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Madison County needs economic development
Two recent studies reflect existing problems for Madison County. Let us start with some figures, and then see how they affect life in our community.
Looking for our family rootsı
A cousin I hadnıt heard from in years called me one afternoon last week.
Agnes is my motherıs first cousin and my mother often spoke of her, mentioning how they played together and often spent the night together as little girls.
Directions to Area Schools
Madison Co.upsets Franklin Co. 57-56
Maybe itıs actually the fourth time thatıs the charm.
The Madison County basketball team, topped three times earlier this year against Franklin County by an average score of 64-51, won the matchup that mattered most by upsetting the Lions 57-56 Monday night in the ³play-in² game of the 8-AAA region tournament.
Neighboorhood News ..
South Jackson couple murdered in their home
A South Jackson couple was killed in their home on Ethridge Road Friday afternoon and a man renting a room from them is the suspect in the double murder.
Facility plan calls for new elementary, high school in East Jackson
Additional classroom units that would max out West Jackson Middle School at 900 students, as well as a new elementary and high school in East Jackson, are among the ³meat² of a five-year facility plan set for the Jackson County School System.
Armed robbery reported at Regions Bank. South Carolina woman charged;
warrant issued for second suspect
Warrants have been issued for a South Carolina couple in the armed robbery Thursday at Regions Bank at Banks Crossing.
Fire department reps travel to New York
Firefighterıs widow presented with $23,000 check. Three Banks County firefighters traveled to New York last week to present a check for $23,000 to Cathy Tetgmeier, the widow of a firefighter killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center.
The Madison County Journal
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A TOTAL LOSS
This one-story brick home on Cleghorne Road outside Danielsville was completely destroyed by fire Saturday afternoon. According to Danielsville fire chief Marc Perry, the blaze apparently started in the homeıs basement or in a dropped ceiling above the basement. Firefighters were called back to the scene around 10 p.m. that evening when embers from the home re-ignited. Danielsville, Colbert, Ila, Neese-Sanford and Poca all responded to the original call with Danielsville, Colbert and Neese-Sanford returning to fight the second fire. No one was injured. This picture shows the home as it burned a second time.
Jail project halted
County finds over 100 problems with construction.Madison County officials suspended construction of the new county jail off Hwy. 98 last week after months of delays and building problems.
The $3.2 million project remains unfinished with no clear end in sight.
³County officials have attempted to work with the general contractor, Boatwright Construction, LLC, and the architect, Pieper IıBrien, Herr Architects, LTD, to address concerns of construction deficiencies and delay,² said BOC chairman Wesley Nash in a press release issued Friday. ³...Although the general contractor has given repeated assurances of performance throughout this time, the county is not satisfied with the construction progress.²
According to county leaders, there are 104 known deficiencies in the jail structure, one of the most notable being the lack of adequate steel reinforcement in the detainee areas, a problem which could pose a significant security risk.
The county recently hired a Marietta construction consultation firm, de Oplossing, Inc., to inspect the jail.
Nash said de Oplossing recommended suspending the construction.
³Upon the recommendation of de Oplossing, and consultation with and approval of the architect, the county has exercised its contractual right to suspend further performance by the general contractor, pending further inspection and testing of the work completed to date,² said Nash.
The chairman added that county taxpayers wonıt bear the cost of additional work.
³This project is a bonded project and this action should not result in any additional cost to the county,² he said.
County voters tagged $2.3 million in sales tax revenue for a new jail in 1998. The current county jail has an official capacity of seven and ranks as one of the most overcrowded county detainment facilities in the state.
County schools ranked by state
Several Madison County schools ranked in the top third of the state in a recent comparison of standardized test results for 2001.
Compiled by the Georgia Department of Education, the rankings show public schools relative to other public schools in the state on the Stanford 9 test and the SAT for 2001. Individual school results were released earlier, but this ranking, which is available on the DOE website, shows how local schools compared to other schools in the state on the national tests.
Among schools in MainStreet Newspapersı coverage area Madison, Jackson and Banks Counties Ila Elementary School ranked second in third grade results, placing 153rd out of 1,114 elementary schools in Georgia. Commerce was first in the area, ranking 132nd.
The new Hull-Sanford Elementary School ranked first in the area in the fifth grade composite scores, placing 110th out of 1,114 elementary schools in the state.
Madison County Middle School eighth grade composite scores were 124th out of 427 state middle schools, while Madison County High School was 147th out of 340 high schools in the state on the SAT.
On the Stanford 9 test, a percentile score of 50 is the national average. A majority of both elementary and middle schools in the state failed to score at or above that mark last year. It was the first time many of the schools administered the Stanford 9 test, which is dramatically different from the old ITBS standardized test which had long been the main test given in elementary and middle schools.
IDA chairman removed as ind. park controversy continues. The future of a proposed industrial park off Hwy. 72 remains hazy. But one thing was clear Monday night John Scoggins wonıt be in charge of how the land is developed.
Scoggins was ousted from the IDA Monday night at the end of a heated commissionerıs meeting. The board of commissioners voted 3-2 to remove Scoggins, with Mike Youngblood, Melvin Drake and Bruce Scogin voting for the ouster and Bill Taylor and Johnny Fitzpatrick opposing the move.
The action followed a 90-minute closed door meeting by the commissioners to discuss ³litigation² and ³personnel.² Many in the large crowd that stayed for the entire four-and-a-half hour meeting applauded after the vote.
Some citizens have called for the removal of all IDA members, believing the group was underhanded in brokering an 80-acre land purchase for an industrial park, an acquisition coming shortly after the BOC turned down a rezoning request for a cold storage facility plant for the property.
Scoggins was seen as a driving force in the deal, which many felt subverted the authority of the BOC.
On Tuesday morning, the industrial authority named Tom Joiner interim IDA chairman. The IDA will now wait for the board of commissioners to appoint a new authority member.
Meanwhile, the authority continues with plans for a commercial park on the 80 acres.
The IDA issued a press release this week naming members of a new committee to manage the development of a business park on the property.
³Effective February 12, 2002, the following Highway 72 business park committee has been appointed to manage the development of a business park concept/plan for the 80 acres purchased by the Madison County Industrial Development and Building Authority...² the press release stated.
The committee members are Kenny Beck, industrial authority member; Terry Chandler, farmer and cattleman; Bruce Azevedo, to represent the real estate and development community; Danny Andrews, to represent the residential community; Rob Kaser of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce; Rob Trevena of the planning commission; Jay Baker, county planner; and Chris McGahee of the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center. Georgia Power will also assist in the planning.
Authority members say the committee will ³manage the work of the technical design of the park to ensure the park and its future use is consistent with the county comprehensive land use plan and that future park occupants are consistent with the countyıs planning and zoning rules and regulations.²
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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.