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 …

Downtown Dance brings Beachy Vibes to a Chilly Night

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Leila Dycus staff writer Nothing says summer has arrived like a night of dancing under the stars in Town Park even a chilly forecast couldn’t keep Morgan County residents out of the park. On Friday, May 16 people poured into Town Park for the annual Downtown Dance. This year’s event featured the band Grains of Sands, a beachy Motown group hailing from Athens. Attendees brought their lawn chairs and claimed their spots in the grass adorned with their picnics and drinks of choice they bared the chilly night for some …

We’ve got Goosebumps!

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The town is set to begin filming at night. Chairs are overturned as chaos strikes. Onlookers watch as a scene is being set up. The street is closed as the production crew of ‘Goosebumps’ begins to roll the camera. Lead actor Jack Black on the scene.

HPC Approved

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By Tia Lecorchick staff writer The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) approved Kathi Russell for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA), after more than a year of stalled negotiations, with certain conditions. “I am delighted,” said Russell. “We will start construction right away.” Russell, owner of the historic Mapp-Gilmore building located at 200 West Washington Street in Madison, and her team of representatives, which included Joe Reitman, the Madison city attorney, appeared before the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) on May 13, to present her latest design proposal for the currently demolished building’s …

4-H team prepares for National Competition

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By Nick Nunn staff writer With a pair of state titles under their belt, the Morgan County 4-H Senior Recurve and Senior Compound archery teams have begun preparing for their next stage of competition: the National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitation, which will be held in Grand Island, Neb., on June 25-29. According to Morgan County 4-H archer coach Nick Nicholson, this is the first time that both state-winning archery teams have come from the same county. The teams have a number of challenges ahead of them, with one of the …

2014 Relay for Life raises over $34,000

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By Nick Nunn staff writer “We are fighting back!” said Beth Bradley, chair for the 2014 Morgan County Relay for Life during the opening ceremony last Friday, May 9, at the DuPree Track and Field. Thanks to Morgan County’s 2014 Relay for Life, themed “Life is Sweeter Without Cancer,” the American Cancer Society will be able to fight back against cancer with an additional $34,000. Despite threatening clouds last Friday evening, a solid crowd of cancer survivors and supporters turned out to the DuPree track for the survivor’s dinner and …

Decision Day at MCHS

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Bringing Awareness: The Morgan County High School 4-H Club hosted the first “Teen Maze” program for the Freshman Academy at MCHS on Tuesday, May 6. The event is designed to help young students see the possible consequences of their actions as they begin to take on more responsibilities in high school and beyond.

One Morgan Special Olympics brings smiles to participants’ faces

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By Leila Dycus intern This year’s One Morgan Olympics brought students from all Morgan County schools together for a day of socialization and smiles. “The reason this day is such an important day is because it allows for their abilities to shine, taking away their disability while doing some healthy competition at each event,” said BEST Club teacher sponsor Meredith Holloway. On Friday, May 2, special needs students from across the county gathered in the MCHS stadium to participate in the One Morgan Olympics. The games were a chance for …

Madison in May

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By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer he Morgan-Madison Cultural Center (MMCC) held its early Madison In May fundraiser on May 1-3. Madison in May is the yearly spring tour throughout Madison, which includes historic homes, landmarks and churches. Tickets were $25 for members, $30 for non-members and $15 for students. “It was a wonderful event. We had over 1000 attendants, and over 200 volunteers and docents. Final ticket sales have not been all tallied yet,” said Erin Garrett, development director for the MMCC. “Our goal is to raise between $25,000 …

Teen Maze held at High School

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By Tia Lynn Lecorchick The Morgan County High School (MCHS) hosted a 4-H Club event called Teen Maze on May 5-6. Teen Maze is a series of scenes in which participating students are asked to make decisions about drugs, alcohol, and sex and then are shown where those kind of decisions can lead. The maze features are a party scence, a car accident scene, a jail scene and even a death scene. The event combined the goals of The Youth Development Strategy, The Drug and Alcohol Free Youth Strategy and …

Winds tear through town

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Trees Take The Brunt Of The Storm…The first round of a series of massive spring storms ripped through Madison and Morgnan County Tuesday morning. High winds and earlier heavy rains left several large trees, including this one on Main Street across from Heritage Hall, susceptible to damage. Another round of heavy, dangerous weather was expected for Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.  photo by Jesse Walker