Click for Jefferson, Georgia Forecast
to The Madison County Journal



Colbert Elementary first grade teacher Carolyn Perry was one of many Madison County teachers preparing for the new school year this week.
School opens Fri., Aug. 20. Photo by Margie Richards

School bells to ring this Friday for Madison County students
It's that time of year again, when students from kindergarten to high school will head back to school for another year. Approximately 4,525 students will attend county schools - holding pretty close to last year's figures.
And as this new year begins, school system employees are gearing up to make things run smoothly and successfully, with a number of changes in store.
One of the biggest changes, brought about in response to the safety concerns of the community - and to help lower incidences of school vandalism - is the new 24-hour security system which has been installed at several schools.
Madison County High School, Madison County Middle School and Ila Elementary School were initially chosen as recipients of the surveillance system. But the county school board agreed Tuesday night to put cameras in Colbert, Comer and Danielsville Elementary Schools too (sees story below).
The system includes cameras mounted outside to monitor all three parking areas at the high school, and internal systems monitoring hallways, and classroom and restroom doorways in all three of the schools.
The construction of new classroom wings is another big change this year for the high school and middle school.
All four elementary schools will have a nurse on duty, and will be implementing after school programs, some to start on Mon., Aug. 23, and others to begin after Labor Day. The program will run from 3 to 6 p.m. and will cost $5 per day.
The program was launched at Colbert Elementary last year and considered a success.
Meal prices countywide remain the same: all breakfasts - 70 cents; high school and middle school lunches - $1.25 and elementary lunches-$1.
For the full story, see the front page and 2A of The Madison County Journal

Security cameras to be
placed in all county schools
Colbert, Danielsville and Comer Elementary Schools will soon have security cameras.
The Madison County school board agreed Tuesday to seek bids for the installation of surveillance cameras in the three schools. The high school, middle school and Ila Elementary already have security cameras in place - the Ila Elementary camera system cost $3,850.
School officials see the cameras as a deterrent to bad behavior with action on much of the schools' grounds recorded on videotape. The inside of restrooms will not be filmed.
In a separate matter Tuesday, the board agreed to meet Thursday, Sept. 9, at 6:30 p.m. to interview applicants for the vacant District 4 post on the school board. Beth Bolin recently resigned from that position. The board has received three letters from people interested in the seat, but the names of those individuals will not be released until Monday, the deadline for those wanting to apply for the spot.
In other business Tuesday, the board:
·approved a bread contract with Earth Grains for $36,000.
·learned that last month's total revenue from sales tax funds was $103,912.
·learned that a prayer walk will be held Saturday at 8 a.m. in the parking lot of each county school.
·heard from Tommy Wiley of Charles Black Construction, who said that construction of the Hull-Sanford Elementary School, slated to open in the fall of 2000, is ahead of schedule.

Graduation moved to Classic Center
Madison County High School's graduating class of 2000 will turn their tassels at the Classic Center in Athens.
The county school board agreed Tuesday to move the ceremony to the facility in downtown Athens. The 2000 graduation will be held June 2 at 8 p.m.
Superintendent Dennis Moore said the change will allow more people to attend the graduation, while cutting out potential problems due to poor weather and reducing the cost of the event.
The school system spent $1,500 for the 1999 graduation. The 2000 graduation will cost the county $1,200.


Recall hearing set for Thurs.
Patsy Pierce and those seeking her removal from the board of commissioners are scheduled to appear before Judge William F. Grant at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Madison County Superior Court.
Judge George Bryant called for the hearing in June after issuing a temporary restraining order on the District 3 recall committee, headed by Jerry Mattox, who answered a libel suit filed recently against him by Pierce with one of his own against her.
The recall effort, waged over three alleged open meetings violations of the BOC in 1997, is the third attempt to remove a commissioner from office in the county in the past year. Commissioners Ken Clark and Jack Fortson both resigned after citizens sought their ouster.

Subdivision plans denied
Plans for a proposed 37-lot subdivision on Colbert-Danielsville Road ran into a roadblock at Tuesday night's public hearings of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The commission voted unanimously to deny recommending approval of an amended request by attorney Victor Johnson, representing land-owner Chuck Mueller, to rezone 101.4 acres from A-1(intensive agriculture) and A-2 (general agriculture) to R-R (residential - 2 acre minimum).
The application originally requested a rezone to R-1 (single family residential, 1.5 acre minimum).
Johnson gave a detailed presentation to the board outlining plans for the subdivision, showing the group a color-coded map of neighboring parcels.
The required sketch plan for the subdivision showed lots averaging 2.75 acres in size, with one, 8-acre lot which already contains a mobile home and outbuildings.
Johnson pointed out that, under current subdivision regulations, Mueller could divide the land into 21, five-acre lots without consulting either the planning commission or the board of commissioners.
"By asking for an R-R designation, Mr. Mueller is actually asking the county to have more control over the property," Johnson said, adding that if a rezone request was granted, the land would still have to measure up to major subdivision regulations.
Johnson summed up his request by saying it was "a trade off" - 37 R-R lots with protective covenants or 21 - five-acre lots with no restrictions.
"Development is coming," he said. "It's better to let it happen with more control."
Several citizens present at the meeting voiced opposition to the request, citing increased traffic as a primary concern. The proposed development contains no interior streets - all lots were drawn to face the Colbert-Danielsville Rd.
"In my opinion, 37 more driveways on that road would be chaos," George Bugg, Jr. said.
The deciding factor in the commission's decision came when commission member Pat Mahoney read a portion of the county's Comprehensive Land Use Plan which stated that low density (greater than five acres per dwelling unit) was recommended for that area of the county. (R-R is classified as medium density.)
In another hearing, the commission voted unanimously - with certain conditions - to recommend approval of a request by James M. Johnson, Jr., to rezone three acres on Hwy. 29 from A-2 to R-R and B-2 (business).
J. Johnson wants to sell a half acre of the property which contains a store building.
Due to some confusion over a 1966 survey plat of the property, which zoning administrator Lee Sutton said "does not reflect the true shape and size of the property," the commission agreed to recommend approval on condition that an up-to-date survey and approval by Sutton be obtained by J. Johnson before the property is sold.
A final decision on both these requests will be made by the Board of Commissioners after public hearings at next Monday night's regularly scheduled meeting.

Chamberlain named new DFACS director
Richard T. Chamberlain Jr. is the new director of Madison County's Department of Family and Childrens Services.
The Athens resident replaces longtime director Elizabeth Holloway, who retired this year to spend more time with her family.
Chamberlain, who met with the DFACS staff Tuesday morning and the agency's board later that evening, admitted that he has some big shoes to fill, but he said he will work hard to provide quality services to the county.
He said helping the needy become self-sufficient will be a primary aim, adding that child care is a major concern for those trying to get back into the job market.
"We need to assess where we are on that (child care) issue," said Chamberlain.
The new director, the top pick in the field of six considered for the spot, said one of his main focuses will be on providing services to child abuse and neglect victims.
"Meeting the needs of that (abused or neglected) child is essential," he said. "This agency has a critical role in prevention and providing services to meet those needs."
Chamberlain, born in Maine and raised in Clearwater, Fla., began his career with the Greene County DFACS in 1990 as an eligibility worker before becoming that department's child protective services investigator. He has been the services supervisor for the Greene County DFACS for the past five years and has served as the vice chairman of the Greene County Child Abuse Protocol Committee and Child Fatality Review Committee. He also once served as an intern with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, working on child abuse cases.
Chamberlain received an associate of arts degree from Brevard College in North Carolina in 1986, then graduated from the University of Georgia in 1989 with a bachelor of arts degree with a major in criminal justice.
He has been married to Susan Seymour Chamberlain from Elberton for over 10 years, living in Athens since 1987. Susan is the physical education teacher with Alps Elementary School in Athens. She is also assistant coach for the Cedar Shoals fast-pitch softball team. The Chamberlains have three children - twin 7-year-olds, Zachariah and London; and Dayton, 3.

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

® Copyright 1999 MainStreet Newspapers, Inc. All rights reserved.