News from Jackson County...

APRIL 16, 2003


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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


SPORTS

Jackson Co. track teams to wrap up regualr season this week
With less than a week to go before the region meet, the Jackson County girls track and field squad is hoping to hit their stride in their final two competitions of the season.

Tigers Looking To Keep Playoff Hopes Alive
With his team’s late-March, three-game winning streak still in recent memory, Tiger head coach David Cash knows his team is capable of playing good baseball.

Annual JHS meet set for Saturday
When Jefferson High School hosts the 39th Annual Jefferson Relays this Saturday at Memorial Stadium some 24 boys and girls teams will get a chance to test the waters of competition in one of the larger meets anywhere in the state this season.


Neighboorhood News ..
MADISON COUNTY
Lone Stars
The love of Madison County can stretch for many years — and over many states.
Mary Love Berryman and Jeanne Arguelles are both Texas residents, but both are Madison County, Georgia, history enthusiasts who maintain websites about this county.

New principal expected to be hired Tuesday
The replacement for outgoing Madison County High School principal Robert Adams is expected be named at the county school board meeting Tuesday night.

Trial for woman accused of killing infant son set for May 5
The trial of a woman accused of killing her infant son is set for May 5 in Madison County Superior Court, according to the district attorney’s office.

Three new Hull council members sworn in Monday
All the seats were filled at Monday night’s council meeting at Hull city hall for the first time in over a year, with three new members joining Mayor B.W. Hutchins and his wife, councilwoman Becky Hutchins, at the table for Monday night’s regular business meeting.

Colbert man reports being kidnapped at gunpoint
A Colbert man was allegedly kidnapped at gun point by three men in the parking lot of Ingles grocery store on Hwy. 29 South last Friday afternoon.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Behind the lines

A Banks County woman was able to get a glimpse of her husband’s life in the Kuwait Desert prior to the war.

44th annual Easter egg hunt ahead April 20
The Garrison family’s 44th annual Easter egg hunt will be held Sunday, April 20, at the home of Mack Garrison Jr. on Lula Road, GA 51 West in Homer.

Elderly woman robbed at gunpoint in her Maysville home
Two Maysville brothers remain in the Banks County Jail this week on charges they broke into an elderly woman’s home and robbed her with a pellet gun.

Jackson EMC to supply power to new middle school
The Banks County Board of Education has chosen Jackson EMC as the power supplier for its new middle school.

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GRADING COURTHOUSE SITE
Grading is under way at the site for a new courthouse on Darnell Road. County manager Al Crace said a private company is also clearing the timber from the land. He added that the county is moving “full force” ahead in developing the site.

County grading on Darnell Rd.
Meetings to display plans set
County leaders have reportedly decided to make grading and road work for a new courthouse site the top priority and have been clearing a large swath of land at the site over the last week.
Meanwhile, county officials have set a series of public meetings to present their proposed design plans for a new county judicial center at the site on Darnell Road.
According to sources close to the site work, a hurry-up plan is being put into place to get the controversial project started before the 2004 elections.
Still, financing for the $25-$40 million project has not yet been secured by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. The BOC was turned down on its request to create a building authority to finance the project and has since turned to the Association County Commissioners of Georgia in an attempt to do a lease/purchase financial arrangement.
MEETINGS PLANNED
A series of three meetings have been set for officials to display drawings of the proposed judicial center.
The meeting for Districts 2 and 4 will be at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 28, at the Commerce Civic Center.
A meeting for District 3 will be at 5:30 on Tuesday, April 29, at the Pendergrass Depot.
The meeting for District 1 will be at 7 p.m. also on April 29 at the administrative building in Jefferson.


1,000-acre Terry Farm under negotiation
Crossroads Homes wants to provide ‘system built’ homes
By Jana Adams
Crossroads Homes is seeking an agreement with the would-be developer of Terry Farm to put up about 900 “system built” homes on the 1,000-acre South Jackson property.
The Terry Farm property, which is currently under contract negotiation with the Turner Group and Riverside Management, is located across Hwy. 129 South from the 1,600-acre 4W Farm, which sold earlier in the winter to a different investment group.
Steve Williams and Ron Monroe of Crossroads Homes, McRae, spoke to the Arcade City Council Monday night about their work and what they hope to see happen on the South Jackson acreage.
“They will develop the property and we (hope) to build the houses for them,” Williams explained.
While Williams said Crossroads Homes looks to build anywhere from 1,000 to 1,400 homes, Arcade city clerk Barbara Kesler said Tuesday that the developer is looking at 900 homes, with 750 being a more feasible figure.
While the homes are sometimes called modular or system built, Williams clarified that they are really stick-built homes anywhere from 800 to 8,000 square feet that are fully constructed indoors and then taken apart in large pieces and put together again on a foundation. As for the potential Terry Farm property development, Monroe said he has seen plans for 1,600- to 3,000-square-foot-homes, plus attached garages.
All development plans would be subject to the city council’s approval. At this point, the property sale has not closed and Arcade has taken no action on the matter.

CUSTOM-BUILT HOMES
Crossroads Homes has been constructing system built homes in Virginia and the Myrtle Beach, S.C., area for 10 years and, about a year ago, built another manufacturing plant in McRae, about an hour and a half south of Macon.
“The houses are built in full indoors and then taken in large parts to the site with a foundation,” Williams said. “Two-story, three-story, brick, stucco, whatever...they are custom-designed around (the homeowner’s) wants and needs...When it is put on site it is a permanent home. It attaches to the foundation and is for all intents and purposes a stick-built home. We are just building a house indoors, then taking it apart and putting it back together at the site.”
Williams and Monroe said the company follows the international building code and stringent inspection standards.
“We only use the best grade lumber and have computerized saws so everything fits very well,” Williams said. “(The homes) heat and cool very efficiently. We have 85 employees in the plant. They are long-term, skilled labor and are very, very good at it.”
Williams cited turn-around time as a benefit of the system built home, saying “once we get a set of plans, we can build it indoors in seven days and have it set in 30 days. They turn out to be rather beautiful homes....We can build three homes by the time (other homebuilders) build one. We are manufacturers with quality controls in place. We don’t want you to be afraid of what we’re doing.”
Monroe and Williams told the council members that while the idea of system built homes is fairly new to the southeast, it has been in practice in Europe “for years” and is common in the north in the United States because of the shorter building season.
“About 30 percent of the homes up north are built this way,” Monroe said.
According to the Crossroads Homes representatives, the company can complete a home to about 95 percent, including cabinets, fixtures, painted indoors, wiring, plumbing and a hinged roof that folds out flat for travel. The developer then finalizes the electrical and plumbing hookup and the house is pieced together at the site.
LOCAL PLANT?
Council member Dean Bentley told Williams and Monroe that he had heard a rumor that Crossroads Homes, if selected to build the development, might be interested in constructing a manufacturing facility in the area.
“That’s what happened in Virginia,” Williams said. “With this (big development), that’s a possibility. We wouldn’t be adverse to that. We’ve got enough business to be sold out for three or four years. It would be a good source of employment.”
Williams and Monroe invited city council members to visit the McRae plant and see what the homes look like.
When asked by council member Ron Smith what they seek from the council at this time, Williams said: “We’d like you to take the opportunity to research a little bit, visit the plant and give us approval if the developer chooses us.”


Council Expresses
Frustration With
Junked Cars, Yards
Maybe the spring cleaning urge has hit, but members of the Commerce City Council spent a good portion of Monday night's hour-long meeting lamenting the quantity of junked cars, unkempt yards, illegal signs and trash to be found along the city's streets.
Ward 4 Councilman Bob Sosebee initiated the conversation, noting that some violations of the city's cleanliness of premises ordinance "get lost in the shuffle" and wind up not being enforced.
He cited property on Hospital Road for which the owner has been warned and who has promised to clean it up, "but it never gets cleaned up and nothing ever seems to happen."
Sosebee also brought up the removal of junked or abandoned cars. He noted that while the city has an ordinance requiring all vehicles to have current tags and proof of insurance, the city's yards are full of such vehicles that violate the ordinance.
"I'd like to see us make more progress in that area," he said. "Somehow, we need a better follow-up system."
One of the problems is that no one person is in charge of enforcing the ordinance, so it seldom gets enforced.
"We're not so big that one person couldn't drive through town once a month and cite them," complained Mayor Charles L. Hardy Jr.
City Manager Clarence Bryant reported on progress toward removing a Homer road eyesore at a former auto shop and said removal of the vehicles is imminent. Another tract, on Martin Luther King Jr., is owned by a California man, Bryant said, who is selling it to a local resident who has promised to clean it up.
According to Bryant, one of the problems in enforcing the cleanliness ordinance is that the city's process provides a 10-day grace period after a letter is written to a property owner in violation. After that period expires, the owner is cited and required to appear in court, which could be two weeks away.
"Then right before court, he cleans it up, and the case is dismissed," he said.
To expedite the process, Bryant said repeat offenders are cited and ordered to appear in court. The time between the citation and the court date will suffice as the grace period.
Ward 2 Councilman Donald Wilson brought up yet another problem, that of people dumping furniture and other materials at the roadsides for city pickup. Except during its annual clean-up week, the city only removes yard wastes.
"There ought to be some stipulation about that," Wilson argued.
There was some good news on the same subject, however. All members agreed that the clean-up of Pardue's Mobile Home Park is progressing well.
The facility was declared a public nuisance and the owner ordered to remove most of the trailers. He has complied, and the city extended the compliance deadline based on his progress. While there is a lot of related debris still to be cleaned up, most of the trailers have been stripped and removed.
In a related matter, the city council accepted the recommendation of the Commerce Planning Commission and amended its zoning ordinance to include a provision for "directional" signs, such as those used by real estate firms to lead people to their projects or houses.
The ordinance requires that such firms pay $500 a year for a permit. That gives them the right to place small directional signs on the public right of way (but not in the downtown) from 6:00 Friday nights to 8:00 Monday mornings. Failure to remove the signs by the deadline results in revocation of the permit and loss of the signs.
The ordinance does not cover yard sale and other signs often found illegally posted on the right of way or on utility poles. Those signs are perpetually in violation of the city's sign ordinance.


Area churches plan Holy Week events
The following is a list of some of the Easter activities planned around Jackson County this week. For a complete list of all nearby Easter events, see the church news section.
Antioch United Methodist Church, Nicholson: An Easter egg hunt for children will be held on Saturday, April 19, from 2:30-4 p.m. on the church lawn. Each child is asked to bring one dozen eggs hard-boiled, and plastic or candy for hunting. In the event of rain, the Easter egg hunt will be canceled.
Attica Baptist Church, Athens: An Easter egg hunt will be held Saturday, April 19, at 2 p.m. at the church. Easter sunrise service will start at 6:30 a.m. and breakfast will follow. The church choir will present “My Faith Still Holds,” an Easter musical, on Sunday, at 11 a.m.
Calvary Baptist Church, Commerce: An Easter sunrise service will be held on Sunday, at 7 a.m.
Cave Springs Baptist Church, Pendergrass: An Easter egg hunt and youth activities will be held Saturday, April 19, at 4 p.m. Easter Sunday services will be held. Sunday school is held at 9:45 a.m. and the worship service starts at 10:45 a.m.
Center Baptist Church, Center: An Easter egg hunt will be held on Saturday, April 19, from 2-4 p.m. The egg hunt will include hot dogs and games. All ages are welcomed, church organizers stated. Easter sunrise service will be held Sunday, April 20, at 7:30 a.m. Breakfast will be served by the church’s men in the fellowship hall following the service. Sunday school will be held at 9 a.m. and the worship service will start at 10 a.m.
Joint services in Commerce: Commerce Presbyterian Church, First Baptist Church of Commerce and First United Methodist Church of Commerce have planned a joint Communion service on Thursday, April 17, at 7 p.m., at First UMC. A Good Friday service will be held at Commerce Presbyterian and the First Baptist Church will host an Easter sunrise service at 7 a.m., at Grey Hill Cemetery, followed by breakfast at the church. The individual churches will also have their separate Easter Sunday morning services.
Bush River Baptist, Maysville: Breakfast will be served at 7 a.m. Sunday, followed by a sunrise service at 8:30 a.m., with the Rev. Julius Mack, pastor, bringing the message. An Easter program is planned for 11:30 a.m.
Dry Pond United Methodist Church, Maysville: The annual Easter celebration will be held on Saturday, April 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will include a bake sale, children’s festival with horseback rides and an Easter egg hunt, and chicken barbecue plates that will be sold for $5 each. Easter sunrise service will be held Sunday, April 20, at Hurricane Shoals Amphitheater. An Easter cantata will be presented at the church at 11 a.m.
Ebenezer United Methodist Church, Jefferson: A Maundy Thursday Communion service will be held April 17, at 7 p.m. An Easter egg hunt and hot dog luncheon will be held Saturday, April 19, at 11 a.m. Easter services will be held April 20 with a sunrise service and breakfast at 6:45 a.m. Sunday school will meet at 10 a.m. and the celebration service will be held at 11 a.m.
Emmaunal United Pentecostal Church, Nicholson: An adult drama, “Driving Nails,” will be presented in conjunction with a special children’s singing program on Easter Sunday, April 20.

First Baptist Church, Jefferson: A special service will be held Thursday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. The service will include a choir presentation and Communion will be part of the worship service, which will be held in the church sanctuary.

First United Methodist Church, Jefferson: Maundy Thursday service will be held at the church at 7 p.m. Jefferson Presbyterian Church will host a joint Good Friday service at 7 p.m. Easter services will be held at 7, 8:30 and 11 a.m. Breakfast will be held in the fellowship hall at 7:30 a.m.

Galilee Christian Church, Jefferson: “The Day He Wore My Crown,” a resurrection musical, will be held Friday, April 18, at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, April 20, at 10:30 a.m. Maundy Thursday service will be held at 7 p.m. An Easter egg hunt for toddlers through kindergartners will be held Saturday, April 19, at 9:30 a.m.; first through fifth graders will meet at 10:15 a.m. and refreshments will be served after each egg hunt. Easter sunrise service will begin at 6:45 a.m., followed by breakfast.

Holly Springs United Methodist Church, Pendergrass: Easter sunrise service will be held Sunday, at 7 a.m. in front of the church. After the service, breakfast will be served in the church fellowship hall. Sunday school will be held at 10 a.m. and the worship service starts at 11 a.m.

Holy Bethel F.B.H. Church, Commerce: An Easter egg hunt on Sunday, April 20, at 4 p.m.

Hoschton First Baptist Church, Hoschton: Good Friday service will be held at noon and include a service of nails. Easter Sunday sunrise service will be held at 6:30 a.m. and breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m. Sunday school will start at 8:45 a.m. and the worship service will be held at 10 a.m.

Hurricane Grove Baptist Church, Commerce: Easter Sunday sunrise service will be held at 6 a.m. with breakfast being served after the service.

Jefferson Presbyterian Church, Jefferson: A joint Maundy Thursday service will be held at First United Methodist Church of Jefferson on April 17, at 7 p.m. A joint Good Friday service will be held at Jefferson Presbyterian on April 18, at 7 p.m. Easter sunrise service will be held at Northminister on April 20, at 7 a.m. and the Easter worship service will be held at 11 a.m. Holy Communion will be served during the Maundy Thursday and Easter services.

Lighthouse Congregational Holiness Church, Commerce: An Easter egg hunt and cookout will be held on Saturday, April 19, starting at noon. A special sunrise service will be held on Easter at 6:30 a.m. Breakfast will be served in the church fellowship hall following the program.

Maysville United Methodist Church, Maysville: Easter sunrise service will be held at Sunday, April 20, at 7 a.m. with Dugar Strickland, pastor, preaching. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services will be held at 7 p.m. with the Rev. Charles Morrison and Dugar Strickland speaking on the theme, “Meditating on the Passion of Jesus.” For more Easter activities, see the church page.

Mountain Creek Baptist Church, Pendergrass: “The Night Before Easter” will be presented by the church choir on Sunday, April 20, at 8 a.m. Breakfast will be served in the fellowship hall after the service.

New Liberty United Methodist Church, Braselton: A Communion service will be held Thursday, April 17, from 7-8 p.m. A luncheon will be held on Friday, April 18, at 11 a.m. On Saturday, April 19, several children’s activities will include an Easter egg hunt, from 2-4 p.m. The 11 a.m. Easter Sunday worship service will include a choir special and the sermon, titled “The God of Second Chance,” will be presented.

Oconee Baptist Church, Dry Pond community: Easter sunrise service will be on Sunday, April 20, at 6:45 a.m. The Rev. Chad Rising of Cave Springs Baptist Church, Pendergrass, will be the guest speaker. The church choir will hold an Easter cantata during the 11 a.m. worship service.

Revival Baptist Church, Pendergrass: An Easter egg hunt will be held Saturday, April 19, at 2:30 p.m. All ages are welcomed. Easter Sunday sunrise service will be held at 6:30 a.m.

Sardis Presbyterian Church, Jefferson: A Maundy Thursday celebration will be held April 17, at 7 p.m. with the Rev. Harold Harris, pastor, bringing the message. Easter sunrise service will be held on Sunday, at 6 a.m. The Rev. Sharon McDaniel-Miller, pastor of Paradise AME Church in Jefferson, will bring the message and breakfast will be served.

Solid Rock Baptist Church, Maysville: Easter Sunday sunrise service will be held at 6:30 a.m. Sunday school starts at 10 a.m. and the worship services will be held at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Church, Commerce: A Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday, April 17, at 5:30 p.m. On Good Friday, the church will celebrate the Lord’s passion with the stations of the cross, at 6 p.m. Mass will be held at 7 p.m. Easter Sunday Mass will be held at 11:30 a.m.

St. Paul First Baptist Church, Jefferson: The Easter program will be held Sunday, during the 11 a.m. worship service and will be presented by the youth department.

Walnut Fork Baptist Church, Hoschton: “Road to the Cross,” an Easter drama, will be presented Friday, April 18 through Sunday, April 20, at 7 p.m. The drama will include more than 40 members portraying the last days of Jesus. Admission is free and visitors are welcomed; larger groups are asked to call ahead for special seating. A children’s Easter celebration for Pre-K through fifth graders will be held Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon. The event will include food, games and an egg hunt. Easter Sunday sunrise service will be held at 7 a.m. Coffee and doughnuts will be served in the fellowship hall after the service.

White Plains Baptist Church, Jefferson: An Easter egg hunt will be held Saturday, April 19, at 11 a.m. Easter Sunday sunrise service will be held at 6:30 a.m. with a breakfast being served in the family life center after the service. The worship service with special singing will start at 10:30 a.m. No Sunday school or evening worship service will be held.

Zion Baptist Church, Braselton: An Easter egg hunt will be held for toddlers through fourth graders on Saturday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to noon. The event will also include a puppet show, refreshments, pictures and prizes. On Easter Sunday, a Communion service will be held at 8 a.m. with a church-wide breakfast at 9 a.m. Sunday school for all ages will be held at 9:45 a.m. and worship service will start at 11 a.m. There will be no evening worship service on Easter Sunday.

 

 


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See Galilee Preschool Flyer


Grocery chain seeks local distribution center
A grocery store chain will locate a distribution center in Jefferson if a rezoning request for the project is approved.
Officials with Aldi Inc., which has 250 grocery stores in the United States, including seven in the metro Atlanta area, appeared before the Quad Cities Planning Commission Tuesday night to seek the rezoning. The commission recommended approval to rezone 61.37 acres on Dry Pond Road from C-2 to M-1 and 18.25 acres on Jett Roberts Road from A-2 to M-1 for the project.
The Jefferson City Council will consider the request at its work session at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 5, at the clubhouse. The voting session will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 12, at the clubhouse.
At the Quad Cities Planning Commission meeting Tuesday night, Darren Wood spoke on Aldi’s plans which include locating a 400,000 square foot facility on the site in the first phase of the development. He said it would eventually be expanded to 660,000 square feet. He added that the distribution center would serve the company’s grocery stores in the metro Atlanta area.
Wood said the company has been in business for 25 years and operates 675 grocery stores with the majority being in the mid-west. He said the closest distribution center to Jefferson is Salisbury, N.C., and the nearest grocery store is in Lawrenceville.
At full capacity, the company will employ 145 people at the Jefferson business, including 70 warehouse workers, 30 office personnel, 10 staff members in the trucking area and 35 drivers. Wood said the company offers part-time hours, 30 per week, with full-time benefits.
Wood said construction would begin in August 2004.
In other requests from Jefferson, the commission approved a text change for the city’s subdivision regulations requiring paved sidewalks in all residential subdivisions on both sides of the street.
OTHER BUSINESS
In other business, the planning commission recommended approval to the following requests for Arcade:
•Charlie Rakestraw to rezone 2.58 acres at 3936 Athens Highway from A-2 to B-2 to locate a retail shop and convenience store. Rakestraw said he plans to locate his gold, silver and iron works business in the new building, along with a convenience store. His business has been at its current location on Athens Highway for 20 years, but the property will be purchased by the Georgia Department of Transportation in its widening of Hwy. 129.
•Jacque Marlowe to rezone 88 acres on Hwy. 319/Ethridge Road and the Damon Gause Bypass from A-2 to a planned unit development (PUD) for a mixed use development with both residential and commercial buildings. Marlowe said plans include locating townhouse condominiums on the property.
•a text change to Arcade’s zoning ordinance to change the minimum lot area in R-1 to 32,670 with a maximum density of one unit per acre.
•the future land use text and map, which will be incorporated into the joint city/county comprehensive plan.
The Arcade City Council will consider these requests when it meets at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 12, at city hall.
Also at the meeting, the commission approved the future land use plan and map for the cities of Talmo and Pendergrass. The Talmo City Council will take action on this when it meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6, while the Pendergrass City Council will take action when it meets at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29.
The Quad Cities Planning Commission also approved a preliminary plat for Peachtree Estates, a 15-lot subdivision located on 16 acres on Dixie Red Avenue, Elrod Avenue and Georgia Bell Avenue in Jefferson. Further action will not be needed on this, officials said.


Former Jefferson mayor dies
Byrd Martin Bruce, 73, a former long-time mayor of Jefferson, died Thursday, April 10, at his residence following an extended illness.
He served as mayor of Jefferson for 26 years, and was a member of the city council prior to that. During his early years as mayor, he was instrumental in bringing infrastructure to I-85 in Jefferson which led to the industrial base in that area today.
At a reception held in his honor in Jefferson in March, city and state leaders spoke on his service to the city.
“As I’ve grown up in this community, I’ve looked up to Mayor Bruce as one of my heroes,” Sen. Mike Beatty said. “He’s someone I’ve looked up to so much over the years.”
When Bruce first took office, the city limits were three-quarters of a mile around the town square. That had grown to 26 square miles by the time he left office. The population also grew during his tenure from 1,800 to 3,800.
Bruce also served as a member of the Jefferson Board of Education for many years and was the justice of the peace from 1969 to 1975.
“The Jefferson School System owes him so much,” BOE chairman Ronnie Hopkins said at the March reception. “He has given us much and he continues to give.”
The Georgia House of Representatives passed a House Bill in March honoring Bruce for his service to Jefferson.
“His vision and leadership substantially improved the quality of life for his fellow citizens and their families,” it read. “...His expertise as a local businessman benefited him greatly throughout his long tenure as mayor of Jefferson. “
Bruce was the former owner for 40 years of Bruce’s Fine Foods in Jefferson. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Bruce was a member of the Masons and a member of Faith Baptist Church, Jefferson.
Survivors include his wife, Ann Bruce, Jefferson; two daughters, Cindy Davis and Wanda Herndon, both of Jefferson; two brothers, J.F. Bruce, Stone Mountain, and Ted Bruce, Winder; one sister, Bessie Craddock Martin, Jacksonville, Fla.; and two grandchildren.


Aaron Tippin To Headline
City Lights Festival Concert
Country music stars Aaron Tippin and T. Graham Brown have rescued the seventh annual City Lights Concert.
Tippin, a 44-year-old, whose big hit "Where the Eagle Flies," is being re-released to feed the sentiments of a nation at war, agreed last week to be the headliner in the June 20 festival at the Commerce High School football field. Brown, whose family lives on a farm near Commerce, came on later in the week.
Jan Nelson, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, made the announcement of Tippin’s appearance at last Wednesday's meeting of the Commerce Area Business Association. CABA is one of the lead organizations in putting on the four-day festival, of which the concert is the centerpiece.
Tippin is a native of Pensacola, FL, who grew up in Greenville, SC, and now lives in Doweltown, TN. He is best known for "You've Got to Stand for Something," which was his debut hit, and "There Ain't Nothing Wrong with the Radio."
The late announcement was a result of a breakdown of what appeared to be a done deal with mega-star Kenny Chesney, whose tour sponsor in February pulled the plug on the Commerce appearance. There were tentative plans to scale back the concert but Tippin's presence ended that thought.
The lack of a headliner kept the concert planing in limbo for two months, and the City Lights Committee and the CABA are hustling to catch up.
"We're a couple of months behind; we're going to have to make a big push," Nelson observed.
But the CABA rejected one time-saving proposal, which was to limit participation in the concert program to the "gold" and "platinum" ($1,000 and $2,000) sponsors. Members argued that closing the door to the smaller supporters would not be fair or appropriate.
The festival has been stretched to four days and there are two new events, a 5K road race Saturday, June 21, and a Christian music concert the following evening.
The tentative schedule is:
Thursday, June 19: City Lights Shootout Celebrity Golf Tournament, 10 a.m., Eagle Greens at Sandy Creek Golf Course, and Dinner with the Stars, Commerce Civic Center, that evening. The time and lineup will be announced later.
Friday, June 20: City Lights Downtown Festival, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. City Lights Concert, that evening at Tiger Stadium, Commerce High School. Time and lineup to be announced later.
Saturday, June 21: City Lights Downtown Festival, 9 am. to 4 p.m. City Lights Star Chase 5K Run and Fun Walk, 9 a.m., downtown.
Sunday, June 22: Christian music concert, details of which will be announced later.