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Hoschton looking at school zone speed cameras

Roads around schools in Hoschton could soon get automated speed detection cameras.

Hoschton city administrator Gary Fesperman reported to the town council this week that his staff is evaluating the costs and need for putting automated speed cameras in local school zones. The system is similar to the one in Jefferson that photos speeders on roads in school zones and automatically sends out a traffic citation.

The city is working with a company that installs and operates the cameras, he said. Typically, funds generated through citations are split between the city and the camera firm.

Fesperman also said the city would work with the Jackson County Board of Education on the possible need for speeding cameras.

In other public safety news, Fesperman said that city staff is continuing to work on creating a town police department. The city budgeted for a new police department to start in the third quarter of 2021.

"Initial plans are to start with one officer and expand as funding and demand increases," Fesperman reported.

Jackson County Comprehensive High School students were having fun at prom on Saturday, April 17.

Madyson Hobson, India Wells, Zoie Armstead and Addyson Aguilar were singing and dancing at Jackson County Comprehensive High School’s prom on Saturday, April 17. The dance was held on the Braselton Town Green.

Braselton area remain below state average in vaccine rates

Braselton’s four-county area remains below the state average in COVID vaccine rates.

Across the State of Georgia, 32% of residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine with 20% fully vaccinated. There are 3.36 million residents in the state who have received at least one dose and 2.1 million who are fully vaccinated.

Barrow County has the lowest vaccine rate in Braselton’s four-county area, with 16% of residents receiving at least one dose and 13% fully vaccinated.

Gwinnett County has the highest rate in the Braselton area of those who’ve received at least one dose, coming in at 21%. Sixteen-percent of Gwinnett County residents are fully vaccinated.

In Hall County, 19% of residents have gotten at least one dose with 15% fully vaccinated.

And in Jackson County, 20% of residents have gotten at least one dose with 16% fully vaccinated.

Northeast Georgia Health System has administered 11,838 doses to its employees (5,784 of those are second doses). The hospital system has also administered 26,086 doses to members of the community (10,618 of those are second doses).

Age-restricted apartments on planners’ agenda

Braselton planners will hear a request next week for an age-restricted apartment community.

The Braselton Planning Commission will hold a hearing Monday, April 26, on a request to rezone 5 acres on Thompson Mill Rd. The applicant, Landbridge Development, LLC, is requesting a rezoning from commercial to multi-family and plans to construct Peaks of Braselton, a three-story apartment building for people 55-and-older.

Forty units are planned, 18 of which are proposed as one-bedroom apartments with the other 22 proposed as two-bed units.

Antique and Artisan Festival set this weekend

The Braselton Antique and Artisan Festival is set this weekend, April 23-25.

There will be 300 vendors, live music, food trucks and more at the event, which is held in downtown Braselton.

Hours are Friday, April 23, from 12-7 p.m.; Saturday, April 24, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and on Sunday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Here you will find true antiques, furniture, farmhouse, local artwork, boutique, home décor, hand crafted, primitives, rustic, salvage, good ole junk and more,” organizers said. “Up-cycled, recycled we've got you covered!”

For more information, visit vintagemarkets.net or the Braselton Antique and Artisan Festival Facebook page.

Hearing for drive-thru restaurant coming up

A public hearing for a drive-thru restaurant is coming up in Braselton.

The Braselton Planning Commission will hear a request April 26 for a conditional use to allow a drive-in restaurant off Old Winder Hwy.

The applicant, Johnson-Knight Development, LLC, is requesting the conditional use for a little over an acre at 2705 and 2709 Old Winder Hwy. Johnson-Knight plans to develop the site for a "plant-based quick service restaurant that will require a drive-thru."

Proposed hours of operation at 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Library friends to host book sale in Braselton

Friends of the Braselton-West Jackson library, an active volunteer support group, will host its semi-annual book sale on April 22-24.

The sale will be staged in the community room of the Braselton Police & Municipal Court building at 5040 Hwy. 53 in the historic downtown.

June McRae is chairing the sale.

“We’ll extend National Library Week into National Library Month to help celebrate the many benefits of our library. It is such a welcoming, nurturing place for young and old, and it’s our pleasure to host the sale to support the many programs of the Braselton library,” she said. “We’ll offer CDs, DVDs and audio books along with our hardcover and paperback books.”

Sale hours are Thursday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Free parking is available at the town’s parking deck.

For additional information, contact McRae at 404-245-0725.

COVID cases up slightly at NGHS

The number of COVID patients at Northeast Georgia Health System rose slightly in recent days.

As of April 19, NGHS was treating 51 positive COVID patients with 14 at Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton. That’s up from the week prior (April 12), when the hospital system was treating 37 COVID patients with 11 of those at NGMC Braselton.

NGHS reports 1,012 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Across the State of Georgia, there have been 869,590 confirmed COVID cases since the start of the pandemic, resulting in 17,241 deaths. There have been 2,543 probable COVID deaths in the state.

In Braselton’s four-county area, there have been:

•Barrow: 8,574 cases; 130 confirmed deaths and one probable death

•Gwinnett: 85,282 cases; 1,048 confirmed deaths and 69 probable deaths

•Hall: 24,772 cases; 430 confirmed deaths and 24 probable deaths

•Jackson: 8,424 cases; 137 confirmed deaths and 11 probable deaths