Now is the time for everyone to look out for their neighbors

Contributed Community

By Chet Thomas Even though I am no longer a resident of Morgan County, I still consider it to be my home. I am thankful that we have the ability to keep up with what’s going on “back home.”   How has the pandemic affected my world? You think you have everything planned out in detail, and then something comes clear out of the blue to blow all of those plans right out of the water.  Like most, I was not too terribly worried about this at first. Then, on …

Thankful for my hometown when college shuts down

Contributed Community

By Lucia Hodges  I’ve always known that I wanted to go to college as far away as possible. Don’t get me wrong, growing up in small town Madison was an absolute blessing and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. This tight knit community made me into the person I am today. However, when the time came to start applying for college, my adventurous spirit led me to apply to schools across the country. Ultimately, my heart was set on California, the sunshine state. I found Santa Clara University, …

Gov. shuts down schools for March

Staff Written Community

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor All Morgan County Schools, along with every other K-12 school in Georgia, will be closed through March in an attempt to slow the spread of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced the decision late last week.  Superintendent Dr. James Woodard is committed to keeping the schools “operational” despite the physical absence of students, with school leaders designing at-home and online course work.   “With extended suspension and closure, we are preparing how to work from home,” said Woodard. “These times call for special …

COVID compassion

Staff Written Community

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor In the wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic, groceries and sanitation products are flying off the shelves faster than stores can restock them. Pictures of shoppers hoarding toilet paper and other supplies have flooded social media platforms as people all over the country prepare to self-quarantine in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. But the community in Morgan County will not forsake each other in this time of crisis.  Jamisha Allen, a healthcare worker born and raised in Madison, orchestrated a care-package drive out …

One Val, Two Sals

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Last week, Morgan County High School announced this yearís Valedictorian and two Salutatorians for the Class of 2020. Morgan County Senior Michael Peters earned the top slot as valedictorian. Seniors Mason Autry and Natalie Rogers tied academically as salutatorians. The studentsí families gathered for the surprise announcement last week at Morgan County High School, celebrating the academic achievements each of the students has dedicated their high school careers to earn.

Panic buying leaves store shelves empty

Staff Written Community

By Quinn Rafferty staff writer Every morning for the last week there has been a line of customers outside the door at Ingles waiting for the 6 a.m. opening. On Tuesday, by 10 a.m. there was no toilet paper left on the shelves. On St. Patrick’s Day, for the first time ever an unidentified Ingles employee said, there is no corned beef. Last week, the employee said, a manager had to comfort a crying customer on the toilet paper aisle. “She just broke down,” the employee said. In light of …

Small But Resilient

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By Patrick Yost editor For 24 years Ed Hogan and Molly Lesnikowski have served sandwiches and crushed ice from The Caboose Restaurant in downtown Rutledge. “Our business is weather driven,” Hogan says. Last Thursday, the same week that news spread that Hard Labor Creek was being used to establish a a small COVID-19 quarantine center (14 spaces available, officials say, in seven pull-behind campers) the phone rings inside the iconic restaurant. Hogan answers. “Well, look at it,” he says, “somebody cancelled a job.” That somebody was the Morgan County Conservancy …

Halloran, Huggins discuss latest books

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By Quinn Rafferty staff writer Local authors Jim Halloran and Stephen Huggins were invited to give presentations about their books at the Georgia Writers Museum recently.  Halloran is the author of Baseball and America. His inspiration for writing the book comes from his love of baseball.  “Baseball has been a part of America’s history for 150 years; it’s embedded in its toughest times and helped it heal when not much else would do. It’s also responsible for uniting people of all ages, races, and religions across the nation to support …

Churches come together to ‘Renew’ youth

Staff Written Community

By Quinn Rafferty staff writer Fusion Church in Madison is hosting the third annual Renew event put on by Morgan County Youth United. The event will run all weekend March 20-21 for middle school and high schooled aged students.  Morgan County Youth United is an organization made up of individuals who are youth leaders at their churches throughout the county. Renew allows these leaders and the kids from their respective churches to come together and spend time worshipping, participating in mission projects and growing in fellowship.  “It’s a dynamic, contemporary …

Drug Court has new home

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By Patrick Yost editor  When the Adult Treatment Court Collaborative (ACCT), known by law enforcement, participants and prosecutors as “drug court” was trying gain purchase in 2015, the innovative approach the drug epidemic was taking what it could get. “We would hold classes were we could,” says Superior Court Judge Brenda Trammell, long a backer of the program. The court, which basically offers first time drug offenders the opportunity to undergo a rigid mental health and substance abuse counseling along with anger management skills instead of jail, started in this …

Swing your partner round and round

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Well, Howdy!  It’s the time of year to swing your partner round and round!  Morgan County Primary School (MCPS) held its annual Barn Dance event last Thursday in the school’s gymnasium as parents and teachers cheered along the sidelines. Primary school student, dressed in their best Cowboy and Cowgirl attire,  do-si-do’d all over the gymnasium to twangy, upbeat country music. 

NASA taps local teacher for flight

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Alec Johnson, a local Morgan County High School science teacher, will take flight to the edges of the earth’s atmosphere this summer through a special NASA program designed to strengthen science education in the United States. Johnson is one of 28 teachers chosen to serve as an Airborne Astronomy Ambassador.  “I am extremely thankful and honored to be chosen by the SETI Institute to work with NASA’s SOFIA Telescope this summer in Palmdale, California. As a teacher in the Airborne Astronomy Ambassador program, I …

A life lived in full bloom

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By Patrick Yost editor Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of stories that will look into the champions, people and ideas that continue to transform the character of Madison’s downtown, from small retailers to leaders who inspired action. Gussie Knight ran her business for half a century and her legacy continues.  It is Valentine’s Day and Gussie’s House of Flowers has arrangements packed into every corner. The main floor is full, the side tables are full, and the shop on West Jefferson Street smells glorious. And Deanna Nunn …

Ranky Tanky Good Time

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By Tia Lynn Ivey staff writer Don’t miss the Grammy-Award-Winning band at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC) this Saturday, March 7 at 8 p.m. The five members of Ranky Tanky are based out of Charleston, South Carolina and perform “timeless music of Gullah culture born in the southeastern Sea Island region of the United States.” Tickets are $45, or $30 for students.  The lead vocalist Quiana Parler partnered with members, Quentin Baxter, Kevin Hamilton, Clay Ross, and Charlton Singleton, all of whom previously played together in the Charleston jazz quartet …

Holberts celebrate 65 years together

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By Patrick Yost editor  On Feb. 26, 1955 Charlie and Patsy Holbert stood before a Methodist pastor’s parsonage in Apalachee and took their wedding vows. Their friends Bobby Bone and Barbara West witnessed the union.  This week, that will be 65 years, two children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild ago. It will be 65 years of struggle, work and love the two young teens  both nurtured and endured after Charlie slipped on Patsy’s Aunt Fannie’s ring on that notable day. And that, they say together, was just the beginning. But …

Madison man needs life saving transplant

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By Quinn Rafferty staff writer Madison resident Myron Winder, 35, has struggled with kidney failure since 2014 and is in dire need of a kidney transplant.  Winder receives dialysis every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at Madison Kidney Center, spending just under four hours for the treatment every time he goes.  “It’s a lifesaver but it’s also incredibly draining,” said Winder on dialysis, “It takes a lot out of you.”  Winder was diagnosed with kidney failure after being sick with lupus.  Lupus, or Lupus nephritis, causes inflammation of the small blood vessels that filters …

Crossing Color Lines, Past and Present

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor As part of the ongoing Black Heritage and Brotherhood of Men, The Steffen Thomas Museum of Art (STMA) hosted a symposium “Crossing Color Lines, Past and Present” last Saturday with participating artists to discuss the black experience in America and those experiences have shaped their artwork.  Debuting on Feb. 1, the “Black Heritage and the Brotherhood of Man is the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art’s annual exhibition showcasing contemporary African American artists in Georgia. The legacy of Steffen Thomas is both as an artist …

“They didn’t have buses for us”

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor With sore feet and the frigid air on her face, Parthenia Crawford Adams walked the five-mile trek to school each day as a bus full of warm white children would pass her by on the road.  “Rain or shine, we walked five miles to school and five miles back. On the cold days, you’d really wish to be on the bus with all the white children. But they didn’t have buses for us.” It was 1936, and Parthenia, a lifelong Morgan County resident, was …

MMCC chair exhibition outSTANDING success

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor A new exhibit at the Madison Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC) opened to fanfare last weekend as droves of people showed up for the opening reception of the Chair Show.  “This juried exhibit celebrates and explores the ubiquitous CHAIR. The show represented a wide range of styles and interpretations of chairs through multi-media art,: said a rep from the MMCC.  “Last night was full of delight and surprise at the opening reception of The Chair Show!” wrote the center on Facebook after the event. “Thank …

Morgan police and medics practice Active Shooter Training Drill

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By Quinn Rafferty staff writer  EMS Education Program, Adaptive Training, held a training session at the old Morgan Memorial Hospital building this past Friday to fuse together police enforcement and EMT training. Cofounders Crystal Shelnutt and Ben Ewing began Adaptive Training in 2017 with the goal to save more lives when it comes to intentional violent incidences.  Shelnutt and Ewing have a combined 45 years of experience in EMS. Shelnutt served as a Program Chair for EMS Education at a technical college before launching Adaptive Training. Ewing has served as …