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Anarchy of change
America is facing an anarchy of change. Things are changing so
rapidly that we are all becoming disoriented. If this uncontrolled
and undirected change continues, our culture will be unrecognizable
within a few years.
Don't forget to give to cancer research
At a time when Americans are opening their pocketbooks to the
many victims of the September 11 terrorist attack, cancer awareness
month has all but disappeared.
Directions to Area Schools
Overachieving Raider softball team looks for state gold
The words "rebuilding year" apparently aren't in the
Madison County softball team's vocabulary.
Instead "state championship" is the catch phrase that
resonates among the young Raider outfit these days.
Neighboorhood News ..
Commerce's Annual Residential Cleanup Is Next Week
It's time for Commerce's annual fall yard and house cleanup.
All next week, the city's Public Works Departments will pick
up from the roadsides and take to the county transfer station
all manner of junk, trash and debris that the rest of the year
it refuses to remove.
Texfi shuts down; 160 lose jobs
For the second time in as many weeks, a local textile plant is
shuttering its windows. Texfi Industries in Jefferson shut down
Friday, according to plant manager Tim Harris. A small crew is
finishing up some work at the plant, said Harris.
Rec. director charged with embezzlement
Banks County Park and Recreation director Barry Brooks, 35, was
charged with embezzling over $10,000 from recreation funds and
Beatty speaks to chamber on video poker, redistricting
State Senator Mike Beatty spoke on video poker and redistricting
at the Banks County Chamber of Commerce breakfast Thursday.
Beatty praised the way Georgia Democrats and Republicans got
together on the video poker bill to ban the machines.
The Madison County Journal
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READY FOR SOME FUN
Little Savannah Evans, 19 months, of Carlton, catches the
excitement of her town's Harvest Festival last Saturday.
for 'false statement' in child's death
The mother of a 16-month-old Colbert boy whose Sept. 29 death
was ruled a homicide was arrested on Wednesday, Oct. 10, in connection
with the crime.
According to the sheriff's office arrest report, Hope Bertha
Buie, 21, Colbert, was arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation
in cooperation with the Madison County Sheriff's office and charged
with giving a false statement to authorities. The crime is considered
According to Sheriff Clayton Lowe, Buie remains in the Hart County
jail on a $5,000 bond. Madison County jail has limited facilities
for women prisoners.
Lowe said no one has been arrested as of yet for the baby's death,
but the investigation is continuing.
Buie's 16-month-old son, Ceasar Bolton Jr., was transported to
Athens Regional Medical Center after sheriff's deputies and emergency
medical personnel responded to the Madison Boulevard address
in Colbert around 11:30 p.m. that Saturday night. The boy was
found to be bruised and unresponsive.
Evidence resulting from an autopsy performed at the state crime
lab led authorities to determine that the little boy's death
was a homicide.
According to a press release from the sheriff's office, the cause
of death was said to be "peritonitis, which was the result
of a severed intestine."
Rick Chamberlin, Madison County Department of Family and Children
Services director, said Tuesday that Buie's 2- year-old child
has been taken into DFACS custody and placed in a county foster
Chamberlin said the older child was taken from the home on Oct.
1, after his office was notified by the county coroner of Bolton's
death and the autopsy results.
The child will remain in state custody at least while the criminal
investigation continues. Relatives in Florida have expressed
an interest in assuming custody, but certain procedures between
the two state offices will have to be conducted before, or if,
such a request is granted.
DFACS reportedly dealt with the home in an earlier case involving
the now-deceased child.
According to Chamberlin, Athens Regional Medical Center contacted
his office about a concern of "medical neglect" and
lack of supervision involving an accidental injury on Feb. 1
of this year.
According to Chamberlin, the hospital was concerned about a two-day
lapse in the time the child was brought to the emergency room
for treatment on Jan. 31, and the time of the injury, which was
said to be two days earlier.
A Child Protective Services investigation was conducted and after
further discussions with the family, it was determined that no
malicious neglect was involved. The case was found to be unsubstantiated
and closed at that time.
tied up on controversial variance request
County planners were evenly split Tuesday night on a controversial
zoning issue that earlier caused a mother and daughter who own
neighboring property to storm out of the meeting.
The commission had a tie vote of 3-3 on whether or not to recommend
allowing an area variance for three non-conforming lots of record,
each zoned R3, and each containing approximately 1.3 acres. (The
minimum required lot size for R-3 is 1.5 acres with a well and
septic system located on the property.)
Billy Vandiver purchased the three tracts, located on Piedmont
Park Road, a graveled county road off Garnett Ward Road, with
an understanding from the zoning office that building permits
could be purchased for each tract since they were recorded lots
that had been "grandfathered" in before zoning laws
came into effect.
Zoning administrator Kim Butler said she did tell Vandiver that
permits could be purchased because Madison County has "always
issued building permits to lots of record."
But Butler said she was later advised by county attorney Mike
Pruett that owners of such tracts should be required to have
an area variance on the property before being allowed to build.
"In other words, this was a change of policy after the fact,"
commission member Roy Gandy said.
Barbara Paul and her daughter Lori Bragado, who both own homes
across the road from the land in question, objected at length
to allowing the variances.
Paul said that allowing three lots with mobile homes on them
would devalue her property and that she believed the three small
lots should be recombined into two.
Bragado agreed, also citing a belief that the three small lots,
if given variances for homes, would decrease property values
further in the area.
The pair later angrily left the meeting after acting chairman
Bill Holloway refused to allow Paul to ask a question during
a special session. (According to meeting rules, public comment
is not allowed once a public hearing is closed.)
On rebuttal, Vandiver maintained that the requests meet all the
zoning ordinance's requirements for area variances and argued
that the controversy had already caused him to lose a sale on
one of the tracts.
"These lots are on your tax records and we were told what
we were told when we purchased them - that's why we bought them.
We weren't told about having to have a variance approved until
after the fact," Vandiver said.
Gandy agreed, saying the matter had caused a hardship on Vandiver
as the result of an "unfortunate change of policy that came
after the fact." Gandy also maintained that any such change
in policy should, in his opinion, have been done in written form
with the public's knowledge.
"But it is also unfortunate that they (the three lots) are
smaller than the required lot size," he added.
"I'm not comfortable with this situation at all," commission
member Jeep Gaskin said. "The road (Piedmont Park) is sub-standard
and you're putting more people in there and ultimately diminishing
the county in the long run."
Butler agreed, but pointed out that the situation was not being
created by the commission, but that they were in fact dealing
with tracts that already existed.
The board of commissioners will consider this and other zoning
matters after a second round of public hearings during their
regular business meeting next Monday night.
In other rezone requests, the commission unanimously recommended
·an amended request by Re-Max realtor Joan Sloan, representing
property owners Steve and Stephanie Zucker, to rezone a one-acre
tract and a 7.4-acre tract that adjoin each other on Veteran's
Drive from A2 (agricultural) to RR (rural residential, two-acre
minimum). Sloan agreed to condition the request so that the property
can only be split once. The Zuckers, who have the property up
for sale, want to first combine and then re-subdivide it into
two different parcels; one containing approximately 4.8 acres
and the other about 3.6 acres.
·a request by Ervin J. Burke, representing his son, Michael
Burke, to rezone a 5.08 acre tract on Hwy. 191 from A1 to RR
in order to subdivide it for another homesite.
Two other items on the agenda: a request by OK Soon Myung to
rezone a 10.75-acre parcel on Della Slaton Road from A2 to RR
and a request by Harold Gaulding, representing Eloise McCurley,
to rezone a .47-acre parcel on Hwy. 72 from R1 to B2 (commercial),
were postponed until next month's public hearings.
No date set for Wymbs'
No new trial date for Albert Wymbs, accused in the Nov. 1996
stabbing death of 24-year-old Angela Harris, has been set as
District attorney Bob Lavender said Friday that Wymbs will most
likely not face a jury again until after the first of next year.
Wymbs was originally tried for the murder last June in Madison
County Superior Court, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict
in the case.
Wymbs is accused of stabbing Harris at the doublewide mobile
home she lived at with her parents on the corner of Creekwood
Drive and Hwy. 106 near the Madison/Clarke County line.
Wymbs, who is currently serving time for several Athens-Clarke
County burglaries, was charged in the Harris murder after police
received new evidence in the case.
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in Clarke; wife charged in escape
An escapee from the Madison County Jail who was considered "armed
and dangerous" is back in custody, along with his wife.
The sheriff's department, along with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation
Athens and Thompson Division, the Athens-Clarke County Police
Department and the Wilkes County Sheriff's Department, captured
Darrell Demetric Lester, 30, of Colbert, on Thursday, Oct. 11,
and charged him with felony escape.
Lester's wife, 21-year-old Angela Dawn Lester, also of Colbert,
was also arrested for aiding in her husband's escape.
Although Mrs. Lester was later released on a $5,000 bond, she
was taken into custody again on Tuesday, Oct. 16, and charged
with being a party to her husband's aggravated assault on the
jailer at the time of his escape.
Also arrested in connection with the crime were: Richard Alla
Gresham, 38, of Colbert, on one count of hindering the apprehension
of a fugitive, and Dexter Daniel Foster, 18, Athens, aiding escape.
Gresham was released on a $5,000 property bond.
Besides Mrs. Lester's arrest on Tuesday, the sheriff's office
also charged Frederick Brooks, 27, of Danielsville, an inmate
in the jail, with one count each of being a party to the aggravated
assault on the jailer and aiding Lester in his escape.
According to the sheriff's department, Brooks allegedly supplied
the iron bar that Lester used in the attack on the jailer when
he made his escape on Oct. 9 around 2 a.m.
Mrs. Lester, who had rented a U-Haul and filled it with the couple's
belongings, was allegedly waiting at the jail when Lester made
According to a sheriff's department press release, the couple
was captured during the early morning hours of Oct. 11, without
incident at the Nellie B Apartment Complex in Athens. The couple's
U-Haul was found the day before their capture in the parking
lot of Kroger in east Athens with all their belongings still
Mrs. Lester returned to the sheriff's office last Tuesday afternoon
to check on the return of some of her belongings and was taken
into custody at that time on the "party to aggravated assault"
Lester was found guilty earlier this month on charges of armed
robbery, motor vehicle hijacking, kidnapping and possession of
a firearm by a convicted felon.
At the time of his escape, he was awaiting sentencing on the
charges, which stemmed from his involvement in the kidnapping
of a Belhaven Lane woman last March.
BOC to set tax
rate Oct. 22
The Madison County Board of Commissioners will meet Monday at
6 p.m. to discuss this year's proposed tax rate. The board will
then officially set the millage rate and adopt the 2002 budget
during its regular 6:30 p.m. meeting in the county government
Festival set Saturday
The Danielsville Fall Festival, sponsored by the Danielsville
City Council, will be held this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
at the Madison County Park, located near the County Government
Complex on Hwy. 29.
The festival will feature crafters, food vendors, raffles, and
live entertainment, including several local bands. Proceeds from
the festival will benefit ACTION, Inc. and the Madison County
Parks Committee, Inc.
In addition, a rabies clinic, sponsored by the Madison-Oglethorpe
Animal Shelter, Inc. (MOAS), will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Proceeds from the clinic will go to benefit MOAS, a non-profit
For more information, call: Jerry or Grace Riley, 795-2826; City
of Danielsville, 795-2189; Leah Lutz, 549-8779, or Tracy Dean,
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.