New Series: Our Stories

Contributed Featured

Stories from your fellow Morgan Citizens on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us all. These can be found in the weekly print edition and under the Community section on our website.

Madison declares local state of emergency; city-wide shut downs

Staff Written Featured, News

Photos by Jesse Walker By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  On the heels of Morgan County’s first confirmed case of the coronavirus and Gov. Brian Kemp’s new mandatory public restrictions for the next two weeks, The Madison Mayor and City Council declared a local state of emergency Monday evening and grappled with a new local ordinance aimed to curb the spread of COVID-19. The council unanimously voted to enact a two-week emergency ordinance, beginning Tuesday, March 24 at noon until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April. 6. The council may extend …

Coronavirus can’t stop community care

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Self-quarantining doesn’t amount to selfishness in Morgan County. Amidst a global pandemic, that has brought to Georgia 1,026 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 32 deaths, local citizens and businesses are determined to care for one another.  While groceries and sanitation products are flying off the shelves faster than stores can restock them, Madison’s local Ingles is reserving items weekly for those who need them most. Beginning on March 20, Ingles in Madison is looking out for its elderly and medically-fragile customers as well …

One Val, Two Sals

Staff Written Community, Featured

Last week, Morgan County High School announced this yearís Valedictorian and two Salutatorians for the Class of 2020. Morgan County Senior Michael Peters earned the top slot as valedictorian. Seniors Mason Autry and Natalie Rogers tied academically as salutatorians. The studentsí families gathered for the surprise announcement last week at Morgan County High School, celebrating the academic achievements each of the students has dedicated their high school careers to earn.

Small But Resilient

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By Patrick Yost editor For 24 years Ed Hogan and Molly Lesnikowski have served sandwiches and crushed ice from The Caboose Restaurant in downtown Rutledge. “Our business is weather driven,” Hogan says. Last Thursday, the same week that news spread that Hard Labor Creek was being used to establish a a small COVID-19 quarantine center (14 spaces available, officials say, in seven pull-behind campers) the phone rings inside the iconic restaurant. Hogan answers. “Well, look at it,” he says, “somebody cancelled a job.” That somebody was the Morgan County Conservancy …

Soccer Dogs move to 2-0 in 8-AAA

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Morgan County High School’s boys’ soccer team is again making a strong statement around the Region and state.  With a record of 4-1-2 (four wins, 1 loss, and 2 ties), the squad has only been defeated by Putnam County, the number one team in AA. In their latest outing, the Bulldogs defeated Region 8-AAA foe Jackson County to move to 2-0 in Region action.  Coach Aaron Paul said, “The team is playing very well so far and has been able to fight and overcome …

Morgan County Schools closed next week due to Coronavirus

Contributed Featured, News

Dear Morgan County Charter School System Community, We have been closely monitoring coronavirus (COVID-19) with guidance from the CDC, Georgia Department of Public Health, Morgan County Health Department,and the Georgia Department of Education. As the situation has continued to change rapidly, our top priority remains the health and well-being of our school community.  This afternoon, Governor Brian Kemp gave local school systems the ability to close school for up to two weeks to limit the spread of this virus. While there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Morgan County, in the …


Staff Written Featured, News

Photos by Jesse Walker (Taken with a zoom lens from a safe distance on Tuesday, March 10th) State sets up COVID-19 camp at Hard Labor By Tia Lynn Ivey Managing Editor UPDATE: March 11 12 a.m. FIRST COVID-19 POSITIVE PATIENT NOW AT HARD LABOR CREEK STATE PARK FROM THE OFFICE OF GEORGIA GOV. KEMPFor Immediate Release Tuesday, March 10, 2020 First COVID-19 Patient at Hard Labor Creek State ParkAtlanta, GA – During a press conference with state emergency management officials and Coronavirus Task Force members, Governor Kemp and Georgia Emergency Management …

Drug Court has new home

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Patrick Yost editor  When the Adult Treatment Court Collaborative (ACCT), known by law enforcement, participants and prosecutors as “drug court” was trying gain purchase in 2015, the innovative approach the drug epidemic was taking what it could get. “We would hold classes were we could,” says Superior Court Judge Brenda Trammell, long a backer of the program. The court, which basically offers first time drug offenders the opportunity to undergo a rigid mental health and substance abuse counseling along with anger management skills instead of jail, started in this …

Swing your partner round and round

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Well, Howdy!  It’s the time of year to swing your partner round and round!  Morgan County Primary School (MCPS) held its annual Barn Dance event last Thursday in the school’s gymnasium as parents and teachers cheered along the sidelines. Primary school student, dressed in their best Cowboy and Cowgirl attire,  do-si-do’d all over the gymnasium to twangy, upbeat country music. 

NASA taps local teacher for flight

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Alec Johnson, a local Morgan County High School science teacher, will take flight to the edges of the earth’s atmosphere this summer through a special NASA program designed to strengthen science education in the United States. Johnson is one of 28 teachers chosen to serve as an Airborne Astronomy Ambassador.  “I am extremely thankful and honored to be chosen by the SETI Institute to work with NASA’s SOFIA Telescope this summer in Palmdale, California. As a teacher in the Airborne Astronomy Ambassador program, I …

Dogs trample Eagles

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Ethan Stamps put forth one of his best career efforts on the mound this week for Coach Merritt Ainslie’s baseball team.  The senior has accounted for both of the team’s wins (2-6 overall).  His control and command of pitches in his arsenal was impeccable.   Through the first three innings, the big right-hander had faced a minimum of nine batters, striking out four.  A runner did reach on a single in the third stanza, but catcher Will Harper nailed the runner trying to steal …

Girls bow out to North Hall in Elite Eight

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor It’s been a great season for the Morgan County girls’ basketball squad.  Under first-year head Coach Timothy Roop, the schedule wasn’t an easy one.  That trial-by-fire had its benefits though.  By the time the team got to the Region and State Tournament, they had been battle-tested.  And, the rigorous schedule paid off. MOCO finished 15-15, ended up second in the regular season Region schedule, took second at the Region Tournament only behind a stout Jefferson squad, and made it to the Elite Eight before …

A life lived in full bloom

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Patrick Yost editor Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of stories that will look into the champions, people and ideas that continue to transform the character of Madison’s downtown, from small retailers to leaders who inspired action. Gussie Knight ran her business for half a century and her legacy continues.  It is Valentine’s Day and Gussie’s House of Flowers has arrangements packed into every corner. The main floor is full, the side tables are full, and the shop on West Jefferson Street smells glorious. And Deanna Nunn …

Ranky Tanky Good Time

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By Tia Lynn Ivey staff writer Don’t miss the Grammy-Award-Winning band at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC) this Saturday, March 7 at 8 p.m. The five members of Ranky Tanky are based out of Charleston, South Carolina and perform “timeless music of Gullah culture born in the southeastern Sea Island region of the United States.” Tickets are $45, or $30 for students.  The lead vocalist Quiana Parler partnered with members, Quentin Baxter, Kevin Hamilton, Clay Ross, and Charlton Singleton, all of whom previously played together in the Charleston jazz quartet …

Stan Harrison, Georgia Bio’s Biotech Teacher of the Year

Staff Written Featured, News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Stan Harrison, a biotech teacher at Morgan County High School, is preaching the good news of science to his students and fellow teachers across the state.  “I am evangelizing,” said Harrison, who sees a scientific revolution on the horizon that will change the landscape of America’s economy and medical industry. “It will be as significant as the industrial revolution was, and it’s coming fast. My goal is to get my students equipped with the skillset and training to take advantage of the new jobs …

Crossing Color Lines, Past and Present

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor As part of the ongoing Black Heritage and Brotherhood of Men, The Steffen Thomas Museum of Art (STMA) hosted a symposium “Crossing Color Lines, Past and Present” last Saturday with participating artists to discuss the black experience in America and those experiences have shaped their artwork.  Debuting on Feb. 1, the “Black Heritage and the Brotherhood of Man is the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art’s annual exhibition showcasing contemporary African American artists in Georgia. The legacy of Steffen Thomas is both as an artist …

Lady Dogs outlast Calhoun to head to Sweet 16

Staff Written Featured, Sports

Friday night’s first round matchup of the 2020 GHSA girls basketball state playoffs between Morgan County and Calhoun resembled an old-school session of seesaw.  The teams traded as many as nine lead changes throughout the night, but it was the Lady Dogs moving on to their fifth consecutive “Sweet 16” appearance in the end with a 43-40 victory.   The Lady Dogs entered the fourth quarter with a 36-31 advantage, which proved to be the game’s largest lead by either team.  However, the Yellow Jackets would not go away easily.  …

“They didn’t have buses for us”

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor With sore feet and the frigid air on her face, Parthenia Crawford Adams walked the five-mile trek to school each day as a bus full of warm white children would pass her by on the road.  “Rain or shine, we walked five miles to school and five miles back. On the cold days, you’d really wish to be on the bus with all the white children. But they didn’t have buses for us.” It was 1936, and Parthenia, a lifelong Morgan County resident, was …