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by Kathryn Schiliro | photos by Angelina Bellebuono
Last Friday’s hottest ticket in town?
Held at Town 220, the Madison-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner drew a sold-out crowd of 150 Chamber members.
Following dinner, Chamber President Marguerite Copelan kicked off the event by recognizing outgoing Board members, having completed a three-year term: Daisy Benford, Whitey Hunt, Beth Pearson, Linda Gantt and Jim Winkler. New Board members – including Dave DiRocco, Erik Thompson, Ed Hogan, Georgeana Tamplin and Jim Winkler – were then voted onto the Chamber’s Board.
The Executive Committee – Robert Duvall, chairman; Sherry Terrell-Alexander, chairman-elect; Scott Webb, treasurer; Pat Hodgett, chair of Convention and Visitors Bureau Volunteers; Betty Straw Brown, chair of Membership; and Jim Winkler, chair of Governmental Affairs – were also announced.
Then, the Chamber doled out the much-anticipated awards.
Noted for their achievements in “attracting European and Asian visitors,” among many other accomplishments, Southern Cross Guest Ranch received the Hospitality Entrepreneur Award.
Set to celebrate 50 years in January, Morgan Memorial Hospital was named Business of the Year. An employer of 190 local residents, Morgan Memorial Hospital brings about $8 million to the county’s economy each year, according to Economic Development Director Bob Hughes, who presented the award.
“The business of the hospital is an essential part of business in Morgan County,” Hughes said.
Local artist and Madison Artists Guild Executive Director Karen Strelecki was granted the Arts and Tourism Award, “given annually to a person who makes significant contributions to tourism in Morgan County through art.”
By Amanda Vernon
After President Barack Obama issued a 30-day directive to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expedite and increase biofuels and energy efficiency, the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) has been included as part of the 2008 Farm Bill to provide support to rural farmers who are hoping to create renewable energy systems.
Agricultural producers and rural small businesses who are hoping to install energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements may be eligible for grant funding. Grants can be up to 25 percent of total project costs, though they are limited to $500,000 for renewable energy systems and $250,000 for energy efficiency improvements. Grants may also be small; requests as low as $1500 for energy efficiency improvements and $2500 for renewable energy systems will be considered. The total national funding provided under this program is $55,000,000, and the deadline for application is July 31, 2009.
All agricultural producers who gain 50 percent or more of their income from their agricultural operation are eligible to apply for grant funds. Rural small business and electric cooperatives may also be eligible. Most rural projects that will result in energy savings for the producer or small business can be designated energy efficiency projects; according to the USDA, these projects could include retrofitting lighting and insulation or replacing equipment with more efficient units. Projects must be located in a rural area, technically feasible, and owned by the applicant.
Interested applicants should visit the USDA Georgia rural development Web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ga/ to find the REAP application.
Municipalities (Bostwick, Buckhead, Madison, Rutledge)
By Kathryn Schiliro
As of last Monday, Morgan County High School can now add "chart-topping" to their list of adjectives describing what has already been an award-winning year.
By Amanda Vernon
By Chantel O'Neal
At the monthly meeting of the Morgan County Board of Elections on Thursday, June 4, a number of decisions were made concerning the establishment of a new precinct for the Durden community, an issue that has been in the works since January.