News from Madison County...

 March 22, 2000


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OPINIONS
Census forms go beyond limits set by Constitution
The U.S. Census Bureau is in shock. Millions of Americans are objecting to the questions on the 2000 census forms.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Governor signs anti-annexation bill
Move will make Banks Crossing safe from annexation by Commerce
Banks Countians can finally breathe a sigh of relief and put worries about the possible annexation of Banks Crossing by the City of Commerce out of their minds.

Alto increases commercial water rates
Commercial water rates will increase in the City of Alto beginning in June.

Chrisohon named new MCHS principal
Pam Chrisohon has been named Madison County High School's new principal.


News from...
JACKSON COUNTY
City Permits $475,323 In Feb. Construction
The city of Commerce issued permits for $475,000 worth of construction during February, according to documents submitted to the Commerce City Council March 12.

Chamber-Led Economic Development Effort Split Between Seeking New Companies And Helping Existing Companies Prosper, Expand
JEFFERSON -- Like a pretty girl always surrounded by male admirers, Jackson County constantly courts industrial suitors, firms that see Jackson County as a good place to open up a plant.

Engineer says courthouse annex site will work
An engineer studying the proposed site for a new courthouse annex doesn't believe the soil contamination and high water table will stop the county from building on the property.

50-acre industrial park planned near I-85
The Norton Agency project on planning commission agenda for Thursday
A rezoning request to go before the Jackson County Planning Commission Thursday night would bring a large industrial park to the North Jackson area east of Pendergrass near I-85.


SPORTS
Raiders roll past West Hall 6-2
Madison County tops Jackson Co., falls to Stephens
With the aid of a solid pitching performance from junior Chad Youngblood...

Raider golfers roll on
Raiders earn three wins this week, to host Invitational Sat.
Though the Raider golfers nabbed two more wins in a three squad home match last Wednesday...


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HEAD SHOT

Madison County's Daniel Sartain heads the ball against Oconee County last week. The Raiders fell to the Warriors and North Gwinnett this past week, but the squad also downed regional power North Hall Friday night.
Photo by Zach Mitcham

GROWTH

68-lot subdivision denied
BY FRANK GILLISPIE
A proposed 68-lot subdivision off Colbert Grove Church Road was shot down by county planners Tuesday, but the board of commissioners will have the final say on the matter Monday.
The Madison County Planning Commission voted to recommend denial of another request by developers Dale Overstreet and Jerry Maynard to rezone a 120-acre tract off Colbert Grove Church Road from A-1 to RR (rural residential) in order to establish a subdivision. The tract is located behind the county-operated ball parks. The area is owned by Stan Hodsdon and Ralph Mize.
Questions of access to the tract concerned the zoning board. One street the developers planned to use may not be a public road, according to county commissioners chairman Wesley Nash. However, property owner Ralph Mize said he had deeded the road to the county for public use.
Without Cliff Mize Road, the developers will have only one entrance, requiring a cul-de-sac. Current county law limits such streets to 1,250 feet, far too short for the proposed development.
Another concern was the proposed size of the lots. Developers want to establish up to 68 lots on the site. No restrictions on type of homes would be placed on the development. Overstreet noted that most of the residences in the area are mobile homes, and that he anticipated that most of the lots would be purchased by mobile home users.
When he was reminded that the county's comprehensive plan marks the area for low density housing, requiring lots of five acres or more, he pointed out that a majority of the adjacent land is divided into lots of less than five acres. When he was asked about problems with the lighted ball fields and noise from games, he said that he would make sure anyone purchasing lots adjacent to the ball fields would be made aware of the problem before closing.
A number of area residents objected to the project. Most felt that the area was already too congested. They argued that the Colbert Grove Church Road was not designed for heavy traffic and an additional 68 homes would overload its capacity. Others argued that the recreation area would not be able to handle the additional load and that too many unsupervised children on the ball fields would be dangerous.
The commission voted 5-0 to recommend denial of the request on the grounds that it was not compatible with the county land use plan.
In other actions, the commission recommended that a request to rezone a tract on Hwy. 29 South of Danielsville from A-1 to B-2 (business) be denied. Wiley V. Slaton wanted to change the zoning for the area where he parks his trucks to help with his request to the DOT that a crossing be included in the planned four-laning of the Danielsville Road. Neighbors argued that the area, located at the old Tip Top Motel site, contains a dangerous curve and was not suitable for business use. They were concerned about the environmental impact of oil leaks from the trucks on the Bushy Creek watershed.
The commission recommended approval for a request for Merchants and Farmers Bank to place a lighted sign on the front of the new Ingles Market in Dogsboro.
They gave their approval to a request by James A. Henry Sr. to rezone a six-acre tract on Fort Lamar Road from A-2 to R-R in order to bring the tract containing two homes into compliance with zoning rules. They agreed that Melissa Skipper should be allowed to rezone a private home on Crawford W. Long Street from A-2 to B-1 to be sold for an office.
They approved a request that three two-acre tracts owned by Randy Payne be rezoned from R-R to A-2 and recombined with the original tract.
The commission is working on new stormwater management rules, changes to the sign ordinance, and rules on who can draw up subdivision plans. These questions have been refered to the county attorney for advice.


New lighting approved for baseball field
BY ZACH MITCHAM
The Red Raider baseball field will soon be brighter.
The Madison County Board of Education approved a contract Tuesday with Stephens Lighting and Electric out of Bogart to install new lights at the field. The project will cost approximately $40,000.
The board approved the project by a 4-1 vote, with chairman Jimmy Patton, John Mason, Jim Patton and Robert Haggard voting for the measure. Elaine Belfield provided the lone vote in opposition.
In a separate matter, the board unanimously approved a contract with Manifold Electronics out of Jefferson to install a security system at the new Hull-Sanford Elementary School, which is near completion. The system will cost $10,750 to install, with a $20 per month maintenance fee.
In other business, the board approved the purchase of kitchen equipment for the school nutrition program from Norvell Fixture and Equipment for $4,350. The group agreed to seek bids on repairing a paneling problem at the high school. The board also agreed to seek a replacement for Utica Mutual as an insurance provider for the school system. Board attorney Lane Fitzpatrick said the company has provided poor service from its claims department.


Recall dead
BY ZACH MITCHAM
Attorneys for both sides of a recall attempt against Madison County commissioner Patsy Pierce agree that the effort is basically dead, but the matter will still be heard by the Georgia Supreme Court.
The recall case has been assigned to the May oral argument calendar of the Supreme Court of Georgia, according to a document from the clerk of that office.
Chet Dettlinger, attorney for recall chairman Jerry Mattox, said there is virtually no chance of removing Pierce from office before the November elections. But that doesn't mean the issue is over. Dettlinger said there's still the matter of recovering legal fees for his client. He also says the case may "affect procedures in future recalls."
The attorney maintains that the Madison County Supreme Court acted out of line in ruling against his client. Dettlinger said a temporary restraining order against Mattox's recall effort last summer was more like an "illegal injunction," since it lasted more than 30 days.
"As far as I'm concerned that (the temporary restraining order) virtually ended it (the recall effort)," said Dettlinger. "I don't think they (the courts) followed the law. In fact, I'm sure of it."
Dettlinger said the law requires paperwork from someone filing a libel or slander suit to prove that they aren't doing so to impede someone's freedom of speech. And he claims that Pierce failed to do so in her libel suit against his client. Mattox was ordered to pay approximately $6,000 in attorney's fees related to that litigation.
Pierce's attorney Jeff Rothman said Mattox and his attorney are the ones out of line.
"This appeal is just another waste of the court's time," said Rothman. "The Superior Court judge ruled his (Mattox's) defenses were frivolous and awarded us substantial attorney's fees. This appeal will be dismissed as frivolous."


 
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EDUCATION
Chrisohon named new MCHS principal
BY ZACH MITCHAM
Pam Chrisohon has been named Madison County High School's new principal.
She will replace Allen McCannon, who was recently named an assistant superintendent with the school system, effective July 1.
Chrisohon, principal of Ila Elementary for the past two years, has 26 years of education experience, including 15 with Madison County schools.
She was hired to the position after a closed meeting of the Madison County school board Tuesday.
In other personnel matters, the board agreed to move vocational director David Clark to assistant principal at the high school. Nannette Varela was named assistant principal at the new Hull-Sanford Elementary School. Dr. Jeff Turner was named vocational supervisor at the high school. The BOE also voted earlier this month to name Jody Cronic as new assistant principal at Colbert Elementary.
The board agreed Tuesday to hire three new teachers at both the high school and middle school to address the state's education reform initiatives, which include lowering student-to-teacher ratios.
The group also agreed to accept the retirement of Joanne R. Sloterbeck at Colbert Elementary and the resignation of pre-school services coordinator Ellen Miles. Ahna Chastain was hired as a media specialist at Colbert Elementary to replace Janice Peck, who transferred to the new Hull-Sanford school. Shawna Collick was hired as a long-term substitute at the middle school. Maternity leave was also granted to Chastain as well as Clarissa Ray at Colbert Elementary.