I grew up with real books in my hands. Every Friday, I would leave school with as many books from the library as they would allow me to check out. And on Monday, I would have read them all and return them to the library. That was, of course, long before anyone even dreamed of digital books.
[Full Story »]
It’s nearly time for the old Scottish poem set to a traditional folk tune. “Auld Lang Syne” is the familiar song belted out when the clock strikes midnight, marking the end of one year and the beginning of another.
So here’s a look back at the past year of local news, a recap of what happened in Madison County in 2013:
•Commissioners approve board of elections: Madison County commissioners approved a resolution for a three-member county board of elections and registration that will take office in 2014, replacing the position of elections superintendent held by Cody Cross, who also serves as probate judge.
•BOC shoots down beer and wine license by a 3-2 vote: The BOC voted 3-2 to deny a beer and wine license for the appeal for Amir, Inc. (dba Kwik Chek). Commissioners Jim Escoe and Mike Youngblood voted against the denial.
•With lawsuit threatened, BOC backs off denial of beer and wine application: Madison County commissioners reversed an earlier decision and granted a beer and wine license to Kwik-Chek in Hull. The board voted 4-1 to approve the license, with commissioner Stanley Thomas providing the lone “no.”
•Wilkes named BOE chairman: The Madison County Board of Education began its first meeting of the year by voting for board member Greg Wilkes to serve as board chairman and board member Robert Hooper to serve as vice-chairman.
•Danielsville amends future city council terms: Danielsville council members voted unanimously to implement several changes to their city’s charter, including increasing council member terms from two to four years.
•Tremier talks about faith during MLK celebration: Madison County pastor William Tremier stood at the podium at Waggoners Grove Baptist Church holding a dumbbell in his hands. He urged those on hand for the ninth-annual Madison County Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration to “lay aside every weight” and to put their concerns in Jesus’ hands.
•District attorney’s main office to be in Danielsville: Madison County commissioners agreed to an arrangement with recently elected DA Parks White for use of one of the county-owned buildings in the former Lakeview Business Park off Rock Quarry Road, which is located just off Hwy. 29.
•Conservation use change now in effect: As of Jan. 1, any person seeking a new “conservation use” contract or renewing a 10-year conservation arrangement must pay taxes on two acres that will be taxed at residential value. [Full Story »]
COMMERCE - Sandra Hardy Allen, 58, passed away late Sunday evening, December 29, 2013, at the Athens Regional Medical Center. Mrs. Allen was the daughter of Leroy Hardy of Commerce and the late Carolyn Lord Hardy and was married to William Allen of Commerce. Survivors in addition to her father include sons, Coe Allen, Jefferson, and Robert Scot ...
[Full Story »]
COMER - John Lafayette Tiller, 75 entered into rest Monday, December 30, 2013. He was the son of the late Joseph Thomas and Mae Wheless Tiller. He was preceded in death by grandparents, John E. and Ora Cofer Tiller and Henry L. and Belle Bridges Wheless; brothers Billy Joe and Larry Paul Tiller; and a sister, Anita K. Tiller. He was a retired ...
[Full Story »]
An alleged Comer kidnapper was found in possession of explosives on Christmas Eve.
Local, state and federal law enforcement officers searched the home of Antonio Lavanta Meadows, 30, 87 Flint Street, Comer, Dec. 24. Law officers went to Meadows’ home to arrest him for the alleged Dec. 21 kidnapping of a female.
According to Comer Police Chief Dennis Bell, when officers entered the residence to place Meadows under arrest, he was attempting to dispose of evidence down a sink that officers believed to be illegal drugs, possibly methamphetamine.
“It was a white, powdery substance,” said Bell.
The officers then obtained a search warrant for the residence to search for drugs and other evidence. They found three destructive devices, or “pipe bombs,” and contacted the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, as well as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Bomb Squad. Evidence related to the kidnapping, drugs and other stolen property was also seized during the execution of the search warrant. Neighboring homes were evacuated as officials searched the home where the explosives were found. [Full Story »]
MARIETTA - Johnny Ray Bridges, 62, passed away on Friday, December 20, 2013. John was born on February 23, 1951, in Albany, the son of Margaret Owen Bridges of Hull and the late Danny Ray Bridges. John was a graduate of Albany High School and Georgia Institute of Technology, and was recently retired from Lockheed. Survivors in addition to his ...
[Full Story »]
Madison County School Superintendent Allen McCannon urged local legislators Dec. 16 to look out for rural school systems, adding that the outlook for systems such as Madison County’s is bleak without more support from lawmakers.
“Rural counties without interstate or industry are on the verge of losing their school systems,” said McCannon.
McCannon, assistant superintendent Bonnie Knight and 15 Madison County educators addressed Sen. Frank Ginn, Rep. Alan Powell and Rep. Tom McCall in the county school board meeting room in a two-hour meeting Monday. They voiced concerns about budget cuts, furlough days — there are 10 this school year, the effect of a shortened school year on children, increased insurance costs and a general decline in respect toward the teaching profession.
The superintendent noted that Madison County ranks 160th out of 180 school systems in terms of property wealth. He likened the system’s revenue situation to a poor south Georgia county. And he said continued “austerity cuts” — funding that falls short of the state’s own formulas — is forcing cuts that are harming Madison County more than other systems.
“Do you know that the fairness of the austerity cut is a myth?” said McCannon. “The value of a mill in Rabun County is $1,637,312 and their austerity cut is $853,645. With a half mill of tax, Rabun County can cover their entire austerity cut. In Madison County, the value of our $3.7 million austerity cut is 5.6 mills.”
McCannon said poor systems are being told to raise property tax rates to offset their reduced support from the state.
“Top ranking officials in the controlling party are telling rural districts that they do not want to hear from them until their millage rates are at 20,” said McCannon. “These are the same individuals who state they are against all tax increases.” [Full Story »]