Jake ‘Junior’ Rogers February 21, 1940 – April 16, 2019

Staff Written Community

There are people who wander this earth that have no category. They are neither great athletes, titans of industry or political giants. They are just good people. And if there is a hierarchy to this group Jake “Junior” Rogers sits at the head table. Junior was love. He was goodness and kindness and an enigma of a man I never figured out. If you have lived here any time at all, you know Junior and his trademark ‘Purty, day, ain’t it” phrase. Junior was a consummate volunteer in this community. …

Board OK’s added $1.3 million for new schools

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  As the new schools project enters its last phase with the construction for the new Morgan County Middle School on a consolidated campus beside the new Morgan County High School, new costs have risen. The Morgan County Board of Education approved another $1.3 million in expenditures related to the new schools project at the last regular meeting on Monday, April 8. This brings the total cost to nearly $47.5 million.  “This amendment addresses changes to high school and middle school as a result of …

Replacement cost could reach $500k

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  A tragic accident in December of 2018 left one Savannah woman dead, a Morgan County firefighter injured, and a Morgan County Fire truck totaled, which could cost up to $500,000 to replace.  Firefighter Robert Kapp was driving a Morgan County Fire and Rescue (MCFR) Truck while responding to an emergency call on Dec. 18, 2018. While crossing the Main Street intersection at  State Route 24 Bypass, he collided with a southbound vehicle, driven by  Kimberly Kimmins Ford, 67, a former reporter and news editor …

Child abuse numbers drop, leaders pledge commitment

Staff Written Community

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Civic and community leaders gathered on the front lawn of the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) to publicly pledge themselves to stand against child abuse last Thursday. The ceremony included a garden of blue and silver pinwheels to symbolize each child in Morgan County that has suffered from abuse. Event organizers believe pinwheels are the perfect symbol to represent these children, because even though the wind blows hard against them, they still thrive.   “This year’s Proclamation and Pinwheel Ceremony was another overwhelming …

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Takeda biopharmaceutical takes top honors

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Takeda, a Japan-based pharmaceutical company that recently took over the  $1.2 billion biopharmaceutical  plant that setup shop in the Stanton Springs Industrial Park, has earned a prestigious recognition on account of the new plasma-manufacturing plant.  “ Takeda’s Georgia Manufacturing Facility was recognized as a 2019 Honorable Mention Winner in the annual International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers (ISPE) 2019 Facility of the Year Awards,” announced Gabe Khouli, communications lead for Takeda’s Georgia Manufacturing Facility.  Officials from Takeda’s Georgia plant are proud to be celebrated by …

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Morgan County real estate sales top $7 million

Staff Written News

Compiled by Dianne Yost staff writer March 20, 2019 • CitiMortage, Inc. of O’Fallon, MO to Buckhault Properties, LLC of Covington, 1110 Shadyside Lane, Madison, $37,500. • Barbara Shepherd Valentine of Rutledge to Ted Medford of Rutledge, 159 Newborn Road, 0.304 acre, Rutledge, $60,000. March 23 • Cecile Rabe of Watkinsville to Jennifer G. Abernathy of Madison, 1010 Ridgeview Road, 0.57 acre, Madison, $283,000. March 25 • James L. McDade of Madison to Randall L. Hinton of Eatonton, 1051 Cedar Grove Road, 12.624 acres, Buckhead, $148,000. • Stacy F. Farmer …

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County-wide input sought on mental health survey

Staff Written News

By Sarah Wibell staff writer A representative for a new statewide mental health survey open to all Georgians appeared before the Morgan County Board of Commissioners to ask the local community to participate in the survey. During the recent Board of Commissioners meeting a presentation was made by Irene Cheyne, appointed by Fayette County, on behalf of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Development Disabilities (DBHDD).  Cheyne informed the commission of a statewide survey taking place through April 30 that will help Georgia’s Regional Advisory Councils identify and recommend …

Madison Police Department

Madison Police Department

Staff Written Law Enforcement

On April 7 Jermaine Lawon Pounds, 37, Covington was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia. According to reportsPounds was a passenger in a black GMC Yukon that approached a law enforcement checkpoint on U.S. 441 near Madison Rental at 10:39 p.m. Reports allege that an officer observed Pounds throw a bag out of the vehicle as it approached the roadblock. An officer located the bag and inside the bag was suspected marijuana. After the bag was discovered and searched, the …

Morgan County Sheriff's Office

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office

Staff Written Law Enforcement

On April 13 Khadijah Shantell Lafay Banks, 25, Madison was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, less than an ounce and window tint violation. According to reports, a black Honda driven by Banks was stopped on the Madison by-pass near Cox Road for an alleged window tint violation. Consequent to the stop, an officer alleged, there was a smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. The officer asked Banks if she had any marijuana in the vehicle and she allegedly reached under her shirt and produced a plastic bag …

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New Godfrey fire station opened

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Morgan County leaders gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the new $500,000 fire station in Godfrey recently “It was a great day,” said Morgan County Fire and Rescue Chief Jeff Stone. “It’s a great new addition to community. This is something for the county government to be proud of and something great the community of Godfrey. Everybody is pleased with the construction and building itself. It’s not an eye sore. It’s a good-looking building.” According to Stone, the construction process took longer than …

Showdown at the MC Corral

Staff Written Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Hunter Lane and the Morgan County Bulldogs put up 32 runs in three games to send the East Jackson Eagles home with their tail feathers on fire this week.  That sweep will now set up what many fans have been predicting and looking forward to all season long.  The 8-AAA Region Championship will now ride on this week’s Jefferson matchup.  This one will be for all the marbles as the number one ranked Dragons and number two Bulldogs square off in what should be …

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Girls’ headed to State Tourney after second place finish

Staff Written Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor The Morgan County girls’ tennis team is State-bound after hosting the 2019 Region 8-AAA Tennis Tournament this week and taking second place behind a strong Jefferson squad.  They dispatched Monroe and Hart along the way to the Championship round and put up a valiant effort in the finals to the Lady Dragons.   Morgan played Westminster at home Tuesday in the first round of the GHSA State Tennis Playoffs after our deadline.  Details on that match will be available for our readers next week.  …

We are the CHAMPIONS!

Staff Written Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor In an historic season for the Morgan County Middle School’s soccer squad, Coach Griffin Gardner and staff guided the team to an undefeated and near perfect record of 15-0-1 with only a 3-3 tie against Athens Academy keeping them from running the table.  The offensive firepower and defensive intensity put up some impressive numbers that included 112 goals scored against only five goals given up, 13 shutouts, nine games won in mercy-rule fashion, and Piedmont Athletic Conference Tournament wins over Greene County and Putnam …

Rugby comes to Morgan County

Staff Written Sports

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Morgan County High School’s new Rugby Club played the first home game last Saturday against teams from Savannah and Brunswick. After playing several away tournaments, the Rugby Club showed their stuff right on their home turf. Clear skies reigned over head as the Morgan County rugby players huddled together to take control of the ball. The MCHS Rugby team prevailed over Savannah 45 to 0. In their second game against Brunswick the MCHS rugby teams was narrowly defeated 19 to 21. “We played a round-robin tournament …

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Track teams take first at second annual meet

Staff Written Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor The Morgan County High School track team continues heading to new heights with both squads taking first place honors at the Anderson Bentley Track Meet at Baldwin County High School out of seven schools that participated.  The girls grabbed 147 points while the boys took home 158.  Seth Robertson was the boys’ high points’ award winner while Miranda Powell got second in the girls’ event. Here are the results from the meet:  Boys: 100m- 3rd- Juwon Moore; 8th- David Williams 200m- 6th-Juwon Moore  400m- …

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MCHS Special Olympics

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Morgan County students competed in the 8th Annual Morgan County Special Olympics last week at the Morgan County High School football stadium. Students in the special education program from all four Morgan County schools enjoyed a day of friendly competition, games, and celebration.  The 2019 Morgan County Special Olympics went very well. Everything was organized and all of the teachers and participants seemed to have a blast. The weather held out for us and we were grateful for that,” said Lindsey Smith, a Morgan …

Former newspaper workers gather for reunion

Staff Written News

By Dianne Yost and Patsy Harris A reunion of Madisonian staff recently gathered at the home of a local priest who now resides in the historic building that once housed the prized local newspaper. The group enjoyed at tour of the renovated building and shared stories from days past. The Rev. Dann Brown, Rector of the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Madison, Ga., hosted the reunion of current and former staff of the Madisonian newspaper, a weekly that merged with the Morgan County Citizen in 2001. Founded in 1842, The …

Arts in Bloom opening reception

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor A new art exhibit is on display at the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art (STMA). The museum held an initial opening reception for the new Arts in Bloom exhibit, which features an array of quilts and floral designed inspired by the art work of Steffen Thomas, which is also on display. The celebration continued over the weekend with daily events that included demonstrations, art-making activities for children and families, and lectures by well-known designers and quilters add to the fun! Over 100 people attended the …

Carolyn Ann Wierzbicki Smith

Staff Written Obituaries

Carolyn Ann Wierzbicki Smith of Athens died Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at the age of 60 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens.  Carolyn was born in Mount Clemens, Michigan on June 21, 1958 to the late Joseph Charles Wierzbicki, Sr. and Henrietta Marie Grombik Wierzbicki.  She obtained a Bachelor’s degree and went on to receive a Master’s degree in Special Education from Phoenix University.  Carolyn taught in Greene, Morgan and Clarke Counties and she left a lasting impact on many children that she so dearly loved.  Carolyn was a member of …

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Margaret Denaro Ponder

Staff Written Obituaries

Margaret Denaro Ponder was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on February 11, 1920.  She was raised in Madison, Georgia, by Lula and Paul Atkinson. After finishing school in Madison, she attended Agnes Scott College in Atlanta and graduated in 1941. On February 4, 1942, she married her childhood sweetheart, Lt. Paul Holloway Ponder, Jr. also from Madison.  She spent the next 30 years traveling with her husband to many parts of the United States and to many parts of the world.   Lt. Col. Ponder was a pilot for the USAF …