News from Madison County...

APRIL 7, 2004

Madison County

Madison County

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Farnk Gillespie
Gas prices are ultimately in your hands
One of the major laws of economics is “The Elasticity of Demand.” It says that the price of any commodity will grow as long as demand for that commodity grows. In other words, the more of the stuff we want, the higher the price.

Margie Richards
The ‘Jesus Movement’
It seems a matter of ongoing puzzlement to many that the story of Jesus continues to compel.
In fact, since the release of The Passion of the Christ, Jesus has become a veritable superstar — the movie about his sacrificial death selling out and outselling other movies.

At the top
Raiders atop the region after first 9 games
Note: results from Madison County’s Tuesday night game with Habersham Central were unavailable.

News from
Churches announce Easter services
The following local churches have announced their special Easter events, including services and egg hunts.

Annual Easter egg hunt set for Sunday
Mack and Sandra Garrison will host the huge annual Easter egg hunt on their farm land on Easter Sunday.
The hunt will begin at 2 p.m. and is open to children of all ages.

News from
New snafu: 30% of courthouse not in Jefferson
As if the location, financing and cost of the new Jackson County Courthouse weren’t enough for citizens to think about, now there’s a new issue to confront — not all of the $25 million, 124,000 sq. ft. facility is inside the city limits of Jefferson.

Easter activities listed by local churches
The following local churches have announced their special events for Easter, including services and egg hunts.
The Madison County Journal
Danielsville, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056

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Young artists

Pictured (L-R) Judah Oak Farmer, 2, and his brothers, Elijah Rain Farmer, 5, and Jacob Ethan Farmer, 4, enjoy painting with artist Peter Loose at the Folklife Festival in Danielsville Saturday.

State to investigate tax assessor’s office
Meanwhile, conflict between two county offices runs deep
A conflict between the county commission chairman’s office and the county tax assessor’s department is now a mighty tangled web.
And you can add state investigators to an already complicated equation that includes much more than math-heavy, tax lingo.
Between the two sides are allegations of improper assessment practices, allegations of improper personnel practices, a firing, a reversal of that firing, a dispute over the denial of a raise and a brewing fight for the county commission chairman’s seat.
Madison County commissioners met Wednesday — this newspaper received no notification of that meeting — to call for a performance review of the county tax assessor’s office and the county digest by an independent board appointed by the Georgia Revenue Commissioner.
The revenue commissioner has 30 days to establish such a board, which will include a member of the revenue commissioner’s staff and two assessors from somewhere in Georgia, but not from Madison County.
Charles Willey, director of Public Information for the Georgia Department of Revenue said the department received the BOC’s request for an investigation on April 6.
“An acknowledgment letter will be sent to the commissioners today (Wednesday),” said Willey. “Revenue Commissioner (Bart) Graham will appoint a three-person board to conduct the review within the next 30 days. The board will then set a time to physically visit the Madison County tax assessor’s office to conduct its review. The review normally takes three days. The board will then draft a report and submit it to Commissioner Graham.”
The BOC called for the investigation after county clerk Morris Fortson said he discovered irregularities in appraisals by the tax assessor’s office. Fortson said the changes profoundly impacted the tax digest in a negative way and essentially led to higher property tax rates this past year than necessary.
“The numbers don’t lie,” said Fortson.
Meanwhile, county chief appraiser Rebecca Duncan admits there were some errors in last year’s appraisals, but she says her office wasn’t notified of any problems until December, some three months after the 2003 county tax digest was set in late August.
For the rest of this story see this weeks Madison County Journal..

Colbert, Danielsville postpone decision on IDA water proposal
The county industrial development authority (IDA) is asking both Colbert and Danielsville officials to let their city’s water systems serve as backup sources for a newly-planned county system.
But leaders for both cities said Monday that they need more time to think about the proposal.
The (IDA) recently approved a deal with Colonial Pipeline for almost $1 million for water service to the Colbert Grove Church Road area off Hwy. 29, which the petroleum company contaminated with oil spills. Benzene, which can cause leukemia, is still detected in deep wells some 25 years after the last documented spill.
Colonial offered approximately $947,000 in funds to provide water to a triangular contaminated zone in the Colbert Grove Church Road area south of Danielsville off Hwy. 29.
But the industrial authority has agreed to seek a loan and couple borrowed funds with money from Colonial to serve more than just the contaminated zone.
The authority is planning a $1.7 million water system development project that would essentially link Madico Park, Colbert, Danielsville and South Madison water systems. They say such a development would lay the groundwork for future growth and help improve fire protection in the county.
But the IDA needs backup water sources to make the water expansion project work, and they’ve requested that Colbert and Danielsville serve as backup sources, while noting that the county system could also function as a backup water source for the cities.
But Colbert Mayor John Waggoner said Monday that reports he had already approved such a connection between Colbert and the IDA were wrong.
Waggoner said he told county officials that he would have to discuss the idea with the city council and with Piedmont Water, a private company that manages the city water system.
The mayor told the council that there were several problems with making such a connection. First, Colbert’s water tank is 13 feet higher than those at Danielsville and in the Madico Park. If a valve connecting Colbert’s system to the
For the rest of this story see this weeks Madison County Journal..

Danielsville man charged with arson, burglary
A Danielsville man was arrested on arson and burglary charges last Thursday after he allegedly burglarized a Danielsville business and then tried to set fire to it.
Alex Tucker, Jr., 42, was arrested on one count each of arson in the first degree, burglary and a probation violation (original charge: child molestation).
According to Sheriff Clayton Lowe, Tucker broke into the Danielsville Corner Store (formerly Minit Save) on General Daniel Avenue last week, stealing thousands of dollars in lottery tickets, cash, cigarettes, lighter fluid, kid’s toys and other items. He then allegedly took a hatchet and began knocking security cameras off the wall before pouring a fuel additive around the store and attempting to set fire to the building.
Lowe said investigator Cody Cross, with the assistance of Danielsville police officer Danny Bennett, used the security tape from the cameras to identify Tucker, who has reportedly robbed the store before.
Lowe said one of the cameras apparently swung down close to Tucker’s face after he knocked it off the wall and officers were able to freeze that close-up and use it to identify and arrest Tucker for the crimes.

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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.

Stamped in history
Alvin, Boggs, Brookline, Jeptha, Hix, Five Forks, even Opossum — most folks have probably never heard of these places, but they were destinations in Madison County once upon a time, and Pat Segraves has the postmarks, or other historical data, to prove it.
Segraves spoke to the Madison County Heritage Foundation on a recent Sunday afternoon, offering up tales of the county’s early locations for sending and receiving mail.
There have been some 37 post offices in Madison County over the years; most were operated out of local places of business such as a store, mill, smithy or a hotel (such Madison Springs), or in some instances, the home of a prominent citizen.
As it is today, mail was transported from one place to another by individuals contracted to carry it. Most of those early contractors were paid by the number of miles they traveled.
The postmaster, usually a man in the early days, was also most likely the business owner.
Segraves, described by friend and fellow historian Jennie Ruth Echols as a “collector’s collector” due to his many collections of all types, says his accumulation of the postal history of Madison County as a “work in progress.”
“I’ve used post office records and other documents to identify former post office sites in the county and that’s not an easy job,” he said. For the rest of this story see this weeks Madison County Journal..