News from Madison County...

 September 11, 2000


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OPINIONS

Frank Gillispie
Educational bureaucracy should be changed
Sometimes things fall together when you least expect it. For example, I have just finished reading "Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men" by Jeffrey Rogers Hummel. It is a well-researched book on conditions before, during and after the War of Northern Aggression.

Margie Richards
Things I have learned
My work here at the paper has taken me on a variety of journeys, particularly in the last three years since I have been doing more writing.
And as I've said before, one of the best things about this job is meeting and talking to a variety of people and then being faced with the challenge of telling "their story," or at least a part of it.


SPORTS
See this week's Pigskin Picks!

Raiders top Panthers 21-6
Though it may have been a little closer than the past two years, Madison County still proved to have Jackson County's number, downing the Panther squad 21-6 Friday night in Jefferson.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Banks County building inspector resigns
Banks County building inspector Tony Vento has resigned.
His last day on the job will be Friday, Sept. 8, according to a letter of resignation submitted to the Banks County Board of Commissioners.

Banks County SAT scores again below state average


News from...
JACKSON COUNTY
Water Wise trial set Mon.
The ongoing battle over the Water Wise issue will move into a Jackson County courtroom next week after months of controversy and several weeks of behind-the-scenes political wrangling. The outcome of the courtroom showdown could have an impact on local taxpayers and the future of county sewage treatment projects.

Go ahead with county manager search, says Thomas
But Beshara says current BOC shouldn't be involved
One candidate for the District 3 post of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners wants the search to start right away for a county manager. But her opponent says the existing board has no authority to do that and labeled the idea "destructive and divisive."


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The Madison County Journal
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A WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL


Jean Stephens sits at a table in her home with a picture and memorabilia of her father, who died in battle during World War II. A photo of her mother taken during the same time is in the background.


MCHS still among best in area SAT scores
Madison County remains at the head of the class in area SAT results as the high school continues to improve its numbers.
Eighty college prep students in the class of 2000 averaged 1,042 on the SAT (523-verbal and 519-math), while 18 vocational students averaged 880 (452-verbal and 428-math).
The county showed significant improvement in the vocational SAT scores over the previous year - that average rose from 797 to 880.
Scores of college prep students taking the SAT also improved by seven points.
The combined average of both college prep and vocational student scores at Madison County was 1,012, making Madison County the highest scoring school among five school systems in the three-county coverage area of MainStreet Newspapers, which includes The Madison County Journal.
Behind Madison County were Jefferson, averaging 990; Jackson County, 941; Commerce, 993; and Banks County, 859.
The Georgia average was 974, while the national average was 1,019.
Madison County math teacher Sallie Bullock, who leads an SAT preparation class with fellow teacher Sandra Scoggins, said the high scores are the product of a lot of hard work.
"We are thrilled and very proud of how that class did on the SAT," said Bullock. "We hope to continue to improve. But we have to keep working hard, both the students and the teachers."
The SAT is designed to measure potential for success in college and continues to be a tool used by university admissions officers. The University of Georgia freshman class had an average of 1,205.


Comer council searches for new mayor
Comer's City Council will give careful consideration to a number of people to fill the vacant mayor's position, according to mayor pro-tem Virgil Morrow.
Morrow encouraged "as many people to run as possible" at Tuesday's council meeting. And he thanked former mayor Kevin Booth, who resigned last month, for his many years of service to the city and urged him to continue being an active part of the community.
"I hope he will run again and participate," Morrow said.
Accepting Morrow's suggestion, Laura L. Myers, of Madison Street offered a letter asking to be considered for the post of mayor. She and her husband, Bruce Thyer, have lived in Comer for the past six years. They have four young children. Laura, who holds a Ph.D. in social work from the University of Georgia, is presently a "stay at home mother" who says she would be able to devote a lot of time to the job. She credited her interest in the job to her father who once served as mayor of Ft. Myers, Fla.
Much of the Tuesday night meeting was taken up by complaints from two citizens. One man complained at length about his water bill which, has been climbing for the past four months. He insisted that he could not possibly be using 26,000 gallons of water per day. City manager Jere Kemp insisted that he has checked the man's meter and it is operating correctly. After lengthy discussion, the city agreed to install a new water meter.
Local businessman Tim McCannon had several problems. He complained that the city failed to pick up trash from his business that had been scattered by a cat. Mr. Morrow said he would personally pick up the paper plates that were scattered.
McCannon questioned the need to buy the three-story building for a new city hall. Councilwoman Alene Pendelton responded that she wants to "keep Comer alive." Noting that the city has made no commitments to the building, she said, "We have people looking into it and I say 'more power to them.'"
McCannon complained that when an alarm was inadvertently set off at his home, one of his employees waited 30 minutes for someone to come and the police never answered. Police chief Barry Reed said he personally responded to an alarm call at the residence.
McCannon's final comment concerned a possible illegal meeting at Morrow's office. Both Morrow and Pendelton responded that they were discussing a cemetery lot and not city business.
Former mayor Dudley Hartel, speaking for the committee appointed to study acquiring and restoring the old building said they had found funding for a feasibility study on the building. City attorney Victor Johnson reported that the Gholston Trust could only donate the building to the schools, but the Trust plans to sell the building. He was asked to write a letter to the Trust indicating the city's interest.
Reed introduced the city's two new patrolmen and responded to the criticism about responding to alarm calls. He said that nine out of 10 alarm calls are false alarms and they usually are given low priority. He said that the monitoring companies will usually call a responsible person first to verify the problem, then the 911 center, who will then contact the appropriate agency. He said that he hates to respond to a call without the owner being present because he has no way of knowing which vehicles or persons were supposed to be there.
In other business, the city is studying changes to the ordinance for tap fees. Officials say new, more accurate and more expensive meters as well as increases in labor costs need to be reflected in the fees.
A Community Development Block Grant request has been resubmitted for water and other improvements on Clairmont Avenue. A response is not expected before March 2001.
Speed bumps have been installed on Spring Circle with good results.
Residents of other streets expressed interest in having speed bumps on their streets. They were advised to collect petitions containing signatures of 70 percent of people who would be affected by the devices.
The city attorney will write a letter to CSX Railroad demanding that they clean their right - of - way through the city.


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No municipal elections to be held in county
While a slew of county posts are up for grabs this year, no municipal elections will be held in 2000.
Qualifying for various city council seats ended last week with incumbents in four towns keeping their seats without opposition.
Jeff Roberts and Julian Davis will keep their council seats in Colbert. Don Delay and Kimsey Austin will remain on the Danielsville City Council. Nathaniel Hobbs and Don Freeman will continue to serve in Ila. And Mark Cronic and Ken Murray face no opposition in Hull.
No elections were scheduled for 2000 in Comer or Carlton.


Man killed in Thursday accident
A North Carolina man was killed and three people were injured in a two-car collision Thursday night on Hwy. 29.
Fransisco Auilar, 54, of Burlington, N.C., died when the 1995 Mitsubishi Mirage he rode in was struck by a 1970 Chevrolet driven by Joshua Jones, 18, of Danielsville.
According to the Athens post of the Georgia State Patrol, Jones, who had "visible injuries," crossed the centerline as he traveled north and struck the southbound Mitsubishi driven by Carlos Pena-agui, 29, of Groveland, Fla. Pena-agui and Robert Florres, 24, of Danielsville, were seriously injured in the wreck, the patrolman said.
The accident happened at approximately 9:47 p.m. about a half mile north of Old Royston Road.
Charges are pending in the case. The investigation has been turned over to the State Patrol's accident reconstruction team.