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FRONT PAGE - DECEMBER 1, 1999 - HOMER, GA

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Kids' Photo deadline extended to Dec. 10
The deadline for turning in photographs of children for MainStreet Newspapers' 33rd annual special Christmas kids section has been extended until FRIDAY, DEC. 10 at 5PM. No photos will be accepted after this time.
Photographs of children ages 8 and under are featured free of charge in the special editions planned for the week of Christmas. The children must live in Banks, Madison or Jackson counties. The name, age, address and parent's name must be listed on the back of each photo.
Photos may be turned in at any of MainStreet's offices in Jefferson, Homer, Danielsville, Braselton or Commerce. They may also be mailed to: MainStreet Newspapers, P.O. Box 908, Jefferson, Ga., 30549.


HERITAGE DAY FUN

Long before there were chain saws, pioneers used a cross saw to cut wood. Above, Phillip Wright gave Matthew Wilbanks a lesson in this old-fashioned technique during "Heritage Day" at Banks County Middle School. Students also had an opportunity to tan deer hides, have a lesson in a one-room schoolhouse and learn about beekeeping, sheep shearing and blacksmithing.
Photo by Sherry Lewis

CRIME

Shoppers victims of crime
Road rage, armed robbery reported
BY ANGELA GARY
Two out-of-town women with plans of shopping at Tanger Outlet Center were the victims of crime within the last few days.
A Gwinnett County woman was the victim of road rage when a man pointed a gun at her on I-85. In another incident, a Michigan woman was robbed at gunpoint while walking through the parking lot at Tanger II at Banks Crossing.
In the road rage incident, Tammie Phillips, 29, Buford, and her family were headed to Banks Crossing for an afternoon of shopping Saturday. She said a man pointed a gun at her after passing her.
Cory Watson, 30, Charlotte, N.C, was charged with reckless conduct in the incident. Phillips called 911 after the gun was pointed at her, according to Jackson County chief investigator David Cochran. No shots were fired and no one was injured.
Phillips, her two children and her mother were traveling north on I-85 to Tanger Outlet Center at Banks Crossing when the altercation occurred. Her sister was following her in another vehicle. The woman said she was traveling approximately 80 miles per hour in the fast lane when a man pulled up very close behind her. She didn't slow down and he then passed her in the right lane and made a hand gesture at her, according to the incident report. Phillips told law enforcement officers that she waved at him as he passed.
The woman said the suspect then got in front of her and began driving at a slow speed. She said he then got in the lane beside her and pointed a silver handgun at her.
Phillips then sped ahead and called 911 to report the incident and give a description of the car. She said she felt a bump then and noticed that she had a flat right tire. It was initially reported that her tire had been shot, but this was not the case, officials say.
Cochran said a look out was given on the suspect's car and he was later stopped by Banks County deputies. Phillips was transported by a Banks County deputy to the suspect's vehicle where she identified him as the man involved in the altercation, according to the incident report. His wife and a child were also in the car when the incident occurred.
Cochran said other charges may be pending following a discussion with the district attorney.
ARMED ROBBERY
A Michigan woman and her son were walking next to the new Denny's restaurant in Tanger II at approximately 8 p.m. Monday when they were held up at gun- point. A dirty blue Ford car approached the two and a black man in the passenger seat pointed a small chrome-plated handgun at the woman, according to the incident report.
The woman said the man demanded her shopping bag. While he went through the bag, her son ran into the restaurant to get help. The man then took her purse, which had $100 in cash and several credit cards in it, and left.
The driver and the passenger are both described as black males in their late 20s The passenger has a beard.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Maysville approves eight percent salary increase
BY MARY ANN ROBINSON
The Maysville City Council, in a budget work session Monday night, agreed to an eight percent salary increase for city employees.
Police Chief Ricky Armour had requested 10 percent increases for the police department, but Mayor Presley and council members Scott Harper, Jim Saville and Andy Martin agreed on eight percent across-the- board raises for all employees.
The council discussed the need for a written personnel policy and plans were made to begin this process sometime after the new year. The policy would eliminate any questions regarding salary increases, as it would set forth specific salary guidelines.
Per Chief Armour's request, city clerk Lois Harper reviewed the proposed 2000 salary budget for the police department and explained that the $73,825 was based on a 10 percent increase and also includes the librarian's salary of $15,000.
Armour requested permission from the council to have a phone line and electricity installed at the site for the new building, which will be located near the water tower. A chain link fence will be installed around this building and it was agreed that the expense will come from the water and sewage budget. Armour is to meet with department head Ralph Sailors regarding placement of the building.
WATER AND SEWAGE
The council denied Sailors' request for a new truck. It was agreed that the city has a used car that will be made available to the water and sewage department.
The proposed office supply budget of $2,000 was increased to $5,000 so that a new printer can be purchased. The printer is needed in order to computerize the city's check-writing procedures, officials reported. At present, all checks are handwritten.
FIRE DEPARTMENT
Mayor Presley explained that the fire department is a new budget item. Fire Chief James Lyles has requested $16,150. Previously, Banks County paid $11,150 to the Maysville Area Fire Department for service to customers living in the Banks County portion of the Maysville city limits. The city of Maysville paid the remaining $5,000.
It was reported that the Maysville City Council was informed by Banks County Board of Commissioners chairman James Dumas that Banks County will no longer pay for any fire and emergency services provided by the city. Dumas reportedly indicated that residents of Banks County living in the city limits of Maysville will be served by the Banks County fire department.
Council members questioned the legality of this arrangement and Presley said he had spoken with Dumas and city attorney Gary Freeman. Mayor Presley indicated Dumas will stand firm regarding this issue and Freeman had indicated there did not appear to be any legal recourse. Council members indicated they would like Freeman to review this matter again.
The council's next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 6, at 7 p.m.

Baldwin lowers millage rate
BY SHERRY LEWIS
The Baldwin Town Council set the new millage rate at 4.05, a decrease of almost one mill compared to the five-mill tax rate last year.
The decrease comes in part due to an agreement by council members to tax Banks County residents. For the last 20 years, the sales tax collected from Banks County has been paid in lieu of property tax for Banks County citizens only. Citizens of Habersham County who live in the city of Baldwin are already paying a property tax. In a meeting two weeks ago, councilmen Mitchell Gailey, Robert Bohannon and Jeff Bohannon approved this millage contingent upon a ruling from the attorney general on the tax issue.
Up to this point, the Bohannons had been against taxing Banks County residents, while Gailey and Mayor Mark Reed have advocated the idea. John Thomas and Deloris Thomas were undecided on the issue but were out of town when the matter was voted on.
City attorney David Syfan has given his opinion that all residents should be taxed at the same rate. Syfan suggested the resolution to this matter after a request by Banks County tax commissioner Margaret Ausburn. She asked for action on setting the millage because residents are allowed to purchase their car tags 30 days before their birthday. Citizens with a January 1 birthday can purchase their tags on December 1. The tax office needed to know what rate to charge the residents.
If the attorney general rules that the town can have two tax rates, the citizens can seek a rebate, Syfan explained.



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