STORM SLAMS MORGAN

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Hurricane Irma tore through Morgan County this week, causing widespread power outages and damage to power lines, trees, and properties throughout the county. Officials warned residents ahead of the storm to stay indoors and off the roads due to the dangerous conditions Irma would bring. “Hurricane Irma is a life-threatening weather event,” said Gwen Ruark, director of Morgan County’s Emergency Management Department. After the storm passed, thousands of residents were left without power. “The effects of Hurricane Irma were felt in Morgan County early …

Child attacks teacher

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By Patrick Yost editor An 11–year–old Morgan County Middle School student was arrested on September 5 after he allegedly beat a para–pro so severely that she had to be treated at Morgan Memorial Hospital. Reports state that the male student also allegedly attempted to attack an administrator and fought with a Morgan County Sheriff’s deputy, at one point, reports state, the student tried to grab the officers service pistol. According to Morgan County Sheriff’s Office reports, at approximately 10:30 a.m., a deputy was called to the school to speak with …

Cops use Facebook to nab suspect

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By Patrick Yost editor Police have always relied on various security surveillance to help capture the image of subjects. But, says Capt. Chris Bish, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, they have now found a new and apparently fast way to identify suspects in criminal activity. Just ask Joshua Garrison Shelton, 23, of Monroe. One day after authorities received security camera images from a gas drive at the River Store on Greensboro Highway, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office shared the image on its NIXLE alert system, Twitter account and Facebook. “Within 15 …

County considers crackdown

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By Tia  Lynn Ivey managing editor The Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) is considering cracking down on event facility requests. A litany of complaints in recent years has prompted the BOC to consider revising the county’s event facility ordinance. As requests for event facilities in the county have risen, so has the backlash from surrounding neighbors worried about traffic, drunk-driving, noise, and light pollution. The main complaint, according to Chuck Jarrell, county planning director, was the allowance of groups of 50 or less to gather without permit. “I have …

Hospital touts financial record

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By Tia  Lynn Ivey managing editor The Morgan Memorial Hospital (MMH) officials delivered their annual report to the Morgan County Board of Commissioners, touting three years of financial gains and anticipating a prosperous future. MMH CEO Ralph Castillo stressed the hospital’s economic impact on the local community. “Right now, we have a $10.5 million economic impact, in the first year with the new building, that jumps up to $14.3 million. “It’s a pretty impressive return on the investment,” said Castillo. “This is also the third year in a row we …

Shoplifting charge leads to three arrested on drug charges

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By Patrick Yost editor An alleged shoplifting at Madison’s Tractor Supply led to three individuals being charged with felony drug charges. According to Morgan County Sheriff’s Office reports, Avery Lee Long, 25, Rutledge was arrested on August 29 and charged with two counts of possession of narcotics and one misdemeanor count of shoplifting. The driver of a Chevy Uplander in which Long was a passenger, Jason Harvey Harp, 43, Madison was also charged with possession of cocaine. A woman identified as Long’s girlfriend, Ashley Marie Harp, 25, Rutledge was also …

Competiton heats up for 2017 race

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The face of Madison’s city leadership could be changing this November, as new candidates flood the races to challenge incumbents. Both Robert Lanier and Kathi Russell, owner of the Madison Tea Room, have qualified with the Morgan County Board of Elections to run for Mayor of Madison against incumbent Fred Perriman. Perriman is hoping to have a chance to finish what he started here in Madison. “There are quite a few things I’d like to see completed during my next term if reelected,” said …

Vigil held at Town Park

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The sound of hymns amidst soft candlelight could be heard Saturday evening in Town Park. About 30 people showed up for a candlelight vigil in response to the violence perpetrated by white supremacists during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month. “We are a group of concerned citizens of Morgan County, Georgia, holding a peaceful candlelight vigil in a show of solidarity with the community of Charlottesville, Virginia,” said Terry Reeves of Rutledge, who orchestrated the event. “The family of Heather Heyer, other …

‘Stay firm’

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The Morgan County Republican Party hosted the annual Founders Day event last week, which featured keynote speakers Republican Congressman Jody Hice, Georgia Senator Burt Jones, State Representative Dave Belton, and Republican candidate for Georgia Governor Hunter Hill. Each of the speakers addressed issues currently being tackled both on a statewide and national level. Congressman Hice implored Republicans to hold fast and continue pushing Republican representatives to enact President Donald Trump’s agenda, including building a border wall between America and Mexico, repealing and replacing “Obamacare,” …

PLANS ECLIPSED

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor A massive recall of eclipse glasses threw a wrench into the school system’s plans to allow students to view the nationwide solar eclipse this past Monday. The Morgan County Charter School System had procured eclipse safety glasses through Amazon to ensure the students of Morgan County could view the eclipse at school. However, just one week before the eclipse,  Amazon issued a massive recall of the glasses. “The Amazon recall affected many school systems across Georgia,” lamented Superintendent James Woodard. “There were no other sources …

Suit filed in dangerous dog case

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor A lawsuit has been filed against a Madison couple whose dogs attacked a man in May of 2016. The lawsuit comes on the heels of a drawn out public battle, a dangerous dog designation issued by the City of Madison, and an ongoing appeal process from the owners. Now the owners, Jeff Davis and Carrie Christie face a civil lawsuit over the incident. In 2016 the couple appeared before the Madison City Council for three public hearings since on the matter before ultimately appealing …

Cops: Teen stabs woman

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By Patrick Yost editor A 15–year–old male teen was taken into custody last Thursday, August 17 after he allegedly stabbed a woman in the arm and held a knife to the throat of his 5–year–old brother as he dragged the brother through a parking area. According to Madison Police Department reports, a 29–year–old woman told officers that the teen and the 5–year where arguing at approximately 7 p.m. in a East Jefferson Street residence. The victim told officers that she was at the residence watching the children for a friend …

Rutledge man dies in truck wreck

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By Patrick Yost editor A 49–year–old Rutledge man died Sunday night after the truck he was driving on Brownwood Road left the road and overturned. According to Georgia State Patrol reports, Richard Lowell Messer was pronounced dead at the scene by Morgan County Coroner Adam Carter after the 2015 Ford F 150 pickup truck Messer was driving left the right shoulder of the road and, eventually completely left the road. The truck began to spin, struck a culvert, overturned and struck a decorative wagon wheel and wooden support posts in …

Is city’s mood changing on alcohol sales?

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) facilitated a Town Hall meeting last week to give the new owners of the Canaan Corner Store the chance to make their case to be allowed to sell alcohol. Originally, the DDA held a Town Hall meeting at which only 25 people attended with the majority against the sale of alcohol in the Canaan neighborhood. But the owners argued that 25 people do not represent 350 households in the area and wanted a second Town Hall meeting to get …

North Main request gets OK from city

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The Madison Mayor and City Council unanimously approved a variance application submitted by Everett Royal to alter the minimum lot requirements on two out of three tracts of land on North Avenue in order to build two more houses along side an existing house currently on the property. Royal requested an 18-foot reduction in lot size requirements in order to build the two houses along the “historic” house line that currently exists in the neighborhood. During the public hearing portion of Monday’s city council …

Fake shooting scrambles police

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By Patrick Yost editor Several law enforcement agencies scrambled to what turned out to be a fake emergency on Double Bridges Road last Thursday morning. According to Capt. Chris Bish, Investigations Division, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Morgan County Dispatch received a phone call at approximately 2:52 a.m. from a man who claimed he had been fighting with his mother and he had shot his mother and would “shoot any law enforcement officers that came to the residence…” Bish said authorities were able to determine an address based on the call …

STATE OF MORGAN COUNTY

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Local and state leaders gathered in Morgan County Tuesday morning for the annual State of Morgan County Forum to update the public on latest happenings in the community. The Morgan County Family Connection facilitated the event, which featured reports from Morgan County Commissioner Chairman Donald Harris, Madison Mayor Fred Perriman, Georgia Senator Burt Jones, State Representative Dave Belton, School Superintendent James Woodard, Morgan Memorial Hospital CEO Ralph Castillo, President of the Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce Bob Hughes, Madison Police Chief Bill Ashburn, and County …

CITY COMES TOGETHER

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By Vivian Hodges staff If you’ve been driving downtown this week, you have most likely seen the brand new, bright, orange-colored flags placed at crosswalks all over Madison, and citizens waving them as they cross the street. This new method of safety is just another way the City of Madison is looking to improve the daily lives of citizens and tourists across town. According to City Manager David Nunn, The flags are “a low-tech, low-cost method by which pedestrians may be more visible to oncoming cars and trucks. Their purpose …

Perps cut hole through brick wall

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By Patrick Yost editor While authorities aren’t sure how long a group of burglars stayed inside the Dollar General store on Eatonton Highway, they are sure that the persons responsible for the theft knew what they were doing. “It was a very organized crew,” said Det. Wes Thompson, Madison Police Department. Reports state that sometime around 2 a.m. on Wednesday, August 2 persons smashed a hole in an outer brick wall of the business on the Fairground Road side. In creating a hole in the brick, reports state, a cutting …

Foster St. decision delayed

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The Madison Mayor and City Council were set to review a rezoning request from Brad Good, a local developer seeking to build a new subdivision behind the historic Thomason Miller House in downtown Madison, at the upcoming meeting this Monday, August 14. However, according to city officials, Good has requested the hearing be postponed until the council’s next regular meeting on Monday, Sept. 11. The proposed project, tentatively called Foster Park, has been a controversial and contentious public debate, with local Historic District residents …