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 OPINION PAGE - DEC. 1, 1999 - DANIELSVILLE, GA

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Column
By Margie Richards
The Madison County Journal
December 1, 1999

Trips to Mars
The basic differences between male and female have often been commented on. In fact, books have been written on the subject.
One of the most famous of these is "Men are from Mars; Women are From Venus."
Sometimes I feel that never a truer statement has been said.
I have always considered our family's household well balanced - two females and two males. But now that our daughter Miranda is getting older, she is home less and less and will most likely be going off to college somewhere next year.
And while I of course miss her, there is something else.
Her absences leave me outnumbered. As a matter of fact, I sometimes feel I have stepped into an alien land.
For example, on a trip out to eat the other day with my two fellas, my attempts at reasonable conversation were completely unsuccessful. Example:
"Well, Zack, how was school this week?" I ask.
"OK," he replies.
I try again.
"Did you have any tests? Were there any problems?"
"I don't know." (accompanied by a shrug)
Giving up, I try such a question with my spouse.
"How did work go?"
"OK."
Noticing my dear husband is particularly quiet, I ask, "Do you feel OK?"
"Yeah."
I give up.
In a few minutes though, they are chattering happily about the details of a car that went by.
"Why won't you two talk to me?" I ask in frustration.
They both look at me quizzically - haven't they been patiently explaining the finer points of a Chevelle to me? What's wrong, and why haven't I been listening?
"I think I'm going through mid-life crisis," I tell a friend the next day, "Charles and Zack get on my nerves so bad sometimes. Their conversations with me consist of mostly 'OK' and 'I don't knows...'"
She finishes the thought for me, having experience with her own household males, "and when they do talk to you, it's about some crap you don't care about."
We, as usual, understand each other perfectly.
It's true, when Miranda is home, she often rolls over me with a veritable verbal bulldozer - telling me about 10 things at once, but at least it's stuff I can (usually) identify with, and when I ask a question I get a complete answer.
Example:
"How did your day go, Miranda?"
"OK, well when I got to school this morning, the first thing that happened was.... and then I... and after lunch we..." (Well, you get the idea.)
It has been said that the male and female brain are wired differently. It is my humble opinion that they are (in many ways at least) two completely different mechanisms.
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for the Madison County Journal.

Column
By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
December 1, 1999

Frankly Speaking
Madison Co. needs
a new jail, fast
Last week, several people and I observed a brazen act of theft at the Ingles Market in Dogsboro. Three young men entered the store in the early morning hours. Two of them distracted the cashier while the third entered a storage area and picked up a box containing 24 bottles of beer.
They appeared indifferent to the fact that we saw them. They sauntered out of the store to their car, put the beer in the back seat, turned on the lights so that we could easily read the tag number, and drove away.
They had to know that we would call the sheriff's office. They had to know we knew the tag number of the car. They just didn't care!
It does not matter why these young men felt so confident about breaking the law. They could blame their parents for not raising them right, or society for not teaching them to respect the law and private property. They may think that law enforcement is slack in Georgia and they can get away with theft without being punished. But no matter why, they have become petty criminals and deserve the full attention of the law.
Madison County has a problem with law enforcement. We don't have enough deputies to properly enforce the law here. When they are able to capture law breakers, usually they don't have enough room in the jail to keep them! As a result, far too many people think they can break the law without being punished. Sadly, they are often right.
A new jail is in the works. The county has designated $2.3 million in sales tax money for a new jail. Now, there are questions of how to finance the project and when it will be built.
Madison County officials are currently taking preliminary steps toward building the new jail. They are trying to determine how large a jail the county can afford. I urge the board of commissioners to move this project forward as quickly as possible. I urge them to design a jail with as many beds as possible.
While the jail is being built, the commissioners need to find ways to increase the size of the sheriff's department. The number of deputies has not kept up with the increase in population. At the same time, deputies are called on to do more and more work. They have to patrol the roads, deliver court orders and other papers, investigate wrecks and fires, and escort prisoners to and from medical appointments, out of county housing and court appearances. They provide security for the government complex and the courtroom.
When they have time, they go out and try to catch drug dealers, car hijackers, wife beaters, child molesters and beer thieves.
If we want to get crime under control in Madison County, we need to build the biggest jail possible, then hire enough deputies to keep it full!
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal.



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