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Newspaper Archive of
The Hogansville Herald
Manchester, Georgia
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June 24, 2004     The Hogansville Herald
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June 24, 2004
 

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PAGE 6-A HOGANSVILLE HOME NEWS - THURSDAY, JUNE 24, 2004 Finances Solid A_gain After DifficultYears beneath last year's. Leidner said that guide- lines set by the people work- ing on the budget included these priorities: Pay back tax- payer; Pay back citizens; (Have) tight and efficient controls; keep infrastructure efficient; and have sufficient reserve. One of the results, which all city employees ought to appreciate was a 2.2 per cent across-the-board pay raise. The proposed budget includes revenue projections that are "very conservative" and call for less than a two percent growth in revenues even though three new sub- division will be coming on line within Fiscal Year 2005, which begins July 1. " *There are quarterly budget updates and amend- ments planned. *The new budget pro- vides $227,000 in contingency funds; $195,000 of that is in the enterprise fund and $32,000 in the general fund budget. By CUNT CLAYBROOK Hogansville has for at least the last three or four years been trying to dig its way out of a financial black hole, and appears to have made substantial progress, mainly by getting a good han- dle on expenses. In fact, for the last three years, the City Council has reduced the millage rate at which city residents pay property taxes that go into the city's coffers. Next year, the millage rate will be reduced from 9.95 to 7.95, which City Councilman Jack Leidner, who heads the city's Finance Committee, and others have predicted will reduce what the owner of a $100,000 home in town pays in city proper- ty taxes by about $80 a year. The City Council appeared, at a Monday night meeting, to have been impressed with the budget, which is about $100,000 Budget Brings Good News Continued From Page 1A in an on-going head bumping contest over the city's efforts to force him to rehabilitate a couple of his buildings in town asked if there isn't some way to reduce taxes still fur- ther. He noted that ImGrange gets no money from city property taxes. "If you look around, I think you'll find LaGrange is the only city in Georgia that gets no money from city property taxes," Pike told Yarbrough. One of Hogansville's chief expenditures from its utilities budget in the next year will be $705,000 in "debt services" - primarily to con- tinue retiring utility bonds, the payments on which have strapped the city financially in recent years. There are salaries of $258,806 projected from the utilities budget. $S0,000 "'4-'I budget for overtime in that m department and $11,700 for vacation pay. Benefits to utility depart- ment employees will require another $88,426, according to projections, with $45,276 going for group insurance premiums. The city expects to pay $1,584,044 for electricity in the next year and sell it to city residents. According to the budget, there's $800,000 to purchase natural gas, which the city will also sell at retail rates to its residents. One of the things the city hopes to do over the coming few years is to bring its charges for electricity in line with what residents of LaGrange and Newnan pay, Leidner said. He said Hogansville' rates are a little high for small users and lower for large users, which some think needs to be reversed. Bryant, Gwendolyn Moore Case Draw Clay Bryant, an investi- gator with District Attorney Pete Skandalakis' office, was profiled this week in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. This excerpt deals with the discovery of woman's body a few months back, after she'd been missing for more than 30 years and the filing of charges against her former husband, who lives just out- side HogansviUe. It has pre- viously been covered in the Home News. The image of a tow truck hoisting a dead woman from a well in 1970 has stuck with Clay Bryant all these years. "She was spinning around in a circle; it was the most macabre thing you ever saw," recalls Bryant, who was then 15 and tagging along with his dad, the Hogansville police chief. The woman, Gwendolyn Moore, a 30-year- old mother of four, had been beaten savagely. No one was arrested and the case was mostly forgot- ten, until two years ago when Moore's grandniece found her death certificate in some family papers. She was shocked by what she read: A bottle was broken over Moore's temple on July 28, 1970. And she was punched in the face repeatedly on Aug. 3,1970, the day she died. The grandniece called the Sheriffs Department asking what ever became of the case. Gwendolyn Moore's death might have remained a mystery were it not for Bryant. who is now a district mal Accent HWndai Elann attorney's investigator in the Coweta Judicial Circuit. In the past year, his investiga- tions led to arrests in cases from 1970, 1987 and 1990. Co- workers have taped a note on his office wall calling him "Cold Case Clay." The first of those arrests was Marshall Moore, Gwendolyn Moore's husband, whom authorities originally suspected in her death. Moore, 67, who has throat cancer and is out on bond, denies killing his then-wife. "My daddy often said she never had justice in this case," Bryant said. He had been on the job just 10 days in October 2002 when a Troup County sheriffs investigator asked if he ever heard of the case. Bryant was faxed infor- mation on the case, almost fit- tingly, he said, on his late father's birthday. "It was like my father handed me this case and said, "This ain't right, fix it,' " Bryant said. A framed picture on Bryant's cramped office wall shows a 19th century English fox hunt with a pack of hounds raring to go. Behind his clut- tered desk is his law degree from the Woodrow Wilson College of Law in Atlanta. "My daddy paid for my college," Bryant said. "He wanted me to be a prosecutor." Bryant, a bald-headed bull of a man with a crooked smile and soft blue eyes, has always been connected to the community where he was born. He started out as a state trooper, was Hogansville's police chief and then owned a tire store. He calls his cur- rent position "the best job in the world." "How many chances would a man get to right wrongs that occurred 33 years ago or 17 years ago or 14 years ago?" he asked. He totes a worn Rawlings mitt in his truck to tend to his other passion: coaching youth baseball. He proudly yam- mers on about the athletic accomplishments of his 15- year-old daughter, Emily, and his 14-year-old son, Clayton. He also raised a stepdaugh- ter, Ashley Roush, 23, and has two children, Frank, 24, and Mary Beth, 21, from a previ- ous marriage. In 1970, Allen Moore, Marshall and Gwendolyn Moore's oldest son, was also 14, the same age as his youngest son. "Allen's story sent a chill up my spine," Bryant said. MOORE is now 48 and the maintenance direc- tor at D. Ray James Prison in southeast Georgia. He fig- ures to be a key witness if Marshall Moore is tried for murder. He said his father, a truck driver, was an obses- sive man with a hair-trigger temper who routinely bat- tered his wife. The last time Allen saw his mother, he said, she was trembling in terror under the next door neigh- bor's house, he said. "I shined the flashlight under there,~ he recalled. "Her eye was shut and her THE HYUNOAI ADVANTAGE wrrH ADVANTAGE MI~ JJc.lw ires k I~tlll~ p~,, t,.. ,,, ~ w~ '~m~UNE FOil6 I~lT~ F,.. ..... .,,. ..~ w~ 'p.~MIOI.IN mR 6 MOmM c~ $3.oo. ~r ~ly at ,~thTowne in N~vnan ~ o~ S3.oo. ~ r,~na a. r~at~. . r~,Jns a. rebates. ~Dnly at SouthTowne in Neman ONLY it t~lllITmmle In Nouman ~~m~~Got l-t~ndai Sonata: .Highest Ranked Entry MidsiZe Car In Initial Quality." -I'.D. pov~e~ aud ks~iates vs. Camry D Power 2004 In~ial Qual#y Awar~ ADVANTAGE SONATA , Fro~ Irn~ Airbags ADVANTAGE SONATA .a, me~'~'s Besl Wa~ta~ ADVANTAGE SONATA Mm.-NLO-0Pm, t.O-lllnt Sm, l-6Pm amuidmsonaee ilept.Dai e-41m 14 ndai WITH THE HYt,q~OAl ADVANTAOI ct sm.~ ~e o( $3.00. [~q~e ' rmum a~ re~mH, at SouthTowne in Newnan vs. More Horse Power Fm~VSide Impacl AKoags Ar-.e~ca's Best Wana~ly By Clint Claylxo~ : FIRST FOUNDA" TIONS - The first foundations for new homes in the Villages of Huntcliff, on Highway 29 near downtown Hogansville were poured in recent days. The houses will be going up on lots purchased recently by Premium Builders in Fayetteville, a man overseeing the work said Monday. face was t told him to go home and tell anyone where she "She was scared to death him," Moore said. "So was The next morning, body was found in He said his mother to leave manipulated and and always returned. father told him that er fell down the well Still, Moore told about his last his mother. Moore said he left months later after his slammed his head door, and beat him unconscious with a shoe. moved in with a later joined the Navy years. Moore has ried four his upbringing is a reason. The ordeal had a impact on my life," said. "It's been on my all these years. I felt me who killed my mother. I I took her and went somewhere, well, she'd be alive." Marshall Moore's is asking the Supreme Court to throw the case, claiming his client's right to a trial. Attorney Stemberger argues authorities investi Moore in 1970 and him after he passed a detector test. 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