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FRONT PAGE - OCTOBER 27, 1999 - HOMER, GA


A WALK BACK IN TIME
Banks County Middle School students were treated to a walk back in time with a visit from Abraham Lincoln last Friday. Students heard tales from Lincoln's days of courting Mary Todd, working as a lawyer, an unsuccessful run for the senate to the day he was elected president and that fateful night at the Ford's Theater. Lincoln was portrayed by Homer Sewell of Jasper. Sewell has written a book, "Image in the Mirror," about Lincoln, and two more books are slated to be out next year.
Photo by Sherry Lewis

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Elections ahead Tuesday
Voters to head to polls in Alto, Baldwin, Lula
BY SHERRY LEWIS
Voters in Alto, Baldwin and Lula will be heading to the polls on Tuesday to cast their ballots in city elections.
In Alto, the only race will be in Post 3, where incumbent Miriam Sosebee will face Audrey Turner.
Mayor Jack King didn't have any opposition. In Post 1, Donald Wade was the only candidate to qualify and Susan Wade was the lone candidate in Post 2. Post 1 incumbent Tim Tankersley and Post 2 incumbent Carolyn Cabe did not seek re-election. Carolyn Gulley was the only candidate to qualify for the vacant Post 4.
In Baldwin, the only contested race is in Post 1, which is currently held by John Thomas. He will face opposition from Kevin Gaddis.
Baldwin Post 2 councilman Jeff Bohannon and Post 3 councilman Mitchell Gailey are unopposed.
In Lula, the only race will be Ward 5, where incumbent Lamb Griffin will face Mordecai Wilson.
Mike Ostrander was the only candidate to qualify in Ward 1. Incumbent Randy Worley did not seek re-election. Ward 4 councilman Perry Bridgeman is unopposed.
For election night results, check mainstreetnews.com.

Real estate sales continue to fall
BY SHERRY LEWIS
Real estate sales continue to be on the downswing with a decrease of almost $2 million during the first nine months of 1999, compared to the same time last year.
Real estate sales totaled $18.5 million during January to September this year, compared to $20.4 million last year.
"An increase in the price of land and scarcity of available property are contributing to the decrease," according to Tammy Purcell, owner/broker of Purcell Realty.
Another major factor over the year has been the increase of interest rates, Purcell continued. In January, the interest rate was around seven percent and that figure has climbed to eight percent as of last week, Purcell said.
The possible Y2K scare could also have people being a little more conservative with their finances until after the first of the year, according to Purcell.
Likewise, residential construction also decreased but by a smaller margin. In 1998, the Banks County Planning Office reported $8.8 million in residential construction during the first nine months. That figure fell to $8 million during the same period this year.
Purcell attributes that to the increase in the cost of building materials.
"You can get more for your homes depending on the features," she continued.
For example, Purcell has listed a 1,700-square-foot home on 2.23 acres on Chambers Road at a cost of $139,900.
There was a small increase in the number of building permits from 80 to 83, and the number of mobile homes increased from 136 to 138.


Time to change Sunday
Daylight saving time will end on Sunday, Oct. 31. Clocks should be set back one hour.
Insurance and safety fire commissioner John W. Oxendine is urging Georgians to change the batteries in their smoke alarms when they change their clocks from daylight saving time.
"One-third of Georgia's fatalities last year involved homes that didn't have smoke alarms or where the alarms didn't function," Oxendine said. "If you've got a smoke alarm, make sure it's in working order. Changing the battery every year and cleaning dust from the device is an easy way to ensure continued protection of your family and your property."



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