News from Madison County...

FEBRUARY 5, 2003


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OPINIONS

Frank Gillespie
Space program should keep moving ahead
I was sitting in my living room watching TV on Jan. 28, 1986, when the Challenger exploded. I remember seeing the flame burning between the booster and the space ship and thinking that it didn’t look right. Then came the massive explosion. At first, my mind did not accept what my eyes saw. I remember saying to myself, “I don’t think it was supposed to do that!”

Zach Mitcham
An argument against
pre-emptive war
Is a doctrinal shift toward pre-emptive war — a hit ‘em before they hurt us approach — the right example for America to set for the world?


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

State bound
Banged up, yes. But still going.
All the way to Ringgold.
A scrappy Raider wrestling team earned its way into the sweet 16 of Class AAAA this past weekend. They’ll travel to the Tennessee line this Saturday in hopes of grappling the state trophy out of the hands of the Class AAAA tournament favorites.


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
BOC takeover move dead?
Senators say no changes will be made without water authority OK
Efforts by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners to take over the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority appear to be on life-support, if not already dead.

Columbia remembered
“Well, many, many hours went into this thing, a job well done by the space shuttle team....Thanks to God and his love and grace, America’s still number one in space.”

City Near Accord On Subdivision Annexation
After years of negotiations, it appears that the Commerce City Council is close to beginning the annexation of the Montgomery Shores subdivision.
That issue could be on the table when the city council meets Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Commerce Civic Center.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
No separate zip code for Banks Crossing

Even though the intersection of I-85 and Highway 441 has been known for a long time as Banks Crossing, the zip code will remain that of the city of Commerce much to the dismay of the Banks County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Maysville urges groups to adopt a street
The Maysville City Council wants the towns citizens to adopt a street.
The council urged residents Monday to take advantage of the program to get the town’s streets cleaned up before grass cutting season.

Home Depot a reality?
The location of a Home Depot store at Banks Crossing could soon become a reality.

Maysville’s Banks County citizens could get tax break; Jackson County may see increase
A recent state Supreme Court ruling concerning tax distributions could divide the citizens of Maysville, right along the county line.

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BATTLING THE BLAZE

Colbert and Hull volunteer firefighters battled an intense blaze at a Hardeman-Morris Road mobile home early Sunday morning. The fire, which appears to have started in the home’s kitchen, left two people critically injured and destroyed the structure.

Couple badly burned in fire
A Madison County couple was flown by helicopter to Grady Hospital’s burn center in Atlanta early Sunday morning after their mobile home on Hardeman-Morris Road was destroyed by fire.
Colbert Volunteer Fire Chief Bruce Scogin said his fire department received the call from 911 at 3:47 a.m. Sunday morning after a neighbor had discovered the fire after being awakened by popping sounds and then an explosion.
Hull volunteer firefighters were also called to the scene to assist.
Scogin said the couple were found outside the burning home, which had already partially collapsed, by the time they arrived.
“Apparently by the time they awoke in their bedroom, they had to go through the fire to get to the front door and escape,” Scogin said.
The home was completely destroyed and firefighters spent about three hours on the scene trying to find the cause. “The home was so badly burned it’s difficult to say, but it appears to have started in the kitchen and spread quickly from there,” Scogin said.
Emergency Medical Services director Dwayne Patton, also a Colbert firefighter, said EMS requested Emory Lifeflight services to airlift the badly burned couple to Atlanta for specialized treatment.
“We don’t do that often, but it was clear they were critically burned and needed it. The first helicopter was on the scene in about eight minutes and the second was there in about 16 minutes,” Patton said.
The victims’ identities remained uncertain as of press time.
“Both were intubated at the scene, so they were unable to talk with us,” Patton said.
Scogin said the names he had obtained for the pair, who were thought to be newlyweds, were Carlos and Olivia Garcia. Another possible name for the man was Jesus Ramirez, according to Patton.
The couple remain in critical condition at Grady Memorial Hospital.


Beer, wine decision on hold in Comer
Comer’s city council failed to act on a proposed revision of the city’s beer and wine ordinance Tuesday night when a motion to adopt by Jeff Turner failed for lack of a second.
The major proposed change in the ordinance would allow beer and wine sales by the drink in city restaurants. The council is studying a draft ordinance prepared by city attorney Victor Johnson based on a similar ordinance from the city of Royston.
The council suggested several amendments to the draft, including a $500 fee for each license. A business would be required to purchase up to four licenses: one each for beer and wine by the drink for restaurants, and one each for package sales if it is offered. They suggested requiring all alcoholic beverages be served only to customers who purchase a meal. All alcoholic beverages would have to be served in non-disposable containers. Outdoor service would be limited to patios that are enclosed so that street traffic cannot see the tables.
Council members other than Turner preferred to see the draft rewritten with suggested changes before voting.
City restaurant operators urged the council to make a decision so that they can make preparations to offer the service. They would have to obtain the necessary city permits, state permits, purchase equipment and construct required screens and barriers. These actions must be taken in sequence, and each requires several weeks to accomplish. In addition, the ordinance requires that permits be issued on a calendar basis, but does not allow for partial payments of fees for partial year periods. Any permit purchased late in the year would have to be renewed almost immediately.


Scientific theory:
Scientist and retired University of Georgia chemistry professor Charles Melton sees diamonds as mini-time capsules that hold secrets to the earth’s past.
As for oil, it comes not from dead dinosaurs, but instead is a naturally-occurring substance like water, which he maintains, is why it is in the earth in such vast quantities and is found primarily along the planet’s fault lines.
And he and his partner, the late Dr. A. A. Giardini, a UGA geology professor, formed a theory about gravity and the earth’s magnetic field that challenged the accepted tenets of the scientific world.
And that’s just for starters.
Statements like “The Evolution Theory is a religion,” and “In about 500,000 years the earth will be too cold to support life, (so much for global warming,” are just some of the controversial ideas he has accumulated in his long career of scientific study.
Melton says he never chose to shy away from controversy - he feels that the only way progress is made is to question.
For his work, he was recently honored as one of 2000 outstanding scientists of the twentieth century - and the only one from Georgia to be included in the international publication.
TASTE OF CHEMISTRY
Nobel Prize nominee Melton, of Hull, got his first ‘taste of chemistry’ as a member of the Navy’s medical corps during World War II.
When he returned home to Fancy Gap Virginia, he married his sweetheart, Faye, now his wife of 56 years, and went to college, obtaining his bachelor’s degree from Emory and Henry College with a major in mathematics and a minor in physics. His master’s degree was obtained from Vanderbilt University where he majored in physics and minored in electrical engineering, receiving one of only 25 atomic energy scholarships. He went on to obtain his Ph.D. from Notre Dame (in just 22 months) where he majored in physical chemistry and minored in physics.
He then joined the prestigious Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee as a research chemist and physicist.
In 1967, the Meltons and their three children moved to Hull so Dr. Melton could assume a professorship at UGA, where he remained for 25 years until his retirement in 1992.
Melton has published over 100 scientific publications, among them a textbook, as well as a lay book entitled “Ancient Diamond Time Capsules, Secrets of Life and the World.,” that was published in 1985 and which focuses on he and his partner’s discoveries from crushing diamonds and analyzing their contents.
His views have been published in such publications as The New York Times and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution over the years.
The Meltons have traveled extensively but are proud to call Hull home. In addition to their three grown children, they have two grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.


Colbert council considers changes to zoning ordinance
Colbert leaders held a public hearing to receive citizen input on possible changes to the city’s zoning ordinances Monday night. Subjects covered include the age of mobile homes being brought into the city and multi use zones.
Colbert’s zoning ordinance was passed on February 8, 1971 and has had only minor updates since then. The council is scheduled to discuss revisions at their March meeting.
Currently, there are no limits on the age of mobile homes to be moved into the city. County rules limit the age to 12 years. Several ages were suggested ranging from five years to twelve years. Another change involving mobile homes would set a time limit for preparing the home for occupancy. The change would require underpinning, probably masonry, and decks within 30 to 45 days.
A suggestion was made that residents not be allowed to move in until all work is complete.
Colbert is considering a multiple-use zone similar to the one now in effect in Comer. The new zoning classification would likely apply to the old business buildings across from the Depot. Several of the buildings are in serious disrepair. Such a classification may make it easier to save the old buildings.
City attorney Dale Perry responded to suggestions that the code addressing abandoned buildings or limiting the number of unregistered cars be addressed by city ordinance rather than the zoning code.
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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.


Danielsville residents will see $2 increase in monthly garbage fee
Danielsville residents will soon pay $2 more per month for trash pickup.
Citing a strained budget, the city council tentatively passed an increase in garbage collection prices Monday night.
Next month, the board will officially approve an increase from $7 to $9 per month for city residents and from $20 to $22 per month for businesses in the city.
Councilman Laverne Watson said that without an increase in the trash fees, the service cannot pay for itself.
“There’s no way in the world we can operate in the black and not go up (in fees),” said Watson, who noted that the increase still leaves the Danielsville rate below many other towns.
In other matters Monday, the council approved a bid for $7,800 for paving an additional parking area at the city-owned doctor’s and dentist’s office.
The council agreed to reduce a $1,698 water bill for the school system by $500. The large bill was incurred because of the recent water leak that shut down county schools for one day. Water systems sometimes provide a cost break to customers after isolated water leaks.
The council met in closed session for 15 minutes to discuss “personnel,” then hired Jan Crowe as part-time clerk for the month of February and to fill in whenever full-time clerk Michelle Dills is out.
The group approved the purchase of mandated handicapped doorknobs in city hall for a total cost of $540. Mayor Glenn Cross asked Police Chief Joe Merk to watch for people parking illegally in handicapped spaces around town. Cross said he had received complaints about illegal parking. The council mentioned the possibility of stenciling “stop” on Crawford W. Long Street next to Danielsville Hardware at the city square because motorists so often fail to stop at the sign.
Council member Nina Hitchcock ended the meeting, saying that the city faces some budget tests this year. She asked that Dills keep the council apprised of anything that is “overbudget.”
“The city is like anywhere else this year,” said Hitchcock. “We’ll have to cut some corners.”