MMCC chair exhibition outSTANDING success

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor A new exhibit at the Madison Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC) opened to fanfare last weekend as droves of people showed up for the opening reception of the Chair Show.  “This juried exhibit celebrates and explores the ubiquitous CHAIR. The show represented a wide range of styles and interpretations of chairs through multi-media art,: said a rep from the MMCC.  “Last night was full of delight and surprise at the opening reception of The Chair Show!” wrote the center on Facebook after the event. “Thank …

Lady Dogs finish runner-up

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Coach Timothy Roop went into Monday night’s Region Championship basketball contest with high hopes his girls could pull off the upset over Jefferson’s Lady Dragons.  Those hopes were dashed as Jefferson held on for the trophy to keep their unblemished Region record alive.  They defeated Morgan 55-37 behind some tenacious defense, aggressive drives, and outside shooting that proved a little too much for Morgan in the second half. Going into the game, Roop felt confident that he had a game plan in place that …

Morgan police and medics practice Active Shooter Training Drill

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By Quinn Rafferty staff writer  EMS Education Program, Adaptive Training, held a training session at the old Morgan Memorial Hospital building this past Friday to fuse together police enforcement and EMT training. Cofounders Crystal Shelnutt and Ben Ewing began Adaptive Training in 2017 with the goal to save more lives when it comes to intentional violent incidences.  Shelnutt and Ewing have a combined 45 years of experience in EMS. Shelnutt served as a Program Chair for EMS Education at a technical college before launching Adaptive Training. Ewing has served as …

A life of faith and family

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor “It’s all about taking one day at a time,” said Frances Williams with a broad smile. “That’s what I do and how I live my life. Take each day as it comes and make the most of it.” After battling and beating breast cancer recently, Frances, 73, more than ever, appreciates each day and makes a point to focus on what’s most important.  Frances is a lifelong Morgan County resident and believes the simple things in life are the most wonderful. Family and faith …

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Gang violence alleged at Morgan County High School

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By Patrick Yost editor  Seven Morgan County High School students have been both arrested and disciplined after they allegedly engaged in a gang initiation beating in one of the school’s bathroom. According to Chief Deputy Keith Howard, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, six of the students were juveniles and the seventh, Antonio Donnell Howell, 17, Madison was being charged as an adult. Howard said a school administrator presented Sgt. Kevin Berisko, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office school resource officer, with two cell phone videos that allegedly show the students engaged in a …

Head to Franklin in do-or-die situation

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor The old basketball adage is, “Nothing really counts till tournament time.”  The Morgan County Bulldogs made that saying come true Monday night when they took out Jackson Co. (7-15,, sixth seed) in the play-in game 53-44 to stay alive in the 2020 Region 8-AAA basketball tournament.  The two teams had split in the regular season.  MOCO had to turn around and play back-to-back nights Tuesday vs. Franklin County at Franklin.  It will be a tall task for Jamond Sims’ team.  A win there would …

MCHS presents: Beauty And The Beast

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Rave reviews poured in for Morgan County High School’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast last week. Packed audiences filled with children dressed as Princess Bell and other characters were swept away by the magical classic tale, one as old as time. The Morgan County High School Drama Dogs pulled off a riveting performance of the broadway musical, bringing the story’s iconic characters to life.  “Unbelievable. Way better than the movie,” wrote Morgan County High School Principal Dr. Miki Edwards, who said the …

Together in life

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The oldest black-owned business in Morgan County is celebrating its 65th anniversary this month.  The Jones and Turner Funeral Home opened its doors in 1955–during an era when black and white Americans were segregated even in death.  “Back then, someone from our community had to step up to do this for our people because a white mortician wouldn’t do it,” said William R. Justers, 41, who is next in line to take over the family business when his parents, William and Thelma Justers, retire.  …

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MCHS Gang Fight Ends In Arrests

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By Patrick Yost Publisher Seven Morgan County High School students have been both arrested and disciplined after they allegedly engaged in a gang initiation beating in one of the school’s bathroom.According to Chief Deputy Keith Howard, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, six of the students were juveniles and the seventh, Antonio Donnelll Howell, 17, Madison was being charged as an adult.Howard said a school administrator presented Sgt. Kevin Berisko, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office school resource officer, with two cell phone videos that allegedly show the students engaged in a “jump in” …

Time To Help Is Now

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  For over 35 years, the Clothes Closet has served families in need throughout Madison and Morgan County by providing free clothes and household items donated from the community. But now, it may be up to the community to help the Clothes Closet, located in downtown Madison directly behind the Morgan County Courthouse.  The building, owned by Morgan County, is in dire need of a new roof—a project expected to cost anywhere from $30,000 to upwards of $50,000. Currently, the several dedicated volunteers at the …

The Living Life Team helps the visually impaired reclaim their lives.

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Silverware clanked cautiously as diners carefully attempted to reunite their forks with the food on their plates. The usually easy task became far more difficult without the gift of sight. At the Fourth Annual Living Life Team Gala, the 135 attendees were given glasses to simulate blindness during the meal–an exercise meant to give people a mere taste of what a life of blindness entails. The Living Life Team is Madison’s first support group for the visually-impaired, helping the blind reclaim their lives. The …

Final hoorah for historic gym

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor It wasn’t just any old celebration for the Morgan County Middle School basketball teams Friday evening.  No, sir.  It was a night of celebration for the final eighth grade teams to graduate from the historic Morgan County Middle School/Pearl Street High School facility.  The celebration began with a resounding win in the girls’ contest on the court.  It continued with a between games celebration to honor both the boys’ and girls’ teams off the court accomplishments.  It ended in an upset victory by the …

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

Staff Written Featured, Sports

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 …