News from Jackson County...

May 19, 2000

Jackson County

Jackson County
Jackson County

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Finds column on dress codes 'excessive and offensive'
I found Adam Fouche's comments on the dress code excessive and defiant. I also found the call for "teenagers to revolt" as a bit misplaced.

Adam's revolution begins
Hyperbole, rhetoric and exaggeration are all stock tools of a newspaper columnist.

ITBS is one part of the picture
Standardized test are both loved and loathed: Loved when the scores are high, loathed when the results are low.

Sanders named coach of the year
Ricky Sanders, Pendergrass resident and North Georgia College and State University's Lady Saints softball coach...

State Meet: Gary Takes Third, Perry Claims Fifth
Commerce's representatives claimed two medals...

Neighborhood News...
DOT debacle
Harold Gaulding says he believes in standing up for what he believes is right - even if it means being arrested.

Hull spring festival set for Saturday
The city of Hull will hold its second annual Community Spring Festival on Saturday, May 20, beginning with a parade at 10 a.m.

'One good call'
When Wendy Rice went into labor one night a few weeks ago, she and husband Brian knew they were probably not going to make it to St. Mary's Hospital in Athens for the birth.

County students above national average on ITBS
The 2000 Madison County ITBS report card closely resembles the 1999 results, with county students generally above the national average in basic skills.

News from
Baldwin advances toward stricter animal control laws
Dog owners must now register their pets with the City of Baldwin.
The first reading of the new animal control ordinance was read at last Monday's meeting of the Baldwin City Council.

Homer makes move to regulate cell towers
The Homer Town Council has made a move to regulate the location of cell towers in the city.

Homer ready to move forward on new city hall facility
It's time to get serious about a new town hall for citizens and officials of Homer, council members agreed May 9.
The Jackson Herald
Jefferson, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056


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This was the scene early Wednesday morning in a field off Old State Road at Martin Road in North Jackson as members of the Jackson County Sheriff's Department investigate an apparent homicide.

DFACS increases some foster care reimbursements
The Jackson County Department of Family and Children Services approved slight increases in the reimbursement money foster parents get for clothing, birthdays and Christmas.
In its monthly meeting Thursday morning, the DFACS board increased the yearly clothing allowance by $50 per year. The reimbursement for birthdays was increased from $10 to $20 for infants to 12-year-olds and from $15 to $25 for 13-18-year-olds. The Christmas reimbursement was increased from $75 to $100 for infants through 11-year-olds and from $100 to $125 for children ages 12 and up. The increases will go into effect on July 1.
"People think people get into foster care for the money, but there is no way," DFACS director Jerry Payne said. "They end up adding extra."
Board chairman Caroldene McEver added: "It takes a special person to do what our foster parents are doing."

NJ man killed in Wed. a.m. stabbing
A North Jackson man was apparently stabbed to death early Wednesday morning following a domestic dispute.
Warren Albert Martin Jr., 31, of Old State Road was pronounced dead on the scene in a field near the intersection of Old State Road and Martin Road. The body has been sent to the state crime lab, according to David Cochran, chief investigator for the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.
Being questioned at the Jackson County Jail Wednesday was Brandon Cody Self, 17. Self had not been charged in the incident pending a further investigation by the JCSD and the district attorney's office.
Cochran said Self had been living at a Gainesville address until Tuesday when he moved into an Old State Road address with his mother, Samantha Hulsey. Both Hulsey and Martin had been living at the address, said Cochran.
The stabbing occurred during an early morning domestic dispute between Hulsey and Martin. Self apparently intervened in the situation and knives were drawn by both men.
Cochran said that after the incident, Self went across the road to the father of Martin and called 911.

ITBS results mostly good news for local schools
Results of the annual ITBS testing in Jackson County schools showed general improvement this year, according to school averages released last week.
The biggest jump in overall composite scores were East Jackson Middle School eighth graders, who this year increased 13 points from last year's eighth grade class. Also showing a significant jump were Benton Elementary School third graders, who this year scored nine points better than last year's third grade class.
The highest composite score in the three Jackson County systems was Jefferson Elementary School first graders with an average composite of 79. The lowest this year was North Jackson Elementary School fifth graders, who averaged a 50 on the composite results.
ITBS scores are measured by comparing how well a student does against all other students in the nation taking the test at his grade level. A score of 60 means that a student did better than 60 percent of all test-takers nationwide in that grade. The numbers do not reflect what percentage of the questions are answered correctly.
ITBS testing has become controversial in recent years as it has become the de facto way many parents evaluate local schools. Some education leaders, however, say that is a misapplication of the results.
Many school administrators have begun using the results as one measure of individual teachers. That has increased pressure on teachers to better prepare their students for the testing. Some critics claim that such pressure leads to "teaching the test" and takes away from other learning time in the classroom. Critics also say that each class is unique and that some classes are just "smarter" than other groups. The two should not be compared with standardized test scores, they say.
For their part, teachers and curriculum directors use the test results to look for individual student weaknesses and, more broadly, holes in curriculum plans. Although the overall "composite" score is the one generally reported, that score comes from a number of sub-parts which measure a student's ability in reading, math, language, social science and science. Administrators look for patterns in the results to see if a particular class, grade or school shows a consistent weakness. Curriculum plans are then adjusted to work on the weaker areas.
Another way the results are used by school leaders is to track the progress of a particular class over time. For example, if last year's third graders did well on the ITBS, but as fourth graders this year did much worse, administrators take a close look at the fourth grade instruction in that particular school.
Most school administrators consider the improvement of reading skill as the key to improving overall performance on the ITBS tests. For one thing, a student's ability to read well often translates into a better understanding of ITBS questions.
But as a general rule, lower reading scores on the test also correlate to lower overall composite scores. For example, this year's results from the three local school systems show that out of 36 grades in the elementary and middle schools which got composite results, only four grades had reading scores above that of the composite score. That means that other parts of the ITBS tests, such as math and language, are pulling the overall score up in spite of low reading results.

JHS graduation set Fri. night
Jefferson High School will hold its commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, May 19, at Memorial Stadium.
Valedictorian Jason Lee and salutatorian Jason Carter will be among those speaking.
Other honor graduates are: Lisa Adams, Emilyanne Barnwell, Andrew Carloss, Alan Faulkner, Patrick Herring, Christina Lindsay, Pamela Little, Matthew Newton, Leslie Pearson, Michael Seibert, Laura Smith, Matthew Strickland, Caleb Todd and Ashley Wheaton.
JHS leaders ask that anyone planning to attend graduation who needs handicap assistance should contact Raye Jackson at 367-2881.
On a related matter, school leaders say that on Thursday and Friday, May 18 and 19, final exams will be given and all students in grades nine through 12 will be dismissed at 11:45 a.m. Bus service will be provided.

County water stolen at record pace
From tanker truck operators who fill their trucks at hydrants to builders who tap county lines for construction water, people are stealing county water at a record pace.
So complained Paul Mims, superintendent of the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority, at Thursday night's meeting.
The problem is catching the thieves, Mims noted.
"When we catch a tanker truck, we charge them $20 per 1,000 gallons the first time," he said. "If we catch them again, we charge them $100 per 1,000 gallons."
The authority's new attorney, Julius Hulsey, suggested that the authority talk with the county government about having an attachment in the permitting policy to deal with water use and to pass an ordinance making violation of the water authority's rules a violation of any applicable building license ­ such as a contractor must have to build in the county.
"You can do a lot through the business license," Hulsey suggested.
In other business Thursday night, the authority approved a $189,200 labor-only bid from Dale Construction, Jefferson, to remove lines affected by the construction of the Pendergrass bypass. The total project will cost about $303,000, most of which will be paid by the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Hoschton hires new judge
The Hoschton City Council voted unanimously Tuesday morning to hire Mike Strickland as the city's new municipal judge and also approved a compensation of $100 per session for Strickland.
Strickland has been an attorney in Winder for over a decade and also has served as a judge for other municipalities in Barrow County.
In other business conducted Tuesday, the council:
·requested that citizens refrain from outside watering due to the current shortage in the water supply. The council said the water supply starts to run low in the summer months since the city currently has one source of water.
·hired the firm of Armentrout, Roebuck and Matheny to take over the city's engineering services. The new firm will develop a master water plan for the city along with a funding analysis and a rate structure analysis; correct the sewer problems in the Panther Creek Subdivision and develop a long-term sewer plan for the city; review and revise the water and sewer construction standards; and develop and outline and a strategy for plan review for the city.

Woman treated for snakebite
A woman was bitten on the foot by a poisonous snake Tuesday night, according to a spokesman for BJC Medical Center in Commerce.
While walking in her North Jackson yard barefooted, the woman was reportedly bitten on the toe by a small Copperhead. The snake was captured and the woman transported to BJC for treatment. She was released Wednesday morning.

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City Budget To
Contain 4-6% Salary Increases
When the 2000-2001 city budget is approved in late June or July, city employees will get raises from four to six percent, it appears.
The Commerce City Council held its first budget "work session" Monday night. Among the items reviewed was personnel, appearing to support City Manager Clarence Bryant's proposal for a four percent cost of living increase and merit raises of one to two percent.
The budget also calls for the creation of a new position, director of water and sewer operations, and Bryant said a second investigator's position may be added in the police department.
After it reviewed personnel expenses, the council went quickly through the budget's capital expenditures proposals, which amounted to almost $4.1 million. Most of that, $2,816,980 is planned for the water and sewer department, with $513,700 targeted for the beginning of an upgrade at the waste treatment plant and $2,114,080 aimed at the water and sewer distribution systems.
Water projects include the B Wilson and Traynham Road line at $85,000 (construction is under way), $485,000 for a water tank, $115,000 for a southeast bypass main, $260,280 for a loop going out Georgia 98 toward Ila, Mize Road, Williams Road, Blacks Creek and back to 98, $180,000 for the first phase of Progress Road, $152,400 (covered by a grant) for Cedar Drive improvements, $100,000 for miscellaneous line extensions, $55,000 for a line from Poplar Street to Clayton Street and $50,000 for valve replacements.
Sewer projects on the agenda include $135,000 for the first phase of Progress Road, $181,200 (covered by a grant) for improvements on Cedar Drive, $78,000 for a pump station on Lathan Road, and $50,000 each for miscellaneous main extensions and for main repairs.
The council took no action. In fact, those numbers are likely to change, Bryant said, because Jackson County Board of Commissioner Chairman Jerry Waddell wants the city to provide sewage treatment for land along a new road running parallel to Interstate 85 north of the interstate and west of Georgia 98.
Bryant agreed to try to organize a meeting, probably next Monday night, with the board of commissioners and the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority to discuss the proposal. He suggested that the council sell Jackson County 200,000 gallons of treatment capacity "for $1 million cash, and let them build a system to us."
But down the road, Commerce faces daunting tasks in its sewerage system.
"We need to do $12 million in sewer improvements in the next eight years," he told the council. He added that he is working out numbers for water and sewer rate increases, possibly in the 20 cents per 1,000 gallon range. Those would be the first rate hikes in water and sewer since 1991.

City Council Shows Interest In Impact Fees
Members of the Commerce City Council developed a sudden enthusiasm for charging impact fees for new development during a city council "work session" Monday night.
The meeting had been called to begin budget discussions, but before it started, city manager Clarence Bryant handed out a "development impact fee schedule" drawn up by the city's engineering firm showing what it costs for the city to provide just water and sewage service to residential and commercial customers.
The figures, which include the cost of distribution or collection systems and treatment, but not the tap fee itself, were staggering.
The engineers put the cost of a residence, whether mobile home or house, at $1,316 for water and $2,065 for sewage service based on a 300 gallons per day usage.
"Using this formula, we calculated that the (impact) fee for the little Denny's Restaurant would have been $56,000," Bryant commented.
Bryant was not proposing that the cost schedule be adopted, but council members seemed to like the idea.