The number of foreclosures in Jackson County for the upcoming April sale date dropped slightly from March, down to 97 from 108. But while the raw count was down, the dollars involved soared for April to a new all-time high of $85.2 million for the month. That is nearly double the amount of foreclosure dollars from the previous record set in ...
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A Bethlehem couple that held an underage drinking party for local high school students last Friday night is facing a host of criminal charges after one of the partygoers ended up in a hospital intensive care unit with alcohol poisoning. The 18-year-old girl was dropped off, unconscious, at Barrow Regional Medical Center in the early morning ...
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The threat of river flooding in Jackson County appears to have diminished Sunday morning as the Middle Oconee River is now predicted not to exceed flood stage. The river was at 11.9 ft. Sunday morning and is predicted to drop during the day rather than rise into flood stage as earlier predicted.
Jackson County officials and agencies were out in force Saturday monitoring river levels for possible flooding following four days of rain. According to Jackson County EMA director Steve Nichols, "the Arcade Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Jackson County Road Department, North East Ga. Amateur Radio Club members, and Jackson County Sky Warn members were very helpful today keeping up with the storms and the river levels. Our partnership with all of these agencies continues to provide for the safety of our citizens."
A flood warning had been issued Saturday by the National Weather Service for the Middle Oconee River near Arcade affecting Jackson and Barrow counties and for the Broad River near Carlton affecting Madison and Oglethorpe counties.
The Jackson County Board of Education approved a sweeping set of financial cutbacks Wednesday morning, including the elimination of 38 teaching and non-teaching positions, closing the Regional Evening School program, furloughing 12-month employees for five days and the suspension or elimination of several other programs.
Included in the cuts is the elimination of an assistant superintendent’s position. Dr. Keith Everson, assistant superintendent for human resources and support services, is one of the 12 certified positions in the district that will be eliminated for the 2009-2010 school year.
The actions come after last week’s in-house BOE retreat, during which the board discussed the system’s finances in detail. While much of the district’s state-provided funds remains uncertain, the school system is clearly facing a drop in revenue for the 2009-2010 fiscal year budget. [Full Story »]
The Jackson County Board of Education will announce the school system’s layoff plans on Wednesday morning. During its annual retreat on Thursday and Friday, the board discussed the district’s financial woes amid dwindling state revenue. The board held a 35-minute closed-door meeting on Friday afternoon to discuss personnel issues. ...
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The Jefferson Caterpillar plant will be closed in June due to the economic downturn. Officials announced Tuesday morning that the facility, which makes fuel systems, will begin laying off some 89 employees starting in May. The local facility’s work will be moved to plants in Thomasville, GA and Pontiac, IL. The company is also laying off 200 ...
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A Snellville man was arrested Friday night in a Bethlehem parking lot for allegedly trafficking heroin and other drugs. The arrest of Evan Richard Newby, 27, of 3815 Mink Livsey Road, followed his alleged sale of heroin and hydrocodone to a deputy during an undercover operation by the narcotics unit of the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office. ...
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A flood watch has been issued for the Barrow, Jackson, Banks and Madison County areas.
According to the National Weather Service:
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PEACHTREE CITY HAS ISSUED A
* FLOOD WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF CENTRAL GEORGIA...EAST CENTRAL
GEORGIA...NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA...NORTHEAST GEORGIA...
NORTHWEST GEORGIA AND WEST CENTRAL GEORGIA.
* FROM MIDNIGHT EDT TONIGHT THROUGH MONDAY MORNING
* A SERIES OF UPPER-LEVEL DISTURBANCES WILL TRACK NORTHEAST ACROSS
THE AREA FROM AN UPPER LOW SLOWLY PROGRESSING EASTWARD FROM THE
SOUTH CENTRAL U.S. A SHALLOW LAYER OF COOL AIR AT THE SURFACE
ACROSS MOST OF NORTH AND CENTRAL GEORGIA WILL PERSIST THROUGH
SUNDAY. THESE TWO FEATURES COMBINED WILL RESULT IN A FAVORABLE
ENVIRONMENT FOR WIDESPREAD RAINFALL ACROSS THE REGION THROUGH
MONDAY. RAINFALL AMOUNTS WILL AVERAGE TWO TO THREE INCHES
THROUGH EARLY MONDAY ACROSS MUCH OF THE FLOOD WATCH AREA...WITH
ISOLATED HIGHER TOTALS.
* THE GROUND ACROSS MUCH OF NORTH AND CENTRAL GEORGIA REMAINS
MOIST FROM THREE TO FOUR INCH RAINS THAT FELL ON MARCH 1ST.
ADDITIONAL RAINFALL OF TWO TO THREE INCHES WILL LIKELY RESULT IN
AT LEAST MINOR FLOODING OF SOME CREEKS AND STREAMS INTO EARLY
NEXT WEEK. SEVERAL RIVERS AND STREAMS IN CENTRAL GEORGIA JUST
FELL BELOW FLOOD STAGE IN THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS. SOME PERIODS
OF URBAN FLOODING WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE THROUGH EARLY MONDAY
WHERE HEAVIER SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS OCCUR.
A FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR FLOODING
ESPECIALLY ALONG LARGER STREAMS AND RIVERS. IF YOU ARE IN THE
WATCH AREA...CHECK YOUR PREPAREDNESS REQUIREMENTS...ESPECIALLY IF
YOU HAVE INTERESTS ALONG AREA RIVERS. KEEP INFORMED...AND BE
READY FOR ACTION IF FLOODING IS OBSERVED OR IF A FLOOD WARNING IS
Freedom Bank of Georgia based in Commerce became the 17th bank taken over so far in 2009 by the FDIC.
Freedom Bank was taken over Friday evening at 6 p.m. by state and federal banking officials. All deposits of the bank were acquired by Northeast Georgia Bank of Lavonia.
All branches of Freedom Bank, including those in Jefferson, Homer, Commerce and Winder, will reopen Monday morning as Northeast Georgia Bank, officials said.
“Depositors of Freedom Bank of Georgia will automatically become depositors of Northeast Georgia Bank,” said a news release about the closure. “Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship to retain their deposit insurance coverage. Customers of both banks should continue to use their existing branches until Northeast Georgia Bank can fully integrate the deposit records of Freedom Bank of Georgia.
“Over the weekend, depositors of Freedom Bank of Georgia can access their money by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual.”
Customers who have questions about Friday's transaction can call the FDIC toll-free at 1-866-782-1897. The phone number will be operational on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., EST; on Sunday from noon to 6:00 p.m., EDT; and thereafter from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., EDT.
Freedom Bank is the second bank in Georgia seized by the FDIC this year. It is the seventh — and smallest — taken over since August 2008 when bank failures begin to rise due to the economic downturn. It is the only bank seized in Jackson County so far in the wake of the housing bust, which has devastated the area’s real estate and construction market.
In December, Freedom Bank was issued a cease and desist order by regulators, which instructed the bank to take certain actions to shore up its financial standing. At the end of the third quarter in 2008, the bank had 11 percent of its loan portfolio, $12 million, in default according to the FDIC. The bank lost $8.5 million in 2008 according to FDIC reports.
According to the FDIC’s news release, the bank had total assets of around $173 million and deposits of $161 million as of March 4. Northeast Georgia Bank agreed to purchase $167 million in assets at a discount of $13.6 million.
The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund will be $36.2 million. Northeast Georgia Bank's acquisition of all the deposits was the "least costly" resolution for the FDIC's Deposit Insurance Fund compared to alternatives.