased advertising on behalf of
Atkins was arrested by the Jackson County Sheriff's department
four years ago after being stopped for speeding. He refused to
show the deputy his license and left the scene of the stop. He
was arrested a short time later at his home.
Atkins also got involved in opposing Evans in the 2000 election.
Evans won re-election that year in a landslide.'AWKWARD SITUATION'
Rainey said that the Humphries fired him the day after the incident
because they were told that their lease with Atkins would be
in jeopardy if they didn't. The couple reportedly have a 10-year
lease with Atkins.
"This puts us in an awkward situation," the Humphrieses
said when contacted about the incident. "Stan (Atkins) has
been a great help to us getting our business started. We owe
him a lot for his friendship and business guidance. Tommy was
also a great contract employee. We will really miss him. I hope
Tommy and Stan can work things out."
Rainey had worked for the couple on an as-needed basis at the
furniture business, doing carpentry work.
RRainey said he believes his rights have been violated and he
plans to consult an attorney about the matter. The Humphries
couple said this week that they don't live in Jackson County
or "have any political leanings either way."
"Jeff and I don't live in this county and have no political
leanings regarding the sheriff's race," Mrs. Humphries said.
"Real Deals on Furniture is a 100,000 square-foot store
completely separate from Stan Atkins' home décor store
upstairs; he is our landlord. We employ 20+ local people and
pay over $20,000 a month in local and county sales tax; this
directly benefits the community. We have two young children and
have invested our lives in this store. Our future completely
depends on it. We love this town and don't want to be involved
in anything controversial. We are truly indebted to the people
of Jackson County for their support."
candidates tackle budget, courthouse issues
Mistrust in county government also a prime
f there are a few things that Pat Bell and Roy Grubbs - candidates
for chairman of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners - agree
on, it's that county leaders are spending too much money and
citizens don't trust their current elected county leaders.
The difference between the candidates, however, is which issue
must be addressed as a top priority once the new chairman takes
office in January. Both addressed a standing-room only crowd
at a political forum on Tuesday at the Hoschton depot.
Bell, a Republican, said if voters elect her into the chairman's
post during the Nov. 2 election, she'll first address the mistrust
that Jackson County residents have about the current BOC. Bell
defeated incumbent Harold Fletcher during the July primary.
"I think the question tonight is, what did we learn from
the July 20 vote?" she said. "I learned that the people
spoke loud and clear. They want no more business as usual. They
want efficient, ethical, honest government. They want to be heard
and they want to make a difference. They want a fiscally, sound,
Grubbs, a Democrat, agreed that residents have lost faith in
county leaders. But if elected, he promised to tackle the county
"When you start seeing your taxes go up, you don't trust
the government to spend your money," he said.
Grubbs also promised that he would not raise taxes, should he
become the next BOC chairman.
"We've been spending too money and getting too little for
it," he said, while adding that county leaders should learn
to operate within their budget. "Every time we turn around,
it's spend, spend, spend."
And to generate more money for the county, Grubbs said more industrial
growth - not just from the manufacturing industry - is needed
for Jackson County. He added that more health care businesses
should be encouraged to locate in the county.
Bell said county leaders need to balance residential growth with
a more "aggressive" economic development plan that
attracts more industries. She said that move would help to lower
property taxes, while increasing the tax digest.
Another hot topic for the candidates was the new county courthouse,
which remains a controversial topic.
Grubbs said the courthouse issue - which he said has divided
county residents - has been about the commissioners denying voters
a chance to voice their opinion on the matter, not the location
of the judicial facility.
Grubbs proposed that if elected, he will offer residents the
chance to "walk away" from the courthouse lease with
the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG), come
Dec. 31, 2005.
"I'll make a recommendation - and if that healing (among
residents over the courthouse issue) hasn't occurred to my satisfaction
- we'll put it on the ballot and give you the chance to vote,
the vote you were denied previously," he said.
Bell said if elected, she will look at all legal aspects and
address the county's indebtedness.
The candidates also discussed the possibility of a new jail.
Bell said she will speak with the sheriff about a new jail, and
consider a proposed regional jail with Barrow and Oconee counties,
if all of the sheriffs in the three counties agreed to the joint
venture. Barrow County officials recently proposed such a move.
But, Bell warned that if a judge rules that the existing jail
needs to be replaced immediately, property taxes would have to
pay for the new facility.
Grubbs said a new jail might be built in phases, to control spending.
When asked if the county government should have more regulations
on its spending habits, Grubbs said a change to the county charter
might address the issue. Bell said the county government should
follow the lead of the school systems and have more accountability
for their spending.
"The bottom line is, we need to put commissioners in there
that we can trust," Bell said.
The Hoschton Women's Civic Club sponsored the political forum.
Pick Up Stray Animals
State Says County Cant Use Commerce
The Jackson County animal control department has not been able
to pick up cats and dogs for several weeks after the state Department
of Agriculture ruled that the Commerce facility where the animals
are being taken doesnt meet its guidelines.
The guidelines require that the businesses have an animal
shelter license in order for stray animals to be dropped
off. The Commerce Veterinary Hospital does not have this license
and county manager Al Crace said the owner doesnt intend
to get one. Getting a shelter license would mean that anyone
could drop off animals at the site.
Crace added that the state department didnt find any problems
with the service at the Commerce business. The license was the
Jackson County leaders have looked at several possibilities,
including taking the animals to a Madison County shelter. This
didnt work out and the county is now looking at other options.
The state does allow animals to be dropped off at facilities
that have a foster home license and this is being
discussed with the owner of the Commerce business.
We can contract with them for temporary services,
Crace said. We would hold a license and we would declare
that the animals are in a foster care facility. We would have
a written contract with them.
The animal pick up has been out of operation for over three weeks.
We can go out and work talk with people who have complaints,
but we cant take animals, he said. We hope
to have this all cleared up soon.
vote to be on ballot
If approved by Jackson County voters November
2, term limits for members of the Jackson County Board of Education
will be a thing of the past.
Currently, BOE members are allowed to serve two consecutive four-year
terms, if re-elected. That limit was established with a constitutional
amendment passed in 1980.
If approved on November 2, a new constitutional amendment would
allow BOE members to seek re-election an unlimited number of
Three of the current BOE members, including chairman Kathy Wilbanks,
Tim Brooks and Jill Elliott, are in their second terms, which
will end in two years. If the constitutional amendment does not
pass, these board members will not be able to run for re-election.
According to superintendent Andy Byers, the Jackson County School
System may be the only school system in the state with term limits.
Byers noted the two sides of the argument about BOE term limits,
saying that proponents of restricted terms argue that new members
bring new ideas to the table. Others say it should be up to the
voters to re-elect a member - or not - if that BOE member chooses
to run again.
He added that the county BOE members who wish to hold office
with the Georgia School Board Association do not serve long enough
at the local level to emerge as candidates for GSBA office.
"Our board made the decision to bring this issue to the
voters because of the fact that we may be the only one with limits,"
estate issue inside
This issue of The Jackson Herald includes
the inaugural edition of a new, local real estate guide, MainStreet
Homes. The initial distribution of this guide will be over 24,000
copies, 19,000 of which will go out as paid circulation in The
Jackson Herald, The Commerce News, The Banks County News and
The Madison County Journal. It will be published in this newspaper
on the third Wednesday of each month, will be available at local
businesses and will also be viewable online at www.mainstreetnews.com.
"We developed this product for the purpose of reaching local
homebuyers," said Scott Buffington, advertising director
for MainStreet Newspapers. "Many real estate professionals
tell us that as much as 50 to 60 percent of their homebuying
prospects are local people who already live in this community,
people who are wanting to move into larger homes for expanding
families or to relocate to a neighboring town because of jobs
or schools. We realize that there are several good real estate
guides in northeast Georgia but this is the first that focuses
primarily on Banks, Jackson and Madison counties."
Sales and production of MainStreet Homes are being handled by
publishers Andy and Susan Forde, Braselton. They can be reached
at (770) 480-9227.
voting set next week
Advance voting will be underway next week
and voters will be allowed to cast a ballot for the Nov. 2 General
Voting will be allowed from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through
Friday at the voter registrars' office, located in the old courthouse
in downtown Jefferson. Voters do not have to give a reason as
to why they want to vote early.
Voters who meet the criteria to cast an
absentee ballot may do so at any time. Absentee ballots can be
cast at the voter registrars' office between regular hours of
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The criteria for casting an absentee ballot include the voter:
will be out of the precinct on the day of the election, Nov.
2; is a constant care-giver; is over age 75; is an elected official;
is disabled; will be observing a religious holiday on Nov. 2;
is in the military; or is a public safety officer.
BOE term limits up for vote Nov. 2
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Industry & Manufacturing
Health and Fitness
Retail Stores & Outlets
approve study for Commerce road
But final financing still unknown
Jackson County leaders agreed Monday night to fund an $80,000
to $90,000 engineering study for a proposed economic development
road near Commerce. But it is still not clear how the roads will
While the Jackson County Board of Commissioners approved the
study for the proposed Steve Reynolds Parkway at Hwy. 98 in a
3-1 vote, the financing of the road and several other proposed
economic development roads is still pending approval of the industrial
The IDA had asked for some specific cost estimates before it
would agree to fund an estimated $20 million in debt for several
road projects. A meeting between county manager Al Crace and
the IDA is scheduled next Monday to discuss some of the pending
At this week's BOC meeting, Crace expressed frustration with
the financing process.
"I have fooled myself a couple of times, taking a report
to them based on what I perceived at one meeting and, then I
get there, and find they are heading another way," Crace
said. "We've been reporting to them since February."
Also Monday night, commissioner Tony Beatty said he didn't believe
the county should pay the estimated for any engineering study
until the IDA agreed to a bond package to finance the road project.
"I just feel like we shouldn't spend any money until the
IDA decides whether they are going to help us fund this road,"
Commissioner Sammy Thomason, who has been a supporter of the
BOC building economic development roads in the Commerce area
and a critic of the IDA, said the BOC could finance the road
without the IDA.
"How it is funded when it is finally built is to be decided,
but the IDA doesn't hold all the keys in this case," he
said. "The board of commissioners could do that without
going to the IDA. I don't think they can currently, but they
could in the future. There are no intentions to do that, but
it could be done."
Thomason said the proposed road is a "prime site" and
the county needs to move forward on the project. He added that
it could take as long as 18 months to get a railroad crossing
"It's always presumptuous to speak for the IDA, but this
needs to be high on their list of priorities," Thomason
said. "That's my opinion, for all that it's worth."
The engineering study is to secure the railroad crossing permit
at Hwy. 98 and the proposed Steve Reynolds Parkway and to secure
the permits from the Georgia Department of Transportation for
Beatty voted against funding the study, while Thomason, along
with commissioners Stacey Britt and Harold Fletcher, voted in
favor of it