Dr. King remembered at NAACP breakfast event

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor More than 50 years after his death, Martin Luther King Jr. is still inspiring millions to make his infamous dream of justice, peace, and racial equality a reality.  Local leaders gathered on Monday to remember the life of Martin Luther King Jr. at the annual MLK Breakfast at Source of Life Ministries in Madison.  This year’s keynote speaker, Bob Mackey, the CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia, urged the crowd to carry on King’s legacy today.  “On this day …

Paschal, and Hooten named Star Student and Teacher Of The Year

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Morgan County High School announced this year’s STAR Student and Teacher at a special assembly last Friday. Senior Will Paschal earned the prestigious title of STAR Student. He then chose Pam Hooten, his math teacher, as this year’s STAR Teacher.  Paschal earned the honor by excelling academically, known as the resident math whiz at MCHS. To be named a STAR Student, graduating high school seniors must have the highest score on a single test date on the SAT and be in the top 10 …

Bulldogs conclude busy week’s schedule

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Jamond Sims has never been one to back down from the competition.  From Friday to this past Tuesday, his squad will have played four games in five days.  Sounds more like an NBA-type schedule than a high school one.  The brutal schedule actually started last Tuesday with a home game vs. Hart County, this week’s number four team in AAA.  The weekend saw the Dogs take on East Jackson at home and Jones County on the road.  Monday’s contest was played against Jonesboro in …

Lady Dogs get huge win over Hart

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Point guard Taylor Wilson put on a remarkable display of basketball in a 48-35 home win over rival Hart County this week.  Her 25 points and outstanding floor play led the Lady Dogs in a win that pushed them into second place in the 8-AAA standings.  Down the stretch the senior sealed the “W” as she made good on eight out of her final ten free throws.  It was most likely her finest outing of the season and of her career. Hart County seemed …

End of an Era

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By Patrick Yost editor  On Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020 a nearly four decade institution will end.  William “Billy” Prior, chief judge, Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit has announced he will not seek another term in office. Chief Judge Prior, a Morgan County native and a venerated judge within the eight county circuit, said Friday he has decided to end a judicial career that began on July 1, 1981 when he was appointed to the position by then Gov. George Busbee. Chief Judge Prior said he received the appointment, in part, because Morgan …

Madison Morgan Conservancy celebrates its 20th Anniversary

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor For twenty years, in the midst of the Southeast’s largest and fastest-growing metropolitan area, the Madison-Morgan Conservancy has been protecting farms, forests, and front porches for future generations, successfully protecting critical resources and creating a culture of conservation.  On January 13, 2020, the organization celebrates its 20th Anniversary. The Conservancy’s story, from inception as the first county-wide conservancy in Georgia to its 2019 receipt of the Governor’s Award for the Arts & Humanities, is really a story of the power of one. In this …

Swim Dogs compete against two of area’s best at Winter Invitational

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Coach Patrick Kicklighter is one positive guy.  He’s always happy to be the Swim Dogs’ coach, is super excited, and proud to be coaching and teaching at Morgan County High School.  It’s no wonder this group of kids seems to feel the same way.  “I’m happy with the kids’ performance this week.  We competed against two of the best teams in the area, and competed well against them in our final home meet of the season,” he said after Thursday night’s event.  “I’m excited …

Mat Dogs fail to qualify for State Duals

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor It was a tough weekend for the Morgan County wrestling team at the 6-AAA Area Duals hosted by Jackson County.  The team did not qualify for the State Duals to be held this weekend.  The team was obviously disappointed with the outcome.   According to Coach Carter Shultz, the Mat Dogs faced off with a senior laden Jackson County squad in the first round and never really got out of the gate losing in a not-so-close match.  The second round found Morgan taking on …

Teen goes on road rampage

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By Quinn Rafferty, Staff A high-speed chase unfolded over the weekend, beginning in Morgan County, racing through Walton County and then back to Morgan again. Morgan County Deputy Christopher Lash pursued four juvenile males in a white hatchback on Sunday, Jan. 5, around 2 a.m. The driver, a 16-year-old male, led police on a wild chase through two counties.  The chase began when Lash noticed the vehicle speeding by his patrol unit at 64 miles per hour when he was conducting traffic enforcement. After initiating pursuit of the vehicle, the …

Milton won’t run again

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor Longtime County Commissioner Ron Milton, representing the county’s 5th District, announced Tuesday that he will not seek reelection in 2020.  “This year will conclude my second full term on the Morgan County Board of Commissioners and I will not be on the ballot for the 2020 election,” said Milton.  “It has been an honor to serve as Commissioner  for the 5th District and all of Morgan County’s citizens.” Milton, who served as the board’s chairman for the last two years, is hoping the right …

Plane crashes near Broughton Road

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By Patrick Yost, Editor A single-engine plane crashed Monday afternoon on the Morgan County/ Jasper County line, killing the pilot. The plane, a Cessna 172 according to Morgan County Fire and Rescue Director Jeff Stone, was piloted by Millwood Ashley Dekle, 72. The plane crashed into a heavily wooded area south of Shiloh Road near the Broughton Road area of Morgan County sometime around 2:30 p.m., said Chief Deputy Keith Howard, Morgan County Sheriffn’s Office. Authorities said multiple persons called both Morgan County and Jasper County Dispatch to report the …

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County gets 72 new voting machines

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor Morgan County is among the first in Georgia to receive its fleet of new voting machines. As of Dec. 19, just 25 counties out of 159 Georgia counties received the new voting equipment. Morgan County received 72 new voting machines on Dec. 20.  “It’s a lot,” said Jennifer Doran, election supervisor for Morgan County.  In all, the county received 72 touchscreen tablets and 72 printers.  “One of each makes a voting machine,” said Doran.  The county also received 10 ballot boxes, 10 precinct scanners …

New era of leadership for Madison fire department

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor As three veteran firefighters retire this year, with a combined 94-years experience between them, the Madison Volunteer Fire Department is entering into a new era of leadership. Madison Fire Chief Tim Carter, Frank Nesbitt, and Ray Gilbert are hanging up their helmets and hoses, retiring after more than 30 years of service each. The trio leaves behind big boots to fill but three young men are set to slip into them and carry on the legacy on into the future. Brooks Pennington IV, a …

Farmer finds evidence in back pasture

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By Patrick Yost, Editor A Buckhead farmer found two shirts, including a distinctive hoodie, that investigators believe are connected to a two state crime spree that ended with a Buckhead man being shot and car-jacked. According to Sgt. Chase Young, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, the farmer found the wet and soiled clothing in a pasture area on Dec. 26 off Parks Mill Road that was directly in line with a stolen car the two suspects had left on Interstate 20 and the Alford Lane residence of 72-year-old Raymond McCullough. Tre’ …

Empty Stocking Fund brings joy to Morgan families

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By Patrick Yost, Editor More than 100 families representing 250 children aged infant to 12-years-old had a merrier Christmas last Friday thanks to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Empty Stocking program. Parents and guardians who had signed up for the program through an application published in the Morgan County Citizen arrived throughout the day at the Morgan County Public Safety Center where trustees and volunteers delivered large bags of toys for the parents to take home, wrap and deliver to children on Christmas day. The toys have either been donated, according …

Behold, a Christmas Miracle

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor Edward and Angela Binion turned the key to their home of 17 years to discover nothing less than a Christmas miracle this week.  Earlier this year, the Binion family fell on hard times, with their Hough Circle house falling into severe disrepair and the couple’s three children put into foster care as a result.  Struggling financially and out of options, Edward and Angela feared all hope was lost to fix their home and put their family back together. “We didn’t know what we were …

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor Santa and his helpers ushered in the biggest Christmas celebration in Madison last weekend. The Annual Holiday Parade and Caroling by Candle Light was held in Downtown Madison last Saturday.  The Holiday Parade featured floats, walking groups, vintage cars, horses, dogs, dancers, and the award winning MCHS Marching Bulldog Band, all decorated to this year’s theme, ‘Up On The Rooftop, Click, Click, Click…’ After the parade, people sang medleys of holiday music in Town Park by candlelight. This event was orchestrated by Madison Main …

New hospital allows for growth of health services

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor Morgan County’s new hospital turns one-year-old this December, but the vision for the Morgan Medical Center was more than 15 years in the making.  Hospital leaders are celebrating the one-year anniversary since the Morgan Medical Center, a $35 million replacement hospital, opened its doors to the public .  “The past year has been a positive one, from a growth perspective as well as financially.  We are excited to enter 2020 with a continued commitment to grow and expand the services we are able to …

City celebrates huge land gift

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor An anonymous donor is gifting 40 acres of land to the City of Madison that is potentially worth more than $400,000. The Madison Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to accept the gift at the Dec, 9 regular meeting.  “To my knowledge, it’s the largest land gift the city has ever gotten,” said City Manager David Nunn. “This is a nice piece of property and a very generous gift.” The parcel is located off Bass Road in Madison, near 441 North and is currently …