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Banks girl locates food pantry in Homer

11 year-old Molly Willard and her family built a food pantry for Banks County.

Molly came up with the idea and wanted to help people that need food, Molly is active in community service and logged 278 hours last year. Her mom, Pamela Willard, and her father, Frank Willard, worked alongside her handling any emails, paperwork, or construction that was needed to complete projects.

Molly contacted Asia Vetter, programs coordinator at the Banks County Recreation Department, in December 2022, and had her food pantry placed at the site.

The food pantry is up and open for the community and it is believed to be the first and only food pantry in Homer. It contains canned goods and hygiene products and is set up by the mailbox to function as a “Drive-Thru.”

“We are encouraging those in need to take what they need, and those who can to leave what they can,” Vetter said. “We also want to let organizations or churches know that if they are interested in sponsoring a restock, they can do so by contacting me.”

Baldwin mayor resigns

Baldwin Mayor Joe Elam unexpectedly resigned at a meeting last week after nearly five years in the position.

Elam first became mayor in November of 2018 and announced his official resignation effective immediately on February 7, 2023. Elam explained that an unexpected opportunity presented itself and this decision was best for him and his family at this time. Elam emphasized how great an honor it was to serve Baldwin and expressed his gratitude to the staff and citizens.

Elam’s colleagues expressed their gratitude towards the mayor and all the great things he’s done for the city while in office.

The council voted to hand over the mayor’s seat to Councilwoman Alice Venter, and elected Councilwoman Stephanie Almagno as Mayor Pro Tem.

Alice Venter stated, “I am humbled by the opportunity to serve in this capacity and the city should know that I will do my best for the city and we have a lot of things coming ahead of us so we must push forward.”

The mayor’s seat will be up for a vote at the November election, while Alice Venter fills in as mayor and Staphanie Almagno as mayor Pro Tem.


In other business, the council discussed:

•moving to Cash Bond Online as an alternative for posting bond money in person. This service would allow people to bond out on weekends and when city offices are closed. This program would add a fee onto the bond amount, but would be at no cost to the city. This would help prevent overcrowding in jails, eliminate cash holding through the police department, and would allow payments worldwide.

•the request to donate $1,000 to the Digitize Habersham project to digitize minutes, photos, and other important records to preserve the history of Habersham. Councilwoman Stephanie Almagno raised her concerns about whether this would be a fair way to spend their citizens money since the project has not yet spread to Banks County.


•City Offices will be closed on February 20 in observation of Presidents’ Day.

Will Armour slides to kick the ball before a Commerce player can steal it.

Rutherford named to Maysville Planning Board

Richard Rutherford has been appointed to serve on the Maysville Planning & Zoning Board. The action came at the February meeting of the Maysville City Council.

In other business at the meeting:

•David Butler with the Adult Literacy Program was present to talk with the council about the Jackson County Adult Education Center program.

•the Council voted to purchase a Kubota tractor lawnmower from James Short Tractors. This will be paid out of the Cemetery Fund at a cost of $9,400.

•Oliver Electric gave a quote for two complete decorative lights and poles, at a cost of $7,450, along with the complete electrical and concrete anchor bases. These lights will be placed in the Maysville City Park.

BOE approves personnel items

The Banks County Board of Education approved several personnel items when it met on Thursday, including the following:

•accepting the resignations of Laura Bernaldo, speech language pathologist, effective end of 2022-2023 school year; and Arthur Fracker, teacher, effective end of 2022-2023 school year.

•accepting the retirement of Derrick Davis, teacher, effective June 1.