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Time to take a serious look at the future
As the new century dawns, it is time for
all citizens of Madison County to take a serious look at our
The tormenting brother
Over the Christmas holidays a lot of families surely ask the
same question: What is it that makes brothers such tormentors?
Lady Raiders win Christmas tournament
The warm-up was nice, but now the real obstacle course begins
for the Lady Raiders. After closing out the first half of the
2000-2001 basketball season by winning the Athens Academy Christmas
Tournament this past week, girls' head coach Tim Cook said the
real challenge now lies ahead for his squad with the start of
BOC allows saddle club to host rodeo
The Banks County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved
the Banks Crossing Saddle Club's request to host a rodeo at the
county's horse arena off Jolly
Ambulance billing proposals under BOC review
The Banks County Board of Commissioners is considering three
proposals from companies wishing to provide ambulance billing
services to the county. ...
Candidate Calls Nicholson 'Town Hall' Meeting
A former candidate who got two votes when he ran for mayor in
November has called a "public town hall meeting" for
next Wednesday evening to discuss zoning.
County Gets $800,000 To Rebuild Covered Bridge
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution
to contract with the state and federal departments of transportation
for over $800,000 in grant money to help replace the covered
bridge over the North Oconee River at Hurricane Shoals.
The Madison County Journal
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TEACHING BY EXAMPLE
Priscilla Harrison (L) and Susan Risler share a common
bond besides their love of teaching children. Risler gave one
of her kidneys to Harrison, the victim of a genetic kidney disease,
earlier this year.
special for organ donor, recipient
Both Priscilla Harrison and Susan Risler say their lives are
particularly blessed this holiday season by the bond they share.
Priscilla, because she received the life-saving gift of a kidney
transplant earlier this year, and Susan, because she gave that
kidney so that her friend and colleague might live.
Both long-time Madison County teachers, the pair became acquainted
when they taught across the hall from one another at Colbert
Priscilla, who had been suffering the symptoms of a genetic disorder
known as polycystic kidney disease since 1990, was placed on
a national waiting list for an organ transplant when she was
forced to begin undergoing peritoneal dialysis in 1998.
Because the disease is genetic, none of her siblings were able
to donate a kidney and no other match was found within her family.
In addition, four siblings also have the disease and an older
brother is currently on dialysis.
As Priscilla's condition worsened, Susan said she found herself
thinking about her friend a lot.
And when she found out her blood type, B positive, was a match,
Susan began to ask questions about what someone needed to do
in order to become a living donor.
She remembers staying up late one night, an unusual thing on
a school night, and catching a story on the 11 o'clock news about
a fireman donating a kidney to a fellow fireman.
"I remember thinking there must be a reason I'm up to watch
this," Susan said. "And I thought - this is something
I can do."
After approaching Priscilla's doctors, Susan was told she needed
to discuss the matter with Priscilla to see how she felt about
She broached the subject to Priscilla while they were taking
a break together at school one day.
"I couldn't believe it. I was shocked," Priscilla said
of the moment Susan told her she was being tested as a possible
donor. "When I think of Susan, I'm in awe."
"I remember she said, 'Are you sure there's anything besides
a heart in there?'" Susan said, her voice breaking with
emotion. "I said, 'Yes, I have two kidneys - and I can live
with only one.'"
But as Susan continued the testing process, Priscilla's condition
continued to deteriorate.
Two days before Thanksgiving in 1999, she became gravely ill
with peritonitis from the dialysis and was hospitalized in intensive
"I don't remember much about it at all," Priscilla
said of the experience, "I only know some thought I might
not make it."
But she did, and was able to return home before Christmas. To
celebrate her recovery, she married her fiancé of two
years, Larry Harrison, on Dec. 26.
But her physical condition continued to deteriorate and she was
forced to undergo hemo-dialysis every other day, which required
many hours at a facility in Athens. This process left her physically
"I would have loved to give her the kidney last Christmas,
but she was too ill," Susan said.
As time began running out for Priscilla, Susan got the green
light as an organ donor.
She said that usually the entire process - from all the testing
to the actual transplant surgery - is done at the convenience
of the donor and his or her family, but because Priscilla's situation
was becoming so grave, surgery was scheduled in Augusta at the
Medical College of Georgia as soon as Priscilla was strong enough
to undergo it.
The date was set for Feb. 23, 2000. Priscilla had been unable
to teach since her bout with peritonitis and Susan arranged leave
time from her classes.
For the rest of this story, see this week's Madison County
Is growth good?
Do Madison County residents want to attract business growth into
"That's the big question," Chris Olmer, a planner with
the Regional Develop-ment Commission, told the small group of
citizens gathered recently for the fourth in a series of meetings
with the RDC to update the county's Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
"There doesn't seem to be a consensus on whether this is
wanted or not," he said, adding that it appeared that half
the people speaking out on the issue don't want industrial (or
any) growth in the county and half the people do want business
growth to help with the tax burden.
Local developer Morris Bullock told the group that 21 new subdivisions
have come into the area between Hull and Colbert the last two
"That's where the population base is and that's where the
growth will be," Bullock said. "We can't control that."
John Scoggins, Industrial Authority chairman, said there are
144 subdivisions in the county and 29 trailer parks.
According to the RDC, residential development is very costly
because of the associated community facilities and services each
new homeowner brings into the county. To offset this, it seems
county residents must look to some type of retail sales and light
industrial growth to produce tax revenue.
In other discussion, those present agreed that:
·Citizens should first determine the type of growth wanted
in the county and then promote it (i.e., residential, industry,
·Different types of development should be promoted.
·There is a need to develop a model to maintain the tax
digest based on the costs of different types of development.
·Future land use must take into consideration the cross
routes for major highway corridors (such as land between Hwy.
72 and Hwy. 29 at Hull, and land between Hwy. 29 at Hull and
Hwy. 106 and connecting roads.)
·Population densities should be determined in order to
plan where public utilities are needed.
·A third meeting will be held on Jan. 18 at the county
complex to discuss a draft of the goal and policies developed
in the past two meetings.
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Public Meeting Dates
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legal expenses remains
A conflict over payment of legal fees continued last week as
former county commissioner Ken Clark submitted a written request
to be on Thursday's BOC meeting agenda to discuss legal expenses.
But that request was denied by BOC chairman Wesley Nash.
At issue is a Nov. 27 vote by the BOC not to allow payment of
attorney's fees for commissioners fighting recall efforts. These
bills included a $4,568 bill for Patsy Pierce and a $2,684 bill
Pierce was not at that meeting and in her absence, chairman Nash
cast the deciding vote to deny payment of those expenses, as
well as any other future funding of commissioners' recall defense.
Following that vote, Pierce and commissioner Melvin Drake submitted
written requests to be on the Dec. 11 agenda to discuss the issue,
but their requests were turned down.
Chairman Nash responded to the two commissioners with a letter
explaining his denial. And he also answered Clark's request with
"Please be advised that I have instructed County Clerk Morris
Fortson to not include your agenda request concerning 'payment
of any and/or all unpaid legal fees which pertain to the Madison
County Board of Commissioners,'" Nash wrote to Clark. "The
issue of unpaid recall legal fees was settled at our meeting
Nov. 27 when a motion was approved 'that we deny the payment
of these expenses and that we deny any further submission for
payment of any recall expenses.' There are no other unpaid legal
fees that pertain to the Madison County Board of Commissioners."
Clark maintains that the bills in question are not related to
the recall efforts, but to litigation filed by Jerry Mattox against
Clark, Jack Fortson and Patsy Pierce. Mattox filed suit against
the three in 1999, attempting to force the former county officials
to reimburse the county for approximately $51,000 in legal fees.