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Angie Gary / Photo by Charles Phelps 

Banks County’s Gavin Brown jumps up in the air, while his teammates and fans begin celebrating in the closing seconds of the Leopards’ 61-58 win over Butler (Feb. 20) in the Class AA state playoffs Sweet 16. Banks County plays Chattooga in the Elite Eight Wednesday (Feb. 26) at home. Tip-off time is set for 6:30 p.m.

Early voting starts March 2 for Homer alcohol referendum, presidential primary

Early voting starts on Monday, March 2, for the presidential primary and the Town of Homer Alcohol Referendum.

Early voting will be held March 2 through March 20, on Mondays through Fridays. Saturday voting will also be held on March 14.

All early voting will be held at the Banks County Elections Office, located at 226 Candler Street in Homer. Hours for early voting will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 14.


Residents who live in the city limits of Homer will be asked to vote “yes” or “no” on three questions related to alcohol sales. The three questions will be:

•Alcoholic Beverages by the Drink: Shall the governing authority of the Town of Homer be authorized to issue licenses to sell distilled spirits for beverage purposes by the drink, such sales to be for consumption only on the premises? Yes or No

•Sunday Sales of Alcohol by the Drink: Shall the governing authority of the Town of Homer be authorized to permit and regulate Sunday sales of distilled spirits or alcoholic beverages for beverage purposes by the drink? Yes or No

•Sunday Package Sales of Alcohol: Shall the governing authority of the Town of Homer be authorized to permit and regulate package sales by retailers of both malt beverages and wine on Sundays between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.? Yes or No


Voters who ask for a Democratic ballot in the presidential primary will have the following candidates to choose from: Michael Bennet, Joseph R. Biden, Michael R. Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, John K. Delaney, Tulai Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang.

The Republican ballot only lists incumbent Donald J. Trump.

Brooks finalist for economic developer position

Richard Brooks is the one finalist for the economic developer position for Banks County.

The Banks County Board of Commissioners will meet on March 10 to officially hire Brooks for the position.

Brooks is currently the executive director of the Greater Barrie Chamber of Commerce in Ontario, Canada, where he has served since 2017. Before that, he was the chief marketing officer for Difenda.

He has an Honours Bachelor of Environmental Engineering degree from the University of Guelph in Ontario; a Master of Business Administration degree from the Schulich School of Business and a Professional Engineering Designation from the Professional Engineers of Ontario.

Commerce man announces for Congress

Commerce resident Michael Boggus has announced plans to run for the 9th District Congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Doug Collins.

Boggus joins state Sen. John Wilkinson, Paul C.Broun, Matt Gurtler, Kevein Tanner, Ethan Underwood and Tyler Tolin in the Republican Primary race to be held May 19.

Two Democrats have also announced for the seat: Devin Pandy and Dan Wilson.

Boggus calls himself a "blue collar candidate" and is critical of the pharmaceutical industry.

"Michael has set his sights on Washington with the devoted, tenacious intention of becoming an instrument of public service to drastically reform the current corporatist political system," stated a news release about his candidacy. "He is a firm believer in prioritizing patriotism over political partisanship and corporate funding, and anticipates bringing that revitalized message of the American people back into Congress. Focusing on policies that would reduce taxation for the middle class, combat big pharma’s control over the American economy, stimulate economic development through the encouragement of entrepreneurship, defend second amendment rights, and preserve the People’s autonomy through the tenth amendment from government overreach and intervention, Michael brings a refreshing, populist message to politics, in the hopes of reminding the government that its responsibility is to protect and defend the rights of Americans, rather than restrict them."

Wes Whitfield announces re-election bid for board of education

Wes Whitfield announced this week that he will seek re-election, for his third term, to post 2 of the Banks County Board of Education. He has served as Board Chairman for three years and Vice Chairman for two. He has completed training in school law, school finance, board chair training, board ethics, strategic planning and school policy.

Mr. Whitfield graduated from Banks County High School before obtaining a Civil Engineering degree from Southern Tech. He owns a commercial cattle farm and manages Upstate Curb. Both businesses are located in Banks County. He has two children, Kaylee a graduate of Banks County and Wyatt a junior in the High School. His wife Patty teaches first grade at the Primary School.

When asked about his previous terms Mr. Whitfield said “In the past few years the School System has faced many challenges. We have worked diligently to control spending in the district. This has allowed us to eliminate all furlough days that were instituted during the recession. We’ve been able to give all our staff much deserved raises all while continuing to perform above the state average in graduation rates and test scores. Much needed improvements have been made to all our schools and we’ve been able to tremendously lower the overall age of our bus fleet. While all these accomplishments have been great none are near the importance of the vast improvements that have been achieved in school safety. While working side by side with our great Sheriff’s department we have made both physical safety upgrades to our schools and procedural advances that will help to enhance the safety of all students and staff. Our board and staff have been able to accomplish all of this while keeping our millage rate the lowest in our area. My goal is to continue to improve the quality of our children’s education, to provide our students and staff safe and quality facilities, and to foster an environment that attracts and retains world class teachers, all while keeping our tax rates as low as possible.”

Carlan to seek reelection as tax commissioner


Banks County Tax Commissioner Becky Carlan has announced that she will seek re-election in this year’s election.

Carlan has served as tax commissioner since January 2013 and has lived in Banks County for over 15 years.

Becky is married to Tim Carlan and they have two children, Ben, a junior and Brooke, a freshman, both attending Banks County High School.

“It is an honor to serve as tax commissioner of Banks County," she said. "I am proud of the work I have accomplished and I feel like I succeed everyday working at a job I love. I look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Banks County and would greatly appreciate your continued support."

Hensley seeking District 2 seat on BOC

Jason Hensley has announced that he is seeking the District 2 seat on the Banks County Board of Commissioners.

He has been married to Sallie Hensley for 25 years. He has two sons, Jakson and Austin Hensley. He is an active member of Charity Baptist Church. He is a poultry farmer in Banks County.

"I would like to be able to help keep Banks County a great place to live and raise a family," Hensley said. "I look forward to serving the citizens of Banks County as District 2 commissioner. I believe we need transparent communications as a commissioner. I look forward to meeting the citizens of Banks County. I am always available at 678-316-4171 or jhensley625@yahoo.com."