Our Stories: I thank God for all the blessings I’ve been given

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By Kathy Whiteside Looking back on this Covid-19 time of quarantine, I can truthfully say that it has been an enjoyable experience for me… with a few exceptions.  Before we knew we had the virus here, we heard (from our son, Andy, in England), how bad the virus was there, how devastating that he and his family could not work, how his daughter’s education was interrupted, and how many deaths had already occurred there.  “It is bad, Mom, really bad” were his words.  Our daughter-in-law, Wendy, was put on four …

Our Stories: Better days are coming

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By Pastor Hoke Smith During this Pandemic, I have been praying, studying, and encouraging people to remain positive. Better days are coming. I look through my Biblical lens of 2020 vision as I enter my 33rd   year after the first Sunday in August. I have never seen the chaotic state that our nation has encountered, that is the Pandemic and the social unrest. Burning and looting is senseless.  We are taking the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and tearing it down and burning it. Agape Love is …

Our Stories: 993 East Avenue, Madison

Staff Written Community

By Pam Bone Whitlock 993 East Avenue, Madison, GA, is just a flat piece of land. Upon that parcel of ground stands Morgan County Primary School, formerly Madison Elementary School Thousands of Morgan County children were first educated here. Hundreds of educators were the inspirational force behind them. Strong administrators including W. B. Neal, Marie Bass Martin and Dr. Wayne Myers encouraged and expected the best from students and teachers. The past few months 993 East Avenue has virtually been silent. There’s been no sounds of happy children on the …

Mayor calls for calm

Staff Written Community, Featured, News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Madison Mayor Fred Perriman felt compelled to speak out about the tumultuous wave of civil, social and racial unrest flooding the country, resulting in scores of nationwide protests, demonstrations, riots, and police brutality last weekend.  The death of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American male, at the hands of Policeman Derek Chauvin on May 25, served as the flashpoint incident to ignite racial and social tensions, long simmering beneath America’s cultural and political landscape.  The following is a message to all citizens from Mayor Perriman.  …

Oconee Coffee Roasters, Polished Peach open

Staff Written Community

Now more than ever before we need to support our local economy! That’s means three words: Shop Small Y’all! From local banks, insurance companies and newspapers to retail shops, restaurants and hair salons! I’m talkin’ about supporting OUR small, family owned businesses – the heart of our One Morgan community!  And, speaking of small, family owned businesses, two just opened up in Downtown Madison that you need to check out immediately: Oconee Coffee Roasters and The Polished Peach!  Ok so I popped into Oconee Coffee Roasters, located at 142 Academy …

Community coming together

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey  managing editor  The weekly Grocery Giveaway, orchestrated by the Morgan County Ministers Union, will continue throughout the summer at Morgan County High School for families in need due to a new $10,000 matching grant from the Conrads Family Foundation.  Madison Mayor Fred Perriman and Reverend Robert Terrell, both members of the Ministers Union, are thrilled with the generous grant donation and urge the community to step up and donate to maximize the full grant’s potential.  “If the community gives $10,000, the Conrads Foundation will match it,” …

Our Stories: What Do Busy People Do When the World Slows Down?

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By Brad and Deneice Rice We are busy people.  Throughout our careers we both epitomized the old saying, “If you want a job done, give it to a busy person.”  In retirement our busy-ness has continued in the manner of seeing grandchildren, traveling the country and the world, volunteering for organizations and commissions, working on rental properties, scouring antique shops for our dolphin and hourglass collections, going out with friends (especially for live country music) and, for Brad, continuing to play historian.  But what do busy people do when they …

Our Stories: Hannah and Chloe’s garden

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By Chloe Cook March 2020 was a crazy month when all the schools closed, but because  of it we had a lot of free time. That’s when my sister Hannah and I decided we should start a garden with the help of our parents. My sister was excited because this was her first time doing a garden, but I have had experience. I’ve had a little garden for the past few years with tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. My dad helped us mark the spot in the backyard, and once that …

Our Stories: The fog comes on little cat feet

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By Jerry McCullough When the special virus first showed up around here, it was just an idea of sorts.  We could see it in black and white, or in technicolor, but not in reality.  In mid-March we, the teachers, were aware of some changes that might come to us after spring break:  hand-sanitizers in every room, rooms disinfected after every class meeting, and a few lessons on-line for a week or so.  As a citizen we really didn’t have too many instructions.  Okay, stop hugging and shaking hands in church …

Our Stories: He is where the joy is

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By Lindsey Carr In the weeks leading up to the birth of our second daughter, I began grieving.  I began to say “goodbye” to almost every expectation I had surrounding her birth.  Our first daughter was born while we lived in California, separated by thousands of miles from everyone in our family.  This time, we were really looking forward to everyone getting to meet our baby much earlier.  I had to let go of the picture I had of our girls meeting at the hospital, the scene we had hyped …

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Our Stories: I’d Rather Laugh

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By Mary Ellen Price The first two weeks of this shut-in I was really good. Only went to the grocery store once a week (early in the morning for us seniors) wearing my mask and tried to stay home as much as possible. But staying at home turned into one catastrophe after another. The middle of March I noticed my refrigerator leaking water all over the floor in my newly remodeled kitchen and on into the dining room. I thought, no problem, I have a Service Warranty so I called …

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Baptist group steps up for Clothes Closet

Staff Written Community

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  For over 35 years, the Clothes Closet has served families in need throughout Madison and Morgan County by providing free clothes and household items donated from the community. The charitable organization, located in at 195 East Jefferson Street in Downtown Madison, was in danger of closing down due to a deteriorating building owned by Morgan County government. But the Clothes Closet will stay put, thanks to a  deal between Morgan County government and the Morgan County Baptist Association, which oversees the Clothes Closet.  The …

‘Non-traditional’ but full of pride and glory

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Morgan County High School’s Class of 2020 graduated last week. About 210 seniors received diplomas and praise over the course of a three-day non-traditional graduation ceremony.  To reduce the spread of the coronavirus, each graduating senior was celebrated “individually” at the high school, among their family, teachers, school faculty, and even their pets.  “On behalf of the faculty and staff of MCHS, congratulations and we can’t wait to see what you do! It has been a privilege to be a part of your journey,” …

Hannah Knight has photo in ‘USA Today’

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Ethel Lytton rutledge correspondent  I first became aware of Hannah as a photographer when I saw her photo shoot on Facebook.  I set up an interview with her and during the interview process she was contacted by a Sports Media Program at University of Georgia (UGA). They were asking permission to use her football shot in a USA Today article (May 20, 2020) about Morgan County High School (MCHS). She said YES!  Another milestone for her will be on July 9, 2020 when she graduates from Georgia Military College. Q: …

AFLAT goes virtual

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By Tia Lynn Ivey  managing editor  Every year, creative students from all four Morgan County schools submit art pieces for the annual A Funky Little Art Thing (AFLAT) exhibit. School leaders had to improvise this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. But instead of cancelling, art teachers created an online website to showcase this year’s student artwork for the entire community to enjoy. “AFLAT is a tradition that my Art Dogs and I look forward to every year,” said Ty Manning, art teacher at Morgan County High School (MCHS).  “In …

Our Stories: Reflections

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By Ellen Beckham As I reflect over the last few weeks, I would like to go back to Thanksgiving Day, 2019 when all was well. I gathered with my family at our Mother’s home and everyone was happy and carefree. I remember Thanksgiving night I was so thankful for another wonderful day with my whole family. Little did I know, the next day would begin change. I knew it was coming but not so quickly. Clifton called to let me know that Mama would be entering a nursing home and …

Our Stories: A wakeup call

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By Carol Seabolt Not quite sure when it all began but one day I found myself thrust into an ever changing, ever evolving world of a pandemic called Covid-19.  It seemed to innocently sneak into our lives and begin to upset normal life and daily routines. As the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases started to rise and schools, churches, restaurants, and workplaces began to close and/or adapt to change, it dawned on me that this pandemic thing was getting too close to my world. For weeks I had heard the …

Our Stories: The days from which my memories come

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By Kathryn Foskey Reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic by three sisters who grew up on a farm in Madison. Kathryn Foskey is retired from Pennington Seed, Carol Seabolt is Vice President of  Finance, Central Garden & Pet Inc. and Ellen Beckham is a retired Kindergarten teacher and current employee of Bank of Madison. Reflections from Kathryn Foskey: Everyone has been affected by the pandemic in one way or another. As I put my thoughts on paper, I realize it’s just another phase of a spiritual journey for me. My faith …

Our Stories: It’s The Laughter We Will Remember

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By Lydia Bell Norburg I am a hugger. So you know this whole pandemic shutdown ordeal has not been easy for me. Especially when it has meant being away from my favorite fellow-hug enthusiasts, my five grandchildren. Well, it may be a stretch to say that the oldest two (who are in that stand-offish no-PDA preteen phase) have actually missed GiGi’s hugs. Even so, four months is too long to go between hugs for anybody, even preteens. And won’t they be excited when GiGi arrives to make up for her …

Our Stories: What opportunities am I grasping?

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By Pat Leming As you read this we are in day 81 of Shelter in Place (SIP) at the Leming household with 22 more days until the governor sets us elderly types free. That’s 103 days total – 2,472 hours – 148,320 minutes. How can we make that much time count?  There is no doubt this nasty Covid-19 virus has robbed us of things we value:  freedom to go where we want when we want; large group gatherings, everything from church services to concerts to family holiday celebrations; businesses operating …