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DECEMBER 3, 2004


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OPINIONS
Jackson County opinion page


SPORTS
The dynasty rolls on
If Jefferson’s Doug Thurmond was a college football coach, he probably wouldn’t be mistaken for Steve Spurrier.

Panthers counting on captain quartet for leadership in ‘04-05
With four returning starters, two of which qualified for the state meet last season, the Jackson County wrestling program has young talent waiting to make a name for themselves in 2003-04.

Basketball 2004-2005
Does State Await? Well-Rested Tigers Looking To Back It Back To State In ‘05
Preseason is usually a foreign word around the Commerce basketball team.


News from
BANKS COUNTY
Banks County Primary School receives state honor
Reception to be held on Dec. 13
Banks County Primary School has been named a “Title I Distinguished School” by the Georgia Department of Education and state superintendent of schools Kathy Cox for the fifth consecutive year.
The announcement was made at the November meeting of the State Board of Education.

Hard times
$100,000 given in food stamps
October was a bad month for Banks families. Renota Free, director of Banks County Department of Family and Children Services, reported at the November board meeting that 456 families had received $101,084 in food stamps. The amount was an increase of more than 33 percent over last year and a record for the county.


News from
MADISON
COUNTY
‘Lessons in faith’
For more than five decades, Hester Sartain has taught class on faith, on life
Hester Sartain remembers walking up the steps of Jones Chapel Church in the early 1950s, balancing her youngest daughter Susan on her hip, when several church leaders stopped her to ask if she would consider teaching a Sunday School class.

Tax bills coming this month?
Digest dilemma has impact on county revenues for 2005
Will county taxpayers get their property tax bills by the end of the year? Well, that’s still up in the air. But county board of assessors chairman John Bellew said that remains his goal.

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The Jackson Herald
Jefferson, Georgia
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A woman was killed and two children injured in a wreck on Hwy. 11 near the by pass west of Jefferson Friday afternoon.


SHOPPERS COME TO TOWN

Jack and Betty Wyngard, Ormond Beach, Fla., packed the trunk Sunday with gifts and a few things for themselves after shopping at Tanger II.

Santa’s ‘helpers’ hit stores in record numbers
Across America, the day after Thanksgiving is the day millions of Santa’s “helpers” hit the stores. In Banks County, it was no different as thousands of shoppers from across the Southeast snarled traffic and filled stores, hotels and restaurants at Banks Crossing.
Jim Carr and Captain Mike Hatfield, Georgia Security Agency of Athens, said they had seen one of the busiest weekends in their seventh year of directing traffic at Tanger II in Jackson County.
“We were hit really hard this weekend,” Hatfield said. “Friday was bad enough, but then on Saturday, we really had some problems when it began to pour.”
Sunday, the crowds and traffic were a bit lighter. Many travelers took advantage of the warm temperatures and reduced congestion of Sunday shopping.
Coming down from Sylvan, N.C., the Dilliard and Hall families enjoyed the day with three young ones in tow.
Selena Hall, with 1-year-old Raeleigh in a stroller, said the dog leashes they bought had become toys for the two boys, Grayson Hall, 4, and Bengie Dilliard, 3. Dads, Chad Dilliard and Chip Hall, shared a bench while the boys played. They had completed about one-half of their Christmas lists at Tanger I and were headed over to Tanger II for the final push.
Katie Crane, Danielsville, with her 20-month-old daughter, Lily, was also making some headway on her shopping list.
“We’re having a lot of fun,” she said wryly, as she placed Lily on a mechanical horse. “We’ve been stopping in here and there.”
Over at Tanger II, Paul and Jane Hooker, Yankeetown, Fla., were busy baby-sitting their 5-year-old granddaughter, Talyn Buckley, while their daughter, Christa Buckley, shopped. Talyn was having a great time riding piggyback on her granddad’s back.
For Jack and Betty Wyngard, Ormond Beach, Fla., the annual pilgrimage was bittersweet. For the past several years, they and their close friends, Pat and Ed Peacock, Blackburn, traveled north to eat Thanksgiving dinner at the Dillard House.
Mr. Wyngard said solemnly as he loaded a few packages in the trunk: “We had to wait three hours to get in the place. But, it was worth it. It’s Ed’s last Christmas.”
Mrs. Wyngard added: “We had to make this trip. It’ll be our last one with the four of us.”
The Wyngards have been stopping at the Banks Crossing stores for many years to pick up gifts and even a few things for themselves.
With a child’s stroller loaded with bags, Debbie Johnson and Theresa Rust, Duncan, S.C., joked they had to leave the baby in the car with Dad as they shopped. They, too, have been spending the weekend after Thanksgiving enjoying the shopping and restaurants at Banks Crossing for several years. They were pleased to see the new restaurants, Ruby Tuesdays and Appleby’s.
Thomas Burton, Laurens, S.C., was strolling around the stores with his 2-year-old daughter, Payden.
“I’ve been coming here to shop after Thanksgiving since I was her age,” he laughed. “I’ve got a little shopping done.”
Holiday shoppers also packed The Pottery picking up Christmas decorations.
At The Home Depot, employee Kenny Wilson, was busy trimming down a tree for the Hewell family. Amanda and Matthew Hewell, Gillsville, had help picking out the tree from their two children, Eli, 6, and Susanah, 2.
Mark Valentine, general manager of the Tanger Factory Outlet Stores said preliminary figures indicated a 16-percent increase in traffic over last year.
“Things were looking pretty good. The stores we’ve heard from have said they were happy with the way sales were going,” said Valentine. “Everything appears to indicate we had a great weekend.”


New developments proposed for Pendergrass
Commercial project planned on bypass
The first planning and zoning hearing since Pendergrass withdrew from the Quad Cities Planning Commission in April brought some large requests for city officials to consider on Tuesday.
On the table for the council to discuss were three requests ranging from a large commercial development to a variance request to allow an additional mobile home on a resident’s property.
City administrator Rob Russell — whose responsibilities include planning supervisor and police chief — presented all of the requests to the city council. No one from the public spoke in favor of or opposition to the requests. The council is expected to vote on them at its December meeting.
The largest request comes from Buzzy Hill, who is seeking rezoning of 59.20 acres on the Pendergrass Bypass and Wesley Way from A-2 to the proposed Hwy. 129 planned commercial business overlay district (see separate story).
Russell said the concept plan for the development calls for 205,950 square-feet of retail space and restaurants. He said the project would be an ideal area to serve liquor-by-the-drink, if approved by votes in a March 2005 referendum.
A “big box” business is interested in the site, Russell said.
A 374-lot subdivision being developed by REL Properties, Decatur, will be built next to the proposed commercial project. Pendergrass has approved about 800 new houses in the past few months.
“We think that the houses and the population deserves a place to build a nice restaurant (and) to have stores to shop at,” Russell said.
Cypress Creek Development Company, which is involved in the Blackberry Farms subdivision in Pendergrass, is also associated with the commercial project, he added.
And since the mobile home of Lois Gee is located on the site of the proposed commercial project, the city council also heard a variance request to allow Gee to move the mobile home to another site in Pendergrass.
Two mobile homes are currently located on Gee’s property at 1464 Old Gainesville Highway and a variance is needed for another, Russell said.
The council also heard a request by Karol and Bobby Powell to annex and rezone 41.799 acres on Hwy. 332 and McNeil Road from A-2 in the county to AR in the city. A residence is currently located on the property.
“Ms. Powell indicated that they would like to develop it, but the beautiful part about that piece of property is that there is not a ton that can be developed because it’s in a flood plain,” Russell said.
The Powell and Hill projects will be within access to new county sewer lines heading toward Pendergrass.
OTHER BUSINESS
In other business, the Pendergrass City Council:
• held the first reading of a proposed garbage and solid waste disposal ordinance. Russell said there are currently seven garbage providers collecting trash on six days a week for the city’s 140 houses. The city plans to name one garbage provider that all residents and businesses must use, Russell said. Pendergrass is still looking at collecting garbage through the public works department in possibly a year, he added. The ordinance would become effective Jan. 2, 2005, is adopted by the council in December. The city will determine the fees.


Holiday events listed
Holiday events have been announced for this weekend and the next across Jackson County, beginning Saturday with festivities in both Jefferson and Maysville.
JEFFERSON PARADE AND CONCERT
“Home for the Holidays” is the theme for this year’s Jefferson Christmas parade, scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, December 4.
Singer/songwriter Dustin Wilkes, son of Luther Wilkes, Jefferson, will be the grand marshal for the parade and will present a concert at 5:30 p.m. at the museum. The admission cost for the concert is either a new toy for Toys for Tots or a $3 donation to benefit patients at Central State Hospital, Milledgeville.
The parade is a joint effort of the Jefferson Junior Women, Jefferson Area Business Association and Better Hometown Jefferson.
To register a float or for details, contact BHJ manager Donna Butler at 367-5307.


Maysville celebration
Maysville will kick off the Christmas season Saturday night, from 6 to 9 p.m. with its annual Christmas in the Park celebration in the city park.
Santa Claus will be present to talk with children, and activities will include a hay ride, arts and crafts vendors, a moon walk and slide, storytelling, musical entertainment and refreshments, including hot apple cider, hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows. The highlight will be the lighting of the Memorial Tree, which will stay lit until New Year’s Day. For information, call 652-2334.
SANTA IN PENDERGRASS
Santa will be visiting Pendergrass for children — and/or pets — to have their photos taken with him. The city will host Santa on Saturday, Dec. 4, and Saturday, Dec. 11, from 5-9 p.m.
Those visiting Santa are encouraged to bring their own camera, but the city will provide a photo for those without cameras.
JEFFERSON TOUR OF HOMES SUNDAY
The Christmas Tour of Lakeside Homes will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, December 5, in Jefferson.
Tickets are $15 before December 4 and $20 the day of the tour and are available at Crawford W. Long Museum, Downtown Interiors and Crawford Long Pharmacy. The tour of homes is a project of Better Hometown Jefferson and the Crawford W. Long Museum, and has seven local business sponsors. For more information, call 367-5307 or visit www.crawfordlong.org.
NICHOLSON TREE LIGHTING SET DEC. 11
The City of Nicholson will hold its annual Christmas tree lighting at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at city hall. It was postponed due to last weekend’s weather.
The outdoor event will include the singing of Christmas carols, and the serving of coffee and hot chocolate. The public is invited and asked to bring their own chairs.


Senator-elect Isakson to speak
Senator-elect Johnny Isakson will speak at the Jackson County courthouse at 10 a.m. Wednesday, December 8.
“We want to invite everyone,” said county manager Al Crace, adding that Isakson had a strong show of support from Jackson County voters.
Isakson’s visit is contingent upon Washington, D.C., voting duties. In the event that there are Congressional conflicts, Isakson’s visit will be postponed to later in December, Crace said.


Last call for children’s photos
Final deadline is Fri. for Christmas section
The deadline for photos for MainStreet Newspapers’ annual children’s Christmas section has been extended to Friday, Dec. 3, at 5 p.m. No photos will be accepted after that for the December 22 publication.
Photos are accepted of children age 8 years and younger who live in Jackson or Banks counties. Grandchildren’s photos will be taken only if the child resides with the grandparents in the two counties.
Submit the child’s name and age and the parents’ names, their city of residence and phone number.
Black and white or color photos can be used, but Polaroids or photos printed on computer paper will not be accepted. High resolution digital photos may be e-mailed to news@mainstreetnews.com.
Photos may be dropped off at the Jackson Herald, Banks County News and Commerce News offices and may be picked up there after the issue is published.


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‘Tis The Season
Christmas Activities Aplenty
On Tap For Area Residents
Commerce Christmas
Parade Is 2:00 On Sunday

There is still time to enter floats or other units in the Commerce Christmas Parade.
The Commerce Area Business Association will present the parade Sunday at 2:00 in the downtown.
The Commerce High School and Jackson County Comprehensive High School bands will perform, along with the Commerce Middle School Chorus. The theme is “Hometown Holidays.”
“We still have room for more entries,” notes Jan Nelson, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority. “We can take entries through 5:00 Friday.”
To enter, call Nelson at 335-2954.
Floats will compete for $600 in prize money, with $300 going for the best float and $200 and $100 for the runners-up. Judging will take place before the parade at the Commerce High School parking lot.
All rolling units should meet at the high school parking lot at 1:00 for staging, Nelson said, while walking units will meet at the same time at the Commerce Presbyterian Church parking lot on Lakeview Drive.
The highlight of the parade will be the arrival of Santa Claus on the Commerce Fire Department’s antique pumper truck.
The route will take the parade from Lakeview Drive up Washington Street, then south on Elm Street to its conclusion at the First Baptist Church of Commerce.

Maysville Christmas
Celebration Is Saturday

Maysville will kick off the Christmas season Saturday night, from 6:00 to 9:00 with its annual Christmas in the Park celebration in the city park.
Santa Claus will be present to talk with children, and activities will include a hay ride, arts and crafts vendors, a moon walk and slide, storytelling, musical entertainment and refreshments, including hot apple cider, hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows. The highlight will be the lighting of the Memorial Tree, which will stay lit until New Year’s Day.
For information, call 652-2334.

Nicholson Celebration
Postponed To December 11

The City of Nicholson postponed its annual Christmas tree lighting scheduled for this past Saturday due to the weather.
The event has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at city hall.
The event will include the singing of Christmas carols, and coffee and hot chocolate will be served. This will be an outside event, and the public is invited to attend and bring their own chairs.

Secret Santa Workshop
Changed To Wednesday

The date for the Secret Santa Workshop, a children’s Christmas shopping experience, has been changed to avoid a conflict with another Commerce Christmas tradition.
Jan Nelson, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, has announced that the workshop, originally scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 7, has been moved back one day to Wednesday, Dec. 8, from 6:00 to 8:00 at the Commerce Public Library.
“We made the move to avoid a conflict with the Commerce Elementary School’s Christmas production, which is being held Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 6 and 7,” said Nelson. “The hours will remain the same.”
The event provides an opportunity for children, particularly smaller ones, to buy gifts for Mom, Dad and the rest of the family – without the usual help from family members.
Volunteers help children budget their money, select appropriate purchases and wrap the gifts, which are provided by local businesses and cost $10 or less. Parents sign their children in and either do Christmas shopping of their own or wait in the library while their children shop.
Other sponsors include the Commerce Area Business Association, the Pilot Club of Commerce and Jackson Creative Resource Center. Normally, 8-10 merchants participate and total sales surpass $2,000. A hundred or more children generally take advantage of the event.
As for merchants, Nelson asks that they bring items for the workshop between 1:00 and 5:00 Tuesday, Dec. 7. They can collect unsold items between 3:00 and 5:00 Thursday, Dec. 9.



 

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The Banks County News
Homer, Georgia
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