Heard Willis, 42, was killed around 9 a.m. Thursday when her
1996 Mercury Sable (right) drifted across the centerline on Hwy.
72 near Sorrow-Patterson Road.
Woman dies in Hwy. 72 wreck
BY MARGIE RICHARDS
A three-car accident last week near
Colbert resulted in four injuries and the death of an Elberton
Jeanette Heard Willis, 42, was killed when her 1996 Mercury Sable
drifted across the centerline around 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 16,
as she was driving west toward Colbert on Hwy. 72 near the Sorrow
- Patterson Road.
According to a report by the Georgia State Patrol, a witness
following along behind Willis stated that she "crossed the
centerline as if to pass" an unknown vehicle, sideswiping
an eastbound 1985 Crown Victoria station wagon driven by James
Terrell, 52, of Athens.
Willis' car then hit a 1991 Camaro driven by Cynthia Renee Bray,
22, of Comer, head on.
The Camaro contained two passengers, Jeffrey Wilhite, 31, of
Elberton and Benjamin Bray, 3, also of Comer.
All the victims, including Willis, were transported to Athens
Regional Medical Center by Madison County EMS.
This is the second fatality on Madison County roads this month.
The first occurred on Sat., Sept. 4, around 8 p.m. and involved
a Lexington man, Johnny Obert Smith, 39, who was killed on the
According to a GSP report, the car he was driving overturned
several times after Smith ran off the road and over-corrected,
ejecting him from the car.
Booth to serve as
Glenn Cross to face opposition from Ray Watson in Danielsville
Kevin Booth will be Comer's new mayor in
2000, replacing outgoing mayor Cliff Yarbrough, who is not seeking
Booth was the only person to qualify for the post last week.
While Booth and most other candidates qualifying last week in
Madison County's six towns are unopposed, two municipal posts
will be decided in a Nov. 2 election.
Danielsville mayor Glenn Cross will face a challenge from Ray
Watson in the city's mayoral race. And Comer district 2 councilwoman
Carla Ingram will face Randy Williams.
Others qualifying in the county last week include:
Incumbent councilman Virgil Morrow Jr. qualified unopposed for
the District 3 post.
Post 1 council member Laverne Watson and post 2 council member
Nina Hitchcock were the only qualifiers for their two-year posts.
There will be no election in Colbert. Incumbents who qualified
unopposed last week were mayor John Waggoner and council members
Roger Fortson and Chris Peck.
Butch Hedgelon qualified for an at large position vacated by
councilman James Echols, who moved out of the city.
Also qualifying were incumbents mayor Rufus Kidd and council
members Robert Tucker, David Seawright, Pat Hines and Jan Burroughs.
There will be no election in the city of Ila this year.
Current councilman and mayor pro tem Bobby Hooper qualified unopposed
for the Ila mayor position.
Councilman Mike Coile qualified once again for a seat on the
No one qualified for the council seat vacated by Hooper.
According to city clerk Susan Steed, this will require a special
election in March of 2000 to fill the the position.
Treena Hill was the lone qualifier for a Hull city council seat.
That seat carries a four-year term.
County Fair opens Tues.
BY MARGIE RICHARDS
Food, fun and fellowship will abound as Madison County's 51st
Agricultural Fair opens its gates at the Comer Lions Club Fairgrounds.
Once again, James Gang Entertainment will be providing the carnival
rides on the midway.
The fair will run Tues., Sept. 28, through Sat., Oct. 2. The
fairgrounds will open nightly from 6 to 11 p.m.
Admission prices are $4 for 6 and older, under 6 free. Fifty
cents will be taken off each gate price per pair of eyeglasses
donated to the Lions Club.
Free grandstand entertainment will be provided nightly. A cattle
show will be featured Wednesday and Thursday nights.
A Saturday kiddie matinee will be held from noon to 4 p.m. with
free admission for children under 16.
Tickets for midway during the matinee will be $6 per person for
unlimited rides with free parking nightly.
County commissioners to discuss jail project
BY ZACH MITCHAM
Madison County commission chairman Wesley Nash will ask commissioners
Monday to begin the bid process on a new jail.
Nash said he will propose a 60-bed jail with two-man cells, a
"pod-type" setup that leaves room for construction
of additional prison space as more funds become available over
While county voters approved $2.3 million last year in sales
tax funds for construction of a new county detainment facility,
officials concede that the tax money won't cover the cost of
"We'll have to take out a loan," said Nash. "There's
no way around it."
But Nash said the jail will also be funded with money the county
currently loses on housing prisoners out of the county. Madison
County spends thousands of dollars every year to cover housing
and food costs for inmates sent to bigger jails in neighboring
No site for the new jail has been set in stone, but the county
jail committee has recommended a spot off Hwy. 98 across from
the recreation department.
Nash said he supports that recommendation, since that location
could be tucked "out of sight" of the recreation department
and infrastructure for that area could be tied together with
the project. Nash said he is seeking a grant to run water and
sewage lines from Danielsville to the site, perhaps tying on
Hwy. 98 establishments such as the library, senior center, Fine
Finish and others along the highway to the lines.
The Madison County jail has long been recognized as the most
overcrowded county prison in the state. According to a state
count conducted earlier this month by the Georgia Crime Information
Center, the Madison County jail was at 314 percent of its capacity
Sept. 1 with 22 inmates in a facility designed to hold seven.
The Lee County prison was the second most overcrowded county
jail in Georgia, filled to 285 percent of its capacity - 57 inmates
in a jail designed for 20.