News from Madison County...

MAY 5, 2004


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OPINIONS
Raider netters advance to Sweet 16
Both boys and girls cleared the first hurdle of the state tournament this past week, advancing to Class AAAA’s “Sweet 16.”


SPORTS
Frank Gillispie
Abolish the 17th amendment? Well, yes
Retiring Senator Zell Miller is still stirring up trouble on the Senate floor. Now he wants to abolish the 17th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Margie Richards
Breathe deeply
This weekend we celebrate motherhood. I have written often about my own mother, who died when I was 21, and I’ve written about a number of other women who I’ve been fortunate enough to know and who’ve meant the world to me.


News from
BANKS COUNTY
Brady to seek re-election
Kenneth Brady to run for second term as BOC chairman
Chapman, two others, qualify for Banks County sheriff’s race
Banks County Board of Commission chairman Kenneth Brady will be running for another four-year term.

Bond option discussed for reservoir project
A Buckhead investment banking firm came to a called Banks County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday afternoon to talk about selling bonds for the new reservoir project. Instead, BOC chairman Kenneth Brady quickly cut the discussion short and said funds are not available for the reservoir project.


News from
JACKSON COUNTY
Three qualify for BOC chairman’s race
Four to seek Britt’s District 1 BOC seat
Let the races begin!
The green flag dropped on the 2004 election season when qualifying closed at noon Friday. When the dust had settled, a handful of high-profile races were on track, and there were even a few surprises.

Jefferson to consider courthouse annexation Mon.
The Jefferson City Council will consider a rezoning request for 4.37 acres on Darnell Road at the new courthouse site when it meets at 6 p.m. on Monday at the clubhouse.

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SURVIVORS’ WALK

Madison County Sheriff Clayton Lowe (L) and chief deputy Bill Strickland (C), both cancer survivors, strolled the track with fellow team members from the sheriff’s office at the start of the Relay Friday evening.

The campaign begins
Qualifying sets stage for six contested county races in Madison County
Madison County's qualifying ended Friday at noon, setting the stage for six contested races this year.
Meanwhile, nine elected posts will include only one candidate.
Here's a look at the contested and uncontested county races:
CONTESTED
COUNTY RACES
•BOC CHAIRMAN — Five men are seeking the post of chairman of the Madison County Board of Commissioners. Incumbent Republican Wesley Nash qualified for re-election, while four Democrats qualified for the post, including John Bellew, Melvin Drake, Burton "Chip" Chandler and Wendell Garrison Williams. The four Democrats will face off in the primaries on July 20, with the winner facing Nash in November.
•BOC DISTRICT 1 — Incumbent Bill Taylor (D) will be challenged in November by either Cullen Wayne Douglas (R) or James Stanley Thomas (R).
•BOC DISTRICT 2 — Incumbent Johnny Fitzpatrick (D) will be challenged by John Pethel Sr. (R).
•BOC DISTRICT 4 — Either Wesley Jordan (R) or John Scoggins (R) will face Michael Conrad Sales (D) in November.
•BOE DISTRICT 5 — Incumbent John Mason will be challenged by Robert Buddy Fields and Melissa Dawn Skipper in the non-partisan race for the school board's District 5 seat.
•TAX COMMISSIONER — Incumbent Louise Watson (D) will be challenged by Kathy Stamps (R).

UNCONTESTED
COUNTY RACES
•BOC DISTRICT 3 — Incumbent Michael Youngblood (D) will not be challenged for re-election as District 3 commissioner.
For the rest of this story see this weeks Madison County Journal.


Cities approve link to county water system
Danielsville and Colbert water systems will be linked to a new county water system to be constructed in the next year.
City councils for both towns agreed Monday night that their municipal water systems can serve as emergency backup sources for a new county water system, which is under the supervision of the county industrial development authority (IDA). The IDA system will link Madico Industrial Park, Colbert, Danielsville and South Madison water systems.
Proponents of the plan say the new system will significantly enhance the county’s infrastructure and growth potential, while also improving fire protection for county residents along the path of the 12-inch lines. Opponents of the plan say the new water system will lead to unwanted residential growth in rural parts of the county.
The industrial authority recently approved a contract with Colonial Pipeline, which polluted deep well water in the Colbert Grove Church Road area with petroleum spills, for approximately $950,000.
That money covers the expense of the IDA installing a water line from Madico Park to the Colbert Grove contaminant zone, which includes about 85 homes.
But the IDA decided to use the money from Colonial for more than providing water to the contaminated area. The group approved an approximate $1.7 million plan for a water system that will link Madico, Danielsville, Colbert and South Madison water systems with a 12-inch line. The proposed route includes some 200 homes and several potential subdivisions.
The IDA has applied for a state loan to cover the approximate $760,000 difference between Colonial funding and the estimated cost of the project.
In pursuing the loan for the project, the IDA must find backup water sources for the new system. So the authority asked both Danielsville and Colbert councils to consider tying on to the new system so that both IDA and municipal systems could serve as backup sources for each other.
Both councils postponed a decision last month, seeking time to think about the proposal.
The Colbert City council voted to approve that connection Monday. But the approval was conditional on approval by Piedmont Water which owns approximately 1,000 feet of line between the city and county lines, and the Environmental Protection Agency, which sets standards for municipal water systems. The council also added language that permits exchanging water between the systems “only in emergency conditions.”
The Danielsville council approved the connection Monday, but delayed a decision on a second request from the IDA.
The contract between Colonial and the IDA includes a $120,000 “incentive clause,” which sets a date of Feb. 4, 2005, for the IDA to provide water to the Colbert Grove contaminant zone. For every day after Feb. 4 of next year that the IDA fails to provide water to that area, Colonial will knock off $2,000 from the contract for up to 60 days.
The IDA has asked the Danielsville council to agree to provide water to the contaminant zone if construction falls behind so that the industrial authority doesn’t lose out on any incentive funds.
The council members agreed that a decision on that request can be made at a later date.


Madison Co. Relay raises $67,000 to fight cancer
This year’s Relay for Life in Madison County has raised $67,000 at last count despite the inclement weather that threatened this year’s walk.
Relay chairperson Louise Watson said the steady rain held off until 5:30 a.m. Saturday when the Relay was called to a halt.
“Everything went very well, despite that and we’re so thankful to all that participated,” Watson said.
Watson said the luminary service was especially impressive and moving this year, with the lighting taking place while a bagpiper stood on the hill above the track and played “Amazing Grace.”
Honorary chairpersons Shawana Fitzpatrick and Randy Poole, both cancer survivors, spoke to the crowd at the opening ceremonies, thanking everyone for their support and speaking of their own experiences with cancer.
Closing ceremonies and the announcement of awards are tentatively set for Monday, May 24. A time and a location will be announced later, Watson said.

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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.


Drama Club to present play in new theater
Local theater lovers will have an opportunity to see young thespians in a new environment this week.
The Madison County High School Drama Club will present their spring play, “Down to Earth” by Bettye Knapp, Friday and Saturday nights, May 7 and 8, at 7 p.m. each evening. Tickets are $7.
The play will be performed at the new MCHS Fine Arts auditorium.
“We are extremely excited about having our first performance in the auditorium,” said Martha Duncan, the play’s director. “It has been amazing to see the transformation of an automotive shop into a fine arts auditorium,” she added.
The auditorium seats 172 with four additional wheelchair accommodations. It has been equipped with state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, theatre seats, and curtains.
The facility was funded by the five-year, one-cent special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) for county schools.
“We encourage the community to come out and join us for this performance in the new auditorium,” MCHS principal Wayne McIntosh said.
The story of the play revolves around two angels on assignment to pick up two mortals whose time has come.
On their descent, they are surprised at being joined by another would-be angel whose mischievous behavior threatens to jeopardize their assignment. The result is a “romantic comedy sure to provide an evening of laughter and enjoyment for the audience,” organizers say.
The play stars Kelsey Tate, Stacey McElroy, Mandy Kutch, Jason Brown, Donovan Sims, Bonnie Marcotte, Will Marcotte, Lissa Hollis, Hannah Jones, Nick Jones, Marina Edwards, Josh Collins and Dan Ravotti.