News from Madison County...

 August 16, 2000


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OPINIONS

Frank Gillispie
King's anti-South bigotry has back fired
Martin Luther King III caused quite a stir in Atlanta last week when he wrote to the NCAA asking them to move all postseason tournaments from Atlanta unless . . .

Margie Richards
For my daughter as she turns 18
Dear Miranda,
This coming Monday, your first day of college classes, will also be your 18th birthday. For the first time you'll be living "on your own," away from home - away from me. But you're ready for this, you've been ready for some time.
But then again . . .


SPORTS
Raiders hope experience equals success
If there's a magic brew for winning, the fundamental ingredient is experience. And with eight seniors on this year's Madison County fast-pitch softball team, many Raider fans foresee a feast come playoff time.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Council tables mobile home park annexation
Wesley Hunt, the new owner of Village Mobile Home Park, will have to give the Baldwin City Council more assurances that he plans to do what he says about upgrading the 15-acre park that is home to 287 people before it annexes the property into the city.

Banks BOE approves $14 million budget Monday
The Banks County Board of Education approved a $14 million budget when it met Monday that is up $621,000 over last year.


News from...
JACKSON COUNTY
Commerce Moves To Become A 'City Of Ethics'
If passing a resolution can make it so, the Commerce government would now be officially a "city of ethics."

County BOE opens doors to city students
Students living inside the cities of Jefferson and Commerce may once again attend class in the Jackson County School System if they choose to do so. A new open door policy was adopted by the Jackson County Board of Education Monday night that rescinded a 1996 policy which had closed the county school system to out-of-district students.


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GETTING READY


Teacher Betsy Cheek reaches to put up decorations in her new room at Hull-Sanford Elementary School last week. Cheek is just one of many teachers who have been working off and on all summer to get ready for the start of school on Friday.  

Time for school bells
Students all over the county are getting backpacks packed, pencils sharpened and minds ready for another year of school.
School system employees have been busy for weeks, seeing that everything is ready for that first day of school.
And instead of six schools countywide, this year there are seven, with Hull-Sanford Elementary School opening its doors for the first time.
Other changes include new principals at both the high school and middle school this year, as well as at Ila and Danielsville Elementary.
HIGH SCHOOL
Approximately 1,225 to 1,250 students will enter or return to Madison County High School this year, up slightly from the beginning of school last year.
Freshmen will need to report to the school's gymnasium on Friday morning for a welcome and to receive instructions for their first day of high school.
All students will need to report to their advisors before going to their first period classes to receive schedules, locker and lunch shift assignments.
There are no mobile unit classrooms this year, thanks to a new 14- room wing which opened last year.
Evening school will continue in that wing this year, with Robert Harrison serving as principal. Harrison has left his position as principal of Madison County Middle School.
The evening program is designed to help students catch up or retake classes needed for graduation.
School begins at 8:07 a.m. each day.
New principal Bob Rhinehart said he has made few changes or additions to the routine since coming on board July 1.
"It would be presumptuous of me to make changes until I see how things are done and settle in myself," he said.
"We have high expectations for both our students and the school," he added.
Michelle Gentry replaces long-time counselor Susan Young this year. Young has transferred to a counselor position at Hull-Sanford and Ila Elementary schools.
Other new faculty and staff this year include: Rick Tatum - administrative staff; Latana Coile, Drew Eager, Steve Crouse and Jay Paul - social studies; Dorinda Haley, Leslie Knight, and Bridget Paul - special education; Kay Farmer - agriculture; John Fleming - young farmer instructor and Stanley Pruett - construction. Also new this year are special education paraprofessionals Donna Compton and Lorey Phillips.
To see the break down of other area schools as well as further back-to-school coverage, check out this week's Madison County Journal.


Jail construction set for November
Construction of the new 60-bed Madison County jail is scheduled to begin Nov. 1, county commission chairman Wesley Nash said Monday.
Nash said some site plans have not been ironed out. For example, he said consideration must be given to plans for kitchen and laundry areas to facilitate later expansions of the jail. The chairman said he will meet with architects twice next week, then meet with sheriff Clayton Lowe regarding site plans.
The current Madison County jail, which has an official capacity of seven, is one of the most overcrowded county detainment facilities in the state.
County voters tagged $2.3 million in sales tax money in 1997 for the construction of a new jail.


Debate continues on proposed county storm water management ordinance
A debate over the county's proposed storm water management guidelines continued at Monday's Madison County commissioners' meeting, but the issue is far from resolved.
The commissioners will meet again on the issue 30 minutes before their regular meeting Aug. 28.
On Monday, planning commission chairman Pat Mahoney requested that the board pay the Regional Development Center $628 to help revise a proposed storm water management ordinance.
Commissioner Nelson Nash made a motion to deny the funds, saying a storm water ordinance isn't needed.
"I'm not in favor of this," said Nash. "I'd have to see something else to justify spending $628."
Patsy Pierce also voted in favor of the denial, but the other three commissioners voted against that measure.
Taylor, Mahoney and county zoning administrator Kim Butler - who said her office receives frequent calls about runoff problems - said regulations are needed.
"If we don't come up with something, we're going to have more problems," said Taylor.
Those who favor storm water regulations say the guidelines will force developers of subdivisions and large commercial properties to act responsibly in storm water management. They point to Windsor Heights Subdivision where the Hwy. 29 Ingles has caused severe water runoff problems in recent years, noting this as a prime example of why regulations are needed.
But those against the regulations say the guidelines could infringe on the property rights of individuals and leave the average citizen with hefty engineering fees should they decided to divide their property.
The county's four-page proposal introduced this year includes a number of standards for storm water management. For example, the proposed ordinance says that "cross drains on public streets shall be sized to carry the 100-year storm event without overtopping the roadway." And "longitudinal pipes on public streets shall be sized to carry the 25-year storm."
Not everyone would be required to adhere to storm water guidelines. Agricultural uses of land are exempted from the requirements of the storm water ordinance. This includes land used for forestry practices, cultivation of agricultural crops and the pasturing and raising of livestock. Also exempt from the restrictions are individual single-family dwellings, residential duplexes, residential mobile homes and residential manufactured homes which are constructed within a subdivision development of fewer than five parcels or on an individual lot not part of a subdivision development.

 
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Enrollment up to 4,600
Approximately 4,600 students will begin school in Madison County this Friday, according to superintendent Dennis Moore. The expected enrollment will likely be up by 140 students.
Moore pointed out that exact figures will not be available until after the first 10 days of school. Many students do not pre-register, and a few latecomers will push the total up.
Students will be returning to new or remodeled schools in most cases. Assistant superintendent Jimmy Minish reported that the new Hull/Sanford school is complete except for paving of the road, moving of a pile of top soil to cover septic fields and some landscaping. Additions to existing buildings are complete along with fresh paint, new carpets and cleaned tiles.
Minish reported that new partitions are needed in the boys' bathroom at Madison County Middle School. Existing partitions have been in place since 1988 and are rusting or damaged. The board of education voted to spend up to $5,000 for materials to replace the partitions.
A complete review of the county's school transportation plan is nearing completion. Newly hired director Steve Sorrells is working with the 911 system to identify the addresses of students using the buses to develop the most efficient routes. According to Dr. Moore, the new plan has reduced bus mileage by 125 miles per day.
Bus traffic will be closely monitored for the first few days to determine any problems and make necessary changes.
A new price list for the school lunch program was released. The price list includes an overall price increase of 12 percent, the first increase in four years.
The board adopted a number of policy changes on school safety and discipline required by new state laws. Among the changes are a requirement that a disciplinary hearing officer be appointed to hear complaints prior to action by the school board. Each school will establish a placement review committee to deal with disruptive students who have been removed from class by teachers. Another committee will hear complaints about gender equity sports problems.
The board also adopted guidelines for after-school programs.
A called meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 22, at 6 p.m. to review opening of the school year and to deal with any problems.
BOE chairman Jimmy Patton was absent from the Tuesday meeting. He is in Ireland attending the wedding of his daughter.
See this week's Madison County Journal for complete back-to-school coverage.


'Accept all or none'
The Madison County commissioners denied tax commissioner Louise Watson's request to adopt part of the county's personnel policy Monday.
Commissioner Bruce Scogin maintained that the intent of the personnel plan is to promote uniformity in how county employees are treated. He said allowing a department to accept parts of the plan would go against that aim.
The board voted recently to allow magistrate judge Harry Rice to accept parts of the plan for his employees. Board attorney John McArthur will now look into the legality of reversing the acceptance of Rice's proposal.
The county's constitutionally-elected officers, such as Watson and Rice, have the option of accepting the county's personnel policy for their employees. County department heads do not have that freedom.