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OPINION PAGE - OCTOBER 20, 1999 - HOMER, GEORGIA

Editorial
The Banks County News- October 20, 1999

Hunters reminded to obey regulations
With hunting season under way, our area hunters are reminded to obey "No trespassing" signs and follow all laws and regulations. Every year, arrests are made in Banks County when hunting violations occur. A few reminders for our hunters:
·Always have permission to hunt on the land you are on. Don't trespass.
·It is required that you wear 500 inches of fluorescent orange clothing above your waist when you hunt or accompany a hunter-even while in your deer stand.
·You must have a regular hunting license, a big game license and a hunting safety certificate if you were born after Jan. 1, 1961.
·Be careful of cattle when hunting.
Anyone with questions about hunting regulations can call Georgia Forestry Ranger Winford Popphan at (770) 869-7705.


BCN deadline: 5 p.m. Mondays
The Banks County News deadline for news items is 5 p.m. Mondays on the week they are to appear in the paper.
This includes school, church, social, wedding and engagement notices and other information submitted from the Banks County area. The deadline for correspondents is noon Monday.
Items may be dropped off at the Homer office, The Jackson Herald in Jefferson or The Commerce News in Commerce. All articles should be clearly marked "Banks County News" and include the phone number of the person submitting the information. News may also be mailed to: The Banks County News, P.O. Box 920, Homer, Ga., 30547.
For more information, call Angela Gary, editor, at (706) 367-2490 or Sherry Lewis, news editor at 677-3491.


Letters
The Banks County News- October 20, 1999

Concerned about EMS route
Dear Editor:
This letter is a response to a letter to the editor given the title of "Advice on 911 numbers."
As a resident of Shady Grove Road since December 17, 1995, I have been directing emergency service equipment and guests one way in and out of this road. Therefore, I request a reporter from The Banks County News find out why the honorable Sen. Eddie Madden, Rep. Jeanette Jamieson and the Banks County Board of Commissioners have allowed this problem to remain uncorrected. Letters have been sent to some of the parties that I have on file in my home.
According to a letter from the Georgia Department of Transportation dated January 15, 1999, routed through Sen. Madden's Elberton office, Shady Grove Road's route is on file at their office as a two-way route. Mr. Shackelford even enclosed a map and pictures to that fact, so again I ask why must I direct all emergency service vehicles and personnel by way of Hawkins Road? Please remember, map and pictures show no danger, dead end or required highway safety signs. All documents quoted in this letter are available for any reporter to obtain copies of for The Banks County News.
Unless the Honorable Madden and Jamieson and the Banks County Board of Commissioners changed the federal laws on the United States Postal Service operations or state laws governing the operations of E-911 emergency centers, Ms. McClure's (Banks County E-911 director) letter to the editor printed Wednesday, October 13, 1999, is general-stated correct facts.
Quoting a sentence, in fact, from that letter: "Keep in mind that wherever the lowest house number begins is where the road begins." According to the United States Postal mail director of Homer, Shady Grove Road begins off Highway 441 N. or S., since the address on file for Mr. Eugene "Gene" Martin and family is recorded as 140 Shady Grove Road. Please note the Martin family have been residents of Shady Grove Road longer than the McKinney family.
As noted from Ms. McClure's letter, E-911 Banks County Emergency Center has been directing emergency service assistance by way of Hawkins Road in complete disregard to state law governing E-911 Center Operations.
Therefore, I will be expecting future E-911 emergency service to be coming from the Highway 441 N. direction unless Banks County has emergency service equipment and personnel for all emergencies permanently located in the Hollingston Community. Any questioning of mail delivery service will be directed to my federal congressional representatives of the United States House and Senate.
These factors were addressed in letters dated July 25, 1999, and June 1, 1999, to the Banks County Board of Commissioners, and a letter dated July 25, 1999, and re-addressed in a letter dated September 9, 1999, to Madden and Jamieson, to which no replies have ever been received, as of the date of this letter.
Sincerely,
David C. McKinney
Homer

Column
By Angie Gary
The Banks County News- October 20, 1999

Searching for sunshine and finding a hurricane
Temperatures are starting to drop. Sweaters are slowly replacing shorts. Fall has arrived and the cold winter weather will quickly follow. I found myself yearning for a little bit more sunshine before I surrender to the cold.
I know I have been back from my vacation to Canada for less than a month, but I found myself headed to Florida last week for a short cruise to the Bahamas. The price was right, cheap, and two friends asked me to go along with them. Of course, we now know the price was so low because it is hurricane season. We kidded each other about finding a hurricane in the Bahamas, but we didn't really expect to. I had experienced Hurricane Erin a few years ago in Daytona Beach, Fla., and didn't want to go through that again.
I pushed all this aside Wednesday afternoon when we left Jefferson for an eight-hour drive to Florida. After a long drive, we found somewhere to spend the night. The next morning, we awoke refreshed and ready to cruise. We flipped on the weather channel and saw that Hurricane Irene was headed our way.
I immediately knew that the middle of the ocean was the last place I wanted to be. I tried to convince my friends to head back home, but they were determined to go on the cruise. I decided to leave my car with them, take a taxi to Orlando and get a flight home. I drove over Port Canaveral and we went into the cruise office to ask about the hurricane. We were assured that we would be safe, and if the hurricane did come our way, they would send us in another direction.
I tried to convince my friends that we might be safe, but it would be a rainy, rocky ride on the ship. I was also worried that we might not get back home by Monday since there was the possibility that we could be re-routed somewhere other than the Bahamas. My fear of ending up stuck alone at the Orlando airport if no flights were going out overcame my fear of getting on the ship, so I finally decided to go. I was still very nervous. I called my mother at work and told her a hurricane was headed to Florida, I didn't want to go on the cruise, but my friends did. I shouldn't have done this as she worries a lot. I don't think she slept much until I got home late Sunday night.
Thursday, our first day at sea, was a little rocky but it wasn't too bad. The ship is huge and has over 3,000 people on it. It has two dining rooms, several gift shops, three pools and more. It is very big but you could still feel a slight movement. We took motion sickness pills regularly (which we would later regret). The dining room wasn't full that first night, as many people were too sick to eat. I felt a little queasy, but I still ate the lobster dinner.
Friday was to be our one day in Nassau in the Bahamas. We were looking forward to walking over to the town and looking around. It was pouring rain when we docked and it continued all day. We decided to walk over anyway. We ended up drenched head to toe. All of my clothes, my camera bag and my pocketbook were soaking wet. We still walked around a few hours shopping. The shops were very crowded since most of the people on the three ships docked in Nassau were in town. Many of the tours, such as snorkeling and glass-bottom boat rides, were canceled, so shopping in town was the only option for those who wanted to get off of the ship.
Saturday was to be our day to lie out on the deck and soak up the sun. I prayed for the rain to go away. Saturday morning, we woke up to sunny skies. We put on our bathing suits and hurried up to the deck. We thought it would be a great day in the sun. Unfortunately, it was only a few hours in the sun. Around lunch time, the captain made an announcement over the loudspeakers. It appeared the hurricane was at Port Canaveral and we might not be able to dock there Sunday morning. If it remained closed, they would have to take us to Ft. Lauderdale and then bus 2,400 of the passengers to Port Canaveral where our cars were parked. This didn't sound good. I'm sure it would have taken a long time to bus that many people three hours to the port. In addition to the bad news from the captain, rain began to fall and the sea got very choppy. By dinner time, we had to hold onto the sides of the wall and the railings to walk without falling down. It is amazing to me that you could feel so much motion on such a huge ship. We kept popping those motion sickness pills.
They made formal portraits Saturday night and I couldn't believe what they had as a backdrop--the staircase scene from the movie, Titanic!! You had to laugh at that. We all lined up for a photograph.
Port Canaveral opened up Saturday night and we were able to continue on there. I was unable to call home while we were gone because the phones on the ship and in the Bahamas were out. I knew my family was probably very worried. I always call home. When we docked Sunday morning, that was one of the first things I did. My sister quickly said in one breath: "Where are you? Have you called Mama? Who was responsible for deciding to go on the cruise? Let me talk to them." She didn't even give me time to answer.
The hurricane did a lot of damage in the Port Canaveral area. A barge had come loose very near where my car was parked and floated into a bridge, knocking down one of the concrete pillars. Palm trees had been uprooted and were lined alongside the road. Driving through Daytona Beach, we saw store signs broken, parts of roof-tops blown off and other signs of the storm damage. The electricity was still out in most parts of town and the traffic lights weren't working. It looks like we were probably safer on the water than on the land.
It may sound as if my short vacation was a nightmare, but it really wasn't all bad. We had some great food and saw several good shows on the ship. I also enjoyed shopping in the Bahamas. I have been to several vacations where it rained-including Disney World, Charleston and New Orleans. I'm used to walking around in the rain on vacation. It doesn't even slow me down anymore.
All of the motion sickness pills I took did have a strange reaction. I'm still a little light-headed and dizzy from taking two pills every four hours for four days. One of my friends even went to the doctor. He did blood work and said she had an excess amount of the medicine in her blood stream. It will probably take about a week before we feel normal again.
The lesson I learned is that when you go to Florida in search of the sunshine, you might find something very different.
Angela Gary is associate editor of The Jackson Herald and editor of The Banks County News.


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