News from Madison County...

AUGUST 21, 2002


Madison County
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Madison County H.S.
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OPINIONS

Frank Gillespiie
Still more attacks
on Southern culture
When Southern partisans like myself tell you that there is a national drive to eliminate every vestige of Southern culture, many of you take it as just another group finding something to complain about.

Margie Richards
Some info about the new animal shelter
Madison and Oglethorpe counties will soon have an animal shelter.
Any of you who drive down the Colbert-Danielsville Road may have noticed a large, attractive building going up on land adjacent to the county’s solid waste transfer station (still known by many as the landfill).


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Raider football team looking to improve in second scrimmage
According Madison County head football coach Tom Hybl, the Raiders’ first preseason scrimmage this past Friday night showed that there’s a lot still left on the drawing board.
But the Raiders will get another chance to iron the kinks out this Friday as they take on 7-AA Morgan County in a 7 p.m. road scrimmage in Madison.


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
Beshara fends off challenger, 736-596
Incumbent Emil Beshara took 55 percent of the vote Tuesday to get re-elected to a second term as the District 3 representative on the Jackson County Board of Commissioners.

NWA vs. JCWSA suit heard in court Mon.
For two-and-a-half hours Monday afternoon, attorneys waged a war of linguistics for the right to provide water service to a 32-square-mile area in Nicholson.

Digest growth could pull $1 million more to county
Even if the Jackson County government doesn’t raise the countywide millage rate this fall, it will still take in an additional $1.1 million over last year.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
County’s Baldwin city residents to get tax refund
Banks County residents of Baldwin will soon be receiving a letter from the city concerning the refund due them of property taxes paid from 1999 through 2002.

Rogers, Ramsey get by
Ernest Rogers and Ben Ramsey have both made it past the first round in their bid for county government seats.
Rogers, the incumbent, narrowly defeated his commissioner post 2 Democratic opponent Sarah Yarber Cross 514-448.
Rogers took 53 percent of the vote.

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Drought dips into Alto’s water source
In Alto’s desperate search to find additional water, the news of a low production well at one of the chosen sites was not welcome information.

HAGGARD RE-ELECTED

BOE chairman Robert Haggard, who was re-elected Tuesday night, is pictured at Tuesday evening’s school board meeting.

Haggard re-elected to BOE seat
Robert M. Haggard has retained his District 1 seat on the Madison County Board of Education by defeating challenger Greg Bleakley 329 votes to 150.
Haggard, who has served on the board since Jan. 1995, thanked his constituents for re-electing him.
“I’d like to thank the voters of District 1 for their support and confidence in re-electing me to be their representative on the board of education,” said Haggard. “And I look forward to working to continue to improve Madison County schools.”
Running unopposed for the District 2 post of the school board was Arlen Johnson Jr., who officially earned the seat with 149 votes.
Incumbent Magistrate Judge Harry Rice also ran unopposed and was re-elected with 1,371 votes.
Tom McCall overwhelmingly defeated Barbara McLendon — 5,246 to 1,501 — as the Democratic candidate on the State House District 78 ticket in November. He carried Madison County with 147 votes to McLendon’s 50. McCall will face Republican Joe Harris in November.
Twenty two percent — or 2,672 — of Madison County’s registered voters hit the polls Tuesday, with Republicans outnumbering Democrats by an approximate 4-1 ratio, according to elections superintendent Donald “Hoppy” Royston.
OTHER COUNTY NUMBERS
Here’s how Madison Countians cast their votes in other elections:
Mike Beatty pulled 1,483 votes for Lt. Governor, giving him the highest individual vote of any candidate. He outdistanced Al Bartell with 60 votes and Steve Stancil’s 201. Beatty and Stancil will be in a runoff for the Republican nomination Sept. 10.
Congressman Charlie Norwood outpolled challenger Lee Dickerson 1,434 to 247.
The highest vote total for any Democrat was for Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin who claimed 644 votes. He had no opposition in the Democratic primary.
In other returns, Saxby Chambliss picked up 783 votes for Senate in the Republican Primary. Bob Irvin was close behind with 532 votes and Robert Brown Jr. received 285.
Sonny Perdue easily outdistanced Linda Schrenko 1,049 to 475 in the race for Republican nominee for Governor. Bill Byrne pulled 252 votes.
Charlie Bailey carried the county in the Republican race for Secretary of State with 826 votes. Jerry Wyatt picked up 376 votes and Vernadette Ramirez Broyles received 253.
Kathy Cox easily carried Madison County in the Republican primary for State School Superintendent defeating Mitchell Kaye 1052 to 496. Brent Brown edged Richard McGee for Commissioner of Labor 720 to 605.
Among the Democrats, Lois Cohen outdistanced William Randy Murray 360 to 284 for Commissioner of Labor.
Barbara Christmas led a large field in the Democratic race for State School Superintendent with 237 votes. Joe Martin took 156, Theresa Bey received 99 votes, Peyton Williams Jr. had 69, Larry Wayne McNorton collected 56 and Phyllis E. Lowther Turner came in last with 53 votes.
Mike Thurmond, the incumbent, took 465 votes for Commissioner of Labor, while John Frank Collins took 280.
The nonpartisan Primary for Supreme Court Judge drew little interest. Robert Benham defeated Ira Keith McKee 726 to 358 for one seat. Norman S. Fletcher’s 551 votes outdistanced Russell J. Parker with 280 and Ben Ballenger with 233.


BOE considers admissions revision
The local school board is considering revising its out-of-county admission policy to allow the siblings of currently enrolled out-of-county students to attend county schools.
And in a related move Tuesday, the BOE approved a waiver of the current policy to go ahead and allow the brother of an out-of-county Madison County High School student to attend MCHS while the policy revision awaits approval.
School board member John Mason suggested the board change the policy and allow the student into the school system. He pointed out that the admission policy established in 1998 which bans new out-of-county admissions, allows out-of-county students already enrolled to remain in the school system.
Schools leaders have, in recent years, expressed a desire to make county schools available only for in-county students — with exceptions for the children of teachers in the system who live out of the county.
Mason said the “in-county only” objective can still be accomplished by allowing the siblings of current out-of-county students into the system. He said that since no new out-of-county students have been admitted in recent years, the number of out-of-county students in the system will eventually dwindle to zero.
“Eventually, through attrition, out-of-county students are going to be a thing of the past,” said Mason.
School board member Robert Haggard, who was re-elected to his District 1 seat Tuesday, spoke out against changing the policy.
“I have a problem with revising this policy,” he said. “I think you’ll open up a whole can of worms.”
Haggard said the board could face questions such as whether a half-sibling of an out-of-county student qualifies for admission.
“By doing it this way, you could possibly extend it to children who aren’t even born yet,” said Haggard.
Haggard pointed out that the county has been strict in its enforcement of its policy in recent years and he said that some other situations may need to be revisited if allowances are made for siblings of current out-of-county students. For example, he pointed to a case in which a student attended Madison County schools all of her life, then moved away for her junior year, before applying to come back for her senior year, only to be denied re-admission. He said he thinks the student in this situation should have the same privilege to enroll as the sibling of a current out-of-county student.
Haggard, along with fellow BOE members Mason and Elaine Belfield, were on the board in 1998 when the BOE faced a lawsuit and considerable heat from parents concerning its strict enrollment measures.


Seymour named Madison County ‘Teacher of the Year’
Ila Elementary School’s Sandra Seymour was named the Madison County school system’s “Teacher of the Year” at the county school board meeting Tuesday night.
Ila principal Carol Douglas says Seymour is a “natural born teacher.”
“She really is a good teacher,” said Douglas. “The children she teaches do quite well...She is one of those teachers who everybody wants their child to be in her class.”
Along with the countywide honor, the first grade teacher, who is in her 17th year as an instructor, was also named Ila Elementary’s “Teacher of the Year.” Seymour is serving her second year as chairman of the school’s Leadership Team. She also completed her six-year specialist degree last year.
Seymour was not the only teacher recognized Tuesday. Others receiving the “Teacher of the Year” honor at their respective schools include: Lisa Hancock, Colbert Elementary; Mandy Wommack, Comer Elementary; Deana Bray, Danielsville Elementary; Keith Strickland, Hull-Sanford Elementary; David Stone, Madison County Middle School; and Tammi Barker, Madison County High School.

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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.


Planners say ‘no’ to James Holcomb Road subdivision
The county planning commission nixed plans for a proposed six-lot subdivision on James Holcomb Road at Tuesday night’s public hearings of the planning and zoning commission.
Planners voted 6-0 to deny the request by developer John Pieper to rezone two five acre parcels of land from A-2 (agricultural, five acre minimum lot size) to R-1 (single residential, 1.5 acre minimum lot size).
Pieper wants to rezone his land in order to combine both parcels and then subdivide the entire tract into six, 1.5-acre lots for rental homes.
Pieper told the commission that the homes he wants to place on the densely wooded property, which is located near the proposed industrial park, would be 1,500 square foot minimum site built houses with a rental value of $900 to $1,000 per month. Each lot would be served by an individual well and septic tank.
Several neighbors showed up to object to the rezone, citing previous five acre restrictions placed on this and other property split from an original tract several years ago - including the land purchased by the Industrial Authority for the industrial park.
Another major concern was that landowners of neighboring tracts would also want to divide their restricted five acre tracts if this rezone were to be approved.
Other concerns included the impact of six wells and septic systems on the area, the devaluation of their property from the close proximity of rental homes, and increased traffic and access problems along James Holcomb Road.
But Pieper stated that he wanted to build quality rental homes currently unavailable in the area and that the rezone fits the high density growth projected by the county’s current comprehensive plan.
“I would ask you not to categorize renters as ‘bad people,’” Pieper said.
Project engineer Phil Munro, who accompanied Pieper, said that the property was already bordered by an R-1 subdivision. Munro also said that rental property is “a good transitional use of the land since it is situated between the industrial park and residential areas.”
But commission members did not agree.
“If Pieper is allowed to subdivide and others (in the area) do the same, it’s not going to take very long to get 30 wells and septic tanks, etc.,” commission member Jeep Gaskin said.
Gaskin also said that although he understands the need for this type of intense development in the county, he feels there needs to be an investment by the county in roads and water before that development takes place.
“And it’s not fair to other residents that already purchased other tracts with the understanding that they would all be five acre parcels,” Commission member Nick Paski added.