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OCTOBER 2, 2002


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A complete history of Jackson County, Georgia from 1796 to the present. Written in narrative style for easy reading. Includes material not found in other books about Jackson County.

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OPINIONS
Jackson County opinion page

Zach Mitcham
There are photos we need to keep
A photo never changes.
Well, actually, it does. It changes as we do.
A seventh grader’s yearbook shot is one thing during his seventh grade year. It is quite another during his 70th year.

Kerri Graffius
Technology and apologies
Technology, lately, has been a source of apologizes for me.
When we all started surfing the Internet and using personal e-mail accounts several years ago, many people thought it was the “revoluntary” way to keep in touch with friends and family members. Instead, it has made us into a bunch of slackers—and I’m sorry for that.

Frank Gillespie
Expect flag to have impact in governor’s race
The question is, “What effect will the flag fight have in the November elections?”
The answer appears to be, “More than the liberal media are willing to admit.”

Zach Mitcham
There are photos we need to preserve
A photo never changes.
Well, actually, it does. It changes as we do.


SPORTS

Tigers Looking To Postpone History
Commerce head football coach Steve Savage is all for Lincoln County head coach Larry Campbell breaking the state’s all-time win record.

One step closer
The championship horizon became decidedly clearer for the JCCHS fast-pitch team Tuesday as they pulled out a clutch win over Madison County in 8-AAAA North play.

Seniors lead Dragons to homecoming win
Homecoming is supposed to be a guaranteed win, or so they say. But Jefferson’s homecoming game did not appear to be a guaranteed victory by any means.


Neighboorhood News ..
MADISON COUNTY
‘Vanishing
Charlotte Bond remembers the day she took the old photo of Madison County farmers in front of their mules to Jennie V. Williams’ birthday party.
She asked Mrs. Williams, who lived to be 106, if she recognized the only black man in the photo.

DOT offers update on Madison Co. projects
The Georgia Department of Transportation is planning four projects in Madison County over the next three years, according to DOT spokesperson Terri Pope of Gainesville.

Murder case on Oct. 8 court calendar
The case of Hope Bertha Buie, the former Colbert resident accused of killing her infant son, is one of 75 hearings on the criminal trial calendar set for Madison County Superior Court next week.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Car drives into Golden Pantry, again
When a car drove into the Homer Golden Pantry in early August, store manager Bonnie Thompson was shocked.

Teen night club, game room could be coming
Banks Crossing may soon get a night club for teens and a game room to go with it.

Rep. Jamieson helps BCFD get new truck
Rep. Jeanette Jamieson has come through for Banks County once again by working with the Georgia Forestry Commission to procure a new rural firefighting truck.

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HOSCHTON FALL FESTIVAL FUN

Carley Delong, 2, of Flowery Branch, found some new accessories at the Hoschton Fall Festival held over the weekend.

Planning commission denies industrial
rezoning for Possum Creek Properties
A rezoning request for an industrial development on Wayne Poultry Road was denied by the Jackson County Planning Commission Thursday night.
Possum Creek Properties asked to rezone 157 acres on Wayne Poultry Road from A-2 (agriculture/rural farm district) to I-1 (light industrial) for a business park. The votewas 3-1 with Billy Norris, Randall Duck and Wayne Wilbanks voting for denial. Tom Smith voted that the request be approved.
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners will consider the request at a public hearing planned for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Administrative Building in Jefferson. The BOC will take action on the request at its meeting planned for 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 21.
At the planning commission meeting on Thursday, Debbie Hardy spoke on behalf of Possum Creek Properties and said plans are for a "sister company" of MACI to locate on the property. MACI, which is associated with Toyota, recently announced plans to locate a business on a nearby tract of land.
Hardy said plans are for the 157 acres to become part of the Valentine Farms Business Park, a regional office/distribution and industrial park. The firm already owns 550 acres that is zoned as industrial.
Hardy said the 157 acres is in an area where industrial development is taking place and the property would be better suited for industrial use than agriculture use. She also spoke on several recent road improvements in the area and others in the works, including the Pendergrass Bypass, Concord Road and the four-laning of Possum Creek Road.
Several people spoke against the request, including Darrell Smith, who said he represented the Stockton Farm community. He said the request does not comply with the county's comprehensive land use plan. He also spoke on the traffic conditions in the area.
"The improvements on Wayne Poultry Road... are needed now for existing traffic volume and flow," he said. "Any development that would bring more traffic to Wayne Poultry Road defeats the purpose of the proposed Concord Road. We shudder to imagine the consequences of more traffic using the Wayne Poultry/129 bypass intersection. That is a fairly treacherous intersection."
Smith also addressed the development in the area.
"The area is undergoing a transition which includes not only the industrial use but considerable residential development as well," he said.
He also pointed out that the applicant owns other property in the area that is already zoned industrial and future development could go there.
"(We) don't see the need for industrial zoning on this side of Wayne Poultry Road," he said.


WJ couple killed in murder-suicide
A Jackson County couple was found in their Braselton home Tuesday afternoon after an apparent murder-suicide.
Roger Dale Cowart, 44, and Tamaron “Tammy” Yvonne Cowart were found dead in their home on Pocket Road by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department. Chief investigator David Cochran said a family member called law enforcement to the home.
Cochran said they both died from apparent gunshot wounds. He said preliminary reports indicate that Mrs. Cowart was shot first. He said she was shot multiple times.
The sheriff’s department is awaiting further results from the state crime lab. Cochran said the investigation is continuing and foul play is not suspected.
Cochran said that preliminary investigation reports indicate marital problems may have been associated with the incident.
“It’s a really bad situation,” Cochran said. “It seems like we have more than our share here.”
The latest fatality brings the total to seven murders this year in Jackson County.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime scene unit is assisting the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department in the investigation.


Teen pleads guilty to murder
A Jackson County teenager pled guilty Thursday to the September 2001 murder of Juana Gonzalez, 38, Jefferson.
Manuel Rosillo, 18, Jefferson was sentenced to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to district attorney Tim Madison.
Madison added that if the case had gone to trial, he would have sought the death penalty.
Another woman, Florinda Dye, Jefferson, was also seriously injured in the incident, which occurred at a Brockton Road home.
When deputies arrived at the scene, they found the two women in a back bedroom of the residence. Gonzalez, who had massive head injuries and was shot, was dead when the officers arrived. Dye was found bludgeoned about the head and in serious condition.
At the time of the murder, investigators said the suspect entered the residence, where he lived with his father, at around 2 a.m. with a firearm. Rosillo reportedly struggled with his father, who tried to get the firearm away from him. Law enforcement authorities said Rosillo fired two shots but his father was not hit. His father reportedly ran into the woods and the teenager went back into the home and kicked in the back bedroom door where the two women were. Two children were also in the home, but they were not injured.
Rosillo was found one week later in Clarke County. He was charged with one count of murder and two counts of aggravated assault.
At the time of the murder, a motive was not known. Law enforcement officers said later that Rosillo said in an interview that he had been drinking and was angry at his father because he had refused to let him call his mother in California.


BOC agrees to reimburse $1.2 million to water and sewer authority
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners agreed in a called meeting Thursday night to reimburse the water and sewer authority $1.2 million from the Bear Creek Reservoir project but only after a heated discussion was held over how the matter was handled.
At least two members of the BOC are angry with the water authority for agreeing to a request from its chairman, Harold Fletcher, to use extra revenue from the 1994 special purpose local option sales tax to make payments for the bonds for the reservoir. Water authority chairman Elton Collins said he met with Fletcher, who told him to proceed with making the payments from the surplus SPLOST money. BOC members Stacey Britt and Emil Beshara said Fletcher didn’t have the full support of the board to do this and that no vote had been taken.
“The chairman can’t speak for this board,” Britt said. “...He has to have a vote from this board.”
Collins repeatedly said that he thought he was acting on the “board’s wishes.”
Beshara said: “Acting on the word of one commissioner is not reasonable.”
He went on to state that being the “chairman doesn’t mean jack.”
Collins said: “It will not happen again, but I think it was reasonable at the time to assume he was speaking for all of the board.”
Fletcher said that in his conservation with Collins, he was “expressing his thoughts.” He also said that Britt was present for the discussion.
“I have never supported it,” Britt said.
Britt said he disagrees with using SPLOST money to pay a bond.
“I don’t think anybody on this board ever discussed at any time y’all taking SPLOST money to make bond payment,” he said.
Fletcher said that if the water authority had not paid the debt, the county would have had to.
“The dollars would have to have come from some where,” he said.
Britt said it was time to work out the “breakdown in communication” between the BOC and water authority.
“This is the time to iron it out,” he said. “...There is a problem with the perception of the relationship between the BOC and the water authority...I want to know about it before the action. I want to be able to say, ‘No, I don’t agree to that.’”
Collins said the water authority wants to work with the BOC.
“We’re trying to do a good job and y’all are giving us a hard time,” he said. “...Is there some agenda we don’t know about?”
Britt said: “There is not an agenda here. I do want you to know I speak for myself. Everyone else on this board speaks for themselves.”
Collins said the water authority will use the $1.2 million from the county to pay off $700,000 that has been drawn from a line of credit in order to stop paying interest on it. The remainder of the funds will be put into a capital account.
The BOC also voted that it be notified of any “significant deviations” the water authority makes in the use of the current SPLOST funds. There was some discussions on how “significant deviations” would be defined.
“You’re asking us to read your mind,” Collins said.
The board agreed that this would be defined as any expense over $200,000.
“I don’t want anymore meetings like this,” Collins said at the end of the hour and a half meeting. “I want to love y’all and y’all to love us. We’re doing a good job and trying to save the taxpayer’s money.”
Beshara made a motion that a retreat be planned before the year’s end with the BOC and water authority to “establish protocol.” He said the two boards need to “reinvigorate their lines of communication.” The BOC unanimously agreed to plan the joint retreat.


Jefferson bypass slated for opening October 22
Georgia Department of Transportation district engineer Larry Dent said that construction is virtually complete and the bypass will be open to traffic on Tuesday, October 22, if weather permits.
The Jefferson bypass was named in 1997 to honor the memory and courage of Major Damon J. Gause. It will be known as the Major Damon J. Gause Bypass.
Dent offered several precautions to motorists who will be using the new bypass..
“Please use extreme caution as everyone is getting familiar with the new roadway,” Dent said. “The speed limit is 55 miles per hour. Speed is the number one factor in most fatalities on our roads.”
He also warned motorists of the deer on the bypass.
“I also want to warn you of the deer population that is making the bypass their home,” he said. “The deer are feasting on the new grass and motorists need to use extreme caution at dusk when the deer are likely to be active in the area.”
Dent also warns those passing the bypass from side streets to be careful.
“Please remember to be careful as you cross the bypass from the side streets,” he said. “To remind you to yield to the vehicles on the bypass, we have installed rumble strips, stop signs and stop ahead signs. I hope you are always a cautious and defensive driver but especially as we all get familiar with the new bypass.”
The cross streets are located at Windy Hill Road, State Route 82, Arcade Park Road, Ethridge Road, Galilee Church Road, Old Swimming Pool Road, Old Pendergrass Road, Holders Siding Road and Academy Church Road.
Signals will be installed at two locations, State Route 11 at Jackson County Comprehensive High School and in Arcade where the bypass merges back into Hwy. 129/State Route 11 at city hall.
“Most rear-accidents occur at signalized intersections,” officials say.
A small portion of the bypass will not open on October 22 with the rest of the roadway. A short detour will be installed to build the bypass where it intersects with the existing Hwy. 129. Traffic will narrow to one lane in each direction and will be running side by side. The detour area is at existing Hwy. 129 near Interstate 85. The detour will be in place for approximately eight weeks, weather permitting.
The bypass was named for Major Damon J. Gause by a resolution of the State Transportation Board in 1997
The bypass is a four-lane divided highway from the end of the existing four lane near McDonalds to Rockforge Road in Arcade. It is a 7.5 mile resurfacing project or 30 lane miles. The estimated construction cost is $22.4 million. The construction began on May 1, 2000. The contractors are Sunbelt Structures Inc. and B & A Construction Company.


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See Galilee Preschool Flyer


Maysville Autumn Leaf Festival set for this weekend
The 35th annual Autumn Leaf Festival will be held Friday through Sunday in the town’s Veterans Park, with a community flea market planned as well on the field behind Short Stop.
The three-day arts and crafts festival will include “non-stop entertainment all weekend.” The festival started in 1966 during a national folk art revival and discovery of local artist Mattie Lou O’Kelley.
A parade and car show will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, and a talent show is also planned.
For information on the parade or car show, call 652-2967; for vendor booth information, call 652-2413/2334; for talent show information, call 652-3698. This year’s festival is co-chaired by Nancy Smith and Cynthia George. They may be contacted at 652-2532.
COMMUNITY FLEA MARKET
The community flea market will also be held on Saturday, with proceeds from booth space rentals going toward the Veterans Park. The flea market will be sponsored by the Maysville Beautification Committee, and proceeds from the committee’s booth will also go to the Veterans Park fund. Donated items are welcome, coordinators say.
To reserve a space at the flea market, to make donations or for information, call Catherine Daniel at 652-3013.
One booth already planned for the community flea market area will be used for a book sale to be held Saturday by the Friends of the Maysville Library. Book donations are welcome and are being taken at the library, coordinators say.


Water ban reduced as of Thurs.
As of Thursday, the total outdoor water ban will be reduced to odd/even days, from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m.., Jerry Waddell, county water superintendent, has announced.
The reduced water ban follows increasing water levels at Bear Creek Reservoir due to Tropical Storm Isidore.


‘Partnership’ Talks To Continue In Nicholson
NICHOLSON -- As part of what the Nicholson City Council called "a partnership" with the newly-appointed Nicholson Water Authority, city leaders began voicing some of its specific concerns dealing with the future of the water system in a called meeting Monday night.
The council and the water authority will hold another called meeting Monday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. at the Nicholson city library to continue the discussion on these items.
In the second round of discussions between the council and board in as many weeks, the city council said, among other things, that it'd like to see a backup water system obtained, upgrades in the water system's storage capacity, upgrades for its current pipes and have negotiations begin on a new lease between the city and water board.
The council also maintains that SPLOST money for the water system should stay inside the Nicholson city limits since those dollars are based on the population of those inside the town.
However, the most immediate issue the council and board will have to settle on is which one of them will negotiate with the state department of transportation over a well that will be taken away due to the Hwy. 441 expansion project.
A dollar amount can be negotiated to compensate for the well or the council or board can ask the DOT to replace it with a well of equal or greater production.
The water board suggested that the city council draft a list of its concerns to submit to it at the next joint meeting later in the month.
NICHOLSON LEADERS CLARIFY WATER BOARD'S ADJOURNMENT
Nicholson city leaders pointed out Monday night that last week's adjournment by the Nicholson Water Authority for an hour and a half wasn't an illegal closed meeting because a motion was never made and accepted to enter into the executive session.
They maintain that the meeting was always open to the public.
The adjournment occurred five minutes into last week's joint meeting between the city council and water board when it was announced that the water board was going to enter into an adjacent room to appoint its officers. During that time, the water authority also talked with its engineer, Chris Quigly.
The public was never invited to enter the side meeting.
The minutes from the water board's seperate discussions were read to the public during Monday night's meeting.
In other items discussed at Monday night's meeting, the water board:
•said that it talked with water department about complaints heard from audience members last week and will answer those concerns with written letters.
•agreed to have water board chairman Tully Westmoreland co-sign on all checks.