Chamber celebrates local government

Staff Written Featured, News

By  Sarah Wibell staff writer “It didn’t just happen.” This sentiment referencing the growing local economy and business environment was reiterated by Chamber President Bob Hughes and Congressman Jody Hice during the Madison-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce 65th Annual Meeting at Empire Mills on Thursday, June 13. The Chamber of Commerce seeks to “promote a suitable climate for quality economic development in all its forms; industrial, commercial, agricultural, institutional and residential,” according to their website. During the meeting, Excellence in Government Awards were presented to Morgan County and the City …

Armed gunmen terrorize diners during robbery

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost editor Armed men burst through an unlocked back door at Happy China Resaturant, Eatonton Highway, Monday night and beat and whipped elderly employees before forcing four customers to the ground during a robbery. According to Sgt. Jeremy Hoffman, Madison Police Department, the two men entered the restaurant sometime before 9:40 p.m. and struck a 90-year-old man on the head with the pistol.  They then threw a woman in her 60s to the ground, he said, before striking her with a pistol.  Hoffman said the men were both …

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Complaints compel county to consider ambulance options

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor After the latest round of complaints over ambulance service in Morgan County, county officials are planning to host a public presentation later this summer from National EMS Director Huey Atkins, who oversees ambulance service in Morgan County. The Morgan County Board of Commissioners has not settled on a date for the presentation, but are hoping to host it in mid-July.  “We are exploring our options,” said County Manger Adam Mestres, after a public comment from Paula Sellers criticizing ambulance service at the last Board …

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BOE budget set at $35.5 million

Staff Written News

by Sidhartha Wakade staff writer The Morgan County Board of Education (MCBOE) approved an increased its projected total budget expenditures to about $35.5 million, an increase of about $700,000, a 2 percent increase from the 2018-2019 fiscal year (FY) Part of the expenditure increase has to do with a $3,000 pay increase to teachers and staff per certified position, an increase in the Teacher Retirement System (an employer paid pension system) funds to about 21 percent and a 2 percent pay raise for classified staff, according to School Superintendent Dr. …

Humane Society having huge fundraiser

Staff Written Biz Buzz, News

Whew! I’m just so flat happy! That gullywashin’ rain we had last week is finally OVER! The grass is green, the birds are chirppin’, the squirrels are stealin’ food outta Momma’s birdfeeder … WHACK! What the? Who knocked that squirrel unconscious with that ding dang beanbag? Momma! What in the Sam Hill do you mean you’re practicin’? Oh me! Y’all Momma is plannin’ on becomin’ the champion to end all champions of the annual Corn Hole Tournament this Saturday, June 15 at the Madison Airport! Specifically, it’s all goin’ down …

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‘This is a good, responsible budget’

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The Madison Mayor and City Council adopted a new budget for the upcoming 2019-2020 Fiscal Year. The new budget is about $2 million more than this year’s budget, but the council still fully expects to adopt the rollback millage rate later this summer. “This is a good, responsible budget,” said City Manager David Nunn after the council unanimously voted to adopt.   Karen Stapp, the city’s chief finance officer, crafted the new budget.  According to Stapp, the 2020 Fiscal Year budget will come in at …

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Council struggles with ATV, bike sales

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  “Instead of thinking about our gateway in 20 years and what we have to do to reclaim it, let’s think about our gateway now and what we have to do to preserve it.” That is what Madison City Councilman Joe DiLetto urged his fellow council members to consider about a proposed text amendment that would allow car lots to sell recreational vehicles, such as motorcycles and ATVs, in the Commercial 2 (C2) District of Madison, which is a “transitional” zone comprised of residential and …

Madison Police Department

Madison Police Department

Staff Written Law Enforcement

On June 7 an entering auto complaint was filed at a Highland Avenue residence. According to reports, a man told an officer that someone had removed his 9mm Taurus pistol from a book bag in the back seat of his vehicle. The man said he last saw the pistol on May 24. On June 6 Tonya Briscoe Willis, 38, Madison was arrested and charged with simple assault. According to reports, officers were called to a Morgan Circle residence regarding a woman allegedly pointing a gun at a man. Reports state …

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office

Staff Written Law Enforcement

On  June 9 a battery complaint was filed at a Rehoboth Road residence. According to reports, a woman alleged that when she went to her estranged husband’s residence to pick up personal items she heard loud music coming from the house. The woman said she walked to the back porch in an attempt to capture via her phone camera her husband with an alleged paramour. The woman alleged that her ex-husband grasped her by her pony tail and forced her through the house and onto the front porch where he …

Kiwanis celebrates STMA community focus

Staff Written News

By Sidhartha Wakade staff writer The Steffen Thomas Museum of Art (STMA) held a luncheon honoring Kiwanis, an international group focused on helping children in local communities, on Thursday, June 6. Kiwanis is comprised of local business leaders that donate money to fund programs for kids in the community.  Jennifer Sides, the president of the Madison Kiwanis, mentioned that Kiwanis does a lot locally despite being an international organization. The group has donated to the Boys and Girls Club, the Morgan County High School and the Morgan County Parks and …

Summer sport camps a big hit for MCRD

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor During the month of June, the Morgan County Recreation Department runs a number of youth sports camps that have become a rite of passage for many MCHS future stars.  The camps run the gamut of all sports across the board.  In addition, the camps are run by some of the finest coaches and players in the state from the high school and beyond. This past week the softball camp featured MCHS Coach Jason McBay in charge along with several of Morgan’s finest graduates lending …

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From the Bulldogs’ summer scene

Staff Written News

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Bill Malone told us, “Summer football workouts are going great.  It is fun to go to work with these kids and coaches every day.  They work so hard.  We are getting fantastic leadership out of the guys we need and expect it from.  Seniors Cole Freeman, Zan Mahone, and Seth Robertson are leading the way in the weight room and in workouts.  They are a joy to be around.  This week we will travel to the University of Georgia for our annual 7-on-7.  There …

Morgan County fishing team making headlines

Staff Written Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor It was a great weekend at the State Classic on Clarks Hill Lake for the local high school age fishing team from Morgan County.  The two-day event saw the team of Cole Holloway and Ryan Thomas come away with a fourth place finish with a two-day weight of 24.52 pounds on an eight fish limit.  Holloway bagged a 6.09 pound bass on day two to help lead the team to victory.  The finish qualified them for the Bassmaster High School Championship to be held …

MCRD softball team wins 7 and 8 U District 6 Softball Champs

Staff Written Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Coach Jason McBay said, “I couldn’t be more proud of this team. It took all the coaches, players, and parents to pull out the championship game 28-26. This bunch has improved so much since our first day together. Can’t wait to play again in the State Tournament in a few weeks.  In such a high scoring game, it was defense that bailed us out! Kerrigan Welch (Shortstop) made a great catch on a line drive that got us out of the fifth inning and Emma Rodgers …

Local creamery offers tours

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor With summer in full swing, there is no better time to take the whole family on a local adventure that is both fun and educational. Rock House Creamery, located on farm in Newborn, Ga., is hosting a public tour of the facility where the company’s popular milk and cheese products are made. On June 27, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., you can walk the grounds on a guided tour to learn how fresh and natural dairy products are produced before they hit the …

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Rutledge inacts 120 day zoning moratorium

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost editor  The Rutledge City Council last Thursday approved a 120 day moratorium on any building within the city limits that would require a re-zoning hearing. According to Rutledge Mayor Bruce Altznauer the council, at a special called meeting on Thursday, June 6, approved a moratorium that would halt building permits to be issued for the construction of “townhouse, apartments and condominiums where any application would require a re-zoning application.” Altznauer said the city was adopting the moratorium, which will last “no more than 120 days” based recommendations …

Rutledge Concert Series kicks off

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Sidhartha Wakade staff writer Rutledge’s Annual Music in the Park series kicked off last Friday at the TownPark Gazebo with the twangy tunes of Caroline Aiken, a local Blues Grass musician. Stormy weather couldn’t keep the music lovers away and locals still gathered to hear the concert beneath the overcast skies.  Every upcoming Friday at 7 p.m. through August, local musicians will take the gazebo stage, located at 113 Fairplay Street,  to perform.  This coming Friday, Doug Deluxe & the Rodeo Clowns will provide an evening of “Western Swing” …

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The ‘right person has not died yet’

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor “The elephant in the room that no one will acknowledge is, plainly: the right person has not died yet,” said Paula Sellers in an impassioned plea to the Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) about long ambulance wait times last Tuesday. Sellers appeared before the BOC to publicly urge officials to address emergency medical service delays in the county by adding another ambulance in the county.  In May, her husband, Scott Sellers, who also sits on the Morgan County Board of Elections and Registration, …

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‘Missing votes’ plague BOER

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Morgan County remains at the center of a statewide legal battle revolving around the November 2018 election of Lieutenant Governor. Morgan County’s Board of Elections and Registration (BOER) was served a subpoena in May requesting voting data as part of a statewide investigation into “missing votes.”  The subpoena, from the Coalition for Good Governance,  – a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that focuses on election transparency and verifiability – includes 27 categories of information requested. The BOER decided in an executive session last Thursday to dispute …

Citizen takes home General Excellence Award

Staff Written Featured, News

Staff Reports The Morgan County Citizen was named the best weekly in the state of Georgia last Friday at the annual meeting of the Georgia Press Association. Competing with weekly newspapers across the state, the Citizen and its staff placed in several categories including Page One Design, Local News Coverage, Special Issues, Spot News Photo, Feature Photo and Religion Writing. Managing Editor Tia Lynn Ivey won first place in the Enterprise Story category in part with a story she produced in 2018 attempting to explain ambulance response times and costs …