News from Madison County...

APRIL 10, 2002


Madison County
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OPINIONS
Frank Gillespiie
Some more about Southern history
April is Confederate History and Heritage Month. One of the purposes of the observations is to present an accurate history of the Confederacy and the War for Southern Independence. That includes pointing out inaccuracies in popular history of the era.

Zach Richards
Let’s keep perspective on standardized tests
George W. Bush may have had good intentions proposing his “no child left behind” campaign. But the feel-good phrase rings hollow to many who look at federal and state policies and notice that children, teachers and schools are reduced to simple integers in an enormous bureaucratic tab sheet.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Searching for a power outlet
Home run total sits at zero this year in 7-8 Raider start
Back in its hey day, Atlanta- Fulton County Stadium, the old home of the Braves, was affectionately christened the “Launching Pad” because of the frequency in which baseballs used to fly out of the ball park.


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
Leo Daly Firm declines to participate in BOC meeting
The Leo Daly Firm declined to present its recommendation for a downtown courthouse site at a public hearing set by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners.

No more package stores in Braselton until 2010
Braselton won’t see another alcoholic package store until the next U.S. Census rolls around — in 2010.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
BOE fills key positions
BCHS principal, athletic director, counselor among hires Monday
The Banks County Board of Education filled three key vacancies at its meeting Monday night after entering into a closed session.

Banks to contribute $10,000 total to joint development authority
BOC, local development group agree on $5,000 from each
With $10,000 from Banks County and $10,000 from Habersham County in the bank, the Banks-Habersham Joint Development Authority plans to pay some bills and get a consultant’s help on creating a “road map” and seeking grant funding for future projects.

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‘Celebrating folk life’

HERBAL TREATS Catherine Haley, an herbalist from Royston, sells her homemade products at the Danielsville Folk Festival Saturday. For more photos from the festival, see this weeks Madison County Journal.

County leaders to discuss rec. expansion
County leaders will meet Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m. to discuss how recently purchased land for the recreation department will be used.
The BOC recently bought 31 acres to expand the recreation department. The purchase cost $172,000 and was funded through the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) approved by voters in 1998.
Recreation department head Dick Perpall said the primary expansion goal is the creation of new soccer fields, but he also spoke of a lake for irrigation and recreational purposes and practice fields, as well as areas left in their natural setting, where citizens could enjoy nature trails and picnic areas.
Perpall said he would like input from the board and the public on how the expansion should proceed. And at Perpall’s request, the BOC agreed Monday to seek bids from architectural firms to help establish plans for the land.
In an unrelated recreation matter, Commissioner Mike Youngblood said citizens have voiced concern about recreation maintenance head Grady Autry driving a county truck home. Youngblood said he didn’t feel Autry should be on call at all times. He suggested that Perpall — not Autry — be on call 24 hours a day and be provided a vehicle if he wants one. Perpall said Autry is the department’s most qualified person to handle maintenance problems when the recreation office isn’t open. But the board agreed to Youngblood’s proposal by a 3-2 vote, with Youngblood, Melvin Drake and Bruce Scogin voting for the measure and Bill Taylor and Johnny Fitzpatrick voted against the move.
Scogin said he would like to discuss which county employees should be provided with a county vehicle. The matter will be


Cowne shares SPLOST ideas with crowd
Supt. talks about schools’ long-term facilities needs
At a meeting with the Madison County Arts Education Committee Monday night, county school superintendent Keith Cowne shared his thoughts on possible future special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) programs.
The current five-year one-cent sales tax, being used to finance the new Hull-Sanford School, will expire at the end of 2003.
The next SPLOST will be on the ballot in March 2003, and another in 2008. These funds can only be used for capital-outlay (facilities) projects.
The superintendent said that sales tax money from a 2003 referendum could be used to construct new classrooms at schools currently using portable classrooms.
He also spoke of development of the proposed sports complex on land across from the high school that was purchased several years ago.
When completed, the sports complex will be used for varsity sports as well as PE programs. Cowne describes current sports facilities as “embarrassing.”
Further down the road, in 2008, Cowne envisions the construction of a new middle school consisting of three semi-independent pods with a central area containing a media center, kitchens and other support facilities.
He also said 2008 SPLOST funds might cover the redevelopment of the current middle school to house: improved arts facilities, such as band rooms and a theater, board of education offices, an alternative school and other needed facilities.
Cowne's comments Monday are simply suggestions. No plans have been finalized. But they shed light on possible future facilities aims of the county school system.


A signature of spring....opening day of baseball
It’s a signature event of spring — opening day of youth baseball and softball.
More than 1,000 kids — approximately 575 in Little League and 475 in recreation leagues — are sharpening their swings and pitching techniques, getting ready for the first day of youth baseball and softball Saturday.
And the Madison County Recreation Department is preparing for some busy weeks, keeping fields and concessions in shape while the good times roll for the kids. The department has 30 part-time employees this spring, three-full time office staffers and five maintenance workers.
“It takes all hands on deck,” said Dick Perpall, director of the recreation department. “...We’re in good shape. The weather has allowed us to stay on schedule.”
There are no major renovations this year in the recreation facilities, though Perpall pointed out that some flower beds have been added to add some more aesthetic charm to the heavily fenced park.
“We wanted to spruce things up, make it quit looking like just fences,” said Perpall.
Perpall said he and his staff are excited about Saturday.
“We always look forward to baseball when everybody can get outside,” he said.
For an opening day schedule of youth baseball and softball in Madison County, see this weeks Madison County Journal

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Fatal wreck on Hwy. 281
A Danielsville man died after a Monday afternoon accident in the “S” curve on Hwy. 281 (Wildcat Bridge Road). The head-on collision happened around 1:30 p.m. and involved two vehicles — a Camaro, which reportedly crossed the center line, and a Ford Bronco. Jessie Lee Phillips, 72, who was driving the Bronco was taken to Cobb Memorial Hospital by Madison County EMS. From there he was airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital in Greenville, S.C., where he died later that afternoon of his injuries. The driver of the other vehicle, Rebecca Cothran of Hart County was taken to Ty Cobb Memorial Hospital with unspecified injuries. According to those at the scene, several passersby stopped to rescue Phillips from his vehicle which had flipped over and caught on fire.


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.