News from Madison County...

OCTOBER 8, 2003

Madison County

Madison County
Madison County H.S.

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The Madison County Journal
Danielsville, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
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New subdivision proposed for city of Danielsville
The city of Danielsville could soon have another subdivision, if two men are allowed to move forward with their annexation and rezoning plans at next month's council meeting.
Todd Higdon and Stanley Martin approached the council Monday night with their plans to purchase and develop land on Crawford W. Long St. and Veteran's Drive into a 56-lot subdivision.
The two are purchasing 36.5 acres inside the city limits and approximately eight acres outside the city. The land is part of the Crawford W. Long homeplace estate.
Watson and Higdon were told they will first have to apply for annexation for the part of the property which is located outside the city limits. They will then have to apply for two rezonings: one for the portion inside the city, and another for the portion outside the city.
The men told the council that they would like to develop the property into 56 half-acre lots with either duplexes or single residential dwellings, similar to Northridge Subdivision, with upgrades.
But council members Laverne Watson and Nina Hitchcock informed them that the city's current zoning ordinance calls for a one-acre lot minimum for single family homes, and two-acre lot minimum for duplexes. There is no allowance for half-acre lots.
Hitchcock said she "had heard that they planned to do this" and had spoken with several residents of Northridge who had expressed their disapproval of the plan.
The council will most likely consider the matter next month, providing all the legal requirements of the zoning ordinance are met.

Fortson granted new trial
Former Colbert resident and convicted murderer Tracy Lea Fortson has won a new trial. Fortson was convicted in July of 2001 and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of her ex-boyfriend Doug Benton.
The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that Fortson, a former deputy sheriff in Oglethorpe County, was denied effective counsel when her attorney used one of his jury strikes to remove a juror who had already been excused for cause. The juror had been excused because several members of her family were in law enforcement, but her name had not been taken off the jury list when attorneys began striking names to reach the final list.
Fortson was convicted of malice murder by a Madison County Jury after a week-long trial. Judge Lindsay Tise Jr had sentenced her to life plus 20 years for the crime.
District Attorney Bob Lavender said after the trial that Fortson could become eligible for parole after 32 years in prison.
Lawyers for both sides have ten days to ask for reconsideration of the court's most recent finding.
A call to the local district attorney's office had not been returned by press time.

County gov't considers communications upgrades
Officials met Tuesday to discuss upgrades to the county's emergency communications system.
Madison County voters recently approved $500,000 in SPLOST funds be earmarked for upgrades to the communications system.
E-911 director David Camp said Tuesday afternoon that the committee met with Mobile Communications, an authorized Motorola dealer, concerning a propagation study conducted recently to determine what upgrades were needed based on the county's terrain and physical conditions.
"We spent the last week and a half riding the county with these representatives, determining low spots and talking on what's called a 'repeater' on the old WNGC radio tower in Neese," Camp said. "The study worked out well and we voted this morning to use this tower as our primary tower, on the contingency that we can use it without paying a great deal, if any, money to do so."
Three other sites were also agreed on to use as communication towers, using existing sites around the county. These were: the old Poca tower, the William Gas Pipeline tower between Comer and Danielsville and the Ginn Hill tower on Hwy. 281 near the Franklin County line.
Another tower will be constructed in Danielsville, most likely behind the 911 office, Camp said. Another existing site near Carlton may soon be named as well.
The committee voted to have BOC chairman Wesley Nash ask county commissioners for funds, approximately $7,500, to apply to the FCC for additional frequencies.
Currently, Camp said, volunteer fire departments and emergency medical services use the same frequency for transmission.
"That causes problems say when there are two fires going on, and then there's a wreck," Camp said. "We need more frequencies as the county continues to grow."

Madison Co. Homecoming set for Friday
Whitney Daniel, Abbi Osley, Lauren Sapp, Taylor Sapp or Jennifer Stone - one of these five girls will be Madison County High School's 2003 "Homecoming Queen."
The crowning ceremony will be held at halftime of the MCHS showdown with Commerce, which begins at 8 p.m. Last year's MCHS "Homecoming Queen" was Anna Adams.
This year's Homecoming Court also includes juniors Latoya Cobbs, Melissa Hall, Ashley Hardigree and Sarah Minish; sophomores Jessica Grainger, Kelci Wilson and Allison Morris and freshmen Courtney Stephens and Jodi Torres.
The Homecoming Dance will be held after the game, with $4 admission per person or $6 per couple.

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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.