1998 IN REVIEW:
·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
·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
·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
·The planning and zoning commission
proposed amendments on restrictions on mobile homes.
·The county and cities look at sharing
·Mayor John Waggoner of Colbert begins
his 30th year as mayor.
·Long time restaurant owner, Bill
·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
·Hull voted to keep annexation policy
·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
·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
·BOE continues its search for school
·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
·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
·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
·Animal shelter applies for articles
·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
·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 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
·The BOC names Mike Young as assistant
·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
·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
·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
·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
·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
·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
·County awarded $491,000 community
block grant for the construction of new mental health facility.
·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
·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
·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
·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
·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
·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
·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
·Position of school superintendent
narrowed to three: Ronald Lee Keffer, Dennis Moore and Wendell
·Madison County held a Confederate
·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.
·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
·A Family Dollar store was planned
·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
·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
·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
·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
·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.
·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
·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
·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.
·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
·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
·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
·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.
A look at Madison County's top news stories