The Before Picture: Construction begins on new $1M-plus Morgan County Fire and EMS station

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  By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer Right now, the 12,800 square feet of unfinished space located near the back of the Morgan County Public Safety Complex (PSC) looks like just a few dusty walls spotted with heaps of raw materials, but, in just a few months, the room will be transformed into the new headquarters for the Morgan County Fire Department, as well as the Morgan County station for National EMS. Kevin Price General Contractors will be in charge of the construction project, which will be funded by more than …

Crossroads’ Wally West: a 10-year man

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By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer Wally West began teaching at the Morgan County Crossroads School last year, but, before then, West has been several things: an NBA draft pick, a college basketball coach, the Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of West Georgia, a husband, and a father. West was born on Oct. 21, 1958 in Chicago, Ill., but didn’t begin playing basketball, a sport that has largely guided the direction of his life, until he was a sophomore at Lindblom Technical High School in Chicago. “I was …

2012 crosswalk fatality: No criminal charges filed

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By Patrick Yost, Editor Based on the results of a more-than-150-page Special Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT) investigation of a fatal crosswalk incident in Madison, Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Alison Burleson said Monday that no criminal charges will be filed in the incident. On Jan. 26, 2012, Joan Deaver, 76, was struck and killed by a vehicle driven by Kah’deem Hashawn Chisholm, then 19 years old, at the intersection of South Main Street and Burnett Street, north of Madison ChopHouse Grille. Deaver’s husband, Carl Deaver, 81, sustained serious injuries …

Triplett takes over for White: Former MCES principal now named interim assistant superintendent, per BOE

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By Kathryn Schiliro, Managing Editor The Morgan County Board of Education (BOE) Monday night unanimously, with Board Member Keith Howard absent, approved a measure making former Morgan County Elementary School (MCES) principal, Jean Triplett, a half-time interim assistant superintendent. The decision to name Triplett to the position came following a sudden decision by Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Debra White to retire. Her resignation letter states that her decision was made because of “personal reasons beyond my immediate control.” Her retirement went into effect July 31. White was employed …

$1.63M to reroute wastewater? Council hears plan to decommission Northside plant and divert wastewater to Southside for $1.63M

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By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer During the Aug. 12 meeting of the Madison City Council, City Manager David Nunn and Wayne Haynie, professional engineer with Burns & McDonnell, described to the council a potential wastewater project, which would involve converting the city’s Northside Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) to a pumping station, which would feed Madison’s Southside WWTP, a project that would total approximately $1.63 million. Northside WWTP, located at 1330 Hayes Street, was built in the early 1970s and currently serves the northwest portion of Madison by processing approximately 140,000 …

Arrest in fraudulent check scam at Walmart: “Massive theft ring” brought in about $300,000; all checks totaled $498.80

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By Patrick Yost, Editor Madison Police Officer Corp. Phillip Malcom arrested a College Park woman that, reports state, may be involved in a massive theft ring concentrating on fraudulent checks cashed at Walmart. According to reports, Latiffany Taylor, 25, was arrested by Malcom soon after she allegedly attempted to cash a fraudulent $498.80 check. The check, Malcom reported, was a payroll check ostensibly from a Nashville, Tenn., medical supply company. After Taylor was apprehended attempting to leave the store by Officer Elliot Kline, Malcom notified an officer with Walmart Global …

Congressman Kingston speaks to local GOP at Founder’s Day event

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By Leila Dycus, Intern The Morgan County Republican Party hosted its annual Founder’s Day event, featuring keynote speaker Congressman Jack Kingston, Aug. 6 in Madison. Among those also in attendance were other officials currently running for office, including Brian Slowinski, Stephen Simpson and representatives for Donna Sheldon. Morgan County’s own Jerry Caldwell began the event by speaking about “some of the challenges we have in this country” and “what we need to do with some of those challenges.” Caldwell spoke about the founders and tenants of the Constitution. “I think …

Mayor and council approve tennis court illumination amendment

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By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer Council Member Fred Perriman served as Mayor Pro Tempore during a Madison City Council meeting on Monday, when the council voted to approve a text amendment that would allow tennis court illumination within the city limits. Permits for tennis court illumination will be approved on a conditional use basis but will require that the proposed illumination be built on lots containing three acres or more, include no more than two tennis courts, not be utilized after 10 p.m., only include lighting structures 50 feet or …

URRLS board discusses state funding at quarterly meeting

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By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer During the August meeting of the Uncle Remus Regional Library System (URRLS) board, members discussed the current state funding formula and how the state may decide how much funding libraries are to receive in the future. URRLS Director Steve Schaefer stated during the meeting that the current formula that dictates how much state funding is received by libraries has become “convoluted” because of budget cuts. Although no new system for funding has yet been put in place, Schaefer predicted that future state funding will be …

Cemetery commission addresses grave repair work

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By Leila Dycus, Intern The Madison Cemetery Stewardship Commission addressed completed repair work on select graves at their meeting Aug. 6. “They have done the work, as far as I can tell,” stated City Planner Bryce Jaeck, sharing a handout with photographs of graves that were worked on. The commission went on to address some graves still in need of upkeep. “We were going to think about contacting some families and asking them if they would be willing to begin the restoration process on their plot, and I was just …

Nunnsense: The Guard-father

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By Nick Nunn When good people are able to make the best out of a bad situation, it’s a virtue. More often, however, bad people are the ones that find a way to make the best out of a bad situation. Of course, then it is called “criminal behavior,” which doesn’t seem entirely fair to me. Tavon White, or “Bulldog” as he is known in Baltimore’s big house, was making the best of a bad situation until recently. While serving 20 years for second-degree attempted murder – the result of …

Belton: “Republicans need to unite”

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By Dave Belton “We don’t have a domestic spying program,” says the President. Then why is the NSA keeping trillions of phone calls and emails of average Americans? “We’ve seen the deficit cut in half,” he says. Then why is Obama’s deficit spending vs. GDP triple that of Bush (10 percent vs. 3 percent)? Bush added $5 trillion of debt in eight years. His average deficit was $250B and his worst was $450B. Keep in mind, this was during our military response after 911 (which virtually every Democrat on the …

“The social cost of horse manure”

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By Greg Morin Imagine the following: It is the year 1700 and growth in the American colonies is threatening an economic and environmental catastrophe. Human and equine populations are expanding rapidly in tandem. The horse is integral to the economic engine that drives all economic output. But there is an unaccounted cost: manure. The horses are fed fuel (hay), do work, and out comes waste (manure). Harvard scientists have extrapolated that based on current trends there will be so many horses that manure will cover the colonies to a depth …

Then don’t vote, if it becomes a hassle

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To the Editor: In his recent column published in this newspaper Jim McManus states that four to 10 eligible voters failed to help select our president. He suggests that this lack of participation is due to the hassle experienced by voters. I say fine with me. If someone thinks it is too much of a hassle to vote maybe they should not be voting. Furthermore, I do not think it is wise to find ways to make it easier for these individuals to vote. I am away from my home …

CRCT and Common Core

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To the Editor: I did not know Georgia had implemented common core. Ms. White is assuming that test scores have improved because of Common Core. I would like to know what Ms. White is basing her assumption on. From my educational experience, education has evolved into teaching students the answer to test questions and not teaching  them problem solving and logical thinking. This is a big  problem with our education system. Alan McKay Buckhead Via e-mail

Law Enforcement: Aug. 15, 2013 edition

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Madison Police Department On August 9 a larceny complaint was filed at a Veranda Park Drive location after a man reported that someone entered his unsecured garage and took two mountain bikes. One bike was a red Trek valued at $375 and the other was an orange, ladies’ mountain bike valued at $150. On August 9 a burglary complaint was filed at a Mapp Street location after a man reported that when he arrived home he noticed two chrome 24-inch rims sitting near his carport and a pair of Nike …

Hot dog! Festival of Friends Aug. 24

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By Dianne Lively Yost, Biz Buzz columnist No doubt: The heat and humidity of a Morgan County summer hits its peak each August with soaring temperatures, the Perseid Meteor Shower, freshly grilled hot dogs (more on that later) and special traditions like the beginning of school and the highly anticipated annual Festival of Friends event. It’s hosted each year by tireless volunteers and the members of the Morgan Memorial Auxiliary and the event raises thousands of dollars to fund programs and equipment needs for Morgan Memorial Hospital. This year, it’s slated …

BOH on school-based flu vaccines, sex ed materials

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By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer During the August meeting of the Morgan County Board of Health (BOH), the board discussed the Morgan County Health Department’s school-based flu program, which will offer free influenza vaccines to all Morgan County students on Oct. 22 and 23. According to Leah Ainslie, county nurse manager for the Morgan County Health Department, packets will be sent out to parents of Morgan County students soon. Ainslie also stated that receiving the vaccine will be completely voluntary. On Oct. 22, vaccinations will be administered at the primary …

Enrollment hovering around 3,200

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By Kathryn Schiliro, Managing Editor The Morgan County School System kicked off the new school year Thursday, Aug. 8 with more than 3,200 students in the system. However, that number is in a daily state of flux – a “moving target,” Assistant Superintendent Sarah Burbach said – as many students will come to and leave the system in the next few weeks. Burbach told the school board at their meeting Monday night that Labor Day is a good point to begin getting an accurate count as systems statewide start at varying …

Rocky Road: Morgan County Varsity softball has a bumpy start to the 2013 season

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  By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer The Morgan County High School (MCHS) varsity softball team compiled a 1-2 record in just under 24 hours to begin their 2013 season. After a 1-10 loss to Walnut Grove last Friday night, the Lady Dogs lost to Mary Persons High School 3-7 for the first game of the Morgan Diamond Day on Saturday. The Dogs turned it around for the second game of the Morgan Diamond Day, beating Alcovy 4-0. Walnut Grove quickly took the upper hand over the varsity Dogs last Friday, …