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The Banks County Sheriff’s Office held it’s annual Shop With a Hero event with law enforcement officers shopping with area children at Walmart. In addition with BCSO officers, the Georgia Department of Public Safety, Law Enforcement Division - Georgia DNR, Maysville Police Department , Banks County Fire & EMS and Baldwin Police Department also participated. Volunteers with the Banks County Board of Education, Meadows Surgical Arts, Commerce Pain Management and Walmart also assisted. Businesses and community members donated to the Shop With a Hero program.

Deputy Geidner receives Medal of Valor

Deputy Sheriff Clay Geidner has received the Medal of Valor, which is the Banks County Sheriff’s Office’s second highest honor.

The Medal of Valor is awarded to a member of the agency who performs extraordinary acts of bravery in the performance of their duties.

On August 7, 2021, Geidner confronted an armed and dangerous suspect who was wanted for the murder of a federal postal employee, and on contact with the suspect, Deputy Geidner was fired upon and quickly returned fire and stopped any further advancement of the suspect.

“He acted voluntarily, without regard for personal risk or individual safety; and undertook such action under circumstances of clear and obvious peril and clearly displayed courage that was distinct from what is normally expected of the public safety profession,” officials report.

Sheriff Carlton Speed hereby proclaims that Deputy Geidner receive the the Banks County Sheriff’s Office Medal of Valor due to his actions.

Deputy Geidner also assisted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office with an incident on Nov. 26 at Tanger Outlers.

Deputies were dispatched to the Tanger Outlets to assist Jackson County Sheriff’s Office with a suicidal subject who had climbed to the top of the highest point of the building and was threatening to jump.

Upon speaking with a store manager and gaining access to a ladder leading to the roof, SGT Arnold and Deputy Geidner climbed to the roof.

Upon locating the male sitting atop the ledge of the roof, SGT Arnold and Deputy Geidner silently communicated an extrication plan; quickly pulling the subject from the ledge and placing him into custody to get the assistance that he needed.

Newly-elected Lula Mayor Joe Thomas was sworn in by Lula City Clerk Tangi Puckett.

Georgia Municipal Association representation, Stan Brown, presented outgoing Lula councilman, Mordecai Wilson, 96, with a certificate of appreciation for his 20 years of service representing District 3. Brown noted that Wilson was the oldest serving councilmember in the state of Georgia.

Planners to hear request for gas station

The Banks County Planning Commission will hear a rezoning request to locate a convenience store at Hwy. 441 and McCoy Road when it meets on Jan. 4. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the County Annex Boardroom, located at 150 Hudson Ridge, Homer.

Darshaan Holding LLC is requesting that the 7.27-acre lot be rezoned from ARR (Agricultural, Rural Residential) to C2 (commercial) to for the convenience store/gas station. There will also be retail space and a self-storage facility on the site.

In other business at the meeting, the planning commission will discuss changes to the county zoning ordinance related to the consolidated agriculture district, agriculture-rural residential district, neighborhood commercial district, general commercial district, industrial district and office and light industrial district.

42 new cases of COVID-19 reported

Forty-two news cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Banks County in the past two weeks, according to data released from the Georgia Department of Public Health.

There have been 2,531 reported cases of COVID-19 in Banks County since March 2020, when the Georgia Department of Health first began keeping data on the deadly virus.

In Banks County, 64 people have died from COVID-19 and 294 people have been hospitalized from the virus.

COVID-19 boosters are currently available through the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) health districts and participating providers. 

The CDC recommends a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine for all persons aged 18 or older, at least 6 months after completion of a mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) primary series, or at least 2 months after receipt of the single primary dose Janssen vaccine. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others, may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

Adolescents aged 16-17 years may receive a single booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 at least 6 months after completion of the primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for adolescents aged 16 and 17.

Not all types of vaccines will be available at all sites. For information about COVID vaccines or to schedule a vaccination appointment visit or

DPH continues to stress the importance of vaccination for all Georgians aged 5 years and older.

"Vaccination is our best tool to protect lives and stop the spread of COVID-19 in our state," public health officials state.


Health Department Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line is (888) 457-0186. He phone line is open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays through Sundays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Languages other than English are available.

Georgia eligibility is now open for everyone 5 years of age and older for the COVID vaccine. Pfizer is the only COVID vaccine currently authorized for children aged 5 through 15, and approved for 16 and 17-year-olds.