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A look at Madison County redistricting
It is Madison County's turn. Now that
the Georgia legislature has finished their fiasco of redistricting,
city and county governments have to do the same.
Walking among the 'spirits' of Savannah
My husband Charles and I decided to "get
away from it all" last weekend, so we packed a few clothes,
a couple of lounge chairs and our bikes and headed for Tybee
Directions to Area Schools
25-5 Raiders set for state sectionals after grabbing area title
The object is simple - win two before you lose two and pack your
bags for the state finals in Columbus.
Neighboorhood News ..
Jefferson rejects feed mill request
Mar Jac threatens legal action after council denies rezoning
The Jefferson City Council rejected a rezoning request for a
feed mill to be located off Holder Siding Road Monday. But Mar
Jac, the companay seeking to build the mill, isn't backing down.
Ho-Hum; No Comment As City Sets 16.3-Mill Tax Rate
After three public hearings in which only one question was asked,
the Commerce City Council officially set its 2001 ad valorem
property tax rate Monday night.
Commerce teen charged in armed robbery
A Commerce teenager has been charged in the recent armed robbery
at the Waffle House at Banks Crossing.
County convention and visitors bureau has full-time staff
Sherry Ward to serve as executive director; Bonnie Johnson to
serve as president. The Banks County Convention and Visitors
Bureau, which was formed several years ago, now has a full-time
The Madison County Journal
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George Bugg and grandson Chap Bugg look over some letters
written over a century ago by their ancestors, Oscar Maxwell
and Annie Sarah Coombs Maxwell. The love letters have received
national attention since they were rediscovered by Bugg in an
antique shop. Bugg, Chap and granddaughter Amanda Bugg recently
read excerpts from the letters for a segment of the NBC Nightly
Convicted kidnapper escapes from Madison Co. jail.
A convicted kidnapper is on the loose after breaking out of the
Madison County jail early Tuesday morning.
Darrell Lester, 31, of 125 Cotton Circle, Colbert, should be
considered armed and dangerous, according to Sheriff Clayton
The escapee had not been caught as of press time Wednesday morning.
Lester was awaiting sentencing after being convicted last week
on multiple charges involving the kidnapping of a Belhaven Lane
woman last March.
Lester is described as a black male, 5 foot 8 inches tall, 250
pounds, last seen wearing a dark-colored, hooded sweatshirt.
He may be in the company of his wife Angela D. Lester.
The sheriff's office said anyone with any information or contact
with either of these persons should call 911.
Warrants have been issued on both parties, according to Investigator
The couple could possibly be driving a 1995 Ford U-Haul enclosed
truck with Arizona license plates AA68181 which was rented to
Darrell Lester escaped the jail about 2 a.m. Oct. 9 after overpowering
a jail officer and striking him in the head repeatedly with a
blunt object, according to Scoggins.
The officer was treated and released at an Athens hospital for
head and hand injuries.
Lester was found guilty last week on charges of armed robbery,
motor vehicle hijacking, kidnapping and possession of a firearm
by a convicted felon.
Chris Andrews and Allah Blakeley, accomplices in the crime, pled
guilty to the charges, according to Scoggins.
chief suffers broken leg
Danielsville police chief Joe Merk suffered a broken leg Thursday
at Madison County High School after a fall near the student parking
Merk, who has been employed by the city for 13 years, said he
was investigating recent break-ins in the lot and he jumped down
a three-foot embankment while looking for stolen items. He landed
wrong on his left foot and broke his leg in two places just above
Merk had surgery to repair the injury. Doctors told him it will
probably be at least six weeks before he can put any weight on
Tate appears before
Former city clerk Elaine Tate had her say at the Comer City Council
meeting Tuesday night. Tate made it clear that she was not trying
to change anyone's mind.
"I wouldn't have this job back on a silver platter,"
Tate hinted that she was fired to clear the way for the return
of Steve Sorrells as city clerk. She pointed out that Sorrells
resigned his job at the board of education the same day she was
suspended. She further argued that she was given no supervision
and no warning that her work was unsatisfactory. In fact, she
had been given a pay raise earlier in the year.
Mayor Chris NeSmith responded by denying that the suspension
and firing were to return Sorrells. He reiterated the charges
against Tate, including failure to maintain bank accounts and
pay bills in a timely manner. After saying, "It is not my
job to baby-sit you," he acknowledged that he had probably
failed to properly supervise Tate's work due to his own heavy
schedule. He said that was one reason he was not seeking re-election.
After the hearing, NeSmith ruled that the firing stands.
In other business, Stacy Strickland approached the council about
purchasing an unused alleyway adjacent to her home.
For the rest of this story see this weeks Madison County Journal.
planned for Madison County
A new low-power FM community public radio station is being planned
for southern Madison County. The non-profit station will be located
at 88.1 FM with a power of 250 watts and an antenna height of
Depending on the exact location of the transmitter, the station
will be available to listeners from Danielsville to north Athens,
including the Neese-Sanford area, Colbert and Winterville. Station
manager Lowell Jackson described the programming as "family
oriented in the Judeo/Christian tradition."
The station will join several other low-power stations in Georgia
and South Carolina. Already on the air are 88.3 FM in Jasper,
88.7 FM in Carrollton and 88.1 FM in Simpsonville, S.C. Their
programming is also on the Internet at www.CPRmusic.com
Jackson said that the organization, Community Public Radio Inc.,
also plans to build their central studio in Madison County, using
a satellite to relay programming to other stations.
The station's low power and antenna limitation is necessary due
to the available space on the radio spectrum. The station will
not be allowed to interfere with existing stations on the same
and adjacent frequencies. That does not mean the station will
have a small audience, Jackson said.
If a good location for the transmitter can be found, the station
will cover up to 100,000 potential listeners in Madison, Oglethorpe
and Clarke counties.
Jackson is negotiating with the Madison County Industrial Authority
for permission to place the antenna on the Hull-Dogsboro water
tower, although that is not the ideal location. The water tower
is a fall back site, Jackson said. It would require a more expensive
directional antenna than a site along the Hwy. 72 corridor between
Hull and Colbert.
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Lost and found
Hull man receives national attention after he finds lost box
of grandparents' century-old love letters.
George Bugg, of Hull, wasn't "looking for love" on
a Sunday afternoon ramble earlier this year, but that's what
he found when he stumbled across a box of old letters in an antique
shop as he searched for old car tags to add to his collection.
He wasn't looking to appear on national TV either, but that miraculous
find led him and two of his grandchildren, 14-year-old Chap Bugg
and 17-year-old Amanda Bugg, to do just that a few weeks ago.
It all began that Sunday afternoon when he stopped to admire
the elegantly scripted old letters, each one bagged and tagged
for sale, on his way out the door of Reed's Odds and Ends in
nearby Oconee County.
"I told the lady running the store 'What beautiful handwriting
this is, my grandfather had handwriting like this,'" he
"Was your grandfather Oscar Maxwell?" the proprietor
asked, and when a very surprised Bugg answered that indeed he
was, she told him that the letters he was looking at were 103
samples of his grandparents' correspondence, written to each
other and to their eldest son between 1879 until grandmother
Annie's death in 1918.
Only three of the collection had been sold.
Bugg had been given the carefully saved letters of Oscar Maxwell
and Annie Sarah Coombs Maxwell several years earlier by his mother,
Mary Ella Maxwell Bugg, but had loaned them to a friend who later
informed him that the letters had been stolen in a robbery.
His mother died last year and Bugg hadn't given much thought
to the letters since then.
For the rest of this stsory see this weeks Madison County
set for Saturday
Carlton will hold its first Harvest Festival this Saturday, Oct.
13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hamburger and hot dog plates will be available from Carlton Baptist
Church and Shiloh Baptist will serve barbecue plates.
There will be craft vendors, children's amusements, face painting
and pony rides.
The event will also feature blue grass and gospel music performed
by Billy Fowler, Nancy Seymour, Old Time Sounds and the Journeymen.
A quilt raffle will be held with proceeds going to benefit youth
programs at Carlton Baptist Church.
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.