Former educator sees odd priorities of state legislators

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By Patricia Stokes Nothing is more precious to me than my children and my grandchildren. Second to that, the children who attend public school in Morgan County have been precious to me since 1996 and always will be. I know that since 1996 some of the Morgan County High School graduates are now young adults who run our banks, work in our healthcare facilities, invest our money, and generally keep our fabulous cities and county moving forward. We have long heard that investing in our children is investing in our …

Local woman goes missing while kayaking, found 20-plus hours later

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By Patrick Yost Editor After more than 20 hours, a Buckhead woman who had become separated from a companion while kayaking on the Apalachee River was found near the Greene County line by rescue workers last Sunday. According to Capt. Chris Bish, Criminal Investigations Division, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Jacqueline Bernard, 48, was found by rescue workers at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. Bish said a man who had been kayaking with Bernard on Saturday reported near Apalachee Road and Trimble Bridge that his companion was missing at 8 p.m. …

Independence Day events around the county set for July 3 and Fourth of July: Celebrations in Madison, Bostwick, Buckhead

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Compiled by Staff Independence Day celebrations around the county abound – beginning June 30 on through the big day itself, families can take part in a variety of festivities, from inflatables to bbqs to fireworks. Centennial Baptist Church in Rutledge will hold its Annual Starlight Spectacular beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday. The event will include local live music, food – hotdogs, drinks, popcorn, peanuts, and snow cones – as well as inflatables and fireworks. Be sure to take your own lawn chairs and blankets. For more information, call 706-557-2120. On …

County food hub could have $3.3 million impact

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By Stephanie Johns Staff Writer A food hub based in Morgan County could have a $3.3 million annual impact, according to Tommie Shepherd with the Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development at the University of Georgia. During their June work session, the Morgan County Commission heard about a food hub from Shepherd, an agricultural economist. He began by recognizing several contributors to the study: Bobby Smith, the county’s former extension agent, Lucy Ray, the county’s current extension agent, and Chris McCaulley, executive director of the Madison-Morgan Conservancy. He noted that …

County BOC will support city’s DDA

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By Stephanie Johns Staff Writer The Morgan County Commission unanimously voted to share surplus office equipment with the City of Madison to benefit work at the Gilmore House on Burney Street. The Madison Downtown Development Authority has been working to transform the house into a multi-use facility to include a corner grocery store, a cannery and commercial kitchen, residential space and incubator spaces for new businesses. County Manager Michael Lamar recommended support of this project. Chair Ellen Warren agreed: “What they are doing will help more than the city’s citizens.” …

Commission to hear argument for lighting on private tennis courts in city

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By Kathryn Schiliro Managing Editor On behalf of Madison property owners Von and Christy Freisen, attorney Ben Whidham has requested a change in the city’s zoning ordinance that will allow for the Freisen’s private tennis court, and future private tennis courts in the city, to include lighting. The Freisens have already constructed their tennis court “with illumination,” according to the Madison Staff Report, reviewed by the Morgan County Planning Commission at their work session last Friday, June 21. Windham submitted this application for the change on the Freisens’ behalf after …

Law Enforcement: June 27, 2013 edition

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Madison Police Department On June 23 Raphael Vanness Brown, 24, Hephzibah, Ga., was arrested and charged with speeding and felony possession of marijuana. According to reports, a vehicle Brown was driving east bound on Interstate 20 was stopped by an officer for speeding. Consequent to the stop, reports state, the officer reported smelling the odor of green marijuana coming from the vehicle. A search of the vehicle allegedly produced two marijuana cigarettes and a vacuum packed bag of suspected marijuana in the vehicle. On June 19 Pledge Keeley, no age, …

Ga. Military College move goes before Planning Commission

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By Kathryn Schiliro Managing Editor Georgia Military College (GMC) is slated to move into the former Morgan County Citizen building, 235 S. Main Street, Madison, contingent upon county Planning Commission’s nod and Madison City Council’s approval of their request for conditional use. The property is currently zoned Professional Limited Commercial, or P2, which could allow for educational facilities, including private schools, provided conditional use is OK’d. Further, the structure is located in the city’s Historic Preservation Overlay. The proposal, submitted by Michael Conrads, presented to the commission at their work …

No asbestos found on Burney Street’s Gilmore property: Gilmore property will be used to further marketing for Authority’s Madison Urban Renewal Area

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By Kathryn Schiliro Managing Editor Progress on the Gilmore property, located at 461 Burney St., Madison, is moving forward, as the city’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) received a report that the property didn’t contain any asbestos. The report, submitted by Norcross-based Peachtree Environmental, was presented to the DDA by City Planning Director Monica Callahan at their meeting last Thursday, June 20. The property was purchased by the Madison City Council for $87,500 in October 2012 and subsequently transferred to the DDA. Harvest of the Heart Garden, a county non-profit organization …

Council OKs FY14 budget

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By Les Bessenger Intern The Buckhead City Council met at the Buckhead Volunteer Fire Department last Thursday, June 20 to discuss approval to the changes to the fiscal year 2014 budget. The changes to the budget, discussed previously in the council meeting on June 4, include increasing the general fund budget by $4,650 to a total of $71,890 as well as decreasing the incomes and expenditures in the water fund budget by $2,900. Jennifer Doran opened the motion to accept the changes to the budget, seconded by Drew Miller. The …

Commission hears draft of trail network study

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By Stephanie Johns Staff Writer Members of the Madison Greenspace Commission (GSC) reviewed a draft of the group’s “Founders’ Trail Network Study” during their June meeting. The document includes maps of trails as well as information about the trail, such as a highlight to see along the way or perhaps a historical piece of information associated with it. The network includes eight segments, according to GSC Staff Monica Callahan. She added that the historic Central of Georgia Railroad Co. train depot will serve as the trailhead. The group plans to …

Morgan Memorial Hospital losing CFO Courtney Moore

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By Stephanie Johns Staff Writer Courtney Moore, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Morgan Memorial Hospital (MMH), has accepted the position of Vice President of Taylor Health Care Group, which encompasses Taylor Regional Hospital in Hawkinsville and Bleckley Memorial Hospital in Cochran. She also will serve as administrator of Bleckley Memorial Hospital. She shared via email some of her thoughts about her time at MMH as well as her feelings about what this change means to her. “I would like to thank the Hospital Authority Board, the hospital staff and the …

Citizen wins 14 statewide editorial, advertising awards

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Staff Reports The Morgan County Citizen newspaper was recently awarded honors by the statewide trade organization, the Georgia Press Association, for its work in both editorial content and advertising. “In the past 10 years we have been named the ‘Best Weekly’ in the state five times and have placed in that category every year. Because of a dedicated and creative staff at the Citizen, we continue to create an award-winning publication that Morgan County can be proud of,” Editor Patrick Yost said. In all, 651 awards were granted to 84 …

Brownwood Baptist gets ready for God and Country day

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Brownwood News Margie Ward Sunday morning attendance was good and we also had visitors with us. We are so glad to have them and we pray they received a blessing while there in our midst. Each one is welcome to come any time we have service. The choir’s special was, “Won’t it be Wonderful There.” We welcomed Rev. Wayne Jones to our church where he brought the morning message from Isaiah 6: 1-10. The revelation of God is all about Him, opens our eyes, He has a plan for all …

Jackson Bailey: Simple man with a big vision

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Rutledge News By Joan Ekstrom There is a local talent you should know, if you haven’t already heard about him, you may have seen his work. If you have ever crossed the Railroad tracks coming into downtown Rutledge and looked to your right, you have seen his work, The City of Rutledge Seal. Jackson Bailey designed this Seal for the city and it can be seen on the mural on what is now the location of Ele ‘n Honey. But there is much more to know about this dynamic individual. …

Biting the hand

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By Nick Nunn A federal court judge will soon rule on the question of whether or not the anti-trust suit Ed O’Bannon, former UCLA baseball star, has filed against the NCAA should be considered a class-action lawsuit. Although the fine legal points of the suit would probably be difficult to understand or express within the limits of a short column, the lawsuit boils down to this: the NCAA makes billions of dollars each year by using images and representations of college athletes in television broadcasts, video games, merchandise, etc., and …

There’s a Redd House over yonder, that’s where the seniors eat

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Sugar Creek News By Mae Buice Summer is here, and I have lost most of it. All I can think of, I’ll be wearing winter clothes before I get to really wear summer things, but hopefully all this will soon be taken care of and I can even wear shoes again. Didn’t get to attend church this weekend… had a really bad case of that “crud” I get periodically. I feel a little better today (Monday) so I’ll tell you how I spent my Sunday this week. It was “Bill …

Mat Dogs complete summer schedule

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By Nick Nunn Staff Writer Last Thursday, the Morgan County High School Mat Dogs held their last duals of the season. In addition to the Dogs, who hosted the event, the match included teams from Social Circle, Dublin, Westside, Central, and West Laurens. The summer schedule competitions, which allowed the wrestling team to get in almost a half-season of experience, was “very” productive according to MCHS wrestling coach John Robbins. Coach Robbins described the summer season’s purpose in terms of the program as a whole by saying that the summer …

Robert E. Long

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Robert E.  Long, 82, of McDonough died Saturday, June 22, 2013.  He was born in Madison to Homer Reid and Ella Iomie Moss Long. Mr. Long is survived by his wife of 45 years, Carolyn Wank Long, McDonough; daughter, Kathy (Jim) Long Laky, Myersville, MD; son, Robert (Alison) Long, Birmingham, AL; his siblings, J.B. Long, Apalachee, Earl Long, McDonough, GA, Wanda Ann (Joe) Landress, Stockbridge and Leonard (Catherine) Long, Apalachee; and his beloved granddaughters, Diana Laky and Kaitlyn Laky. Funeral services were held at Bethany Baptist Church in McDonough on …

Harrison B. Stone Jr.

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Harrison B. Stone Jr, 87, of Madison, passed away Friday, April 26, 2013. A native of Pickens County, Mr. Stone was the son of the late Harrison B. Stone Sr. and Donie Brooks Stone and was preceded in death by his wife, Nera Mae West Stone. He retired from the Georgia Department of Transportation and was a member of Damascus Baptist Church in Fairmount. Survivors include daughters, Martha Whitley and husband, John of Madison, Susan Toler and husband, Larry of Greshamville, and Lynn Scholl and husband, Robert of Lakemont; sister, …