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Alex Jones, 2 (with flag), shows his patriotic spirit during Colbert's Fourth of July parade Saturday. He is shown with brother Sebastion Jones, 5, Nicky Kelley, 7, and dog Brownie.

Colbert holds centennial celebration
Colbert's Fourth of July festival and parade took on a new meaning this year as the town also celebrated its 100th year.
As part of the celebration, grand marshals for this year's parade were folks 80 or older who grew up in or around the Colbert community.
Those who served as grand marshals were Hollis Waggoner, World War II veteran Joe Morris, Virginia Hardeman and Gussie Patterson.
In addition, two brothers, Landis and Ranford Griffeth from Greenville, S.C., who grew up in Colbert, made the trip home to serve as grand marshals. Their father, Ellis, served on the town council in the 1930s, according to Mayor John Waggoner. The Griffeths are also veterans of the armed services.
The festival has become a tradition, not only for the town of Colbert, but for all of Madison County and northeast Georgia, drawing estimated crowds of up to 15,000.
The parade - the highlight of the day - included just about everything a small town community has to offer, from local beauty queens and politicians to marching bands and antique cars.
Other activities also included a 5K run, barbecue, live entertainment, arts and crafts booths and children's games.

Making the grade
Madison County exceeds state average on graduation test
Madison County students are still better than average on state graduation tests.
The 1998-99 Madison County junior class took the exams this spring, chalking up better numbers than the state's average first-time test takers.
To turn their tassels, students must first pass all portions of a graduation test mandated by state educators earlier this decade. Areas tested include English/language arts, math, social studies and science.
Ninety-five percent of the most recent Madison County junior class passed the English/language arts portion of the exam on their first try, edging the state average for first-timers in this category by one percentage point.
But the upcoming seniors were considerably better than the state norm in the other three areas, topping the state average in math, 91 to 86; social studies, 84 to 78; and science, 78 to 70.
Madison County High School principal Allen McCannon said he was pleased that the high school showed numbers generally above the state average for the third straight year. And he offered special praise for the social studies department, particularly Karol Scarborough and Linda Benton.
"The whole department did a great job preparing students for the test," said McCannon.
The high school will hold a free two-week study session August 12-23 for any student wanting to prepare for this summer's graduation test, which may be taken in the last week in August. McCannon said the program includes sessions with the school's "very best teachers." Contact the high school at 795-2197 for more information about this program.


Arnold Park to get new play equipment
The Comer City Council voted Tuesday night to accept a $10,000 state grant for new playground equipment at Arnold Park.
The grant, which will be paid on a split basis, will match $11,000 of city money. A check for $5,000 has been issued, and another $5,000 will be paid when the project is finished.
The new playground equipment, to be supplied and installed by Dominican Recreational Products, is similar to the equipment recently installed at the Madison County Recreational sites in Danielsville and Diamond Hill. City workers will remove the old slides and swings and prepare the site for the new equipment.
"We expect to have many more children use the new equipment," said Gerry Kemp, public works director for the city. "The old stuff was out of date and probably dangerous, and many parents were afraid to use it."
In other business, the council met in closed session to discuss potential litigation and personnel. The group took no action on the litigation matter and agreed to hire a full-time employee for the public works staff.

Berry to release new album
After three years without a new record, Madison County's John Berry will release a new album on August 24.
The first single from the new project, "Love is Forgiving," is now receiving a warm welcome on country stations across the nation. The album is called "Wildest Dreams" and will be Berry's first effort for Lyric Street Records, a new label owned by the Disney Co.
Berry actually recorded two albums for Capital before asking to be released from his contract with them. Both albums are now the property of Capital Records, and may never be offered to the public.
This is the most positive record I have ever done," Berry said earlier this week. "There is no sadness here."
One song has special meaning, Berry said, because it was recorded just after the Middleton school shootings. Titled "You're the Voice," it carries a strong anti-violence message. Berry quoted a passage from the lyrics: "We're all someone's daughter, someone's son.
How long can we look at each other down the barrel of a gun?"
"We had that song on the list to record before the tragedy," Berry said. "It seemed so appropriate that we did it at that time." He does not know if the song will be released as a single.
Athens Country DJ Tim Cicciarelli of WNGC has nothing but praise for the first single from the new album, "Love is Forgiving."
"In my opinion, it is the best song he ever recorded," Cicciarelli said. "He has a big future with the new record company. The new song has quickly become one of our top requests."
Berry is limiting his schedule this summer to allow more time with his family, and to develop new music. He will play a series of spot concerts around the country until his Christmas tour starts this fall. The Christmas tour will be mostly on the West Coast, he said.
"I wanted to have new music and the new record out before starting another tour," Berry said.

Grand marshall reflects
on life in Madison County
Joe Morris knows Colbert, and most of Colbert knows Joe Morris.
Born and reared on Hardeman Morris Road just west of downtown, Morris has lived in the shadow of this Madison County town with the sound of the frequent trains rumbling through it all of his almost 83 years.
"I don't even hear the trains anymore," Morris said.
Since 1962, he has lived on Second Avenue inside the Colbert city limits, and within sight of his church, Colbert United Methodist.
He has seen many changes over the years, the latest being the widening of Hwy. 72 through downtown. Morris can remember a time when the "main drag" was a dirt road that ran along where his street is today.
Morris has faced one of his most difficult challenges this year - the loss of his beloved wife Agnes in March, after 62 years of marriage.
He and Agnes reared five children together and ran a farm; later both worked "public jobs." But Morris is quick to point out that their greatest joy always came from their family, and that joy has continued for him as he learns to go on with life without her.
Morris is grandfather to 12 and great-grandfather to 10, with two more on the way.
And he has reason to look forward to a good many more years to enjoy his family; his father, J.R. Morris, another lifelong Colbert resident, lived to see the age of 103 and was Colbert's oldest living resident for a number of years.
As in years past, the family gathered for Colbert's Fourth of July celebration, bringing out the lawn chairs and placing them next to the road to watch the parade that comes right by Morris's home. But this year, while mourning the loss of their beloved mother and grandmother, the family was also excited to watch their dad and granddad participate as one of the grand marshals in the parade. Morris was one of six 80-plus residents or former residents, of Colbert to serve as this year's grand marshals as the city celebrated its 100th year.
Besides his family, Morris derives a lot of pleasure from his thriving vegetable garden. According to daughter Dee Osborne, there was never a time when her parents didn't have a garden.
This year the garden is flourishing with squash, beans, tomatoes, okra and corn. Morris tends it himself, with a little help with plowing from his family.

Countians named to RDC board
Jan Burroughs, Roy Gandy and Wesley Nash were recently named to serve as the Madison County representatives on the board of directors of the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center. They will serve a two-year term.

State insurance commissioner rep. in Danielsville July 20
An investigator from the state insurance commissioner's office is scheduled to be in Danielsville from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. July 20 at the county goverment complex to meet with Madison Countians with insurance problems or questions.
Call (706) 795-5664 to confirm the investigator's schedule.

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

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