News from Madison County...

MAY 01, 2002


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OPINIONS

Frank Gillespiie
Remember your obligation to keep county clean
Have you finished your spring cleaning yet? Many parts of Madison County need to be cleaned up. I receive numerous calls from people who are disturbed by the appearance of our county, from trash littering the roads, garbage dumped in creeks and neighbors who litter their own yards.

Zach Mitcham
The real battle over Southern identity
There’s a lot of talk these days about Southern heritage.
But flag furor seems misdirected.
The real dilemma regarding Southern identity these days centers on land, not cloth.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Lady Raiders topple top-seeded Loganville to clinch state berth, fall in region championship
Once is good, twice is better.
The Madison County girls’ soccer team (11-8) proved that last year’s inaugural appearance in the state tournament was no fluke, securing their second straight trip to the state tournament by toppling top-seeded Loganville Wednesday in the first round of the region playoffs.


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
BOC to get proposed rec ‘master plan’ Monday
$39 million plan calls for three new complexes over 10 years
A plan for increasing recreation facilities and services in Jackson County over the next 10 years will be unveiled at the board of commissioners meeting Monday night. The BOC will meet at 7 p.m. in the Administrative Building in Jefferson.

I-85 work to begin from 7 p.m.-7 a.m.
Anyone traveling between Banks Crossing and Château Élan on Interstate 85 during evening hours for the next 10 months should expect delays.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
CVB raises $4,300 at golf tournament
At last week’s meeting of the Banks County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, co-chairperson Alicia Andrews announced the organization had raised $4,369 at the golf tournament held in April.

Chamber plans picnic for May 9
The Banks County Chamber of Commerce will hold its first annual “Picnic on the Courthouse Lawn” Thursday, May 9.

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SURVIVORS’ WALK

Pictured are cancer survivors during the 2000 Madison County Relay for Life “Survivors’ Walk.”

Relay set for the weekend
The fourth annual American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life gets under way in Madison County this Friday, with opening ceremonies beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Recreation Department track field.
The following is an agenda of events:
Friday May 3
•9 a.m. - Park opens for campsite set up
•5:30 p.m. - Survivor reception begins in hospitality tent. All vehicles must be removed from the track at this time.
•6:30 p.m. - Opening ceremonies followed by survivor lap and caregiver lap.
•7 p.m. - Team lap and photos.
•7:30 p.m. - Team walking and entertainment begins.
•9:30 p.m. - Luminary ceremony
•11:30 p.m. - Miss Relay pageant
•12 a.m. - Midnight pizza buffet/karaoke begins
Saturday, May 4
•7 a.m. - Luminary lap cleanup and breakfast.
•8:30 a.m. - Closing ceremonies; awards given.
Relay chairperson Louise Watson said she is looking forward to this year’s event and she took the time to reflect on what the Relay has meant to her personally, and to the county, over the past four years.
“This makes my fourth year as Madison County’s chairperson for the Relay for Life. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve in this capacity,” Watson said.
“I’ve learned a lot since the first year that I was not aware the American Cancer Society does to assist our citizens,” she added.
Louise said it has been a learning experience for her as well as the team captains who were “brave” enough to head up teams for the past three years.
“A lot of hard work and time goes into preparing for the Relay, but we also have a lot of fun doing it,” she said. “It brings our community together against a common enemy - cancer.”
Watson said she first got involved in the Relay four years ago after a lunch date with friends Karen Lewis, who was director of the local American Cancer Society, and Marjie Graham.
“They wanted to know my opinion on whether there would be enough interest in Madison County to start a Relay for Life. I told them I thought there would be,” she remembers. “They paid for my lunch that day - and later I was asked to be the chairperson and from there the involvement increased. For the rest of this story see this weeks Madison County Journal.


MCHS girls’ coach headed to Northgate
Madison County will have a new head girls’ basketball coach next season.
Tim Cook says he will step down as the Lady Raider coach after nine years to take the girls’ head coaching post at the new Northgate High School in Coweta County.
The county school board still has to approve the termination of Cook’s contract before the move becomes official. No new MCHS coach has been named.
Cook said he and his wife, Christa — who have 19-month old twins, Avery and Bryce — want to move closer to family members in Thomasville and Barnesville.
“Basically, we’re trying to get back closer to our families,” said Cook. “Now that we’ve got the boys we said that if something came up in that area, we’d look at it.”
Cook said leaving Madison County is a “tough decision.” He described his emotions on the move as “excited, nervous and sad.”
“There are a lot of positives here,” he said. “We have a lot of friends here. People have been very good to us. I don’t know if I can go anywhere else where people can be as nice and supportive. So it’s a bitter-sweet thing.”
The coach suffered through his only losing season in a nine-year stint this past season as the Lady Raiders posted a 4-20 mark. A year earlier, Madison County advanced to the state Elite 8, finishing with a 24-7 record — the best season under Cook, who ended his career at MCHS with a 131-88 record, a 59.8 winning percentage.
Cook said Northgate is a new school that will make the jump from AA to AAAA next year. He said Northgate’s girls’ program opened with a 20-win season several years ago, but the team has struggled the past couple of seasons.
“This is a chance to build a program,” said Cook.


BOC considers hiring second detainee crew
Madison County may hire a second work crew from the Whitworth Detention Center.
“It’s the most economical work force we’ll ever get,” said county commission chairman Wesley Nash. “Twelve men for $3,500 a year.”
The BOC renewed an annual contract Wednesday for the current detainee workers and commissioner Bill Taylor suggested that the board consider hiring an extra crew to do various jobs around the county. He said he spoke to commissioners from other counties while at a convention in Savannah last week and learned that other counties are saving a lot of money by utilizing prison detainees.
Nash said the current crew has done a good job renovating the old probate office in the old county courthouse. He also said he would like to see one crew totally devoted to trash pickup in the county.
“It would keep the county cleaner,” said Nash.
Commissioner Mike Youngblood suggested that the county could use detainees to cut the grass instead of contracting for the work — the board renewed a lawn maintenance contract during the meeting.
The commissioners did not approve a second crew during the meeting, but the group did agree to have Nash inquire if another crew is available from the detention center.
Commissioner Johnny Fitzpatrick said he had received a complaint about detainees working near a girls’ softball team at the recreation department and he asked that those directing the detainees “use discretion” to avoid such instances in the future.
EASEMENT MORATORIUM
Also on Wednesday, the commissioners approved a 90-day extension on a moratorium on easements until July 24. In the meantime the county will continue work on revising guidelines to prevent developers from avoiding paving roads for subdivisions by taking advantage of an ordinance loophole on easements. The ban does not apply to already approved plans for residential easements.
PERSONNEL ACTIONS
The board approved several personnel actions in the tax assesors office: the promotion of Rebecca Duncan to a chief appraiser position, the establishment of an office manager/computer consultant position, and the promotion of both Mandy Porterfield and Rita Russum to appraiser 1 status.
The commissioners approved three hirings in the road department: Richard Travis Sims and Robby Anglin as full-time mowers and Crawfod Tucker as a part-time temporary employee.
ROADS
The commissioners approved $1,772 to pave the portion of Springs Drive in Madison County. Athens-Clarke is contracting for the paving of the remainder of the road.
For the rest of this story see this weeks Madison County Journal.



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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.


BOE member pushed for athletic shakeup
Madison County school board members turned down proposals last month by fellow BOE member Ric Power to remove Tom Hybl as athletic director and Charlie Griffeth as baseball coach.
District 5 BOE member Ric Power made motions April 16 to remove Hybl as athletic director and Griffeth as baseball coach. He also made a motion to remove Tracy Terrell as middle school soccer and softball coach and seconded a motion by Elaine Belfield to remove Larry Bryant as middle school athletic director.
The board voted 3-2 to keep Hybl, with Robert Haggard, Jim Patton and John Mason voting to keep the athletic director and Power and Belfield voting for removal.
The BOE voted 4-1 to keep Griffeth and Terrell, with Power providing the lone vote for removal in both cases. The board voted 3-2 to keep Bryant, with Power and Belfield voting for removal.
Asked why he made the motions, Power said he was “not trying to take cheap shots at anybody” but that he was acting on input and concerns voiced by parents.
“I made these motions because of input I have received from parents and from my own personal observations,” said Power, whose son plays on Griffeth’s team. “Some parents have contacted me and voiced their concerns about these coaches but didn’t necessarily feel comfortable discussing issues with school officials.”
Neither coach Griffeth nor coach Hybl had any comment on the matter.