News from Madison County...

November 8, 2000


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OPINIONS

Frank Gillispie
Georgia needs improved ballot access

It is outrageous that Georgia is the most restrictive state in the nation when it comes to ballot access. Unless you are a Republican or Democrat, you have almost no chance of getting on the ballot.

Margie Richards
Animal shelter plans still a reality

A dream dear to my heart is still very much alive and will hopefully become a reality for Madison County in the near future. Elections are now over and it's time to get back to the business of moving this county forward.


SPORTS
SEE THIS WEEK'S PIGSKIN PICKERS!

Raiders whip Athens Christian 43-0, cap off undefeated season
Smiles, hugs, pictures, confetti, tears of joy, memories - these words used to describe a single win for the Madison County Raider football team.
But Friday, these words summed up the 2000 Raider season. Madison County ran the table this year, thumping Athens Christian 43-0 to finish the season 10-0, the first perfect season in school history.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Brady edges out incument Dumas; Chapman to stay
Beginning in January 2001, the Banks County Board of Commissioners will be under new leadership. Political newcomer Kenneth Brady narrowly defeated incumbent BOC chairman James Dumas by just over 300 votes.

Council member concerned about hazards at pumping station
At a recent visit to the pumping station along the Chattahoochee River, Baldwin council member Mitchell Gailey was dismayed at Demorest's failure to provide safety measures at the plant's site.


News from...
JACKSON COUNTY
Bell tops Tolbert by 54
What a finish! After eight long hours of ballot counting which saw the lead change hands several times, challenger Pat Bell has apparently defeated incumbent Scott Tolbert for the House District 25 seat with a razor thin margin of just 54 votes. Nearly 13,000 votes were cast in that race.

Rec staff sacked
Gambling, porno sites found on county computer; no charges expected
Allegations of gambling at the Jackson County recreation department has led to three employees resigning this week.


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OUT TO VOTE


Levie Cook of Hull puts an "I Voted" sticker on her husband, Bobby. Madison county experienced a 65 percent turnout.



Chairman keeps seat, barely
Wesley Nash will serve as chairman of Madison County's Board of Commissioners for four more years after edging Nelson Nash in Tuesday's general election.
The Republican incumbent defeated the Democratic challenger 3,811 to 3,666 (51 percent to 49 percent).
"I appreciate all the support I received," chairman Nash said Wednesday morning. "And I'll continue to carry on as I have for the last four years - to provide the best services possible for the least amount of money. I appreciate all the help the people gave me. It means a lot to me the support that's out there in the county."
Though the race was very tight, Nelson Nash did not seek a recount.
"I'm satisfied with the results," he said.
The challenger added: "I worked hard and I enjoyed meeting the people around the county...I don't have nothing to be ashamed of. I've enjoyed my eight years as district commissioner and feel like I've got a good bit accomplished."
Madison County's election stretched into the wee hours Wednesday morning, with absentee ballots not tallied until after 1:30 a.m. Chairman Nash, who trailed as the first precincts were called, held a slim 84-vote lead before the absentee votes were counted - with the chairman beating the challenger 251 to 190 in absentee votes. The incumbent won five of 12 precincts, with his most convincing wins in Colbert, 505 to 399; Danielsville, 574 to 483; and Pittman, 508 to 379. Nelson Nash was strongest in Collins, 159 to 89; Ila, 349 to 276; and Poca, 220 to 189.
Sixty-five percent of Madison County voters (8,254 of 12,768) hit the polls Tuesday.


Incumbent Patton toppled
In the Madison County school board District 5 race, Republican challenger Ric Power defeated incumbent Democrat Patton with 56.5 percent of the vote (803 to 617).
In the heated race for the District 24 State House of Representatives seat, Republican Ralph Hudgens held off challenger Doug McKillip, downing the Democrat with 52.5 percent of the vote.
Hudgens said he appreciated the voters' support and was ashamed of how the campaign turned ugly.
"I'm delighted that the voters decided to send me back and that they didn't believe the negative campaign my opponent ran," said Hudgens. "I've apologized to the voters for the campaign my opponent ran and I think he ought to apologize."
Four Madison County commissioners posts were up for grabs Tuesday.
In District 1, incumbent Democrat Bill Taylor defeated John Brueshaber with 61.7 percent of the votes. Democrat Johnny Fitzpatrick claimed the District 2 seat with 65.7 percent of the vote. In District 3, Democrat Mike Youngblood downed Danny Andrews, tallying 67.5 percent. And Republican incumbent Bruce Scogin was re-elected in District 5 over Marion Baker with 66.8 percent of the vote.
Democrat Michelle Strickland, the incumbent clerk of court, kept her post Tuesday, defeating Republican challenger Mike Sales with 71.9 percent of the vote.
Donald "Hoppy" Royston, a Democrat, retained his position as probate judge, tallying 70.1 percent against Republican challenger Lynn Smith.
Democrat Michelle Cleveland won the coroner's job over Republican Phyllis Dickinson with 53.2 percent of the vote.
In the Presidential race, Madison Countians clearly favored George Bush. The Republican garnered 70.8 percent of the votes in the county.
Results of the amendments and referendums on Tuesday's ballot were not available as of press time.




'A purple heart'
Wounded, starving, frostbitten, and unable to walk, William Moncus spent 11 days on a jeep with his weapon set to fire on anything on his side of the road.
The Danielsville resident was an infantryman in the bitter cold of the Chosin Reservoir, fighting the Chinese and North Koreans along with his comrades.
Moncus says there were only six or so of the 120 men in his company still able to walk when the fighting ended. The rest were either wounded or dead.
"I saw a lot of bravery in those young men," he said. "They were everywhere, dragging their dead or wounded comrades. We were taught you don't leave your friend behind."
Moncus said the dead, frozen by the cold, were loaded onto trucks as they marched. Artillery and equipment that had to be left behind were blown up to render them useless to the enemy.
Wounds that he and his fellow servicemen had suffered had remained frozen, but began to thaw and bleed once they were loaded onto planes for transport. He remembers that it was up to one nurse to stop the bleeding until they arrived in a Navy hospital in Japan.
Moncus spent months in hospitals in Japan, Texas and later New York.
Shrapnel from a grenade that bounced off his helmet and embedded in his skin and in one leg, along with his boots, had to be cut from his body. He remembers that his feet were dark blue and numb, as were his hands.
Moncus says he wondered if he would lose one or both of his feet. Luckily, this was not the case, but he spent months in a wheelchair learning to walk again.
A TIME TO REMEMBER
Saturday, Nov. 11, is a day set aside to honor Moncus and all American veterans of any division of the Armed Services for the sacrifices they made for their country.
Moncus and his wife, Virginia, will be just two of those present at a special 50-year anniversary remembrance of the Korean War on Nov. 9 at the Navy School in Athens.
For the rest of this story, see this week's Madison County Journal.


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Comer mayor calls for change in how council vacancies are filled
Future vacancies in Comer's mayor and council posts will be filled by special elections, if new mayor Chris NeSmith has his way.
The council approved his plan Tuesday night to seek a change in the city charter specifying that future vacancies with one year or more remaining in the term of office be filled by special election.
The Georgia legislature will have to approve the change, but such approval is usually routine. The request will be filed by the opening of the legislature, and if approved, go into effect on July 1, 2001.
Noting that the current mayor and two of four council members have been appointed, NeSmith said, "These offices ought to be put back in the hands of the voters." The council and most of the overflow audience agreed.
In other business, the council agreed that Chris Coulter can place a mobile office on the site of his special woods business without a special use permit, according to city attorney Victor Johnson. The city zoning code allows auxiliary buildings in industrial areas as long as they are not converted mobile homes. Coulter's business, located near North Georgia Sports, specializes in rare and unusual woods.
The council voted to change the method of pricing water and sewer taps from fixed rates to actual cost. City law originally provided for case-by-case pricing, but the council had set fixed rates when the city clerk was given the duty of collecting the fees. Recent tap fees have yielded only a fraction of the cost of the connections. Public works supervisor Jere Kemp proposed that the city adopt a timber harvest, loading and hauling activities ordinance similar to the one used by Madison County. He pointed out that a number of timber tracts are located within the city limits and city streets had been damaged by logging operations.
Kemp issued an update of plans to extend the city sewage system along Clover and Laurel Avenues. The proposed line will provide service to Shannon Place subdivision and other future developments on the north side of Comer. Mayor NeSmith noted that two of the city's primary wells are located in that area and development could add hundreds of septic tanks unless the sewage system is extended. The extension will be financed jointly by the city and subdivision developers. The city's cost is estimated at $93,000.
Kemp reported that repairs and painting of the trim and boxing of city hall will cost between $1,200 and $1,500. The council asked him to get a quote on additional repairs to include doors before making a decision.