News from Madison County...

MAY 22, 2002


Madison County
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Madison County H.S.
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OPINIONS

Frank Gillespiie
Are you tired of the Saudi insults?
Well, you can do something about it. These Arabian egotists have only one thing we need — oil. We have only one thing they want — money. That is the only thing they love about us — our money. And as long as they feel that they are going to get it no matter what they say, they will continue to insult us.

Zach Mitcham
And that’s the way it is
“Shameless hype. Trumped up melodrama. It pretends. To be a public service. But just how dumb is your evening news?”
— Rob Walker of the New Republic, mocking the dramatic cadences of major network’s nightly news teasers.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Diamond Raider playoff run ends
Madison County trampled by Elephants in second round
The board on the press box at Red Raider Field which lists the accomplishments of the Madison County baseball program hasn’t seen fresh paint in four years.


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
Britt submits Hwy. 129 courthouse site for study
Meeting set up for May 28 to hear from three architects
Jackson County commissioner Stacey Britt put a third option for a new courthouse location on the table for BOC consideration Monday night. In addition, commissioner Emil Beshara set a public meeting for next Tuesday at 7 p.m. for three architectural firms to give presentations about what they believe are the most important aspects of a site selection.

Towns forming alliance on sales tax negotiations
In the first-ever action of its kind, municipal leaders in Jackson County appear ready to form an alliance for the re-negotiation of the county’s local option sales tax distribution.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Lula puts up a fight
City to fight Hall County BOC annexation opposition
The Lula City Council voted unanimously Monday night to fight the Hall County Board of Commissioners’ denial of the town’s request to annex a 138-acre plot north of Belton Bridge Road that would extend the city limits to Highway 365.

A Day at the Fort coming up Saturday
A Day at the Fort is planned for Saturday, May 25, at Fort Hollingsworth White House, located on Wynn Lake Road, off Highway 441, between Cornelia and Homer.

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SCHOLARS AND FRIENDS
Salutatorian Elizabeth Bleakley (left) and valedictorian Kasey Hale will speak at Madison County High School’s Class of 2002 graduation ceremony Friday night at the Classic Center. Friends since ninth grade, both girls will continue their studies in the University of Georgia’s honors program in the fall.

For MCHS Class of 2002
Some 200 Madison County seniors will bid farewell to their high school at the Classic Center Friday as they eye a new phase of life.
The 2002 MCHS commencement ceremony is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Athens Classic Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are required.
Speakers will include valedictorian Kasey Hale and salutatorian Elizabeth Bleakley, Mays Dixon, Heather Munro, Stephen Tippins and Denise Williams.
HONOR
GRADUATES
This year’s honor graduates are: Steven Austin, Theresa Batson, Tabitha Bellamy, Tyler Beusse, Elizabeth Bleakley, Andrea Bond, Steven Boutwell, Vicki Brown, Patrick Bryant, Kelli Burroughs, James Burton, Thomas Caffrey, Jessica Chambers, Ashley Collins, Matthew Collins, Cathy Crocco, Randall Daniel, Stephanie Daniel, Michael Dinsmore, Matthew Fortson, Carley Foulk, Katie Garrett, Kimberly Ginn, Kasey Hale, Leah Hardeman, Brandon Hayes, Heath Hix, Edward Ivey, Burl Johnson, Jean Johnson, Michael Johnston, Vanessa Kirk, Leslie Ledford, Franklin May, Tyler McSpadden, Crystal Mosko, Sarah Mosseri, Ashley Mullins, Jennifer Nation, Glenn Owens, Brandon Ownby, Jonathan Pou, Stephen Seagraves, Ashley Sobhani, Joshua Stephenson, Ryan Swaims, Wendy Tiller, Stephen Tippins, Carmen Tyner, Amanda Verhine, Dustin Walker, Christopher Watson, Christopher Wiley, Laura Wilkerson, Denise Williams and Cortney Yarbrough.


Touchdown Club speaks up for Hybl
Parents, players and Touchdown Club members crowded the May meeting of the Madison County Board of Education Tuesday night to make clear their support of Madison County High School football coach and athletic director Tom Hybl.
Hybl’s contract as athletic director was recently approved by the school board by a slim 3-2 vote, with Ric Power and Elaine Belfield voting not to renew the contract. Speaking for the Touchdown Club, Dwyane Collins told the board that his organization fully supports Coach Hybl and his program.
“Coach Hybl is doing good things,” Collins said.
Collins pointed out that student participation has grown from 38 players four years ago to 65 this spring. He noted that Hybl guided the team from two 2-8 seasons to the team’s first perfect 10-0 year in 2000 and an 8-2 record this past year in non-region play. He asked the board to provide assurances to the community about Hybl’s future “to put out the fire of rumor.”
SCHOOLS TO TEST NEW
SUMMER SCHEDULE
In a separate matter Tuesday, school superintendent Keith Cowne said county schools will be using a pilot schedule of four-day weeks during the summer break. Beginning Monday, June 3, through Thursday, July 18, all offices and personnel will observe the four-day week schedule. The regular schedule will resume on July 22.
In addition, the five elementary schools will be closed to all but maintenance personnel from June 12 to July 19 for cleaning and maintenance.
Cowne urged parents to wishing to talk with school officials to call ahead and set up appointments to be sure that the required official is available.
LEADERSHIP PROGRAM
Also Tuesday, 15 Madison County High School students were recognized for completing a Chamber of Commerce sponsored leadership program. A number of the students will be back in school next year and will contribute to student leadership, according to school superintendent Keith Cowne.
Graduates from the program include Chance Beasley, Tabitha Bellamy, West Bennett, Ricky Chambers, Lindsay Godfey, Ellen Kuhn, Cassie Maxwell, Catherine Morris, Heather Perry, Thad Pruett, Christopher Roach, Christal Sexton, Kristi Smith, Katie Weese and Neil Zelley.
JORDAN RECOGNIZED
Eliana Jordan was given a certificate of recognition for her outstanding efforts in teaching non-English speaking students. She was praised for her classroom efforts as well as serving as a translator for other teachers. Jordan is a native Spanish speaker.
TITLE I REPORT
The board heard a Title I report that two schools, Danielsville Elementary and Madison County Middle School, failed to make “adequate yearly progress” under the act and have been identified as schools “In Need of Improvement.” The report listed plans to improve Title I instructions to overcome the deficiencies.
Improvements in school employee benefits were discussed, including better insurance protection.
OTHER BUSINESS
In other business, plans to change bus schedules in order to increase elementary teacher planning time at the end of the day are being developed.
Two new books for Comprehensive Health Education programs were approved. The new material emphasized abstinence as a teaching goal.
The board agreed to transfer their checking account and food services account from BB&T to Merchants and Farmers bank.
The board tabled a proposed contract with the Clarke County Board of Health for a Tobacco Use Prevention Program. The contract would require a total smoking ban on school property.
The BOE approved Knox-Wall to provide banking services and SPLOST advice. The current SPLOST will expire in 13 months. Any new program will have to be submitted to the voters for approval.


Hull spring festival set for May 25
The fourth annual Hull Community Spring Festival will be held this Saturday, May 25.
The festival will include a 5K walk/run and “fun run” (all walkers are welcome). There will also be a parade, guest speakers, gospel music, crafters, food, antique cars and children’s entertainment.
“Please make your plans now to come and spend the day in our community for loads of good entertainment and fun for the entire family,” said Hull Mayor B.W. Hutchins.
For more information, call Betty Anderson at 353-1227 or Larry Hart at 543-9040.


Annual veterans Memorial Day
Campout planned
The annual Memorial Day Campout at the L.Z. Friendly Camp off Hwy. 29 is set for May 24-27.
All veterans and family are invited — veteran proof is required.
The event is at 1050 Johnny McElroy Road, Colbert, near Danielsville.
The cost is $10 per person for a day or $25 per person for the weekend.
Friday will include a night meal only. There will be a breakfast and night meal Saturday and Sunday and breakfast only Monday.
According to organizers, the event will include DJ Jimmy Grant, beer on tap at the beer hall, a Motown band called The Common People Band Friday night, a candlelight ceremony at dark Saturday night and music Saturday from Greg and the Grunttones. Sunday night is “karaoke night.”
For more information, call Doug Hill at 795-3241.

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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.


Controversial rezoning given thumbs up
A controversial rezoning that was postponed by the planning commission last month, received the group’s unanimous seal of approval Tuesday after a number of issues were taken care of by the property’s owners.
Brothers Michael and Wayne Reese requested a rezoning on a 4.73-acre parcel on Hardman Morris Road from A-2 (agricultural) to three different zoning designations: B-2 (business, 20,000-square foot minimum), R-R (rural residential, two-acre minimum) and R-1 (residential, one-to-1.5-acre minimum). The Reeses want to rezone a .68 acre portion to B-2 for an existing car repair shop, a 1.5-acre parcel to R-1 for an existing home on the property and R-R for the remaining 2.5 acres.
Planners wanted to see documentation from the health department that the lot size for the car repair shop is adequate to support sanitary facilities. The shop currently has no facilities.
The Reeses currently rent the property to Charles Armour, who lives in the home and operates a non-complying vehicle repair business and junkyard.
Zoning administrator Kim Butler said last month that she had received a complaint about the business, which is operating illegally on the agriculturally zoned property.
Butler sent a letter to the Reeses advising them they must rezone the property to conform
For the rest of this story see this weeks Madison county Journal.


Park committee to present findings Wed.
A committee formed to study the development potential of a controversial tract of land off Hwy. 72 will present its findings Wednesday, May 29, at 6 p.m. in the county government complex.
The group will propose development of the west side of 80 acres off James Holcomb Road purchased by the county IDA earlier this year to establish an industrial park. Members of the park committee have said the eastern portion of the land is not suitable for commercial development.
The committee, which includes local government officials and county residents, was established after weeks of debate over the appropriateness of developing the area and over how the land was bought.
Many said an industrial park would be incompatible with surrounding residential areas. Park opponents also said the IDA bypassed the authority of the BOC, which had turned down a cold storage facility for the land months earlier, and approved a land purchase with no public input.
Proponents of the park pointed to the need for commercial development in the county to counter ever-increasing property taxes on homeowners.
The furor led to the dismissal of IDA chairman John Scoggins, was who replaced by current chairman Ed Brown, and the formation of a group to evaluate the land.