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War re-enactments not racist
They are at it again! The National Association of Always Complaining
People (NAACP) has now decided that Civil War re-enactments are
based on "racism and hatred."
Bits and pieces
I ran across an interesting little magazine the other day. It
is called "Bits and Pieces," and is full of funny quips
and little pearls of wisdom.
Lady Raiders advance to second round of state tourney
March madness is in the air for the girls' basketball squad for
the first time in over a decade.
Republican Party to hold county convention Saturday
The Banks County Republican Party will hold the county convention
at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 3, at the Banks County courthouse
Deadline ahead Monday for vote on county flag
Banks Countians interested in casting a ballot for the three
proposed designs for a new county flag have only a few days to
Authority Holds County's Feet To Fire On Sewer Line
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners will support its water
and sewerage authority's plans to create a county sewerage system,
if for no other reason than it has to.
Planners say 'No' to NJ landfill
A Carnesville company trying to bring a construction and demolition
landfill to the North Jackson area failed the first step of the
process Thursday night when the Jackson County Planning Commission
recommended denial for a conditional use permit.
The Madison County Journal
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Zack Tankersley (L) and Mark Tatum try a sampling of fruits
and vegetables at last week's Produce Fair at Hull-Sanford Elementary
School. The pair are students in Evelyn Wages kindergarten class.
The fair, presented by the school's nutrition program and Carolina
Produce, was used as a way to emphasis the importance of fruits
and vegetables, while introducing children to foods they probably
hadn't seen or tried before, according to school nutrition director
Laura Fair. After a short presentation, each child was given
a chance to taste a variety of fruits and vegetables.
County may issue
ban on water expansion
Madison County commissioners may issue a temporary ban on water
expansion in unincorporated areas of the county.
No action was taken on the matter at the BOC's Monday meeting,
but county commission chairman Wesley Nash scheduled a public
hearing on the issue for March 26 at 6 p.m.
The commissioners did not discuss the issue Monday, but after
the meeting Nash said that the proposed measure would halt the
development of private water systems until the county has established
proper guidelines on water expansion. He said county leaders
need to work with the fire departments on developing regulations.
The commissioners plan to attend the next zoning board meeting
Tuesday, March 6 at 6 p.m. in the county government complex to
discuss "water systems and ordinances."
A moratorium on water expansion could create conflict between
the county government and Colbert. The city of Colbert contracts
with a private firm, Piedmont Water, for water services. The
city already provides services to customers out of the city limits
and Mayor John Waggoner said Colbert is looking at expanding
its out-of-city water services.
The county recently established a water system in the Hull-Dogsboro
area and county leaders want to expand the customer base for
With both systems looking to expand, there is the issue of who
will control water development on the growing Hwy. 72 corridor.
While a moratorium may be in the works, the county industrial
authority and the BOC are also continuing work on an intergovernmental
agreement, which will, among other things, allow the industrial
board to represent the county in purchasing a water line maintained
by the Athens-Clarke County government in Hull. New county attorney
Mike Pruett said he is still researching whether the county can
delegate powers to the industrial authority.
Industrial authority chairman John Scoggins said the primary
purpose of the intergovernmental agreement is to allow the industrial
authority to provide residential water services in the county.
Currently, the authority can provide industrial and commercial
Waggoner spoke out against the proposed intergovernmental agreement,
calling it "very broad."
He said the arrangement under consideration will hurt municipal
water systems in the county.
"This stops cities from looking for sources outside of the
city," said Waggoner.
The mayor also said he feels the county's shared service delivery
strategies may need to be reviewed and revised. Two years ago
the state mandated that county and city governments outline how
they will work together to provide services to citizens.
on Guest settlement
Madison County commissioners settled a case Monday with a developer
who sued the county, but leaders are not yet releasing details
on what the settlement stipulated.
County commissioners met for over an hour in closed session Monday
before agreeing to approve a settlement with James Guest, who
filed suit against the county in September 1999, saying the BOC
illegally thwarted his planned 11-home development on Double
Branch Road. Guest sought "not less than $100,000"
in punitive damages.
New county attorney Mike Pruett said Tuesday that the settlement
has a "confidentiality clause." He said he could not
comment on what it entailed until the documents on the settlement
were complete. Pruett said he would be more "at liberty"
to discuss the case next week.
Guest could not be reached Tuesday for comment.
The Guest suit was not the only matter discussed by commissioners
in closed session Monday. The board discussed two other litigation
The commissioners talked about a letter from attorneys in Athens
who represent a Madison County child injured in a two-bus accident
last year on Hwy. 98. The letter threatens litigation against
the county government. The Madison County school system, not
the Madison County government, oversees bus operations in the
The board also discussed a letter from attorney Cynthia Weaver,
who represents former commissioner Ken Clark. The letter threatens
litigation over the legal fee issue. County commissioners voted
months ago not to pay some $2,600 in attorney's fees for Clark's
defense of a recall effort against him.
For the rest of this story, see this week's Madison County
A controversial zoning measure that would have opened the door
for a subdivision with approximately 50 lots off Hwy. 106 was
Phil Munro, a civil engineer representing owner Roger Glass of
Oconee Timber, asked the planning commission last week to recommend
that the board of commissioners rezone 65 acres near Moon's Grove
Road from A-2 (agricultural, five-acre minimum lot size) to R-1
(single family residential, one-acre lot minimum with a community
water source) in order to subdivide it into lots of one to one
and a half acres in size.
Numerous people attended last week's planning commission meeting
to oppose the proposal. And the meeting room of the Madison County
government complex was packed Monday night until the withdrawal
was announced and approximately half of those in attendance left.
Neighbors opposed the project based on water supply, sewage,
traffic and other concerns.
No announcement was made Monday on why the proposal was withdrawn.
In a separate zoning matter, the commissioners approved a request
from Wayne Crider to rezone 13.19 acres on Lem Edwards Road.
Crider wanted to rezone his land from A-2 (agricultural, five-
acre minimum) to R-R (rural residential, two-acre minimum) in
order to divide the parcel - which has been split previously
into two 6.5-acre lots, each with a home on it - into six, two-acre
parcels with one easement to serve those lots which will not
be adjacent to Lem Edwards Road.
Officials had a hard time determining whether Crider's request
was for one or two parcels of land, because the parcel was submitted
under one application since it is listed under a single tax identification
Kim Butler, zoning administrator, and Leo Smith, a frequent advisor
to the board on technical matters, said they felt the property
constituted two parcels of land.
This determination is significant because according to the zoning
ordinance, land falls under major subdivision regulations when
it is split into five lots or more of less than five acres each.
Crider said he always assumed the property was two tracts.
"Why they left it under the tax bill like that, I don't
know," said Crider.
Betty Veal, who lives across the street from Crider, spoke against
the proposal, saying she'd like to keep the area rural.
"When other people in the area attempted to put in mobile
homes, they had to set aside at least five acres," she said.
"I feel that should go for everyone."
In other zoning matters, the board turned down a request from
Marvin Reed for owner Emery Moore to rezone a 1.14-acre parcel
on Azalea Lane from A-2 to B-2 (business). Reed wanted to construct
three mini storage buildings on the lot. The proposal was opposed
by planners who said it was not in line with zoning of surrounding
areas. A motion for denial failed by a 3-2 vote failed, with
commissioners Bill Taylor and Johnny Fitzpatrick voting for denial
and commissioners Mike Youngblood, Melvin Drake and Bruce Scogin
voting against denial. A motion for approval then failed, with
Drake and Scogin voting for approval and Taylor, Fitzpatrick
and Youngblood voting for denial.
The commissioners postponed a request from William Henry Jones
to rezone 7.88 acres on Della Slayton Road from A-1 to R-R. The
board unanimously approved a request from Lamar Fortson to rezone
approximately four acres on Miller-McElreath Road from A-2 to
R-R. The commissioners also unanimously approved a request by
Alvin L. Wyatt for a a use variance and area variance on 3.43
acres on Kellogg Drive for continued use of existing home occupation
with expansion as accessory building.
Go to Madison
Public Meeting Dates
to keep the 'rural character' of county
Combating residential "sprawl" and protecting the county's
rural character were the focus points of last week's first of
two meetings on future land use.
Although Madison County is still dominated by agricultural lands,
residential development is on the rise, particularly in the Dogsboro
area, according to studies presented by the Northeast Georgia
Regional Development Center (RDC).
County residents filled the public meeting room of the county
complex Thursday night as updating the county's Comprehensive
Land Use Plan moved into its final stages, with an often spirited
discussion on controlling the county's growth for the next five
Determining just what the terms "high, medium, and low"
density mean and making - or not making - changes to the current
land use map will be the focus of the second part of the land
use meeting scheduled for this Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the
Some changes to the map could include labeling specific density
areas with clear borders, such as a major roads, for easier interpretation
by county planners.
According to representatives from the Regional Development Center,
who are hosting the series of meetings, citizens should also
consider other forms of residential areas to combat sprawl, such
as conservation subdivisions which utilize smaller acreage for
homesites and have designated open and recreational areas
that protect the natural surroundings.
For the complete story, see this week's Madison County Journal.
Couple faces arson
Sheriff's investigators arrested a Danielsville couple last week
after their doublewide mobile home, located on Lakeview Circle,
was destroyed by fire.
Danielsville and Ila Volunteer Fire Departments responded to
the fire on Friday, Feb. 23, at approximately 10 a.m. after a
passing motorist spotted the blaze and called 911.
Eddie Hicks, 39, and Janie Elizabeth Hicks, 41, were arrested
on one count each of arson in the first degree.
Both are out on bond and awaiting trial, according to Investigator
Cross said the inside of the home was completely destroyed and
that there appeared to be three points of origin of the fire;
two in back bedroom closets and one spot in the middle of another
bedroom. Lamp oil was the suspected fuel used.
Man, woman arrested
after allegedly stealing car at gunpoint
A Commerce man and woman face robbery, drug and weapons charges
after they were arrested Thursday.
The two suspects were apprehended at a residence at 1251 South
Elm Street for their alleged involvement in an armed robbery
and carjacking in Hull.
They were identified as Lee Marvin Stone, 28, and Tonya Smallwood,
According to a Madison County incident report, the two stole
a black 1990 Cadillac Seville from Lisa Martin after forcing
her off the Old Elberton Road at the Hull Volunteer Fire Department
Martin said a white male she identified as Stone had a handgun,
ordered her to give up the car and threatened to kill her when
According to the incident report, Stone fired a bullet, which
missed Martin's legs and went into the pavement. Meanwhile, a
white female, identified as "Tonya," confronted Danny
Cannon, a passenger in the vehicle.
Stone was charged with hijacking, two counts of aggravated assault,
criminal use of an article with an altered ID mark, possession
of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm
during the commission of a felony.
Smallwood faces one count of hijacking, two counts of aggravated
assault and a parole warrant.
Madison County sheriff Clayton Lowe said the victim and alleged
assailants were not strangers.
"This was not a random act," he said.