Black History Celebrated

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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 …

Pointe Of Grace takes the stage

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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. 

STMA and Crossroads build a vision at SO

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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 …

Hats off to the Class Of 2019

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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 …

Honoring the fallen

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By Sidhartha Wakade staff writer More than a thousand motorcycles poured into downtown Madison as a part of the 21st Ride for America in remembrance of fallen veterans on Memorial Day. Last Monday, the annual ride set out from Loganville and culminated at Madison’s Town Park for a special ceremony featuring local leaders and veterans.  According to Jim NeSmith, commander of the American Legion Calvin George Post 37 and the organizer of the event, close to 1,400 riders on 800 bikes showed up this year. Including locals and visitors, NeSmith …

Keeping Vets Memory Alive

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By Sidhartha Wadake staff writer Rows of white crosses, bearing the names of fallen veterans, lined the grass in front of the old depot in downtown Rutledge on Saturday, May 18. The crosses were put up by Boy Scout Troop 748 to help the Rutledge Women’s Club as a way for the community to remember veterans who lost their lives.  This was the second year that the crosses were put up according to Eric Marchant, the scoutmaster. The project began as a way for Marchant’s son, Matt Marchant, to get …

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Vacation Bible School season

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By Elsie Monk staff writer It is hard to believe Vacation Bible School has been around 125 years.  That’s a lot of Kool-Aid and cookies served!  Area churches are gearing up their VBS week for kids from wee little ones through 5th grade.  Don’t you ever wonder how Vacation Bible School got started? According to Wikipedia, Vacation Bible School can be traced back to Hopedale, Illinois in 1894.  Sunday School teacher D. T. Miles started a daily Bible school to teach during the summer.  In 1898 Virginia Sinclair Hawes at …

Huntertones make their mark on Morgan

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By Sarah Wibell staff writer Every year, the Chamber Music Festival brings talented, renowned musicians to Madison, but the artists performing this past weekend gave an additional performance for the Fine Arts students at Morgan County High School. The Huntertones, a jazz fusion group from Columbus, Ohio, now in Brooklyn, New York, gave three performances within 24 hours in Madison on Friday and Saturday, May 17-18. Band members Dan White (saxophones), Jon Lampley (trumpet/sousaphone), Chris Ott (trombone/beatbox), Adam DeAscentis (bass), John Hubbell (drums), Josh Hill (guitar), and Justin Stanton (keys/trumpet) …

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Get Ready! Bikers headed here for Memorial Day

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By Sarah Wibell staff writer For the past 20 years, Memorial Day has been acknowledged and honored by a public ceremony that has included Ride for America, the second largest escorted motorcycle ride in the nation. This year, barring bad weather, the event in Madison’s Town Park expects over 1K motorcyclists to fill the streets in remembrance of fallen and deceased veterans, according to the event’s organizer and Commander of the American Legion Calvin George Post 37 Jim NeSmith. The ceremony will be held on May 27 from 11 a.m. …

American Legion 100th Anniversary

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By Sarah Wibell staff writer Morgan County’s very own American Legion Calvin George Post 37 celebrated their 100th anniversary with a county proclamation and state resolution presented at their meeting on April 29. Post 37 was chartered on September 19, 1919, and named for Calvin George, who grew up in Madison and died overseas during World War I. Born on December 24, 1890, in Macon, Calvin’s father Emerson George graduated from Mercer University in 1884 and received a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1892. U.S. censuses show …

Camp Twin Lakes hosts Open House

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor As the summer season fast approaches, leaders at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge are preparing the grounds for their annual summer camps for disabled children and teenagers.  At an Open House event at the end of April, Camp Twin Lakes welcomed 100 first-time campers and their families to tour the grounds to get a taste of what camp will be like this summer.  “The purpose of the event was to invite new campers to come out to see their cabins and to see the …

Local author holds books signing at MAG

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By Sarah Wibell staff writer  Local author, Tarrant Smith, held a book signing at the Madison Artists Guild Saturday, May 11, for her first book, The Love of Gods, in the “Legends of the Pale” series and her five-book “Darkly” series, which received a Readers’ Favorite Award. Smith’s works fall into a category of paranormal romance novels. Her online biography states, “As a self-described kitchen witch, I have always sought out and nurtured the magick that can be found in the mundane trappings of everyday life. My outlook is decidedly …

Derby Day in Madison

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor After a one-year hiatus, Derby Day–the sole annual fundraiser of the Madison-Morgan Conservancy (MCC)– returned last weekend. Derby Day is a lavish viewing party of the Kentucky Derby in which attendees wear traditional fancy wide-brimmed hats while sipping bourbon and dining on delicious cuisine. This year, Derby Day was supposed to be held at the historic Foster-Thomason-Miller House, but was moved to the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center last minute due to inclement weather. But attendees were still treated to a special evening at the while …

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River group holding May 11 fundraising float

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By Sarah Wibell staff The Apalachee River Hidden Gem event taking place on May 11 hopes to bring in around 50 participants and inspire them to become river and land stewards. The event organized by non-profit organizations, Georgia River Network and Oconee River Land Trust, is part of Georgia River Network’s Hidden Gems Series. These Hidden Gem events highlight local up-and-coming water trails, providing opportunities for people to rediscover some of the hidden gems on Georgia’s waterways and learn how they can get involved in river protection and enjoyment in …

Charmaine Minniefield Gallery Talk

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By Sarah Wibell staff writer Atlanta-based artist Charmaine Minniefield, whose work is garnering national and international attention, gave a gallery talk at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center on Sunday, May 5. Her work, currently on display at MMCC as part of the Connexus exhibit, draws upon a spiritual connection with ancestors, emancipation, and feminism. In particular, the pieces that are part of Minniefield’s Black Angel collection reference, reflect, and are inspired by Ring Shout, which she explained during her talk. “I actually travelled back to West Africa, to the region where …

Tour Of Homes

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Approximately 1,000 visitors descended upon Madison last weekend for the annual “Madison in May” Spring Tour of Homes. This year’s tour featured five historical houses, one condominium, one new home, five historic churches, and three historical attractions.  The “Madison in May” Spring Tour of Homes is sponsored by the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC).  According to Elsie Monk, Chair of the “Madison in May” Spring Tour of Homes, “the tour allowed visitors to experience the living history of Madison while strolling through a collection of …

Safari Park ‘moving forward’

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By Sarah Wibell staff writer  After some delays, the Georgia Safari Conservation Park is moving forward with hires made and partners added, according to GSCP partners Mike Conrads and Brandie Anderson who shared updates with the Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday, April 25. While plans for beginning construction of Phase I was set for this spring, fencing and buffers will actually start going in this August. Conrads asserted, “I assure you that we are fully committed and are moving forward with this project. First and foremost, we had that …

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Steak n Shake shuts its doors

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Thirty-three people lost their jobs in Madison last Saturday when the local Steak ‘n Shake restaurant located at 2011 Eatonton Road shut its doors. According to Steak ‘n Shake General Manager Stedman Taylor of Rutledge, employees received little notice of the closure. The restaurant’s Madison real estate is owned by Steak ‘n Shake franchisee Madison SNS, LLC, according to property records.    Taylor who began working at the restaurant nine months said several local businesses have contacted him about job openings for employees. “It means …

Friends raising funds for Manning’s surgery

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  A local art teacher will soon get his heart fixed by surgeons and his floor fixed by friends.  Ty Manning, long-time Morgan County High School (MCHS) art teacher, is undergoing heart surgery next week to have an aortic valve replaced. His friends decided to provide Manning with a safe environment in which to recover by replacing his severely damaged kitchen floor. Manning’s friends have put together a benefit concert to raise funds for the floor replacement and Manning’s medical expenses.  “The amount of love and …

Madison Veterinary Clinic has new owner

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Look at the sunshine! Check out the green trees and bloomin’ flowers! Listen to the wind chimes and birds! It’s takin’ me back… way, way back!  Sheeoshhhhh, Sooosh! Whoa! I’m windin’ through the universe in a wormhole, back in time! OMG! I ain’t wearin’ no shoes and I’m riding this groovy banana seat bike!  It’s June 1968 and I’m almost seven! Check out my cool, yellow transistor radio! It’s on my fave station, playin’ one of the best songs ever — Tommy James and the Shondells! Sing it with me …