Morgan’s Finest Athletes

Staff Written Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor  There are a lot of things in Toy Sims’ life that he can be proud of.  Being a star halfback on the first State Championship football team at MCHS in 1955 is just one of them.  You can tell he enjoys talking about that magical season some 64 years ago.  He said, ““We had a good time playing.  No doubt about it.  I had some really good linemen in front of me. They were just stubby, tough old country boys that came out of …

Walley inks scholarship to ETBU

Staff Written Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor After having a stellar season with the Morgan County golf team, Madison Walley has accepted a college scholarship where she will continue her golf career.  Not only was Walley the number one golfer on the team finishing sixth individually in the AAA State Tournament, but led her team to a number five finish overall.  We sat down with the graduate and 13-handicapper to let her tell us about her decision. Where are you headed off to college and what helped you decide on going …

Kirby-Luke win State Doubles

Staff Written Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor In the biggest junior tennis event in Georgia this year, local student Jackson Kirby and his partner, William Luke of Athens, took home the 14-under Peach State Doubles Tennis Title last weekend.  The website described the event like this: The Peach State is Georgia’s most exclusive junior championship. This tournament is open to the top 64 players in each age category. Over 600 kids, ranging from ages 10-18, will compete in this event over a 5-day period. Each draw will host a 64-player singles …

Black History Celebrated

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Sidhartha Wakade staff writer The Morgan County branch of the NAACP held the annual Black History Parade and Festival in Town Park last Saturday, June 1. The parade. marching every year since the 1980’s, is as a way to celebrate black history, according to Sheila Tolbert, the secretary of Morgan County NAACP and the event coordinator. “We try to bring awareness to regarding black history, whether locally or nationally as well,” Tolbert said. The event began at the Aquatic Center and included bands, floats, and a march through downtown …

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Kathy Jo Lord Haley

Staff Written Obituaries

Kathy Jo Lord Haley, 58 of Morgan County, died May 21, 2019.  Kathy was a life long resident of Morgan County.  She had worked for years as the head cashier at Krystal in Madison.  Kathy attended church at Building 5210.  She loved her family and spent untold hours caring for others.  She will be remembered for her sweet spirit.  Kathy was preceded in death by her father, Bobby Joe Lord.  She is survived by her mother, Evelyn Peters Lord as well as her children, Jolene Lord Hawn, Eddie Haley and …

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Julia Ivorene Moody Gilbert

Staff Written Obituaries

Julia Ivorene Moody Gilbert, age 80, of Rutledge, passed away Saturday, May 31, 2019, at Piedmont Newton Medical Center in Covington. Ivorene Gilbert was born in Brooks, Georgia to the late Julia Faith Banks Moody and James Butler Moody.  In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond Neil Gilbert. Ivorene Gilbert lived in Rutledge with her daughter and son-in-law, Renea and Michael Hutchins. She loved her cats and camping, especially cooking out and sitting by the fire.  She and her late husband, Raymond travelled …

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Wesley Moses Beckham

Staff Written Obituaries

Wesley Moses Beckham, 101, passed away on Thursday, May 29, 2019 at his home in Madison.   He was preceded in death by his wife, Glenna. Mr. Beckham is survived by his sons, Steve Beckham (Jenny) and George Beckham (Karen) and four grandchildren: Alison, Jacob, Caitlin and Emily.  Services were held on Sunday, June 2, at A.E. Carter Funeral Home in Madison, with interment in the Madison City Cemetery.

Pointe Of Grace takes the stage

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The Pointe of Grace Dance Academy lept across the stage of the Morgan County High School Performing Arts Center for the final dance performance of the year. Dancers gave a moving performance to “Seasons of Love” for audiences last Friday and Saturday evenings.  Pointe of Grace Dance Academy provides dance instruction for children of all ages in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, and hip hop. 

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Morgan County budget jumps to $18.5 million

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Morgan County unveiled the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year (FY) proposed budget, coming in at just over $18.5 million, a three percent increase from the 2018-2019 FY budget.  According to County Manager Adam Mestres, despite in the increase, the county anticipates being able to adopt the rollback millage rate later this summer.  “We are always trying to do our due diligence and trying to be as conservative as we can for the citizens of Morgan County,” said Mestres at the last county commissioner meeting on May …

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Rutledge cell tower approved

Staff Written News

By Sarah Wibell staff writer Rutledge may be in store for a new telecommunication tower, after the Morgan County Planning Commission gave the green light for the project. The commission voted to recommend approval for a conditional use and variance for a telecommunication tower on 89.46 acres at 1771 Centennial Road with the stipulation that tower space for the county is provided. The application was submitted by   Southern Linc – a subsidiary of Southern Company.  The maximum height generally allowed in Morgan County is 250 feet for aesthetic purposes. …

CARI to hold low-cost vaccination clinic

Staff Written News

By Sarah Wibell staff writer Since 2004, Companion Animal Rescue, Inc. has served animals in Morgan County in more ways than just a rescue center. On June 8, CARI will hold a low-cost vaccination clinic for dogs and cats from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the CARI Marketplace at 7191 Atlanta Highway, Rutledge. The clinic is accessed from the right side of the building. Dr. Elizabeth Perry will provide $15 rabies shots, $15 DHLPP, $15 FVRCP, and $25 microchipping on a first-come, first-served basis. Cats must be crated and …

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School system exceeds standards in report

Staff Written News

By Sidhartha Wakade staff writer Morgan County Schools exceeded expectations in most of the standards for a recent accreditation review. The review was conducted by AdvancED, an internationally recognized accreditation agency. Accreditation acts as a quality check for a school, and can only be received if certain standards are met. Morgan County Schools have started the process to get reaccredited. The report looked at broad categories such as how well the administration follows policies and improves its own effectiveness, how well teachers are interacting with and developing students’ skills, and …

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Rutledge awards $120k paving contract

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Rutledge Mayor and City Council met on May 21, and awarded a bid to East Coast Grading for the paving of West Main and Hollis streets for $120,651. In addition, a business license for Tyler Grindle to operate TG’s Detailing, an auto detailing business, was approved. All members of the council, with the exception of Councilmember Tony Sells, were present and voted unanimously. Also discussed was a traffic calming study and 2020 census information. Marc Acampora, traffic engineer for Marc R. Acampora, PE, LLC …

STMA and Crossroads build a vision at SO

Staff Written Community

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  A community collaboration project drew local leaders and representatives from the Governor Brian Kemp and Congressman Jody Hice offices for the unveiling of an art installation at the Morgan County Detention Center last week.  Every year, the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art (STMA)  teams up with the Morgan County Crossroads, an alternative school program, to create an art piece to be displayed somewhere in Morgan County. This year’s project was particularly special as students utilized their artist skills to create a piece to brighten …

Madison Police Department

Madison Police Department

Staff Written Law Enforcement

On May 18 Dewey Blevins, 41, Watkinsville was arrested and charged with aggravated stalking. According to reports, a woman at Pilot Truck Stop called authorities and said that she had a temporary protective order against Blevins and that he had approached her at the truck stop. An officer located a white Ford pickup in which Blevins was a passenger on U.S. 441 and executed a traffic stop. Blevins told the officer he was not aware the woman worked at Pilot and had he known, he would not have gone to …

Morgan County Sheriff's Office

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office

Staff Written Law Enforcement

On May 26 Russell Andrew Kent, 20, Bethlehem was arrested and charged with DUI and possession of marijuana, less than an ounce. According to reports, a deputy responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint at the the Country Store, Bostwick Highway at 3:26 a.m. When the deputy arrived he allegedly observed Kent asleep in a gray Ford Explorer next to gas pumps at the store. Reports state the deputy knocked on the vehicle’s glass and woke Kent. Consequent to the interaction, the deputy allegedly that there was a song smell of …

Franklin headed for Bradwell Institute

Staff Written Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Coach Milfred Franklin has been around to assist with three State Basketball Championships and a whole lot more.  The lifelong resident, student, and coach is headed south to Hinesville in Liberty County to take on a new challenge outside of his beloved Morgan County.  He said, “It’s time to advance.  It is both exciting and scary at the same time.” The 39-year-old veteran has been a Bulldog since kindergarten having graduated from MCHS in 1997.  Parents, Milfred, Sr. and Geraldine Franklin are also lifelong …

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Golf teams place high at State Tournament

Staff Written Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor The Morgan County golf teams finished up the final spring sports event this week with a strong showing in the State Tournament.  The girls and boys had one of their finest showings in history by finishing fifth and sixth respectively. Coach Pam Hooten applauded her team’s effort saying, “We knew going in that we did not have the low scores needed to win the state tournament, so we went in with a team challenge of finishing in the top seven.  There are usually about …

Hats off to the Class Of 2019

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Sarah Wibell staff writer On Friday night, May 24, in the Bill Corey Stadium, 197 students received their diplomas as the first class to graduate from the new Morgan County High School campus. Family, friends, faculty, and staff cheered for the graduates as their hard work, personal growth, and future possibilities were recognized. Noting that graduating marked the first chapter of the rest of the seniors’ lives, one of this year’s two Salutatorians, Mackenzie Ward, stated, “We are continuously climbing and reaching new heights we did not even know …

Brent Preston Slaughter

Staff Written Obituaries

Brent Preston Slaughter, age 68 of the Greshamville Community died Thursday, May 23, 2019 at his home.  Born in Madison, Georgia on July 9, 1950, he was the son of late Frank Slaughter and Estelle Brown Slaughter.  Preston was a graduate of Morgan County High School.   On January 20, 1975 he married the former Mary Ann Healey.  Preston was the owner and operator of Custom Dairy Equipment in Madison, GA.   Early in life he enjoyed fishing and hunting, but later he lived for competing in tractor pulls.  He was a …