News from Madison County...

OCTOBER 22, 2003


Madison County
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OPINIONS

Frank Gillespie
Why not hire mercenaries to fight for us?
There are not many things I admire about the French, but they did have one good idea. They hire international mercenaries to do their fighting for them.

Zach Mitcham
How do you define ‘the media?’
It’s there to view in the check-out line as you buy the butter for your bread: Is J-Lo cheating? Is Tom Cruise gay? Are these 12 senators really aliens?


SPORTS
SOFTBALL: 8-AAAA AREA TOURNEY RECAP

Two clutch wins at area tourney keep Raider season alive
Wednesday shutouts clinch spot at state


News from
BANKS COUNTY
Trying to preserve history
Gillsville plans community organization for history preservation
Residents of Gillsville will have the opportunity to help preserve town history by joining an organization still in the planning stages.

Banks DFACS investigates 57 cases of child abuse
During September, case workers at the Banks County Department of Family and Children Services proceeded with 57 investigations of child abuse, said director Renota Free at a recent board meeting.

News from
JACKSON COUNTY
Water authority says ‘needs assessment’ out of line
Another tug-of-war between the Jackson County Board of Commissioners and the county water authority is heating up over a move to “study” the authority’s operations.

Jefferson tax rate to be set Thurs. night
Probably won’t be as high as was advertised
City of Jefferson leaders said this week that the town’s millage rate won’t increase as much as previously advertised.

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The Madison County Journal
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The city of Danielsville held its annual fall festival Saturday. Pictured (top) Cheyenne Stewart, 3, of Hull holds Vivian Knight’s hand and dances to some country tunes in front of the music stage.

Shopping center in the works for Highway 98?
Planners give thumbs up; BOC to consider plans Mon.
A new shopping center near Madico Industrial Park got the go ahead from the county’s planning and zoning commission at Tuesday night’s zoning public hearings, despite the standing room only crowd that showed up to back a petition against the development.
The planning commission voted 5-0 to recommend that the board of commissioners approve an amended request by John Purcell of Plan South, representing property owner Barbarianne Russell, to rezone a 30-acre portion of a 112.54-acre parcel on Hwy. 98 and Clements Road from A-1 (intensive agriculture) to B-1 (highway business, limited use). The remainder of the parcel is to stay A-1.
Purcell owns an adjacent 15 acres, which is zoned B-2 that he wanted to join with this property. He agreed to amend his request to zone the land B-1 after hearing that there was some concern that a trucking terminal might be located there. The B-1 classification has more restrictions as to what types of businesses may locate there.
Purcell said he wants to locate a grocery, bank and restaurants.
“I want to create something that everyone can enjoy,” he said.
Neighbor Bobby Clements, spoke on behalf of those opposing the rezoning, saying that the area is a “rural farming community” and that shopping centers and other amenities are all within a short driving distance.
“We feel this rezone will be disruptive to our rural way of life,” Clements told the commission. “There are 30 chicken houses within a half mile and 42 chicken houses within one mile. There are also a lot of cattle farms nearby...in my opinion, it’s some of the best farm land in the area.”
Clements went on to say that the neighbors felt the 15 acres of adjacent property Purcell already owns next to this parcel “is enough space to build a small grocery store and other businesses of that type.”
“As a group, we’re not opposed to commercial, industrial growth, but the right place, and the right location is important,” Clements said. Clements went on to point out that rezoning the property does not follow the county’s future land use map.
“We need to keep commercial growth around our towns and stay within the guidelines (for growth),” Clements said. “The towns are a more suitable place than out there in the middle of broiler houses and farming.”
For the rest of this story see this weeks Madison County Journal


County student dropout rate nearly 40 percent
MCHS council says community-wide ‘Stay-in-School’ effort is needed
The Madison County High School Council is seeking new programs to address the county’s poor school completion rate, according to a report to the Board of Education Tuesday.
The report, presented by MCHS principal Wayne McIntosh, reveals that 60.4 percent of Madison County students complete their high school education. This compares to a statewide rate of 73 percent and a national average of 87 percent. Only 21 of the state’s 173 school systems have lower rates.
“Statistics show that, on average, high school dropouts are more likely to be unemployed or earn less money,” the report said. “They are more likely to require public assistance. Young female dropouts are more likely to have children at a young age and more likely to become single parents. Dropouts tend to experience more individual stress and frustrations, and dropouts make up a disproportionate percentage of the nations death row inmates.”
The report pointed out that change is coming to Madison County that will reduce our dependence on agriculture and produce more high-tech, manufacturing and service-related jobs. This type of economy requires a more-educated work force. These jobs will have to be filled by people moving into the county if our natives are not properly trained, it concluded.
The High School Council encouraged the Board of Education to involve the entire community in solving the dropout problem. They propose a county-wide “Stay in School” promotion that would include posters to be displayed in local businesses, churches, grocery stores and next to time clocks. They want to see the ads on school websites and sports programs. They said “Stay-in-School” messages should appear in church bulletins Chamber of Commerce publications and other public service organization literature.
Council members want to involve community leaders, business owners, religious leaders and service organizations. They are seeking better truancy enforcement, and an effort to require public assistance recipients to keep their kids in school as a requirement to receive aid.
“Can we continue to allow only 60 percent of our kids to obtain high school diplomas? Or do we need to consider strong measures now that will prepare our kids for the jobs that will be available a few short years down the road,” McIntosh asked

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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.


The Past of Paoli
‘Ramblers’ look at community’s history
Down a quiet country road in northern Madison County, nestled among ancient oaks, a majestic old magnolia tree, and surrounded by hay bales in a neighboring field, lies an impressive part of local history.
New Hope Presbyterian Church cemetery, in the small community of Paoli, contains the graves of many of the county’s first settlers, including that of Stephen Groves who led a wagon train from Pennsylvania to life in the then “wilds” of northeast Georgia. Also buried there is his son, Samuel Groves, who was the first state representative from Madison County.
Nearby is the grave marker of another member of that first group, Samuel Long, a Revolutionary War soldier who was the grandfather of Danielsville’s Dr. Crawford W. Long.
It was to this location that members of the Madison County Heritage Foundation made their way last Sunday afternoon, on one of the group’s customary “rambles” to places of historical significance in the county.
PAOLI HISTORY
It was 1787 when a colony of mostly Scotch-Irish Presbyterians left their homes in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, to make the journey south to a new home in Georgia.
For the rest of this story see this weeks Madison County Journal