A YEAR IN SPORTS 2017

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Elizabeth Lanier staff writer January • The Lady Dogs finish fourth at Sweet South Classic. They started out by winning their first round of the Sweet South Tournament at home, ripping through Eastside 59-29. With a chance to advance to the championship game, the Lady Dogs took on Mill Creek High School in the second round. Unfortunately, their chance for a trip to the finals was squashed by the Lady Hawks with a final score of 55-48. With a loss to Mill Creek, Morgan then took on Luella in …

THE YEAR THAT WAS 2017

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Elizabeth Lanier staff writer January • The Morgan County Board of Commissioners elected Ben Riden Jr. and Philipp Von Hanstein to replace Ellen Warren and Philip Clack who vacated their seats at the end of 2016. • Morgan Memorial Hospital (MMH) officials presented the details of the recent USDA loan approval to fund the construction of a $35 million new hospital to the Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC). • A new free program in Morgan County offered another pathway for people to earn their high school diploma. The …

Santa visits Morgan County

Tia Lynn Ivey Community, Featured

With the Holiday Season in full swing, it seems Santa Claus has spent more time in Morgan County than in his workshop at the North Pole. Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their band of helper elves have been spotted all over Morgan County throughout the month of December during various community Christmas celebrations. Just this past weekend, Good Ole’ Saint Nick flew in on his sleigh to Hard Labor Creek in Rutledge to surprise the children in attendance. Santa also made a stop at the Madison Morgan Boys & Girls Club …

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Sheriff’s Office serves more than 100 families at Christmas

Patrick Yost Community

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office completed its annual Empty Stocking Fund Program, distributing stockings full of gifts for 126 families throughout Morgan County. “It was another successful year that was only made possible by all our generous donors and volunteers,” said Olivia Laborn, chairperson of the Empty Stocking Fund. The Empty Stocking Fund was started under the former Sheriff Ken Pritchett and taken over by Sheriff Robert Markley when he was elected to the office in 2001. “This is a long-time treasured tradition of the Sheriff’s Office,” said Laborn. “Our …

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Twas the Night Before Christmas, Bulldog Rendition

Staff Written Community, Sports

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the land Not a creature was stirring, ‘cept the Bulldogs and fans. Their unis were hung by the lockers with care, In hopes that Saint Billy soon would be there. The players were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of championships danced in their heads. And Woodall in Dog Hat, and Bell in his cap, Had been working their brains on a reverse and a trap. When out on the field there arose such a clatter, They sprang from the …

Most memorable Christmas – a bittersweet goodbye

Staff Written Community

By Cam Smoak I could write about happy light-filled childhood memories, or the thrill of coming home to a decorated house after a tough semester of college (like in the Folger’s commercial), or even the many Christmases spent in Italy learning new traditions during the holidays.  But by far, my most memorable Christmas was last year when our sweet Grandmother, Marie Ponder, passed away. Christmas 2016 was to be a milestone Christmas for my family in Madison.  We were to celebrate the arrival of two new grandchildren (Annabelle Smoak, and …

The Pagetts tropical vacation

Staff Written Community

By Jessie Padgett In December of 2014 I had one of my favorite Christmas memories. My parents did an exceptional job each year making something stand out and giving us a special memory. My favorite Christmas memory of all time is when my whole family including my aunt, uncle, cousins and grandparents went on a cruise to the Bahamas. We were gone for 10 days and even spent Christmas morning on the ship. At first we were not so thrilled about missing the “normal” Pagett Christmas where we would attend …

Christmas On Dixie

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Elizabeth Lanier staff writer Christmas on Dixie lights up Morgan County for the fifth year in a row. This annual festivity brings people from near and far to enjoy the display located on the corner of Dixie Highway and Wilson Road in Madison. According to Shane Seabolt, one of the founders of the exhibit, the idea of this yearly display of lights arises from a tradition he started with his daughters as they were growing up. Seabolt explains, “My daughters and I would always add a new decoration every …

My Most Memorable Christmases

Staff Written Community

By Carolyn Carter I was asked to write about my most memorable Christmas.   None of my Christmases stand out as the most memorable; each one was memorable in its own way. My first memories are of Christmas on South Milledge Avenue in Athens, Ga.  My brother, sister, and I of course were so excited on Christmas Eve that we couldn’t sleep.  At the crack of dawn, we all ran into the living room to see what Santa had left.  I remember my mother’s wonderful coconut cake and fruitcake.  She …

First Christmas

Staff Written Community

By Clay E. Fears, III Christmas memories have always been good for us.  Growing up in families who loved to decorate and celebrate, home was filled with cheer and light.  The backdrop of the story of the Christ child combined with Mr. Dickens tales of Christmas Past, Present, and Future to create a comforting celebration.  Presents seemed always to be abundant, and while you never got everything you wanted, there was always enough. We all grow up and maybe perspective changes; the desire to be a giver develops.  The joy …

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A Christmas Memory

Staff Written Community

By Jennie Newton First published in 1994 Mother didn’t buy her usual Scotch Pine Christmas tree that year. She left the well-worn red and green glossy glass balls, the traditional satin ornaments, and the elegant jeweled velvet doves packed away in marked cardboard boxes in the third- floor attic at Boxwood. It must not have felt much like Christmas that year to her. Her youngest son stopped by briefly on the afternoon of the day before Christmas Eve on his way to see in-laws in Charleston. She knew not to …

The Connelly’s Most Memorable Christmas

Staff Written Community

By Johnny Connelly The quote from Lonely Planet had sustained me for years: “If you can’t laugh while bumping your head against the roof of a truck, you shouldn’t be in Africa.” We shouldn’t have been here. It was Christmas Eve, 2010 and we’d been bouncing along Ethiopian dirt roads for several days. The boys were restless, I was disappointed and Janice was seething because of a sign she’d spotted at our hotel: “Visit the rock hewn churches of Lalibela and assure your place in heaven.” It made her cringe. …

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Christmas with the Perrimans

Staff Written Community

By Marie S. Perriman Christmas, what a wonderful time of the year!  Christmas, like anytime else, is special in our home.  The memories of spending and sharing Christmas Eve with our three little daughters and then seeing their bright, happy faces Christmas morning was priceless. On Christmas Eve, we would gather together in the den after dinner awaiting what the night would bring.  In addition to playing games, we shared our thoughts about the meaning of Christmas.  Fred and I made sure they knew the reason for the Christmas season …

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Grandchild to Grandmother – my Christmas memories

Staff Written Community

By Diane Veasley As a child I remember shaking the Christmas gifts under the tree trying to imagine what might be inside. Waiting on our grandma to finish with the mixing bowl with the icing for the cake so we could get the bowl and spoon to eat the left over icing. Going to bed early on Christmas eve as if that would make Santa come any sooner, but of course we didn’t know that we were kids. As a child growing up with five siblings Christmas was really the …

Forever Bulldogs

Tia Lynn Ivey Community, Featured

A memorial bench honoring the legacy of a fallen Morgan County High School student, Michael Rhodes, has been erected in a special garden beside another memorial bench honoring Seth Stapleton, a fellow MCHS student who died in 2015. The two granite benches have been placed near the main entrance of the Bill Corry Stadium to honor the two young football players taken too soon from this world. Both Rhodes and Stapleton were killed in tragic car accidents. Michael’s jersey, number 72, and Seth’s jersey, number 71, have both been retired …

A hometown Christmas

Tia Lynn Ivey Community, Featured

Madison’s annual Hometown Christmas Parade and Caroling by Candlelight events ushered in the holiday season last weekend as hundreds of people gathered in downtown Madison to watch decked out floats, sing Christmas songs, and meet the one and only Santa Claus. “The sun came out just in time for the parade,” said Colleen Hall, event coordinator for the City of Madison. “It was cold, but pretty. We were happy to see so many people come out to celebrate the holiday season with us.” The parade featured floats, walking groups, vintage …

2017 Holiday Tour Of Homes

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Bob Hughes president chamber of commerce This year’s Tour of Homes was a great success with over 2,400 visitors over the 3 days of the tour. Of course, the weather cooperated with only foggy and overcast conditions, but all of our visitors had a wonderful time seeing the sites and shops of Madison and Morgan County. Our attendance was on track with previous years and included visitors from as far away as Texas and California with a couple from Germany who bought tickets for another tour but saw Madison …

Christmas in Rutledge

Tia Lynn Ivey Community

Good ole’ Saint   Nick just couldn’t resist stopping by his favorite small town this holiday season. Santa made an appearance in Rutledge last weekend during the annual Rutledge Christmas Festival. Local children sat on jolly Santa’s lap to tell him all of their Christmas wishes. Rutledge, decked out for the holidays with lights, garland and wreaths, hosted the festival featuring food, games, music, and a market of vendors for a one-of-kind holiday shopping experience. The event even featured a magic show for children. The event was sponsored by the …

Community hosts Thanksgiving Meal

Staff Written Community

Nearly 300 people throughout Morgan County took advantage of the free Thanksgiving meal made possible by Calvary Baptist Church and the Morgan County Board of Education. About 100 volunteers prepared meals at Morgan County High School on Thanksgiving Day, serving families in the cafeteria or delivering takeout meals to people’s homes. “It went extremely well,” said Angela Daniel, administrator for Calvary Baptist Church in Madison. “It was well organized and everyone did their part. It was wonderful to see our community working together to help those who really need it. …

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Ultimate List of Local Holiday Events

Tia Lynn Ivey Community

The Holiday Season has arrived and with it, a slew of local events throughout the entire month of December that are designed to get your family into the Christmas spirit while creating memories that will last a lifetime. This weekend is jam-packed with holiday festivities around the county. First up, the annual Town and Country Holiday Tour of Homes kicks off this Thursday, Nov. 30 and runs through Saturday, Dec. 2. Participants will be able to explore Madison on this self-guided tour through Madison’s finest historic homes, churches and sites. …