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Dam on Broad River is a bad idea
In a search for water, some Madison County officials have suggested
that a dam be constructed on Broad River to provide water Madison
and several bordering counties. I think this is a bad idea.
A travel story
As the world turned its eyes to the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996,
I crossed the Atlantic to see six countries in 30 days.
Girls' tennis squad wins 8-AAA crown; boys' team takes second.
The cards were stacked against them at times last week, but the
Madison County girls' varsity tennis team showed all aces in
winning their first ever Region 8-AAA title in Hartwell.
Gainesville man charged in bank robbery
A Gainesville man has been charged with the armed robbery Monday
of Regions Bank at Banks Crossing.
Joel Casey Ledford, 22, was arrested late Tuesday by the Banks
County Sheriff's Office. A hold has also been placed on him in
connection with the recent armed robbery of a bank in Murphy,
N.C. He is also a suspect in a recent bank robbery in Dawsonville.
Commissioners ask for change in zoning at Banks Crossing
The Banks County Planning Commission started its meeting Tuesday
by hearing a request from board of commissioners chairman Kenneth
Brady that the 19.35 acres the county owns behind the Banks Crossing
Wal-Mart be rezoned.
Landfill requests still on hold
Planners table rezonings for two landfills
Two landfill requests before the Jackson County Planning Commission
were tabled Thursday night.
The board of commissioners had asked the planning commission
to take another look at the request from Earth Resources for
a conditional use permit to locate a construction and demolition
landfill on 94.84 acres on Lanier Road that is zoned I-2.
Bear Creek Not Likely To Be Open On Time
The Group Building The Regional Reservoir Maintains It Is On
Schedule For July 1 Completion, But There Is Some Evidence To
The ContraryEver since construction began, the owners of the
regional $63 million Bear Creek reservoir and water treatment
project have insisted and been told that the project will be
completed on time.
The Madison County Journal
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GOING FOR A SLIDE
Heather Bridges, 10, of Ila, tries out the fun slide at the Ila
Bypass to go west
Local leaders met with DOT commissioner Tom Coleman Friday and
learned that the state is planning to construct the Danielsville
bypass west of the city.
"They definitely want to go to the west of Danielsville,"
said state representative Ralph Hudgens, who met with Coleman,
along with BOC chairman Wesley Nash and commissioners Bill Taylor
and Johnny Fitzpatrick. "It's virtually locked in."
Hudgens said the DOT has not determined a specific route, adding
that the department is still trying to determine how to route
the bypass around a number of historical sites on the proposed
Many county residents have spoken out against a west route, saying
a bypass on the east side of Danielsville would help alleviate
school traffic congestion.
Hudgens said the DOT's traffic counts show that a west side bypass
would handle many more cars a day than one on the east side.
The Friday meeting between Coleman and local officials included
other issues besides the Hwy. 29 bypass. The county officials
also sought funds for the widening of Neece-Commerce Road and
But Coleman turned down these requests. And he informed local
leaders that the county has been receiving too much from the
state for road projects.
He said the county should receive approximately $142,000 this
year from the state for road improvements. The county has received
three times that much from the DOT in recent years.
Coleman told local leaders that the previous DOT head Wayne Shackleford
made promises to local governments that cannot be kept.
"In speaking with commissioner Coleman, he stated that the
previous commissioner had $16 million of unfunded promises on
the books," said chairman Nash. "And some of those
promises were made to Madison County. And he (Coleman) stated
that he was not in a position to honor unfunded promises."
Coleman told local leaders that Madison County has already received
more than its alloted share of funds for road assistance this
year. But he did agree to provide more funds for the paving of
Johnny McElroy Road since the project is already under way.
request sent back to planners
Madison County commissioners sent a controversial zoning request
back to county planners last Wednesday.
Sarah Sartain appeared before the board of commissioners requesting
the rezoning of 6.08 acres on Tarpkins Road from A-2 to R-R to
subdivide into two parcels. Sartain originally planned to divide
the land into three parcels but amended her request due to considerable
opposition from nearby landowners.
The board held a lengthy discussion on whether it could accept
the amended plan or whether the zoning board should consider
the new proposal before the commissioners vote. The BOC voted
4-1 to let the planning commission hear the amended request,
with commissioner Bruce Scogin voting against this measure. Sartain's
request will be considered again by the planning commission in
This action followed a motion by commissioner Johnny Fitzpatrick
to approve the rezoning on the condition that one parcel be no
more than 3.99 acres and the other no more than 2.09 acres. This
was meant to ensure that Sartain would not divide the property
further to place additional homes on the site. This motion died
due to a lack of a second from other board members.
Sartain, who owns a number of mobile homes in the county, said
she does not intend to put rental homes on the property. But
she said she didn't feel the people in the area believe her.
A number of neighboring landowners spoke against Sartain's request,
pointing out that her proposal will cause drainage problems due
to the lay of the land. They said that two more homes in the
area could strain the water table. Concerns were voiced about
the type of people who might move onto the property. And those
against Sartain's plans said that approving the request would
damage the rural integrity of the area, in essence "changing
the community" for the worse.
"I don't believe this is compatible with what's in the area,"
said Brent Escoe, a neighboring resident.
Brenda Watkins, who lives across from Sartain's property, said
she could accept the proposal if Sartain intended to make personal
use of the land - such as building a home for herself or a family
member. But Watkins said she is disturbed by the fact that Sartain
doesn't plan to make such use of the property. And she maintained
that the rezoning would constitute spot zoning (zoning which
is out of character with surrounding areas).
Sartain said she was upset by suggestions that tenants in her
mobile homes aren't reputable. She said she feels she's doing
a service to the county and feels "sorry for people who've
got so much hate for renters."
"If it was left up to these people (opponents of the rezoning),
what would people do when they can't afford a house?" asked
Sartain. "They've got to rent."
For the rest of the story see this weeks Madison County Journal.
Relay for Life set
for this weekend
The Madison County Relay for Life will be held Friday and Saturday
May 4-5 at the track at the recreation department off Hwy. 98.
The Relay for Life is an annual event in Madison County to raise
money for the fight against cancer.
Here is a schedule of events:
11 a.m. Track opens for setup of campsites
5:30 p.m. Hospitality tent opens for cancer survivors, luminaria
sales begin, relay store opens, children's corral
6:30 pm. Opening ceremonies, Survivor's Lap, Caregiver Lap, Team
7:30 p.m. Relay for Life begins, Children's Corral, Giant Moonwalk
for children and adults (cost $3), Cancer Education/Advocacy,
Erica Conwell performs.
8:30 p.m. Entertainment
9 p.m. Gospel group
9:30 p.m. Luminaria service
10 p.m. 4th Day Band to perform, turn in "Best" awards
sheet to the accounting van
11 p.m. Games and recreation: limbo contest, biggest foot contest
and potato golf
11:30 p.m. "Miss Relay 2001 Contest"
12 a.m. Crowning of Miss Relay 2001, karaoke (signups at the
DJ booth), midnight pizza buffet, hairiest legs contest, interactive
1-2 a.m. Country music hour, line dancing, karaoke begins, three-legged
race, sack race and tater relay
2-3 a.m. Beach music hour, nutrition twister, hula hoop contest,
bubble gum blowing contest and shag contest
3-4 a.m. Swing/Latin music, "Do the Macarena" and limbo
5-6 a.m. "Best of the Best" music hour, pajama contest
and bad hair contest
6-7 a.m. Wake Up Little Suzy and 50s music, scavenger hunt begins
7-8 a.m. Breakfast, luminaria lap cleanup and newspaper fashion
8-9 a.m. Last of the games for the Relay bucks: Simon Says, jump
rope contest, water balloon toss, cross country skiing and Life
Saver relay. Turn in Relay bucks (each team needs to add how
much they have accumulated through the night).
9-9:30 a.m. Closing ceremonies and awards
9:30-10 a.m. Clean up campsite
Relay for Life organizers ask that teams "commit to being
at the relay and not tearing down your campsites until the relay
ends at 10 a.m."
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God and government
BOC approves resolution supporting Ten Commandments
R.W. Moore of Eastanollee is on a mission to get "God back
And he plans to approach commissioners in all 159 Georgia counties
to get leaders to support a resolution supporting the Ten Commandments.
Last Wednesday, Madison County commissioners unanimously approved
that resolution (see box). It was the second Georgia county -
Franklin County was the first - to approve Moore's request.
"I believe if we had prayer and the Ten Commandments back
in schools, we would not have the trouble with school shootings
and armed guards in our schools that we have now," Moore
told commissioners. "...For almost 200 years we did not
have school shootings, but we had the Ten Commandments and prayer
in schools. Our country was the greatest country on earth."
Moore said the U.S. Constitution supports his resolution. He
pointed out that the First Amendment states that Congress shall
make no law "prohibiting" the free exercise of religion.
County attorney Mike Pruett advised the board that having the
Ten Commandments on display must be justified by a "secular
purpose and not simply to promote a religious purpose."
"A resolution like this could undermine the county's ability
to articulate and assert that there was no religious intent,"
"We, the below signed sitting commission of Madison County,
in consideration of our biblical history of Georgia, both in
constitution and devotional activities in our heritage, hereby
acknowledge the importance of the Ten Commandments of almighty
God and wish to go on record in support of this magnificent document
and state that we will defend our right to display to the limit
of our ability, against all enemies, domestic and foreign, public
"In enacting this resolution, we hereby petition the God
of Heaven to preserve the peace which he has so graciously extended
to us by our ancient acknowledgement of the Ten Commandments
and beg his continued protection and alleviation of ills which
come to those who forget him and his law."