Tensions over the ITC's ruling that could delay or kill the SK Battery plant in Commerce are ratcheting up as a 60-day deadline looms.
Told by the ITC that it would have to severely limit production of its electric vehicle batteries, SK is reportedly counting on the Biden Administration to overturn the ITC ruling. The president has 60 days in which to decide if he should intervene.
State leaders have been lobbying Biden to overturn the ruling, citing the importance of the plant's projected 2,600 jobs and appealing to the administration's goal of increasing green energy in the nation.
SK Battery was found by the ITC to be guilty of both stealing trade secrets from rival LG Chem and of actively destroying documents in a bid to conceal the theft.
SK has contacts with both Ford and VW to produce batteries for new vehicles.
While some believe Biden is likely to overturn the ITC, pressure is mounting on SK from two fronts.
First, last week the ITC release part of a transcript from its ruling that was scathing in its tone.
According to Reuters, the reported said that the ITC's “investigation demonstrates not merely SK’s eagerness to destroy documents, but also SK’s callous disregard to ascertain the scope of the destruction after the commencement” of ITC proceedings.
The ITC's report was also critical of Ford, which sought to buy even more batteries from SK even after evidence of the theft became known.
The other pressure being put on SK is from a likely lawsuit from LG Chem.
LG Chem has indicated that it would being willing to discuss a settlement, but only if SK acknowledges the theft and apologizes.
According to some reports, LG is suggesting that a settlement would be cheaper for SK than what it will seek in a lawsuit. Moreover, if SK does get the Biden Administration to overturn the ITC's ruling, some reports suggest LG will seek a huge amount in damages from a lawsuit.
According to InsideEVs magazine, "As we understand, if SK Innovation tries to evade the ban through President veto, then LG Energy Solution might have no mercy in the following lawsuit."
The Banks County Board of Education hired three new employees when it met on March 11.
Those hired were:
•Evelyn Jackson, teacher, effective 2021-2022 school year.
•Clint Peterson, bus driver, effective Feb. 17.
•Shelia Dixon, school food nutrition department assistant, effective Feb. 22.
The BOE also approved the certified personnel list for next year, which includes the following:
Nancy Bentley, Nicole Blalock, Michael Boyle, Cynthia Brown, Mike Brown, Roger Butler, Mike Cleveland, Amanda Dale, Chris Fuller, Leigh Ann Perry, Joshua Rider and Dana Simmons.
Tisha Allen, Ramsay Allen, Michelle Angel, Sherry Angel, Tina Askew, Alyson Atwood, Angie Austin, Katie Barrett, Christy Beasley, Mary Kate Beasley, Amanda Bedford, Tony Bedford, Raymond Bentley, Sarah Blackmon, McKenna Book, Michael Boomer, Gatlin Boswell, Tondra Boswell, Angie Bowen, Tony Bowen, Erika Boyle, Sarah Brett, Cayman Brooks, Deborah M. Brooks, Andrew Brown, Brittany H. Brown, Seth Brownlee, Lauren Calloway, Jennifer Cantrell, Chrystal Carlan, Michelle Carnes, Katlin Carver, Jeffrey Caudell, Dylan Charles, Kelsey S.Charles, Curtis Chitwood, Patricia Chitwood.
Also, Sara Chitwood, Carrie Clark, Allison Cochran, Wendy Collins, Jon Congdon, Carlos Cook, Ashley Crabbe, Sandra Crenshaw, Kelby Cronic, Christopher Crump, Rebecca Dale, Brooke Dalton, Carmen Daniel, Kellie Daniel, Erica White David, John David, Jennifer Davidson, Derrick Davis, Katie Davis, Stephanie Davis, Michelle Dickey, Anna Ruby Dooley, Clarissa Duncan, James Dye, Ashley Edwards, Penny Elrod, LaRue Evans, Rachel Finch, Jennifer Fitzgerald, Andrew Ford, Will Foster, Suzanne Fowler, Jamie Free, Wendy Fuschetti, Trenton Futch, Forrest Garner, Heather Geipel, Sarah Giles, Haley Hill, Priscilla Gilreath, Gary Goodson, Dean Goodwin, Kim Goodwin, Sarah Goodwin, Amanda Grier, Ryan Griffin, Kristy Grizzle, Maria Groozer, Ashley Hancock, Kasey Hanley, Eric Hart, Peyton Hart and Alan Hayes.
Also, Tammy Hill, Stacy Hobson, Kathy Holcombe, Damaris Holt, Kaye Hood, Jessica Howard, Amy Howe, Tracy Howe, Kipp Jackson, Lara Jackson, Krystal Jones, Joni Keith, Kari Kidd, Stephanie Kinsey, Chris LaFreniere, Alisha Landers, Vince Lehotsky, Blair Loggins, Kayla Parks Lord, Jon Lundy, Michelle Madden, Mary Manning, Megan Marshall, Donna Martin, Heather Martin, Heather Maxwell, William McCutcheon, Courtney McElroy, Chantay Milford, Matthew Milford, Lora Millwood, Kim Moore, Michelle Moran, Jennifer Morris, Hayley Nicholson, Heather Nicholson, Donna Ott, Stephen Owensby, Deborah Parker, Julie Parker, Maranda Parks, Brandy Pass, Rebecca Payne, Emily Peck, Elizabeth Peppers, Penny Petty, Matthew Pino, Angela Poole, Christy Pruitt, Joshua Purcell, Kathryn Purcell, Abby T. Ramsey, Asha Ravencraft and James Reid.
Also, Alisha Roberts, Anna Roberts, Tracie Ruark, Hillary Ryals, Gayle Rylee, Lisa Rylee, Rhonda Rylee, Lori Samples, Todd Samples, Natasha Savage, Alexis Scott, David Seigler, Steven Shedd, Summer Shockley, Joshua Shoemaker, Shelby Simpson, Tabitha Sims, Regina Smith, Stacy Smith, Summer Smith, Nicole Spear, Jeremy Steinacher, Caitlin Strickland, Lynn Suggs, Lori Taylor, Lisa Thomas, Leslie Turk, Amoreena Vandiver, Kaitlin Venable, Prudence Waggoner, Amy Ward, Lynne Warren, Robin Watson, Darren West, Angie Wheatley, Jody White, Patty Whitfield, Loring Whitlock, Brianna Wilbanks, Marie Williams and Tina Yonce.
Mary E. Boykin, Tressa Dodd, Chris Evans, Anna Jordan and April Loggins.
James Betz, Paula Bond and Vickie Martin.
MENTAL HEALTH CLINICIAN
Railroad Days will be held in Lula in in the spring.
The event will kick off on Friday, April 30, with a movie in the park. On Saturday, May 1, the event opens at 9 a.m. with the Lula Parade at 10 a.m. To round out the day, there will be musical entertainment.
Vendors are asked to contact city h all to reserve a booth for Friday and Saturday.
COMMUNITY CENTER UPDATE
The town's Community Center is back open for rentals. The city is extending the 50 percent discount for renting the facility. This will include all events booked by June 30 even if the events are scheduled later in the year.
Of course, social distancing protocol will remain in place with no more than 38 people in the space.
For more information on rates log onto: https://www.cityoflula.com/rent-community-center/
The Lula Ladies will meet at the facility on Wednesday, March 24.
Two fires at a Banks County residence have been ruled arson.
The fires occurred at 783 McDonald Circle in Commerce at 7:55 p.m. on Thursday, March 11. The residence is a 57-year-old single-wide mobile home.
“According to the occupants, a fire was found on the front porch of the residence in a plastic bucket about 40 minutes before the second fire occurred,” said Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King. “The second fire caused minor damage to the right side of the structure. Both fires were extinguished before the fire department arrived.”
The State Fire Investigations Unit is assisting the Banks County Fire Department and the Banks County Sheriff’s Office on this case.
Anyone with information about this Banks County fire is asked to call Commissioner King’s State Fire Investigators Unit at 1-800-252-5804. This anonymous hotline operates around the clock.
During the month of April, Keep Banks County Beautiful is promoting the Great American Clean-Up. The organization will provide trash bags, gloves, pick-up tools, and vests to community groups and residents on a first-come, first-served basis.
"Clean-ups include litter on the roads as well as general clean-ups," Leslie George, Keep Banks County Beautiful director states. "Perhaps there is an elderly person in your neighborhood that could use some help or a cemetery that could be cleaned and weeded. There may be a youth group at a church who would like to make Banks County more beautiful or a civic organization that would like to make a difference. To register your event, call 706-318-5448 and we will work with you in any way we can."
The Banks County Board of Commissioners will hold a work session on Tuesday, March 23, at 9 a.m. in the board room of the Banks County Courthouse Annex.