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I want to use a static page but I cannot drag the homepage widgets to inactive as I saw in a search that was what to do. And how can I tell which widgets are NOT part of the home page (I imagine header is not). I am picking up the pieces from a designer that left their client swinging in the wind and I have not come across this issue in other WP themes I have used.
All of the themes I've seen built for Genesis are setup such that the front-page.php (or home.php) template is used if ANY of the "Home Widget Areas" have a widget in them. That file would tell you specifically which widget areas were being used on the homepage. The others (Header Right, Primary Sidebar, Secondary Sidebar, Footer Widgets) would be used on multiple pages.
If none of the Home Widget Areas have widgets in them, the theme defaults to showing the "Latest Posts."
If you want a static home page that isn't controlled by widgets, you might start be re-naming (or deleting) the front-page.php (or home.php) file so that WordPress can't find it when you set the static page in Settings > Reading.
You could also modify front-page.php (or home.php) to not use widget areas but just use the page content. I believe you can do that by file to contain nothing more than this:
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