News from Madison County...

 April 12, 2000


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OPINIONS
Campaigning and the Journal
Those who campaign and those who report on election hopefuls seem laughable at times.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Residents against mobile home park
BOC strengthens ordinance
Just the thought of a 90-acre mobile home park on Hwy. 59 was enough for area residents to speak out against it and in favor of strengthening the mobile/manufactured home regulations in Banks County.

Baldwin mayor's DUI case to be heard in Habersham
Baldwin Mayor Mark Reed will appear in Habersham County State Court, not City of Baldwin court.


News from...
JACKSON COUNTY
Duke-Weeks ready to develop in Braselton
A huge Gwinnett County real estate firm will break ground this month on its first industrial project on a 500-acre tract it plans to develop in Braselton.

3rd Time's A Charm With Grant
Third Attempt Nets Commerce $500,000 State Grant
The third time was indeed a charm for the city of Commerce, though having a city councilman on the board making the decisions didn't hurt a bit.

County Survey:
Teens Shouldn't Have Sex, But Should Use Birth Control If They Do
Only nine percent of Jackson County residents surveyed by the Northeast Georgia Health District believe it is OK for unmarried teens to be sexually active, but 85 percent think those who are should use birth control.


SPORTS
Raiders win 3-0 in final home game
Madison County blanked Habersham Central 3-0 Friday in Danielsville.

Girls' soccer team downs Morgan 2-1 in overtime
Jana Ackerman's goal with 45 seconds left in the second overtime period Thursday night lifted Madison County past Morgan County 2-1 and to a program best sixth victory of the season.


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SNACK TIME

Richard Yarbrough (left) and Tyler Arnold (right) of the Madison County T-Ball Twins enjoy some snacks after a game against the Red Sox Saturday. For more pictures of opening day in youth baseball and softbal.
Photo by Travis Hatfield

GROWTH

Local Christian school considers move to Madison County
BY MARGIE RICHARDS
About 20 county residents showed up on a chilly and windy day last Saturday to express their interest in a private Christian-based school that is considering the possibility of opening in the county.
Most of the staff and a number of parents and students of Providence Academy, currently located in Commerce, hosted an informational meeting at the old Ila kindergarten building on Hwy. 106 north just outside the city limits. The building most recently housed a flea market and antique mall.
The school is looking into the possibility of purchasing the building and its six-plus acres and renovating it for their use, if they get enough community support.
School officials say the asking price for the building is $200,000 and that renovations could cost somewhere in the neighborhood of another $200 - $400 thousand.
Principal Ray Morris told those present that this was an "exploratory meeting" to determine whether people in the area were interested in a Christian school.
According to a pamphlet provided by the school, Providence Academy was established in 1993 as a ministry of the Christian Education Center. It is a non-profit and non-denominational college preparatory school serving the needs of kindergarten through 12th grade students. There are currently 32 students enrolled in the school.
The school has been located for the past two years at a small four-room campus on Lakeview Drive in Commerce, near Commerce High School.
"We moved pillar to post for the first five years," Morris said, adding that they now wish to explore moving to a new location where they can expand.
All income for the school, Morris said, comes from tuition fees, donations and fund-raising.
Tuition fees are $2,500 per year for the first student in a family, and $1,750 and $1,250 per year for second and third students.
Morris said although the school is not accredited at this time, they hoped to "move in that direction." He reported that SAT averages were around 1100 for high school students and that ITBS scores were above grade level. All teachers, while not necessarily state certified, do have college degrees.
He added that the school was considering the Ila area not only because of the availability of the building, but because of its location in a small community that is in close proximity to other counties such as Franklin and Jackson and that several teachers at the school live in the area as well.
"My child has learned so much by going there (Providence) - there has been such a change....it's a real family atmosphere and almost like having a private tutor," one woman, who recently enrolled her child at Providence, told the group.
The faculty and staff will host an open house at their Commerce campus, 637 Lakeview Drive, on April 27.

ELECTION

Republican party to offer several new candidates
BY MARGIE RICHARDS
The local Republican party will have several new faces for citizens to consider at the polls this election year, along with some familiar ones.
A number of local Republicans met last Saturday at the county complex in Danielsville to discuss the upcoming election.
On the other side of the fence, the local Democratic party has no meeting planned and party vice-chairman Howard Maxwell said Monday that the party won't know who will run on the Democratic ticket until qualifying later this month.
Among the new candidates present at the Republican meeting were Lynn Smith, who recently announced she will run against longtime probate judge Donald "Hoppy" Royston; Danny Andrews, a District 3 resident, who has declared his intention to party officials to run on the Republican ticket for the District 3 Board of Commissioners seat currently held by Patsy Pierce; and Phyllis Dickinson, a Colbert resident, who plans to run for coroner. Neither Andrews nor Dickinson have formally announced their candidacy.
Meanwhile, two others, Larry Stewart, a District 2 resident, and Robert Freeman, District 3, both told the committee they are "on the fence" and considering a bid for their respective seats at the BOC table.
Jim Brown, who was not present, announced last week he will seek the District 2 seat, but has not said whether he will run on the Democratic or Republican ticket. The position is currently held by long time commissioner Nelson Nash, a Democrat, who recently announced that he will challenge BOC chairman Wesley Nash, a Republican, for that position.
Both Andrews and Freeman - should he decide to run - will be seeking to replace Patsy Pierce, who has not announced whether she will run for re-election. Pierce, who ran on the Republican ticket four years ago, has since lost favor with the party, which attempted to oust her formally from its ranks last summer. That attempt fizzled.
District 5 commissioner Bruce Scogin, who was present at the meeting, said he will seek re-election in November. Scogin won a special election last year for the post, replacing Jack Fortson, who resigned before facing a recall vote.
Committee members said State Representative Ralph Hudgens will also seek re-election.
Co-chairman Jerry Mattox said although the local Republican party would like to know the intentions of candidates, they do not take sides or state preferences in the case of more than one Republican running for the same office.
Chairman Paul Boatwright pointed out that most local and as well as a number of multi-county seats are up for re-election this year, including on the county level: all six board of commissioners seats, including the chairmanship, Districts 3 through 5 on the board of education, sheriff, probate judge, clerk of court, tax commissioner and coroner.
Several multi-county judgeships, the district attorney position, as well as state representative and state senator seats are also up for re-election.
Mattox acknowledged that candidacies for the multi-county positions are "huge endeavors."
Qualifying for both parties will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday, April 24 and continue through noon on Friday, April 28.


 
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CRIME

15-year-old charged with arson of home
MARGIE RICHARDS
A Madison County family has suffered its second tragedy in just a few months.
A 15-year-old juvenile of the family was charged with arson after the Madison County Sheriff's Department, along with state arson investigators, investigated a house fire at 3374 Transco Road.
The fire was reported at 6:15 a.m. on Wednesday, April 5, by Margaret Jane Ridenour, a resident of the home.
Collins Volunteer Fire Department responded to the call, with Comer VFD serving as back up.
Madison County Sheriff's Department investigator Cody Cross and Chief Deputy Bill Strickland said the juvenile apparently set fire to some paper and clothes in a closet.
The boy later confessed to starting the fire.
No one was injured, but according to the report, damage to the home was extensive and it appeared to be a total loss.
Last Sept. 2, the Ridenours lost a son, 17-year-old Randy Carroll, who drowned while swimming in Lake Hartwell. Carroll was a junior at Madison County High School.