Space Day at Kiddy Land

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor All the stars aligned to bring together Morgan County High School students with young early learning students at Kiddy Land Early Learning Center for a special collaborative project that allowed for a group of high school students to teach young children a little bit about the universe.  Science Teacher Alec Johnson, who worked with NASA last summer, teamed up with Kaleigh Sidwell, a teacher running the one of the high school’s pathway career programs training students who want to become teachers.  “I think it …

Cultural Center hosts Rosie Revere, Engineer

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The Madison-Morgan Cultural Center’s (MMCC) Student Series brought a special show to the stage on Friday, Jan. 25.  According to the MMCC, in the show, “Ms. Greer’s classroom includes three inquisitive out-of-the-box thinkers.  Rosie Revere has big dreams. Iggy Peck has a relentless passion for architecture. And Ada Twist’s curiosity can drive her teacher crazy.” According to the cultural center, the show is  “a fun new musical based on the books Rosie Revere, Engineer, Iggy Peck, Architect, and Ada Twist Scientist by Andrea Beaty …

Starbucks to open at Ingles next week

Staff Written Community

By Patrick Yost editor  On Wednesday, Jan. 30 Ingles grocery store will introduce a concept that Manager Chip Scanland has been pushing for since he arrived five years ago. At 6 a.m. a Starbucks counter will open.  The counter is situated just beyond the front door on the north entrance near the new Chinese food and deli operation and its an addition that Scanland says customers have been looking forward to for months. “They can’t wait, he says. “I bet I’ve had 30 customers tell me they want to be …

Wagenhauser getting ready for blue birds

Staff Written Community

By Sarah Wibell staff writer Spring is coming. The weather will warm, and with that change, bluebirds will return. Because they begin scouting as early as February for locations to build their nests and lay their eggs, bluebird enthusiast Betsy Wagenhauser will hold an informational workshop Saturday, January 26, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at 962 Dixie Avenue in Madison. The workshop will explain how to attract, monitor, and help fledge bluebirds. In 2015, the National Audubon Society stated that a declining bluebird population across the United States has …

The 20s roar again

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Andrea Gable staff writer Winners of this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards, presented by Lake Oconee Living magazine, were recognized this weekend in true Roaring 20s fashion during the Best of Lake Oconee awards gala at the Oconee Brewing Company in Greensboro.  More than 4,000 votes were cast to determine the Best of Lake Oconee in categories ranging from food and dining to arts and culture. Winners were revealed during the awards ceremony and are featured in the current issue of Lake Oconee Living, on stands now. The Roaring 20s-themed …

New art exhibit opens at STMA

Tia Lynn Ivey Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey A new art exhibit, entitled Faces in Time, will feature the compelling works of three artists who have immortalized influential historical figures through their art at the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art (STMA) later this month.  The STMA will present select works of Steffen Thomas, a renowned sculptor, Leanna Leithauser Lesley, a revolutionary needlepointer, and Chris Cook, a local designer who produces paintings of ”fine art with a Southern flavor.”  According to the STMA, the exhibit will feature “works-on-paper, fiber art portraits, and sculptures of renowned …

Caboose goes green

Sarah Wibell Community, Featured

Sarah Wibell The red Caboose in Rutledge has gone green. Well, greener than it was. One of the most significant alterations is the elimination of Styrofoam. All of the to-go cups, lids, and straws are now Greenware, a product made entirely of plants that is 100 percent compostable in industrial facilities. “We have wanted to do this for a long time,” said Molly Lesnikowski, who co-owns and operates the Caboose with her husband Ed Hogan. “We use as little disposable as possible, and all of the disposable items are recyclable.” …

Bland finding her voice through community work

Brittany Whitley Community

By Brittany Whitley “We were always told we had to be better and therefore, we work really hard to be qualified in what we do,” expressed Morgan County African American Museum (MCAAM) Director Cheryl Bland. And with that ancestral mantra ingrained in her mind, she chased after her dreams but not without aiming for the stars.  The Gray, Ga. native began serving her community as a teen at the Harriet Tubman Museum as a docent, a shadow of her current reality.  “I got to know a lot of the people …

2018, a year in review!

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Sarah Wibell  and Brittany Whitley staff writers January Guy Rogers became Morgan County’s new tax assessor. Rodgers previously worked for the county two decades ago. The “5 Perspectives” art exhibit opened. The collaboration between the Morgan County African American Museum and the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art highlighted work by five contemporary artists celebrating black art. A hotel/motel tax was passed 3-to-2 by Madison’s city council but blocked by State Representative Dave Belton and Senator Burt Jones. The resolution intended to increase a local tax from 5 to 7 …

Out with the old and in with the new

Tia Lynn Ivey Community, Featured

“When the staff first wheeled me in to the new hospital this morning I felt like I was in a hotel!” exclaimed Carolyn Stewart, a retired Middle School teacher who was the first patient to be admitted to the new Morgan Medical Center.  On Wednesday, Dec. 19, hospital leaders transferred patients into the new $35 million hospital and officially closed the doors of Morgan Memorial Hospital, which was established in 1959. Thirteen patients were moved from the old Morgan Memorial Hospital into the brand new Morgan Medical Center, a bittersweet …

A new home for Christmas

Brittany Whitley Community, Featured

B Habitat for Humanity of Morgan County celebrated the completion of a newly constructed house that volunteers are calling “blessed”. “I came in one day and somebody had written on the walls and two by fours in the floor,” Mary DiLetto, a member of Habitat for Humanity, told the audience of supporters. “And I’m going ‘what in the world!’” She pointed at Syreeta Lumpkin, joyous in gratitude, and her mother, Doris Lewis. “These two ladies came in with sharpies and put biblical verses on the two by fours and little …

Greeters learn to shop and smell the roses

Brittany Whitley Community

Hundreds of hurried feet beat the concrete floors behind their empty buggies and alongside their swaying blue baskets through the entryway of one of Madison’s most frequented stores. Belonging to the bodies of those hurried feet are hundreds of expressive faces. And there to greet those many faces are the waiting faces of Walmart’s People Greeters.  Locals flooding the store’s entrance may peripherally catch a greeter organizing carts, checking receipts, speaking to other customers, or simply welcoming them to the store as they pass by. Most times greeters go overlooked …

Primary school students host luncheon for firefighters

Brittany Whitley Community

By Brittany Whitley Forty Morgan County Primary School second graders hosted a healthy Cracker Barrel catered luncheon for the Morgan County Fire Rescue (MCFR) firefighters last Wednesday at noon.  Students under the teaching of Gena Christian, Joanne Roberts, Aubrey Nation, and Paraprofessional Laura Sidwell drew pictures and wrote letters of appreciation and encouragement to the firemen as well as donated almost two pick-up trucks full of canned goods, protein bars, beans, rice, whole grains, and Coco Puffs (for kicks) to MCFR. Although all the firemen and volunteers from MCFR were …

Santa’s Workshop was in our backyard

Staff Written Community

By Jennifer Cochran Mary Ann and Bo didn’t know it for years, but Santa’s workshop was right in their own back yard.  You see, Bill had a workshop behind our house that he built not long before we were married in 1983.  During the year, it was just “the shop” to us, and it was where Bill first used  his carpentry skills as just a hobby and not a business  – building cabinets, making moulding, trim, furniture for our home, and for others, etc.  Around every October or November though, …

The coldest Christmas EVER

Staff Written Community

By Judy Gilbert Excitement! Santa was bringing our youngest child, nine year old Curt a much wished for pony.  Bruce had picked up the little brown pony, Katie, from a farm in Monticello the week before, then we put him out to pasture at Granddaddy Gilbert’s farm, anticipating a perfect Christmas Morning. Christmas morning! It was 1983, one of the coldest Christmas’ ever!    A call came to the house at 4 a.m. from a client, Dr. Richard Owen, about the circa 1850‘s house he had just bought from me. …

Christmas Memories

Staff Written Community

By Russell Kirby To me, Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year!  Mama and daddy always told us, as long as we believe, Santa Claus will come!  Until two years ago, when Mama had her stroke, I woke up every Christmas morning and there, under the tree, would be a gift or two from Santa.  I was lucky…Edd, Keith, and I always had a great Christmas.  We would make our list after going through the catalogue for hours and then on Christmas morning Santa would have brought …

mcc

The patchwork of Christmas memories

Staff Written Community

By Adam Carter As I sit and think of Christmas memories, I look across the room and see the patchwork quilt given to me by my Grandmother.  It is pieced together of all types of cloth, in all kinds of patterns, in many different colors.   Each piece, a scrap of fabric, that today would most likely be discarded as useless.  However, with frugality, each one was kept, knowing that one day it would serve a purpose.   Individually, some of these patches are beautiful designs.  Others, not quite so …

mcc

Recipe for a good Christmas plot line

Staff Written Community

By Laura Margaret Burbach I have very strong opinions about what makes a “good Christmas movie.” (Spoiler: it’s not the big-city-career-woman-falls-for-small-town-high-school-sweetheart Hallmark trope.)  Essentially, a good Christmas movie should follow this plot: someone is disillusioned from the meaning and spirit of Christmas.  Through the movie’s action, a community surrounds this character with love, joy, and singing — and probably baked goods — to rekindle the joy that decorates the Christmas season. My adoration of this particular movie plot stems from my family’s annual Christmas Eve tradition.  During the day, my mom, …

Christmas and Daddy

Staff Written Community

By Cheryl Bland All six of us were born in the “Colored Ward” of the Macon Hospital in Macon.  We were raised in the small middle GA town of Gray, in the community of Clinton in Jones County.   My mom, Mary Lois Johnson Bland, was an English and French teacher, basketball coach and finally a school counselor.   Daddy, Benjamin Franklin Bland, was a civil service worker. My Daddy was a big tall dark man.  He stood 6 foot 2 inches.  He blew cigarette rings and let us play …

By Barbara Ashburn

Staff Written Community

By Barbara Ashburn Where is the magic of Christmas?  Do we need to search for it or does it find us?   Is it in the gifts?  I tried to think of Christmases past and remember if any gifts created that magical feeling. I remember the year I got the most beautiful baby doll.  That same afternoon I took my new doll up the street to show her to neighbors and one of the girls just had to hold her.  Because the neighbor girl was in the process of painting …