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March 17, 2011 Issue

Wadley targets saggy pants
SPLOST for area schools passes
County searching for EMA and 911 director

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Wadley targets saggy pants

By Bonnie K. Sargent

During a city council meeting, held Monday, March 14, Wadley council members discussed whether the city should adopt an ordinance regarding sagging pants. The council mentioned they had discussed enforcing an ordinance before and members of the community wanted them to consider the ordinance again.

City Attorney John Murphy said he still didn’t think it was a good idea for the city to police how far down someone’s pants could go but he said if they did, it should tie into the state’s law on indecent exposure.


“I think you’ll still have an enforceability problem but maybe it will be enough to discourage them,” said Murphy.

He also said that females who wear skirts or shorts more than 3 inches below the hip falls under the same ordinance. Murphy said he thought it would be a problem if someone decided to take it to court because they could use their constitutional rights as a defense.

Councilman Albert Samples said he wanted to enforce the law.

“I know Dublin did it,” he said.

Murphy said he had drawn up a draft of the ordinance and went with the state law and added a few other provisions that other municipalities had employed.

“It could just deter some of this that’s been going on. That would be a help,” said Councilwoman Edith Pundt.

One citizen asked for permission to address the council. She said she and another woman were in the Jet Store one day and she saw a grown man with his pants all the way down around his knees with all of his underwear showing.

“It’s awful for our children to grow up seeing this kind of thing,” said the citizen.

Wadley Police Chief Wesley Lewis said the police could really only give them a warning. He said for repeat offenders, he didn’t think the juvenile court would handle city ordinances, but if it is an incident like what the citizen said, the offender could be charged with public indecency.

“Ain’t nothing we can do,” said Councilman Izell Mack. “It will end up in court.”

The ordinance currently says that a citation for this offense will carry a penalty of “not less than $25 on the first offense and not more than $200 for each subsequent offense. In addition or in lieu of a fine, the court may order such person to participate in up to 40 hours of court approved community service activities.”

Murphy said the ordinance should go into effect on April 1.

Councilwoman Dorothy Strowbridge said she was opposed to the idea of fining juveniles for this offense because it would be their guardians who have to pay the fine. However, she said she liked the idea of offenders having to perform community service.

“It might just serve as a deterrent, just passing the ordinance,” said Mayor Herman Baker.

Samples motioned to adopt the ordinance and Pundt seconded it. In a show of hands, all the council members were for the ordinance, except Mack.

“You can’t legislate how people wear their clothes,” Mack said.

“So it’s OK for them to just walk around nude?” asked Strowbridge.

“No,” said Mack. “That’s why they have nudist camps.”

Lewis asked if women were included in the ordinance as well and Murphy assured him they were.


By Bonnie K. Sargent

The STAR (Student Teacher Achievement Recognition) students in Jefferson County were recently announced at the STAR Student Banquet, held Monday, Feb. 28.

The STAR student for Jefferson County High School is Rachel Foss and Phillip Salter is the STAR student for Thomas Jefferson Academy.


Foss, who also received the overall county STAR student rcognition, is a resident of Louisville and is the daughter of Joe Foss and Teresa Ervin. Foss also picked her mother Teresa, who teaches science at Jefferson County High School, as her STAR teacher.

“As well as being the best science teacher I’ve ever had, my mom has taught me my whole life and has helped shape me into the person that I am,” said Foss.

Salter is also a resident of Louisville and is the son of Edward and Teresa Salter. Salter chose Frank Champion, who teaches English and Spanish at TJA, as his STAR teacher.

“Frank Champion is my STAR teacher because of the way he has pushed me to expand and grow in knowledge through his teaching,” Salter said.

Both students had different reasons for striving to become STAR students.

“I have always been competitive,” said Foss. “So I studied as hard as I could for the SAT and it paid off.”

“The drive came from the values my parents instilled in me at a young age,” said Salter.

Foss said that throughout her academic career, her family and friends have been the most supportive and influential, pushing her to study and do her homework.

“My parents and grandparents influenced me the most outside of school,” said Salter. “Inside the school, I was supported and influenced by Coach Champion.”

Both students said having a small town school helped them in their education.

“I like how we really get to know our teachers and see them out in the community, being just as involved outside the classroom as they are inside,” Foss said.

“The teachers, faculty and close-knit friends here in Jefferson County is what really has made my education special,” Salter said.

The two STARs also had advice for students who want to succeed academically.

“To make a good SAT score you should take AP classes and listen,” Foss said. “After taking AP English Language, the SAT was nothing.”

“The advice I would give is study, study and study,” said Salter. “This is the most important thing you need to do in order to succeed, other than not procrastinating.”

At JCHS, Foss has participated in FFA, Chorus and Soccer. Outside of the classroom, she is involved in karate.

At TJA Salter is involved in FCA Leadership, Beta Club and Key Club. Outside of the classroom, Salter volunteers his time at Cross Community Church.

SPLOST for area schools passes

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

The Jefferson County 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax passed with the majority of the vote Tuesday with 1,453 yes and 114 no.

The new SPLOST, which is a one cent sales tax that will be paid not only by citizens, but also by people who travel through Jefferson County, will pick up when the Jefferson County Board of Education’s current SPLOST ends in July 2012.


Jefferson County Superintendent Dr. Molly Howard said that state and federal budget cuts have restricted funding the school system has always relied on heavily.

Howard said the new SPLOST will continue with capital improvements at the schools and to keep the roofs maintained as well.

In Wrens, voters elected a new city council member to replace the unexpired term of Willie Huntley, who resigned. Those running included Bill Newsome, Miriam E. Jenkins, Michelle Weatherford and Herman Wright. Receiving the most votes was Wright, with 141 votes. Jenkins received 20, Newsome received 135, and Weatherford received 55. Wright will serve until Dec. 31, 2013, when Huntley’s original term expires.

In the town of Mitchell, an election was held for the council seat of William “Bill” Raley Sr., who died at the age of 69 on Wednesday, Jan. 12. Not only was Raley a member of the Mitchell City Council, but he was also Mitchell Fire Chief and was involved in many other civic activities in Mitchell.

Those running for his seat included David Broxton and Greg Johnson. Johnson won with 49 votes and Broxton had 26.

County searching for EMA and 911 director

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Jefferson County Board of Commissioners has begun advertising for a director for EMA and E 911.

Paul Bryan, the county’s administrator, said some level of expertise in communication equipment is required.


“We are looking for someone with proven management skills of emergency notification and response systems in that this is a combined position of emergency management and E 911,” Bryan said.

“The successful candidate will be responsible for not only the communication but the notification of emergency responders and management of the response,” he said.

“This will require experience in these fields. This will not be on-the-job training,” Bryan said.

The administrator said a college degree is not a requirement, but the person hired will have to live in the county.

“We’re looking for someone with practical experience,” he said.

The last E 911 director, James Cox, resigned Nov. 17, 2003, Bryan said.

Bryan said the board of commissioners, with his recommendation, feel combining the EMA director position with that of the E 911 position is best for the county; although, the prior E 911 director did not hold the EMA director post.

The administrator said each applicant will be evaluated by experience, education and references.

The application period ends at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, Bryan said, adding it may take about three weeks to evaluate the resumes and a week to conduct interviews.

He said the person hired will probably have to give a two-week notice to a current employer.

“The earliest anticipated start date would be May 16,” Bryan said.

Bryan said anyone interested in applying for this job should leave a resume at the commissioners’ office.

The salary has not been determined and will depend on the person’s experience.

“This will be the employee’s only job,” Bryan said. “He or she cannot hold any other position and must live in the county. In case of an emergency situation we want the person to be here immediately and available.”

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