Firefly lights up Town Park

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By Tia Lynn Ivey editor  Clear skies prevailed for the annual two-day Firefly Festival last weekend in Madison’s Town Park.  The first evening, Friday, July 26, was all about the kids.  Children ran wild from activity to activity, enjoying icy treats, bouncy houses, arts and crafts, furry creatures, balloon animals and face painting.  The second evening, on Saturday, July 27 was geared for the adults to have a relaxing date night. Town Park was decorated with elegant lighting as couples and familes enjoyed music and dancing to the funky grooves …

Pearl High School celebrates 50th reunion

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By Tia Lynn Ivey editor  It’s been 50 years the graduating class of Pearl Sreet High School turned their tassels and walked proudly into the world with high school diplomas. The Class of 1969 was reunited this past weekend to walk down memory lane as they celebrated their 50th Class Reunion.  James Sanders, who helped organize the reunion, described the gathering as a “true homecoming.”  The weekend began at the Morgan County Middle School, which used to house, Pearl Street High School, an all African-American school before the era of …

Cops quick thinking saves life

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by Sidhartha Wakade staff writer The Madison Police Department plans to honor an officer with a Lifesaving Award for helping to revive a woman after she fainted and stopped breathing. Officer Jordan Fincher responded to a call in June about a woman who was unconscious and was not breathing on Garnett Street, according to reports. Fincher said he arrived at the address before emergency services. “I went over to the lady that was passed out and not breathing and checked her pulse,” he said. “She didn’t too much have a …

Back To School Rally

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By Sidhartha Wakade staff writer The Morgan County Family Connection Collaborative (MCFCC) distributed backpacks from their second annual backpack drive during the Back to School Rally last Saturday. According to Velde Hardy, coordinator for the MCFCC, this year’s turnout for the rally was a success. About a 400 kids showed up with their families, she said. The backpack drive resulted in over 400 backpacks being given out at the rally, Hardy Explained. “It went really well,” Hardy said. “We had 42 exhibitors that came out to share resources and give …

Dancin’ the night away

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor   Experienced and novice swing dancers gathered in Madison’s Town Park last Thursday for a special Swing Night.  Attendees were encouraged to put on their most comfortable dancing shoes for the adventurous dancing party.  Partners jumped, flipped, spun and twirled the night away. Profession swing dancers performed routines and then offered lessons to the newbies.  Attendees enjoyed a lively evening beneath the majectic columns of Town Park. 

Lights for Liberty

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor A mother was hurrying to Walmart wearing sweats to pick up medicine for her sick son when flashing red and blue lights suddenly lit up her rear view window. What was supposed to be a five minute trip to the store turned into a five-month nightmare locked away from her husband and children in a migrant detention facility in Irwin, Georgia. According to Cherith Johnson, a volunteer for Casa Colibri, a hospitality house facilitating visits to detained migrants in Irwin, this young mother was initially …

The lighter side of Steffen Thomas

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By Sidhartha Wakade staff writer The Steffen Thomas Museum of Art held it’s Lighter Side of Steffen Thomas exhibit as a part of its Fall showing on Tuesday, July 9, 2019. The exhibit featured paintings by Steffen Thomas that were made using luminescent paints and glow under a black light. The first day was a VIP opening for members of Steffen Thomas museum, while the public opening on July 11, according to Roland Lewan, the acting director of the museum. The Lighter Side exhibit will run until August 3, he …

Year later: Hall family remember diving tragedy

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  A local grieving family is telling their story in hopes of educating others about the dangers of diving into lakes. It’s been one year since the Hall family set out to have a relaxing day on the serene waters of Lake Oconee, but the day ended in unimaginable tragedy instead. On July 7, 2018 Charles Tyler Hall, the 21-year-old son of Karen and Wade Hall, unknowingly dove into a shallow portion of the lake near the Sugar Creek Marina. He sustained three cervical breaks …

The Fourth was with us

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor There was no shortage of patriotic celebrations this year for the Fourth of July to honor America’s official founding in 1776.  The manicured lawn of the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center was lined with red, white, and blue last Wednesday as patriotic locals gathered for the annual Independence Day Concert and Picnic on July 3. Uncle Sam mingled with attendees waving flags as the Athens Classic City Band, Georgia’s longest operating community band, played American tribute songs. The cuisine was provided for by Pot’s Barbeque and …

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Madison Artists Guild to host first Summer Garden Party

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by Sidhartha Wakade staff writer The Madison Artists Guild will host their first Summer Garden Party at the Firefly Bed and Breakfast on Friday, July 12. Rita Knight,  a local artist and member of the guild, said the party is a way to show off what the guild has to offer. It is the first event of its kind, she said.  “This is the first garden party,” she said. “We really want it to be a fun event, and we want to have this class just to kind of give …

Bostwick’s Annual Bar-B-Que a huge, delicious success

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor About 900 people showed up to this year’s annual Bostwick Fourth of July Barbecue last week at Riden Grove in Downtown Bostwick.  “It was a tremendous success. I met people tons of new people and saw people who I have seen my whole life, who have been coming the last 20 or 30 years. It’s quite a reunion” said David Nunn, a lifelong Bostwick resident and one of the event organizers.  “The weather was great. It was hot, but we had some shade with …

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Stanton Springs extension inching towards Morgan

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  The Stanton Springs Industrial Park is slowly expanding toward Morgan County as the $3.5 million project to extend the Shire Parkway 2,400 feet moves forward. Bob Hughes, president of the Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce, presented the latest update on Stanton Springs to the Morgan County Board of Commissioners. Stanton Springs Industrial Park currently houses Takeda, a $1.2 billion biopharmaceutical company, a $14 million Bioscience Training Center and a new Facebook data center is currently being developed at the site. The first phase of the …

One family’s mission to see the world

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By Judy Garrison guest writer Of the thousands of photos living in self-crafted photography books on shelves, the multi-colored glass sculptures resting on wooden coffee tables, tapestries of kaleidoscopic colors softening the hard wood floors, what is encased in a wooden shadow box hanging on the basement wall of the Campbell’s home is what she wishes me to see.   “I got this in Papua New Guinea,” says Alla Campbell. “It’s a fertility necklace worn by men. I bargained with the lady but she wouldn’t budge. Her grandmother made it.” …

A good time was had by all…

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By  Tia Lynn Ivey staff writer “The annual Browns Chapel Soulful Sounds in the Park rocked out last Saturday night, June 29,  in Madison’s Town Park.  A large crowd gathered to dance to the groovy musical styling of Kasper and The 911 Band, an Atlanta-based group specializing in soulful sounds. The band is comprised of Kasper Rouser, Derrick Alexander,Micheal Hall, Gary Webster, Herbert Williams, Reginald Williams, and Edsel Robinson. The group performed a lively show in perfect weather as the audience danced and swayed and socialized all evening. 

Rutledge Lakers host Reunion

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By Sidhartha Wakade staff writer The Lakers held a reunion in Walton County last Saturday, but not in the way most people are thinking. To those expecting coverage of Shaq, Kobe or more recently, LeBron: it is not about those Lakers, “Showtime,” or otherwise. The Lakers in this case were the legendary local slow-pitch women’s softball team that formed in Rutledge, Georgia in 1968 and was disbanded in 1985, not the legendary basketball team that still exists and is not connected to Morgan County.  Known in their time as the …

Steffen Thomas Museum preps new fall exhibit

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By Sidhartha Wakade staff writer The Steffen Thomas Museum of Art (STMA) will kick off its fall exhibition on July 1, featuring a look at luminescent paintings and a history of Steffen Thomas’ art. The July exhibit, titled the Lighter Side of Steffen Thomas, will include works by Steffen Thomas that were painted with luminescent colors only visible via a black light, according to Roland Lewan, the president of the STMA. “There was a certain period of time where luminescent paint was popular and he included it intentionally, but we …

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Family Connection begins annual backpack drive

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By Sidhartha Wakade staff writer The Morgan County Family Connection Collaborative started its annual backpack drive on June 3 and runs through July 13 in an effort to get kids school  supplies. Leigh Anne Aaron, a Morgan and Oconee County Family and Consumer Science Extension agent, said the drive leads up to the Morgan County back to school rally. “The goal is to collect 500 backpacks to distribute to Morgan County students at the Morgan County back to school rally,” she said. The rally will take place on July 20 …

African American Museum houses new art

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By Tia Lynn Ivey staff writer Although this year’s June Fest at the Morgan County African American Museum (MCAAM) in Madison  was cancelled due to the threat of inclement weather last Saturday, a small group gathered at the museum to view the new artwork on display.  A talented artist debuted his artwork at the MCCAAM last Saturday. Ernso Brown, a 29-year-old artist from Indianapolis, Indiana, gave a brief talk Saturday about several of his paintings now on display at the MCAAM for the next month.  Brown said he draws from …

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Morgan County prepares for Fourth of July

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By Tia Lyn Ivey managing editor  There is no shortage of patriotic celebrations around Morgan County to commemorate America’s Independence Day.  This Fourth of July weekend, get ready to wave your flags and dress in red, white and blue to huddle next to your loved ones beneath the fireworks.  On Wednesday, July 3, the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center will hold its annual Independence Day Concert and Picnic on the front lawn from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event is free.  “Join us as we paint Madison RED, WHITE, AND BLUE …

Local creamery offers tours

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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 …