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The Hogansville Herald
Manchester, Georgia
February 17, 2005     The Hogansville Herald
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February 17, 2005

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[] Free Concert Slated Sunday -lOA PRSRT STD AUTO U. S. POSTAGE PAID HOGANSVILLE, GA PERMIT NO. 35" Formerly The Hogansville Herald Serving the Hogansville-GrantviUe Area Since 1944 VOL. 62, NO. 7 HOGANSVILLE, GEORGIA - THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2005 10 PAGES 1 SECTION ,50 " By Clint Claybrook BIG DAY - Young Walker Staley found himself surrounded by flowers and smiles on Valentine's Day at T&C Flowers in Hogansville as the co-owners and a relative hustled to get deliveries qut on time. His Grammy Debbie Staley is at right. Police Busy Preparing For Opening By CLINT CLAYBROOK There's good news for the Hogansville Police Department: several desks, chairs and file cabinets that will be used to help equip the new police headquarters on Lincoln Street arrived this week. And after several months of delays in getting into the spacious new building, nobody was taking a chance on any more delays. Police Maj. Kenneth Knox was doing double-duty as a forklift operator, help- ing move the pieces of furni- ture off a semi-trailer. Chief Guy Spradlin was keeping an eye on the oper- ation and questioning the truck driver about why some pieces were missing and City Councilman Charlie Frank Martin was helping oversee i.;. the operation The missing equipment ? ; See POLICE, Page 2A By Clint Claybrook GETTING IT DONE - First-graders Tiffany Hefner and Hunter Gaddy hard at work at Hogansville Elementary School on Monday. They're both 7 and in ReneeWynn's home room. Museum's Backers Eye Major Expansion By CLINT CLAYBROOK The redevelopers of the old Hogansville railroad depot have moved from what originally appeared to be a relatively simple rehabilita- tion of the long-abandoned depot to a point where the plans, like "Topsey" just seem to continue to grow. They're now planning for a restaurant that seats some 200 people, a gift shop just across an alley that fronts on Main Street and possibly an amphitheater under two giant oak trees near the planned railroad museum. Jerry Harmon, who will run the railroad operation once it's opened -and that date seems to keep changing - envisions Bluegrass groups entertaining in the early summer evenings, helping draw a crowd to the restau- rant, museum and a planned bar. HE NOTED in an inter- view this week that he and his father, Newnan attorney Jim Harmon and partner David Murphy intend to emphasize the "restaurant" part of the operation, and de- emphasize the bar, which will be located between the restaurant and the depot rooms housing the railroad museum. There's space in the ren- ovated depot that Harmon hopes to see converted into an area for weddings and receptions. The partners bought the former Diane's Restaurant, just across the alleyway from the depot, in recent weeks and will renovate that build- ing to make it look like an old- time freight depot, including the addition of an over-hang- ing roof in the alleyway. SEVERAL old baggage carts will add a sense of his- tory to the gift shop there which will be known as "Treasure Junction," the By Clint Claybrook RAILROAD STUFF- Jerry Harmon, one of the rede- velopers of the old Hogansville railroad depot, adds anotherpiece of mem- orabilia to one of the exhibits - it's a conical fireman's hat, made that way so folks wouldn't want to steal it, he said. younger Harmon said. The restaurant will be in an addition to the old depot that resembles an over-sized dining club car. It will, natu- rally, be known as the "Choo- Choo Restaurant." Several old passenger cars and a dining car or two will be on display beside the museum and restaurant. THE CITY'S boosters, including members of the newly activated Downtown Development Authority are counting on the Old Hogansville Depot and its enhancements being one of the drawing cards to a grow- ing downtown shopping dis- trict. They hope the restaurant and the prospects of enter- tainment in the evenings will bring crowds on the week- ends, in particular. Jerry Harmon has been a railroad buff since he was a child, and visitors to the museum will see a lot of what an old depot of the 1940s or so looked like, browse some See MUSEUM, Page 2A i Meriwether Development Authority Flap Growing More. Heated By Clini Claybrook SPLIT DECISION - Only IDA Board member Frank Keller, nght, and Robert Hines voted late Monday against ask- ing Gov. Sonny Perdue to remove Keller from the IDA Board. By CLINT CLAYBROOK About thee months ago and some five months after being appointed to the Meriwether County Industrial Development Authority, Frank Keller said the board ought to be done away with. Monday his fellow board members, on a 3-2 vote, said Keller ought to be kicked off the board because of inap- propriate conduct and called on Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to expel him from the county's industrial recruit- ment arm. And Meriwether County Commission Chairman Nancy Jones, saying the action was a "positive step" toward improving relations between the IDA Board and the commission, which appoints its members, said she'll ask the commission to vote to endorse the IDA Board s call for Keller s oust- ter. The move could lead to an end to some of the on-going controversy surrounding the IDA - generally attributed by board members and some county commisioners to Keller and former Star- Mercury and Meriwether Vindicator owner and pub- lisher Bob Tribble, currently still a columnist for the coun- ty's two newspapers, IDA members and Jones said. Both have clamored for months - if not for years about what they consider excessive funding of the IDA by the County Commission. oNovo 8: Keller sug- gests IDA board "disband." Jan. 17: Keller says Kip Purvis' salary is a "low blow' to the Phrvis : asks that Govemor kick Keller off board. They have both also crit- icized individual board mem- bers - primarily Barnes - in the past for what they have called questionable expendi- tures and financial dealings. The IDA Board's move to kick Keller off the board came at its first meeting since the County Commission last week re-appointed Ken Barnes to the IDA to succeed former Chairman Jerry Loftin, whose term had expired. Barnes was re-elected IDA Board chairman at the IDA's Monday Feb. 14 after- noon meeting. Bill Caldwell was re-elected vice chair- man. Perhaps ironically, the vote on the resolution to ban- ish Keller was the second order of business after Barnes was re-elected chair- man, Bobby Moreland was re- elected treasurer and IDA See IDA FLAP, Page 2A