‘No’ to Hotel/Motel Tax increase?

Tia Lynn Ivey Featured, News

Despite the Madison Mayor and City Council narrowly passing a two percent increase to the Hotel/Motel tax this month, Morgan County’s delegation, State Representative Dave Belton and Senator Burt Jones are refusing to present the measure to the state legislature to enact. Belton was pressed on the matter during a public legislative session in Madison on Tuesday, January 15. According to Belton, both he and Senator Jones agree that the locally approved Hotel/Motel tax increase from 5 percent to 7 percent should not be brought for the state legislature this …

18-year-old charged with child cruelty

Patrick Yost News

An 18-year-old Godfrey teen remains incarcerated in the Morgan County Detention Center after his Jan. 9 arrest on cruelty to children in the first degree charges. According to Morgan County Sheriff’s Office reports, Mateo Burgos Jr., Godfrey was arrested on Jan. 9 by Morgan County Sheriff’s Office deputies at his Seven Islands Road after Morgan County Magistrate Judge Connie Holt signed an arrest warrant executed by Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Special Agent Niki Simmons. The warrant alleges that on Dec. 17 Burgos was laying in bed with the child’s …

Smith family home up in flames

Patrick Yost Featured, News

When the Smith family settled into their Heidi Trail home for a quiet chilly evening Sunday, they never expected that just a few short hours later they would be watching their family home being engulfed by flames. According to Morgan County Fire and Rescue (MCFR), when one of the parents attempted to use the gas fire place, some kind of malfunction occurred causing a sudden explosion, blowing out the back of the house and catching the rest on fire. The explosion had enough force to blow the mounted television above …

Cultural Center rakes in $90,000 in grants

Tia Lynn Ivey News

The Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC) is raking in the grant money, recently receiving four grants totaling $90,000. Grants were given to the center for historic preservation, programming, and operating expenses. The largest grant was awarded to the MMCC from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta (CFGA) in the amount of $62,400 to supplement the center’s operating costs. “We are honored to receive a general operating support grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.  General operating support grants are so important to the Cultural Center’s annual budget as many grants …

Roland promoted to captain as Sheriff’s Office

Patrick Yost News

Veteran Morgan County Sheriff’s Officer Dietrich Roland has been promoted to captain of the department’s uniform division. According to Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markley, Roland, who was a lieutenant with the department, was an obvious choice to head up the uniform division. “Dietrich has been performing the duties as a lieutenant. He has stepped up and been willing to take on greater responsibility. Both his personality and work ethic fit the bill.” Roland has been in law enforcement for more than 25 years. He said he initially became interested in …

Rep. Belton gives annual update

Patrick Yost News

State Representative Dave Belton came through Morgan County this week to give a legislative update to the public, reporting on the state legislature’s main priorities for the year and recent progress made on various issues. “Our top three priorities this year are education, healthcare, and broadband access,” said Belton, who noted all three of these issues are in desperate need of improvement throughout rural Georgia. Belton announced that Georgia’s state budget this year was passed at $26 billion, a full billion dollars higher from last year’s budget. “That is all …

Two more fires light up Morgan

Tia Lynn Ivey News

Two serious fires broke out in Morgan County last Wednesday, January 3, a structure fire on Kingston Road and another structure fire on Greensboro Highway while Morgan County fire units were also units were also dispatched to a fatal car crash. One of the fires set ablaze a single-wide trailer and caused several explosions to occur upon firefighters’ arrival. “This is not an everyday normalcy, thank goodness,” said Morgan County Fire Chief Jeff Stone. “The members of Morgan County Fire Rescue, as always, stepped up and handled three very significant …

City Council votes ‘yes’ on Hotel/Motel Tax

Jesse Walker News

The Madison Mayor and City Council voted to increase the Hotel/Motel Tax from 5 percent to 7 percent at Monday’s regular meeting, just making the state legislature’s deadline in the nick of time. The measure passed narrowly in a 3-to-2 vote. The Madison-Morgan Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) requested the increase in recent months in order to ramp up marketing efforts to draw more people into Madison and Morgan County. “This will make us more competitive,” said Jamison Hooks, of the CVB, who pointed out that some of the neighboring tourist …

Juveniles rampage auto repair shop

Patrick Yost News

A 10-year-old and 13-year-old male juveniles face charges of damage to property, second degree and criminal trespass after they wreaked havoc on a local automotive repair shop. According to Madison Police Department reports, officers on Friday, Dec. 30 at 12:45 p.m. were called to the TK’s Auto, Fairgrounds Road regarding two juveniles who had jumped the fence and were “doing donuts in a vehicle.” When officers arrived they observed a 10-year-old exit the vehicle and attempt to jump a fence. The 10-year-old and 13-year-old were detained by witnesses and were …

Horse shot, killed in Buckhead

Patrick Yost News

Morgan County authorities are treating as “suspicious” the apparent shooting death of a horse on Perryman Road in the town of Buckhead. According to Morgan County Sheriff’s Office reports, a woman told deputies that when she arrived home to her Perryman road residence she noticed her white mare horse dead in its pen next to a barn. The complainant said she left the residence around 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 5 and returned around 5:30 p.m. and found the horse still warm to the touch but deceased. Reports state that …

Healthy Progress

Tia Lynn Ivey Featured, News

The $35 million hospital replacement project is moving full steam ahead. With the Morgan Memorial Hospital Authority  (MMHA) $4 million into construction phase, the long awaited new hospital is finally underway—reaching a 20 percent completion milestone. In coming days and weeks, the public will be able to see “the bones” of the new hospital taking shape along the Madison bypass, in between the Bethany Road Exchange and Highway 441. “A new hospital for the citizens of Morgan County is a project that has been in the works for over a …

Two house fires light up Morgan

Jesse Walker News

Two fires raged in Morgan County just a couple of days before the New Year. On Saturday, Dec. 30, a single-family house on Brobston Lane went up in flames. The family was not home at the time of the fire, but the family’s pet pit bull was killed in the fire. “It was a sweet pit bull,” said Fire Chief Jeff Stone. Stone lamented that the house was effectively decimated  by the fire. “For all practical purposes, it was a total loss,” said Stone. “At least 70 to 80 percent …

Rutledge youth charged with armed robbery

Jesse Walker News

A 22-year-old Rutledge youth has been charged with armed robbery after he allegedly pointed a pistol at a Hollis St. residence and demanded money. According to Morgan County Sheriff’s Office reports, Stanley Deneen Harris turned himself in to authorities at the Morgan County Public Safety Complex, Monticello Road, on Dec. 23, one day after he allegedly took $2,000 at gunpoint from a 29–year–old Rutledge man. Reports state that Harris’ father located him in Monroe and brought him to authorities for arrest. The victim said on Dec. 22 at approximately 9:45 …

Morgan welcomes back new chief tax appraiser, Rodgers

Tia Lynn Ivey News

After one chief tax appraiser left last year, Morgan County is now welcoming back a new chief tax appraiser, Guy Rogers, who worked for the county two decades ago. Rogers served as a tax appraiser from 1998-2001 in Morgan County, but left to work in Gwinnett County and then later Banks County, to better support his growing family. Now Rogers has returned and the county is thrilled to have him back. “We interviewed him and brought him back without hesitation,” said Ron Zay, chairman of the Morgan County Tax Assessor …

November has record job growth

Patrick Yost News

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said today that metro Atlanta set a new record for job growth in November, as employment and labor force numbers grew and unemployment insurance claims declined. “This is a great jobs report,” Butler said. “All the significant numbers are trending in the right direction.” “In fact, records are being set. This is further proof of our growing, dynamic economy. Metro Atlanta continues to be a leader nationally.” Metro Atlanta posted a record-high 2,785,100 jobs in November, up by 13,100 since October.  Most of the job …

No Christmas miracle for Foster St. project

Tia Lynn Ivey News

There won’t be a Christmas miracle for the Foster Street housing development project after all it seems. After Developer Brad Good struck up a compromise with residents in the Historic District to submit a revised proposal for the controversial Foster Park development behind the Historic Thomason Miller House on Main Street, Madison’s Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) voted unanimously to recommend denial to the Mayor and City Council at the December 21 regular meeting. Good, in an effort to appease objecting local citizens, agreed to reduce the number of single …

High speed chase ends in Morgan

Tia Lynn Ivey News

A high-speed chase that ended in Morgan County led Oconee County officers down 441 South in pursuit of Jemarcus Acholes, 26, of Atlanta, and Serginhio Ambroise, 34, of Atlanta, who were both apprehended and arrested on Price Mill Road after crashing. Acholes, the driver, allegedly evaded police for nearly 13 miles reaching speeds of over 100 miles per hour.  The pair was charges with 16 offenses including forgery, evading police, possession of marijuana, reckless endangerment, damage to property, and obstructing. The incident arose from a failed fraud attempt in which …

Bostwick gas station stuck over sign

Tia Lynn Ivey News

Bostwick’s sign ordinance stands in the way of the local Citgo gas station’s desire to change out an old sign in exchange for a bigger sign. Amit Hamani, on behalf of Yara Enterprises, appeared before the Morgan County Planning Commission at the December regular meeting to request a variance to allow the gas station to take down the current digital sign displaying gas prices and put up a bigger digital sign to advertise the station’s gas prices. The gas station is located directly beside Bostwick’s Susie Agnes Hotel. However, Hamani …

High speed chase rips through Madison’s Canaan neighborhood

Patrick Yost News

Madison Police Department authorities are currently searching for a man who allegedly fled from police in the Caanan neighborhood and, eventually, let his vehicle roll into a Madison Police Department patrol car. According to reports, while officers were working a traffic detail near West Washington St. and South Main St. a 2014 Dodge Charger allegedly driven by J’Reese Nyquan Cobert, 23, Monroe pulled into the detail drove past the detail with an expired tag. The Charger was stopped in the parking lot of EZ Bottle liquor store, West Washington St. …

Shot fired, man says

Patrick Yost News

A man alleged that another man fired a shot at him after the two argued outside a residence on Maple Street. According to Madison Police Department reports, a 52-year-old man said that on Dec. 11, around 8:30 p.m., a man known to him as “Lil Shorty” pulled up in a Honda. The complainant said he was outside smoking a cigarette and went over to talk to the man. The complainant said the driver of the Honda was “hostile and argumentative” and then exited the vehicle and reached in his pants. …