News from Madison County...

OCTOBER 2, 2002


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OPINIONS

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.

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.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Madison County to face rising Grayson program Friday
Grayson may still be a fledgling football program, but Madison County head football coach Tom Hybl warns that the Raiders are taking on a team teetering on the brink of bigger things.


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
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.

WJ couple killed in murder-suicide
A Jackson County couple was found in their Braselton home Tuesday afternoon after an apparent murder-suicide.

Teen pleads guilty to murder
A Jackson County teenager pled guilty Thursday to the September 2001 murder of Juana Gonzalez, 38, Jefferson.

‘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.


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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The Madison County Journal
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A MOMENT’S REST FROM THE WORK

An old photo shows Madison County farmers posed for a picture in a field. The only identified person in the picture is “Wild Bill” Artrue Williams, pictured third from the left. Those who can identify others in the photo may call the library with the information at 795-5597.

‘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.
Bond remembers how Mrs. Williams “just about screamed” her excitement, calling friends and family to look at the photo.
“That’s my husband!” Mrs. Williams said, seeing the face of “Wild Bill” Artrue Williams, who passed away in 1948 at age 72.
But it doesn’t take a heart-felt remembrance such as Mrs. Williams’ to recognize that the picture is poignant. The old snapshot harkens to a day gone by, a way of life as it used to be.
And it’s just one of many pictures compiled by a group of Madison County residents who want to digitally preserve a pictorial history of the county.
“Hundreds” of old photos have already been collected. But the archive group wants Madison Countians to open up those old shoeboxes and photo albums, searching for pre-1950 pictures of Madison County and its residents.
Those photos can then be scanned and saved in digital form, then returned to the owners.
“My love is putting a face to the people,” said Bond, the county’s Heritage Foundation founder, who is involved in the project. “It (the archive project) will include as many pioneers of the county as we can scrape up pictures of.”
The current push to collect old photos was rooted, oddly enough, in the proposed Hwy. 29 Danielsville bypass project, a plan the state has abandoned, at least for the time being.
One DOT hangup on the project was the possible disturbance of historical sites along the highway.
John Barton, a Hwy. 29 resident, wanted to find out exactly what historical sites there were along the highway. His interest grew as he learned of an old school near Diamond Hill softball park near his home. He assumed the county school board office would have pictures of the old schools in the county and was surprised to learn that there was no such photo collection.
So Barton decided to create a collection, not just of bygone schools, but of any old Madison County photo with historical significance. It could become, he said, a “bank of images.”
Barton has been joined in the effort by library branch manager Suzie DeGrasse, the Friends of the Library, the library board and the Madison County Heritage Foundation.
The photos collected so far date as far back as the 1875 photo of state senator Ranford Ellis Hitchcock and his wife Martha, one of the snapshots kept at the Colbert Depot.
Barton envisions getting pictures on-line so that, for instance, a teacher in Colbert or Ila can call up an early 1900s image of what the town looked like back then.
“We want to try to put together a project to conserve and consolidate (the old photos),” said Barton. “It could be a tremendous education resource once it’s put together.”
Barton said he’s learned a lot during the endeavor, such as the fact that the county had 47 white schools and 15 black schools near the turn of the century.
“That’s the one thing that really struck me,” he said of his research, noting how difficulty in traveling created more localized schools and very localized histories within the county.
DeGrasse said creating a community photo scrap book, so to speak, will help county residents, particularly kids, develop a connection with their surroundings. She recalled her hometown and how she could go to the main library and see photos of the house she was living in in the old plat books.
“It (historical photos and records) was all really well preserved and it really gave me a sense of continuity,” said DeGrasse. “It was exciting to see my house and what the area looked like 50 to 100 years ago.”
Bond said the project is a “a dream come true,” the realization of a Heritage Foundation project planned years back, but never carried out.
Another cause for excitement, she said, would be identifying the other men beside Mr. Williams in the old farmers’ photograph.
“If anyone knows who they are, please let us know,” said Bond.


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.
Here is a brief summary of those plans:
•Phase two of the Hwy. 72 road-widening project: This 2.9-mile expansion extends from Hwy. 172 to the west city limits of Comer and involves widening the roadway into a four-lane divided highway. Preliminary engineering for this project is under way. Rights of way will begin to be secured this fiscal year. And construction is slated to begin in fiscal year 2005.
•Phase three of the Hwy. 72 road widening project (or the Comer-Carlton bypass): This 9.8-mile project involves widening the roadway into a four-lane divided highway from the west city limits of Comer to just east of the Broad River in Elbert County. Rights of way will begin to be secured this fiscal year. And construction is slated to begin in fiscal year 2005.
•Hwy. 106 grading work: This 2.4-mile project is intended to improve the safety of Hwy. 106 near Hull-Sanford Elementary School. According to Pope, the project will essentially involve “cutting down hills and straightening” out the roadway to improve visibility for motorists. Rights of ways are scheduled to be secured late this year, with construction slated for fiscal year 2005.
•Replacement of a bridge on McCarty-Dodd Road at Brush Creek, approximately two miles northeast of Colbert. Construction is scheduled for this fiscal year, which runs through June of 2003.


Investigation continues on Colbert house fire
A Wednesday, Sept. 18, fire that destroyed a home at 677 Charlie Morris Road off Hwy. 72 west of Colbert remains under investigation by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Arson Investigation Unit of the State Fire Marshal’s office.
The brick ranch home, owned by Rusty Chandler, was a “total loss,” according to Colbert volunteer fire chief Bruce Scogin.
Scogin said the call to the fire was received at 12:04 p.m. Wednesday and Colbert responded, along with backup units from Hull and Neese-Sanford.
Scogin said in his fire report that approximately 75 percent of the home was totally destroyed with the remaining structure so severely damaged that only a few personal items were salvageable.
After inspecting the home, Chandler told a sheriff’s deputy that was called to the scene that there were six guns missing from his bedroom, which was in the area not totally destroyed by the flames.
The missing guns were valued at over $2,500.
Although Chandler said his home was locked when he left, Scogin said firefighters found the front door unlocked and a small dog, which was usually left outside, ran out.
Emergency medical service personnel treated two of the eight firefighters on the scene for heat exhaustion.
Due to the suspicious nature of the fire and the missing items, sheriff’s investigators contacted the fire marshal’s office to continue the investigation.

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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.


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.
The hearings are scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m., Oct. 8, before Judge John H. Bailey Jr. in the county Superior Courtroom. No official time for the opening of the Buie case was available as of press time. The district attorney’s office said the case could be pushed back to Oct. 15.
Buie, who had moved to Tampa, Fla., turned herself in to Madison County authorities April 13, after learning of a warrant for her arrest for the murder of her 16-month-old son, Caesar Bolton Jr.
The infant was transported to Athens Regional Medical Center after sheriff’s deputies and emergency medical personnel responded to a Madison Boulevard address in Colbert around 11:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2001. The boy was found to be bruised and unresponsive.
The cause of death was later determined to be “peritonitis, which was the result of a severed intestine.”
Buie was later arrested on Oct. 10 by the GBI and the sheriff’s office with giving a false statement to authorities, a felony.
She now faces two counts of murder and a charge of false statements, writings and concealment of facts.
See page 2A for the entire list of cases on the Oct. 8 criminal trial calendar.