News from Madison County...

 March 29, 2000


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OPINIONS
Newspaper showed balance on big events
Congratulations are in order for the editors of the Montgomery Advertiser.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Baldwin backs down on alcohol referendum
Citizens of Baldwin and congregations from area churches spoke with a mighty voice and persuaded the city council Monday to vote "no" on a possible referendum that would allow liquor sales by the drink.

Mobile home developers concerned about proposal
Two mobile home park developers discussed their concerns about proposed changes to the mobile home regulations with members of the Banks County Board of Commissioners and planning commission during a work session on Friday.


News from...
JACKSON COUNTY
Planning Panel Won't Recommend Ga. 98 Annexation
The property of two homeowners will be recommended to the Commerce City Council for annexation, but not that of a woman who wants to operate a repo lot, tanning salon and beer store.

Tax Hike: Extra Penny Of Sales Tax Collection Begins Saturday
JEFFERSON -- An extra one-cent sales tax will go into effect across Jackson County beginning Saturday.

McEver family seeks annexation of tract into Pendergrass
A member of the McEver family approached the Pendergrass City Council Monday night about annexing a large tract of land into the town.

Jobless Rate Up In February
After months of virtual full employment, the unemployment rate in Jackson County edged upward ever so slightly during February, mirroring a state and local trend.


SPORTS
Homer lifts Raiders over Oconee, 6-5
Madison County bounced back from two straight losses Tuesday with a little help from the long ball.

Track teams topped by Stephens Co.
The Madison County boys' and girls' track teams opened their season Thursday with losses to Stephens County in Toccoa.


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TWIRLING TO THE TUNES

Madison County sixth graders Mary Beth Spence (left), Ashley Fowler (center) and Kim Patrick (right) twirl to the tunes during a middle school dance Friday night.
Photo by Travis Hatfield

EDUCATION

Proposal keeps Madison Co. in Region 8-AAA
Raiders may be joined by seven new foes
BY ZACH MITCHAM
If the Georgia High School Association's proposed region breakdown is made official in April, Madison County, Stephens County and Jackson County will remain in Region 8-AAA.
And they'll be joined by seven new region foes - Eastside, Elbert County, Franklin County, Hart County, Loganville, Monroe and Winder-Barrow.
The Georgia High School Association's Executive Committee is expected to finalize the region alignments when it meets April 17 and 18.
However, many questions will remain even after the GHSA meets next month. For instance, will football and basketball coaches have enough time to revamp their schedules? Many coaches are very upset that the state's change from four to five classifications was sprung on them on such short notice.
Madison County football coach and athletic director Tom Hybl said football schedules are expected to be finalized by May 1. That would give coaches only two weeks between the official approval of the region alignments and the schedule deadline. This means Madison County could have a tough time setting up a non-region schedule as originally planned for next year, a move aimed at making the Raiders more competitive on the gridiron. Hybl spent five months setting up that schedule, but he said it's out the door now.
"I don't know how it's going to work out," said Hybl, who added that the proposed region is one of the toughest in the state. "We're just going to do what's best for us."

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Hull hires security patrol
BY MARGIE RICHARDS
Priority Security, owned by Comer resident Gene West, has been hired to patrol the city of Hull on an "alternating schedule."
The Hull mayor and council met Monday night to discuss the matter, agreeing unanimously to hire West and his company "to patrol Hull, effective immediately, with (number of) hours to be determined later."
Priority Security, a security and armed guard service, will be paid $12 per hour out of a $6,000 carryover amount from last year's budget. The council also has the option of tapping additional funds, such as a $1,000 miscellaneous fund and a $10,000 Certificate of Deposit kept on hand for emergencies, as they deem necessary.
Councilman Ken Murray was selected as the contact person for Mr. West. Murray will give West instructions as to the number of hours and patrol times. Mark Cronic was selected as an alternate contact person, in case Murray is unavailable.
West appeared before the council earlier this month to ask that his company be considered to provide a security service for the town.
At that time, West offered to provide a state-certified security officer and a car to patrol the city on a rotating part-time schedule at a cost of $12 per hour.
He said he would also like to meet with Hull residents on a regular basis to establish a Neighborhood Watch committee, at no additional cost.
"If we get a good count on the census, we'll have more revenue," Mayor B.W. Hutchins said of the town's limited funds for the project. "We need to make sure we get a good count."


County employees to receive over $12,000 in back pay for overtime
BY ZACH MITCHAM
Eleven Madison County employees will receive approximately $12,000 in back pay from the county government.
The individuals, including some former employees, will receive between $35 and $1,900 apiece because the county did not properly pay them for overtime hours on the job.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, civilian employees must be paid at a rate of one and a half times their regular pay for overtime hours on the job.
While sheriff's deputies are not covered by this law, those dispatching calls for the department are protected by the Labor Act, but county administrators failed to recognize that. Consequently, several dispatchers and the 911 assistant director were not properly paid for overtime hours.
A U.S. Department of Labor official met with the county E-911 director David Camp and personnel coordinator Connie Riley to determine how much should be paid to those employees.
The county board of commissioners approved the back pay to the workers during their Monday meeting.
In a related matter, Riley told the commissioners that several amendments to the county's personnel policy are needed, including more explanation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family Medical Leave Act


 
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