News from Madison County...

September 12, 2001


Madison County
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OPINIONS
Frank Gillespie
Politics, Georgia style - Part II

Last week I wrote about George Washington's warning to us concerning the abusive nature of political parties. Let me tell you more about just how massive that abuse has become.

Zach Mitcham
The awful aftermath

We share a collective fury as a nation. Now begins the hunt for the culprits and the fight to conquer the seeming helplessness we feel in light of such a great tragedy.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Boys' cross country team breezing by competitors
The Madison County boys' cross country team continued its run of dominance this past week.
The squad improved to 11-0 with wins in home matches Wednesday and Monday.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Voters go to the polls Tuesday
SPLOST on the ballot.Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to cast their ballot on renewing the one-cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) for education.

New 911 signs arriving at planning office
The new 911 number signs are arriving and being prepared.
New homeowners will receive a 911 sign with their permits at the Banks County Planning Office.



News from...
JACKSON COUNTY
Two men from Jackson at WTC during attack
Two men who grew up in Jackson County were in or near the World Trade Center Tuesday when it was attacked by terrorists flying commercial airliners into the buildings. Both men are reportedly safe, said family members.

Waste Management Wins Contract
Starting in January, a new company will provide residential and light commercial garbage pickup service in Commerce.
Accepting the recommendation of city manager Clarence Bryant, the city council voted Monday to enter a five-year contract with Waste Management.


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CELEBRATING
GRANDPARENTS DAY

Abigail Husley, 2, observes a program at the Madison County Library Sunday afternoon, while her grandmother, Miriam Delk, looks on. The program celebrating Grandparents Day was presented by Bette Kitchens, children's program coordinator, and included stories about grandparents, a "family tree" craft and a puppet show.

County reacts to national tragedy
Downtown Danielsville was unusually quiet Tuesday afternoon, as many stayed home or in their offices, glued to their televisions and radios as the unprecedented terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and other American government buildings unfolded.
And as the nation reacted to the tragedy, Madison County government officials and residents voiced some of their thoughts as well.
Several county government employees were gathered around a TV in the lobby of the government complex Tuesday afternoon, speaking quietly and shaking their heads in shock and disbelief.
County complex security guard Marlin Carithers said he, like everyone else, was in a state of shock, unable to believe that such a thing could happen.
"How can you feel safe anymore - in a (public) building or on a plane, after this?" Alan Lapczynski, a First Responder and Hull Volunteer Fireman asked.
Lapczynski said he felt for fellow emergency workers that he knew were at the base of the World Trade Center tower when the first building collapsed.
Both Carithers and Lapczynski said they would fully support military action in response to the attack.
"I hope the U.S. can find out who did it and go after them," Carithers said.
Probate Court employee Tracy Dean said she had talked with some school employees and that all county schools were watching the events as they unfolded too - virtually bringing studies to a halt.
And she worried about the effects of the day's events on the younger children in particular.
"I just wonder if they can handle it," Dean said, but added that it's an important historical event.
"It's history in the making," Florene Jenkins, who works in the registrar's office, agreed.
"It's a shock that anybody could have that kind of hate," Madison County Board of Commission Chairman Wesley Nash said in his office Tuesday.
"In this time of national distress, all our prayers are with the victims, their families, emergency workers and the president of our country."
Nash said he felt the country should be prepared to go to war, if the perpetrators of the attack turn out to be subsidized by a government.
"All terrorists acts should be punished by death for those responsible - immediately," Nash added.
"It's just terrible," county clerk Morris Fortson said. "It's going to change our way of life to some extent, especially if you're going to fly."
"I want to urge people to give blood - there will be a tremendous need now and in the coming weeks," Chairman Nash added.
Administrative assistant Cheryl Jensrud spoke on a more cautious note.
"I hope we'll be careful in this situation not to jump the gun, " Jensrud said. "We're all reacting today out of anger and emotions. Everyone is talking about retaliation. I'm angry too and I want retaliation too, but it needs to be the right person or persons. I don't want to see thousands more innocent lives lost without being certain."
Jensrud added that she feels our (America's) way of thinking needs to change too, that "the country's doors are too open."
"We need to think more about the safety of citizens already here, about our own protection. It's true we are a melting pot - and we're melting - our ethics, our care of each other, our morals..." she said.
At the sheriff's office, Sheriff Clayton Lowe expressed his shock at the attacks.
"I expect this will lead to some type of conflict," Lowe said.
"It's another price we must pay for our freedom" chief deputy Bill Strickland said. "We complain about airport security, searches and other things...but we want to be free to do what we want...we're going to have to weigh our protection against our liberties."
Both Lowe and Strickland expressed concern over "copycat" terrorist acts in the coming days, but said they felt there was little to fear in a rural area, such as Madison County.
"I'm just glad I'm not in New York City," Lowe said.


BOC denies request to reverse work stoppage order
The Madison County commissioners unanimously agreed to stick to a work stoppage order on a manufactured home on Hwy. 106.
J. Stuart Teague Jr., an attorney for Classic City Homes, asked commissioners to reverse a work stoppage order issued by the county on a manufactured home on Hwy. 106 for Brenda Witcher.
The property for the home was rezoned last November with conditions that included restricting any home placed on the property to a site-built or modular home.
At issue Monday was whether the manufactured home qualifies as a modular home under the county zoning ordinance. Teague said "yes," but the commissioners disagreed, voting to deny the request.
In other business:
·The commissioners heard an annual report from the Madison-Elbert office of the Georgia Forestry Commission. The board learned that the number one cause of fire in the two-county area over the past year was debris burning gone out of control.
·The board tabled a decision on whether to amend the zoning ordinance regarding home occupations. The proposed change would have allowed up to 12 children in home day care provided the property is at least four acres. The issue was sent back to the planning commission.
·The board introduced a new soil erosion and sediment control ordinance, essentially to keep enforcement of these policies in the county. The board will approve it at its next regular meeting.
·The commissioners heard from Thomas Dial of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, who urged the commissioners to present county voters with a Freeport exemption referendum. The exemption would relieve business owners of certain taxes on business inventory, such as raw materials and finished goods held by manufacturers. Dial told the commissioners that Madison County is one of only 26 Georgia counties that has not approved the Freeport exemption. He said approving the exemption will prove economically beneficial for the county, easing the tax burden on property owners by generating more business.
·The commissioners voted 5-0 against roadside spraying in the county. A company had proposed to spray county roads with chemicals to reduce the county's mowing costs.
·The board tabled a decision on how to handle past-due EMS billing accounts.
·The commissioners agreed to meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, to discuss fees for the EMS, planning and zoning, building inspection, recreation, road and solid waste departments.
·The board approved preliminary plans for a six-lot Little Creek Subdivision off Hwy. 72 on Charles Hart Road.
·The board approved final plans for the 13-lot Ashley Court Subdivision on Colbert-Danielsville Road by a 3-2 vote. Bill Taylor and Johnny Fitzpatrick voted against the action. Taylor said he objected to the small lot sizes proposed for the subdivision. He said neighboring counties have had problems with water from wells and septic tanks mixing due to placement on small lots. He said approval of this subdivision opens the door for that problem due to the small lot sizes.
·County clerk Morris Fortson told the commissioners that the sheriff's department is not turning in its time sheets on time. The commissioners told him to write the department a letter to let them know it's causing a problem.
·The board met in closed session to discuss a potential land purchase and litigation.


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Area blood drives announced
The terrorist attacks reported Tuesday have led to a flood of calls to area hospitals and medical centers from area residents about donating blood.
There was already a blood shortage in place before the crisis and it is expected to get worse, according to Oscar Weinmeister of BJC Medical Center. Several area blood drives are planned in coming weeks, including the following:
·Thursday, Sept. 13, 1 to 6 p.m., St. Albon's Church, Monroe.
·Thursday, Sept. 13, 1 to 6 p.m., Young Harris Memorial United Methodist Church, 973 Prince Avenue, Athens.
·Thursday, Sept. 13, 1:30 to 7 p.m., St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, 3195 Barnett Shoals Road, Athens.
·Friday, Sept. 14, 2 to 7 p.m., UGA Administration, east campus, animal sciences building, corner of River Road and College Station Road.
·Monday, Sept. 17, 1:30 to 6:30 p.m., Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 498 Prince Avenue, Athens.
·Tuesday, Sept. 18, 1 to 6 p.m., UGA Wesley Foundation, 1196 South Lumpkin Street, Athens.
·Wednesday, Sept. 19, 1 to 5 p.m., Walton Electric Membership Corporation, 2499 Pannell Road, Monroe.
·Friday, Sept. 21, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., UGA College of Education, south campus, Aderhold Hall.
·Monday, Sept. 24, noon to 5 p.m., UGA Army ROTC, central campus, Memorial Hall, Athens.
·Tuesday, Sept. 25, 1 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25, UGA Brumby Community, Brumby Hall, Baxter Street, Athens.
·Tuesday, Sept. 25, 1 to 6 p.m., Trus Joist, Colbert, Hwy. 72, Colbert.
For more information on blood drives, call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE.


Colbert to seek grant to repair old gym
Colbert's city council has voted to seek a $100,000 grant from the Benton Family Trust. The grant, if approved, will be used to begin repairs to the old Colbert School.
Mayor John Waggoner said the auditorium and west wing are badly deteriorated and need immediate attention.
The council selected five streets to submit to the state LARP paving program.
The Georgia DOT will decide which, if any, of the streets will be repaved. The list includes portions of 5th Avenue, Kincaid St., Joe Benton St., 6th Avenue and Park Avenue.
Because of restricted view of drivers departing interior streets of the city cemetery, the council voted to make all interior streets one-way toward the rear access road.
A contract to patch city streets has been completed at a cost of $1,200.
Colbert's city budget hearing is scheduled for Sept 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the Depot. A final hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Oct. 1, preceding the next council meeting. The budget will be adopted during the following council meeting. Mayor Waggoner announced that the city's property digest is up approximately $1 million due to the annexation of Crystal Creek Subdivision.
Because the power poles used to mount Christmas lights have been removed, Mayor Waggoner suggested that the city depot be decorated instead. The council voted to obtain plans and prices for new decorations.
Mayor Waggoner, councilman Roger Fortson and councilman Chris Peck each announced their intention to qualify for re-election in November.

 


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.