News from Madison County...

December 12, 2001


Madison County
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OPINIONS

Frank Gillespie
DOT needs to improve Dogsboro traffic safety
Madison County continues to grow. That is made clear by constant applications for new subdivisions and building permits. Unfortunately, all the growth is in housing. Only occasionally do we hear of the successful opening of a new business.

Zach Mitcham
Who needs sleep?

The futuristic movies of the old days make me laugh — slow robots, neon fashions, enormous computers with big, flashing buttons.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Searching for a stronghold
Madison Co. holds its own against tough foes. Madison County wrestlers aren’t backing down from tough competition.
The 4-1 squad paired up with some of the top wrestlers in the state last week, nearly beating a top area program and placing fourth in an 11-team meet in Loganville.


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
Five indicted on murder charges
Five people were indicted by a Jackson County Grand Jury last week with murder. Another man was indicted for vehicular homicide and the three people charged with the recent robbery of a Jefferson bank were also indicted.

Panther Creek woes continue in Hoschton
Is it a pump design flaw? Are the lines too small for the pressure of a 29-house subdivision? Or maybe the plat is wrong?


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY

Saving a life
Two students, bus driver recognized by BOE for saving the life of local woman.Two students and a bus driver were honored by the Banks County Board of Education Thursday night for saving the life of a local woman.

Statham man charged with armed robbery at Zaxby’s
A Statham man was charged in the armed robbery Saturday of Zaxby’s at Banks Crossing. Timothy Edward Adams, 40, was charged in the incident after an investigation by the Banks County Sheriff’s Office.


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KINDERGARTEN CHRISTMAS

Ila Elementary kindergartners, including “Santa and Mrs. Claus,” performed songs and a Christmas skit to the delight of parents and faculty at Monday night’s PTO program. Schools are out for Christmas break beginning Dec. 19.

BOC votes ‘no’ on business licenses
There’s no requirement for a license from the Madison County government to operate a business in the county.
And county commissioners voted to keep it that way Monday.
The board voted 3-2 against implementing a business license in the county.
“It (a business license) is just another way of taxation that businesses don’t need,” said commissioner Bruce Scogin, who voted against business licenses, along with Bill Taylor and Johnny Fitzpatrick.
Commissioner Melvin Drake suggested the board consider instituting a $25 business license, which is officially referred to as an “occupational tax.” Drake said some county businesses which frequently operate out of the county have requested business licenses to establish an official connection with the county. He also said licenses would help the county government keep track of what businesses are in the county.
Scogin suggested that businesses that want to establish a Madison County connection could register with the Chamber of Commerce.
County clerk Morris Fortson also raised the issue of enforcement, saying that establishing business licenses would require hiring someone for license enforcement.


A friend for those in need
Local pastor collaborates with doctor on counseling ministry
Charity begins at home for evangelist, minister and pastoral counselor Jon Ainbinder of Colbert.
When his long-time friend, Danielsville physician Dr. James Haymore, called to ask for his help counseling patients who needed more than their physical problems attended to, Ainbinder didn’t hesitate.
“People are hurting - problems with kids, marriage, grief — I’m here to hopefully help them put things into perspective,” Ainbinder says of the counseling ministry he set up in Haymore’s office a few months ago.
“Dr. Haymore came to me out of his concern for patients who shared their personal problems with him,” Ainbinder said, adding that it is hard for a physician to take a lot of one-on-one time with patients when the waiting room is filled with others waiting their turn to be seen.
“He wanted to give them an alternative - someone they can talk to,” he said.
But Ainbinder stressed he is available to anyone - not just Haymore’s patients.
“I am willing to counsel anyone - any age, any problem” Ainbinder said, adding he would be willing to work with other businesses that want to make stress management and other counseling services available to their employees.
Ainbinder does yearly crusades and missionary work in Brazil, which he plans to continue, but he also desires to stay a little closer to home to be near his wife and two young children.
“I have found this experience to be very, very rewarding,” Ainbinder says of his 18 years in counseling, and is quick to share his own personal experience with stress and depression.
“I’ve been there: nine years ago I was suicidal, and my wife and I had marital problems, so I can relate to what others are going through,” he said.
Ainbinder says he has no set fees for his services, which are offered on a “donation basis” so that he doesn’t exclude anyone.
“They (counseling sessions) are all confidential, by law and by ethics,” Ainbinder stressed.
Ainbinder says he began counseling others in Bible college, including pastors, who sometimes feel, because of their roles as church leaders, that they have no one they can talk to.
He says he tries to help people analyze their options with particular problems - whether it be emotional, financial, marital, grief or otherwise.
And Ainbinder says he hasn’t noticed a big change in people since the uncertainty brought about by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“As far as that (attack) goes, people around here are concerned with how it will affect their finances,” he said. “For the most part they’re still dealing with their own stuff - not the ‘big picture.’”
Ainbinder says he is available to counsel on an ‘as needed basis’ right now and is considering opening a local counseling center in the future.
“I’m praying about it and considering it with a fellow counselor,” Ainbinder said.
“I just want to be a help to others, give them someone they can ‘unload’ their problems on,” he said.
Anyone who would like to talk with Ainbinder, or set up an appointment for confidential counseling, may call 795-5211.


County to pay for Blacks Creek fire protection
Madison County, not the City of Commerce, will be responsible for fire service in the Blacks Creek Church Road area.
The city of Commerce will soon provide water service to residents on the western end of Blacks Creek Church Road in Madison County. Area residents have encountered major failures of area wells, and many are out of water. Construction of the system should be under way shortly.
But the county will have to pay the city of Commerce $13,850 for nine hydrants, and $100 per year each for their maintenance and use. Madison County fire departments would have full use of the hydrants when needed. Commerce was asked to include a surcharge on the bills to pay for the hydrants, but refused.
The Madison County Industrial Authority voted at their December meeting to pay the invoice when received, then bill the board of commissioners for the amount. If the BOC refuses to pay, then the industrial authority will either absorb the payment or bill subscribers to the water system separately. Members of the authority acknowledged a promise that taxpayers would not be billed for any water system established by the authority but argue that fire protection was not included in the promise.
Once the water lines and hydrants are in place and working, homeowners within 1,000 feet of a hydrant will see a reduction in home insurance.
The authority continues to study water rates. Receipts from the Hull water system will have to cover loan payments and operating expenses.
Authority members are gathering figures on potential volume of water expected to be used by customers and cost estimates before determining rates. They expect the rate to be comparable to other water systems. City of Commerce rates for outside users is $14.30 per month for 3,000 gallons and $4.30 per additional thousand.
Chairman John Scoggins reported that negotiations continue with several well owners in the Hull, Dogsboro and Spratlin Mill area for possible sources of water for the system. Several of the wells will require additional construction along Spratlin Mill Road and Hwy. 72. The Authority already has plans to expand the system in these areas as soon as the acquisition is completed.
The earliest suggested date for completion of the Hull water system purchase is April 2002.

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Armed robbery reported at Jai’s Place
Jai’s Place and BP Gas Station was robbed at gunpoint last Monday evening and an undetermined amount of money was taken, according to a report on file at the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.
According to Chief Deputy Bill Strickland, the robber was a white male wearing a ski mask and carrying a small-caliber handgun. The robbery occurred around 5:45 p.m. and the robber left in an unidentified vehicle.


Hull mulls 2002 budget
Hull’s mayor and council are expected to vote on the town’s 2002 budget at their next regular meeting on Monday, Jan. 14.
The council will hold a public hearing for citizen input beginning at 6:30 p.m. that evening.
The council reviewed the proposed budget last Monday night, which is set at $39,263 in revenue and expenses. It contains little change from 2001, according to city clerk Janet Seagraves.
In a separate matter, it was noted that no one is set to fill Mark Cronic’s position on the city council beginning in January. Cronic recently resigned his position on the council, effective Dec. 31.
Another qualifying period and special election is set for this spring in an attempt to fill the post.
In other business, the council discussed adopting a yard sale ordinance for the town, after hearing about a resident’s complaints of a neighbor’s ongoing yard sale.
The council agreed to write a letter to the neighbor about cleaning up their yard in the meantime.


Nativity, luminarias set for Sat.
The 17th annual Booger Hill - Moon’s Grove Live Nativity and Luminaria will be held Saturday, Dec. 15, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
The event will be canceled if weather prohibits the display.
The event features luminarias at approximately 200 homes on a 10-mile route of country roads. There will be a Nativity scene with live characters and animals, carolers and other Christmas scenes.


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.