Former MCHS coach takes Newton job

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By Robert Richardson sports editor One of Morgan’s favorite sons has recently been named the boys’ head basketball coach at Newton High School in Covington.  Everyone who saw Charlemagne Gibbons coach in his formative years at Morgan County knew he was destined to do some special things in his chosen craft.  He took a basketball program from very, very good to great in a short period of time and brought home the first State Championship in Bulldog history in 2014. In a one-on-one interview with Gibbons, he told us, “A …

All-Region baseball team announced

Staff Written Featured, Sports

The Morgan County baseball team was well-represented on the 8-AAA All-Region team announced last week placing eight players on the prestigious list.  The Dogs finished second behind Jefferson in the standings and fell in the first round of the State Playoffs to Redan High School finishing the season with a stellar 23-10 overall mark and only losing three times to Jefferson in the final series of the season to finish 15-3 in 8-AAA action.  The following players were all voted on and nominated by the coaches.

Camp Twin Lakes hosts Open House

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor As the summer season fast approaches, leaders at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge are preparing the grounds for their annual summer camps for disabled children and teenagers.  At an Open House event at the end of April, Camp Twin Lakes welcomed 100 first-time campers and their families to tour the grounds to get a taste of what camp will be like this summer.  “The purpose of the event was to invite new campers to come out to see their cabins and to see the …

Derby Day in Madison

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor After a one-year hiatus, Derby Day–the sole annual fundraiser of the Madison-Morgan Conservancy (MCC)– returned last weekend. Derby Day is a lavish viewing party of the Kentucky Derby in which attendees wear traditional fancy wide-brimmed hats while sipping bourbon and dining on delicious cuisine. This year, Derby Day was supposed to be held at the historic Foster-Thomason-Miller House, but was moved to the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center last minute due to inclement weather. But attendees were still treated to a special evening at the while …

Tour Of Homes

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Approximately 1,000 visitors descended upon Madison last weekend for the annual “Madison in May” Spring Tour of Homes. This year’s tour featured five historical houses, one condominium, one new home, five historic churches, and three historical attractions.  The “Madison in May” Spring Tour of Homes is sponsored by the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC).  According to Elsie Monk, Chair of the “Madison in May” Spring Tour of Homes, “the tour allowed visitors to experience the living history of Madison while strolling through a collection of …

Madison Fest

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Strong winds whipped through Madison last Friday, causing Madison Fest organizers to worry about the fate of their annual event slated for Saturday in Downtown Madison. But clear skies emerged just in time for MadisonFest in Town Park, which drew over a thousand locals and out of town visitors for an afternoon of live music, children crafting project, face-painting, baby animals, and a plethora of handmade crafts for purchase.  “We had a great crowd, perfect weather, and everyone had a great time, said Colleen …

Taylor Jeaux, remembered and honored

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Patrick Yost editor Taylor Jeaux Kinchen died at 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 21, 2008, in a hospital room in Atlanta flooded by a cold light cast by display monitors and technology trying to keep her alive. Her mother, P.J., placed a loving hand on her heart and felt its final beat. Her father was there, too. “On her last breath, she smiled,” says Pheral Kinchen. She was five years old, loved to play soccer, was worried that she wasn’t going to be as popular in school as her older …

Spring Tour Of Homes: A sneak preview

Staff Written Community, Featured

Special to the Citizen The first weekend in May arrives soon and just like every year that means that Madison will open its arms and doors to hundreds of visitors. The “Madison in May” Tour of Homes runs from 10am to 5pm on Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4. Seven private homes will be open, and the price of admission also includes five historic sites that are normally separately ticketed and five historic churches dating from the 1840s to 1914. Tickets are available from the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, sponsor …

Bark For Life

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The seventh annual Bark for Life raised about $7,900 on April 13 to be split evenly between Relay for Life and the Humane Society of Morgan County.  “This year was lucky number seven,” said Beth Bradley, creator and organizer of the event. “We had a great crowd that grew a little larger than last year’s and it was wonderful to receive the support from this community.” Over 100 people, plus their dogs, participated this year’s Bark for Life at Bill Wood Park, an annual …

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MCHS Special Olympics

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Morgan County students competed in the 8th Annual Morgan County Special Olympics last week at the Morgan County High School football stadium. Students in the special education program from all four Morgan County schools enjoyed a day of friendly competition, games, and celebration.  The 2019 Morgan County Special Olympics went very well. Everything was organized and all of the teachers and participants seemed to have a blast. The weather held out for us and we were grateful for that,” said Lindsey Smith, a Morgan …

Amici’s, Empire Mills awarded

Staff Written Featured, News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The City of Madison prides itself on preserving its local history while enabling progress to move forward in order to improve the quality of life for its citizens. Two Madison businesses were honored last week for achieving that exact delicate balance between history and progress.  Amici’s Italian Cafe, which took up residence in the historic Old Livery Stable building, and Empire Mills, which revamped the historic old oil mill, were given the Excellence in Rehabilitation award by the Georgia Trust of Historic Preservation on …

AN ‘UNSHAKEABLE WILL’

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Dianne Yost staff writer There are profound points in life where time begins to be measured before an event and after it. If you’re lucky, the realm between the before and the after holds the space where miracles manifest. Thursday, March 28 started out like an ordinary beautiful day in Madison for Tyler Boyd, a husband, father of two girls and owner of Madison-based Torchlight Home Inspections. He drove over to a local Madison home to perform a home inspection, set up his ladder against the side of a …

Diamond Dogs split with 7-A Archer

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Morgan County’s baseball team took on some tough competition this week with games against higher classification Archer from 7-A and Locust Grove in 5-A.  The Dogs held their own in all three games coming up just short to the Tigers on Thursday at home 2-1 in a final inning thriller.  They exacted some revenge Friday by defeating them at home 6-2 before losing another close one Saturday to the Wildcats 5-3 in Locust Grove.  After the smoke cleared, the Dogs stand at 19-5 overall …

Ride For Hope

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Morgan County Fire and Rescue (MCFR) raised $3,000 last Saturday for one of their own volunteer firefighters in need of help with medical expenses for her soon-to-be-born son, who will need heart surgery after his birth in May.  Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician Danielle Crist took leave from the MCFR after doctors discovered her baby, Bentley, has a defective valve in his heart. But her MCFR “family” is determined to help Crist with the expenses Bentley’s medical condition will incur.  MCFR organized an All-You-Can-Eat …

MCHS Band celebrates with a road trip

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The Morgan County High School (MCHS) Band celebrated an exemplary school year, marked by impressive achievements, with a group trip to Canada last week.  From March 29 to April 2, The MCHS Band toured Toronto and other parts of Ontario, Canada, including Niagara Falls. MCHS Band Director Jeffrey Rowser led the trip with several other teachers and chaperones.  “Toronto and Niagara Falls allow our students to experience international culture in one of the safest places on earth,” said Rowser, who notes the trip provided …

Slaughter is given two life sentences

Staff Written Featured, News

By Patrick Yost editor Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Judge Allison Burleson, on recommendations by District Attorney Stephen Bradley, last Thursday, March 28 sentenced Justin Vandiver Slaughter, 23, Madison to two consecutive life sentences in the cold-blooded murder of his mother Paula Slaughter, 54 and family friend Collin Smith, 53. Judge Burleson, after hearing testimony from Dr. Christian Hildreth, director, forensic services, Central State Hospital, sentenced Slaughter after Slaughter pled “guilty but mentally ill” to two counts of felony murder.  Slaughter was arrested and charged on Dec. 3, 2017 after he shot …

Heartbreaking loss for Soccer Dogs

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor This one was a heartbreaker.  “It was all you could ask for in a Top-10, undefeated, Region Championship Game.  We put it all on the line and came up one penalty kick short.  We couldn’t have played any harder.  It was highly disappointing,” said Coach Aaron Paul. The Morgan County soccer squad traveled to Jefferson this week with a Region Championship on the line.  The Dragons, in one poll, were ranked ninth and the Dogs right behind at number 10.  It would be the …

The nature of healing

Staff Written Featured, News

By Andrea Gable staff writer Sunlight filtered through towering trees and soft winds carried bird song and sounds of water to a tranquil new trailhead at Hundred Acre Farm in Madison on Friday, where a group gathered in reverence to celebrate the nation’s first certified forest therapy trail.  The gently-sloping, mile-long trail winds through the woods, along the Apalachee River and Lake Oconee, offering “invitations” to connect to nature, explore your senses, discover wildlife, and meditate outdoors. It was designed to be more than a nature walk or hike. Visitors …

The Dirt Girls

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By Sarah Wibell staff writer For 15 years, the Rutledge Garden Club has made digging in the dirt look fun as their group has grown in both size and purpose for the community. “I laughed, I kind of got tickled,” shared President Ann Pitner. “I looked back at the original charter the other night, and it was saying the purpose was to share gardening ideas and techniques and to organize social activities to promote friendships. I thought, ‘Gosh, we’ve expanded since then.’ We really do a lot of community service …

Opening weekend of FFA Plant Sale a blooming success

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Catherine McGregor intern On Friday, March 29, the annual Morgan County High School FFA Plant Sale, held in Morgan County High School’s new greenhouse, opened its doors for amateur and master gardeners alike. The first weekend sale, extending to Saturday, March 30, made $700 in just the first half of the first day.  The sale will reopen on Monday, April 8 from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., and continue throughout the week, closing on Friday April 12. The MCHS FFA holds this plant sale every year to raise money …