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NOVEMBER 24, 2004


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OPINIONS
Margie Richards
So what are you thankful for?
This week's feature concerns thankfulness through the eyes of some local first graders. As you'll notice, as I've noticed every year since I've been doing this 'Thanksgiving story,' kids are thankful for some very basic things; their families, their pets, their friends, their teachers, and of course, the turkey they plan to eat.

Frank Gillispie
Thanksgiving is a religious holiday
Don’t tell the ACLU, but Thanksgiving is a religious holiday. It is the only American religious holiday that was created by Congress.


SPORTS
Epic start vs. Hart
Raiders launch 2004-2005 season with dramatic win over Bulldogs
For Raider old-timers, it’s that other gym — the one where the middle schoolers now work up a sweat during P.E. — that holds the ghosts of Madison-Hart County epic battles.


News from
BANKS COUNTY
Turkey shows up at Homer residence
Turkey time
When a large bird showed up at Bobby and Miriam Blackwell’s home in Homer, they thought he was a buzzard. They later discovered it was a turkey.
Mrs. Blackwell said she shooed him away from their garden the first time she saw him. He was picking beans.

Armed robbery reported at Banks Crossing
The Chevron Station located at Banks Crossing was robbed at gunpoint Saturday night by a man wearing a ski mask. The perpetrator made off with $300 from the register.
At approximately 9:40 p.m. on November 20, a man described as six-feet-tall with a medium build walked into the gas station on Hwy. 441. The attendant, who was the only person in the store at the time, said the man was wearing a ski mask, gloves, a dark blue jacket and blue jeans.


News from
JACKSON COUNTY
Water board takes defiant stand in Arcade dispute
County water leaders took a defiant stand Monday night, saying they wouldn’t “be intimidated” by efforts to undermine the system’s service territory.
In a 3-2 vote, the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority approved a resolution to “make its water and sewer facilities available to the public within Jackson county, including municipalities located inside and outside Jackson County....without regard to any service delivery agreement entered into pursuant to House Bill 489...”

Niekro to speak Tues. to chamber
Atlanta Braves pitching legend Phil Niekro will speak at a Tuesday, Nov. 30, luncheon meeting held by the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Women In Business. The event begins at 11:30 at Jackson EMC, Jefferson, with the meal at noon.

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The Madison County Journal
Danielsville, Georgia
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Some first graders in Deedee Pursley’s class at Hull-Sanford Elementary were contemplating the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday while remembering all they have to be thankful for. Pictured (clockwise from left) are Elizabeth Simmons, Kaleb Woody, Kayla Bryant, Harlee Roberson and Ty Koonce.

Reasons for Thanks
Hull-Sanford Elementary School students talk about why they’re grateful
Hull-Sanford first graders, like kids all over the county, were contemplating the upcoming Thanksgiving holidays Monday afternoon while they drew, colored and wrote stories about all the things they have to be thankful for. Many of them had been studying about the first Thanksgiving, which seemed to make them realize how fortunate they are to have good food to eat.
Students in Angie Eades’ first grade class were finishing up a Thanksgiving booklet.
Brandon Waldroup has unusual plans for the holiday — he’s going to “grow feathers.”
“I want to be a turkey,” he said, laughing. Brandon is thankful for his “Daddy, home, family and God.”
“I love my family,” he said.
Cortney Walden said she is excited about going with her daddy to see her family. “I’m thankful for the whole, wide world and God,” she said.
Braxton Smith said he’s thankful he’s going to be out of school. “I just want to play and have fun and eat yummy stuff,” he said.
Kayla Reilly said macaroni and cheese is her favorite dish for Thanksgiving and she’s thankful for God, her family and her house.
Logan Shaw is thankful for his X-box video game system and will eat turkey “if his dad can shoot one.”
Bryce Nix is thankful that he has food to eat and a family. For Thanksgiving, he just wants to stay home and eat turkey.
Andrew Tyson said he’s just thankful to have “food to eat and water to drink.”
Hannah Smith and Hannah Griffeth agreed; they’re both thankful for their “friends and the world.”
Odessa Toliver said her family plans to eat “honey-baked ham” instead of turkey, and she’s forgotten what else her grandma plans to cook.
Hugo Guhdarrama said his family will “write a fun book and play games” for Thanksgiving.
In Deedee Pursley’s class, Elizabeth Simmons said she is thankful for her friends and family; Kaleb Woody, who will be 7 on Thanksgiving Day, said he is thankful for his “family and for turkey (in that order);” Kayla Bryant said she is thankful for her “family and God” and will go “far away to Grandma’s house” for the holiday; Harlee Roberson said she has nine sisters she is thankful for as well as her Chihuahua, Precious; Ty Koonce, who also comes from a large family (10 brothers and sisters) said she is thankful for turkey, and fried fish — she’ll eat both on Thanksgiving Day.
Justin Lyon said he’d already eaten his Thanksgiving meal at church on Sunday but that he’s thankful for being at school that day, his mom and dad and his brother and sister.
Heidi White said she is grateful for her two sisters, her family, food, a home, friends and turkey.
Jamie Barrera is looking forward to playing with her cousins on Thanksgiving Day and she said her family “will drive to Mexico to see her dad’s grandma.” Turkey, pie and grapes will be her favorite thing to eat after the long drive.
Russell McEwen said he’s grateful for “God and Jesus and for Thanksgiving.”
Russell’s family will travel to Virginia to his grandma’s house to eat “thankful food” (turkey and salad).
Joshua Herring is thankful for “my daddy, my mom and baby sister” although sometimes he admits he’s “kinda’ mean” to her when she grabs his toys.
Leslie Trejo said she likes to play with her “dad and mom on Thanksgiving.”
Tony Rico said he’s thankful for his mom.
Amber Fowler said she’s grateful for her friends and cousins; Omar Mireles said he’s grateful for his mom, his sister and his younger brother; Paco Victorio is thankful for his dad, mom, two brothers, his friends and turkey.
But Paco said his family will go to La Fiesta for dinner— no turkey for him.
Kids in Sandy Brubaker’s class were packing up to go home but took a moment to talk about Thanksgiving as well.
Drew McKinnon, Mariela Ignacio, Mimi Ramirez and Brandon Gunter all said they were thankful for “turkey and Thanksgiving.”
Chandler Austin said he plans to eat turkey and ham on Thanksgiving Day (ham is his favorite).
Adriana Paul said she is grateful for her teacher, Mrs. Brubaker.
Savana Johnson said she’s grateful for her cousins, her daddy and chicken, which she plans to eat instead of turkey.
Courtney Alexander will eat ham at her “NaNa and Papa’s house” where they’ll have a party on Thanksgiving Day.
Michael Wendle said he has no idea what he’ll do for Thanksgiving, but he does know he’s grateful for his family.
Trey Howard wants to eat Chinese food in a restaurant on Thanksgiving Day.
Zach Myers said he’s grateful for his kitten, ‘Punkin,’ and looks forward to playing with him while he’s out of school for the holiday


County to cover assessors’ legal fees
Madison County taxpayers will cover legal fees for the county board of assessors, county commissioners voted Monday.
The BOC met in closed session for about 20 minutes Monday night, then agreed to provide funding for legal counsel for the board of assessors.
County commissioners recently asked a judge for an opinion on whether there is sufficient cause to axe three of the four members of the board of assessors: chairman John Bellew, John Mallonee and Gerald Coutant. (Bellew lost the Nov. 2 election for the BOC chairman’s seat to Wesley Nash.)
In their complaint, the commissioners claim that the three tax board members have “failed to perform their duties and requirements and meet the qualifications imposed upon them by law in numerous respects...”
Bellew contends that the charges lack merit and are politically motivated.
A hearing on the matter is set for 2 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 16, before Judge John Bailey in the county Superior courtroom in the government complex in Danielsville.


County ambulance fees to increase
Madison County ambulance fees will soon go up for the first time in four years.
County commissioners voted 5-0 Monday night to increase ambulance rates after hearing reports from local EMS leaders on the rising costs of providing quality services.
For instance, EMS director Dwayne Patton noted that fuel costs have increased 300 percent since the last ambulance rate increase in 2000.
The board voted to increase the ambulance mileage rate from $8 to $9 per mile. The cost of “basic life support” was increased from $255 to $285. Ambulance rides classified as “Advanced Procedure 1 (or ALS 1)” will be raised from $375 to $425, while “ALS 2” rides will go up from $425 to $475.
The new rates will take effect Jan. 1.
Assistant EMS director John Pethel Jr. pointed out that, despite the increases, Madison County ambulance services will remain less expensive than many surrounding counties, where mileage rates are as high as $10 per mile and ALS 2 services as much as $632.
Gloria Brown, who handles Madison County EMS billing, said she feels the increases are appropriate.
“I don’t think this is unreasonable at all,” said Brown. “It’s a small price to pay for riding in a mobile emergency room which saves your life getting you to the hospital.”


Heritage Foundation donates $10,000 for old courthouse
Slowly but surely, the old county courthouse in Danielsville is returning to some semblance of its former appearance.
That’s what Madison County Heritage Foundation members heard and saw firsthand at their meeting, held in the Chamber of Commerce conference room in the courthouse, Sunday afternoon.
County commission chairman Wesley Nash spoke to the group about the ongoing renovations to the structure, outlining what has been done so far, as well as plans for the future uses of the courthouse.
At the conclusion of the presentation and tour, the Foundation showed their support of the project by presenting the chairman with a $10,000 donation toward further renovation efforts.
Nash went over some of the history of the courthouse and read excerpts from a book, The Courthouse and the Depot by Wilber Caldwell, which described the courthouse’s construction by J.W. Golucke in 1902 amid numerous schemes to construct rail lines through Danielsville, all of which came to nothing.
For the rest of the story see this weeks Madison County Journal.


Thanksgiving meal offered to those in need
Proverbs 11:25 Ministries, hosted by Carmine’s Pizza Time, will serve Thanksgiving dinner at the restaurant between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
“You have the choice of eating at the restaurant, picking up your food, or, if you are homebound, we will have volunteers who will deliver the food.” organizers said. “There is no charge, but you need to call to reserve your meal.”
To make a reservation, call Enid Costello at 797-3679.

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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.


Luminarias set for Dec. 18
The 20th annual Madison County Luminarias and Live Nativity will be held Saturday, Dec. 18, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Booger Hill and Moon’s Grove roads in Danielsville.
This community tradition features luminarias at approximately 200 homes on a 10-mile route of country roads. There is also a live nativity scene as well as carolers and other Christmas scenes throughout the drive. Inclement weather cancels the event.



Citizens find long wait in rain Monday for flu shots
Long lines and scant parking greeted those attempting to get a flu shot on a rainy Monday morning as the elderly, young children, pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses waited their turn.
According to Madison County Health Department administrative supervisor Susan Seagraves, two health department nurses administered approximately 490 flu vaccines on Monday, beginning at 8 a.m.
Seagraves said they were out of vaccine by 2:30 p.m. and did have to turn a few folks away.
Those waiting for their flu vaccines Monday morning commented that the line was moving at a good pace and most seemed in good spirits despite the inclement weather and the long line, which stretched around the front of the building and down into the parking lot. Cars were parked on both sides of most of the length of Sunset Drive and in an empty field across from the health department much of the morning. Some reported that they had been in line since before 7 a.m.
As of Tuesday morning, Seagraves said the Northeast Health District office had called to say they were sending 80 more doses of vaccine.
“So we’ll have a few more to give out today,” Seagraves said.
She said that it is uncertain whether there will be any more flu vaccine available, although as of now officials don’t know of any more coming their way.

Photos accepted for Christmas kids’ section
The annual children’s Christmas section will be published in The Madison County Journal on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
The newspaper will be accepting photographs of children age 8 years and younger through 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 6.
The child must live in Madison County. Photos of grandchildren will be taken only if the child resides with the grandparents. Please submit the following information along with the child’s photo: the first and last name and age of each child shown, as well as the parents’ names, their city of residence and phone number.
Black and white or color photos can be used, but no Polaroids or photographs printed out from a computer onto laser paper will be accepted, as they do not reprint well. Digital photos with the above information may be e-mailed to zach@mainstreetnews.com.
The photos may be dropped off at or mailed to The Journal office in Danielsville and may be picked up there after the publication runs in the paper. (If the office is closed, photos may be dropped in the slot beneath the front porch window.)

 mainstreetnews.com
The Banks County News
Homer, Georgia
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