News from Madison County...

August 15, 2001


Madison County
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OPINIONS
Ben Munro
Hopefully Richt can drag UGA fans out of the past

Dearly departed coach Jim Donnan once said of Bulldog fans that he'd "never seen people so stuck in the past like they are around here."


Frank Gillespie
Do you believe in karma?

Do you believe in karma? This element of many Eastern religions holds that any action you take will always affect your future. When you misbehave, you create bad karma. When you do positive things, you create good karma.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Raiders ready to bring on the heat
Despite loss of eight seniors, softball Raiders look for success in 2001. Raider softball coach Doug Kesler hopes that success will be a hard habit for his team to break, even with a different cast of players this year.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Poultry growers plead for legislative support
Poultry farmers from Banks, Jackson and other Georgia counties met with the Georgia House of Representatives agriculture subcommittee last week to plead for passage of a bill that would end what they say are unfair practices in the industry.

New 911 address signs to be available
The Banks County 911 department is getting ready to offer new address signs to the public to be placed on their property.



News from...
JACKSON COUNTY
Spring test results finally reported
Students in the Jackson County and City of Jefferson elementary schools generally scored above the state averages on the new Stanford 9 standardized testing last spring, but eighth graders in the county system came in below the state and national averages.

GBI: Acting Alone, Chief Stole $269,000
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has closed its inquiry into the embezzlement of traffic forfeitures and has concluded that, acting alone, former police chief George Grimes stole $269,779 from Jan. 1, 1994, to the date of his death, June 1, 2001.


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CLOSE CALL

A Danielsville woman received only a minor injury from this wreck with a tractor trailer on Hwy. 29 last Thursday afternoon, Aug. 9. Wanda Sue Daniels, 50, of Danielsville, was traveling south on Hwy. 29 when she attempted to turn left into Country Line Produce just inside the Madison County line. A USF Holland tractor trailer, driven by William Gene Chester, 48, also traveling south, hit Daniels' 1991 Dodge Caravan in the rear with his right front fender. He braked, causing the tractor trailer to skid. The van slid back across the road from the impact, lodging in the trailer's side. Daniels was treated at the scene with a minor laceration to her leg. Two children, ages 11 and 6, who were passengers in the van, were not injured.

The battle over districts
Local legislators say proposed districts are power play by Democrats.
Neither of Madison County's Republican state legislators had anything good to say about the proposed redistricting maps put forth by Governor Roy Barnes and the majority Democrats.
"I am very disappointed in the votes of my Democratic colleagues," Senator Mike Beatty said. "This may be a good map for preserving the Democratic majority, but it is a bad map for Georgia."
State Rep. Ralph Hudgens agreed. His complaint is the way the maps fragment communities of interest.
"There is no commonality within the proposed districts," he said.
New senate and house maps split Madison County into widely divergent districts. The state senate map splits off the western edge of Madison County and connects it to a senate district that meanders across North Georgia as far west as Gilmer County. The remainder of the county is in a district that stretches south towards Augusta
The proposed state house map splits the county three ways. Again, the western edge of Madison County is combined with a narrow strip of Clarke and most of Oconee County. Northeast Madison County is combined with Banks and Franklin counties, and the remainder of the county is linked a group of low population counties to the south.
These district lines forces both representative Hudgens and senator Beatty, both Republicans, into districts containing another Republican incumbent. Both would face very difficult primary campaigns if they decide to seek reelection.
"Democrats need to beware of unexpected consequences," Sen. Beatty said.
By forcing strong Republican legislators into difficult elections, they may spur a wave of strong statewide candidates."
Hudgens said if he is forced into an impossible situation in the new district, he would give strong consideration to running for Lt. Governor.
Sen. Beatty expressed his concern about the splitting of counties by the new maps.
"The Senate map splits 88 counties and 150 voting districts.
Each senator will be forced to deal with many more city and county governments in widely dispersed areas. That makes effective representation almost impossible."
He said he was also disturbed that a Democratic National Committee operative was involved in drawing district lines in order to assure continued control of the state legislature by Democrats.
New districts will not be implemented until current legislator terms are complete.


Proposed school budget up 12 percent
The Madison County school board is proposing a $28.5 million budget, up approximately 12 percent from $25.38 million last year.
The budget increase will require a hike in property taxes. How much of an increase won't be determined until tax digest figures are finalized. The tax commissioner's office said Wednesday that a date has yet to be set for final digest figures.
School leaders say several things contributed to the proposed budget increase. Among these are an estimated $750,000 in increased instruction expenses. Maintenance expenses are also expected to rise approximately $100,000.
Assistant superintendent Allen McCannon pointed out that the school system was $90,000 over budget in gas and power expenses last year due to last year's energy crisis. He also noted that several vacant positions in the school system went unfilled last year.
"We went bare bones last year," said McCannon.
Proposed 2001-2002 instruction costs are approximately $18.4 million. Other major school expenditures include about $2 million in maintenance costs, $1.9 million for school administration and $1.4 million in transportation expenses. The board estimates a fiscal year ending balance of $1.2 million.
The tentative budget includes $6.9 million funds from local taxes and $20 million in state money.
The school board will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget at 7:30 p.m., Aug. 21, in the high school media center.
While the school board is nearing the end of its budget process, the county commissioners are beginning. The board will hold a budget work session Monday beginning at 5:30 p.m. The commissioners plan to listen to budget requests from 18 county department heads for 15 minutes each Monday.



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Industrial Authority seeks more water for Hull
The Madison County Industrial Authority is looking elsewhere for the additional water needed to furnish the Hull-Sanford water system. The authority is negotiating with Fortson Well and Supply for the private water system at Millbrook Park of the Spratlin Mill Road. The system contains two wells; one yields 100 gpm of good water. The other produces 200 gallons per minute but has a high iron content that will require extensive treatment to be usable. Authority Chairman John Scoggins said the second well would be used only in emergency situations.
Approximately one mile of water main would have to be constructed to connect the Millbrook system to the Hull-Dogsboro system. The new line would run from the traffic light in Hull, down Hwy. 72 to Spratlin Mill Road and up to Millbrook Circle. The authority voted to obtain engineering studies necessary to install the water line.
Negotiations to obtain the property containing well #2 near Dogsboro have been tabled for 120 days.
"Everyone needs time to rethink their positions," Scoggins said.
The delay in finding adequate water for the system has also delayed finalization of the purchase of the Hull-Dogsboro water system from Clarke County. Scoggins said that once water is available, Clarke County will be given two weeks notice to complete the deal.
The second water service area under consideration has moved closer to reality. A meeting at Black's Creek Church drew 150 interested citizens.
Forty-eight people signed request for water service in the phase one area.
For the rest of this story see this weeks Madison County Journal.


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.