By Patrick Yost
Pending development in Buckhead will have to wait another 90 days.
The Buckhead City Council Monday unanimously extended, for another 90 days, a moratorium on zoning requests or development plans pending the completion of a new set of city ordinances.
The extension came on the recommendation of Morgan County Senior Planner Allison Moon. Moon told the council that the new ordinances were complete, but had not been approved by Morgan County Attorney Christian Henry.
The extended moratorium will now remain in effect until August 17, or until the city council approves and adopts its new set of ordinances.
Zoning maps for the city are available for review at Buckhead City Hall, located in the Buckhead Volunteer Fire Department.
The city council also discussed an upcoming 100- year celebration. The celebration marking the town’s founding will take place on Saturday, May 31 at the Buckhead Volunteer Fire Department. A tractor parade will begin at 10 a.m. followed by free hot dogs and hamburgers and games. The council approved a greased pig event, a greased pole climbing event, sack races and three–legged races. All events will be free of charge.
The council decided to request a minimum charge for drinks at the event to off set expenses.
Former contractor has to reimburse county $600,000
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Morgan Memorial administrators announced this week that the hospital has been selected as the sole state recipient of a half-million dollar grant to set up an electronic medical records system in the hospital and with associated physicians and pharmacists.
“It’s $544,000 for health information technologies,” said Megan Morris, director of Development and Public Relations for the hospital. “This will facilitate [the sharing of information] with different medical providers — at first just locally, but the long-term goal is to link with larger providers such as Athens Regional.”
The grant will help with hardware and software to get electronic medical records into the offices of local doctors.
“One of the main criteria for the grant was to improve outcomes related to cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” said Patrick Cook, vice president of Support and Services. “In our [grant] proposal, we showed how we will measure six different indicators for these diseases.”
The grant, formally known as the Critical Access Hospital Health Information Technology Network Grant, is issued by the Department of Community Health on behalf of the state Office of Rural Health.
“This was a team effort,” said Morgan Hospital Authority Chairman Terry Evans. He praised the successful efforts of grant committee members H.D. Cannington, Darlena Kinnett, Patrick Cook, Megan Morris, Ronnie Boggs, Craig Strain, Sherry Vaughn and Stormy Middleton, as well as area doctors.
“I’m really proud that every physician on staff at this hospital submitted data that helped us get this grant,” said Evans.
By Patrick Yost
Jacob Wayne Steen, Jr. faces two homicide by vehicle charges after results from a Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) toxicology report stated that Steen had several different narcotics in his system at the time of a fatal accident. Results, reports state, are “indicative for cocaine… common opiods…” Tests results for alcohol were negative.
Steen, driving a Chevrolet Suburban, allegedly crossed over the centerline of U.S 441 on Saturday, March 22 and struck a 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis driven by Misty Kirby, a 31–year–old Royston woman. Kirby’s 72–year–old mother and 11–year–old nephew died in the wreck.
According to Sgt. Jim Foskey, commander, Georgia State Patrol Troop 8, Georgia State Patrol officials were awaiting the results of a state toxicology test before finalizing charges against Steen, 27.
Foskey said the charges are both felonies. Steen was also charged with possession of dangerous drugs, drugs not kept in original container, failure to maintain lane and driving on the wrong side of the road. The accident occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m.
By Kathryn Purcell
Visiting a policy that was closed three to four years ago, the Morgan County Board of Education voted unanimously to open enrollment for the 2008-2009 school year at Morgan County High School to out-of-county residents, as well as to hear public comment on the policy.
The class of rising ninth graders in Morgan County is about 40 students fewer than in previous years, according to Superintendent Stan DeJarnett. Further, as many as 14 out-of-county students, enrolled during the previous non-resident enrollment policy, will graduate this year.
Taking into account the possibility of incoming Morgan County residents that may enroll and the desire not to have to increase staff, the Board agreed that the addition of potential out-of-county residents should take the total number of students in the high school to 90 percent capacity, meaning space for 25 to 30 students.
"We are below 90 percent capacity at the high school because of flat enrollment growth," DeJarnett said. "We can open non-resident enrollment next fall, leave enough room for those who move into the county... Non-residents can fill empty seats at the high school."
The policy is set to be "first come, first serve," and once the 90 percent capacity is reached, non-resident enrollment at the high school will again be closed.
The cost of tuition for out-of-county residents to attend Morgan County High School is estimated to total $2,635 annually, and is based of the overall cost of education in Morgan County.
"Last year, the cost to educate a student was a little over $8,200," DeJarnett said. "A little more than half of that comes from the state, the rest is paid by tuition."
Former sheriff Pritchett qualifies as democrat