News from Madison County...

November 28, 2001


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Tues., Nov. 6
ELECTION RESULTS

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OPINIONS
Frank Gillespie
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.

Margie Richards
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.




SPORTS

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 ..
JACKSON COUNTY
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.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Lula residents speak against proposed Mar Jac feed mill
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.


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The Madison County Journal
Danielsville, Georgia
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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 attack.
"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.



Supt. 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 ballots necessary.
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 said.
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 Saturday
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, including mini-donuts.
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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Burroughs elected 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 count.


Escapee captured 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 Athens/Clarke County.
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 crime.
According to Sheriff Clayton Lowe, he had been assigned to paint the jail and walked away after finishing the project.



New subdivision planned for Danielsville
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 water supply).
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.