News from Madison County...

JULY 31, 2002

Madison County

Madison County

Madison County H.S.

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Frank Gillespiie
‘Redneck Games’ more than just country hicks
A number of TV programs and supermarket tabloids have recently reported the existence of the Redneck Games, taking place around the South this summer.

Jana Adams
On the party line
Short-short, long-long or short-long — did you have your own ring on the party line?
That’s a thing of the past, right?


Directions to Area Schools

Raiders pop pads in practice this week
The Madison County football team hopes the preseason picture will become a bit clearer with this week’s move to pads.
After practicing in helmets and shorts last week, the team has been working out in pads since Monday, running through blocking and tackling drills in their second week of summer preparations.

Neighboorhood News ..
County agrees to Hwy. 53 road cuts for project
But DOT will have final say on the number of entrances allowed to planned retail center. The Jackson County Board of Commissioners tentatively agreed in a called meeting Monday night to assist with road improvements on Hwy. 53 in Braselton for a major retail center.
Water pressure jump will ‘blow’ systems without special valve
A lot of customers of the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority will get a surprise next Wednesday.

New subdivision, shopping center planned for WJ
The Jackson County Planning Commission recommended approval of two rezoning requests Thursday night that would bring a large subdivision and shopping center to the West Jackson area.

Neighborhood News...
County planning commission to meet Tuesday evening
The Banks County Planning Commission will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the courthouse in Homer.

Baldwin council says garbage service stinks
For some time, Baldwin residents and the city council have been complaining of the service received from Waste Management Inc., the company that handles sanitation.

Two local races to be on Aug. 20 ballot
Two local races will be on the ballot in the Aug. 20 primaries.
In the Banks County Board of Commission Post 2 race, incumbent Ernest Rogers and Sara Yarber Cross both qualified as Democrats.
The Madison County Journal
Danielsville, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056

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Red Raider band members Seth Brown (L) and Joey Bleakley (C) try out the drums for their new band director, Johnny Hallman.

And the drum roll please....
New director hopes to put a spark in MCHS band program.
When the Red Raider band takes to the field for the season’s first football game, Aug. 30, they will be marching to the commands of a new director.
Johnny Hallman, from Mobile, Alabama, has taken over as the Madison County High School music director.
Acknowledging that the school’s music program has been through some tough times recently, Hallman is eager to rebuild it from top to bottom - starting with the marching band.
“I want to turn this into a real band program,” Hallman says.
And it’s clear that the rebuilding is already under way, starting with the basics. New marching uniforms have been ordered (due in by mid-season) to replace the long-used black and white tuxedos and cummerbunds and a totally new musical program is planned for the season.
Hallman’s long term plans include resuming the band’s regularly scheduled trips every few years to Disney World in Orlando during spring break, as well as performances in state festivals and local parades.
Long term goals include more ambitious trips for performances elsewhere, possibly overseas.
But in the immediate future, the band will be focusing on their new music show, featuring music from the movie The Mask, for half-time football game performances.
Hallman says he’s trying to inject some new energy and a sense of fun into the music program.
The band, which had dwindled to only 50 or so members including auxiliary, by the end of school last spring, has already doubled in size - jumping to 100 members.
And band camp, which began last week with percussion and auxiliary, is in full swing this week, with all band members reporting.
“I haven’t met a bad kid yet - a few ‘characters’ maybe,” Hallman says jokingly of his band members. “It’s always ‘yes sir, no sir’...Band practice hasn’t been fun for a while and these kids are ready to have some fun.”
The marching band will be rehearsing each week through football season on Tuesday nights in the stadium and in the band room on Thursday afternoons.
“These rehearsals are open - anyone can come watch. It’s a pretty exciting show,” Hallman said.
He is also anxious to build an active band alumni program.
He says school officials, the Band Boosters and the new Fine Arts Committee have all been very supportive of his efforts.
As evidence of this, Hallman points to an increased operating budget and the purchase of a new trailer to haul band equipment; all good signs that he and his band are off to a great start.
Hallman and his wife, Beth McAfee-Hallman have two children, Bailey, 8 and Shelby, 3.
A native of Alabama, Hallman has directed music at a high school in his home state and one in Mississippi for the past seven years.
He says he and his family are excited about their move to Madison County and look forward to being a part of the community.
The Band Boosters, who sponsor the band with fundraising and other activities, meet the fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Red Raider band room.
And Hallman invites everyone, especially band alumni, to check out the new Red Raider band website:

Hudgens can run for senate District 47 post
State representative Ralph Hudgens can run for the District 47 senate seat, a judge ruled Friday.
The senate hopeful faced a challenge from Robert Johnson of Hartwell, who contended that Hudgens is not actually a resident of the district he is seeking to represent.
But Administrative Law Judge John B. Gatto ruled that an “analysis of all the evidence establishes that respondent’s (Hudgens) domicile is in Senate District 47.” Secretary of state Cathy Cox officially affirmed Gatto’s ruling Monday, according to Cox’s press office.
Hudgens said Friday he was pleased the “temporary inconvenience” was over and that he can now devote his time to “talking about the issues.”
The Republican will face 30-year-old Democrat Robert Banks of Canon in the November general election for the newly drawn District 47 seat, which includes part or all of 16 counties, including Madison, Banks and Jackson counties.
“I felt confident that the judge would rule according to the law and I’d be on the ballot,” said Hudgens. “He (the judge) pointed out thing after thing (about why Hudgens should be on the ballot). There is no gray area.”
Hudgens resided for years in a Hwy. 106 house, which is now in the senate’s 49th district — Republican incumbent L.S. Casey Cagle will seek election to the 49th post.
But the candidate says his official residence was 1699 Old Kincaid Road, Colbert, Georgia from October 2001 to June 2002, and has been at 509 Clover Avenue, Comer, Georgia, since June 2002.
A primary complaint by Johnson was that in 2001 Hudgens received a homestead exemption on his property taxes on his Hwy. 106 house.
The plaintiff pointed out that when “determining the residence of a person to register to vote,” state law says that “the county or municipality in which a person has declared a homestead exemption...shall be deemed the county or municipality of the person’s residence.”
But Gatto pointed out that the “residence provision is applicable to voters and not to candidates.”
“Had the legislature intended it to apply to candidates, it could have done so,” wrote Gatto. “Thus, the Tribunal must apply the plain meaning of the statute, and not expand it to include candidates.”
The judge also pointed out that Hudgens “has been and remains” a resident of Madison County. He said the homestead exemption “only establishes residency in Madison County, not any legislative district therein.”
Gatto added that there are “sound public policy reasons for the General Assembly not to have extended the homestead exemption provision to residency in legislative districts: ‘district lines may change relatively frequently while county and municipal borders are less likely to change.’”

So who represents you?
Redistricting has created major confusion among many Madison County voters who do not know which district they are in, or who is seeking to represent them.
One significant change is that the county is no longer represented by one state senator and one state representative. The new districts split the county into two senate and three house districts.
While the new plan eliminates split precincts within the county, the board of commissioners and board of education passed separate plans.
Here is a list of Madison County precincts and the districts to which they are assigned:
•Colbert: 47th Senate, 76th House, 5th BOC, 5th BOE
•Collins: 47th Senate, 78th House, 2nd BOC, 2nd BOE
•Comer: 47th Senate, 78th House, 5th BOC, 5th BOE
•Danielsville: 47th Senate, 78th House, 4th BOC, 4th BOE
•Fork: 47th Senate, 78th House, 4th BOC, 5th BOE
•Harrison: 47th Senate, 23rd House, 5th BOC, 5th BOE
•Hull: 49th Senate, 76th House, 3rd BOC, 3rd BOE
•Ila: 49th Senate, 76th House, 1st BOC, 1st BOE
•Mill: 47th Senate, 23rd House, 5th BOC, 5th BOE
•Paoli: 47th Senate, 78th House, 4th BOC, 5th BOE
•Pittman: 49th Senate, 76th House, 1st BOC, 1st BOE
•Poca: 47th Senate, 23rd House, 2nd BOC, 4th BOE
In addition, Madison County was moved from the 11th Congressional District, currently held by John Linder (R), to the 9th Congressional District of Charlie Norwood.
Only the 78th House district will be in play during the August 20th primaries. Incumbent Democrat Tom McCall of Elberton is being challenged by Barbara Giles McLendon, also of Elberton. The winner will face Republican Joe Harris of Washington in the November General Election.
House District 23 incumbent Alan Powell of Hartwell was the only Democrat to qualify. He will face Republican Arch Adams of Hartwell in November.
Republican incumbent Bob Smith of Watkinsville is unopposed in the 76th District.
Senate District 47 has no incumbent. State Rep. Ralph Hudgens of Comer is seeking to move to the senate and will be the Republican nominee. Robert Banks of Canon will represent the Democrats in November.
L.S. Casey Cagle of Gainesville is the incumbent in the 49th Senate District and is seeking re-election in the Republican Primary. His opponent is Suellen Simmons, a Democrat from Jefferson.
Magistrate Judge Harry Rice is unopposed in the only county-wide local race. He qualified for the Republican primary and has no Democratic opposition.
The board of education members will now be chosen in a non-partisan election to be held concurrently with the primaries. In District One, Incumbent Robert Haggard is being challenged by Greg Bleakley. Arlen Johnson is the only qualifier in District Two.
Remaining board of education districts and all Board of Commissioner seats will be included in the 2004 elections.
Ninth District Congressman Charlie Norwood is being opposed in the Republican Primary by Lee Dickerson. The winner will face Democrat Barry Gordon Irwin of Colbert in the general election. A Libertarian candidate, Chad Elwartowski is attempting to gain ballot access via the petition route.
— See page 3A for more on General Assembly candidates

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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.

Suspects nabbed for Clover Farm robbery
Two men who allegedly robbed a local grocery store at gunpoint last week didn’t get very far before they were captured by law enforcement.
Adam’s Clover Farm, located on Hwy. 191 at Hwy. 281 (Wildcat Bridge Road) was reportedly held up last Thursday around noon by two white males; one armed with a Derringer and the other with a blue steel 38 caliber revolver.
The two men arrested were Casey Lynn Langford, 19, of Arnoldsville, and James Andrew Hyde, 17, of Athens. They were charged with one count each of armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and aggravated assault.
Langford was also found to be AWOL from the military, according to a press release.
According to Madison County chief deputy Bill Strickland, the men, one wearing a stocking cap and the other wearing a shirt around his face, entered the store and demanded money. The pair were driving a burgundy Pontiac Grand Am that allegedly belonged to Hyde’s mother.
Gunshots were exchanged with store owner Nick Adams in the parking lot as the suspects fled the scene but no one was injured.
The pair were captured at Hyde’s residence on Fairlane Drive off Newton Bridge Road in Clarke County around 1:30 p.m. that afternoon. The weapons and most of the money were recovered.
According to Strickland, several things combined to assist law enforcement in the suspects’ quick capture.
In addition to a video at the crime scene, the vehicle the men were driving had been spotted by a passerby earlier that day behind a store on Danielsville Road. The witness wrote down the tag number, called Clarke County 911 and reported that someone inside the car was in the process of putting on a stocking cap.
Police were unable to locate the vehicle at the time and the robbery in Madison County occurred not long after.
“It was just a case of putting two and two together to solve the case quickly - we had a video, the (Clarke County) officer remembered the earlier incident and the tag number came back to a car matching the description of the suspects’ vehicle... We drove to the home on Fairlane Drive and there they were,” Strickland said.
Both men remained in the Madison County Jail as of press time.