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The news-record. (Marshall, Madison Co., N.C.) 1911-current, December 10, 1981, Image 1

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The N|ws Record SERVING THE PEOPLE OF MADISON COUNTY 80th Year No. 50 PUBLISHED WEEKLY IN THE COUNTY SEAT AT MARSHALL. N.C. THURSDAY, December 10, 1981 ' . . , . ?Ho, Ho, Ho !? Photo by N. Hoococn SANTA CLAUS signaled the official beginn ing of the Christmas season in Marshall Saturday during the annual Christmas parade sponsored by the Marshall Mer chants Association. Musicians, Scouts, dog gers, horsemen and dignitaries paraded down Main Street as town and county residents braved windy, chilly temperatures to participate in the event. More parade photos on Page 3. Judge Rules On Railroad Tax Rates By NICHOLAS HANCOCK Madison County will still be sbie to collect a little over half of what it considers Southern Railway owes it in I960 taxes, but a ruling by a U.S. Distinct Court Judge in Raleigh late last month prevents the coun ty from raising a 55 percent assessment figure on the railroads commercial real estate here. Judge Franklin Dupree rul ed on Nov 3S that "it was the intent of the Congress when it passed the Railroad Revitaliiation and Reform Act of 1976 that a sales ratio of commercial real estate be the standard to compare the fairness of railroad taxation," according to county attorney Larry B. Leake Dupree's ruling excludes centrally assessed commer cial real property and com mercial personal property, both of which are valued at 100 percent in Madison County. Court of Appeals is "totally unrelated" to the case presid ed over by Judge Dupree. The U.S. District Court case relates to whether the railroads are being taxed at the same rate as other com mercial property owners. The Court of Appeals case ad dresses the question of whether or not the North Carolina Department of Revenue has valued the pro perty of the railroads correct iy In essence, Judge Dupree's ruling states that as a result of his decision railroads would be being taxed less than other commercial property owners in North Carolina, bat he held that this was required under the 1976 act. Leake said that since the county has just reassessed its real property, "the decision in this law suit has no effect upon Madison Couaty's ability to assess Southern Railway for taxes due on Jan. 1, 1982 and thereafter, and Southern will be assesed at the rate of 100 perco. If Dupree's decision is allowed to stand for counties Hot Springs Aldermen Ban Youngsters From Gameroom By NICHOLAS HANCOCK Editor HOT SPRINGS - The {rashly sworn in mayor and board of aldermen adopted a new town ordinance here Mon day night which continues to prohibit youngsters under 17 from entering a gameroom without being accompanied by a parent or guardian. Gameroom operator Franklin S. (Hank) Holmes responded to the board's ac tion by saying that he would continue efforts to "get the or dinance changed so kids would have a place to go and something to do." Nearly 30 residents showed up at the 7:90 p.m. meeting; some to voice their approval of the two-month old gameroom and their disap proval of the aldermen's ac tion. "I think this is about the worst thing I've seen happen in Hot Springs," said Frank Moore, a ten year resident of the town. "I don't care anything for the gameroom for myself," Mrs. Arthur Snelson told the board, "but I like to see it for the kids. I think it's a ridiculous law." Deborah Ponder Baker, the town's first woman mayor, ap peared impatient at hearing any discussion of the gameroom .and read the four page ordinance before its adoption by the board. Ponder explained to Holmes that he would have to make a written application for a license to operate the gameroom and that the formal application would be presented to the board at a called meeting. The board would decide whether or not to issue him a license, she said. In the meantime, Holmes will be allowed to continue to operate the gameroom, but no youngsters 16 and under will be allowed to enter the establishment without a parent or guardian, she add ed. The new ordinance is vir tually the same as one adopted in 1972 which governed the operation of gamerooms and pool halls, but under the new law no license fee is required. The newly installed aldermen Wesley Staude, Jerry Ramsey, and Ernest Autry adopted the ordinance without discussion or hesita tion. Autry said he had heard "rumors both ways" concern ing the gameroom and, as a new alderman, he wanted to check into it "to find out if there's anything to those rumors." Holmes told the aldermen to visit the gameroom at any time and find out what it is like. "We haven't given any reason for this kind of action. We've not had any trouble or any problems out of the kids who've been in there. As a matter of fact, I feel like their parents are glad they can have a place where they can go," Holmes said. Several parents and adults concurred with Holmes' state ment outside town hall after Mayor Ponder abruptly closed discussion of the matter. Jerta McCarter, a resident of Spring Creek and' Hot Spr ings for 30 years, said tearful ly, "This gameroom, and another place we use to have, are the only two decent places that I've seen in Hot Springs for our children to go to." Moore, a retiree, said when he moved to Hot Springs ten years ago he used to sit and talk with teenagers who would congregate on the Spring Creek bridge in town. "I'd ask them what they had to do, and they'd say they didn't have anything to do around here; that nobody gave a darn about them," he said. Moore said he sees Holmes as a youngman who's willing to do something for the young people - to give them something to do "besides breaking out windows in the Post Office and other acts of vandalism." He said his own efforts over the years to get the town and churches to pro vide recreation for the youngsters had been unsuc cessful. "I've seen money wasted like everything here that they could have used to help those children," Moore said^ "There's five of those boys not living now ; they were killed in automobile accidents. He contends that some of those deaths may have been prevented had those youngsters had some form of entertainment in town. But all parents involved in the aameroom controversy are not in favor of having the amusement center in town. Richard Johnson, son o Police Chief Leroy Johnson maintains a hard l^ agatot it He said Holmes had broKe the rules of the ordinance by allowing children 16 and under U> visit the room since the or dinance was brought to Holmes' attention. (A visit to the gameroom before the town meeting revealed that three,, youn#rtws, obviously under 1? were on the premises, but is was not established whether or not they had a parent with them.) Johnson, in his opposition to the gameroom, has said he thinks there are political motivations behind the publicity the controversy has received in recent weeks. He said he thinks Holmes and The News Record have conspired to "make us look bad. When asked to explain "us, Johnson had no comment. v * 4 On the other hand, some sources here have said they think Holmes is being harrass ed over the gameroom OUTSIDE LOOKING IN - Billy Ebbs, 15, of Hot Springs is silhouetted against the lights of the Hot Springs gameroom as he looks forlornly at older teenagers who are allowed admittance to the ~ Photo by N. Hancock pinball parlor. The board of aldermen upheld a town or dinance Monday night which pro hibits youngsters from altering the establishment without the company of a parent or guardian. because he ran for a seat on the board of aldermen in the November election. (Holmes was soundly defeated in the non-partisan seven-man race for three Mats.) Town officials are giving no reason, other than "rumors" and that of enforcing the or dinance, for keeping the younger teenagers out of the gameroom. Boarding Home Under Fire Search For Man Ends Thursday By NICHOLAS HANCOCK The four-day search for Dean Rogers ended last Thursday when his dead body was found on a moun tainside approximately a mile from Graham's Boarding Home on Sandy Mush Road from which he wandered on Sunday, Nov. 29. An autopsy report stated Rogers died from ex posure, according to Dr. Bates Henderson, county medical ex Rogers body was discovered by Charles Freeman about 2:15 p.m. Thursday near the home of a man from whom he had rented to Madison cept (or a final effort with the rescue dogs brought in from Virginia. Sheriff Ponder told reporters he was on his way to Asheville Airport with the German Shepherd dogs to return them to their base in Virginia when his office informed him that Rogers' body had been found. Ponder said the body was found near an unoccupied house located across a ridge on the south side of the mountain where the boarding house stands. He said the occupant of the house had suffered a heart at tack Sunday morning and that no one had been on the premiaea until WINNER - Rev. David Allman (left) recipient of a citation for community leadership in Upper Laurel community, talks with > ?' A'! V"1 '* T*^PPW*.*tflNKk Vernon Ponder at the WNC Com munity Development Awards r banquet Saturday in Asheville 1&& ik, - 4'iH: titles r- , i Douhte Island in Ymmv County, CUrk't Chap4$ to Macon Jaunty and Otto tot tap win JJ 5 Th Pta a in \*He? ? Je t tin ? ?f * (h > ma Ml liter 1 1 Oognty's Graatar Ivy Cbmmuaity received a ISO iWrtlM award In 'C as dM Wal A Cre? ni Slaapy in dMtioas '1 and "A" Gi yt ?ti an citations Little R mmrtt; of County m iwnwrt m u

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