SWEATIN’ DOGS

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Morgan County High School head football coach Bill Malone has a watchful eye on two players this week. The Bulldogs are participating in early morning workouts and seven–on–seven competitions as a means to prepare for the upcoming season.  For more on training see page B1.. photo by Jesse Walker

Six local community members receive accolades for Making a Difference

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By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer The Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce (MMCC) held its annual meeting on Jun. 12 at the James Madison Inn Conference Center to distribute this year’s awards to six local community members making a difference in Morgan County. categories: small business, hospitality, restaurant, manufacture, legend, and teacher of the year. Hiren Patel of Super 8 received the Chamber’s Hospitality Award, while Jim Boyd and Esther Peters of Jim Boyd & Associates received the Small Business Award. David DiRocco of Rema Tip Top has been named the …

African American Museum Concert in the Park

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By Tia Lynn Lecorchick The Morgan County African American Museum (MCAAM) held their annual Concert in the Park on Saturday, Jun. 14, to raise funds for the museum and expose the community to local musical talent. The concert featured two local musical groups, 3x Jazz Bands and Second to None. “It’s important to us to highlight local musicians who are a part of our community,” said Kisha Jones, director of the MCAAM. According to Jones, about 170 people attended and the event yielded about $2700 for MCAAM. Tickets were $15 …

Musical Treasures

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By Tia Lecorchick staff writer Virtuoso Romantics II, a musical duo comprised of a gifted violinist, Chee-Yun, and pianist Natasha Parmski, with special guest, Christopher Rex, performed at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC) on June 6 as part of the MMCC’s ongoing Chamber Music Festival. Chee-Yun has a prestigious career, winning the 1989 Young Concert Artist International Auditions and the 1990 Avery Fisher Career Grant. According to MMCC wesbite, “Chee–Yun displays flawless technique, dazzling tone, and compelling artistry that has enraptured audiences on five continents,” and “Natasha Paremski brings her …

The filming of SELMA

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By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer The upcoming motion picture, Selma, a civil rights drama to be released next year, filmed scenes in Rutledge this week on June 9-10 at the Rutledge Baptist Church and old jailhouse. “It’s like we are making history all over again,” said Brenda Thompson, a Rutledge city council member. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to be part of this history. It is going to be a very educational film that will give people a whole new perspective about what really happened back in those days; what …

Lee indicted in child’s death

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By Patrick Yost editor A Morgan County Grand Jury Tuesday indicted Donald Justin Lee, 21, for the March killing of 9–month–old Brantley Garrett Farmer. The grand jury returned indictments on one count of murder, three counts felony murder, one count cruelty to children in the first degree, one count aggravated assault and one count aggravated battery. A warrant executed during Lee’s arrest on March 22 alleges that “… 9–month–old Garrett Brantley Farmer was in the care and custody of the accused… when the child received a severe head injury at …

Chrysler dealership coming to Madison

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By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer On May 27, The Corridor Design Commission (CDC) unanimously voted to approve an application for an alteration and extension to the property located at 1860 Eatonton Road, contingent upon several conditions. The site was previously the old Pontiac dealership that has been vacant for over five years. Al Picken and Malcolm Cunningham are planning to renovate the building to transform it into a new state-of-the-art Chrysler car dealership. The CDC reviewed Picken’s designs to ensure the updated building remains faithful to the established look …

Madison-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce names 2013-2014 Award Winners

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By Nick Nunn staff writer In preparation for their 2014 Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 12, the Madison-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce has released its list of 2013-2014 Award Winners, recognizing seven businesses and individuals in Madison and Morgan County for their achievements during the past year. Winners will receive their awards during the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Chamber of Commerce, which will take place at the James Madison Inn Conference Center, 240 West Washinton Street, Madison, on Thursday, June 12. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and conclude at …

Thirty One Years and Still Kickin

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Leila Dycus Staff Writer Thirty-one years and still kickin’! The Rutledge Fair brought handmade crafters, musicians, local restaurants, and residents together for a memorable country fair this past Saturday, May 24. “We just moved here, and the community of just everyone coming together- seeing a town work together has been really fun,” said Danielle Copeland. On Saturday, the town of Rutledge came out to enjoy the annual Country Fair. The morning began early with 46 vendors pouring into the city park. At 11a.m. a parade came through the center of …

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Dycus reflects on the past year at the Citizen

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Sports have been a constant in my life. As a child I grew up with a dad whose business was sports. You see, my dad is a television producer, but to me he’ll always be a cameraman. He got his start filing sporting events. Braves baseball, Falcons football and yes-even NASCAR were staples in our home. As I got older his work transformed into telling people’s stories and more specifically athletes and coaches. We were in Knoxville; Tenn. my dad was shooting a piece about Lady Volunteers basketball coach Pat …

Remembering: The Price of Freedom

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By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer The annual Memorial Day Service and Ride for America motorcycle parade was held at Town Park in downtown Madison on May 26, where hundreds of locals donned in red flowers and waiving American flags gathered to honor the memory of all the service men and women who sacrificed their lives for their country and to celebrate the surviving local veterans in the community. According to Scott Sellers, commander of the Morgan County Chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the organization raised about …

MCMS Band Graces Town Park Stage

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Leila Dycus Staff Writer There’s a first time for everything- this year’s MCMS Spring Band Concert graced the Town Park stage last week. On Thursday May 15 members of the Morgan County Middle School band came together to play their spring concert in Town Park. Band members from all three middle school grade levels had their chance to perform. Parents and community supporters packed the park for this first time event. “The atmosphere and the amazing turn out just blew me away,” said MCMS Band Director Karisa Seymour. “I think …

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MCPS Reading Program

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By Tia Lynn Lecorchick The Morgan County Primary School is introducing a new summer reading program for students. Each primary school student received five books last Thursday during school assemblies that they have chosen to read over this coming summer. This program was funded through the Morgan County Foundation For Excellence in Public Education (MCFEPE), financial support from Target Stores, Central Georgia EMC, and Dollar General Early Literacy Grant. “Many children experience what is known as the ‘summer slide’ where they lose reading skills over the summer while not in …

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Madison Chamber Music Festival receives the NEA Challenge America Grant

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Special to the Citizen The Madison Chamber Music Festival, presented by the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America grant in the amount of $10,000 for the 2014 season. The Madison Chamber Music Festival has garnered much attention and praise in the Southeast by offering affordable concerts in unique venues, up-close and personal exchanges with world-class musicians, free community concerts, educational outreach, and an overall outstanding celebration of chamber music in all its forms from classical to bluegrass to jazz! The National …

Morgan County 4H program “very active”

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Special to the Citizen: One of Janet Woodard’s biggest regrets from her childhood is not being involved in the county’s 4-H program in her hometown of Ocilla. In her role as Morgan County’s 4-H leader, Woodard makes sure local children don’t experience the same void. “If I could turn back time, yep, it would have been better for me if I had been involved,” said Woodard, whose son Will, and daughter, Claire, are active in the Morgan County 4-H program. “I wouldn’t take anything for the experience they have had …

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June Programs at Hard Labor Creek State Park

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Special to the Citizen: June is a great time to come out and explore Hard Labor Creek State Park. For more information on Hard Labor Creek State Park, or other Georgia Parks, visit www.gastateparks.org/Hard Labor Creek “Home School Wednesdays”— Wednesday, June 4, 1-2:30 P.M. – Join a park ranger and learn about the natural sciences and get some fun physical fitness by doing a variety of activities at Hard Labor Creek State Park. Each month will cover a different topic. Please register in advance. All activities will be outdoors. $3 …

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Gas Authority of Georgia Honors the City of Madison

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Special to the Citizen: The Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia honored the City of Madison at its Annual Membership Meeting last week as runner-up for the 2013 Project of the Year Award for Northern Georgia for the Stanton Springs Project. The Cities of Covington and Social Circle were also recognized for this award. This award is presented annually to municipally-owned natural gas systems served by the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia. The City of Madison formed a partnership with Covington and Social Circle to serve the Stanton Springs Industrial Park. …

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“Click it or Ticket”

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Special to the Citizen: To highlight the importance of safe driving and safe boating as the unofficial start of summer draws near, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is once again partnering with the Department of Natural Resources and Georgia State Patrol to add an impaired driving message to its Memorial Day Click It or Ticket campaign. This year, Georgia boaters and motorists were warned to choose their ride. Whether they’re drunk behind the wheel of their boat or their car, they will be caught and they will go to …

Discipline, Courage and a Piece of Paper

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By Jamie Miles This February I approached Morgan County’s Alternative Education Program (AEP) Director, Greg Thompson about leading a creative writing workshop with Crossroads students. At the time, I wasn’t sure what avenue the class would take. Then by chance, I came across the Pongo Writing Method online. Using Pongo’s structured poetry prompts, students find it easier to dive into the creative process of thinking about and expressing emotion. When asked about general misconceptions of AEP students Thompson shared, “A lot of people think these are bad kids. They are …