News from Madison County...

JUNE 26, 2002

Madison County

Madison County

Madison County H.S.

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Frank Gillespiie
Lottery shows
state’s hypocrisy
“Do as I say, not as I do,” is an old saying that marks the attitude of the hypocrite. This description clearly applies to the state of Georgia.

Adam Fouche
Munson gives account of Fouche’s Nerf football injury
SCOTT HOWARD: Well, good afternoon everyone. We’re out here at Hurricane Shoals for the MainStreet Newspapers Employee Picnic Bowl. We’ve seen these three faces around MainStreet Newspapers for a while.


Directions to Area Schools

Neighboorhood News ..
Sales tax shortfall
Past year brings dip in local sales tax proceeds.What has happened to revenue produced by the three cents (on the dollar) of local sales taxes in Jackson County?

‘Lights’ Concert Draws Biggest Crowd Ever
The sixth annual City Lights Concert drew the largest crowd so far last Friday night. Country music superstar Vince Gill, Commerce’s favorite son Bill Anderson, Ray Price and George Lindsey played to the closest thing Tiger Stadium has had to a full house since the 2000 Class A state football title.

Residents file lawsuit over zoning decision
A group of Jackson County residents have filed a lawsuit against the board of commissioners over the rezoning of property on Jackson Trail Road for a 121-home subdivision.

Neighborhood News...
Officers seize $89,500 in drugs, cash money. Two men and a woman face multiple drug charges after officers seized an estimated $77,000 in suspected cocaine and marijuana.
BOC holds first public hearings on budget
Friday’s board of commissioners public hearing on the budget yielded little public input.
The budget stands at just under $7.9 million. BOC chairman Kenneth Brady said he did not anticipate the board having to raise the mileage rate this year.

Nine qualify for August 20 primaries
Five candidates will be vying for board of commissioners seats this fall.
In BOC post two, incumbent Ernest Rogers and Sara Yarber Cross both qualified as Democrats. Ricky Cain qualified as a Republican candidate.
The Madison County Journal
Danielsville, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056

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Robert Sheriff enjoys his morning cup of coffee while watching the fish in a large aquarium in the lobby of Cobb Health Care Center.

Negotiations continue on jail completion
Firm to formulate ‘remediation plan’. With the building of a new jail halted due to faulty construction, county leaders are negotiating a plan to get the project completed — and done right.
There is still no clear completion date ahead, but county commission chairman Wesley Nash says the county will not face extra expenses on the approximate $3.2 million jail despite the problems in construction.
Nash met behind closed doors with commissioners and county attorney Mike Pruett Monday to discuss potential litigation regarding the project. After that meeting, Nash spoke of the progress of negotiations on the project.
He reported that Atlantic Mutual, the county’s bonding agency on the jail project, has hired Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum P.C. (HOK) to prepare a “remediation plan” on the jail project, meaning they will prepare a jail completion schedule for the county’s jail architects — Pieper and O’Brien — to review and approve. HOK representatives first visited the jail Monday. Nash said HOK has not given a date for completion of their review.
County commissioners fired the construction management firm — Boatwright Construction — earlier this year after an independent building inspection company found more than 100 errors in the jail structure, including a failure to put proper steel reinforcement in secured areas.
County voters approved $2.3 million in sales tax money in 1998 for the construction of a new jail. Madison County’s current jail, which has an official capacity of seven inmates, is one of the most overcrowded county detainment facilities in the state.

Colbert prepares for July 4th parade
The city of Colbert is preparing for its annual “Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration” on Thursday, July 4.
Colbert’s Canna Run, a 5K and one-mile race, will begin at 6:30 a.m. at the Colbert Elementary School. The 5K run will start at 7:30 a.m. and the one-mile walk will begin at 8:30 a.m.
The fun starts with the big parade at 10 a.m. Mr. Cliff Cook will be Grand Marshal. The theme this year is “United We Stand.” Following the parade and opening ceremonies will be a live show emceed by Crazy Old Roscoe Pucannon, along with Colbert’s famous barbecue lunch.
The performers under the big oak trees this year will include, among others, Joy Smith and the Band Counterpoint, bluegrass by “The Blue Ridge Ramblers,” Danny Anthony, Dennis Troy — doing his song “Honey Wagon” with Harold and Darrell — and Franletta Sorrells.
A large lineup of arts, crafts and food concessions will be featured. There will also be exhibits of Colbert’s history. The earliest known home, a log cabin built in the 1800s will be open. The Colbert Museum will be on exhibition in the old Seaboard Depot.

Johnson Jr. to run unopposed for BOE seat
Arlen Johnson Jr. will run unopposed for the District 2 post of the Madison County school board.
Qualifying for the District 1 and 2 seats on the county BOE, as well as the county magistrate’s post, concluded Friday, with Johnson the only candidate in his district. Elaine Belfield did not seek re-election to that position. Incumbent magistrate judge Harry Rice will also run unopposed.
In the BOE’s District 1 race, incumbent Robert Haggard will be challenged by Greg Bleakley. The non-partisan election will be held Aug. 20. (The Journal will focus more on this race in future issues).
Johnson is a 1976 Madison County High School graduate. He has worked with his father, Arlen Sr., at Johnson Electric in Athens since 1979. He and his wife, Karla, have three sons — Trey, Tyler and Tanner.
Johnson said he is looking forward to serving as a liaison between the community and the school system, adding that he will push for improvements in all facets of the education system.
“I want us to be good in everything,” he said, noting that he supports art programs.
Johnson is also a sports enthusiast. He has been president of the Madison County Youth Association, as well as treasurer of the Touchdown Club and a baseball coach.
The soon-to-be BOE member said he will support sports in schools.
“I want to see us develop a full sports program,” said Johnson.
He said he recognizes that — like students — he’ll have to hit the books, too, this year.
“I will be coming in as a freshman,” said Johnson. “And I know I’ll have a lot of learning ahead”

BOC says rec fields should be more accessible
County commissioners Mike Youngblood and Bill Taylor say they want the recreation ball fields made more accessible to the public.
Both commissioners said Monday that they have received numerous complaints from parents and coaches who said their kids had been unable to use the fields to practice for the upcoming all star tournaments.
The commissioners voted to issue a reprimand to county recreation department director Dick Perpall, who was not at the meeting, and an order that the fields be open through Saturday this week.
“This (closing the fields) happens every year, especially the week before all-stars,” said Youngblood.
But Perpall said Tuesday that the fields have been made available, apart from “a day or so,” and that people often don’t understand what goes into maintaining a field.
“They want nice fields but they don’t want us to do the work to maintain them,” he said.
The board also voted to keep the “bathrooms open at the big field until after the ball season.” That action was taken after Taylor noted that the bathrooms were closed during a recent area umpires’ meeting at the park while three teams also practiced at the facility.
The recreation issues mark the most notable tensions in quite some time at the commissioners’ table. Apart from fields and bathrooms, there was a clear sense from some on the board of a deeper dissatisfaction with recreation leadership.
Youngblood, who has voiced dismay with the recreation department on other issues, was the most vocal, contending that sit-down meetings with recreation leadership do not produce desired results. He spoke of reprimanding the department leaders and then taking “further action” if necessary.
County commissioner Bruce Scogin said he was reluctant to issue a reprimand, saying he would prefer to meet in person with Perpall, but he also voiced dismay with the recreation department.
“Personally, I’ve become disillusioned with the recreation department...the constant, ongoing bickering,” said Scogin, who then suggested — jokingly or not — that the county fire the crew and start over.
Perpall said he is discouraged by the perception some commissioners seem to have of the recreation department and its staff.
He maintained that the department generally has good relations with the Little League board and that finger-pointing at the recreation department is uncalled for.
“It’s rough on morale,” said Perpall.

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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.

Candidates qualify for two senate, three house seats
Thanks — or no thanks — to redistricting, Madison County will vote for two state senate seats and three Georgia House of Represent-atives posts this year.
The senate races include District 47 and District 49. Qualifying for those posts concluded Friday.
In the District 47 race, Republicans Ralph T. Hudgens, Comer; and Robert Banks, Canon both qualified. They will face no opposition from Democrats.
In District 49, Sueellen Simmons, Jefferson, qualified as a Democrat and L.S. Casey Cagle, Gainesville, qualified as a Republican.
Three House of Representative seats are located in Madison County — District 23, District 76 and District 78.
In District 23, Alan Powell, Hartwell, qualified as a Democrat and Arch Adams, Hartwell, qualified as a Republican.
In District 76, Bob Smith, Watkinsville, qualified as a Republican. No one qualified as a Democrat.
In District 78, Tom McCall, Elberton, and Barbara Giles McLendon, Elberton, both qualified as Democrats. Joe Harris, Washington, qualified as a Republican.