A tense stand off ended Thursday evening with a bank robbery suspect apparently being apprehended.
The stand off began at Comfort Inn at Hwy. 129 and I-85 in Jefferson.
Reports indicate a man wanted for a Wednesday bank robbery in Hall County was holed up at the inn. Two dozen law enforcement officers from Jefferson, Hall County, Jackson County and the state patrol were on the scene.
At about 6:45 p.m. Thursday the stand off ended with a Hall County Sheriff’s Office patrol car leaving the scene with what appeared to be a lone suspect in the back. A number of officers returned to the car and the situation was over with.
The bank robbery reportedly took place in Clermont at BBT Bank when a lone white male brandishing a gun took money and left the scene in a white Nissan.
Tim Grogg, with Cybergov Consultants, presented the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority a recommendation Thursday to increase both water tap fees and water rates for 2015-17. Grogg completed a rate analysis for the authority in January to consider the need for increased fees.
Current water tap connection fees for a three-quarter inch meter are $1,500. Groff recommends increasing that connection fee to $4,394 to offset costs.
Grogg also recommended that the authority increase its water rates for 2015-17 to offset operating costs and debt service payments.
For the full story, see the April 16 issue of The Jackson Herald.
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners is considering whether to continue using a private firm to handle its permitting and building inspections or to hire a chief building official to do the job.
County manager Kevin Poe went over the pros and cons of both options at a BOC meeting Monday night. The item will be on the agenda for a vote when the BOC meets at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 21, at the courthouse.
With citizen and business complaints continuing about the Internet service offered by Windstream, Jackson County and City of Jefferson leaders are searching for another provider to compete with the firm.
City of Jefferson officials have been working to seek improved services from Windstream, as well as providing information to companies who are interested in entering the market. Jefferson leaders also plan to meet with representatives from Appalachian Broadband.
Jackson County leaders are also looking into the possibility of other providers. County manager Kevin Poe met with the vice president with government and community affairs for Comcast, which does have limited service in Jackson County, mainly in the Pendergrass area.
Jackson County Chamber of Commerce president Josh Fenn has met with Windstream to discuss concerns about the service.
“We have met with Windstream and expressed a concern from our membership,” Fenn said.
For the full story, see the April 2 issue of The Jackson Herald.
The Jefferson Board of Education is considering charging out-of-district tuition for students in Jefferson High School. The topic was brought up by JHS principal, Kevin Smith, at the recent board retreat.
The system currently collects tuition only for students in K-8. Tuition is $800 per student, or $700 per sibling. The system collects about $300,000 in tuition annually.
Principal Kevin Smith told the board that he doesn’t think there will be a drop in enrollment if the system decides to charge tuition. He approximates that there are 26 out-of-district applications currently put in at the high school with 16 of them being upcoming freshman.
For the full story, see the April 2 issue of The Jackson Herald.
The county’s need for additional ambulances was one of the main topics of discussion at a meeting held last week in Braselton. It was at one of the quarterly town hall meetings hosted by District 3 County commissioner Bruce Yates that the subject of the county’s EMS structure was brought up.
Citizens posed questions about response times to Yates, county EMS director Steve Nichols or county manager Kevin Poe during the meeting, and even offered suggestions for what they thought the county should do, such as look into purchasing refurbished ambulances.
Poe explained that the county did indeed need another ambulance. He referred to a time analysis chart that proved that although the bulk of the county’s population is in West Jackson, “a lot of the units have to go across the county,” resulting in “pretty tremendous” response times.
For the full story, see the March 26th issue of The Jackson Herald.
Forty certified staff will lose their jobs before the 2014-15 school year begins after the board of education voted last week to approve a RIF (reduction in force.) Sixty-five employees in total will not be returning next year, but that includes 19 positions already reduced through resignations and retirements.
School superintendent April Howard said the system’s long-term goal is to rebuild a $9 million reserves fund balance by FY 2017.
By making the cuts, teachers who are employed in the JCSS will only have two furlough days next year.
For the full story, see the March 19th issue of The Jackson Herald.
In a response to what appears to be Windstream’s empty promises to upgrade “sub-par Internet service,” a Jefferson woman has started a petition to rally support for another option for a service provider in the county.
Dana Huff Phillips, a Windstream customer, spoke to the Jefferson City Council Monday night on issues with Windstream service in the city. She is spearheading the petition drive to get signatures of people who want another service provider option for city residents.
Phillips said she started the petition effort six days ago through social media.
The petition, which is located online at www.change.org, had 479 signatures by press time and is growing. There are at least 40 paper signatures, as well.
For the full story, see the March 12 issue of The Jackson Herald.
A bomb hoax at East Jackson Middle School Wednesday afternoon is expected to lead to charges being filed.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Motor Carrier Compliance Division and University of Georgia Bomb Disposal Unit, as well as local fire and EMS and other public safety agencies, responded to the school at approximately 3:15 p.m. after the school resource officer was notified of a report of a bomb by a student at the school. The school was evacuated and protocols were put in place to remove students from the school.
During the search, information became available that led Jackson County deputies and investigators to evidence that it was a hoax.
The investigation is ongoing and charges are pending, including terroristic threats and acts, disruption of a public school and transmitting a false public alarm.