News from Madison County...

DECEMBER 8, 2004


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OPINIONS
Zach Mitcham
When it comes to lyrics, ‘tape it to a biscuit’
Sometimes I find as I’m driving down the road, singing along with a song, that the wrong lyric is more fun than the right one.

Frank Gillispie
National sales tax a good idea
The question of abolishing the payroll tax in favor of a national sales tax is once again before Congress. Is this a good idea?
Just imagine not having to worry about April 15th. No more payroll deductions.


SPORTS
Raiders upended
Madison County could never work its way back from a third quarter funk this past Tuesday night and because of that, will have to try to find a way to work its way back to the win column this weekend


News from
BANKS COUNTY
New Banks County jail open for business
Anyone needing to fill out an incident report, report an accident or speak to an officer with the Banks County Sheriff’s Office should now go to the new Banks County jail, located on Thompson Street across the new Hwy. 441 bypass.

Holiday open house planned in Gillsville
Friends of Gillsville and the City of Gillsville invite all area residents to a holiday open house.


News from
JACKSON COUNTY
2,440-home community being pitched for Arcade
Mega-development would be county’s largest project
A high-density housing planned community in Arcade is being pitched to area government leaders for comments by the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center. And action on the plan could come as soon as Dec. 21 when an annexation and rezoning request is slated to go before the Quad Cities Planning Commission.

Isakson speaks at courthouse dedication Wed.
Commends county officials on facility
While its doors have been open to the public for months, the new Jackson County courthouse was officially dedicated on Wednesday morning.

 mainstreetnews.com
The Madison County Journal
Danielsville, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056
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Christmas in Comer

READY TO SEE SANTA CLAUS

Hunter Crump (L) and Katlyn Crampton, both 2, came all decked out in Santa Claus attire, along with Katlyn’s mom, Lacey Crampton, to enjoy the annual Christmas parade Saturday in Comer.

475-home subdivision in the works?
Major residential development proposed for Colbert Grove Church Road, Johnny McElroy Road
A 475-home subdivision could be in the works for 400.12 acres on Colbert Grove Church Road and Johnny McLeroy Road.
If approved, the multi-phase project would be among the most significant residential developments in county history.
“I dare to say this would be the biggest (subdivision) we’ve had,” said zoning administrator Kim Butler, noting that the largest subdivision approved in her time as administrator is 88 lots.
Butler filed a required Development of Regional Impact (DRI) form with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Tuesday for the proposed residential development. (The form can be viewed online at www.georgiaplanning.com/ Click on DRI online application, then click on “submissions”) DRI projects “are large-scale developments that are likely to have effects outside of the local government jurisdiction.” In “non-metropolitan regions,” housing developments of 125 new lots or units must include a DRI plan from the local government.
The DRI form filed Tuesday lists Starke V. Hudson as the developer. The property owner is listed as Coleman Whitehead. The completion date is noted as 2010.
Whitehead, who is selling the land to Hudson, said that Hudson is “a very good developer,” with a reputation for quality work. Whitehead said there will be “no low-end stuff here, just medium and up,” adding that he owns other property near the development and that he wouldn’t want to do anything that would de-value the neighboring land. (Hudson could not be reached as of press time.)
A rezoning request for the subdivision is on the December planning commission agenda. But the DRI approval is not expected before this month’s public hearings. So Butler said the proposal is expected to go before county leaders for an actual vote in January, when three new commissioners will take their seats at the BOC table. Butler said the public can comment on the proposal in December, though she said the applicant has told her that he doesn’t plan to attend the December meetings.
Notably, the proposed subdivision does not conform to the county’s current land use map. It is neither in the county’s “high density” area nor its “medium density” zone.
For the rest of the story see this weeks Madison County Journal.

The Proposal:
Here is the actual proposal submitted by the applicants to the Madison County Planning and Zoning Department:
“Star Home Builders proposes to construct a subdivision on 400 acres of property on Colbert Grove Church Road in Madison County, and requests rezoning of the property from A-1 (agricultural) to R-1, Planned Unit Development (PUD). The subdivision would be served by county water from a line recently installed on Colbert Grove Church Road and would be constructed in three phases over a number of years.
Proposed lots on the property would be a minimum of .6 acres or 25,500 square feet, but with an average size of a little over 28,000 square feet. Minimum road frontage would be 100 feet except in cul-de-sacs. Roads would be according to county standards with concrete curb and gutters. No mobile or modular homes would be allowed. All lots would be sold with protective covenants and a qualified Homeowner’s Association would be established. For the rest of the proposal see this weeks Madison County Journal.


Kids’ picture
deadline set for Monday
The deadline for submitting photos for our annual children’s Christmas section has been extended to 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 13.
The kids’ section will be published in The Madison County Journal on Wednesday, Dec. 22 (not the Dec.16 issue as previously stated).
The newspaper will accept photographs of children age 8 years and younger. The child must live in Madison County. Photos of grandchildren will be taken only if the child resides with the grandparents in Madison County. 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.)


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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.


Guilty
Gabriel convicted of murdering Dana Brookshire
A Madison County jury concluded last Thursday morning that the shooting death of 24-year-old Dana Brookshire was no accident.
The jury returned a verdict of guilty on one count of felony murder against Joseph Derek Gabriel, 22, Colbert, after deliberating almost eight hours.
The jury did not find Gabriel guilty of the charge of malice murder. In his instructions, Judge Thomas Hodges also gave the jury the choice of convicting Gabriel of involuntary manslaughter if they felt the evidence did not prove Gabriel’s intention to kill Brookshire beyond a reasonable doubt.
The trial ended Wednesday afternoon around 4 p.m. and the jury deliberated until about 9 p.m. before retiring for the evening. Deliberation resumed at 9 a.m. Thursday, ending at around 11:30 a.m. when the jury returned with a guilty verdict.
Gabriel took the stand late Wednesday morning to defend his contention that the shooting of his 24-year-old girlfriend was an accident, not murder. Gabriel testified that he shot once when he was awakened about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 23, 2003, fearing that a noise he heard was an intruder coming into the room where he was sleeping. He maintained he had started sleeping with the 45 caliber Ruger semi-automatic handgun next to his bed after hearing of a recent attempted break-in in the adjoining duplex.
Gabriel appeared calm and spoke in an even tone as he related the events of the day and evening before Brookshire’s death. Gabriel said he and Brookshire spent the day moving her belongings from her grandmother’s house to his apartment. He admitted that they may have had a “little fuss” concerning “all the stuff she had” but that she had kissed him goodnight when he went to bed in the guest room around 9:30 p.m. so she could finish unpacking in their bedroom.
Gabriel, whose blood tests showed he was on methadone and Xanax, said the medication, as well as the moving, made him tired enough to retire early. (Brookshire’s blood also tested positive for methadone and Xanax.)
Around 10 or 10:30 p.m., Gabriel said Brookshire came into his room to tell him she was “going out for some fresh air.” He said he told her it was too late to go walking but she insisted so he reminded her to lock the door when she came back in.
Gabriel then testified that he woke to a “loud noise” around 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning. “I couldn’t see anything,” Gabriel said. “I called her name (Dana) and said ‘stop.’ I never got any response so I pulled the trigger and then turned the light on.”
For the rest of the story see this weeks Madison County Journal.


 mainstreetnews.com
The Madison County Journal
Danielsville, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233 Fax: (706) 367-8056
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