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How to get back our state gov't
Our president is urging us to get back to business as usual in
America to show the terrorist that they cannot disrupt our lives.
I will honor that request by continuing my series on Politics
Due to a busy schedule I haven't been able to get out on the
lake lately, but it doesn't stop me from thinking about my childhood
Directions to Area Schools
Raiders earn state bid as season area champs
MCHS pitcher Lyndsey Barnette follows back-to-back no-hitters
with a one-hitter.
Baldwin approves further plant expansion
The Baldwin City Council has approved further expansion of the
town's waste water treatment plant.
At a special work session last week, council members and Baldwin's
city engineer met with contractor Sonny McNeil and project supervisor
Jack Kent at the facility to show how additions made under the
current expansion project could save time and money for future
Health department to charge $15 for flu shots
At the quarterly meeting earlier this month, board members of
the Banks County Health Department voted to raise the cost of
flu shots for non-Medicare patients.
Water board puts projects on hold
The economic slowdown deepened by the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks has led the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority
to put several water projects on hold.
Two Die In Wreck On 441 Early Monday
State Patrol Trying To Determine What Caused Head-On Collision.
The Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team of the Georgia
State Patrol is trying to determine exactly what happened to
cause a two-car head-on collision on U.S. 441 Monday that killed
The Madison County Journal
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A FAIR TREAT
Kanya Haley buys boiled peanuts from Bill Sewell Tuesday night
at the Madison County Fair at the Comer Fairgrounds. The fair
will continue through Saturday, with a matinee also planned for
noon to 4 p.m. Saturday .
Brakes put on
The Danielsville bypass project is no more, at least for now.
With significant state funds tagged for Atlanta's traffic mess,
upgrades of Hwy. 29 in Madison County are on the back burner
for at least six years, possibly more and perhaps for good.
"Recently, the focus of the Department (of Transportation)
has shifted to developing the Governor's Road Improvement Program
(GRIP)," wrote Ken Thompson of the Georgia Department of
Transportation, responding to queries from the Madison County
commissioners' office about the project. "As a result of
changing priorities, the Danielsville Bypass project - among
many others - has been moved to long-range in the DOT's construction
work program. What this means is that currently no work is being
done on the project and no money has been set aside in the DOT's
budget for the construction of the project for at least the next
Thompson also wrote that work that has already been done on the
project will have to be redone if the project gets moving again.
"When and if the time comes when the Danielsville Bypass
project is no longer a long-range project, the environmental
studies which have been previously done (including historical,
archeological, wetlands, etc.) will most likely have expired
and will have to be redone. In other words, the project will
have to start over from the beginning."
Thompson said it's impossible now to tell how properties in the
area might be affected by a possible bypass.
"Considering the likelihood of having to redo the environmental
studies along with the fact that an environmentally acceptable
alignment was never found, it is impossible to determine the
location of the potential future alignment and which properties
in the Danielsville area will (or will not) be impacted."
The commissioners' office has received numerous calls about how
the bypass would affect property along Hwy. 29. Commission chairman
Wesley Nash said the public may contact the commissioners' office
for documentation from the DOT that specifically states that
the DOT won't act on a Danielsville bypass project for at least
Comer council sets
The Comer City Council set the city clerk's salary at $37,000
in a called meeting Wednesday night, Sept. 19, 2001.
The position has been filled by former city clerk Steve Sorrells.
In other business, the council approved an amendment updating
the city zoning ordinance by creating a multi-use business/residential
district. This new district will allow the development of downtown
buildings that cannot meet current rules into apartments, or
combination residential and business use.
The council continued discussions of repairing or replacing a
city patrol car. The vehicle has a blown engine that will cost
up to $1,500 to repair. No decision was made.
Mayor Chris NeSmith read a letter to The Comer News objecting
to a headline.
BOC mulls 1.63
Madison County commissioners set a tentative 1.63 mill tax increase
The board won't officially adopt the county tax rate until Oct.
22 when it approves the 2002 budget. The commissioners will hold
three public hearings on county finances before approval - Oct.
11 at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Oct. 22 at 6 p.m.
The tax increase is inevitable, leaders say, because county expenses
are sharply up and revenues are down. The new county jail, expected
to open early in 2002, is the primary new expenditure. But county
clerk Morris Fortson told commissioners that a number of other
factors contributed to the 2002 shortfall: increased funds for
county fire departments, funds for an animal shelter, increased
library funding, more money for election costs, health insurance
and pension expenses, and state-mandated pay increases for elected
BOC chairman Wesley Nash also said the approval of a statewide
referendum exempting farm equipment from taxation has cost the
county a significant sum of revenue, approximately $100,000 for
"That knocked a lot off our tax digest," said Nash.
Last week, the commissioners were considering a tax increase
of approximately two mills, but revenue projections increased
with the approval of raised fees in several county departments
(see Page 2A) and the board also approved several amendments
to the 2001 budget to put the projected year-end contingency
fund at approximately $196,000. These funds will likely go toward
Commissioner Bruce Scogin said he didn't feel the board should
increase taxes at all. He stood at the audience podium Monday
and addressed his fellow board members, suggesting that no increases
be approved for any county departments - with the exception of
public safety. He said times are tough and that the county government
should "work harder" and longer "for a little
Fortson then listed the increased expenses to the board: the
funds for the fire department, animal shelter, library, etc.
And Nash said that there is little that can be cut.
"We've done the best we can to trim the budget," said
Nash, who added that the only way he felt more funds could be
cut from the 2002 budget is to wipe out a proposed cost-of-living
increase for county employees. Fortson said that cutting out
these pay increases would cut the tax hike to about 1.4 mills.
A fund-raiser for families affected by
the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers and Pentagon
will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Mize Park off
All proceeds will go to the Red Cross for distribution.
The event will include live music, though bands are needed. Those
interested in performing country, rock, gospel, etc., should
call Ricky Miller at 549-5665, 789-3363 or 789-3409.
There will be arts and crafts, a cake walk, a raffle (items needed)
and more for kids and adults.
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in Hart Co. wreck dies
An Ila Elementary kindergartner died last week from injuries
he sustained in a Hart County wreck on Saturday, Sept. 15.
Cody Potts, 5, was the only child of Kathy Gable, of Danielsville
and the late Gary Dean Potts.
Cody was taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital in Greenville,
S.C. with severe head injuries after the accident, where he remained
until his death last Wednesday.
The accident happened on Hwy. 29 north when Gable's 1985 Mercury
Marquis was struck by a vehicle driven by 76-year-old Mildred
Loehe, of Hartwell.
According to a report by the Toccoa Post of the Georgia State
Patrol, Loehe failed to stop as she was attempting to make a
left at the intersection of Liberty Hill Church Road and Hwy.
29 North, striking Gable's car on the passenger side.
Gable was treated and released.
Coile Defoor, 34, of Hull, was also a passenger in Gable's car
and remains a patient at Anderson Hospital in Anderson, SC.
Cody attended Friendship Baptist Church and Awana Club and played
tee-ball at the Madison County Recreation Department.
A Cody Potts Fund has been set up at all branches of Century
South Bank to assist the family with funeral and medical expenses.
Locals pitch in
to help victims
Many Madison County residents have turned their outrage into
an outpouring of support for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist
Members of the Madison County Firefighters' Association conducted
an American Red Cross "boot drive," raising over $20,000
Saturday . Danielsville, Shiloh, Ila, Colbert and Hull volunteer
firefighters participated in the event. Proceeds from the drive
will go to benefit New York disaster workers.
Others have worked to raise funds too.
One is Danielsville 9-year-old Courtney Johnson, a fourth grader
at Danielsville Elementary School. Johnson said she was "scared"
when the terrorists attacked New York and Washington. But she
turned that fear into something positive last week, raising $1,025.15
by selling ribbons outside Wal-Mart in Commerce this past Saturday
and Sunday. The money was donated to the Red Cross.
Johnson, the daughter of Lorista and Stacy Johnson, is somewhat
shy when talking about her accomplishment. But her mother said
she wasn't bashful when approaching people about helping those
She said Courtney was impressed with the generosity of those
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.