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October 12, 2006 Issue

Feds cuts program funding
A page on the page scandal
Vote will keep older mobile homes out of Glascock Co.

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Feds cuts program funding

• Because of cuts, local schools will have to compete with other districts for these federal dollars By Carol McLeod

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Title II-D funding, a federal program that helps counties pay for professional development and technology based items, was cut in half.

The funding initially came from the federal government to state departments of education. From the state level, funds were parceled out to local boards of education.

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“Last year we received $23,408 from the GDOE for Title II-D local formula grant,” said Cindy Rabun, an assistant superintendent with the Jefferson County school system.

“Jefferson County used $17,000 for purchasing computers and the rest for professional learning for teachers,” she said.

“This year, the GDOE decided to use all of the funds sent to the state for competitive grants rather than providing any formula funding for the local systems.”

Bill Gambill, Deputy Superintendent of Instructional Technology at the Georgia Department of Education, said the state is fortunate the program received any funds.

“In the FY07 federal budget,” Gambill said, “the Title II-D funds were cut by more than 50 percent. Although this cut seems drastic, the reality is that we are lucky the program is still alive at all. The president had originally zeroed out Title II-D altogether; so, it was somewhat of a victory that we received any funding at all.”

Gambill said the reduction had a dramatic impact on state programs.

“After much research and debate, it was decided that the State of Georgia would no longer fund Title II-D formula funding but instead would allocate all of their Title II-D funds to competitive grants. Many other states have followed suit as well,” he said.

Rabun, the local educator, said the U.S. Department of Education has continually cut the funds over the last few years.

“In 2003, Jefferson County received $42,800 compared to $23,408 in 2006,” she said. “However, this year we will not receive any Title II-D formula grant funds.”

Gambill said the decision to change the funding procedure to a competitive grant was difficult.

“Please understand that this decision was not made lightly,” he said.

He said the GDOE gathered data on all Georgia counties.

“With the 50 percent reduction in funding, over 80 percent of the school districts in the state would be receiving less than $20,000 for their entire district,” he said, adding that many districts were only receiving several thousand dollars.

“It is also nearly impossible for us to track how the formula funding is spent and there is no evaluation or research that exists that shows that the funding is having any kind of an impact on student achievement,” he said.

“Given all of that, it was decided that competitive grants allow us to have a greater impact on student achievement through very targeted, specific initiatives that can be tracked and researched for effectiveness.”

Rabun said Louisville Academy has been selected to receive a Title II-D eMath grant, which is a competitive grant. Recipients of this focus on improving third through fifth grade mathematics achievement through the effective use of technology, according to the GDOE’s website.

“This is the last year for funding for that grant,” Rabun said.



A page on the page scandal

• Luke Moses appears on Headline News with Nancy Grace, Court TV and in Time Magazine

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

I never felt threatened by any of the members of congress...It was a pretty big shock for everyone that was involved...."

Luke Moses JCHS graduate and former congressional page


















In the wake of the sexually explicit emails released by ABC News that were sent by Florida Republican Representative Mark Foley to former male pages, a spotlight has been shown on not only Foley, but the pages themselves.

Luke Moses, a former Jefferson County High School graduate who attends Georgetown University in Washington D.C. served as a page during the summer of 2002. In the past couple of weeks Moses was called on by many media outlets to talk about his past experiences and about the relationships that congressional members have with the pages while serving on Capitol Hill.

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“My being a page was a great experience,” Moses said. “I never felt threatened by any of the members of congress. We always knew that Foley was in the closet, but we didn’t know that he was a predator. It was a pretty big shock for everyone that was involved with the page program.”

In the past two weeks he has been interviewed by CNN, Nancy Grace, Court TV, Time Magazine, The Washington Post and The Sarasota Herald Tribune. “My friend works for CNN and she gave them my name and they called me and asked me to talk about my experience as a congressional page,” Moses said of this past week’s fame. “CNN gave my name to Court TV. Then Time Magazine, The Washington Post and The Sarasota Herald Tribune got my name.”

Moses said that he traveled by taxicab to the CNN Washington D.C. headquarters for the first initial interview that was broadcast on CNN and is still available on their website. Before going on camera, Moses said that the news channel had makeup put on him. Other interviews were conducted over the phone.

“It was fun,” Moses said. “I just talked about my experience as a page for Cynthia McKinney versus the pages’ experiences for Foley, how a page can and should have a fulfilling relationship and appropriate relationship as opposed to what happened with the whole Foley thing. "It is really rare for members of congress to do what Foley did to those pages.”

While on CNN, Moses said that he keeps in touch with Georgia Representative McKinney.

“She was very kind to me and we remain close today,” he said. “She took me to briefings and lunches.”

The most watched interview thus far he received from the new found attention was with Nancy Grace, who is known to be a hard hitter to those she interrogates. Moses said a friend’s brother worked for her at the CNN station.

“When I went on Nancy Grace, they sent a car to pick me up and take me to CNN headquarters and take me home,” Moses said. “I wasn’t nervous. I was interested to see what she would ask. She can be kind of tough on people.

Everyone seemed to think she liked me okay.

“She was a nice lady. CNN called and told me that she liked me a lot and wanted me to come back on. If the story continues, I might be back on there.”

Of the experience with his notoriety, Moses said it is not going to his head.

“It was fine,” he said. “I could care less if I were on television either way. It doesn’t really matter to me.

“A lot of people watched it and were excited about it. I got a lot of phone calls from people I didn’t expect to get calls from. It turns out more people watch Nancy Grace on CNN and CourtTV than I thought they did.”

His father, attorney Mickey Moses, said he felt the exposure and page program have both provided his son with multiple opportunities that he will carry with him in life.

“I am glad that he has had the exposure and the opportunity to be on television,” his father said. “I think it demonstrates the education and knowledge from public and private schools in Jefferson County. I think Luke being a page was a wonderful experience and he was fortunate to have the opportunity to have that experience. Luke was very, very fortunate. I don’t see a negative impact out of it.”

His son went on to say that the page program is still a big deal in his life today.

“The page program has been such a unique experience,” he said. “Random things like this happen. It is such a big impact on my life. I know this is the reason I am in Washington now. The program has affected my life in a lot of different ways.”

Moses is an intern for 12th District Congressman John Barrow.



Vote will keep older mobile homes out of Glascock Co.

• Now homes older than 10 years can not be moved into or within county

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

Glascock County Commissioners voted Tuesday night to amend the mobile home ordinance in what they believe will better the look and living conditions of the county.

In a unanimous vote, all three commissioners voted that manufactured homes no older than 10 years can be moved or relocated in or within Glascock County.

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The new ordinance went into affect on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Glascock County Commission Chairman Anthony Griswell said that complaints are common about mobile homes. “Its always continual complaints from all over the county of these trailers,” Griswell said. “Most of the time, we get a lot of trailers that somebody has basically given away and they are older trailers from other counties. We felt like we needed to do something here. It certainly wasn’t helping out our tax base or helping us to beautify our county.

“After looking at the two municipalities, trailers can’t be more than 7-years-old. We knew we needed to upgrade it. We wanted to hit a happy medium. It is not as stringent as the cities’ ordinances, but it will benefit the people of Glascock County in the long run.”

Before the ordinance any manufactured home built after June 15, 1976 was allowed to be moved into the county. The 1976 date was set years ago when the Department of Housing and Urban Development set rules and regulations about constructing mobile homes including the type of wiring to be used in the homes. Griswell said that it was an obvious concern for commissioners at that time.

“The reason why we felt a need to change the time frame, you could bring a 30-year-old mobile home into the county,” Griswell said. “Some still look like new and are in good shape, but across the board, you’ll find that a lot of them are not really able to be moved.”

“This is something that needed to be changed for a while,” said mobile home inspector Mike Lyons. “And it was just changed for the betterment of the county.”

Commissioners and many of those attending the regular monthly meeting voiced their concerns of the conditions that the mobile homes moving into the county were in, including Lyons.

“When homes are that old, they get to be in pretty rough shape,” he said. “Something is bound to happen when you bring in something that old. This is something we’ve needed to be changed for a while.”

Lyons said mobile home owners looking to locate to Glascock County will have to buy a permit for $100 from the Tax Assessors Office. Lyons must then go check the condition of the home.

“I have to make sure they're in good shape,” he said. “I make sure they don’t have holes in the floors and that they have working restrooms. I just make sure it is in livable condition before they are allowed to have power.”

Griswell said he hopes that the upgraded ordinance will bring a new respect for the county.

“Some people fix their trailers up and they are nice looking, but on the other hand you have some other places that look terrible as well as with houses,” Griswell said. “Hopefully it will prompt people to take more pride in what they have and try to upgrade to make our county the best that it can possibly be.”




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