News from Madison County...

 July 26, 2000


Madison County
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Madison County's Election Results, Tuesday, July 18

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OPINIONS

Frank Gillispie
Miller not a good choice
I am not sure that naming Former Governor Zell Miller to the U.S. Senate is good for Georgia, or for Miller. His expressed reluctance to accept the appointment was for good reason.

Zach Mitcham
County should support Martin's proposal
Unfortunately, Hwy. 29, like other roads in the county, holds stories of heartbreak for many.
And there's a bend across from Happy Kids Daycare where motorists are reminded every day of one . . .


SPORTS
Southern Amateur belongs to Hybl
After piling up a trophy case worth of wins during his junior golf days, Madison County's Ryan Hybl has now made a splash in the amateur ranks.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Tornado hits southwestern Banks County
A tornado touched down in southwestern Banks County Sunday afternoon with trees being uprooted and a chicken house flattened.

Sunday School celebration set this weekend
The 123rd annual Banks County Sunday School celebration will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 29, in Veteran's Park in downtown Homer.


News from...
JACKSON COUNTY
BOC sued over WJ landfill denial
It looks like Jackson County officials will be going to court again over zoning decisions made by the board of commissioners.
Two lawsuits have been filed against the county over denials by the BOC to rezone property for an inert landfill and a day care center.

Planning Commission OKs Wilson Subdivision
What a difference a month makes. In June, the Commerce Planning Commission pushed developer Daniel Wilson to rearrange the "green space" in a proposed 15-acre subdivision, threatening to reject his plat if he didn't. But Monday night the same panel approved virtually the same plat with a shrug of resignation.

Committee asked to plan social building for Jefferson
The first business of the newly-formed Jefferson civic center committee will be to make a recommendation on providing a small building for the city for social functions.


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ASSESSING THE DAMAGE
Longtime Madison County chicken farmer Jessie Daniels had the terrible task Monday morning of assessing the damage to his chicken houses after Sunday's storm. He stands next to one of his chicken houses that collapsed in the high winds.

Sunday winds destroy chicken houses, cause power outages
A storm ravaged parts of Madison County Sunday afternoon, causing power outages for about 2,500 residents, with wind damage putting at least one county chicken farmer out of business. There were no reports of injuries.
The storm entered the county around 4 p.m., with the first calls related to damage coming in to the county 911 center around 4:11 p.m., according to 911 director David Camp. The first call was about a tree and electrical wires down on Hwy. 174 in the Shiloh Community.
Steve Young of the Madison County Farm Bureau said Monday that the agency received 26 claims of damage from the storm. Three chicken houses were reportedly destroyed, with 10 more sustaining damage. The other half of the claims were mostly reports of houses being damaged by falling trees.
Perhaps the hardest hit was Jessie Daniels of Jones Chapel Shiloh Road. Five of his chicken houses were severely damaged and one was flattened. Daniels, who said he had been a chicken farmer for about 40 years, said the storm marked the end of his career.
"I've been looking for a reason to retire," said Daniels after surveying his chicken houses. "I guess this is it."
Daniels said he thinks it was a tornado that caused the destruction. A tornado was reportedly spotted in Banks County.
Young, who said Jones Chapel Shiloh Road was in the "center" of the storm's path, said the fury of the storm was eye-opening.
"That was the longest burst of straight line wind I've ever experienced." said Young, who lives in the path of the storm, adding that he timed the high wind from the storm at 15 minutes.
Randy Bridges, who lives off Holloway Road - located off Jones Chapel Shiloh Road, also said high storm winds lasted for about 15 minutes. He said he wanted to take cover in a creek by his home but didn't have time to get out of the house before the winds began snapping limbs out of trees. The downpour soon flooded the creek.
"I kept waiting to hear that train coming, but I never did," said Bridges, referring to the common comparison of the sounds of tornadoes and trains.
A few miles away from Bridges, winds blew over a large tree at the home of Louise and Ford Carey on Carey Ford Road.
"We were fortunate," said Mrs. Carey, noting how the downed tree could have caused injuries.
Bonnie Jones, director of public relations for Jackson EMC, said there were approximately 2,500 power outages in Madison County on Sunday due to downed power lines.
Most of the outages occurred in the Poca community, along Hwys. 98 and 106, Wesley Chapel Road, Ft. Lamar Road and Young Harris Road. All were back on line Monday, Jones said.
She said that although most of the damage resulted from trees knocking down power lines. There were a number of snapped power poles and other problems, most likely caused by "down bursts" of wind, all of which made repair work by power crews more difficult.
But the worst problems were experienced by JEMC customers in the Gainesville area, Jones said.
Most of the calls that came in to the Madison County 911 concerned trees falling on power lines and homes.
Diamond Hill Grocery was reportedly struck by lightning and firemen were called to the scene after the owner saw smoke on top of the building, but no damage was discovered.
Camp also reported that there were many residential, burglar and fire alarm activations reported to 911 during the storm.
"Several calls were received asking why the weather sirens in Danielsville, Ila and Colbert were sounding," Camp said. "Residents should be aware that these sirens are activated whenever a tornado warning is issued for Madison County or a tornado is spotted in or near Madison County. A caller reported a possible tornado near the Bowman area in Elbert County. This siting was not confirmed, but the sirens were activated in the interest of safety."
Camp added that except for activation for these reasons, the sirens are only tested on the first Wednesday of each month at noon, unless inclement weather is occurring at the time.
"Rather than calling the 911 Center when the sirens are heard, we ask that residents immediately take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from possible severe weather and tornadoes," Camp said.


Counseling program proposed for Madison County
Madison County's Jess Martin wants county commissioners to put $70,000 into a program he believes could change many lives in a positive way.
But the board made no decision on the matter during its Monday meeting.
Martin, who counsels drug and alcohol addicts through his Beyond the Edge Ministry, Inc., appeared before the commissioners to outline his plans for Madison County Alcohol/Drug Addiction Prevention and Aftercare Services (ADAPP). The program would provide counseling to those struggling with addictions as well as counseling for their families. A state-certified, 20-hour course for drug and alcohol offenders would be offered. The program would also oversee the renovation of vacant county-owned buildings, using labor from those ordered by the courts to perform community service.
The commissioners agreed to look at the old health department office off Crawford W. Long Street to see if it's feasible for ADAPP to begin renovations on the building.
The county could start the program for about $70,000, Martin said. After the initial start up cost, he believes the program would pay for itself through court fees, fines and government grants.
The program would prove beneficial, he said, by keeping those facing court-ordered counseling in the county, where their families could also receive counseling. Those facing such counseling are currently ordered to other counties. Martin said Madison County is one of only three northeast Georgia counties - along with Oconee and Oglethorpe - without a drug and alcohol counseling program.
Martin, who has been an addiction counselor for about five years, presented statistics to the board about alcohol and drug problems in the county. He said there were 525 DUIs in the county from June of 1999 to June of this year and 16 deaths attributed to alcohol or drug consumption since June of 1998, including seven motor vehicle fatalities.
Martin and his wife, Anna, had a son, Jeremy, who was killed by a drunk driver in October of 1998 on Hwy. 29 in Madison County - Jeremy, who was 19, had no alcohol in his system.

See this week's Madison County Journal for the remainder of this story.

 
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Madison County woman recalls life in small town community
When Mrs. Helen Fortson opened her little grocery store in 1949 at the corner of Hwy. 29 and what is now known as Fortson Store Road in the Dogsboro community, some folks still came for their groceries and supplies by horse and buggy. Others drove up in their automobiles to get gas from the hand cranked pumps out front. And while Hwy. 29 had not been long paved, Fortson's Store Road was only a narrow dirt track.
Fortson's Grocery was the only store for miles around and soon became the center of a community - a place where people stopped to visit with one another and with the genial storekeeper.
All that remains of Fortson's Grocery nowadays is an old sign - a nod to the old days - standing beside the modern convenience store that eventually took its place.
Mrs. Fortson still lives on Fortson Store Road, in a home she and her husband Stewart built after moving from the upstairs
For the rest of this story, see this week's Madison County Journal.




Jake Westbrook traded to Indians
Madison County's Jake Westbrook is now a Cleveland Indian.
The former Raider standout, who has been on the disabled list for the past three weeks with a strained oblique muscle, has been traded to the Indians in the deal that sent former Brave David Justice to the Yankees.
Westbrook, who found out he was traded Monday, said the transaction came as no surprise, adding that baseball players must be ready for change.
"I kind of knew it was coming," said Westbrook. "I think it will be good."
Westbrook was traveling back to Madison County Tuesday from Florida, where he had been in rehabilitation for the Yankees. He said he would wait at home for word from the Indians on when he should report.
The 22-year-old pitcher said he doesn't know when he will be back to 100 percent.
"It's holding steady now," said Westbrook of his injury. "It's not getting better, but it's not getting worse."
The former Raider star pitched three games for the Yankees this season, making brief starts against the White Sox and Red Sox, as well as a strong relief appearance against the powerful Chicago club.
Westbrook was 5-7 with a 4.87 ERA this year at Columbus, the Yankees' top farm club.
Prior to this season, Westbrook was 41-25 with a 3.67 ERA in four minor league seasons.