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Non-partisan elections for BOE is good idea
Superintendent of Schools Keith Cowne is urging the board of
education to request non-partisan elections for the board. I
have argued for this position for many months.
Ready, set, go it's 'shop til you drop' time
I don't crawl out of bed before dawn eagerly for anything - not
to see a sunrise, not to enjoy an extra cup of coffee before
work and certainly not for work itself if I can help it.
Directions to Area Schools
Raider wrestlers whip Cedar 62-15
Yes, the finish matters more than the start. But it never hurts
to whip your first foe.
Neighboorhood News ..
Suspects denied bond in bank robbery
Suspects fire at deputies during high-speed chase.
Jackson County Magistrate Court Judge Billy Chandler denied bond
Wednesday morning for three suspects in the Monday bank robbery
at Community Bank and Trust in Jefferson.
Tax assessor board appeals three rulings of board of equalization
The Jackson County Board of Tax Assessors has filed an appeal
in Superior Court over three recent decisions by the county's
board of equalization.
Lula residents speak against proposed Mar Jac feed
Second public hearing set on annexation, rezoning request.
Residents of Lula made known their fears about Mar Jac's proposed
feed mill at a public hearing Monday night. No action was taken
by the city council, but a second hearing was scheduled.
Baldwin takes no action on West Airport Rd. rezoning
A proposed planned unit development (PUD) rezoning on West Airport
Road in Baldwin has stalled.
The Baldwin City Council decided Monday night not to take any
action on a request to rezone 55 acres to PUD zoning.
The Madison County Journal
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HULL TREE LIGHTING
Hull held its annual Christmas tree lighting
last Tuesday. Pictured (L-R) are Hull Councilman Mark Cronic,
Mayor B.W. Hutchins, Councilwoman Becky Hutchins, Judge Harry
Rice, Tax Commissioner Louise Watson, Hull City Clerk Janet Seagraves,
Judge Donald "Hoppy" Royston, Rev. Randy Crowe and
Rev. Barry Black. Photo by Frank Gillispie
Brave new world
The threat of terrorism affects even rural communities like Madison
County. The threat of terrorism is affecting the lives of everyone,
even those who live in rural areas such as Madison County, according
to some local officials.
Madison County Emergency Medical Services Director Dwayne Patton
says all public safety officials, like others around the country,
have been put on a "high state of alert."
"We've had (terrorism) training all along," Patton
said. "And of course there's been more offered recently...we
all know what to expect and what to look for."
Patton said other public safety officials were more likely to
be on the front lines in the event of some type of terrorism
"Most of the time we would arrive on the scene to assist
after the area has already been stabilized," he said.
Patton is also a member of the Colbert Volunteer Fire Department,
and says fire departments have also received specialized training
and are "more on alert" for threatening circumstances.
Patton is confident that Madison County is ready to handle any
emergency that might arise.
"I have all the confidence in the world that we would handle
it," he said. "This county always pulls together, we
always do...I have no doubt we'd take care of it."
Like most every other county of any size across the country,
E-911 director David Camp said the 911 center has received several
calls about suspicious mail items in recent days.
Camp said GEMA (Georgia Emergency Management Agency) guidelines
call for such an item to be left unopened, triple-bagged and
placed in an isolated area, and for concerned individuals to
obtain medical testing.
So far, Camp said no one has reported any exposure to anthrax
or any other dangerous substance.
Camp added that, according to FBI guidelines, items would only
be confiscated by law enforcement if they are leaking or have
an obvious powdery substance on them.
Camp said the 911 office is well prepared and has contingency
plans in place for "natural and manmade disasters."
"Based on my knowledge of the field units, Madison County
is ready to handle any emergency we have, based on the magnitude
of that event," Camp said, adding that mutual aid could
be obtained from surrounding counties and agencies in the event
that became necessary.
He and assistant director Ricky Hix attended a terrorism seminar
on Nov. 27 for further updates and training.
In the meantime, a recent open house for the 911 center in Danielsville
was canceled due to the events of Sept. 11.
For the rest of this story see this weeks Madison County Journal.
seeks district changes to keep BOE members from facing off
Madison County school superintendent Keith Cowne is asking for
two minor changes in proposed county district lines to prevent
members of the current board from having to compete for a seat.
The proposed districts were drawn in a non-partisan manner, according
to Cowne. Both maps were drawn along state senate and state house
lines with the intention of limiting the number of different
The resulting lines placed Elaine Belfield and James H. Patton
in one district, and John Mason and Ric Power in another. Patton
and Power each live along the edge of the proposed lines and
only minor adjustments will be necessary to keep each in an independent
district. Both proposed maps create the same problem.
While it is not necessary to have board of education and board
of commissioners districts be the same, doing so will result
in less complicated elections and reduce the chances of errors,
Cowne planned to go to the redistricting office in Atlanta to
be sure the changes will not affect the district population balances.
Cowne also urged the board to ask that all future board of education
elections be non-partisan. He expressed the opinion that the
public is best served by removing the board from partisan politics.
Cowne said he believes the board of commissioners will go along
with the changes. The two groups will meet Monday at 6 p.m. in
the county government complex.
In other actions during the Nov. 20 meeting, the board of education
recognized Ms. Elaine Rogers and Betsy Cheek of Hull-Sanford
Elementary School for their work on the planning committee of
the Department of Education's State Teachers Conference.
The board received policy revisions on food service and gifted
students for 30 days study.
The group approved a series of policy revisions that have been
on the table for 30 days.
The BOE named Jim Patton as GSBA Legislative Liaison.
The board received a report from Cowne that the system has borrowed
$800,000, about half as much as last year.
The BOE gave preliminary approval to the SY 03 System Calendar.
The calendar will be published in local papers prior to the next
meeting, where a final approval vote is scheduled.
Comer parade set for
The Christmas in Comer parade will be held Saturday, Dec. 1,
at 2 p.m.
The Comer Volunteer Fire Department will hold a chicken barbecue
beginning at 11 a.m., with entertainment being held from 1 to
2 p.m. on the grandstands.
FourGiven Quartet and Community Choruses will perform.
Comer Elementary School will present its annual Christmas Festival
on Saturday, Dec. 1.
A craft fair will be held at the school from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
with many North Georgia artists and craftspeople. There will
also be a "Sweete Shoppe" and concessions offering
hot dogs, pizza, drinks, chips, pickles, nachos and other items,
Indoor and outdoor games, including Bingo, a raffle, book walk
and cake walk will be held from 3 to 5 p.m.
Also this weekend, community churches will sponsor a Christmas
tree lighting Sunday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m.
The theme of this year's parade is "An American Christmas."
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Comer's new mayor
Billy Burroughs has defeated Sue Carithers in a run-off election
for mayor of Comer. Burroughs received 109 votes to 88 for Carithers.
Carithers, who did not campaign during the three-week run-off
period, received four votes less than her general election total.
Burroughs, who was an active campaigner, nearly doubled his previous
vote of 59.
Burroughs said that he has no particular agenda as mayor beyond
responsible growth. He did not attend a budget hearing by the
current mayor and council that was under way during the vote
in Clarke County
A Madison County jail escapee was captured last weekend after
eluding law enforcement for a week.
The Madison County Sheriff's Department and the Athens/Clarke
County police department captured Terry Lynn Langford, 48, of
Colbert, after searching an address on Georgia Drive in east
Langford was captured around 2 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24, after
a short foot chase when he fled out the back door of the home
in which he was hiding.
Two other persons were arrested and charged by Athens-Clarke
County police with hindering Langford's capture.
Langford was being held in the Madison County Jail on charges
of armed robbery, burglary, possession of a firearm by a convicted
felon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a
According to Sheriff Clayton Lowe, he had been assigned to paint
the jail and walked away after finishing the project.
New subdivision planned
Danielsville may soon have a new "mixed-use" subdivision.
County commissioners voted 3-2 Monday to approve a rezoning for
a 12-lot subdivision on Hwy. 98 and Racetrack Road.
Commissioners Melvin Drake, Mike Youngblood and Bruce Scogin
voted for the rezoning, while Bill Taylor and Johnny Fitzpatrick
opposed the measure.
The property is located adjacent to Lord and Stephens Funeral
Home just west of Danielsville.
The request by Edwin Hart, Bo Alewine and Ed Sanders, who represented
property owner Albert Sanders, was to rezone 15.38 acres of the
19.86 acre parcel from A-2 (agricultural, five-acre minimum)
to R-1 (single family residential, one-acre minimum with community
The 12 one-acre lots will have water furnished by the city of
Danielsville and will contain site-built homes of no less than
1,400 square feet.
Another portion of the request, which was to rezone the remaining
4.5 acres from A-2 to B-2 (business), was postponed until the
D.O.T. gives approval on an entrance off Hwy. 98.
Last week, the planning commission gave the thumbs-up for the
project by a 4-3 vote. Planning board member Robert Trevena said
the subdivision was an excellent opportunity to allow mixed use
of subdivided land which will be located within walking distance
of the city limits.
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.