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Traffic in front of new school still a problem
Several readers have called me about the intersection of Hwy.
106 and Sanford Road. This is the intersection adjacent to the
new Hull-Sanford school. They, like me, are . . .
A civic sermon
A warning: this is a civic sermon.
In years past I groaned whenever people spoke of the importance
of voting. Face it, there is . . .
SEE THIS WEEK'S PIGSKIN PICKERS!
Softball team smashes its way to state
Could this be the year of the Raiders?
In years past Madison County has often stumbled against local
heavyweights, missing out on opportunities for state tournament
Dry ice burns child on bus
A parent upset over an older student burning her son with dry
ice while on a school bus put the Banks County Board of Education
on the hot seat at Thursday night's work session.
Package store hit by armed robbers
Three armed robbers held up a Banks County business Monday night,
taking cash and cigarettes.
Banks County Sheriff Charles Chapman said the three men went
into County Line Package Store, located on Hwy. 59 on the Banks-Franklin
County line, around 8 p.m. Monday with two deer rifles and a
Tolbert threatens suit over Bell campaign sign
The hotly contested race for the District 25 House seat got another
dose of gasoline last week after incumbent candidate Rep. Scott
Tolbert threatened to sue a supporter of his opponent, Pat Bell,
over a campaign sign.
Charter School Proposed For Area
Because school systems do not adequately prepare young people
for jobs and careers, a new charter school is expected to open
next year in northeast Georgia.
The Madison County Journal
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Madison County's Sheena Mason whizzes the ball to the plate
during Area 8-AAA fast-pitch softball action Thursday. The Raiders
captured the tournament without allowing a run. The team will
travel to Rome this week with their eyes on a state final berth.
set for Thursday
Tracy Lea Fortson's legal counsel is scheduled
to appear in the Madison County courthouse at 3 p.m. Thursday
in hopes of getting the accused murderer's bond lowered, District
Attorney Bob Lavender confirmed Wednesday.
Fortson, who is accused of murdering her ex-boyfriend Doug Benton
of Colbert and encasing him in cement, faces a $500,000 bond.
She is scheduled to appear before a Madison County grand jury
Monday, Oct. 16.
Fortson was originally denied bond in the case, but a legal loophole
allowed bond to be set.
According to Georgia law, bond may be set when no indictment
has been made within 90 days of an arrest.
Fortson, who was arrested in June, was awarded bond late last
BOC, BOE candidates
tell why they deserve your vote
Candidates competing for the Board of
Commission district seats and one Board of Education seat were
given the opportunity to answer questions from county voters
at Tuesday night's fourth and final political forum before the
November elections one month away.
Republican and Democratic contenders for Districts 1, 2, 3 and
5 at the Board of Commission table and Board of Education District
5 opponents were on the agenda for this forum.
Those on hand included BOC District 1 Democratic incumbent Bill
Taylor and challenger Republican John Brueshaber; District 2
Republican contender Larry Stewart and opponent Democrat Johnny
Fitzpatrick; District 3 opponents Democrat Mike Youngblood and
Republican Danny Andrews; District 5 Republican incumbent Bruce
Scogin and challenger Edwin Marion Baker; and BOE District 5
Democratic incumbent Jimmy Patton.
Only one candidate, Ric Power, the Republican candidate running
against Patton, was not present at the forum. Power informed
the Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the forum, along with
the county Farm Bureau, that he had to work Tuesday night.
The bulk of the questions were addressed to BOC candidates and
included a variety of issues.
DISTRICT 1 BOC RACE
Taylor said in his opening statement that he is proud of the
fact that in the three years and nine months he has served as
a commissioner, county taxes have not increased.
"We (the county) was in the red when this board came on
and we're in the black today. I would like to continue serving
you," Taylor said.
Brueshaber told the audience that he strongly supports county
fire departments, the need for a third ambulance station in Ila
and more money for the sheriff's department, including equipping
patrol cars with radar.
Brueshaber said this was the better answer to recent requests
by citizens to lower speed limits on some county roads.
"The board also needs to quit micro-managing county departments;
let department heads manage their departments," he said.
He said he brings "out of the box" thinking, youth
and enthusiasm to the table for this office
DISTRICT 2 BOC RACE
Fitzpatrick said he first became interested in running for a
BOC post when he took a county leadership class.
"That really opened my eyes," he said. "I wanted
to become involved (in county government)."
Stewart said his campaign for the District 2 post was about "trust,
leadership, good common sense judgment and the wise efficient
spending of tax dollars."
And paving as many of the county's dirt roads as possible is
a top priority, he added.
"I intend to work as a team player with the new board,"
DISTRICT 3 BOC RACE
Andrews likened the county government to a business and not a
"We need to be good stewards of your money," he said.
His platform includes planning for future growth in District
3, which he says is the fastest-growing area of the county, attracting
industry to offset taxes, working to increase the sheriff's resources
- including more deputies, patrol cars and a canine unit - and
the hiring of a paid professional fire chief to oversee the county's
volunteer fire departments.
Youngblood said he is also concerned about the growth in the
county, particularly in the Hull area, and feels the county needs
to expand the water system there as well as developing a sewer
system. He would like to see the BOC begin to address water for
residential areas in the county as well and work to keep agricultural
For a breakdown of the other districts and races, see this
week's Madison County Journal.
Go to Madison
Public Meeting Dates
& Convenience Stores
approved for drug counseling program
A contract was approved Monday night for a drug and alcohol counseling
program, but not without some tense moments.
The board of commissioners voted 4-1 to approve a contract for
Rev. Jess Martin's proposed Northeast Georgia Alcohol/Drug Addiction
Prevention Program and Aftercare Services (AADAPP).
The contract includes $25,000 in county funds to support the
Commissioners Nelson Nash, Patsy Pierce, Melvin Drake and Bruce
Scogin voted to approve the contract, while District 1 commissioner
Bill Taylor provided the lone vote against the measure.
Taylor said he had received a lot of phone calls from citizens
concerned about taxpayer money being handled by a private AADAPP
Taylor said that before he approved the contract he wanted Martin
to name the AADAPP board members who would be in charge of the
Martin offered a couple of names but said that setting up the
board would be done at a later time. He said he didn't think
the commissioners should roadblock the project just because a
board hasn't been finalized.
The county recently approved the old tax assessor's office on
Crawford W. Long Street as a site for the program. Martin said
Monday that AADAPP no longer plans to use the building. He stood
at the podium after the board's vote and asked to speak more
about his proposal.
But chairman Wesley Nash said Martin could not speak further
on the matter, saying that he was following Robert's Rules of
The board voted 3-2 to "suspend the rules" to allow
Martin and others to speak on the matter. Commissioners Nelson
Nash, Patsy Pierce and Melvin Drake voted for this measure, but
chairman Nash said a vote to suspend the rules must be unanimous.
On Tuesday, Martin declined comment on the decision not to use
the old tax assessor's building. He said he would meet with the
press later to discuss the change of plans.
See this week's Madison County Journal for the rest of this