News from Madison County...

June 13, 2001


Madison County
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OPINIONS
Frank Gillespie
Food stamp recipients shouldn't eat like millionaires

Let me set the scene for you. Two people came up to a register at an area supermarket. In their cart they had two packs of snow crab claws, enough for one meal each.

Zach Mitcham
Public gambling good, private gambling bad?

Gambling is grimy. And those with an interest in gambling have one primary interest - themselves.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Ron's Pizza claims Junior American Division Championship
Ron's Pizza defeated the Royston Yankees 6-1 and the Lumberjacks 10-6 recently to end the year at 10-4 and claim the Junior League American Division Championship.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Baldwin mobile home park approved
The Baldwin City Council agreed in a 3-1 vote Monday night to approve the controversial rezoning request of Sterling Investment Partners to develop an "upscale" 172-unit mobile home park on Charlie Davis Road.

Banks students must leave cell phones at home
Banks County students will no longer be able to carry cellular phones or pagers to school, according to a new policy passed by the board of education Monday night.



News from...
JACKSON COUNTY
Maysville holds closed meeting for 'personnel'
The Maysville City Council met in closed session for two and a half hours Thursday night for a "specific personnel matter."

Grimes Suspected Of Embezzlement
The man who was Commerce's top law enforcement officer for 14 years until his death June 1 is now suspected of embezzling thousands of dollars from the city of Commerce.


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BUBBLES AND MORE BUBBLES

Brock Compton, 6, was just one of many kids making bubbles fly on the lawn of the Madison County Library last week during the library's vacation reading program kick-off event, "Bubbles, chalk and jump rope."


Chamber to locate office in old county courthouse
Madison County commissioners approved office space in the old county courthouse for the Chamber of Commerce Monday night. The Chamber agreed to a five-year lease for use of the old probate judge's office and adjoining space.
The Madison County Heritage Foundation and the Broad River Watershed Association may be next on the list for locating offices in the old county landmark.
The commissioners will meet Monday at 8 p.m. in the county government complex to discuss the courthouse restoration.
BOC chairman Wesley Nash said he believes the courthouse can be renovated - both the first floor interior and the exterior of the building - for approximately $150,000 with the help of volunteers and inmates.
"I think we can do it for 10 percent of the cost of what it would be contracting," said Nash. "And I think it is going to get done."
Nash's plan calls for civic groups and organizations to play an active role in restoration. Groups approved for space in the courthouse will be expected to renovate the portion of the building they use.
Restoration of the exterior of the courthouse will be handled primarily by state inmates. The board renewed a contract with Whitworth Probation Detention Center for 12 inmates for approximately $31,000 to handle trash pickup on county property. Nash also wants to contract with the prison for another crew of 12 inmates to work on courthouse renovations, but no final decision was made on that proposal Monday.
The transition of the Chamber from the historic Strickland house to the courthouse was necessitated by the state's plans to widen Hwy. 98. The Strickland house encroaches on the state right of way and tentative plans are to move the house to the other side of the road.
Chamber chairman Roger Tench told commissioners that the Chamber needs to move offices soon because the Strickland house has a leak problem and sinking money into repairs wouldn't be wise if the house must be moved.
Heritage Foundation President Jennie Ruth Echols also addressed the commissioners, saying the Heritage Foundation would like to have an office in the old courthouse if the commissioners choose to use the building for office space.
"...We would like to be considered for space in the old courthouse if and when it becomes available for occupancy by civic groups and-or organizations," said Echols. "...We realize that work remains to be done on the exterior plus needed work on the inside. This will take time, a lot of work, money and cooperation of all interested parties."
She added: "It is hoped that the restoration will continue in a manner that will make Madison County's greatest architectural treasure a source of great pride for our county."


Citizens oppose moving Hull well
The Hull City Council may have to abandon its plans to move an historic well cover to a new location near city hall after hearing from a number of citizens at Monday night's council meeting who like it just where it is.
The council voted to table a decision on the matter until the July council meeting to give citizens more time to express their opinions on the subject and so that councilman Mark Cronic, who was absent at Monday night's meeting, could be present.
The well, located at the corner of Hwy. 72 and Glenn Carrie Road, has been cause for debate for some time. The council has often discussed the need to fill in the well for safety reasons, fearful that some child might venture too near, scramble under the cover and fall in.
But according to Mayor B.W. Hutchins, the new Golden Pantry going in next to the well will now be required by the health department to fill it in since septic drain lines were placed too near the structure to leave it open.
The council voted unanimously last month to go ahead with plans to move the superstructure surrounding the well to a site near the city hall building on the Old Elberton Road.
But Janie Burroughs, Eddie Mae England and Bud Christian came before the council to ask that the well stay where it has been for "over 100 years." Hutchins also read a letter from Hull Festival Committee chairman O.P. Jones stating that "all of the Hull Spring Festival committee would like to see it (the well) left where it is."
"The well is all of Hull's history that's left," Jones wrote. The festival committee, which uses funds from the yearly event for beautification projects, cleaned the site and planted flowers around the well cover since the festival was held at the end of May.
"It won't be the same if it's moved from where people (passing through) can see it on the highway," Burroughs said.
"The well is Hull," England agreed.
Christian added: "If it doesn't have to be moved, we don't want it to be."
Councilwoman Rebecca Hutchins said she and the mayor had heard from a number of people by phone who do not want the well moved.
"We need to hear all sides and give the total council a chance to decide on the matter," Mayor Hutchins said.
In other business, the council:
·asked England to obtain prices on light poles and fixtures for the council to have for review.
·tabled a decision on whether or not to pay the $296 yearly dues to the Georgia Municipal Association.
·heard from Mayor Hutchins that a copy of the county's comprehensive plan will be located at city hall for review.
·agreed to pay Lawrence Tolbert $150 for lawn maintenance. Tolbert's actual fee was $300 for 12 hours of work at $25 per hour, but he cut the price in half as a gift to the Hull Festival committee.


Wrecks claim three lives
A Danielsville woman died and three people were seriously injured in a two-car collision on Hwy. 98 about two miles west of Danielsville Wednesday shortly after noon.
And a Hull man and his son were killed in a Hwy. 330 accident in Jackson County Wednesday afternoon.
Angela Dye, 68, was killed when the west-bound Toyota Corolla she was a passenger in collided with an east-bound Toyota Camry driven by Linda Cheek of Danielsville.
Cheek and Mildred Reeves of Danielsville, a passenger in the Camry, were seriously injured in the wreck, along with Dye's husband, William, who was driving the Corolla.
Four Madison County ambulances responded to the accident and transported the victims to Athens Regional Medical Center and St. Mary's Hospital.
The accident happened in the east-bound lane, but the state patrolman investigating the wreck said the incident is still under investigation and that more details could not be released.
HWY. 330 WRECK
Allen Stephen Kline Sr., 46, Hull, and his son, Allen Stephen Kline Jr., 20, Hull, were killed in the wreck. Both of the victims were in the front seat. A third person, John A. Dooley, 19, Athens, was transported to Athens Regional Medical Center with visible injuries.
According to trooper Mark Cox of the Georgia State Patrol's Gainesville office, the younger Kline was driving a 1989 Ford Bronco II east-bound on Hwy. 330 toward Hwy. 129 from Winder at 4:50 p.m. He reportedly lost control of the vehicle in a curve due to weather conditions, ran off the north shoulder of the road and overturned down a 20-to-30 foot embankment before hitting a tree.



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Wymbs case may open next week
Prosecutors hope to open the trial of Albert Wymbs next week.
Wymbs, of Creekwood Drive in Hull, was charged with the November 1996 stabbing death of Angela Harris in her parents' home near the Clarke County line off Hwy. 106 in Madison County.
District attorney Bob Lavender was in court this week and could not be reached for comment, but the DA's office said they intend to open the case next week, with jurors reporting on Monday and Wednesday. However, "nothing has been set in stone," they added.
According to law enforcement officials, Wymbs and Harris had gone to school together. Wymbs, a longtime suspect in the case, was arrested in August of last year after investigators conducted new interviews and corroborated evidence discovered after the murder.


County may seek Commerce water
The City of Commerce may soon provide water to a small section of Madison County.
The Madison County Industrial Authority plans to discuss the possibility of Commerce providing water to the Black's Creek Church Road area at its 3:30 p.m. Thursday meeting.
Madison County Industrial Authority Chairman John Scoggins said the authority has not decided whether it will seek Commerce water.
"We want to move forward slowly and cautiously," said Scoggins.
At its Monday night meeting, the Commerce City Council authorized City Manager Clarence Bryant and his staff to meet with Madison County officials trying to help citizens in the Blacks Creek Road area get drinking water.
What's happened, says Bryant, is that residents in the Blacks Creek area have asked the Madison County Board of Commissioners to ask Commerce to extend water lines to the area after their wells ran dry or became unreliable.
"I'm looking for direction," Bryant told the council. "Do y'all want us to serve anyone in Madison County?"
Bryant's proposal is that if Madison County officials give the go-ahead and if the city can recoup its investment in 10 years or less, that Commerce amend an ongoing contract to construct the lines.
Councilman Sam Brown noted that Commerce will soon lose water sales to Jackson County, which will be served by the Bear Creek Reservoir.
"We need to do whatever we can to replace those customers," he said.
Bryant agreed. "Outside-the-city residential customers are our best (most profitable) customers," he said.


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.