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September 26, 2013 Issue

State superintendent visits
Bartow mayor resigns
JCHS queen crowned
Avera and Wadley reopen qualifying

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State superintendent visits

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Dr. John Barge, Georgia’s state school superintendent, visited local schools earlier this month, spending time with students and faculty at Louisville Middle School Wednesday, Sept. 11, and at Glascock County Consolidated School Thursday, Sept. 12.

He said he promised when campaigning to visit each of the 180 school districts in Georgia.


“We were pleased that he chose to visit Louisville Middle because they had done so well on the new performance index,” Dr. Donnie Hodges said.

Hodges is an assistant superintendent with the Jefferson County Board of Education.

“All of our schools are working very hard to improve student achievement, in spite of all the financial issues we’re facing. It was nice and encouraging that one of our schools was recognized,” she said.

Ken Hildebrant, LMS principal, said the school had a parent-teacher conference this week and let the parents know about the visit.

“The students and parents thought it was great,” he said.

“Our academic performance is growing. The students and the teachers thought it was an honor to have Dr. Barge visit us. I think he wants to reach out to the schools and find out what’s going on in the various school districts in Georgia,” Hildebrant said.

The principal said LMS has a high ranking on the College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI).

“(The) highest in the county. We were above the state average for middle schools,” he said. “Our school also got recognized back in July for some innovative practices having to do with the CCRPI.”

Danny Lovering, the principal at GCCS, said it was great to have the state superintendent visit the school and be concerned with what faculty and administration think could better the school.

“He was gracious enough to come and sit and talk with us and to also talk with the faculty,” Lovering said.

“It was fabulous to have somebody from that high a level to come to our school and sit down and discuss the school and its concerns and to share his point of view as well as to ask for ours,” he said.

Glascock County Superintendent Jim Holton said Barge’s visit to GCCS was a great opportunity for the school to show all the hard work that happens daily by students, teachers and staff.

“We were honored to have Dr. Barge visit in Glascock County, and took the opportunity to point out some of the great things happening in our school,” Holton said.

“2013 Spring End of Course Test scores show that, of the 180 school systems in Georgia, our school system’s American literature (11th grade English) scores were first in the state, our U. S. history EOCT scores were seventh in the state and our ninth grade literature scores were 18th in the state. CRCT scores show that GCCS ranked first in the CSRA in reading scores in third-, fifth- and seventh grades, and first in the CSRA in math scores in fourth- and sixth grades.

“We also discussed the effects of the inequities in state funding that rural school systems face in comparison to schools in more urban/industrial areas of the state. Dr. Barge indicated that he also felt that state funding was an issue for rural Georgia,” Holton said.

Matt Cardoza, director of communications with Dr. Barge’s office, said the state superintendent is required to visit schools. Cardoza said the state’s Constitution requires the state superintendent to visit schools.

“He wants to see how policies enacted at the state level are being implemented at the local level,” Cardoza said.

“The most urgent need is probably restoration of funding,” Cardoza said. “There are a lot of other things besides resources. You have to have resources to be able to do something well.”

During his talk with the faculty at GCCS, Barge said teachers may have heard something about the possibility of a pay increase but said he would prefer the teachers not have furlough days.

“Each furlough day is a 2-percent pay cut,” he said, adding he’d rather see a reversal of the austerity cuts.

Bartow mayor resigns

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Hubert Jordan, whose term as mayor of Bartow was set to expire Dec. 31, has resigned effective Tuesday, Sept. 17.

In a called meeting, Jordan offered his resignation to the city council and recommended the council appoint Dwayne Morris as the interim mayor.


Morris, previously a council member, was the only candidate to qualify in Bartow’s mayoral race. As a council member, his term would have expired Dec. 31. Since he will be the city’s mayor beginning in January, Jordan suggested he be appointed to fill the remainder of this term.

This suggestion was put forth by council as a motion, seconded and passed.

Bartow City Manager Susan Scarboro swore Morris in that night.

In his letter of resignation to the council, Jordan wrote, “I have been away much of the time lately and plan to be away more this year, so I think it would be better to have a mayor who is in town more. I recommend you appoint Dwayne Morris as mayor immediately.”

Jordan also offered to continue working on three projects, if council approved. These are the Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, the city’s museum and Life in the Past Lane.

His letter states no additional town funds should be required for the heritage trails and that all expenses for the museum are paid by the Bartow Community Club from museum donations.

Life in the Past Lane is a project started by Jordan’s late wife, Patsy Jordan.

“It’s going to be a memory walk,” Scarboro said. “It’s not going to be a very long walk. It’s going to be between the city hall and the drug store building beside it. It’s going to have memorabilia from the heyday of Bartow.”

In other news, council discussed the city’s budget, including an estimate to repair the building next to the city hall.

Repairs include the roof, wiring, plumbing and building two restrooms. Jordan said an estimate he received is about $40,000 and that would be for all repairs.

Scarboro told the council the city has collected no property taxes and revenue from sales tax is down.

Morris asked about the fire support check.

“It never comes in until the first of the year,” Scarboro said.

Councilman Billy Neal, who is also the chief of the city’s fire department, asked Scarboro to tell the council about the increase in costs for the firefighters’ retirement fund.

Scarboro said the cost had been $15 a month per person. The increase to $25 a month per person took effect July 1, she said.

Council discussed charging for people to use the park and voted to charge $20 for use of water and electricity.

The city’s next regular council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. in city hall.

JCHS queen crowned

Kyra Roberts was crowned JCHS Homecoming Queen Friday. Mallory Johnson is first runnerup and Makeshia Martin is second runner up.


Avera and Wadley reopen qualifying

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Two cities in Jefferson County will be reopening qualifying periods for the upcoming general election.

No one qualified to run for mayor in Avera; and, a candidate who initially applied for qualification for a council seat in Wadley was disqualified.


Avera and Wadley have reopened their qualifying for these positions.

Anyone who interested in running for the mayor’s position in Avera may qualify Friday, Sept. 27; Saturday, Sept. 28; and Monday, Sept. 30, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at Avera City Hall. City hall is closed each day from noon until 1 p.m. for lunch. The qualifying fee for mayor is $6.

The general election will be at city hall, 9446 Broad St., Avera on Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

In Wadley, the terms of three council seats expire Dec. 31. Current councilmen Izell Mack and Albert Samples, who hold two of those seats, qualified to run for re-election.

The third seat, currently held by Dorothy Strowbridge, would have gone to Colin M. Cornett as the only candidate besides Mack and Samples. However Cornett was disqualified because he was not a registered voter during the original qualification period.

Cornett has since registered to vote and will be able to qualify during the upcoming qualifying time if he so chooses.

Betty Register, who initially qualified to run for mayor but was later disqualified because she was not a registered voter, has since registered to vote but will not re-qualify, Wadley Elections Superintendent Lula Tarver said.

Qualifying for the council seat will be Friday, Sept. 27; Saturday, Sept. 28; and Monday, Sept. 30, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Strowbridge did not qualify for re-election to the council as she qualified in the mayoral race.

The qualifying fee for the council seat is $72.

The last day to register to vote in this election is Monday, Oct. 7.

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