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Sticking to the budget process is crucial
Someone has to have the authority and responsibility to oversee
the collection and spending of all public funds.
A typical January
Things are progressing in typical fashion at the Richards house
Raiders breeze by Blue Devils
Madison County has had its shooting woes this year. But Friday,
the Raiders put on a shooting show, burying shot after shot in
a 78-63 win over Elbert County at home.
Close encounters of the bear kind
When Cynthia Stevens found the large tracks in the horse paddock
on her 50-acre Banks County farm a few weeks ago, she assumed
they were from a large dog.
Baldwin moves forward on plant expansion
The Baldwin City Council voted unanimously Thursday night to
begin construction on the expansion and upgrading of its waste
water treatment plant.
Bell, Beatty vote against flag change
Georgia has a new flag, but not everyone is happy about it.
Randall gets $1,500 fine in girl's death
An Arcade man charged in connection with the October 1999 hit-and-run
accident which killed a young girl was sentenced Tuesday in Jackson
County Superior Court to 24 months of probation and given a $1,500
The Madison County Journal
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'TEACHER OF THE YEAR'
Dr. Elmer Clark, who teaches French and world history
at Madison County High School, is Madison County's "Teacher
of the Year."
'Teacher of the
Dr. Elmer Clark's enthusiasm is contagious.
And he uses this enthusiasm in his world history and French classes
at Madison County High School to inspire his students to enjoy
learning something about the world they live in, as well as about
the need to give something back to that world.
Educating children successfully comes down to one basic thing
above all else, Clark says - giving them a sense of community.
"It's what I call civic humanism," Clark said.
He was deeply honored to be chosen as MCHS's Teacher of the Year
for the second time in his six- year stint there, and elated
to find out recently that he was chosen as the systemwide teacher
of the year.
GOALS OF EDUCATION
"The primary goal of education is not, in my opinion, to
train youth for the workforce, but to make them an educated citizen
of a democracy so they can make wise choices for their community,"
"It's a community thing - this education," he said,
adding that young people must be taught by family and educators
who they are and how they can serve the society they live in.
"They need to be taught to make their community an extension
of their family," he said. "It's an old idea and one
we need to come back to."
He begins by making his classroom a "community" - inspiring
his students to earn his respect through class participation
He also teaches by example. He serves as Student Council sponsor.
He coached wrestling for three years and performs other community
services. He often stands in the halls to greet students and
fellow teachers and ask about their day.
"My tenth grade history teacher Dr. Elmer Clark, is a teacher
who cares not only about the education of his students, but the
well-being of them," former student Bonnie Simmons said.
"He is one who counsels his students in hard times and laughs
with them in the good times....If it wasn't for Dr. Clark and
his willingness not only as a teacher, but as a friend, I would
have turned out very differently and high school wouldn't have
been the same."
For the rest of this story, see this week's Madison County
Recreation dept expansion
Some major additions may be in the works at the Madison County
Recreation Department in coming years, such as a multi-purpose
building and more land for recreation activities.
The Madison County Board of Commissioners met with the new county
recreation board Monday to discuss the future of the department.
BOC chairman Wesley Nash shared his visions of recreation improvements
and the commissioners asked the recreation board to establish
its goals for the department.
Nash said he would like the county to seek a $500,000 grant to
establish a multi-purpose building to be located at Sammy Haggard
Park - the county's main recreation facility on Hwy. 98. This
grant would be matched with $500,000 in county funds.
The chairman said the county has some special purpose local option
sales tax (SPLOST) money that could go toward the project, though
he didn't specify a dollar figure.
Nash said the building could be used for athletic purposes, but
he said it should serve as more than just a gym.
"I'd like to see us go to an after-school facility,"
He said a lot of county kids go home alone while their parents
work and the multi-purpose building could give them a place to
"We got to do something that's going to reach these kids,"
Nash also said one of his main objectives is to "centralize"
Nash said that most families include more than one child. And
he added that many county families face difficulties when one
child is playing ball at Mize or Diamond Hill park, while another
plays at the main park. He said he would like Mize and Diamond
Hill Parks to serve those old enough to transport themselves
"My goal is to get all the kids back into the central park,"
Nash also discussed the possibility of expanding the recreation
park with land purchases, particularly if a grant for a multi-purpose
building isn't successful. He spoke of walking trails, a lake
and more soccer fields for the main park.
"Soccer is a big deal," said Nash. "It's the coming
The chairman also said the county must do something about the
"atrocious" parking situation at the main park. He
said that despite recent parking expansions, there aren't enough
parking spaces at the complex during large events.
Nash also said he expects the Department of Transportation to
widen Hwy. 98 and improve the traffic flow around the recreation
department. To widen the road, the historical Strickland House,
the current home of the Chamber of Commerce, might be moved to
the other side of the road. Nash said the house's porch sits
on the DOT's right of way on Hwy. 98.
He also said that once Fine Finish moves into its new facility
on Hwy. 98, the county road department will be moved to the old
Fine Finish building, leaving the vacated road crew space for
the recreation department.
Nash took a moment to address concerns that county leaders are
putting too much money toward the recreation department.
He said that the recreation department is a way to keep kids
out of trouble. And he compared the price of keeping a man in
prison to the cost of recreation improvements, pointing out that
the county pays $36,000 per year to house one inmate.
"People say, 'You mean to tell me you're putting $100,000
per year on the recreation department?' and I say, 'You know,
all we have to do is reach three kids (to save money on the investment),"
Commissioner Bill Taylor echoed Nash's sentiment.
"I'm willing to put money into our children to keep them
out of drugs and alcohol," said Taylor.
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DOT may widen
portion of Hwy. 98
The Georgia Department of Transportation is looking at widening
Hwy. 98 from the senior center to the forestry department to
help improve traffic flow in the growing area.
But no contracts have been signed and no time frame has been
set on the proposal.
Teri Pope, local spokesperson for the DOT, said the DOT would
like to add a center turn lane and deceleration lanes in the
short stretch between the senior center and forestry department.
However, two graves are located near the roadway along that stretch.
"Disturbing a grave is something we never like to do,"
Also, the location of the historic Strickland House, the home
of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, is a concern. The
house may need to be moved to make way for the project. Pope
said the DOT is now trying to determine if it meets federal guidelines
for a historic structure.
"We cannot disturb historic assets," she said.
Pope said that the DOT is trying to determine a course of action,
but she did not have an estimate on when a solution may be reached.
She added: "It's a priority for the county and for us."
In a related matter, state officials have yet to reach a decision
on whether a proposed Danielsville bypass will be constructed
east or west of the city.
Pope said that determining a route around Danielsville has taken
more time than expected, noting that the DOT had hoped to have
a route determined by the end of 2000.
She did not have an estimate on when a decision will be reached.
"We're still doing environmental studies," said Pope.
Pope said the decision has been delayed because the DOT has found
"numerous historical assets" on the proposed routes.
The DOT plans to have the bypass completed by 2006.