News from Jackson County...

October 10, 2000


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Water Wise
A Timeline of Water Wise events in Jackson County




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Jackson County
GREENSPACE

The Jackson County Greenspace Steering Committee seeks input that would better prepare the Committee for developing the Jackson County Greenspace Plan. Please take a moment to answer four questions and return them on the form provided here.


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SEE THIS WEEK'S PIGSKIN PICKERS!

Panthers fall to top team in AAA
Jackson County will host Eastside (4-1/2-1) Friday at Panther Stadium for homecoming. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. Senior Anthony Collins and his Panther teammates had the Hart County defense reeling early Friday night in Hartwell.

Gary's Last-Second Field Goal Gives Tigers First-Ever Win Over Lincoln Co. Red Devils
Commerce picked up one more first down than Lincoln County Friday night. A personal foul against Lincoln County gave the Tigers yards that were not as vital as one more shot at the game-wininng field goal in a 16-15 Tiger victory.

Jefferson downs Social Circle
The Jefferson Dragons will travel to Oglethorpe County Friday to face the Patriots of region 7-AA. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The Dragons' Blake Gooch intercepted a Social Circle pass in overtime last week to lift Jefferson to a 19-13 win, improving their season record to 3-2.


Neighborhood News...
MADISON COUNTY
Two school buses collide
At least 20 Madison County students were transported to area hospitals after two county school buses collided on Hwy. 98 near the Madison County Service Center (Fine Finish) at approximately 7:55 a.m. Wednesday.

Chris NeSmith replaces Booth as Comer mayor
Chris NeSmith has been named mayor of Comer to complete the term of Kevin Booth. NeSmith was chosen by the city council at their regularly scheduled meeting




News from
BANKS COUNTY
Teen accused in Wendy's armed robbery caught
Former Wendy's assistant manager Carolyn Swain said she didn't know what was going to happen when a man came through the back door of the Banks Crossing restaurant early Wednesday morning with what appeared to be a handgun.

Arbitration held between Baldwin and Demorest over water plant ownership
An arbitration hearing between Baldwin and Demorest over ownership of a water plant was held this week. A ruling on the matter is not expected for several weeks.


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UPDATE
Three Killed In Barrow Accident
Including JHS Student
Three men, including an 18 year old Jefferson High School senior, were killed in a two car wreck Monday in Barrow County.
Daniel Goza, 18, and Timothy Lee Parker, 28, were both killed in the accident at Hwy. 82 at the intersection of Bowman Mill Road in Barrow County, four miles east of Winder. Also killed in the wreck was Kevin Musgrove, 23, Athens.
Parker was driving a F-250 truck and Goza was a passenger. Musgrove was driving the other truck and Daniel Wayne Thornton, 26, Athens, was a passenger.
Parker reportedly failed to yield at the stop sign and struck the truck driven by Musgrove. Both trucks caught on fire.


 

AT ANNUAL BONFIRE


Lisa Bergeron, 8, is checking to see if her marshmallow is roasted enough at the annual bonfire held at Hoschton United Methodist Church Saturday night.



Water Wise owner indicted by feds for 'bid-rigging'
See a timeline of Water Wise events
Water Wise owner Jerry Wickliffe has reportedly been indicted by a federal court over a bid-rigging scheme in Atlanta.
Water Wise was the firm pursuing a sewage business in Jackson County last year until county officials condemned land, forcing Wickliffe out of the sewage business locally.
Wickliffe and the Wickliffe Services Company have been charged with conspiring to rig bids on the sale of equipment used at water and waste water treatment plants in Georgia and Alabama. Wickliffe has reportedly been cooperating with authorities in the ongoing federal investigation and is expected to enter a plea next week.
The felony charge against Wickliffe was filed in Atlanta in June, according to reports. But Wickliffe said in an August interview with The Jackson Herald that none of his firms' records had been subpoenaed in the probe into bid rigging in Atlanta and there was no investigation into his dealings with Atlanta officials. He said he would hire an attorney and threatened the editor of The Herald if it was reported that he was under investigation. He also denied ever having any business dealings in Alabama.
According to The Atlanta Journal Constitution, the federal charges against Wickliffe stem from his conspiring to suppress and eliminate competition and to rig bids on the sale of valves and pumps. He is reportedly charged with rigging bids at the Hemphill Water Treatment Plant in Atlanta, the Chattahoochee Clearwell project, the Lanier Filter Plant Expansion in Gwinnett County, the Town Creek Water Treatment Plant in Macon and the W.P.C. Digester Improvement Project in Athens.
Wickliffe's involvement in Jackson County stirred a tremendous amount of controversy due to the potential impact he would have on growth and for his involvement with state representative Scott Tolbert, whose law firm represented Wickliffe's interests in Jackson County. The charges pending against Wickliffe apparently have no connection to that Jackson County deal.


790 File Appeals Of Assessments
It's been almost two weeks since reassessment notices went out and the Jackson County Tax Assessor's office has received 790 appeals from property owners.
Some 233 of these were forwarded to the board of equalization and hearings began Monday. Another 263 were checked out by county appraisers and corrections were made. These property owners have another 21 days to decide whether to continue with their appeals. The remaining 294 appeals have not yet been checked out by appraisers.
Chief tax appraiser Cathy Johnson said those who think their property is not assessed correctly can file a formal written complaint within 45 days from when they received the notice. Property owners have four main avenues for a successful appeal. 1. To show that there are factual errors in the county's appraisal data; 2. To show that the property is not valued at the real fair market price; 3. To show that the property's value isn't uniform with surrounding property of a similar configuration; or 4. To show that the property is exempt from taxation.


Maysville festival to celebrate 33rd year
The city of Maysville is gearing up for the 33rd annual Maysville Autumn Leaf Festival to be held October 6, 7 and 8. The event is sponsored by the City of Maysville and the Maysville Community Improvement Club.
It all begins on Friday with arts and crafts booths opening at noon. The stage entertainment will start at 5 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. when the booths close for the evening. A Friday night street dance will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Booths will open again at 9 a.m. Saturday, and a parade will begin at 10 a.m.
The food booths this year will have a large variety, including barbecue sandwiches, fried apple pies, philly steaks, fish and chips, corn dogs, jambalaya, kabobs, egg rolls, chicken, funnel cakes, roasted peanuts, burgers and more.
Entertainment will be non-stop throughout the day Saturday. The street dance, held from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., will feature the band "Georgia Overdrive." Ben Burgess and his Nashville-style street show will appear before the dance band.
Other events will include a cake walk, talent show, pony rides, petting zoo, haunted hayride and an antique auto show at 11 a.m. Saturday. Festival T-shirts and caps will be available at the welcome booth.
Booth spaces for the arts and crafts may still be available. For booth information, call Cyndi at 652-2334 or Nancy at 652-2413. For information on the antique car show, call Mike at 652-2044. Parade entry info will be available from Candice at 652-2967.
The parade will have awards and trophies being given for the following categories; "Grand Marshal's Pick," "Best Parade Entry," "Best Equine Entry," "Best Interpretation of Theme (Victorian Charm)" and "Most Creative."
The antique auto show will be held immediately after the parade. Trophies will be awarded in the following categories: "Best in Show Rod or Custom," "Best in Show-Antique Post 48," "Best in Show Pre 49 Antique," "Best Engine," "Best Paint" and "Best Interior." There is no entry fee for the car show.



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Waddell Seeks Job With W/S Authority
Jackson County Board of Commissioners chairman Jerry Waddell is one of five applicants for the position of superintendent of the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority.
With his term of office expiring Dec. 31, Waddell has put in an application to a group whose members he and fellow commissioners Pat Bell and the late Henry Robinson appointed.
Also seeking the job are Eugene Carlson, Summerville; John Caldwell, Newnan; Jess Ray Shell, Lexington, KY; and Robert George Mascianica, Scarsdale, NY. The authority has not decided upon the process or time frame for filling the position.
Members of the authority met in a closed-to-the-public session Tuesday afternoon to discuss the applicants and released the names to a reporter after being advised to by authority attorney Julius Hulsey.
The position became vacant after the authority changed Paul Mims' job so he could spend more time with authority work outside, including inspecting construction projects.
The new superintendent would be responsible for day-to-day office operations.


Local man dies in road construction accident
A Jackson County man died Tuesday after falling off a work truck on Hoods Mill Road.
Christopher Davis, 26, was in the back of a truck owned by Mid State Striping Inc., Eatonton. He was striping the road when he lost his footing and fell into the westbound lane, according to the state patrol. He was hit by an oncoming motorist and trapped under the left side of the vehicle. He was dragged approximately 86 feet.


Local school test results mirror those of state
Around one-third of students in Jackson County's three school systems fell short of the minimum standards in last year's Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests. Those results basically mirrored state-wide results on the tests, which were administered last spring to fourth, sixth and eighth-graders.
But those results weren't uniform from school to school in the county as some grades performed better than others.
Generally, the math part of the test caused the most problems for students. Statewide, 38 percent of fourth graders, 34 percent of sixth graders and 46 percent of eighth graders fell short of the state's minimum standards.
Locally, Commerce Elementary School and Commerce Middle School turned in the best performance at the fourth and sixth grade levels based on the percentage of students who didn't fall below state standards, while Jefferson Middle School had the best performance at the eighth grade level.
The CRCT tests will be used in the coming years as an evaluation of school performance by state officials.
For more on the test scores and their meaning, see this week's Commerce News and Jackson Herald.