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OPINION PAGE - JULY 14, 1999 - HOMER, GEORGIA

Column
Angela D. Gary
The Banks County News- July 14, 1999

'Beanies' get me up at dawn
I don't like to get up early in the morning. Just ask my sister or my mother. They both have tales of my school days when they had various methods of getting me up. Telling me it was much later than it was, yelling at me, sweet-talking me and begging me are among the methods they used.
It's not as bad any more but I certainly don't jump out of bed with a smile on my face and a song on my tongue. Believe it or not, my mother actually does.
Anyway, Saturday is usually the only day I get to sleep late. This means it takes something pretty special to get me up at dawn on a Saturday. On a recent Saturday morning, I had one of those special occasions that got me up early. I had plans to head out to a special "Beanie Baby" sale in Athens. It started at 8:30 a.m., well before the mall opened its doors for business.
I knew I better get there early, so my mother and I headed to Athens around 7 a.m. We didn't see any cars behind the mall where we usually park so we got a doughnut and sat outside eating it. Around 8 a.m., we decided to go on inside and wait outside of the store. To our great surprise, a long line of people were already waiting to get inside to those cute new stuffed animals. They had even moved a bench from another part of the mall and placed it in front of the store to sit on and wait.
We ran over and got in line as I tried to count how many people were in front of us. I knew that most stores only got a few of the new releases and I wanted to make sure we got the ones on my list. I counted 19 people in front of us so I thought I would get my pick of the new bears. However as the time neared I noticed all of these kids joining the line in front of me. It appears that their parents brought them along to get extra stuffed animals. Each person can only get one of each of the new "Beanies." These parents apparently brought the kids along to be able to get four or five of the new ones. This really irritated me because I suspect that some of these people are reselling the bears for a much higher price. It is practices like this that lead a stuffed animal that costs $6 in a retail store to jump to $40 or $50 at a flea market.
I didn't get all of the new stuffed animals that I wanted, but I did get a few. I also provided information on the new releases to the others in line with me. My mother thought it was pretty funny that I knew the names and descriptions of the new stuffed animals. She enjoyed telling my sister, Amanda, about it. My sister said I'm a big nerd for knowing all of the background on the new releases. Of course, my sister later came over and took one of the cute new bears for herself. She must like the stuffed animals more than she admits.
As for me, I think I've got a new career. I'm just sure I could be a sales representative for these adorable little stuffed animals.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News.

Editorial
The Banks County News
July 14, 1999

Time to try school uniforms
Either you love the idea or you hate it. There appears to be no middle ground when the subject of school uniforms comes up. However, it is time that people opposed to the idea find out more about what is involved in school uniforms.
Banks County Middle School is the first area school to make a move toward school uniforms. A meeting is planned for July 22 with details on the matter to be disclosed. Whatever your opinion on school uniforms, you need to attend this meeting. High school leaders are also reportedly looking into implementing school uniforms.
Plans are not for the uniforms to be mandatory. Instead, students will be encouraged to wear uniforms on a voluntary basis.
One of the biggest arguments against school uniforms is that parents won't be able to afford them. This argument is not very strong because the suggested uniform is pants and shirts in basic colors that can be purchased at a price lower than the name-brand clothes many children wear to school. Parents should look at the costs before making a decision on whether they want to participate.
The benefits of school uniforms outweigh any negative aspects. Many countries have long required them with no problems. In fact, their discipline problems fall and students flourish.
It's time Banks County gave school uniforms a try. The effort planned by BCMS, encouraging students to wear uniforms on a voluntary basis, is a good step in the right direction.



Letter to Editor
The Banks County News
July 14, 1999

Concerned with treatment by officers
Dear Editor:
On Aug. 22, 1998, there was a problem at my home. A man hit my wife in the face for not letting him drive off drinking.
This blow resulted in 22 stitches to her face. A neighbor called 911 which resulted in the law coming to our home.
Because I would not tell them what they already knew, Sheriff Charles Chapman threatened to charge me with family violence. When this didn't work, I was charged with obstruction of an officer for not telling them what they wanted to know.
A few days before my trial, the man involved in the fight called my wife and told her that he would kill both of us if I gave up his name.
Because of this threat, I went to the sheriff and gave him the information that he had wanted so much. Officer Scott Rice came out to take a statement and pick up our witness statements. He told me that I would have go get a warrant myself.
Sincerely,
Harold R. Ballew Jr.
Commerce


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