Danielsville, Georgia

1998 IN REVIEW:
A look at Madison County's top news stories

 
JANUARY
·Wesley Nash, chairman of the Madison County Board of Commissioners was named "Newsmaker of the Year" by The Madison County Journal.
·High turnover in county offices made the political story of the year.
·Newly elected sheriff, Clayton Lowe, hires retired Athens/Clarke County Police Officer, Bill Strickland as his chief deputy. Strickland replaced, Mark Seagraves, who accepted a job in Greene County.
·BOE voted to buy six new buses for 1998-99 school year.
·Hull City council approved a $30,200 budget.
·Local veterinarian, Leslie Hart, saw a need for animal control to curb the problem of unwanted and stray animals in Madison County.
·BOE voted and approved the new system of structuring classes at Madison County High School called "block scheduling."
·Joseph Brubaker was selected as the DAR "Good Citizen" for Madison County High School.
·Madison County Clean and Beautiful announced five locations for Christmas tree recycling.
·A van collided with a school bus resulting in three injuries, with one student being transported to the hospital.
·Twenty fourth district representative Ralph Hudgens prepared for new session. Issues concerning Hudgens included the referendum on the form of government in Madison County and a house bill dealing with toll-free calling on exchanges 22 miles apart.
·The DOT planned to bypass the city of Carlton with the widening of Highway 98.
·The BOC discussed possible budget cuts .
·The planning and zoning commission proposed amendments on restrictions on mobile homes.
·The county and cities look at sharing services.
·Mayor John Waggoner of Colbert begins his 30th year as mayor.
·Long time restaurant owner, Bill Lance, retires.
·The city of Comer hears from citizens concerned over a possible subdivision.
·Committee members were named for the Comer council: Chris NeSmith, parks and recreation; Carla Ingram, police commissioner and mayor pro-tem; Virgil Morrow, streets; and Frank Carithers, water and sewer.
·Kimsey Austin appointed to Danielsville council to serve the unexpired term of Glenn Cross, who resigned to run for mayor.
·The city of Ila set appointments for 1998: Susan Steed to continue as clerk, Steve Walker to continue as water superintendent and Pat Graham to continue as city attorney.
·Committees for city of Ila were appointed: Mike Coile, water department; Don Freeman, city street maintenance; Freeman and Coile, to jointly head the fire department and Mayor Dexter Calhoun and Nathaniel Hobbs serve as public safety. Councilman Bobby Hooper was named as mayor pro-tem.
·William "Bill" Chandler and Paul Campbell receive 50-year aprons for 50 years of service to the Mason Fraternity.
·Raider boys basketball team finishes fourth and Lady Raiders finish seventh in holiday tournament.
·United States Senator Paul Coverdell visits Madison County High school to discuss the current drug issues with students.
·Madison County Chamber of Commerce sponsored a legislative eggs and issues breakfast with congressman John Linder, senator Eddie Madden, representative Ralph Hudgens, board of commission chairman Wesley Nash and commissioner Jack Fortson.
·Hull voted to keep annexation policy as is.
·The BOC approved a package of amendments to the zoning ordinance making two changes, one affecting mobile homes and one affecting minimum lot size. And followed advice of chairman Nash to remove a requirement for masonry underpinning.
·Madison County Habitat for Humanity prepared for affiliation.
·Carol Boggs from Oglethrope county was replaced by Carrie Calderwood on the animal shelter board of directors.
·Citizens Police Academy classes were planned by the sheriff's department.
·Two Madison County sites targeted for possible landfill. One located near Ila and the other in Comer.
·BOE continues its search for school superintendent.
·Public hearing brings packed house to Comer City Hall to voice concerns over planned subdivision in the city.
·Pat Segraves named Madison County Chamber of Commerce chairman.
·MCHS students, Rachel Chandler and Seth Strickland participated in state youth advisory committee for Senator Paul Coverdell's Operation Drug Free Georgia.
·Shavonne Wilson was named Miss Raider at half-time during the basketball game.
·Committee members visit the potential landfill sites in Madison County.
·BOE passed a resolution that allowed them to start projects before sales tax money comes in.
·The old service station, a landmark in Comer, comes down for construction of new Kangaroo store.
·Madison County United Way exceeded its goal for the campaign
 
FEBRUARY
·Zach Mitcham named editor of The Madison County Journal with former Journal news editor Bert Brantley moving to the sports editor position at The Jackson Herald.
·Heavy rains and highwinds swept Madison County, leading to five road closures and causing power outages.
·The Danielsville city council voted to pay Northwestern Underground the remaining $7,795 due for a sewage project.
·The planning and zoning commission discussed the possibility of hiring their own attorney.
·The city of Comer denied a rezoning request by builder Lane Miller.
·The city of Ila sought a grant to help pay for improvements to the city's water system.
·Local student Lacy Epps brought home blue ribbons with her horsemanship.
·The Red Raider rifle team started the season with seven match records in their first competition.
·MCHS student, Allen Fitzpatrick placed third in the North Region FFA/EMC Electrification Career Development Event.
·MCHS head basketball coach Charles Wilkes faced angry parents who wanted him fired for "intimidation and humiliation" of players.
·Hull water services affected from the refusal of Clarke County to furnish any more water meters to residents in the city.
·Madison County continued its search for a new attorney after the firing of attorney Pat Graham in November.
·Animal shelter applies for articles of incorporation
·Madison County educator Rose Patterson gets copyright on bullet board ideas she created.
·David Patton named DARE officer.
·Four MCHS wrestlers qualified for positions in state wrestling tournament. Raiders, Chuck Doland, Daniel Cowart and Dwayne Dickerson represented the school.
·Both boys' and girls' Raider basketball teams advance to sub-region tourney.
·Thomas Hybl was named as Madison County Football coach.
·The BOC looked at possible sites for a new jail.
·Local author Margaret Krumpe published a book depicting the life of 91-year-old Colbert resident Hollis Waggoner
·The planning commission opposed poultry house zoning request.
·Contaminated kerosene was sold in Royston. Consumers were urged not to use it as the product contains gasoline and may cause fires to ignite.
·Buckeye Trails, a subdivision in Comer, was reviewed by the Comer Council.
·MCHS student Mary Krickel named winner in essay contest.
·The quest for a landfill site is still underway meeting opposition for most of the locations chosen.
·The BOC seeks pay raise.
·MCHS student MCClain Cheek becomes a STAR with a perfect SAT score.
·Gail Stone named "Teacher of the Year."
·The BOC denies poultry house rezoning request after complaints from neighbors concerned about the odor and devaluing of their property.
·A trustee at Madison County jail escaped through a fence and a fellow trustee called a taxi to pick him up. The escapee was caught the following day and returned to jail.
·The BOC names Mike Young as assistant building inspector.
 
MARCH
·The city of Danielsville agreed to have Lee Carmon, director of local planning with Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center, begin rewriting the city's zoning ordinance.
·The city of Ila agreed to have the names of those not paying their taxes and business licenses turned over to the city attorney.
·After nine months of discussion, the city of Comer voted to approve the Buckeye Trails subdivision.
·The planning commission reviewed some of its ordinances in order to better serve the BOC in its recommendations on zoning requests.
·The city of Colbert's insurance fees decreased from $8,924 to $8,459.
·The BOC approved wind screens for the recreation department and alloted money for purchase of a van for the senior center.
·The city of Comer adopted a new stipulation on mobile homes coming into the city. New stipulations will place requirements on roof pitch, roof overhang, electrical service and entrance.
·The Department of Family and Children services make changes in the way local officials investigate and provide services to child abuse and neglect victims.
·MCHS yearbook announced as winners in the Georgia Scholastic Press Association.
·Colbert Elementary students raise money to purchase a wagon to give DARE officer David Patton an easier way to travel with his materials.
·The BOC hires a construction manager to oversee restoration of the old courthouse.
·A public forum announced to discuss the pay raises for the BOC.
·The BOC agreed to hire an engineer to help solve the water runoff problem in Windsor Heights
·Hull and Clarke county still at odds over water meter services.
·Madison County United Way topped goal for the year.
·Animal control committee voted to focus on education as a way of curbing the animal control problem.
·Recreation board concerned over coaching tactics.
·Hull passed a budget amendment to reflect the surplus ($3378) left over from the previous year only to have the issue tabled by the council until the issue of how to best spend the money could be discussed.
·The city of Carlton put "no dumping" signs in place at cemetery
·Parent informational meeting held at MCHS for discussion on block scheduling.
·Madison County voters go to the polls to approve local option sales tax.
·The search for school superintendent continued with 15 applications being reveiwed.
·Mainstreet Newspapers launched a web site.
·The planning an zoning commission approved 10 rezoning requests.
·Report showed that Madison County not immune from methamphetamines abuse. According to Sheriff Lowe: "We have more methamphetamines than any other chemical drug."
·Welfare reform bill brings reduction of 57 percent in TANF cases (Temporary Aid to Needy Family).
·MCHS junior, John Dean, wins $1,000 in a newspaper contest.
·Thirteen contestants enter the "Cutie Beautie" contest to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.
·County awarded $491,000 community block grant for the construction of new mental health facility.
 
APRIL
·Kindergarten registration in Madison County fell 32 percent.
·The BOC approved raises in spite of public opposition to the increase.
·Annual circus held in Comer
·Supporters come out to raise money for local man, Jeff Hilburnk, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. A rodeo benefit was held with funds going to help him with medical costs.
·Northeast Health Systems Inc. will hosted a grand opening for facilities on Hwy. 72 in Colbert.
·Gardening '98 was featured in The Madison County Journal's April 1 issue.
·The Madison County baseball team wins its fifth straight game.
·MCHS Rifle team closes season with a perfect record of 11-0.
·The Madison County Cruisers kick off a new season of cruises.
·The BOE announces that the search for superintendent for county schools as been narrowed to five applicants.
·The Northeast Georgia Solid Waste Management Authority struggled for support in trying to find a suitable site.
·The city of Danielsville denies rezone request by Alam Grace Neal to rezone 2.02 acres at Hwy. 29 and Grove Street from general residence to business.
·Long time Colbert city clerk Melanie Patton resigned for personal reasons. She was replaced by Rebecca Dove.
·15,000-17,000 Madison County citizens had their phone service interrupted by lines accidentally cut by a construction company.
·Eleventh annual Easter Egg Hunt held at the Madison County Recreation Department.
·The Ila city council heard opposition to a possible landfill being located near Ila.
·Ila changed meeting dates from the first Tuesday of each month to the first Monday.
·The Madison/Oglethrope Animal Shelter group was officially incorporated.
·The covered bridge at Watson Mill Bridge State Park is reopened after being closed for repair and foundation work.
·Suzanne Hudgens, wife of 24th District Representative Ralph Hudgens, spoke at the Madison County library during the library's series commemorating "women in history."
·Subdivision on Spratlin Mill Road approved by planning commission.
·Ribbon cutting and reception held at the new facilities of Colbert Medical Center.
·Symposium held on alternatives to Landfill
·Comer Council voted to put restrictions on manufactured homes.
·Ryan Hybl, MCHS golfer, took the top spot in Madison County Invitational, with Raiders placing fifth in the tourney.
·Georgia Trend Magazine indicated Madison County will see moderate growth increase by the year 2002.
·The BOC held a 55-minute "closed session" to discuss "personnel".
·No formal action was taken by the BOC on a county-wide water system, but the group heard information from Steve Sorrells, chairman of Madison County Industrial Authority and Tom Sloope, a municipal engineer.
·The Hull city council discussed the possibility filling it in the city's old well, a longtime landmark.
·Madison County officials threatened to pull out of the Northeast Georgia Solid Waste Management Authority if the group did not shift discussions from finding a possible site to considering feasible alternatives such as recycling and composting.
·The DOT (department of transportation) held public forums to field questions and inform the public on a statewide transportation improvements program.
·Madison County Clean and Beautiful participated with "Lets keep Georgia Peachy clean."
·The Broad River Watershed Association offered a series of presentations to local city governments to discuss the organization's community watershed projects.
·Ingles donated $500 checks to Madison County Youth Association and the Madison County Little League.
·The Raider baseball team topped the Region 8-AAA east division with a 10-2 mark.
·Adam Swann signed with the University of Georgia to play baseball. Swann was named the top high school prospect by Collegiate Baseball Magazine for 1998.
·The MCHS rifle team takes the state championship.
·Position of school superintendent narrowed to three: Ronald Lee Keffer, Dennis Moore and Wendell Christain.
·Madison County held a Confederate memorial service
·The recall group against Ken Clark held a press conference and petition drive.
·Four local officials said they would seek re-election in November, including Harry Rice, magistrate judge; Eddie Madden, state senator; and Robert Haggard and Elaine Belfield, school board members.
·The Grand Jury met and gave recommendations which included hiring more county law enforcement officers.
·The city of Danielsville's sewage pond was not up to state standards with the state Environmental Protection Division finding 12 to 15 things wrong with the sewage pond behind Madison County High School.
·The first class of "communtity-oriented police" held graduation.
 
MAY
·Superior court Judge, Lindsay Tise said that commissioners Ken Clark, Patsy Pierce and Jack Fortson must meet with chairman Wesley Nash and try to resolve their differences.
·A Family Dollar store was planned for Danielsville.
·Athens-Clarke County sent a letter to chairman Nash stating that the Athens-Clarke commission had decided to deny the request to extend the water line to the proposed new grocery store in Hull.
·Comer police chief Wayne Griffeth and city attorney Al Stone resigned from their positions.
·Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy opened May 11 in Danielsville.
·An abandoned house located next to Ila Elementary School was cited by an Ila an councilman as a location for drug problems.
·The Heritage Foundation held a courthouse tour with proceeds going to the courthouse fund.
·The MCHS prom was held at the Classic Center in Athens.
·The Raider baseball team advanced to the state quarterfinals.
·Raider golfers capped off a successful season.
·The 4-H BB team capped off its twelfth championship year in a row.
·Dennis Moore named as new school superindentant, replacing long-time superintendant Jim Perkins.
·Commisioner Ken Clark appealed the application for his recall.
·A committee was named to oversee the courthouse renovation project.
·Hull mayor B.W. Hutchins announced that no agreement can be met with Athens-Clarke County over a water dispute.
·The BOE allotted $40,000 for construction of five tennis courts behind the school.
·A beer and wine license was approved for Diamond Hill Grocery after some controversy over the proximity of the store to a local ballpark.
·The Madison County baseball team geared up for a state championship showdown.
·E-Coli bacteria was found in school meat resulting in one Danielsville Elementary student being hospitalized.
·A $25,000 grant was awarded to Madison County for its recycling program. The money will go for purchases of equipment such as trailers and a fork lift for the recycling center.
·Chairman Nash completed a training program for commissioner's certification.
·The city of Ila voted in a special called meeting to allow the county government to use the truck adjacent to city hall as a polling place on election days.
·Joseph Brubaker captures fourth place in the state Class AAA 3,200 meter race.
·Vietnam veterans gathered for a annual Memorial Day Campout at LZ Friendly held yearly in Colbert.
·County zoning administrator Joel Bacon resigned his position to take a job as the transportation director of Oglethorpe County Schools.
·The BOE sought a six percent budget increase to fund raises for teachers, new tennis courts, an assistant principal and counselor and computer equipment.
·The commissioners' raises came from funds allotted for repairs and maintenance to the multi-purpose building.
·A permit for a Hwy. 29 recreation center was denied .
·The Heritage Foundation received $15,000 to help fund the restoration of the old courthouse.
·The Raiders were downed 7-6 and 11-2 in state finals against Greenbrier near Augusta.
 
JUNE
·Colbert agreed on the purchase of a camcorder for the police squad car.
·Comer businessman Carmine Costello was assaulted at his restaurant.
·A two-day bluegrass festival was held in Ila.
·Building inspector Nathaniel Hobbs resigned to take a position in Gwinnett County.
·The health board approved its budget for the fiscal year 1998-99.
·MCHS student Laura Weldon received a $1,750 Discover Card Tribute Scholarship.
·MCHS air rifle team member Crystal Dove placed sixth at the USA National Rifle Competition.
·A clean-up of the south fork of the Broad River was led by Harry Carter.
·Canna Queens were crowned, including Chasity McDonald, Canna Queen; Kalya Tiller, Canna Princess; and Melissa Stewart, Little Miss Canna Princess.
·Joseph Brubaker signed with the Berry College Vikings.
·Madison County sisters, Mary Beth and Anna Dooley, were stricken with an E. coli infection. Both girls were hospitalized with the source of the infection unknown.
·Commissioner Fortson tried to keep county clerk Morris Fortson from speaking to the media.
·The BOC changed its meeting nights to the second and fourth Mondays of each month.
·Storms ripped though the county, downing trees and power lines and destroying property.
·MCHS graduated 189 seniors. The valedictorian was McClain Cheek and salutatorian was Ashlee Pou.
·Adam Swann was named "Player of the Year" by MainStreet Newspapers
·Jim Perkins, longtime educator, coach, and school superintendent, retired.
·The Madison County library offered a variety of summer programs and a summer reading club kickoff.
·County planners heard opposition to mobile homes.
·The BOE announced an extra $500,000 to spend over the next year.
·LC Brown filed suit against the county, claiming the board of commissioners unlawfully deemed him too old for the job.
·More storms raged through the county, causing power outages and structural damage.
·The Northeast Georgia Regional Solid Waste Management Authority redefined its mission.
·Comer received a grant of $4,500 for upgrading of the city's recycling center.
·A grand opening was held at the new Comer Vet facilities.
·Holloway Hollow Tractor Pull was featured in The Madison County Journal.
·An unruly mob hanging out in the Woods Road area had citizens upset.
·The youth group at Gordon's Chapel United Methodist Church raised $14,000 to help redecorate the church sanctuary.
·Lee Sutton was named the new Madison County planning and zoning administrator.
·Edward "Buddy" Hart was named as a replacement for B.W. Coile as county tax assessor.
·A fund was established for the Dooley children to help defray medical costs.
·Camp Maranatha was featured in The Madison County Journal. The camp has been offering camping experiences to children since 1961.
 
JULY
·Mary Beth Dooley, 6, and sister Anna, 2, of Hull, daughters of Daniel and Melissa Dooley, were released from Egleston Children's Hospital in Atlanta after a month-long bout with E. coli bacteria infections, which progressed into a rare but deadly infection called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS).
·The Georgia Department of Natural Resources approved the purchase of 220 acres of land for Watson Mill Park from Inland Paperboard and Packaging, Inc. for $385,400.
·Colbert residents prepared for the 29th annual Fourth of July parade and festival, with Paul Burroughs, longtime Colbert resident, former postmaster and World War II veteran, serving as this year's grand marshall.
·Madison County political candidates announced little in the way of campaign contributions in a report filed with the county probate judge's office.
·Laura Weldon, of Comer, a rising senior at Madison County High School, earned a $1,500 scholarship for delivering the winning speech at the Optimist Club's state meeting held a Unicoi State Park.
·A Madison County prisoner, Kenneth Wade Fortner, who escaped from authorities while being treated at an Athens hospital, turned himself in and was sent to the state penitentiary in Alto.
·Six people were arrested for alleged possession of cocaine with intent to distribute during a license check on Old Elberton Road.
·Nine teams participated in the Athens Area Regional Qualifying Golf Tournament at Whispering Pines with proceeds of the annual event going to benefit cancer patients in Madison County.
·The Journal featured a story about 12 Madison County siblings, children of the late Sanford and Era Carey, who ranged in age from 68 to 91.
·Madison County school officials planned to ask Athens-Clarke County commissioners for temporary water assistance for a new elementary school to be constructed in the Hull-Dogsboro area.
·Democrat Doy Arrowood withdrew from the race for the Madison County Board of Education District 1 seat, citing "personal reasons."
·The city of Ila purchased approximately 100 square feet of property behind the town's maintenance building.
·Jeff Strickland was named chief of police for Comer.
·Assistant Madison County Middle School principal Pam Chrisohon was named as the new principal at Ila Elementary.
·Madison County's senior league baseball team advanced to the district tourney, defeating Franklin County in the Area 1 all-star tournament.
·The board of commissioners took a step toward constructing a new jail to replace the current overcrowded facility constructed in 1962 by approving the formation of a committee to oversee the creation of the new facility and agreeing to seek an experienced architect.
·Low voter turnout was expected at the election to decide the county's future form of government.
·Members of the Rotary Club constructed a ramp at the home of Evelyn Gossitt after learning that she was forced to use a wheelchair.
·The board of commissioners delayed a decision on choosing a county attorney to replace Richard Brittain, who was named to the position in March, after the board voted to fire attorney Pat Graham. Brittain resigned to accept a job with a firm in Atlanta.
·The Madison County senior league all-stars and the 11 - 12-year-old National League all stars advanced to state competition. The 12-and-under slow-pitch all stars also advanced to state competition.
·Joy Meadow and Raleigh Patton were named Colbert "Citizens of the Year."
·The sole commissioner and five-member board of commissioners were the top two vote-getters at July's primary election in which five styles of government were proposed to county voters.
·A Winder woman, Dorothy Jane Strickland, 41, died in a one-car wreck on Highway 106 in Madison County, bringing the death toll on county roads to eight for the year.
·The planning commission approved a preliminary plat for Stone Creek subdivision with the stipulation that two turnarounds be placed on a proposed 2,800-foot cul-de-sac in the neighborhood, but the board of commissioners rejected the plan at a meeting later in the month.
·A home burned on Della Slayton Road despite the efforts of five local volunteer fire departments to save it.
·Roy Barnes and Guy Millner were favored by county voters in July's primary elections.
·The county jail was reported at 386 percent of its capacity, according to the Georgia Crime Information Center, making it the most overcrowded county detainment facility in the state.
·Coach Dean Adams headed to a Georgia Recreation and Parks Association state tournament for the eighth year in a row.
·After a heated discussion in which tempers flared, the board of commissioners voted 3-2 to amend the county's retirement policy to allow employees of retirement age to draw benefits while still employed by the county.
·Hull resident Lamar Cheek received a long-awaited kidney transplant at Emory University Hospital. Cheek had been on dialysis for several months while awaiting a suitable donor.
·Ryan Hybl , son of new head football coach, Tom Hybl, and a rising junior at MCHS, broke Tiger Woods' record in the PGA National Tourney in West Palm Beach, Florida.
·MCHS high school teacher Carol Douglas was named assistant principal at Ila Elementary School.
·Madison County's 12-and-under slow-pitch all stars won the state title in Statesboro.
·The senior all-stars placed third in state competition.
·The Madison County 4-H BB team placed tenth out of 47 teams from around the country at the International Jaycees BB Gun Championship Match in Kansas.
 
AUGUST
·Athens-Clarke County officials refused the Madison County Board of Education's request for temporary water aid for the new Hull-Sanford Elementary School.
·Athens-Clarke County officials also voted not to allow Madison County to dump trash in the Athens landfill after Dec. 31.
·It was announced that the new Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system for welfare recipients would become effective on November 1, 1998.
·The Danielsville city council voted to scrap plans for a planning commission.
·The Optimist Club presented a $645 check to the Madison County DARE program.
·The Georgia Arson Control offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of person responsible for several suspicious fires in the county.
·The Madison County National League all stars placed sixth in state competition.
·County commissioner Ken Clark asked the county to cover his legal expenses for the recall effort against him, sparking a heated debate at a commissioner's meeting. The fees totaled $3,125 as of the Aug. 10 BOC meeting.
·John McArthur of Athens was named the county's new attorney, replacing Rick Brittain, who resigned.
·Colbert voted to extend its city limits by annexing 12 acres located behind Second Avenue.
·Jeff Turner was sworn in as District 4 city councilman for Comer, replacing Chris NeSmith, who resigned.
·Gordon's Chapel Church, located in the Sanford Community, celebrated its 100-year anniversary.
·Schools across Madison County reopened after summer vacation with the biggest change in the system being the switch from the quarter to semester system at the high school and block scheduling.
· Assistant principals were assigned to all four elementary schools.
·The board of education discussed hiring a construction management firm to oversee the building of the new Hull-Sanford elementary school.
·The planning commission voted 5-2 to recommend approval to rezone a 45-acre tract of land for a controversial subdivision on Old Kincaid Road which was subsequently withdrawn at the board of commissioners meeting when owner/developers Paul and Brenda Chalmers did not attend.
·DFACS announced it would participate in a pilot unified transportation program to try to provide "consistent, reliable" transportation to low-income families and members of DFACS employability program.
·Colbert officials announced that the city's water system, managed by Great Southeast Utility Co. in recent months, had improved.
·Ila city council looked at additional water system options to supply the town's needs, including the possibility of leasing a well from an Ila resident. City clerk Susan Steed also agreed to check with the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center about obtaining a grant to help with the expense of installing a new system.
·Madison County won its first-ever varsity fast-pitch softball game, downing Hart County 13-2.
·The Madison County school system announced staff members for the 1998-99 school year.
·MCHS graduate Misty Strickland won a second-place silver medal in the National FHA/HERO Leadership Conference in New Orleans, competing with other FHA members from across the country.
·The summer reading program at the Madison County Library had 448 participants, reading over 6,500 books. Shelly Patton was the overall top reader, reading 328 books.
·A report on the county's crime index yielded mixed results. Burglaries, larcenies and vehicle thefts were all up from 1995, but down from 1996 numbers, mirroring a statewide trend.
·The Rotary Club installed an air conditioner in the home of life-long county resident John Hattaway of Hudson River Church Road, whose air conditioner had recently broken and who has severe medical problems.
·The Senior 4-H Wildlife Judging Team placed fifth in national competition at Clemson University in South Carolina.
·Madison County's fast-pitch softball team tallied seven victories it first week of competition.
 
SEPTEMBER
·An Alcovy circuit judge ruled in favor of three commissioners who sued board chairman Wesley Nash, claiming Nash had unlawfully bypassed board authority.
·Two Madison County children, Matthew Allen Cowart, 11 and Allison Brooke Daws, 9, were finally allowed into school, after missing the first week due to a disagreement between their families and school administrators over a new "unwritten enrollment policy" that demands a high legal standard for deciding what custody really is.
·A second attempt to recall commissioner Ken Clark was scheduled to be reviewed by superior court judge Steven Jones later in the month at the courthouse in Oconee County.
·A report revealed that the county's unemployment rate dropped during the summer.
·The Comer Fair was scheduled to open Sept. 27.
·Angel Food Ministry, sponsored by the Rotary Club, was formed to provide food for those in need at greatly reduced prices.
·MCHS 1997-98 college preparatory students fared better on the SAT with an average of 1,023 - up from 997 overall for 1996-97 scholars.
·A Madison County man who lost his wife and two children in an automobile accident in 1997 built a playground at Danielsville Baptist Church in their memory.
·Another Madison County child, Randall Curtis Waldrop, was reportedly kept from school due to the school's "unwritten" enrollment policy. Superinten-dent Dennis Moore said Waldrop was one of "about six" children who had missed school this year as school officials questioned the custodial arrangements of their families.
·The Madison-Oglethorpe Animal Shelter, Inc. reported at their monthly meeting that they had raised a total of $1,000, including funds raised at the Colbert Fourth of July festival and a $500 donation given by the city of Ila.
·A Hull man, Von Anderson, prepared to embark on a 720-mile journey from Camp Maranatha on Hwy. 98 to Key Largo, Fla., to raise funds for a gymnasium for the camp.
·The Red Raider football team nearly pulled off an upset against number three-ranked Commerce in their season opener with a score of 31 - 22.
·Mary Jean Booth retired from Fine Finish Service Center after 25 years of service.
·The planning commission voted unanimously to recommend denial of a request for a conditional use permit by Dennis Wester for a personal care home for the mentally challenged on Roy Woods Road.
·The Colbert city council agreed to send a proposal to the Madison County Development Authority and the board of education on drilling a well to provide water for new school to be located in Hull.
·It was agreed that Allison Brooke Daws would be allowed to continue school in the county for at least two more months after a closed meeting of the BOE in which it was decided that they would not challenge the court ruling on her behalf, but also said there were no plans to change its attendance policy.
·New Hope Congregational Holiness Church held its annual old-time water baptism service in the Hudson River.
·County commission chairman Wesley Nash announced that he would appeal the judge's ruling that he illegally bypassed the authority of the board of commissioners, maintaining that his actions in office have been for the benefit of the taxpayers.
·Madison County resident and longtime community activist Augusta Jenkins was featured in The Journal.
·Beth Porterfield Bolin announced that she would seek the District 4 seat on the Board of Education vacated by Alicia J. Fitzpatrick.
·Welfare cases in Madison County increased from 150 in July to 167 in August, according to DFACS director Beth Holloway.
·The judge's ruling in a lawsuit against board of commissioners chairman Wesley Nash caused confusion at a BOC meeting.
·Mike Sales also qualified to seek the District 4 post seat on the BOE.
·Carter-Watkins of Monroe was hired to conduct a "master plan an feasibility study" on renovating the Madison County courthouse.
·The Madison County Fair celebrated its 50th year of family entertainment.
·MCHS placed twelfth out of 35 area school and 78th out of 311 state schools ranked by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation in its "1998 Georgia Report Card for Parents."
·The BOC issued a final denial of a personal care for the mentally challenged, agreeing with the earlier recommendation of the planning commission.
·MCHS journalism students debuted "The Raiders Weekly" in the Journal, covering the top stories at school each week.
·The month ended with chairman Wesley Nash venturing onto "legally treacherous ground" during a five-hour hearing on whether the recall effort against commissioner Ken Clark can proceed by testifying that he, along with the county's four other commissioners, violated the law on three occasions by holding illegal closed meetings .
 
OCTOBER
·Senator Eddie Madden and Republican Paul Boatwright squared off in a political forum. Boatwright faced incumbent Madden for the state senate position to represent Madison County.
·More than 75 citizens of District 1 and a number of local officials, including District 1 commissioner Bill Taylor and Board of Education member Robert Haggard attended a town hall meeting at the Sanford Community Center.
·Longtime librarian Jennie Ruth Echols retired from the Madison County library after 31 years of service to several generations.
·The Danielsville city council raised the city's millage rate from 2.85 to 2.95 mills, meaning property owners would pay about $2 more this year for every $40,000 worth of property. The council agreed that the increase was needed to raise funds for city improvement projects.
·The Carlton proposed budget for 1999 showed an increase of only five percent, from $58,250 in revenue and expenses in 1998 to $61,350.
·The city of Colbert adopted a new budget after a second public hearing on the matter which included a five-percent pay increase for the mayor and council members.
·Union Baptist Church celebrated its 150th anniversary.
·Evangelical Methodist Church celebrated its 50th anniversary.
·John Crumley of Colbert was honored by fellow volunteer firefighters for his 30 years of service with the Colbert VFD.
·The board of commissioners faced the dilemma of cutting departmental budgets or raising county taxes.
·Judge Steven Jones of the Western Judicial Circuit ruled that three of the five allegations posed by a recall committee against Clark were legally sufficient grounds for a recall.
·MCHS football players visited Colbert Elementary, engaging in games and signing autographs for the children.
·Recent rulings in a lawsuit against board of commission chairman Wesley Nash continued to cause confusion, especially for some county employees whose positions and wages had to be reviewed by the board.
·The Madison County Chamber of Commerce hosted a business resources forum at the Madison County Senior Center with around l00 local business owners, corporate officers and local educators in attendance.
·Jubilee Partners, a refugee camp near Comer, was featured in the Journal.
·The BOC overturned zoning administrator Lee Sutton's approval of James Guest's plans to divide two parcels of land totaling 58.7 acres on Double Branch Road into 11, five-acre lots.
·The Rotary Club provided a retired painter and farmer with an access ramp to his home. Cecil Russell, 72, recently suffered two heart attacks and underwent hip replacement surgery.
·The ISO fire rating for Comer residents dropped from a Class 7 to a Class 5, signaling a reduction in homeowner fire protection insurance.
·A 97-year-old Comer woman, Hattie Smith, took her first ride in a powered parachute, along with her 78-year-old daughter, Loraine Privett.
·A Life Chain Rally sponsored by the Madison County Pregnancy Center was held to protest abortion.
·The Madison County fast-pitch softball team wrapped up its season with a 22-9 record.
·The problems of animal neglect in Madison County was highlighted by the abandonment of a Doberman pinscher behind a vacant mobile home in Danielsville.
·The county planning and zoning commission voted to recommend approval of a large commercial rezone request for 108.9 acres near the Dogsboro intersection from A-2 to B-2 which could eventually pave the way for as many as 100 retail sales jobs, as well as over two million in tax revenue.
·Jenny Wade Martin, a 19-year-old 1998 graduate of MCHS died in a wreck on Highway 29 after her car was struck by a car driven by Raymond Newbern, 27 of Hull after it crossed the centerline. Newbern and a passenger in Martin's car were both seriously injured.
·County employee Melanie Whorton's final paycheck was delayed due to the legal battle between county officials.
·MCHS assistant principal Ramona Booth announced she will retire from the school system after 25 years of service in February of 1999.
·Athens resident Victor Blockum, a former Madison County bus driver, filed a $500 million racial discrimination lawsuit against Fieldale Farms Corporation in Baldwin.
·Domestic violence cases were reported to be on the rise in the county.
·The Rotary Club provided a wheelchair ramp for Jeffie Fitzpatrick, a former math teacher at MCHS.
·The board of commissioners postponed payment once again of $6,000 owed to local attorney Pat Graham for his assistance in helping county tax commissioner Louise Watson collect approximately $91,000 in delinquent property taxes.
·Chairman Wesley Nash submitted a budget plan to county commissioners for review, which trimmed departmental requests by $1 million.
·The Red Raider football team ended a 16-game losing streak with a 30 -7 win over Jackson County.
·Two road department employees, Jerry Barrett and Bruce Anglin, resigned after the board of commissioners voted 3 -2 not to uphold pay raises granted them earlier this year by chairman Nash.
 
NOVEMBER
·County voters turned down a one commissioner form of government in favor of the current form - five commissioners with a chairman who votes only to break a tie - by a narrow margin in the Nov. 3 elections.
·Incumbent board of education member Elaine Belfield held on to her District 2 seat by a margin over challenger Ralph McCay and District 1 incumbent Robert Haggard defeated James Wildes. Beth Bolin topped Mike Sales in a special, non-partisan election to fill a vacant District 4 seat.
·A $25,000 Family Connections grant was awarded to the Madison Area Resource Team (MART) on Nov. 19.
·Republican Roy Barnes topped Guy Millner by only 8 votes in the gubernatorial race in Madison County.
·Two area wrecks claimed the lives of Jimmy Welborn, 50 and Debbie Cowan, 49.
·The county's unemployment dropped from 2.7 percent in August to 2.4 percent in September.
·The Comer mayor and council approved themselves a $500 increase in yearly salaries and five percent raises thereafter. The increases will become effective in the year 2000.
·The board of education approved a property tax rate of 11.7 mills, a .8 increase over the previous rate.
·The Hull city council approved the city's 1999 budget in the amount of $35,767 in revenue and expenses, an 18-percent increase over the 1998 budget.
·The Journal featured two Comer sisters, Amber and Laura Weldon, who overcame profound hearing loss to excel in their education and community service work.
·Raymond G. Davis, a four-star general, spoke at a Madison County Rotary Club meeting.
·The Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter reported that funds raised for the year so far totaled $3,854.
·A Comer woman, Hattie Smith, was presented the Gold Star pin for her son who died in battle 54 years ago during World War II.
·A new county ordinance stated that those who fail to cover or secure trash being transported in their vehicles may be fined up to $1,000 for each offense and 60 days in jail.
·The Red Raider football team beat the North Hall Trojans 8 - 0.
·County school officials unveiled plans for a sports complex to be constructed on 29.52 acres across from the high school baseball field.
·Tax rates for the county government were set at basically the same levels as 1998 with the rate for unincorporated areas staying at 8.9 mills. The rate for incorporated areas will go up .04 mills to 10.86 mills. The county government will net some $3.3 million off property taxes in 1998, a growth of just 2.7 percent over 1997, resulting in the smallest growth in county property tax income since 1995.
·A controversial rezoing request for 28.15 acres on Lem Edwards Road was recommended for approval by the planning commission. The BOC gave final approval to the request at a meeting later in the month.
·November was National Adoption Month and changes in the adoption process were outlined.
·Ila Elementary hosted the county's annual Special Olympics.
·The Red Raider football team finished the season with a 2-8 record, losing their final game to Dacula.
·The Supreme Court of Georgia ruled that an Athens judge was correct in ruling that a recall attempt against Clark was legally sound, allowing the recall to continue.
·Comer first graders were featured in the Journal, sharing their thoughts on what Thanksgiving means.
·At a BOC meeting, commissioner Jack Fortson complained that a list of county expenditures provided by chairman Wesley Nash included numerous items which were purchased but never put before the board for approval.
·Chamber of Commerce president Pat Segraves shared his "visions for the future" of Madison County in a feature story profile.
·A new foster grandparent program got underway at Colbert Elementary.
 
DECEMBER
·More than 830 names on a District 4 recall petition against commissioner Ken Clark were received by elections superintendent and county probate judge Donald "Hoppy" Royston with 691 of the signatures needing to be deemed valid in order to call a special election for a recall vote.
·A local businessman, Enid Costello and his wife Carmine, of Comer welcomed the community with open arms on Thanksgiving Day by serving 110 Thanksgiving dinners to folks who came to their restaurant and to the elderly and shut ins. The Costellos plan to host another dinner next year.
·A recall effort was launched against BOC District 5 commissioner Jack Fortson. Fortson announced he would not fight the recall effort in court. Stan Sinoracki was named the recall chairman by the committee.
·A heated discussion over city work being handled by Hutchins Mechanical, a company owned by the mayor, took up most of the December meeting of the Hull city council.
·The annual Comer Christmas parade was announced for Saturday, Dec. 4, to carry the theme "O Little Town."
·Allison Brooke Daws was granted permanent enrollment in Madison County Schools when a lawsuit between her grandmother, Shirley Scogin, and the board of education was settled amicably.
·Bobbie Rooker, county coordinator for Action, Inc. said the number of homeless in Madison County is on the rise.
·MCHS senior Todd Alford was featured in the Journal. Alford earned scholarships through showing prize cattle.
·Two masked men robbed the Golden Pantry in Hull and Kwik Stop at the intersection of Glenn Carrie Road and Highway 29 within a week. No arrests were made.
·The Comer city council pondered whether to grant a zoning variance to developers Tom Beck and Steve Ebbert.
·Ralph Power was nominated to serve as planning and zoning commission chairman for another year and Phil Munro was chosen to serve as co-chairman.
·Residents of Booger Hill and Moon's Grove Roads, along with Danielsville residents, prepared for the annual Luminaries and Live Nativity. The historic Madison County courthouse was set to participate for the first time with luminaria, decorations and caroling as well.
·The planning and zoning commission voted to pass a resolution to be presented to the BOC to state that a subdivision known as "Woodland Crossing" had not been through the proper planning procedures and to recommend that future lot sales be suspended until the process was complete. Two lots had already been sold, with one home under construction and a building permit granted for another.
·The BOC voted to award a four-percent raise to all county employees who have not received raises exceeding four percent since Jan. 1.
·Ninety six percent of 207 Madison County students taking the high school graduation test for the first time passed.
·A groundbreaking ceremony was held for planned Hull-Sanford Elementary School on Fortson's Store Road.
·The BOC approved $10,000 for improvements to the recreation department.