2016 Year End Review

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January

  • County was hit with significant record rainfall and flooding after a series of storms overwhelmed local creeks, rivers, and storm drainage pipes- promoting the county to declare a local state of emergency.
  • Morgan County Board of Commissioners elected Commissioner Donald Harris to replace Andy Ainslie as Chairman of the board for 2016
  • Board votes to close Morgan County Middle School and to be rebuilt on the current site of the Morgan  County High School
  • Two men survive Cessna Crash at the corner of Vine and East Washington Street with the help of McArthur Reid who pulled the pilot and passenger from the plane that nose-dived at the intersection
  • The Morgan County High School Hoop Dogs traveled to Jacksonville Florida  to play in one of the premier basketball tournaments in the country and faced stiff competition.
  • Morgan County High School fast pitch softball coach Doug Connelly in named AAA coach of the year.
  • Librarian emeritus Steve Schafer is named the ‘Librarian of the Year’ by the Georgia Public Service and is honored at Uncle Remus.
  • Farmview Market, the brainchild of a public-private partnership between Morgan County and Kelly Products of Covington, is expected to open in the middle of February.

 

February

  • Elizabeth Cagle, a senior, was chosen as the 2016 STAR Student for scoring a 2160 on her SATs. Cagle selected Joshua Reeves, a history teacher and basketball coach at MCHS, to be this year’s STAR teacher- for the second consecutive year in a row.
  • The #1 Morgan County High School Lady Dogs remain unbeaten in tough region play.
  • The Madison Mayor and City Council expressed heavy disappointment and sharp criticism toward the Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) last Monday, after the county opted to delay a city paving project until a $400,000 payment for the Airport Expansion is settled.
  • Morgan Memorial Hospital has raised just over $1 million dollars, which has secured a second million in funding for the new hospital project.
  • Morgan County High School’s Jody McAlsiter defeated three time state champion Chris McCrackin from Banks County in the state championship
  • Sugar Creek Baptist Church is moved to a new location at Hundred Acre Farms in Madison, less than one mile away from its original location on Sugar Creek Road.

 

March

  • The Madison Tea Room, newly relocated in the historic Merchants Hall opens
  • Both boys and girls basketball teams from Morgan County High School won the State Championship in Macon, making it the 18th time in the state of Georgia.
  • Keith Howard, the current Morgan County Board of Education representative for District 3 announces his intention to run for reelection in November.
  • Christian Henry, county attorney, announces his intention to run for Superior Court Judge in the November election
  • After 45 years in the academic arena, Jim Malanowski, the principal of Morgan County High School announces his retirement
  • Dana Hicky is named valedictorian and Elizabeth Cagle is named salutatorian
  • Students, school officials, families, and community members celebrate the state championship victory during the Championship Parade that marches from the school all the way around to Town Park in Madison.
  • Arlie Wilkerson, who confessed to killing his son, is wheeled out of the Morgan County Superior Court after Judge Allison Burleson agreed to send him to an undisclosed nursing home until a psychiatric evaluation is performed
  • The Madison-Morgan Cultural Center put on the 4th annual Do Tell! Storytelling Festival, drawing hundreds of people to listen to nationally recognized storytellers.

April

  • The Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) approved an agreement to make a collaborative 153.62-acre land purchase with the Morgan County Board of Education (BOE) for the purpose of developing joint-use recreational fields, pitching in $500,000.
  • The Relay for Life Festival held at Town Park in Madison raised over $38,00 for cancer research
  • Trial of Justin Lee takes places at Morgan County Superior Courthouse in Madison, regarding the murder of a nine-month-old baby
  • The BRAG races begin with cyclist pedaling through Rutledge and into Madison, competing in the 23rd annual BRAG Spring Tune Up Ride.
  • Morgan County High School’s Robotics team holds fundraiser car wash outside Thrift Mac in Madison, raising $1800 for the team’s trip to the first World Competition in St. Louis
  • Justin Lee is convicted of aggravated assault of 9 month old baby, having to serve 20 years.
  • The more than nine month undercover drug investigation sparked the arrest of five suspects,  and officers say there is more to come.
  • Miki St. John Edwards is chosen to be principal of Morgan County High School

 

May

  • The long-awaited farmers’s market portion of Farmview Market opened. Farmview Market held a grand opening event, celebrating the completion.
  • The annual Derby Day fundraiser for the Madison Morgan Conservancy was a huge hit, as large crowds gathered at Bonar Hall to watch the race.
  • Morgan Memorial Hospital (MMH) leaders held a casual public forum,  inviting concerned citizens to discuss the results of the newly released feasibility study, deeming the controversial $35 million hospital replacement project as fiscally sound and sustainable.
  • The West Washington Gateway in Madison will undergo a significant makeover in coming months, as the Madison Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has been approved for a $1.6 million loan to complete special stormwater project in the city’s most deteriorated entryways.
  • About 220 Morgan County High School seniors tossed their caps in celebration after the graduation ceremony in the MCHS gymnasium
  • Morgan County received the Positive Athlete Award for the East Atlanta Region of Georgia in honor of Seth Stapleton.

 

June

  • The 12-plus acre property that features the historic Foster-Thompson Miller house on Main Street in Madison is thought the be rezoned to facilitate the development of a brand new 37-house residential subdivision with an entryway on Foster Street.
  • Residents and visitors gathered at Madison’s Town Park for the Annual Memorial Day Ceremony and Ride for America.
  • The Morgan County African American Museum in partnership with the Lake Oconee Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority hosted Music in the Park bringing the Sensational Sounds of Motown to Town Park.
  • The Cultural Center held its finale to the Chamber of Music Festival with performances from Cirque de la Symphonie performers and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
  • New design plans for the Morgan County High School were presented to the Morgan County Board of Education at the monthly regular meeting
  • Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) unveiled a proposed total budget of $22.7 million for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, which will allow the board to take the rollback millage rate and forgo raising property tax.
  • The Madison-Morgan Cultural Center celebrates its 40th anniversary.
  • The new Zac Brown Band music video dropped and features Morgan County’s very own City of Bostwick and Mayor John Bostwick.

 

July

  • In a 3-to-1 vote, the Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) approved proposal to move forward with refinancing the jail service debt at a significantly lower interest rate, which requires the county to borrow more money in exchange. The BOC voted to borrow an extra $3 million for the purpose of capital improvement projects at the July 5th regular meeting.
  • Morgan County residents filled Madison-Morgan Cultural Center’s front lawn and Bill Wood Park to enjoy the start of the Fourth of July weekend with barbecue, patriotic music, and fireworks.
  • More than 100 students from Korea and China toured Morgan County’s 100 Acre Farm where property owners Dr. Ellis Johnson and his wife Crystal have been welcoming the student for the past 10 years.
  • Madison’s Calvary Baptist Church held a special service in order to show their appreciation for law enforcement
  • The 7-8 year old Morgan County Recreation Department’s boys baseball team took home the very first state championship in the Department’s GRPA history.
  • The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) will host a public information open house to go over proposed plans for widening US 441 from two to four lanes in Morgan and Putnam Counties.
  • The Buckhead Town Council Monday adopted its FY 2017 millage rate from 2.413 mills to 2.599 mills, effectively raising property taxes 8.65 percent.
  • The 63-year-old Leonard Slote, who lived on Westminister Way in Madison, and had worked in the GIS mapping department in Greene County government for the past several years, was struck by a SUV on Old Buckhead Highway, and was pronounced dead at Morgan County Memorial Hospital.

 

August

  • Developer Edward Good on behalf of the Friesen Real Estate Holdings, who proposed the Foster Street project, has officially withdrawn his rezoning application.
  • Morgan Memorial Hospital and Morgan County Family Connection teamed up to host the Back to School Rally and Health Fair where students and the community received health screenings.
  • Two gun welding men burst into Madison’s Moore’s Pharmacy and held the owner and his son at gunpoint while they robbed the store of cash and prescription narcotics.
  • Morgan County student Will Paschal was selected as one of the top ten finalist in a for his national scientific invention competition for his energy efficient storage device that he developed.
  • The Morgan County High School Football team won the annual pre-season scrimmage against Monticello.
  • The Madison City Council, in its third hearing on the matter, voted 3-2 to uphold a “dangerous dog” designation for two Boxer dogs living at the East Avenue residence of Jeff Davis and Carrie Christie.
  • Long-time county manager, Michael Lamar, has resigned to take a city manager position across the country in Arizona.
  • Morgan County football phenom M.J. Webb announces he will be playing for the University of South Carolina next year.

 

September

  • Morgan County High School Miss Football was crowned to Olivia Martin before the Morgan County/Greene County Game.
  • Morgan Memorial Hospital ranked in over $28,000 at its annual Festival of Friends fundraiser. The community gave generously while partaking in creatively- themed dinners and a live auction.
  • Wesley Glover, the 16-year-old Morgan County High School student involved in a drowning accident in August, passed away after battling to live on life support for weeks.
  • The City of Madison has been awarded a half-a-million dollar grant through the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) for the purpose of neighborhood revitalization.
  • A gas shortage caused by the recent leak in the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies the majority of gasoline to the East Coast, has reached Madison with several local gas stations running out of fuel.
  • The annual Lion’s Club Fair has set up shop at the Fairgrounds, opening on September 20th.
  • The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) declared a Level 1 Drought Response in 53 counties across the state, including Morgan County.
  • The Morgan County High School Bulldogs defeated Lamar County 14-0, boosting their record to 3-2.
  • United Way volunteers dressed up as celebrities at the annual United Way fundraiser dinner at the Madison Chophouse Grill, raking in over $8000 for local nonprofits.

 

October

  • A small protest took place in front of the historic Miller property on Main Street in Madison.
  • The Morgan County High School Softball team won second place in last week’s Regional Tournament.
  • City of Madison was awarded a $97,000 grant from the USDA to help the City of Madison complete Phase II of its Canaan historic neighborhood redevelopment plan.
  • More than 120 interested citizens cram into the city of Madison’s meeting room during a political forum, to hear hear from six local candidates running for office in the upcoming November 8th election.
  • Two more medical service businesses were burglarized bringing the total to one robbery and three burglaries of pharmacies or medical offices in the last three months.
  • Dozens of families gathered in Downtown Rutledge for the annual Spooky Fall Festival. Children wore an array of Halloween costumes while playing in the park and eating candy.

 

November

  • The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has announced an improvement project for Highway 441 Bypass between Madison and Watkinsville.
  • The Morgan County High School Football team achieved their sixth consecutive win, defeating Franklin County High School and winning Region 8AAA championship.
  • The first-ever Cotton King, Gene Ruark, selected to represent the Annual Cotton Gin Festival passed away just a couple of weeks before the annual festival.
  • Pam Hooten is named Morgan County High School teacher of the Year.
  • Donald J. Trump, the Republican nominee for president of the United States won big in Morgan County.
  • The Morgan County High School Cheerleading team won a cheerleading championship in Putnam County after the football team’s big Region 8AAA win.
  • The annual Dancing With The Madison Stars was packed with original and creative routines with a sold-out show at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center.
  • About 2000 people gathered at MCHS on Veterans Day to honor the veteran men and women for their service and sacrifice to their country.
  • Morgan County Magistrate Judge Connie Holt continued a case regarding the beating of a Rutledge man at a family gathering in one of Rutledge’s public parks.
  • Broderick Flanigan, an Athens-based artist, completed a new mural at the Madison-Morgan Boys and Girls Club as part of the organization effort to debut a new look.

 

December

  • Thrifty Mac celebrates 40 years of business in downtown Madison.
  • Morgan County High School Bulldogs Band travels to Hawaii to perform on the 75th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor memorial event.
  • The annual Christmas Tour Homes brought in thousand of tourist, ranking in more than $70,000 of the Morgan County Historical Society
  • The Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC) hosted the 38th annual Atlanta Holiday concert
  • Planned Residential Developments (PRDs) will no longer be an option within the residential zone of the Historic District. After a nearly three-and-half hour debate, a seemingly confused Madison City Council passed two conflicting zoning amendments, which ultimately eliminated PRDs as a “flexible zoning tool” within the residential Historic District.
  • The Madison Planning and Zoning Commission approved two text amendment requests from the city of Madison that will ease restrictions on alcohol sales for businesses and non–profit groups in a designated “Arts and Entertainment Overlay District.”
  • Two Rutledge men were arrested and charged with trafficking in heroin after Morgan County authorities allegedly made an undercover purchase of “black tar” heroin from the men.
  • The Morgan County boys’ basketball team faced off against West Hall and Dacula in the Spartan Shootout and came away with two big wins and the first place trophy.

 

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