News from Madison County...

April 11, 2001


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OPINIONS

Frank Gillespie
Schools should not ban Southern emblems

The drive to punish anyone who takes pride in his or her Southern heritage has expanded to the Georgia school system. In several schools, students who wear clothing with Confederate emblems have been suspended or ordered to stop wearing the emblems.

Zack Mitcham
Thinking about the Braves
My most vivid Braves memories prior to 1991 included some less than stellar moments. There was the time Claudell Washington charged the mound with his bat in hand against Mario Soto of the Cincinnati Reds. Soto hurled the ball at Washington as he raced to the mound but missed and nailed the umpire instead.
There was the time the Braves and Padres fought all night.


SPORTS

Raiders split contests over the week, stay at .500 mark

The diamond Raiders neither gained nor lost ground during the week, topping Jackson County and Eastside 5-0 and 9-7, while falling to Winder and Stephens County 5-4 and 2-0.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Man killed in shooting
A 36-year-old man died early Tuesday morning after reportedly being shot in an apparent domestic dispute late Monday night in Banks County.

BOC tables flag vote
Large crowd debates merits of proposed flag. Banks Countians wanting some resolution to the flag proposal left the board of commissioners meeting Tuesday night disappointed.



News from...
JACKSON COUNTY
Third landfill request goes to county
Rezoning to be on April 26 planning commission agenda.
A third rezoning request from developers trying to locate a landfill in Jackson County will go before the planning commission at its April meeting.

Split Council Endorses Duplex Development
The Commerce City Council was split 4-2, but a Mississippi developer Monday night won the city's endorsement for a project that could place up to 150 units of duplexes on Georgia 98 at the U.S. 441 bypass.


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FEEDING A GIANT

Roberts Brothers performer Marcie Hanley of Pennsylvania feeds Boo the Elephant during the circus at the Comer Fairgrounds Friday evening.




Where the lines are drawn
County leaders want the state to include all of Madison County, Oglethorpe County and part of Clarke County in one district in the state House of Representatives when new district lines are drawn this summer.
And the board of commissioners agreed Monday to pass a resolution to voice that request to state legislators. The board also agreed to ask that Madison County "be combined with other similar counties" in the new state Senate district and that the county be grouped with Athens-Clarke County in the new U.S. Congressional district.
Rep. Ralph Hudgens warned county commissioners Monday that Madison County could be divided into as many as five state House districts.
"I'd like to keep Madison County together as a unit," said Hudgens. "And I'd like to combine it with a complete county."
BOC chairman Wesley Nash suggested the county be grouped with Oglethorpe and part of Clarke County. Hudgens agreed that this would be a good plan.
"There are a lot of similarities between the three of us," said Nash, pointing out that none of the three counties have interstates. "We are tied in to Clarke County, but we are also very similar to Oglethorpe."
Districts are redrawn after every census and the latest numbers show that House districts must include approximately 45,000 people.



Debate continues on county water management issue
The debate continued Monday on whether the Madison County commissioners should give more power to the Industrial Authority in handling county water services.
Those interested in the matter recognize that the issue will help determine how the growing southern section of the county develops.
After a lengthy talk the board took no action on approving an intergovernmental agreement which will give the industrial authority the responsibility of providing water and sewer services to customers in unincorporated areas of the county. (See box for terms of the contract).
The matter will be discussed again at the board's next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, in the county government complex.
Proponents of the plan say the agreement will help the county "avoid duplication of water services" - such as having two lines where one will suffice - while helping the county speed up the process of providing water and sewer services.
Colbert mayor John Waggoner has spoken against the agreement as well as the proposed purchase of water lines from Clarke County and a proposed temporary ban on installation of water systems in unincorporated areas in the county.
"It's too much power to place in the hands of an unelected board," said Waggoner of the proposed intergovernmental agreement.
Others shared his feelings.
Realtor Bill Fleeman has repeatedly voiced dismay with the proposal, saying it's a "heavy power grab." He also said the people of Madison County have not spoken in support of a "multi-million dollar enterprise." And he suggested that the county hold a referendum before proceeding on major water projects. Fleeman has also asked for a referendum to disband the water authority, saying it already has too much power, such as the authority to issue bonds and sell land.
But industrial authority chairman John Scoggins said the county held a referendum in 1966 in which 75 percent of the voters approved the creation of an industrial authority with its current powers. He pointed out that the commissioners may kick members of the industrial authority off the board at any time with a majority vote.
For the rest of this story, see this weeks Madison County Journal.




Men save teen from suicide attempt
Two landscape workers saved a life Monday afternoon by rescuing a juvenile hanging victim.
Rick Herring and James McElroy were working on the lawn of a house on Glenn Carrie Road when the teenage victim climbed a tree and attempted to hang himself from a limb.
McElroy and Herring drove their front end loader across the road and used the bucket to lift themselves up to the young man's position. McElroy lifted the teen, relieving the pressure on his neck. Herring cut the rope, then lowered the victim into the bucket.
The victim was awake and talking as he was loaded into the ambulance. The two men were shaken by the event.
"I am just glad we were able to keep him alive," McElroy said.



Looney pleads guilty to perjury
John Barry Looney of Bogart, who was accused of helping Randy Gordon murder Raymond Conway in 1984, pled guilty to a perjury charge.
According to court documents, the charge of murder was reduced to perjury.
Gordon was convicted of the murder and and is serving a life sentence. His attempts for a new trial have been unsuccessful.

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Easter Egg hunt set for Saturday
The 14th Annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held Saturday, April 14, at the Madison County Recreation Department at 2 p.m. The egg hunt is free of charge and is open to all children ages 8 and under.
Children will be divided into four age divisions: 2 and under, 3-4 year olds, 5-6 year olds and 7-8 year olds. There will be over 3,000 eggs and 100 prizes.
In case of inclement weather, the rain date is Sunday, April 22. For more information, call the recreation department at 795-2182.



Cleveland Indians call up Westbrook
Former Madison County Raider pitching standout Jake Westbrook is set for his second tour of duty in the big leagues.
The Cleveland Indians called up the 23-year-old right-hander from AAA Buffalo Monday night to replace Indians reliever Steve Woodard, who sustained an injured right elbow during the team's 9-2 loss to Chicago.
Westbook had only made one appearance this season for the Bisons before getting the call, going 5.1 innings, surrendering four hits and two runs, while striking out six in picking up a win.
Westbrook's second trip to the major leagues will see him donning a new uniform.
The pitcher appeared in three games last summer for the New York Yankees, compiling an 0-2 record and a 13.50 ERA before being dealt to the Cleveland organization July 24.
Though this is only his sixth year in professional baseball, Westbrook has been well traveled in his brief career. Originally a first-round pick with the Colorado Rockies in 1996, he was dealt to the Montreal farm system before his stopover with the New York organization. Nearly a month after being sent back down to the minors by the Yankees, the club then swapped him to the Indians in a deal that sent power hitter David Justice to New York.
Westbrook, who grew up in Danielsville, holds three pitching records from his days as a Red Raider from 1994-1996, including lowest career ERA at 1.37.