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Bigotry has no place in politics
Bigotry - prejudice and intolerance: intolerance toward people who hold different views, especially on matters of politics, religion, or ethnicity.
Talking about faith
What is faith?
Thats a question whose answer has been debated the world over since the dawn of mankind.
Raiders break 10-win mark,
...more accomplishments in store for 2004?
MCHS downs Winder, Oglethorpe, Hab. Central on the road
At least one barrier has now been shattered, the 10-win mark that has eluded the varsity Raiders on the hardwood since the 1996-97 season.
So, whats next?
Baldwin makes plans to tackle water loss
Baldiwn leaders are taking steps to get to the bottom of water loss in the town.
Water loss, or unaccounted water, is a growing problem across the country, Bud Reed, of Flow Metrix, said at a meeting in Baldwin last Thursday.
Lula council looks at minimum lot size changes
The Lula city council is talking about changing the minimum lot sizes required for future development.
BOC to seek $20 million bond for road projects
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners voted Monday night to request a $20 million bond financing package to finance several large road projects in the county.
Sewer plant to cost city more money
State fines, delays, additional costs hit Hoschton project
All isnt well for Hoschtons plans to provide more sewage service.
The city faces mounting state fines, the wastewater treatment plant expansion project is months behind schedule and could affect the citys growth, and another $1 million has been added to the projects price tag.
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Jeanelle Moore sits in her kitchen recently surrounded by numerous photo albums and other memorabilia from her years as a day care center director and second mama to hundreds of local children.
Jeanelle Moore recalls 26 years of operating daycare in Colbert
Days at Miss Jeanelles Day Care Center in Colbert may be over now, but three generations or so of folks in the community will never forget their days there under the watchful and loving eye of Miss Jeanelle.
Today, the walls of Jeannelle Patton Moores apartment are lined with photos, hand-drawn pictures and plaques, and various boxes and stacks of photo albums are full of memorabilia of a lifetime of being second mama, and grandma to hundreds of children.
LEAP OF FAITH
For Moore, it was a leap of faith when she opened Miss Jeanelles Day Care Center out of her home in Colbert in September 1968.
Then 37, Moore was working as a seamstress at a local sewing plant and was frustrated with being away from her home and family every day.
I was standing at the sink washing dishes one afternoon and I went to look out of the open door and I said, Lord, show me what you want me to do, Moore said.
No sooner had she said the words aloud than the phone rang. A friend was on the line, who encouraged her to quit her job and open a day care, saying she would help her.
I turned in my notice the next day and never looked back, Moore said.
Miss Jeanelles opened with just three children but by the end of the first week there was a house full as word got out in the community.
Her husband, James, who was partially disabled, helped, as did her own two children and other women in the neighborhood. The children grew to refer to her husband as Papa James and he took over primary kitchen duties, doing most of the cooking for the children.
People were always stopping by to help out, to rock babies, watch the children, and anything else I needed...I couldnt have done it without the help of the community, she said.
As the years went on, teenagers who had stayed at Miss Jeanelles as youngsters came back after school to work and later to bring their own children to day care.
One of those was Jerris Escoe, who would later buy the day care center.
In those early days, Moore says the center was pretty much open round the clock for those parents who worked shifts.
Wed have pallets ready for them and the parents had a key so they could come in and put them to bed, she said.
The average number of children at Miss Jeanelles was 12, from babies to after school care.
I had to stop keeping babies for a while when I hurt my back, but other than that I had all ages, Moore remembers.
In 1994, Moore came to the sad conclusion that it was time to retire to care for James, whose deteriorating health was beginning to require full time care.
She sold the day care to a former student, Karen McCannon and her husband,
The state required a years experience to get a license, so I continued to operate it for a year while Karen gained the experience she needed, Moore said.
In 1998, another former student of Miss Jeanelles, Jerris Escoe, purchased the day care
For the rest of this story see this weeks Madison County Journal.
Planners deny dog kennel expansion
County planners gave owners of an upscale pet boarding facility the message that they need to relocate their business if they want to expand their operations.
The planning commission voted 6-0 to recommend that county commissioners deny owners Greg and Rebecca Bleakleys plans to expand Four Seasons Pet Resort on Nowhere Road by constructing an additional building to handle overflow boarders during their peak times.
The Bleakleys are requesting a Use Variance on a 2.8-acre lot in order to enlarge their grandfathered dog kennel by building a new freestanding building to house animals boarded there.
Bleakley said the new 60 by 40 steel building would be equipped with sound reduction insulation technology and 24 indoor-only kennels.
He also said they plan to upgrade their 30-year-old existing facility to provide additional sound insulation. Mr. Bleakley said they currently house overflow boarders in portable kennels in a cinder block structure attached to their primary kennels.
The boarding facility is located in a residential and farming neighborhood and was grandfathered in by being in existence before county zoning laws were adopted.
The Bleakleys, who purchased the property eight years ago, say they have upgraded and improved the facility and that the proposed new structure is a continuation of that.
A number of area residents showed up in force for the hearing, some to voice their approval of the proposed expansion; others to complain about the facility as it stands now and to object to its expansion.
Noise, smell and traffic were the three things cited by neighbors who spoke up about their objections to the planned expansion, while other nearby property owners, such as Richard Fisher, said they were not concerned or bothered by the facility or the planned expansion.
Its a class act - and they (Bleakleys) have it looking nice since they purchased it...Ive not been disturbed by noise, except by occasional barking of dogs in the afternoon, Fisher said. I support their plans.
Most who supported the expansion also said they felt the addition of a new modern structure would only decrease the noise from barking dogs.
But others, such as next door neighbor Alice Sturgis, said they do object to any expansion, fearing it will decrease their property values while increasing noise and traffic on narrow, two-lane Nowhere Road.
Im just about to go crazy with the noise, Sturgis said. ....Im vehemently against it.
On rebuttal, Bleakley pointed out that he was not there to defend the existing business, but to apply for a variance to expand it.
Walter Searcy and Jim English made the motion to deny the request.
The neighborhood its in, I dont see how we can increase the size of it, the grandfather status (only) allows it to stay as it is, Searcy commented.
It seems youve done an exemplary job with it but Id love to see it in a B-2 (business) area, chairman Jeep Gaskin said. ...Id like to just pick it up and move it over to Hwy. 29, which is where this type business belongs.
The board of commissioners will have the final say on this and other zoning matters at its regular business meeting
For the rest of the story see this weeks Madison County Journal.
Eye on SPLOST
Madison County school construction projects on schedule
Students are now dining in two newly renovated and enlarged dining rooms as Madison Countys school construction program advances, according to reports received by the Board of Education Tuesday night.
New dining rooms at Danielsville Elementary School and Madison County Middle School are 96 to 98 percent complete. Other projects are mostly on schedule. The only troublesome project is the bathroom renovation at the middle school. Delays in receiving partitions have slowed work on the first bathroom. The second bathroom will be started as soon as the first is finished.
Most other projects are expected to be completed in April or May. Some delay in the construction of the new high school theater is due to delivery of the seats.
The sports complex is 20 percent completed with most grading work finished. There was a period of confusion over the tennis courts concerning the proper grading of the playing surface. Paving of the track and tennis courts is expected to be completed in April. Planting of grass will not begin until spring. The grass will be allowed to grow throughout the summer and fall before any activity is allowed.
The SPLOST projects include eight classrooms at Ila Elementary; five classrooms, new flooring and dropped ceilings at Comer Elementary; five classrooms, new flooring, wiring and an intercom system at Colbert Elementary; an expanded cafeteria, new flooring and a new walkway from the middle school to Danielsville Elementary; an expanded cafeteria, renovated locker rooms and expanded restrooms at the middle school; a theater at the high school and a sports complex across from the high school.
The projects are being funded through the special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST), a five-year, one-cent tax for school improvements renewed by voters last March.
Also Tuesday, the board approved purchase of three new general purpose school buses and one handicapped bus for a total of $212,856. State funds are used for school bus purchases.
Bus driver Diane Vanderford was recognized for her quick thinking that prevented the injury or death of one of her passengers. She had stopped the bus for a child to depart. She saw a vehicle that was not going to stop. Quickly, she grabbed the child from the bus door and held her until it was safe. Vanderford will receive a certificate of appreciation and a favorable report in her personnel file.
The board approved the school year 2005 school calendar, and two out of state overnight field trips by high school students. Students will visit Gatlinburg, and a Shakespeare Festival in Alabama.
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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.
IDA reports smooth transition for Hull water system
Residents of Hull formerly getting their water from Athens-Clarke County are now getting it from a new source the South Madison Water System.
IDA water system director Tyson Culberson reported Monday night that Madison County began providing water to the 200 or so customers in the Hull area as of Wednesday, Jan. 14.
It was a smooth transition and everythings going good, Culberson told IDA board members. Culberson said the only complaint calls he had received were about cloudiness in the water, which he said is caused by excess air as the system starts up.
Inspections by the EPD have also gone well, IDA secretary and Chamber of Commerce president Marvin White reported. A final inspection by the EPD is expected on Friday, Jan. 23.
Thats an excellent report for a change over as major as that, IDA member Gerry Burdette commented.
White also reported Monday that Phases I and II of the Hwy. 29 water line extension have been completed. Phase I consisted of extending the water line to the new business complex on Hwy. 29 just south of the Glenn Carrie Road intersection and installing deceleration and acceleration lanes to the complex.
Phase II consisted of a 1,500-foot extension from the complex to Auto World.
The next section of the project, Phase III, will provide a water line from Auto World to Piedmont Road and will be funded by grant money left over from the construction of the Hull-Sanford water tower and water line, White said.
In other matters Monday:
The industrial authority voted to reject the lone bid received by Fortson Well Company to supply service for water taps. The IDA board then decided to re-bid the service differently on a per unit basis. I think thats a much better way to do it, IDA chair Tom Joiner advised.
The authority voted to contract with the Chamber of Commerce office to provide water system management services and office assistance at $20,000 per year. The IDA board agreed that someone should be on hand at the Chamber/IDA office in the courthouse during all business hours to answer the phone, receive payments and answer questions. The details of the contract will be worked out during an upcoming work session.
The group set a work session on tap and re-connection fees, the work contract with the Chamber and other issues for Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 8 a.m. in the old county courthouse.