News from Madison County...

 July 18, 2000


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OPINIONS
Ben Munro
The Munro Doctrine

Everybody has an opinion on everything, whether they say it or not. I don't usually get on my soap box and preach my views on things because I really don't think many people would put much stock in what I say...

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SPORTS
Junior League National all-stars cruise to tourney
The 13-14-year-old Junior League National all-stars took the competition by storm in the area tournament held in Danielsville, then landed themselves in the state all-star tournament Saturday by toppling Toccoa American 5-0 in Hart County to claim the district title.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Banks County residents file suit against Baldwin over taxation
Twenty-nine Banks County residents of the City of Baldwin are finding out what it's like to fight city hall. They're taking the City of Baldwin to court and they say they need Banks County's help to prevent the city from taxing them unfairly.

County planning commission says 'yes' to hunting lodge
The Banks County Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval to James and Shirlene Allen's request to rezone approximately two acres on Vaughn Road from ARR to C-2 general commercial...


News from...
JACKSON COUNTY
Commerce BOE To Fingerprint Staff
The Commerce School System has always required fingerprinting and a criminal records check for its certified staff but, under a new state requirement...

County BOE sets Aug. 9 work session on attendance policy
An increasing number of requests from students living outside the school district to attend county schools has led the Jackson County Board of Education to take a closer look at its attendance policy.


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'FROGTASTIC!'

Latasha Bailey grimaces as she clutches a large bullfrog Tuesday afternoon at the Madison County Library, while Kevin Argo waits for his turn to hold the creature. Peter Loose and his wife Sandy, of Hull, entertained children of all ages with a program called "Frogtastic Frogs," featuring various species of frogs and toads from around the world. Loose is the artist for Summer Reading Club 2000 and the couple has been traveling to libraries around the state promoting this year's reading club theme, "Open a Book...Jump In!" The couple has worked at nearby Sandy Creek Nature Center and now create children's books, written by Sandy and illustrated by Peter.


ELECTION 2000

Primaries set for Tuesday
Madison County voters will narrow the field for three posts next week - the chairman of the board of commissioners, the BOC District 2 seat and the coroner's position.
Primary elections are set for Tuesday, July 18. All precincts in Madison County will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Three Democrats - Nelson Nash, Gary Tillman Adams and Lamar H. Akin - will face off in the primary election for the chairman's seat. The winner will challenge Republican incumbent Wesley Nash for the post in November.
Three Democrats are also vying for the chance to face Republican Larry Stewart in the BOC District 2 race. The Democratic candidates for that post are Jim Brown, Johnny Wilburn Fitzpatrick and Conolus Scott Jr.
Republicans seeking the chance to face Democrat Michelle Cleveland in the coroner's race include Phyllis M. Dickinson, John S. Scarborough and Frankie Crane.
Voters will be required to choose between a Democratic or Republican ballot. A voter's choice of ballot in the primary election will be binding if there is a run-off for any race on Aug. 8. But the choice of ballot in the primary and run-off is not binding for the general election set for Nov. 7. Voters in the general election will be allowed to vote for any office on the ballot.
All voters are required to show identification at the polls.


CITY GOVERNMENT

Danielsville council focuses on
water issues at Mon. night meeting

Water was the focus of the Danielsville city council Monday night. The council passed an emergency water conservation plan, approved new water rates and delayed a zoning decision on a new Laundromat until developers could produce an estimate of their water needs.
The new water ordinance contains five stages of water restrictions to be determined by weather conditions. Restrictions can range from the current odd-even plan to prohibiting all water use except for health and sanitation if conditions become critical. City rules require a second reading on all ordinances before they can be legally adopted unless an emergency exists. The water conservation ordinance was passed on an emergency basis, meaning that it can go into effect immediately. It will be considered for final approval at the August meeting.
The council set new water rates designed to shift costs to heavy users of water. Inside the city, users of up to 2,000 gallons per month will pay $4.50 plus $2.50 per month up to 15,000 gallons. Any amount above 15,000 gallons up to 50,000 gallons will cost $6 per thousand and additional use over 50,000 gallons goes up to $8 per thousand.
Users outside the city will pay $9 for the first 2,000 gallons, $5 per thousand up to 15,000 gallons, $9 per thousand between 15,000 and 50,000 and $12 per thousand for any amount over 50,000 gallons per month.
SEE THIS WEEK'S MADISON COUNTY JOURNAL FOR MORE.


Fortson denied bond
Tracy Lea Fortson will remain in jail without bond, a judge ruled in Madison County Superior Court last week.
Fortson, a former Oglethorpe County sheriff's deputy, is the lone suspect in the murder of Douglas Benton of Colbert. Investigators believe Fortson shot and stabbed her ex-boyfriend, then left his body in a cement-filled water trough in a wooded area in Oglethorpe County.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Bill Malueg said Monday that no murder weapon has been recovered. Investigators say evidence was recovered in Fortson's home that linked her to the murder, but Malueg would not specify what that evidence is.
Fortson is being held in the Jackson County jail, since Madison County currently has no facilities to house female prisoners.

 
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Industrial board looks at purchasing Athens-Clarke water lines in Hull
The city of Hull could soon have an answer to its water system woes.
City attorney Pat Graham confirmed at Monday night's Hull council meeting that there is "some very preliminary discussion between the (Madison County) Industrial Authority Board and Athens-Clarke County exploring the possibility of purchasing the water system in Hull."
The Athens-Clarke County (ACC) government currently owns the water lines in Hull and provides water to the town's residents. But there has been a long-standing dispute between the city of Hull and Athens/Clarke County over a water main loop installed in the city in 1991.
The matter stems from a water line extension contract signed by former Mayor T. Wayne Phillips with ACC in January 1991 for ACC to run a new water main loop down Davis Road to Old Elberton Road and back to the red light.
According to the contract, Hull was to be "financially responsible" for the extension of the new line. No payments on the line, which was to be paid back over a 20-year period beginning in 1994, were ever made, according to ACC water department head Gary Duck.
The problem came to a head in 1998 when ACC began refusing to install any new water meters in the city limits of Hull until back payments in the amount of approximately $24,000 were made.
Recently, developers of Hidden Falls, a new duplex subdivision under construction in the town, have threatened legal action against both Hull and Athens-Clarke County because they have not been able to establish water service.
Madison County Industrial Development and Building Authority (MCIDBA) chairman Steve Sorrells confirmed Tuesday that the board is taking steps to "look into the value of the Athens/Clarke County water system" with an eye toward purchasing it.
If the Authority does decide to purchase the water system, the water lines will be connected to Madison County's new water system in the Dogsboro area, which currently furnishes water to Ingles and the new Hull Sanford Elementary School, Sorrells said.
SEE THIS WEEK'S MADISON COUNTY JOURNAL FOR THE COMPLETE STORY.