Development fears prompt HMC meeting

Staff Written Featured, News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor A local watchdog group has set its gaze on a large farm currently for sale, concerned over development prospects.  The Historic Madison Coalition (HMC) has identified Pritchard Farms, owned by the Pritchard family, as a possible site for future developments since the 1,763-acre farm is currently up for sale.  The HMC is worried about increased traffic and other negative consequences associated with new developments in Madison’s Historic District. The group is hosting a neighborhood information meeting to discuss the matter this Sunday, Sept. 22 …

‘May’ I have $1.5 mil?

Staff Written Featured, News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor A short-term rental controversy has become a long-term debacle for Morgan County.  Christine May, a former Morgan County homeowner, filed a federal lawsuit against Morgan County last week, stemming from a near decade-long dispute over short-term rentals out of her lake house in Buckhead, Georgia. The eight-year legal battle escalated to the point of May, a woman in her  70s, being charged with a criminal misdemeanor and sentenced to 30 days in jail for continuing to use her house as a vacation rental property. …

Buckhead man arrested for child molestation

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost editor A Buckhead man has been arrested on charges of child molestation and sodomy.  Christopher Daniel Johnson, 21, turned himself in last Thursday, Sept. 12 after the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) determined probable cause and issued an arrest warrant.  Johnson is accused of sexually abusing a female minor over the course of four years, beginning when she was just 9-years-old, according to authorities. Johnson is approximately seven years older than the victim. The incidents allegedly took place between May 2014 and May 2018.  The GBI was …

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Madison-Morgan CVB earns state honor

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  The Madison-Morgan Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) accepted an award last week, bestowing a prestigious designation on the organization tasked with promoting local tourism. It was announced in July that the CVB would join an elite group of Georgia CVBs by earning a top ranking that only seven other CVBs across the state have received. Officials from the CVB and the City of Madison attended the Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference at Great World Lodge in LaGrange, on Sept. 8. The event is touted as the …

Madison Police Department

Madison Police Department

Staff Written Law Enforcement

On Sept. 10 a simple assault complaint was filed at a Bramblewood Drive residence. According to reports, a man alleged that while his nephew was at his apartment, the nephew alleged that the man’s girlfriend was the reason the man’s bed had bed bugs. The complainant said an argument ensued because he was defending his girlfriend’s hygiene and the nephew choked him. The nephew said while he was eating a plate of chicken, corn and slaw, an apartment manager and pest control person came to the unit to treat the …

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Morgan County Sheriff’s Office

Staff Written Law Enforcement

On Sept. 15 a driving away without paying for gas complaint was filed at Country Store convenience store, Bostwick Highway. According to reports, an employee said a man known to him as a customer pulled up to the pumps. The employee said he turned the pumps on and the man put 15.73 gallons of gas worth $37.43 into his white, 1990s model Chevrolet Tahoe. The man then pulled off, traveling south on Bostwick Highway without paying for the gas. On Sept. 14 a damage to property complaint was filed at …

Oconee drops Morgan 34-6

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By Alvin Richardson staff writer Something had to give in the Morgan County football game versus Oconee County.  It was Friday the 13th, there was a full moon and just for good measure Mother Nature decided to throw in a pretty good dash of lightning.  Ultimately the beneficiary of all that karma turned out to be Oconee County as the Warriors held off a determined Morgan County squad in the first quarter and then seized control of the game.   The Bulldogs were in charge of the early going against …

Dogs oust Hart in extra inning thriller

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Anytime you can get a win, it’s a good day.  It’s a good day when it’s against a Region 8-AAA opponent.  It’s still a good day when it comes in extra innings and an even better day when it’s a walk-off win.  What makes it a great day is when it’s against the Hart County Lady Bulldogs of the orange and black variety.  Bulldogs are not supposed to be orange and black.  They are red and black. That’s just what the Morgan County Lady …

Daniell’s return sparks Spike Dogs

Staff Written Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor The Lady Dogs’ volleyball team welcomed back Coach Olivia Daniell this past week with open arms.  The new mother has been on maternity leave since early June.  She told us, “I’m getting back into the swing of things at school and with practices and games.  This is all certainly new to me, but the baby (Finley) and my husband (Zach) are doing well.”  The third year head coach made her debut back with the team in wins over Prince Avenue and Clarke Central.  Daniell …

Pups lose shootout in overtime 41-33

Staff Written Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Despite trailing by 12 points with only 1:40 remaining in the third period, the Morgan County Middle School football team forced the Putnam County War Eagles into overtime only to see their comeback bid fall short.  This one would be a shootout that would come down to extra football and the fireworks started early and often for both squads.  Talan Fuller connected with Zach Moore for three touchdown passes on the day, but it wouldn’t be quite enough to pull off the victory. The …

Pistons For Paws

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managaing editor  For the second year in a row, the community has gathered to support our local furry friends through the fundraiser Pistons for Paws.  Last weekend, the Humane Society of Morgan County (HSMC) orchestrated a downtown car, truck and motorcycle show that also featured  food trucks, craft vendors, live music and face-painting.  More than 35 cars lined the downtown Madison streets.  “The 2nd annual Piston for Paws Charity car show for HSMC was a SUCCESS!” said Beth Bradley, organizer of the event.  “All monies raised …

Richard Allan Lavoie

Staff Written Obituaries

Richard Allan Lavoie, a United States Navy Vietnam Veteran with an honorable discharge, passed away September 5, 2019 at the Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta. He was 70 years of age. He was a resident of Morgan County. He was born March 2, 1949 in Beverly, Mass. to the late Joe Lavoie and Eleanor Tizier. He leaves behind one sister Cleo Dowell of Maine and best friend and neighbor Edith M. Pye and many church friends. He will be missed! A Memorial Service will be held Sunday, September 22 at 11 …

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Gary Dale Stephens

Staff Written Obituaries

Gary Dale Stephens (Hot Dog), 72 of Madison, died September 10, 2019.  He was a native of Madison, born February 21, 1947.  He was the son of the late Howard and Yvonne Millwood Stephens.  Hot Dog was a veteran of the U.S. Army.  He retired from BellSouth Communications in 1996 and then went to work for Morgan County 911, where he worked for 19 more years.   Mr. Stephens leaves his wife, Joan King Stephens and a son, Chris Stephens and wife, Kimberly and two grandsons, Liam Morgan Stephens and Shea Gabriel Stephens.  …

Teacher Of The Year

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Don’t complain about the problem, become part of the solution. That is the story of Jeannie Rice,  Morgan County’s System Teacher of the Year.  Rice addressed the Morgan County Board of Education last Monday, Sept. 9 to share about her experiences as a teacher and the goals for her students. Rice decided to become a teacher after noticing deficiencies in her child’s own classroom.  “I first became a teacher because I didn’t like some of the things that were happening in my daughter’s pre-K …

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City takes next step for zoo

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor A zoo in Morgan County has been more than 5 years in the making. The Georgia Safari Conservation Park, planned to be constructed off Highway 83, is headed toward Phase I of construction.  “I think it’s good that our city has faith in the Safari Park. It is going to be good for our city, our county, and our community,” said Madison Mayor Fred Perriman at Monday night’s regular meeting.  The Madison and Mayor City Council approved a commitment letter to provide utility extension …

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State, county scraps previous voting system

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor When Morgan County voters go to cast ballots for the 2020 Presidential Primary election, they will be introduced to a new voting system and procedures. Although the new $107 million system has not yet been implemented, legal challenges have already been filed against it by voting rights activists who allege the new system cannot adequately secure and verify election outcomes.  Earlier this year, Federal Judge Amy Totenberg ruled Georgia’s current Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting system unconstitutional, ordering the system be thrown out by …

Chase ends with meth arrest

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost editor A man who initially asked a Morgan County investigator for gas money in the parking lot of the Bostwick Citgo ended up arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug related objects and obstruction after he allegedly attempted to flee. James Oneal Allen, 49, allegedly approached Morgan County Investigator Joseph Pritchett on Friday, Sept. 6 at noon in the parking lot of the convenience store.  Pritchett said initially Allen asked for gas money and when Pritchett said he realized that Allen may have outstanding …

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Real estate sales total more than $5 million

Staff Written News

Compiled by Dianne Yost staff writer August 26, 2019 • Keith Joe Durham of Madison to Mark G. Woodham of Madison, Portion Crawley Road, 0.77 acre, $8,355, Madison. • J. Lynda Brady of Madison to ZF Cochran Road, LLC of Madison, Cochran Road, 5.309 acres, Madison, $49,536. August 27, 2019 • Scott Huff of Madison to Kenneth M. Bishop of Rutledge, East Dixie Highway, 23.92 acres, Rutledge, $263,120. • Weyerhaeuser Company of Atlanta to BPIV Land, LLC of Madison (169 South Main Street), Lower Apalachee Road, 201.89 acres, Lower Apalachee …

Man charged with taking water from city of Rutledge hydrant

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost editor  A Smyrna Ga. man was arrested and charged with theft of services after he allegedly filled a tanker truck with Rutledge water from a fire hydrant. According to Morgan County Sheriff’s Office reports, Jose Alexis Rodriguez, 25, was arrested by Morgan County authorities after they responded to a complaint from a Rutledge city official that he had observed Rodriguez connect a hose from a fire hydrant at the intersection of Newborn and Davis Academy roads. Reports state that the deputy noted that there was no meter …

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Nine dogs removed from Madison house

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost editor  Nine dogs were removed from a residence on Hendrix Lane on Tuesday, Sept. 3 after authorities entered the residence and, reports state, found “every room in the residence was covered with dog feces.” Reports also state that “pee pads’ scattered through the residence were “‘xtremely soiled.’” The dogs were removed and are currently being housed at the Morgan County Animal Control Shelter.  According to reports, a man who said he had been appointed power of attorney for a woman living in the residence requested a police …