News from Madison County...

May 23, 2001


Madison County
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OPINIONS
Frank Gillespie
'We intend to get our flag back'

A most important word to all Americans is sovereignty. Why? Because that word carries within it the authority of governments to make decisions for us.

Zach Mitcham
BOE should reinstate Kesler

Everyone knows coaches take the heat. But it's still an awful shock to see one get burned in a bad way, particularly after a stellar season.


SPORTS
Raiders to hold Friday scrimmage

The Madison County varsity football team will hold an intrasquad scrimmage in Raider Stadium Friday at 7:30 p.m. to conclude the squad's two-week spring practice session.

MCHS soccer players recognized
Madison County soccer players were recognized at a Sunday banquet for their achievements during the 2001 season.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Chigger Mountain saw mill burns
Chigger Mountain Saw Mill, on Yonah-Homer Road in northwest Banks County, burned to the ground Friday afternoon.

Upcoming seniors score higher than state average on grad test
Banks County juniors scored higher than the state average in every subject on the high school graduation test.



News from...
JACKSON
Salute to 'The Greatest Generation' planned Friday
More than 100 Jackson County veterans who served during World War II, known as "The Greatest Generation," will be among those honored at a special Memorial Day program planned for Friday.

BOC seeks sit-down with BOEs, fire districts
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners agreed Monday night to seek joint meetings with two other groups.


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SHOWING OFF THE MOVES

Crystal Mosko and Larry Hardy show off their dance moves at the Madison County prom Saturday night at the Athens Classic Center. See this week's Madison County Journal for more prom pictures.



BOC focuses on courthouse renovation
What to do in the long run with the grand old building in the center of Danielsville remains to be seen, but the fog cleared a little Monday on what the near future may hold for Madison County's historic court-house.
No decisions were finalized, but BOC chairman Wesley Nash told commissioners and a small audience Monday that he'd like to see the county provide local organizations use of office space in the old courthouse if they agree to renovate the room they use. The chairman said he'd like to see organizations work on a five-year plan, in which lease is free for the group for five years, provided they work on restoring a portion of the courthouse.
The Broad River Watershed Association has requested office space in the building and there's been talk of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce moving into the old courthouse since the Strickland House, where the Chamber is currently housed, is slated to be moved across Hwy. 98 due to a planned road-widening project.
Nash also said he'd like to solicit the help of people in the county with knowledge of restoring old structures, including one man he said who had offered to work on the courthouse for free.
The chairman said the downstairs of the courthouse could be renovated without too much trouble. It's the upstairs, he said, where more restoration problems may arise.
Pat Segraves, who heads the county's courthouse restoration committee which raised money for a new roof for the structure, said he was not opposed to short-term use of the county courthouse as office space. However, he voiced concern that renovations done in a piecemeal manner by many different people could jeopardize the historic integrity of the building.
"We don't need to overlook the fact that we have a historically unique structure," said Segraves. "I'd like to do it in a way that we maintain that integrity."
Nash said he would like to know to what time period the courthouse should be restored - the 20s, 30s, 50s, etc.
"When you talk about renovation are you going back to gas lamps?" Nash asked Segraves.
Segraves said the courthouse could have modern amenities that do not damage the historical integrity of the building. He pointed out that there were over 20 fireplaces in the building when it was built and said that, of course, going back to that wouldn't be prudent.
"We'd like to have it historically restored back as close as feasible," said Segraves.
Commissioner Bruce Scogin emphasized that the first priority of the restoration project should be completing any rewiring or any other work that might require tearing down walls, etc. so that the county is never put in a situation where it needs to remove renovated areas.
Also on Monday, the board agreed to tour the old courthouse. No date has been set yet, but Nash said the public will be encouraged to attend.
"We need to get the board involved," said Nash. "We need to get the public involved. We need to get going on this project."


Hull Festival set for Saturday
The third annual Hull Spring Festival gets under way this Saturday.
The festivities begin at 7 a.m. with a 5K Fun Run beginning at Joy Baptist Church on Glenn Carrie Road. According to organizers, approximately 70 runners have signed up for this event.
A parade gets under way at 10 a.m. This year's Grand Marshall is Madison County Sheriff Clayton Lowe.
Immediately following the parade, there will be a Scripture reading by the Rev. Randy Crowe of Hull Baptist Church and a prayer offered by the Rev. Barry Black of Joy Baptist Church. Cory Adair will sing the National Anthem.
Special speakers will be on hand at 11 a.m., including Lowe, Hull Mayor B.W. Hutchins, county commissioners, Tax Commissioner Louise Watson, Probate Judge Donald "Hoppy" Royston, Magistrate Judge Harry Rice, Superior Court Clerk Michelle Strickland, Danielsville Mayor Glenn Cross, and Colbert Mayor John Waggoner.
Entertainment will include a gospel singing to be held from noon to 3 p.m. featuring: The Songsters, Billy Fowler Band, Plain Gospel, Cory Adair, Paul Whitfield, Jason Murray, James Hunter and Joe Tapley.
Door prizes will be given out throughout the singing, with two special grand prize drawings to be held at 3 p.m. (You must be present to win.)
Grand prizes are a $100 gift certificate from Ingles and a $100 gift certificate from Shell Kwik Chek.
Other attractions include an antique car show, craft booths and food vendors.


Madison County's Fine Finish showcases new facility
Fine Finish, officially known as the Madison County Service Center, proudly presented its new larger facility to the county last Sunday afternoon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and two-hour Open House, sponsored by the local Pilot Club.
Director Bailey Grimes welcomed everyone to the new facility, which clients and staff moved into a couple of months ago.
He gave special thanks to the Pilot Club, which he said has sponsored various events at Fine Finish over the years, including an annual Christmas Party for staff and clients. Grimes presented a plaque to club president Annette Rowland.
Plaques of appreciation were also presented to Century South Bank for their donation of computers for a computer lab as well as a financial donation, and the Williams Company for their help in moving equipment and furnishings to the new facility.
Staff members at Fine Finish include: Grimes, Judy Vaughn, Wanda King, Darlene Adams, Louise Shivers, Catherine Browner, Margie Fitzpatrick, Jackie Pinkney, Shelia Bridges and Beth Stiles.
Opened in 1978, the Fine Finish staff serves 51 adults with mental and physical handicaps. Twenty-two of those receive in-house training and supervision at the facility each day, with the remainder involved with supervised work programs that are contracted by local restaurants or other places of work. Those unable to leave their homes are served through the facility's homebound program.


 


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Kesler dismissed as softball coach
Doug Kesler is no longer Madison County High School's fast-pitch softball coach.
The county school board voted 5-0 last Tuesday not to retain Kesler as coach, despite the recommendation by the MCHS principal, athletic director and school superintendent to keep him in the job.
BOE member John Mason said the dismissal was "an accumulation of stuff I can't go into." He said the issue was a personnel matter and couldn't be discussed in the open.
Board Chairman Robert Haggard said Kesler's removal as softball coach - he keeps his other duties - was based "primarily on discipline issues that parents felt weren't handled equitably." He would not offer specifics on any issues considered in the dismissal. However, the chairman added that Kesler's termination as coach was not based on any alleged criminality.
Haggard said he had spoken with Kesler last week after the dismissal and realized there were communication problems between the coach, the board and parents.
"There were issues that came up over the last two years that we thought had been addressed that hadn't," said Haggard. "It's a matter of getting some issues talked through."
Haggard added that he is not opposed to Kesler continuing to coach.
"Provided we get these issues resolved, I don't have a problem with him being the coach," said Haggard.
Kesler, who was named Athens Newspapers' Northeast Georgia Fast-Pitch Softball "Coach of the Year" last week, had no comment on his dismissal. Kesler's fast-pitch teams have gone 72-27 over the past three seasons.


To read more about the local events in Madison County, including births, weddings, sports news and school news, see this week's Madison County Journal.