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 August 9, 2000


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OPINIONS

Frank Gillispie
Sunken Confederate battleships reveal innovations

Two historic ships are being rescued from watery graves. Both reveal a long-neglected truth about the Confederate States of America. The two ships . . .

Zach Mitcham
Lottery advertising should be stopped
Clearly, some advertisers employ questionable tactics in pushing their products on people. Unfortunately, those who use suspect methods aren't limited to cigarette and beer companies. The state of Georgia is guilty too.


SPORTS
Georgia all-star team finishes fourth in Dixie World Series
The Georgia Dixie Majors All Star team, which included four players from Madison County High School, recently competed in the Dixie World Series in Euless, Texas, July 28 through Aug. 3. With 12 teams represented at the World Series, Georgia made a strong performance by finishing fourth.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Thomas wins probate seat
Garnering just over 62 percent of the vote, Betty Jean Evans Thomas defeated Ben Whisnant in the run-off Tuesday for probate judge.
"I'm just elated," Thomas said the votes were totaled. "I thank God and I thank the voters of Banks County for turning out again and electing me as their probate judge. Your votes have been a mint to me."

Fire dept. seeking $2.2 million
Banks County fire officials are hoping to receive an early Christmas present from the Banks County Board of Commissioners-a $2.2 million funding burst.


News from...
JACKSON COUNTY
Beshara trounces Tolbert in District 3
They were supposed to have been two close races.
They weren't.
With a small turnout of only 2,291 voters countywide, about 15 percent, former county commissioner Harold Fletcher handily won the seat for chairman of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners for the next four years.

Schrenko tells Rotary Education reform bill needs changes made next year
State School Superintendent Linda Shrenko told members of the Jefferson Rotary Club Tuesday she wasn't completely opposed to H.B. 1187, the Education Reform Act, she just wanted to modify it.


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BETTER TIMES AHEAD


David 'Tiny' Hanson sits outside his home with his mom, Hazel Hanson. It took three attempts, but Tiny is on the road to recovery after successful transplant surgery.

'Tiny' Hanson credits strong faith for his successful transplant surgery
David "Tiny" Hanson, of Madison County's Paoli Community, says he knows what it's like to "be carried by God."
For over a year, he and his wife Debra waited for the call that could save Tiny's life. The call came - three times - but it wasn't until the third time that Tiny received the transplant organs he needed to survive.
During that time, he says he kept thinking of the poem "Footprints in the Sand," where a man is carried by God during difficult times.
"I knew He was carrying me every step of the way," he said, with tears in his eyes.
WOUNDED ON THE JOB
It all started in July 1976, when Tiny, a deputy with what is now the Athens-Clarke County Sheriff's Department, was shot in the line of duty.
A suspect, who had been apprehended on a domestic call, shot him with a tiny Derringer hidden in his belt as Tiny was taking him out of his patrol car at the stockade.
The seven-foot-tall, 300-pound deputy, who had swapped shifts with another deputy scheduled to work that day, was shot in the abdomen, but still managed to wound the suspect before collapsing.
The bullet "bounced all around," Tiny said, destroying his pancreas and lodging in a kidney. He was soon back at work, but developed diabetes from the loss of his pancreas.
Then years later, in 1997, Tiny was diagnosed with kidney failure and was officially placed on the list of those waiting for a pancreas and kidney transplant in March of last year.
Despite his mounting health problems, he continued to work full time, even after beginning dialysis treatments several times a week last September.
The Hansons say it was amazing and humbling that during that time Tiny received a number of offers by those wanting to give him one of their kidneys, even by one person who had never met him.
"But I needed both a kidney and a pancreas, so the donor had to be a cadaver (deceased person)," Tiny said.
Then in October, he received the first call from Emory University's transplant unit in Atlanta that a possible match for the organs had been found. But it was not to be. The organs went to someone else who was a better match.
"We went from an ultimate high to an ultimate low in 12 hours time," Debra said, adding she felt sure another call would come.
A LIFE OR DEATH CHOICE
A second call did come from Emory on Feb. 7 of this year. Once there, surgery plans went forward and Tiny was prepped for the 10-hour ordeal. Debra was sent to a waiting room just outside ICU, where transplant patients are brought after surgery. There she met the family of a 60-year-old woman who was set to undergo a liver transplant.
Because Debra had not notified family members until after their arrival at the hospital, they had not yet arrived and she was alone. The other family immediately took her into their circle, praying for both their mother and Tiny.
"It was the sweetest time and they prayed the sweetest prayer for Tiny," Debra said, with tears in her eyes.
Meanwhile, Tiny was taken to the operating room and sedated. But before surgery began, he was awakened with the need to answer one of the most important questions of his life.
"The doctor told me that a woman in the next OR needed a liver (from the same donor) and that there wasn't enough veins and arteries to split the liver and pancreas," Tiny remembers. The bottom line was that Tiny could take the kidney and pancreas or give them up so that the woman could have the liver.
"I asked what kind of shape she was in and they told me her heart wasn't doing well and that she was near death - I said 'Don't talk to me - don't waste the time - give it to her," he remembered. "I couldn't live with myself if I caused somebody else's death."
The Hansons went home facing a grim future. Tiny's health began to deteriorate rapidly. Cracked ribs and other injuries from a wreck later that month only worsened his condition.
"I really thought he was probably going to die before another match was found," Debra said. "His health was deteriorating and dialysis was failing...he hurt so bad he couldn't sleep."
But Tiny says he wasn't worried.
"I knew when the time was right it would happen. I knew I was in God's hands."
So it was no surprise to him when a third call came around midnight on April 12 - it looked like a perfect match.
And as Tiny entered the hospital for the third time - the woman he had helped in February was leaving it to begin a new life.
Some would call that a coincidence, but the Hansons don't. To them it was all part of the plan.
"Everything just clicked this time," Debra said. "I wasn't even crying this time, I just knew everything was going to be all right."
Tiny's surgery went smoothly, taking just seven hours. He didn't have to go on life support as expected and was home within a week.
His improvement has continued. He returned to work on July 10, less than three months after surgery, working full time once again.
He will have to take a maintenance level of anti-rejection drugs the rest of his life, but has had no rejection episodes.
Therapy has helped strengthen his legs, bringing back muscle tone, and his hands, drawn and almost useless from months of dialysis, have regained much of their strength and dexterity.
His pancreas is working fine and the need to take insulin injections has decreased dramatically.
"It makes the hair crawl up the back of my neck living in the presence of something like that...the Lord has just cradled us along," Hanson said of his experiences and recovery. "Every time we've needed something, it's been there."
The Hansons say they have received cards and letters from all over the world and know that numerous churches, individuals and others have been and are continuing to pray for them.
MAKING PLANS
The Hansons urge everyone to be an organ donor.
"Don't just list it on your license and forget about it - talk to your family about it, let them know what your wishes are. That way it will be easier for them when the time comes," Debra said.
"Get your life in order," Tiny advises. "It's much easier to plan for things instead of worrying. Worrying is a waste of time and doesn't change anything."
The Hansons say they discussed what to do in the event of either one of their deaths, as well as taking care of funeral plans and other financial arrangements. They advise everyone to do the same.


Nash, Dickinson win run-offs
Democrat Nelson Nash and Republican Phyllis Dickinson won runoffs for the county commission chairman and coroner's seats by wide margins Tuesday.
Nash defeated Tillman Adams, 837 to 561 (59.9 percent to 40.1 percent). Nash carried 10 of 12 precincts in the county, tying Adams in Poca with 68 votes and losing in Pittman, 80 to 58. The District 2 commissioner will face current county commission chairman Wesley Nash, a Republican, in November.
In the coroner's race, Dickinson defeated John Scarborough 245 to 146 (62.7 percent to 37.3 percent). Dickinson won 11 of 12 precincts in the county, losing only in Fork, 17-4. She will face Democrat Michelle Cleveland in the general election.
Tuesday's turnout was poor. Only 14 percent - 1,789 of 12,317 - of the county's registered voters hit the polls. The poorest turnout was in Hull, where only eight percent - 189 of 2,326 registered voters - hit the polls. The highest turnout was in Mill, where 25 percent - 264 of 1,069 registered voters - cast ballots.


Madison Co. home destroyed by fire
The brick home of Paul and Carol Ivey on Hudson River Church Road was destroyed by two rounds of fire damage last weekend.
The couple called 911 around 10 p.m. Sunday evening when they first smelled and then noticed smoke coming from the closet of the master bedroom, according to Mrs. Ivey.
The Poca Volunteer Fire Department responded to the call, with Ila, Shiloh and Danielsville providing backup. The fire, which is believed to have started at a meter box in the closet, caused heavy damage to the master bedroom, with some smoke damage in other parts of the home.
The blaze was apparently extinguished, but a passer-by noticed flames coming out of the roof at 3 a.m. Monday and called 911 again. Firemen returned to the scene at that time.
The Iveys had gone to stay with relatives and were not at home when the fire erupted again.
Mrs. Ivey said numerous firemen, volunteers and neighbors were on hand at the scene to assist them and that the Red Cross provided them with a small amount of grocery and clothing money Monday.

 
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Comer considers moving city hall
Comer officials are considering moving city hall to Madison County's only three-story commercial building, but the group must first determine the feasibility of restoring the old structure.
The Comer City Council established a committee Tuesday night to determine whether the building on Railroad Avenue could be used as city hall. The group will look into the cost of restoration and whether restoring the structure will require renovating the other deteriorating buildings with which it is connected. The city plans to hire outside help to evaluate the building.
The committee will also speak with the Gholston Trust, which owns the building, to see if the structure may be donated for use as a city hall.
Those appointed to the committee include Jerry Kemp, Alene Pendleton, Dudley Hartell, Pat Reed and Crista Estes.
For the rest of this story, see this week's Madison County Journal.


Ila gets tough on water restrictions
No more outside watering is to be permitted in the city of Ila until the city water supply is replenished.
A mandatory outdoor watering ban was put in place for the town's 300 water customers - effective immediatley - at Monday night's meeting of mayor and council. The ban is to be in effect around the clock.
Violators will receive two warnings.
If the ban is violated a third time, water service will be cut off for 24 hours and a regular $150 reconnection fee will be required to resume water service. Those who violate the ban a fourth time will be permanently shut off from water service until the mayor and council rescind the ban.
The ban is an emergency measure designed to curtail water use, which was up 125,000 gallons for the month of July, according to city water records. It comes as a last-ditch effort to bring water usage down.
The council voted unanimously on the move after a lengthy discussion on hiring an engineer to implement the search for a back-up well site - an expensive procedure.
The town has already spent $1,250 on a geological survey this year which established three possible sites for future wells.
"There's no guarantee we're going to draw water (from a new well site) then," city clerk Susan Steed told the council.
Ila Elementary School, which is on the same water system, will resume classes on Aug. 18, putting a further strain on water resources which are dependent on one well. Steed estimated that the school uses an average of 110,000 gallons of water per month.
Water customers used a total of 852,541 gallons in June, compared to 977,069 gallons in July.
The council agreed that voluntary watering restrictions have not worked, making the more severe measures necessary to try to prevent the water supply from running out.
The council also discussed Ila's "emergency plan" in case the town should unexpectedly run out of water. Steed told the council that in the event of such an emergency, the National Guard would be called to bring in tanks of water.
Next, due to the close proximity of Danielsville, an underground water line could be established to hook onto that water system temporarily. A back-up well would then be sought immediately with National Guard assistance.
In a related matter, Steed told the council that she had spoken with Steve Sorrells, former clerk of Comer and Carlton, and that he had recommended seeking the assistance of state senator Eddie Madden in obtaining some help with funding a back-up water system.
But the town must first get an estimate on the total cost of such a project, which will involve hiring an engineer.