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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.
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.
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
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.
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
The Madison County Journal
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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.
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
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,"
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
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
"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
"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,"
"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
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
·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
·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
·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
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,
·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
·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
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
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
Mayor Waggoner, councilman Roger Fortson and councilman Chris
Peck each announced their intention to qualify for re-election
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.