Place A Classified Ad
Jackson Legal Page
Jackson Opinion Page
Jackson Obituary Page
Send A Letter
List Your Business
Jackson County Stats
Go to Banks County
Go to Madison County
Jackson County opinion page
Dragons to continue stringent non-region schedule Friday
Trip to No. 1 ranked Whitefield set for Friday;
seven-day layoff to follow
By the time the Jefferson boys basketball team begins postseason
play, it’s safe to say the No. 6 Dragons will have seen
the best Class A has to offer.
Lady Panthers let lead slip away at Hart Co.
Unfortunately for Jackson County there are
no consolation prizes in basketball.
Despite leading for three of the four quarters of play on Saturday
at Hart County, the Lady Panthers were handed their fifth loss
of the season, and the team's third in a row.
Cheer Tigers Overcome Injuries, Win Weekend Meet
A short-handed Commerce competitive cheerleading
team was still steady-handed enough to earn a victory this past
weekend, tallying 211 points to get a win over Greater Atlanta
Christian at a meet held at Woodstock.
New Banks County jail open for business
Anyone needing to fill out an incident report,
report an accident or speak to an officer with the Banks County
Sheriff’s Office should now go to the new Banks County
jail, located on Thompson Street across the new Hwy. 441 bypass.
Holiday open house planned in Gillsville
Friends of Gillsville and the City of Gillsville
invite all area residents to a holiday open house.
475-home subdivision in the works?
Major residential development proposed for
Colbert Grove Church Road, Johnny McElroy Road
A 475-home subdivision could be in the works for 400.12 acres
on Colbert Grove Church Road and Johnny McLeroy Road.
Here is the actual proposal submitted by
the applicants to the Madison County Planning and Zoning Department:
“Star Home Builders proposes to construct a subdivision
on 400 acres of property on Colbert Grove Church Road in Madison
County, and requests rezoning of the property from A-1 (agricultural)
to R-1, Planned Unit Development (PUD).
The Jackson Herald
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056
NEWS / ADVERTISING
® Copyright 2005
MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.
All rights reserved.
/ Terms / Privacy
SITE FOR MEGA-DEVELOPMENT?
The 1,320 acres once known as 4W
Farm in South Jackson may be the future site of 2,440 housing
units for some 6,000 new residents. The acreage, which currently
stretches out in pastureland, is located on the right of Hwy.
129 south of Arcade, just before the Redstone community. The
developers, Brand Partners LP of Gwinnett County, want to annex
the land into Arcade for the $543 million project.
community being pitched for Arcade
Mega-development would be county’s largest project
A high-density housing planned community in Arcade is being pitched
to area government leaders for comments by the Northeast Georgia
Regional Development Center. And action on the plan could come
as soon as Dec. 21 when an annexation and rezoning request is
slated to go before the Quad Cities Planning Commission.
If approved as outlined, the project would be the largest single
development in the county’s history and would add some
6,000 new residents.
The mega-development calls for 2,440 housing units and 400,000
sq. ft. of commercial space on 1,320 acres known as the 4W Farm,
just south of Arcade. The developers, Brand Partners LP of Gwinnett
County, want to annex the land into Arcade for the $543 million
Currently, the land is in unincorporated Jackson County and is
designated with a “Rural Places” label on the county’s
future land use plan. That designation calls for low-density
development for the property. It is currently zoned A-2 in the
The developers reportedly want to annex into Arcade to remove
the property from that low-density designation and have the city
designate the land for high-density development as a Planned
Community Development (PCD). The price rage of the houses is
said to be from the mid-$100,000 to $300,000 range.
The RDC sent out a draft of the project in late November to area
governments for comment as a Development of Regional Impact (DRI).
The RDC will take comments through Friday and a review of the
project is slated to be completed by Dec. 23. If the DRI isn’t
finished by the rezoning hearing on Dec. 21, that meeting will
In the DRI request for comments, the project is said to include
2,215 single family detached homes, 100 attached townhouses and
125 “active adult” units. In addition, the project
calls for 406,000 sq. ft. of commercial and office space facing
Hwy. 129. A golf course is also slated for the project.
The project also says that space in the commercial district would
be dedicated for a new Arcade City Hall. The time frame for completing
the project is said to be 10-20 years.
The proposal estimates that the housing will accommodate approximately
6,000 new residents and generate $656,000 in annual property
taxes and $1.75 million in sales taxes. The total build-out value
of the project is estimated to be $543 million.
The impact of the project on various infrastructure is also outlined
in the DRI report. Peak hour traffic volume is estimated to be
2,450 trips affecting mostly Hwy. 129 and Holiday Cemetery Road.
The development will also create about 600,000 gallons per day
of wastewater that will be treated with an on-site wastewater
treatment plant. The treated effluent will be used for golf course
The DRI also states that the project will need 600,000 gallons
per day of treated water and that it would have an on-site water
system. However, the need for water for the project has been
a hot topic in recent weeks between the City of Arcade and the
Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority.
The development is also projected to create 1,849 tons of solid
waste per year.
Estimates for the project indicate that it will have 1,000 school-aged
children. The DRI says that the long-term phasing of the project
“should allow for increased coordination between the board
of education and the local government to mitigate congestion
issues that may arise.”
complain about smells from plant
Residents near a controversial new business
in Talmo have been complaining about “horrible smells”
supposedly coming from the operation.
Mayor Larry Joe Wood told the council Tuesday that he has received
numerous phone calls from residents in the Cedar Hollow subdivision
about offensive odors coming from Agri-Cycle, located in the
former Valley Fresh plant. The subdivision is located outside
the city limits.
Wood said he has advised residents to contact the Georgia Environmental
Protection Division (EPD) if they report such smells. Agri-Cycle
is a plant nursery that uses a process with chicken waste to
fertilize plants. In an interview last month with The Jackson
Herald, the company’s president, Richard Harville, denied
allegations from city and county leaders that Agri-Cycle hasn’t
been truthful about its operations including hauling septic
tank waste to the plant.
Agri-Cycle has a permit from the EPD and a business license to
operate in Jackson County. Valley Fresh once processed chicken
waste at the plant.
“It just don’t smell like it used to,” said
council member Dana Woods, who lives near the plant.
In other business, the Talmo City Council:
of city hall has been delayed, due to weather and the
city not receiving the last shipment of equipment for
a basketball goal and merry-go-round. The council also
discussed the possibility of placing a fence around
the playground to prevent children from playing on the
nearby railroad tracks.
band Christmas concerts are coming up
The Jackson County choral and band students
will present their Christmas concerts in the next few days.
The Jackson County Comprehen-sive and East and West Jackson middle
school chorus members will present concerts Friday and Saturday,
December 10 and 11. The JCCHS bands will perform a concert Monday,
Choral students will be accompanied by 22 professional musicians
from the DeKalb County Symphony, Augusta Symphony, Carroll County
Symphony and Gainesville Symphony for their Dec. 10 and 11 concerts.
Tickets are $6 for the 7 p.m. concerts at the J.L. McMullan Auditorium
at the high school Call Todd Chandler at 367-5003, extension
269, for tickets.
“The two middle schools will perform pieces individually
as well as a combined piece, ‘The Many Moods of Christmas
Suite I,’ with the high school,” said Chandler. “We
will also have a sing-along conducted by Chris Strickland and
Linda Moon accompanied by a 25-piece orchestra. The high school
will perform ‘The Many Moods of Christmas Suites I, II,
III, and IV. We’re going to have approximately 360 kids
singing on stage along with the orchestra to close out the concert.
It’s going to be powerful.”
The JCCHS bands will present a Christmas concert on Monday, December
13, at 7:30 p.m. in the J.L. McMullan Auditorium at JCCHS. The
concert band, symphonic band and wind ensemble will perform a
variety of marches, standard wind band literature and traditional
A special highlight will be senior clarinetist and All-State
Band member Franziska Brunner performing the Mozart Clarinet
Concerto accompanied by the JCCHS Wind Ensemble.
Admission to the concert is free and the public is invited to
attend. For more information, contact Miles or Helen Adams at
367-5003, ext. 268.
license hearing heats up in Arcade
C&S Automotive business license renewed
An Arcade administrative hearing Monday night sparked a heated
exchange between a local attorney and city council members that
threatened to overshadow the intial matter at hand.
At issue was the business license of a local automotive repair
shop on Rock Forge Rd., of which at least 10 complaints have
been filed in the past year.
Among the complaints the repair shop’s owner, Joseph Cowart,
has had to deal with in the past months include alleged noise
violations; charges that he drove a car his business repaired
with knowledge that the automobile was uninsured; storage of
cars on the business’ property in violation of the conditions
in his business license; a report of an alleged theft of a car
that occurred while the vehicle was being repaired at Cowart’s
shop; and an alleged instance of indecent exposure involving
a man authorities say was urinating in public on the property.
City council members heard from several witnesses, as well as
oral arguments from Cowart’s attorney, Donna Sikes, and
city attorney John McArthur.
In the end, a 2005 business license was unanimously approved
for Cowart’s shop, C&S Automotive, with a condition
that he would work toward a solution with the council regarding
the unsightly cars allegedly parked outside his business for
extended periods of time.
During the lengthy hearing, Sikes argued that the city should
not be counseling Cowart on how to run his business. At one point,
Sikes advised him not to answer questions from McArthur and city
council members because, she said, he did not violate any city
Instead, she said the hearing was an instance of her client being
singled out and unjustly forced to hire legal representation
in order to defend himself.
“It’s nothing more than harassment,” Sikes
told the council. “If it happens again, you can expect
to see yourself on the other side of a lawsuit.”
Earlier in the hearing Sikes also stated that Cowart had done
what he could to deal with cars that sometimes have to be stored
on his property while they await repair. She added that some
cars are moved inside the shop overnight, but that others are
forced to remain outside the shop because of a lack of storage
“Anyone who runs an automotive repair business must take
cars in,” she said. “Sometimes, they get them and
have to order parts. That is not a storage situation Mr. Smith,”
she said, responding to an earlier comment by council member
Ron Smith regarding the cars that are left outside.
Smith was referring to vehicles that were alleged to have been
parked outside the business for extended periods of time beyond
the reasonable time it takes to repair them. He said that during
an earlier meeting granting Cowart a business license in July
of 2003, he had agreed not to have any “junk cars”
stored outside on the property.
However, according to a transcript of a July 2003 meeting read
by McArthur, the verbal agreement was that no cars would be stored
overnight. The transcript did not specify “junk”
Cowart stated that the cars in question, of which surveillance
photographs were presented by McArthur, were vehicles whose owners
had parked and locked them without leaving a key or any contact
information. They were not junk cars in Cowart’s opinion.
He added that the cars were parked on his business’ premises
for several months only because he had no way to move them or
to contact their owners.
Also during the meeting, Sikes implied that the council was looking
past similar instances of parked cars overnight that she said
occur commonly at other businesses in Arcade.
“...I certainly hope we’re not singling out Mr. Cowart’s
business,” she said.
Despite renewing Cowart’s license, several council members
took offense to comments made by Sikes regarding the alleged
motives of city officials.
Sikes implied that the Arcade Police Department constantly harasses
drivers by issuing citations in order to fund different projects
within the city and said that if they spent less time doing so,
they would have more time to look into other matters.
She also referred specifically to the addition and renovation
project of city hall as one such project being funded by such
In addition, Sikes stated that most of her requests to the city
for information prior to the hearing were not provided.
Some council members admitted that it appeared some of the complaints
against Cowart were likely of a “vicious nature”
and unwarranted. Mayor Doug Haynie stated that he felt there
were misunderstandings on both sides and he apologized for those
that were the city’s doing.
“I want to think that Arcade is business friendly,”
Haynie said. “...I think a great misunderstanding is that
we came here with our minds made up we did not. We wish
you well,” he said to Cowart.
Council member Cindy Bone was the first to speak in favor of
Cowart retaining his license.
“Personally, I’m all right with letting him keep
his license,” she said, adding that she thought the hearing
was to deal specifically with the alleged noise violations. But
following the vote to renew Cowart’s license, she stated
that she took offense to comments made by Sikes about the council’s
intentions as a whole.
Prior to the council’s vote, another large portion of the
hearing centered around an incident when an apparent acquaintance
of Cowart’s was arrested and charged with indecent exposure
for public urination outside the repair shop. The suspect was
also intoxicated, according to police.
The most heated exchange of the evening was between Sikes and
council member Polly Davis after Sikes referred to local newspaper
reports she said questioned the council’s motives.
Davis then quipped, “Don’t believe everything you
read in the paper.”
Smith and Davis also said they felt the verbal agreement they
initially made with Cowart had been broken.
“Agreements made in open session don’t mean nothing.
That’s what I heard tonight,” Smith said.
“That’s what I heard,” Davis then added in
Councilman Dean Bentley was not in attendance at the hearing.
Parts & Service
Stores & Outlets
speaks at courthouse dedication Wed.
Commends county officials on facility
While its doors have been open to the public for months, the
new Jackson County courthouse was officially dedicated on Wednesday
And despite the arrival of U.S. Senator-elect Johnny Isakson,
the event was relatively low-key. Mostly courthouse employees
and a handful of county officials attended the brief ceremony.
Isakson who is currently serving his third term in the
U.S. House of Representatives took the opportunity to
not only talk about federal intelligence and immigration reform
efforts, but also to speak about his connection to Jackson County.
The Republican said he would drive past the old courthouse in
downtown Jefferson as he drove to the University of Georgia,
where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1966.
The difference between the two judicial facilities is a matter
of “night and day,” he said. Isakson added that the
old courthouse could probably fit within the three-story atrium
of the new courthouse.
But, he also commended the board of commissioners for “taking
the county forward” with a new courthouse. The nearly $30
million facility has been at the center of political controversy
since it was proposed at the Darnell Road (now part of Jackson
Parkway) site in early 2002.
Isakson called the facility a “21st century courthouse
for a 21st century county.”
“You’ve got the chance to meet the demands of growth,”
he said about the facility.
BOC chairman Harold Fletcher also said the new courthouse has
“amble room for expansion.” The courthouse has 124,000
square-feet of space.
“The purpose of this facility is to serve the needs of
Jackson County,” he said.
Fletcher said a new courthouse has been needed for 50 years and
the commissioners had the “courage and determination to
provide for this new facility.”
He also thanked a range of other key players for the new courthouse
from judges and bond attorneys, to contractors and the
architect, and county manager Al Crace for “cracking the
whip” on the project.
“There are a lot of us that have been looking forward to
this for a while,” Fletcher said.
Isakson also said Jackson County is an “important county”
because of its growth potential along I-85.
And Jackson County is home to some of his friends, Isakson said.
He added that he planned to visit Jefferson High School teacher
Jack Keen following the ceremony.
still available at health dept.
Health departments in the 10-county Athens
area still have flu vaccine available for young children, as
well as high-risk adults.
Children ages six to 23 months are considered to be at high risk
for flu complications, according to guidelines set by the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention. The vaccine is also available
for children ages 2 and over who have chronic conditions, such
Health departments also remind the community that a limited amount
of flu vaccine is available for adults who are at high risk for
“We still have vaccine left for high-risk people, and we
hope to receive more in the coming weeks,” said Glenda
Durance, Jackson County Health Department nurse manager. “If
you are at high risk for flu complications and have not received
a flu shot, please come to the health department. We do not anticipate
a long wait for people who come in for the flu shot.”
Flu shots are available at area health departments for $18, which
is covered by Medicare insurance. The vaccine will be reserved
for people who are at the highest risk for serious flu complications,
following CDC guidelines: People ages 65 or older; children ages
six to 23 months; adults and children with chronic health conditions,
such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, asthma, cancer
or HIV/AIDS; women who will be pregnant during flu season; residents
of nursing homes and long-term care facilities; Children ages
six months to 18 years who are on chronic aspirin therapy; healthcare
workers involved in direct patient care; and out-of-home caregivers
and household contacts of children under age six months.
A limited amount of flu vaccine is available at health departments
in Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Madison, Morgan,
Oconee, Oglethorpe and Walton counties.
A limited amount of FluMist, a live virus intranasal vaccine,
is also available at the Jefferson clinic of the Jackson County
Health Department, and at health departments in Barrow, Clarke,
Morgan, Oconee and Walton counties. FluMist is for healthy people
ages 5 to 49 and is a choice for healthcare workers, daycare
workers, and household contacts of children under age six months.
For more information, contact the local health department, or
call the Public Health Information Line at 1-800-4PD-HELP. The
latest flu vaccine information is also posted online at www.publichealthathens.com.