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August 17, 2006 Issue



Top Stories
Powerline hearings scheduled
Chamber and STC produce series focusing on area's small businesses
Offering second chances

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Powerline hearings scheduled

• Two meetings will be held on Sept. 12 to provide public notice of intent to purchase easements for new high voltage power line in Glascock Co.

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

Georgia Transmission announced last week the dates for meetings about the high voltage power line that is scheduled to pass through the length of the county. In September 2005, citizens were informed of the line’s future home in parts of Glascock County. In July of this year, Georgia Transmission announced that they found a workable centerline in Glascock County, the last of the four counties, including Washington, Warren and McDuffi e, to have an approved centerline. Georgia Transmission is owned and operated by the Electric Memmeetings is very detailed and is based on aerial photography. “We hope people will come to get information about the line,” she said.

There will be two meetings on Tuesday, Sept. 12, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at the Glascock County Board of Education at 738 Railroad Avenue in Gibson.

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Georgia Transmission representatives said the purpose of the meeting is to provide public notice of their intent to acquire easements for and to construct the transmission line for which the right of eminent domain may be exercised.

bership Corporations’ of Georgia. With the help of Georgia Transmission, the EMCs will put a 500 kilovolt line through parts of Glascock County. The line will begin at the Warthen Substation and cross the county, slightly north of Mitchell and Gibson, endin at the Thomson Primary Substation. The project is slated to be fi nished by 2010.

In June, Senior Public Relations Representative Jeannine Rispin said that Georgia Transmission was still working with some of the property owners in Glascock County to come to an agreement, but had fi nished with owners in neighboring counties. “For the most part we have found a workable centerline in Washington, Warren and McDuffie counties,” Rispin said. “There is a pocket there in Glascock County where we are trying to work with folks to fi nd a win/ win situation. [This] is not unusual. People want some input of where the line will be located.

“And we want to work with property owners and fi nd a location that is acceptable on their property. It is all a part of our process.”

In July, Georgia Transmission plans held public meetings in Warren and Washington counties. “Over all for a project of this size, it has gone very well,” she said. “We just want to know the centerline is in the best place and the people affected are fairly compensated.”

Rispin said the map of the centerline that will be available at the future Georgia Transmission representatives will be on hand to provide information and take questions and comments about the project.

Rispin said with the help of aerial photography and computers, citizens will be able to look at the transmission line in great detail with its proximity to homes and businesses. “We have open house meetings, where you do not go sit down,” Rispin explained. “Citizens can go to whatever information center they need. We have had good luck with this format and it is in line with state regulations.” County Commissioners will also be informed of the meetings and status of the project.

Through the meetings, Rispin said, Georgia Transmissions wants the public's input. Last year, Rispin explained the reasoning for the new line across the four-county area.

“Our job is to build the high power lines that bring power to all of the EMCs across the state,” Senior Public Relations Representative Jeannine Rispin said. “The Georgia electric grid is supported by a network of major high voltage transmission lines. These lines form the backbones of the system that serve both the EMCs and Georgia Power.”

According to Rispin, the project was released to Georgia Transmission in December 2004 to begin looking at a study area.

“Most of this transmission system was built before 1980,” Rispin said. “Georgia has experienced a lot of growth and that has placed an enormous strain on the current lines. It is time to build new lines to ensure the bulk remains stable.

“This is a project that is a part of a statewide effort to bolster the transmission grid in Georgia. There are quite a few large lines like this that will be built all over the state.”

Rispin said that the line will supply power to much of east central Georgia. She did say that the company would rely on community input when factoring exactly where the line would go.

“We look at a lot of different factors, community input, existing and proposed land uses, environmental regulations, historic structures, rivers, streams and Indian settlements,” Rispin explained last September. “We do an analysis of the entire study area to try to find a route with minimum impact to the people and the environment.

“We are certainly available to talk to anybody or anyone that has questions.”

There will be easements of 150 total feet that will go 75 feet on either side of the line. “There are easements,” Rispin explained. “We will pay fair market value for the easements. We have state certified appraisers to work with property owners to reach an agreement on value.”

Nines times out of 10, Rispin said an agreement can be made on property value. If not, eminent domain will come into play.

Rispin stated that the condemnation rate is very low.

“We have built hundreds of miles each year and we end up condemning less than 5 percent that we work with,” she said.Georgia Transmission representatives said the purpose of the meeting is to provide public notice of their intent to acquire easements for and to construct the transmission line for which the right of eminent domain may be exercised.

bership Corporations’ of Georgia. With the help of Georgia Transmission, the EMCs will put a 500 kilovolt line through parts of Glascock County. The line will begin at the Warthen Substation and cross the county, slightly north of Mitchell and Gibson, endin at the Thomson Primary Substation. The project is slated to be fi nished by 2010.

In June, Senior Public Relations Representative Jeannine Rispin said that Georgia Transmission was still working with some of the property owners in Glascock County to come to an agreement, but had fi nished with owners in neighboring counties. “For the most part we have found a workable centerline in Washington, Warren and McDuffie counties,” Rispin said. “There is a pocket there in Glascock County where we are trying to work with folks to fi nd a win/ win situation. [This] is not unusual.

People want some input of where the line will be located. “And we want to work with property owners and fi nd a location that is acceptable on their property. It is all a part of our process.”

In July, Georgia Transmission plans held public meetings in Warren and Washington counties.

“Over all for a project of this size, it has gone very well,” she said. “We just want to know the centerline is in the best place and the people affected are fairly compensated.”

Rispin said the map of the centerline that will be available at the future Georgia Transmission representatives will be on hand to provide information and take questions and comments about the project.

Rispin said with the help of aerial photography and computers, citizens will be able to look at the transmission line in great detail with its proximity to homes and businesses.

“We have open house meetings, where you do not go sit down,” Rispin explained.

“Citizens can go to whatever information center they need.

We have had good luck with this format and it is in line with state regulations.”

County Commissioners will also be informed of the meetings and status of the project.

Through the meetings, Rispin said, Georgia Transmissions wants the public's input.

Last year, Rispin explained the reasoning for the new line across the four-county area. “Our job is to build the high power lines that bring power to all of the EMCs across the state,” Senior Public Relations Representative Jeannine Rispin said. “The Georgia electric grid is supported by a network of major high voltage transmission lines. These lines form the backbones of the system that serve both the EMCs and Georgia Power.”

According to Rispin, the project was released to Georgia Transmission in December 2004 to begin looking at a study area.

“Most of this transmission system was built before 1980,” Rispin said. “Georgia has experienced a lot of growth and that has placed an enormous strain on the current lines. It is time to build new lines to ensure the bulk remains stable.

“This is a project that is a part of a statewide effort to bolster the transmission grid in Georgia. There are quite a few large lines like this that will be built all over the state.”

Rispin said that the line will supply power to much of east central Georgia. She did say that the company would rely on community input when factoring exactly where the line would go.

“We look at a lot of different factors, community input, existing and proposed land uses, environmental regulations, historic structures, rivers, streams and Indian settlements,” Rispin explained last September. “We do an analysis of the entire study area to try to find a route with minimum impact to the people and the environment.

“We are certainly available to talk to anybody or anyone that has questions.”

There will be easements of 150 total feet that will go 75 feet on either side of the line. “There are easements,” Rispin explained. “We will pay fair market value for the easements. We have state certified appraisers to work with property owners to reach an agreement on value.”

Nines times out of 10, Rispin said an agreement can be made on property value. If not, eminent domain will come into play.

Rispin stated that the condemnation rate is very low. “We have built hundreds of miles each year and we end up condemning less than 5 percent that we work with,” she said.

Rispin explained that farming and other uses can take place on the easements, but not planting any timber. Houses or other structures can be placed next to the easement, but not on them.

Georgia Transmission encourages anyone with questions to call Rispin at 1-800- 241-5374 ext. 7741.

Rispin explained that farming and other uses can take place on the easements, but not planting any timber. Houses or other structures can be placed next to the easement, but not on them.

Georgia Transmission encourages anyone with questions to call Rispin at 1-800- 241-5374 ext. 7741.



Chamber and STC produce series focusing on area's small businesses

• Classes on starting a small business, writing a business plan, bookkeeping and marketing begin on Aug. 28 and run through Nov. 13 in county

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

“Small businesses are key to our local economy,” Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Director Lil Agel said, “especially a retail business because we lose so much of that to neighboring counties.”

The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Small Business Development Center and the Jefferson County Center of Sandersville Technical College to offer a Small Business Series for those who want to start a business or those who already operate a business, but may need some help.

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“We, at the Chamber, recognized that small businesses are a big part of our local economy and we need to offer resources so that they can be successful,” Agel said. “This is for someone who wants to open one or already runs a small business. If they need resources, this is the class to take. We hope small businesses will open and stay open and provide goods and services the community wants.” Agel said it is the fi rst series the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce has held, but they hope it will not be the last.

“This is the very fi rst one we’ve done,” Agel explained. “It’s a new concept with the way we are setting it up, this particular series is different because of what it will do for the community.”

According to Agel, at each of the four sessions, more details on beginning a small business or assisting an existing one will be offered. “A lot of people don’t know where to get information on beginning a business,” Agel said. “This way they can call the information they needed to know and where to get the information. This is the mechanics of it, without the production.”

The series shows future and current business owners that beginning any business takes serious thought and work ahead of time in order for it to be successful and make what the community needs, Agel added.

“It is hard to compete with a Wal- Mart,” Agel said. “So we have to offer something that a Wal-Mart does not, like being close by. This will help tremendously by keeping the tax money here. Losing that retail money is very detrimental to a community as a whole. We have to encourage other people to come to Jefferson County and spend their money here.”

As for future series, Agel said that the Chamber would like to see the response from the Small Business Series before deciding where they need to go next.

The series of classes will be held beginning Monday, Aug. 28, with “How to start a small business.” Each class begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. The following classes will be on Monday, Sept. 25, “Writing your business plan,” Monday, Oct. 23 “Business bookkeeping,” and Monday, Nov. 13, “Marketing your business.”

The cost for classes will be $30 each or $100 for the series, which is an underwritten cost by the Chamber, because the classes would cost $40 each.

The classes will be held at the Jefferson County Campus of Sandersville Technical College, with Area Director Debra McKenzie of the Small Business Development Center teaching the classes. Those interested can register with the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce by phone at (478) 625-8134 or by email at leage l@JeffersonCounty.org.

“In conjunction with this, there will be free consultation with someone from the Small Business Development Center for one day a month, for as long as we need them to come down,” Agel said.

“Anyone is welcome whether they took part in the series or not. People can bring a specific question or problem.”

Individual consultations will be held the first Wednesday of the month beginning in September. Appointments may be scheduled at the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.

“This is a real good opportunity for people already in a business or who would like to start a business to do this and know where to get started,” Agel added.



Classes on starting a small business, writing a business plan, bookkeeping and marketing begin on Aug. 28 and run through Nov. 13 in county

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

“Small businesses are key to our local economy,” Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Director Lil Agel said, “especially a retail business because we lose so much of that to neighboring counties.”

The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Small Business Development Center and the Jefferson County Center of Sandersville Technical College to offer a Small Business Series for those who want to start a business or those who already operate a business, but may need some help.

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“We, at the Chamber, recognized that small businesses are a big part of our local economy and we need to offer resources so that they can be successful,” Agel said. “This is for someone who wants to open one or already runs a small business. If they need resources, this is the class to take. We hope small businesses will open and stay open and provide goods and services the community wants.”

Agel said it is the first series the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce has held, but they hope it will not be the last.

“This is the very first one we’ve done,” Agel explained. “It’s a new concept with the way we are setting it up, this particular series is different because of what it will do for the community.”

According to Agel, at each of the four sessions, more details on beginning a small business or assisting an existing one will be offered.

“A lot of people don’t know where to get information on beginning a business,” Agel said. “This way they can call the information they needed to know and where to get the information. This is the mechanics of it, without the production.”

The series shows future and current business owners that beginning any business takes serious thought and work ahead of time in order for it to be successful and make what the community needs, Agel added.

“It is hard to compete with a Wal- Mart,” Agel said. “So we have to offer something that a Wal-Mart does not, like being close by. This will help tremendously by keeping the tax money here. Losing that retail money is very detrimental to a community as a whole. We have to encourage other people to come to Jefferson County and spend their money here.”

As for future series, Agel said that the Chamber would like to see the response from the Small Business Series before deciding where they need to go next.

The series of classes will be held beginning Monday, Aug. 28, with “How to start a small business.”

Each class begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. The following classes will be on Monday, Sept. 25, “Writing your business plan,” Monday, Oct. 23 “Business bookkeeping,” and Monday, Nov. 13, “Marketing your business.”

The cost for classes will be $30 each or $100 for the series, which is an underwritten cost by the Chamber, because the classes would cost $40 each.

The classes will be held at the Jefferson County Campus of Sandersville Technical College, with Area Director Debra McKenzie of the Small Business Development Center teaching the classes. Those interested can register with the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce by phone at (478) 625-8134 or by email at leage l@JeffersonCounty.org.

“In conjunction with this, there will be free consultation with someone from the Small Business Development Center for one day a month, for as long as we need them to come down,” Agel said.

“Anyone is welcome whether they took part in the series or not. People can bring a specific question or problem.”

Individual consultations will be held the first Wednesday of the month beginning in September. Appointments may be scheduled at the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.

“This is a real good opportunity for people already in a business or who would like to start a business to do this and know where to get started,” Agel added.



Offering second chances

• Jefferson County jail has one of the few locally supported GED programs in the state

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

When the two men walked into their GED ceremony, their Jefferson County Jail orange jumpsuit and prison-issued uniform were covered by green gowns under matching mortarboards and the clink of chains was drowned out by the graduation march.

“People can make a change, even after they’ve made a mistake in life,” Jefferson County Correctional Institute inmate Nicholas Harden said from the podium in a little room behind Jefferson County Jail’s locked doors. “You just have to put forth the effort.”

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For both Harden and jail inmate Damien Taylor, the graduation ceremony meant more than the end of months of hard work, it meant the beginning of something better.

“This is the fi rst step for me leading a legal life from now own,” Taylor said. “This has been a long time coming, but it’s fi nally here.”

Both men stood before their families as well as quite a number of area elected offi cials and thanked those who made the program possible.

“I would like to dedicate this to my father and grandfather,” Harden said.

He went on to say that he is looking forward to four more years of college once he completes his sentence.

While quite a number of prisons have federally funded GED programs in place, STC President Horadan said that locally funded programs like the one at Jefferson County’s jail, are much more hard to find.

“This is the only one in our five county area,” he said. Taylor is the first graduate of the Jefferson County Jail’s program, but Sheriff Gary Hutchins said he hopes he is just the first of many.

“This is a big day today,” the Sheriff said. “It’s a big day for these men and a big day for the Sheriff’s office. This is something we’ve been looking at for a long time.

We’ve wanted something constructive for these men, something they can do to better themselves while they are with us.”

The local portion of the funding is coming entirely from money seized in area drug arrests.

“This is going to be an incentive to the other guys back there,” Sheriff Hutchins said. “They’re going to get word of everything going on here today.”

Ships For Youth Director Carolyn Swint addressed the men and those gathered. “You men are lucky,” she said. “You are lucky that you have people here who don’t want to put you in and throw away the key. Instead they want to put you in, lock you up and give you the help you’ve never had before. You are lucky you are a part of a system that really cares about you.”

Warden William Evans also spoke to the men. “This is not your life,” he told them. “You do have life after prison.”

STC President Horadan pledged his support to both Taylor and Harden and promised to give them whatever help he could furthering their education once they are released.

“You’ve taken the first and most important step in taking control of your life again,” Horadan told them.

Currently there are 25 inmates in the county GED programs, 13 at the county jail and 12 at the prison. According to Saketha Adams, STC’s director of adult literacy, the GED students meet at each location for four hours a day, two days a week until they are ready to take their GED test.




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