News from Madison County...

 April 5, 2000


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OPINIONS
We the people must stop the Left Wing Conspiracy
Is this a great country or what? No matter how hard the Left Wing Conspiracy of big government and their allies in the liberal media try, they cannot keep we the people marching in line with their ideas.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Baldwin mayor charged with DUI
Baldwin Mayor Mark Reed was charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants at 12:32 a.m. Wednesday, March 29.

Annexation bill tops session, Jamieson says
The "anti-annexation" bill, a resolution to increase homestead exemption, education and the state budget, topped the list of highlights for state representative Jeanette Jamieson during the 2000 legislative session.

Firing range noise a concern for DNR
A representative of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said officials are working to improve the noise level around the firing range at Wilson Shoals Wildlife Management Agency.


News from...
JACKSON COUNTY
County gets state permit for Hwy. 11 sewer facility
Action opens way for development of Mulberry Plantation
After months of legal and political wrangling, the Jackson County government has received a wastewater discharge permit for its sewage treatment facility on Hwy. 11 in Jefferson.

Cochran gun plot uncovered at Barrow courthouse
A man being held on murder charges from Jackson County was apparently prepared to shoot his way out of the Barrow County courthouse.

Courthouse plans get BOC nod
Architectural firm selected and financing plan adopted
After two years of planning and research, Jackson County leaders cast two key votes Monday for a new courthouse annex.


SPORTS
Raiders beat Brookwood, Central Gwinnett

MCHS now 14-6 on season
The Madison County Red Raiders downed Central Gwinnett in a pitcher's duel and Brookwood in a slugfest this past week to improve to 14-6 on the season.

MCHS boys' soccer squad blasts by Stephens 6-0
Paced by another outstanding performance from senior star Manny Trujillo, the Madison County Raiders trounced Stephens County 6-0 Friday night on the road.


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SOON TO OPEN

The new Ingles at Dogsboro will open April 15. Pictured is the meat department in the new store.
Photo by Frank Gillispie.

GROWTH

New Ingles to open April 15
BY FRANK GILLISPIE
The long-awaited replacement for the outgrown Ingles Market at Dogsboro will open on Saturday, April 15.
The new building, adjacent to the present store, will be the largest Ingles in Georgia, and will be among the largest of any chain in the area. At 64,800 square feet, it is slightly less than twice the size of the current building.
Construction of a new facility was made necessary by the store's tremendous growth, said store manager Jerry Drake. Ingles #450 has the highest sales figures in the state and is near the top of all Ingles Markets. The new facility is expected to extend the store's lead in sales.
The replacement store at Dogsboro will include several new departments and feature expanded selections in all current areas. New to the store will be a media center featuring current videos for sale or rent, music and games. A full florist shop is being added, along with a branch of Merchants and Farmers Bank. A sit-down cafe will enhance the expanded deli.
Special emphasis is being placed on perishables, with major expansions in the meat and seafood department, the bakery and frozen foods. Many new gourmet items will be included in the store's product mix.
According to a schedule released by store officials, the current building will be closed at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 14. The new store will have a grand opening at 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 15. Many top Ingles officers will be present for the opening ceremony.
Customers will be greeted with wide isles, new products, plenty of parking and an enlarged staff, all designed to give them "the best shopping experience available."
Ingles Markets is a rapidly expanding regional grocery chain headquartered in Asheville, N.C. Starting with a single market in 1963, the chain has grown to over 200 stores. All stores are located within 250 miles of the distribution center in Asheville, which allows the chain to resupply its stores with speed and efficiency, according to store officials.

EDUCATION

Charter school proposed
Superintendent not in favor of the measure
BY MARGIE RICHARDS
AND ZACH MITCHAM
A charter school is being proposed for Madison County, aimed primarily at reducing the county's dropout rate, one of the worst in the state. But the school system's superintendent is not in favor of such a measure, saying the system already has a solid program to help potential dropouts stay in school.
Charter schools in Georgia are public schools that operate under agreements, called charters, with their local school boards and approval from the Georgia Department of Education.
There are currently 37 charter schools in the state but none in northeast Georgia.
George Thomas, who taught at the University of Georgia, and Michael T. McCord, former head of Athens Tech's community outreach program, are proposing a charter school for Madison County. The two will hold public meetings over the next month to explain the concept to parents and to "see if citizens feel this is needed."
The meetings will be held April 11 at 7 p.m. at the Ila Restaurant, Tuesday, April 18 at 7 p.m. at Colbert City Hall, Wednesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. at the Madison County Library and Tuesday, May 2 at 7 p.m. at Camp Kiwanis on Old Wildcat Bridge Road (take Hwy. 29 N to first right past Zeb's Barbecue).
According to Thomas, the school would be a two-year program open initially to a limited number of high school freshmen and sophomores. He said the proposed curriculum of the school includes "computer enriched" techniques that teach the core curriculum courses at a "student's own pace and interest level." Students would then be integrated back into the school system at the start of their junior year of high school.
Statistics show that many kids drop out of school in Madison County. According to the Georgia Department of Education, Madison County had the 11th highest dropout rate in the state for ninth through 12th graders in 1998-99 at 11.7 percent.
"Our goal is to appeal to students who may not be particularly happy in the traditional school environment, especially those in the transition period of early adolescence," said Thomas, who published a letter with McCord about the proposal in this week's paper (see Page 6A).
Superintendent Dennis Moore said he is not going to recommend approval of the charter school to the county school board, saying that the high school has Project Success in its vocational system to help potential dropouts.
Moore said the proposal was sprung on the county without consultation with school leaders to determine if such a program is wanted or needed.
"I don't think we'd be interested at this time," said Moore about the charter school proposal. "...I'm not going to recommend it (the charter school) because I feel we have a great program in place."
Thomas said the State Department of Education awarded a $5,000 planning grant last fall to McCord and himself to develop a plan for a charter school in Madison County.
A unique feature of the charter school is its local governing board, separate from the regular school board. The charter school board consists of parents of enrolled students, as well as community and business leaders who oversee the curriculum and operation of the school.
Enrollment into the school would be by application during an open enrollment period and students would be chosen by lottery if there are more applications than slots for students. The remainder could then be placed on a waiting list. If a charter school is established, approximately 40 students would be admitted to the school in the first year, according to Thomas.
- For more information on charter schools see the Georgia Department of Education's web site at www.doe.k12.ga.us/.


Bennett among five finalists for state 'teacher of year'
Madison County High School's Sabrina Bennett is among the five finalists for Georgia's 2001 "Teacher of the Year," state school superintendent Linda C. Schrenko announced Tuesday.
Georgia's 2001 "Teacher of the Year" will be announced May 5 at the state "Teacher of the Year" banquet.
Bennett has taught family and consumer sciences at Madison County High School for the past 21 years.
The five finalists will have a final in-classroom review by a panel of educators. The review includes classroom observation and interviews. That panel will then choose the top teacher.
Other finalists include Carol Cain, Troup County; Darlene Callan, Gordon County; Mary Eager, Lumpkin County; and James Morris Jr., Cobb County.


 
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Play ball!
Youth baseball, softball start Saturday in county
BY ZACH MITCHAM
The crack of the bat, the pop of the mitt, the parents' loud cheers.
These will be the sounds around Madison County's recreation ball fields Saturday as the 2000 youth baseball and softball season begins.
Approximately 1,000 kids from T-ball to senior league will suit up this year, a figure close to last year's turnout, according to recreation department assistant director Robin Pendleton.
"Overall the numbers are about the same," she said. "There was some fluctuation in T-ball where we lost four teams, but we picked up four boys' teams in the pitching machine league."
This year, there are 16 T-ball teams, which include both boys and girls. In the pitching machine leagues, there are 12 boys' teams and four girls' squads. In girls' slow-pitch softball, there are five 10-and-under teams, three 12-and-under squads and two 14-and-under clubs. In baseball, there are 10 minor league teams, 12 major league squads, six junior league teams and three senior league clubs. There are three major league fast-pitch softball teams and one minor league fast-pitch squad.
Recreation facility improvements since last year include new dugout roofs on all five lighted fields, better home plate clay, a lighted track, a timer on batting cage lights so those wanting to practice can use the cages at night and a new pavilion at Mize Park.