Historic depot undergoes rehabilitation

Tia Lynn Ivey Featured, News

  Bill Peacock—just an unknown name faintly scribbled across an old freight scale in the historic Central of Georgia Depot in Madison. It’s one of many faded names written across planks and walls inside the freight room of the depot, which was built in 1901.  But it wasn’t just trains that came through the depot, but people. Each name left behind represents a life that partly unfolded in Madison’s busy depot during the early 1900s. Most of their stories have been lost to time. But Joe Smith, the architect overseeing …

Independence Day around Morgan County

Sarah Wibell Community, Featured

Morgan County residents, family, and friends celebrated Independence Day throughout the county in high spirits. With mixing and mingling across the newly landscaped lawn of the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center on July 3, people picnicked and enjoyed a live concert by the Athens Classic City Band with Uncle Sam as the emcee. The Morgan County High School Color Guard presented the colors as the national anthem was sung by Ansley Baldwin. Those in attendance may have even caught a glimpse of Captain America or the Statue of Liberty who made guest …

Former MCHS assistant principal Rickard arrested, charged with sex crimes

Tia Lynn Ivey Featured, News

A former assistant principal at Morgan County High School, Ryan Rickard, has been arrested and charged with rape, sexual assault, and sexual battery, against three victims, all of whom were students of his and one of whom is from Morgan County. According to a press release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI), Rickard, 34, was arrested on Friday, July 6 on multiple counts of sexual assault and sexual battery and one count of rape. The charges also claim Rickard, held “supervisory or disciplinary authority” over his alleged victims at …

Beloved Music and testimonials in Town Park

Sarah Wibell Community, Featured

Music and testimonials filled Town Park in Madison Thursday, June 21, as Beloved hosted the Summer Party in the Park Concert. Danielle Copeland, the event organizer, explained, “Beloved is a group that was created by a group of women from different churches in the area who wanted an event for women where they could come together, press pause on their lives, and soak up God’s love and fellowship with other women. We chose the name Beloved because it includes everyone. We want women to feel loved, cherished, and heard, and …

Leaving a trail of service in his wake

Sarah Wibell Community, Featured

  “You ain’t going through this life but one time!” Troy Dobbs, 91-year-old New Hope native and Bostwick resident, will tell you without hesitation. “You don’t get nowhere by lying; you tell the truth, and you’ll come out on top.” And so he has. Mayor John Bostwick and the City Council of Bostwick recently named a local trail after Dobbs for his lifetime of service and commitment to the community, whether reading water meters or serving on the city council from 1964-2014. Dobbs recalled, “I was on the city council …

Thousands raised with all that jazz

Tia Lynn Ivey Community, Featured

If you were in Downtown Madison Saturday evening, you may have heard a soulful rendition of “Proud Mary” reverberating out from Town Park. An Evening of Jazz rocked the park Saturday evening, drawing a couple hundred people for a night of music, dancing, and celebration. The event featured the music styling of Rufus Hope Jr. and the 3X Jazz Band with a special appearance by “De-Bo-Rah” Norris who belted out classic hits throughout the evening.  Ron Atwaters wailed on the saxophone accompanying De-Bo-Rah’s high-energy vocals. Rufus Hope Jr. kept the …

Casting the net of brotherhood

Tia Lynn Ivey Community, Featured

Last week, The Steffen Thomas Museum of Art held a private opening for a new art display that is now open to the public. “Casting the net of Brotherhood” will be on display through September 1 at the STMA. The artwork highlights Steffen Thomas’ commitment to exploring the universal human spirit that transcends all religious, political, social, or ethnic differences. According to Patricia DuBose, director of the STMA, “The exhibition features rarely-seen works by the artist heralding Thomas’ belief that ‘This world is too small for less than brotherhood, too …

Morgan’s Finest

Sports Reports Featured, Sports

Over the next three weeks, our Morgan’s Finest series will continue with a three-part story of a trio of great athletes from Morgan County High School.  The uniqueness of this feature finds three athletes attending the same college after graduation from MCHS.   While at Piedmont College, these three friends find themselves as the only three students attending there from MOCO with scholarships in three different sports.  In the spring of 2001, each student-athlete is awarded the Most Valuable Player Award in each of their respective sports.  We have already …

The Glory of the Negro National League

Sports Reports Featured, Sports

Part III – Along came Satchel Paige By Jim Halloran columnist Although the National Negro league grew tremendously during the 1920s it still had to go through a long drought during the depression years. Possibly the greatest contributor to it emerging from the depression was the appearance of a young pitcher, Leroy Satchel Paige. Satchel Paige was born in 1906 in Mobile Alabama. As a child his mother claimed “he would rather play ball than eat.” He made his professional baseball debut with the Chattanooga Black Lookouts of the Southern …

High School near completion

Whit Carpenter Community, Featured

  The construction of the system’s new high school is now 66 percent complete, according to the weekly project update provided by Parish Construction Group. “It’s moving along well,” said Nelson Hale, chairman of the Board of Education. “Hopefully, everything is on track for the October move in.” The new high school will open over fall break, with students returning to a brand new state-of-the- art building when classes resume. Construction on the middle school will begin soon after and will be completed in December of 2019, according to Dr. …

Juneteenth Celebration in Madison

Tia Lynn Ivey Community, Featured

  The Morgan County African-American Museum (MCAAM) hosted the annual Juneteenth Celebration last weekend, drawing around 50 people to the museum for an afternoon of music, history, and celebration of freedom. According to MCAAM Director Cheryl Bland, Juneteenth is an African-American holiday, recognized in 45 states, commemorating news of the Emancipation Proclamation reaching the last of the slaves in Texas. “Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in September of 1862 and to be enacted on January, 1 of 1863, not all the slaves across the country knew about it …

UPDATE: Missing woman found

Tia Lynn Ivey Featured, News

UPDATE: Ginger Petersen, 35, was found safely on Tybee Island, according to Sgt. Brandon Sellers, Investigations Division of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. The Citizen will be updating this story as information is confirmed. Unrelated to the missing person’s report, Petersen was arrested. “We were working a criminal case on her for forgeries and had a warrant out,” Sellers said. “But she wasn’t running from us.” Petersen is currently being transported back to Morgan County.  A local Morgan County family is desperately looking for a missing mother of two, Ginger Petersen, 35, …

Officers save a life

Tia Lynn Ivey Featured, News

In a world tragically rife with fatal drug overdoses, one life was spared due to the actions of two Madison Police Officers, “Due to the quick thinking and proper training of Officers Stacey Eaton and Andre Johnson, they were able to resuscitate an unresponsive person and avoid the tragic loss of life,” said Madison Police Chief Bill Ashburn to the Madison Mayor and City Council on Monday night before honoring the officers with an award. “It is with great honor that I present the Lifesaving Award to the officers Stacey Eaton …

Kim Braswell, A UGA legend in our midst

Sports Reports Featured, Sports

When talking to former All-SEC great, Kim Braswell, you get several feelings right up front.  He’s a very humble and modest man who loves the Georgia Dogs.  The love he has for his newly found home in Madison is obvious.  The successful 67-year-old high school coach is looking for ways to give back to the games that have been so good to him.  And, he’s fallen in love with the Morgan County Bulldogs. Head baseball Coach Merritt Ainslie has also found this to be true.  He said, “Kim is a …

Oh honey, the Queen is coming

Sarah Wibell Community, Featured

The queen is coming! She is surrounded by her guards, drones, and workers that have already scouted a new location for another colony. Once settled, all those around her will play their highly specific roles to keep life functioning the way the queen wants it. Any stranger not from their colony is forbidden entry unless an offering is provided: honey, water, pollen. That’s the way of the honey bees. Certified beekeeper and Madison locals Lisa Longo and her husband Tony have learned all about bee hives and how they multiply. …

Historic neighborhood revitalization

Whit Carpenter Community, Featured

  Around 20 houses in the Canaan Historic Neighborhood have been renovated through the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH), and six more are set to be completed by October. The Housing Opportunity Commission (HOC), a GICH community in Madison, hosted a showcase of four renovated homes in the area last Sunday afternoon. “This is the first phase of four phases to address needy houses,” said Monica Callahan, the Planning and Community Development Director for the City of Madison. Of the 300 homes in the Canaan area, roughly 80 show …

BREAKING NEWS! Missing Morgan County woman found

Patrick Yost Featured, News

  Morgan County Missing Woman Molly Hilsman has just been found at a Dairy Queen in Conyers. This news was just confirmed by Sgt. Brandon Sellers, Investigations Division, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. “She was fine and healthy. We have contacted the family,” he said. The Citizen will be updating this story as information is confirmed.   On Memorial Day, May 28, Molly Hilsman, a 38-year-old woman, left her parents’ house on Hightower Road in her black, 2010 Acura TSX to go with friends, she told her mother, to a jazz …

Dogs make All-State team

Sports Reports Featured, Sports

The AAA All-State baseball team was recently announced by the Georgia Dugout Club with Morgan County being well-represented.  Six Bulldogs made the prestigious list with Hunter Lane and Ethan Stamps making the grade for first-team honors.  This is the first time in Morgan County baseball history that two players have made the first team in the same season.  Others to be named were Jaron Ferguson, Trey Patterson, Jacob Anderson, and Grant Cofer.  Ferguson and Patterson made the second team while Anderson and Cofer got the nod for honorable mention. MOCO …

Moooving on up

Tia Lynn Ivey Community, Featured

  Just two years ago, a modest dairy farm tucked away in the remote hills of Newborn, Ga., was producing fresh milk primarily sold at local farmers markets and onsite out of a small unattended fridge, trusting the patrons to abide by the honor system and leave their payments in a designated mailbox outside after picking out their milk. What once was the Johnston Family Farm has now been transformed by the Kelly Family into the Rock House Creamery, an award-winning dairy boasting 100 cows and perfecting several popular milk …

Linda Gantt celebrates 41 years at Georgia Power

Tia Lynn Ivey Community, Featured

  Family, friends, and colleagues packed inside Mint Juleps Kitchen last Thursday to celebrate Linda Gantt, the Madison-Area Manager for Georgia Power, who is retiring this year. The venue was crowded with smiling faces as Linda made her way around to chitchat with the many loved ones who came out to celebrate her 41-year-career at Georgia Power. “I’m anxious. I’ve worked my whole life and I think it’s going to be strange not to have to get up everyday and go to work,” said Gantt. “But I am excited. There’s …