News from Madison County...

JULY 2, 2003


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OPINIONS
Frank Gillespie
What the Declaration of Independence actually says
Most of you know that our 4th of July holiday celebrates the adoption of the American Declaration of Independence. But how many of you know what that important document actually says?

Margie Richards
‘Day-tripping’ with the girls
Long summer days are the perfect time to engage in a favorite American pastime - the road trip, also known as "day-tripping," if you don't plan to stay overnight.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Madison Co. all-star teams faring well early on
The recreation department had two teams move onto state tournaments last year and the initial returns this year indicate that 2003 could be a successful encore for Madison County.


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
Citizens’ rally set Thurs.
BOC lawyers threaten to sue citizens’ group
A group of Jackson County residents planning to sue the board of commissioners over proposed financing of a new courthouse has set a public rally this week.

Accident Victim Fights For Recovery
"Pray for Eric," advise simple black and white signs posted in strategic locations all over Commerce.

Body found in North Jackson
The body of a black female was found near a mailbox at the intersection of Holly Springs Road and Hwy. 346 around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 25.

Shared service talks grinding along, but little progress made
Efforts to move forward on the mandated renegotiation of government shared service agreements are grinding too slowly for some county officials.

JH office to be closed Friday
The Jackson Herald office will be closed on Friday in observance of the July 4 holiday.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
BCHS, BCPS principals hired

The Banks County Board of Education filled two of its administrative positions last week.
Former Jefferson High School principal Art Wheaton was tapped to be the new principal at the high school.

Piping mad over water
Trotters Glen resident George Payne spoke at the Baldwin City Council meeting on behalf of the residents of the subdivision and voiced his concerns over the low water pressure and questionable water quality being provided to them through the city’s system.

Rep. Jamieson to speak at dedication
Rep. Jeanette Jamieson will cut the ribbon and serve as the keynote speaker at the Banks Crossing beautification project dedication ceremony planned by the Banks County Convention and Visitors Bureau on Thursday, July 10.

Scoreboard, fencing going up at athletic complex
With the new high school athletic complex taking shape, workers are ready to begin installing some of the auxiliary items associated with the facility.

Homer fireworks planned July 4
The Homer Volunteer Fire Department will be sponsoring the annual July 4 fireworks display.

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The Madison County Journal
Danielsville, Georgia
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Amanda-Kate Moore adjusts her sunglasses while sitting in Jerris Escoe’s lap during last year’s Fourth of July Parade in Colbert.

Pomp, parade, patriotism....
The city of Colbert is preparing for its 34th annual Fourth of July celebration this Friday.
The day will begin with Colbert's Canna Run, a five K and one-mile race. Registration will be at 6:30 a.m. at Colbert Elementary School. The five K run will be at 7:30 a.m. and the one mile race begins at 8:30 a.m.
The big parade will be at 10 a.m. Barbarianne Gaulding-Russell will be the Grand Marshal. The Parade Master of Ceremonies will be WNGC's Morning Show crew, Tim Cacciarelli and Shana Vaughn with Roscoe. The theme of this year's celebration is "Stars and Stripes Forever."
Following the parade and opening ceremonies, a live show emceed by "Crazy Old Roscoe Pucannon" will begin, along with the renowned Colbert barbecue lunch.
Performers scheduled to appear under the big oak trees include Danny Anthony, Double Shot, The Songsters, Brandy Rock Mountain, Doris Aldrich and others. The show will feature bluegrass, gospel, country and "everything in between," organizers said.
A large group of arts, crafts and food concessions will be featured with many other exhibits. Some Colbert history will be featured and the earliest known home in the city, a log cabin built in the 1800s, will be open. Also, the Colbert Museum in the Old Seaboard Depot will be on exhibit.
Colbert officials would also like to honor any service person from Madison County who was called to military service during the Iraq conflict. Anyone who served in the war or with a relative in the conflict can contact city hall at 788-2311.
No rain date has been set for the event.
MORE ABOUT THE
GRAND MARSHAL
This year's Grand Marshal, Barbarianne Gaulding-Russell grew up and spent most of her adult life in Colbert. She was instrumental in the forming of Colbert's Independence Day celebration and has served as president of the Colbert Improvement Club.
She was chairperson for the first seven years and has been in charge of arts and crafts exhibits for the past 27 years.
Organizers said Russell has spent "untold hours toward the betterment of her community."


Bank robber remains at large
A man who robbed the Danielsville branch of Merchants and Farmers Bank on Monday remains on the loose.
Sheriff Clayton Lowe said Wednesday that the FBI, who is assisting the sheriff's office and the GBI in the investigation, is attempting to obtain a still photo of the suspect from a bank surveillance tape.
Lowe said the lone gunman walked into the bank at approximately 11:16 a.m. Monday morning, gave a teller a note demanding money and showed her a gun hidden in his pocket.
The teller complied and the man left the building without anyone being harmed. The teller then shouted "I've been robbed," and the bank's alarm was sounded.
Lowe said the man fled on foot. Officers did detain a man on a bike riding on Sherwood Circle several moments later, but he is not considered a suspect.
A call a few moments later to Ingles in Dogsboro was another false lead, Lowe said.
A woman parked at the drive-in window of the bank in Danielsville when it was robbed saw the suspect and reported that a man fitting that description was at Ingles when she went shopping there a short time later.
The man was questioned later at his home by deputies, but was also determined not to be a suspect.
Lowe said the FBI is offering a reward in the case and that the robber's "MO" fits that of another robbery at an Athens-Clarke County bank about a month ago.
The man is described as a slender black male, between 5'9" and six feet tall. He had a goatee and was wearing a knit-type cap.
Anyone with any information on the suspect is asked to call Madison County 911.


Shelter holds open house; debuts spay/neuter clinic
Madison-Oglethorpe Animal Shelter staff, volunteers and board members celebrated their first six months of operation last weekend with an open house that included a barbecue lunch, games, a raffle, face painting, and an agility course. The steady stream of visitors to the shelter were able to tour the facility and see the many animals available for adoption.
And in a continuing effort to fulfill the mission of reducing pet overpopulation, the shelter has announced the opening of a low cost spay/neuter clinic to the public.
Shelter officials say the clinic, which officially opened July 1, is not intended to compete directly with local veterinarians nor will it provide routine medical care for pets.
Those who choose to take advantage of the lower cost surgeries will be advised and encouraged to follow up with their veterinarians for routine care and other services for their pets.
The shelter is not a county government facility, but is run by a non-profit humane society that currently receives $3 per person per year from Madison and Oglethorpe counties to take in stray and unwanted animals.
It has been inundated with litters of puppies and kittens, as well as numerous adult animals, since opening its doors last December, receiving an average of 100 or so animals a week into the facility.
While healthy adoptable animals are held as long as possible, many end up having to be euthanized because of space limitations.
“A vital part of our mission is to reduce pet overpopulation and the clinic is a significant step towards helping us achieve that,” board of directors president Charles Richards said. “We want to drastically reduce the number of healthy animals that we are forced to euthanize simply because there are too many. We all care about animals and we’re tired of killing them, plain and simple.”
Shelter officials acknowledge that some area veterinarians may feel threatened by this new move, but feel that fear has little merit.
“A good many of the people who will come to us would probably never have their pets sterilized otherwise, either because they can’t afford it or don’t realize the necessity of it, until they bring their litters into the shelter and realize they can get the mother spayed for very little money,” board vice president Marisu Wehrenberg said. “And that brings us to another important part of our mission - education. We want these folks to leave the shelter realizing they need to take their pets to a veterinarian of their choice for routine care, and that’s what they’ll be encouraged to do.”
“It puts sterilization within reach of many of the elderly as well as those on fixed incomes,” Wehrenberg added.
Shelter prices for spays and neuters are as follows: dog spay - $55; dog neuter - $45; puppy spay (four months or less) - $45; puppy neuter - $35; cat/kitten spay - $35; and cat/kitten neuter - $20.

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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.


Two charged with seven Madison Co. burglaries
Two people have been arrested in connection with burglaries of four convenience stores and three elementary schools in Madison County.
Stephanie Mechelle Phillips, 26, Hull, and Sedrick Armone Rucker, 20, Hartwell, were charged with the burglaries of Comer Elementary, Colbert Elementary, Ila Elementary, Paoli Junction Convenience Store, the Chevron Station in Dogsboro, Midway Grocery and Jai’s BP Shop south of Ila.
The arrests came after a lengthy investigation which revealed that the suspects committed burglaries in Madison, Jackson, Banks, Oglethorpe and Franklin counties.


IDA approves bids for Hwy. 29 project
The county industrial authority last week approved low bidder E.R. Snell Construction Company to install acceleration and deceleration lanes for Alewine Development on Hwy. 29 just north of the Hwy. 29 - Glenn Carrie Road intersection.
E.R. Snell bid $35,675 to complete the work, which will be paid for with monies from an Employee Incentive Program (EIP) grant.
IDA member and Chamber of Commerce president Marvin White said that once water lines are in place to the Alewine Development, the Authority plans to use $32,000 remaining from a GEFA loan used for the Hull water tower construction to continue water lines further north toward Athens Auto Wrecking.
“That will put us in the vicinity of Piedmont Road,” White said, adding that plans are to eventually extend lines into that area where a number of residents experienced dry wells during the previous drought.
“We intend to look at grants that will help us get water into that (Piedmont Road) area,” White said.
In a related matter, a $507,000 state GEFA (Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority) grant was approved last Thursday to allow the IDA to purchase the Hull water line from Athens-Clarke County.
White said the IDA is now awaiting the approval of a $539,000 SRF (State Revolving Funds) “forgivable” federal loan that will allow for construction of the well house, pump and chemical feed building at the Hwy. 72 back-up well. The approval of this loan will allow them to complete the county’s water system extension.
White said up to 75 percent of that loan may be “forgiven” requiring the IDA to repay only 25 percent.
“We’re hoping to have approval on the SRF loan by the July IDA meeting, allowing us to begin construction on the water line extensions by August,” White said.
The new deadline for purchase of the Athens water line is December 1.