OUR MISSION: To inform, support, unite and promote the residents of Jefferson and Glascock counties.

Top Stories
July 15, 2004 Issue

Playing it safe...
Wrens Firefighters hosted departments from Stapleton, Matthews and Harlem recently when they used an abandoned house on Mulberry Street for training. Firefighters covered windows and the back door with sheets of tin to keep it dark and hold in the heat. They filled the house with smoke and used it twice for search and recovery training before igniting the back room and using it for live fire training. According to Wrens Fireman Ken Zaydell and Assistant Chief Walter Hannah, approximately 30 firemen practiced their skills in the structure. "They learned how to locate the seat of a fire and extinguish it," Zaydell said. It took the department about two months to get state approval for the burning, they said. "This is great practice, but we don't get to do it very often," Hannah said. "Regulations are so tight. We have to pay for the state to send out inspectors to make sure environmentally it is okay to burn a house... It's great safety training. Our men can practice how to get in and fight a fire and then, how to get themselves back out again."

Other Top Stories
Voters head to the polls
County looks to finalize solid waste management plan

Please click the above links to read the story.

Voters head to the polls

By Ben Nelms
Staff Writer

Residents of Jefferson and Glascock counties heard directly last week from the candidates running in contested races in the July 20 primaries and the November elections. Also at stake next week will be contested races for U.S. House and Senate seats and other statewide races.

Venues for the races in each county were provided through candidate's forums held at Jefferson County High School on July 8 and at the old school in Gibson on July 9. The events were sponsored and moderated by The News and Farmer/The Jefferson Reporter. The Glascock forum was co-sponsored by the Glascock County Chamber of Commerce.


The process used at both events included having candidates for specific races on stage at the same time. Candidates first answered two questions prepared in advance. Those were followed by questions from the floor and, when time permitted, written questions submitted by voters. Candidates were each given time at the end of their segment to make their closing remarks.

Two hundred Jefferson County residents heard remarks from candidates at the July 8 forum. Those races included county commission chairman candidates Gardner Hobbs (incumbent) and challenger William Rabun, District 4 commissioner Tommy New and challenger John Lewis and District 2 opponents Johnny Davis and Ben Benson.

Candidates for the contested races for coroner and sheriff also participated. Incumbent Johnny Nelson took the stage with challenger Edward James while, in the sheriff's race, incumbent Gary Hutchins squared off with challenger Alan Wasden.

In the Glascock forum nearly 90 residents, totaling approximately four percent of the county's population, attended the July 9 event at the old school to hear candidates for the contested races for school board, sheriff, county commission and probate judge. School board candidates included Gibson District incumbent John Raley and challenger Michael May and At-large District opponents James Moore and Diana Rabun Reese. Probate judge candidate Carol Price also attended and presented her views on the position.

County commission candidates attending included incumbent Mitchell and Edgehill District commissioner Thomas Chalker (Dem.) and challenger Anthony "Ant" Griswell (Dem.) and Mill District challenger D'Ann Simpson (Rep). Sheriff's candidates included challengers Cary Deal (Dem.), Larry Blair (Dem.), James Stephens (Rep.) and Dean Couch (Ind.).

Those candidates not participating included incumbent Mill District Commissioner Johnny Crutchfield, Sheriff Bryan Bopp, Probate Judge Denise Dallas and At-large District school board candidate Tracy Bopp

The forums were the first such organized, mass venues where the public could pose questions and receive answers from multiple candidates.

Other contested races between candidates for state and federal offices include U.S. Representative, U.S. Senate, Public Service Commissioner, Georgia Appeals Court and Georgia Supreme Court. Information on all races in the July 20 primaries can be found in this edition of the newspaper.

County looks to finalize solid waste management plan

By Ben Nelms
Staff Writer

Jefferson County residents and Augusta Regional Development Center (RDC) who have participated for more than a year in the development of the county's 20-Year Comprehensive Plan have geared up to produce another required document, the Jefferson County Solid Waste Management Plan.

At the meeting, RDC Executive Director Andy Crosson said the plan must several key elements to be considered complete. Those include a waste disposal stream analysis, waste reduction, waste collection, waste disposal, education and public involvement, land limitation and an implementation strategy. Goals and objectives will be established for each of the key elements of the plan. Considerations the group will address include watersheds, aquifer recharge areas, water service areas and future growth areas of the county.


Keeping the growing number of regional landfills currently springing up in Georgia from spreading to Jefferson County was a persistent topic at the meeting. Some of those landfills are currently being filled with trash shipped in from New York, New Jersey and other Northeast states. The language in the county's upcoming solid waste management plan is one way to make establishing a regional landfill much more difficult, said Crosson. Such restrictions built in to the plan can accomplish what a zoning ordinance could never do.

"If you want a landfill, you make a weak policy and if you don't want a landfill, you need a very stringent policy," said Crosson. "The solid waste management plan is what is probably going to keep the (regional) landfill out of Taliaferro County. The zoning ordinance didn't keep it out but their 10-year solid waste management plan probably will."

Also discussed at the meeting was the possibility of incorporating into the plan a measure to address sludge. If included, the measure would not affect areas already permitted, Crosson said.

The group's first meeting was held July 1 and was one of the few to be held to produce the document.

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