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The strange new world of the Web
It has become a strange new world out there.
In the past, a local writer like myself would receive feedback
from friends and neighbors. Because most of them know me, they
judged my comments based on my history.
Gwinnett County churches have it figured out
Churches in Gwinnett County have figured
out something our churches have not. They've found a foolproof
way to earn money and provide a service to the community.
Diamond Raiders down Cedar Shoals 4-1 in season opener
The Madison County baseball team not only had
to battle Cedar Shoals in their season opener, they also had
to combat frostbite.
But the diamond Raiders picked up a 4-1 win over the Jaguars
Monday night in "chilly" temperatures that more suggested
mid-January basketball than diamond action.
New flag on its way?
Citizens pick flag amidst opposition Banks County voters may
have chosen a county flag. But officials have yet to release
the final tally.
SPLOST comes before county voters March 20
Banks County voters will go to the polls
on March 20 to cast their ballots on extending the special purpose
local option sales tax (SPLOST) for five more years.
Nicholson: 6-Minute Meeting Avoids Zoning Issue
NICHOLSON -- The mayor and city council managed
to conduct a six-minute meeting Monday night at which they once
again avoided the dreaded issue of zoning.
Reservoir operations set for July 1 opening
With the project still on schedule for operation by July 1 and
still within budget, the group building the Bear Creek Reservoir
is beginning to focus on peripheral details.
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WAVING THE FLAG
Nancy Sizemore of Ila and her 2-year-old daughter Montanya
attended Saturday's flag rally at the Madison County government
complex. The rally was moved from the old courthouse square to
the Superior Courtroom due to bad weather.
Cowne named superintendent
Keith Cowne is Madison County's new school superintendent.
He will begin working with the school system April 1.
The terms of his contract were not available as of press time
because Cowne was not scheduled to sign the contract until today
Cowne, who has served as Jackson High School principal since
1995, was unanimously approved by the county school board Tuesday
night. The new superintendent was not on hand for the BOE meeting
due to a Star Student banquet at Jackson High School.
Cowne was scheduled to tour county schools before meeting with
the public in the high school media Wednesday afternoon.
The new school head said he is excited about coming to Madison
"I look forward to the opportunity to come to a fine community
like Madison County," said Cowne. "I'm anxious to build
on the positive strengths I know exist currently."
Cowne also said he wants to "alleviate concerns about finances."
The Madison County school board was forced to borrow money and
raise taxes significantly this past fall to cover school expenses.
Both the BOE and former superintendent Dr. Dennis Moore, who
resigned in September, were criticized by citizens who felt the
leaders handled taxpayer money irresponsibly.
Board members have expressed a desire to "move forward"
and put the financial troubles in the past. And Tuesday's hiring
was seen by BOE members as a major step in that direction.
All five school board members had very positive things to say
about Cowne Tuesday. They described him as "personable,"
"businesslike," "professional," "knowledgeable"
Board member Elaine Belfield said the BOE was thorough in checking
"He's qualified and stable," said Belfield. "I
think he'll stay with us and I think we'll grow with him....Everywhere
he has been, he has made it better."
She added that everyone on the board "had the same opinion"
- that Cowne was the man for the job.
"And that was important after what we've been through,"
BOE member John Mason said he was pleased with the decision.
"We're looking forward to getting him in here," said
Mason. "We're pleased with the interviews and how this has
gone. I think once people meet him they'll be pleased."
Cowne and Dalton High School principal Mike Stanton were the
two finalists for the job.
Rally held to support
Anger voiced at those who voted for change
The old Georgia flag is not going away - at least not if those
at the flag rally in Danielsville Saturday have their way.
The St. Andrew's cross was everywhere Saturday, on cars and trucks,
on bandannas, shirts, hats, belt buckles, posters and at the
end of a flag pole held by a Civil War re-enactor.
The crowd that filled the courtroom Saturday was outraged by
the recent change of the state flag and they cheered loudly for
speakers who shared their views.
Rep. Ralph Hudgens gave a rundown of how the bill to change the
flag was rushed through the General Assembly. Many have frowned
on Governor Roy Barnes, saying he bribed legislators by promising
state funds for local projects in exchange for a vote to change
Some made their anger known Saturday by wearing T-shirts which
read: "Georgia's one-term Governor."
"This was the most corrupt way to approach an issue I've
ever seen," said Hudgens. "...You can blame it on the
Governor. He removed the flag, which is our heritage."
Speaker John Campbell and others said there are elements of communism
in the flag change.
"They don't want a new compromise flag," said Campbell
of those who pushed for the change. "What they really want
is a hammer and sickle and red background."
Campbell added: "History can be revised. And if you don't
know where you came from, you don't know where you're going.
And we're going to a one-world, socialist global tyranny."
Tom Pickett of the Council of Conservative Citizens said, "If
we don't rise as a people to fight the totalitarian, socialist
Governor of ours, we are lost."
He said there are some good Democrats, but that there is a "core
of them who are anti-God."
"This enemy is powerful, but they don't have the power we
have - Jesus Christ," said Pickett.
Rep. Alan Powell of Hartwell said the state is seeing the "abolition
of Southern heritage for the sake of political correctness."
"What changed the state flag was the big business community
of this state," said Powell. "We shouldn't be ashamed
of what happened in history. To strip people of love of heritage
is not right."
Powell also said the state is changing. He said he is worried
about the influence of Atlanta after redistricting in the General
Assembly this summer.
"You'll see the metro area in control of a majority of the
legislative seats," said Powell. "And that scares the
hell out of me, 'cause their thoughts and views are different
He added: "Things are not going well for the rural people
Go to Madison
Public Meeting Dates
Woman forced into
trunk by carjackers
A woman was abducted at gunpoint as she exited her car in the
yard of her Belhaven Lane home at 1 a.m. Wednesday morning.
According to a press release from the Madison County Sheriff's
Department, two suspects followed the victim from Athens and
as she got out of her car she was confronted by the armed suspects,
placed in the trunk of her car and driven around for a short
period until spotted by a Madison County deputy on patrol on
Fortson's Store Road. The suspect's vehicle continued, failing
to stop, until it turned on Kevin Way, then Bedford Drive, where
both suspects fled the car on foot.
The deputy located the victim in the trunk of her car, shaken,
but otherwise unharmed.
The Madison County Sheriff's Department and the Georgia Bureau
of Investigation are searching for the suspects.
better' after stroke
Board of Commission District 1 representative Bill Taylor suffered
a stroke on Sunday afternoon, according to BOC chairman Wesley
Nash said Taylor was hospitalized Sunday afternoon after suffering
the stroke while feeding his cows.
"He's doing better," Nash said, adding that Taylor
was expected to be released from the hospital either Tuesday
afternoon or Wednesday morning.
goals discussed at joint meeting
Decisions that county leaders make in the next six months could
have an impact on the county for the next 20 years, according
to Industrial Authority chairman John Scoggins.
Scoggins spoke to Board of Commission, Planning and Zoning, and
Industrial Authority members at a Tuesday night work session
of the three boards laying out both short-and-long term goals
of the Authority.
The Authority has four major goals to accomplish within the next
six months: the purchase of the Hull water system owned by Athens-Clarke
County (ACC), completing the acquisition of a backup well (Well
#2) which was mistakenly drilled partly on land owned by Billy
Chandler, approval of ordinances and policies for the water system
and hiring staff to provide services such as billing and meter
Scoggins said plans are for the Madison County water system to
be operational by July 1, 2001.
Purchase of the ACC-owned lines that run along Hwy. 72 through
a portion of Hull and the south side of Glenn Carrie Road will
give the county water system access to the important Hwy. 72
commercial and industrial growth corridor.
"The fact that there are 180 residential water customers
(in that system) is incidental," Scoggins said.
The purchase, when finalized, will be paid for with a GEFA loan
and paid back with revenue generated from water sales - not tax
money, he emphasized.
The Authority's current charter, written in 1966, does not clearly
give it the authority to serve residential water customers -
and this will need to be worked out in a contract with the BOC,
he added. But the charter does provide for "a broad range
of powers" making it responsible for commercial and industrial
development in the county. Scoggins said the Industrial Authority's
creation was approved in the 1966 election by 75 percent of voters.
For the rest of this story, see this week's Madison County