Building today for tomorrow

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  The Morgan County Branch of the NAACP held the 49th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet last Saturday, Oct. 26 at Morgan County High School.  Every year, the Morgan County NAACP honors local members with an array of awards for community service, celebrating with a dinner and speakers to deliver an uplifting message aimed at creating a better future.  This year’s keynote address was delivered by Michael Thurmond, a Dekalb County CEO. Mr. Avery Jackson, a Morgan County Board of Elections and Registration member, served as …

Marvin Ruark this year’s ‘Cotton King’

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Sarah Jones Granddaughter of  Marvin Ruark “There are few greater honors than being Marvin Ruark’s granddaughter. And if you know him, you probably feel the same is true of being his friend.  But this fall, the honor is his. Marvin Ruark is this year’s Bostwick Cotton Gin Festival’s Cotton King. This is the 30th Annual Bostwick Cotton Gin Festival.  Being the son of a farmer and having a mother with a green-thumb, it is no surprise that my grandaddy grew up to be a farmer. His family has tended …

Dragons maintain hold on first place

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor It was a beautiful night for football at Jefferson’s Memorial Stadium Friday, and for a half the Morgan County Bulldogs met their surroundings with some beautiful play.  Had it not been for a couple of things that went against the Dogs, Morgan could have been tied with the Dragons at the intermission.  However, those mishaps proved to be part of the Bulldog downfall, and the second half Jefferson showed why they hold the number three ranking in AAA this week. As some in the …

JV slips past Jackson County 30-26

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor The Morgan County JV football team continued their winning ways with an entertaining 30-26 victory over Region foe Jackson County last week.  The play of Jay Eubanks, Pratt Spivey, Rogers Clark, DJ Smith, and Javier Laguin sparked the offense to the win.  The see-saw battle started with the Dogs taking the lead on their first possession.  They marched 68 yards in only six plays to draw first blood.  Running back Eubanks, putting together a fine season, was again the leading ground gainer in the …

Community stands against bullying

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey editor  More than 200 people arrived at the largest Morgan County Sheriff’s Office Anti-Bullying Social last Saturday. The sixth annual event sponsored by the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office was open to Morgan County youth aged 8-years-old to 15-years-old. The event ran from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and was held at the Morgan County Recreation Department. According to Olivia Laborn, Anti-Bullying Social event, the event included “motivational speakers, food, games and prizes.” A live DJ, Darren Ballard, also entertained the youth. Ministers, educators, law enforcement officers …

Spin For Kids

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey editor  About 500 cyclists and 150 volunteers gathered at Camp Twin Lakes last Sunday for the annual Spin for Kids fundraiser.  Spin For Kids raises money for Camp Twin Lakes’ Camper Scholarship Program. These funds ensure each of the 10,000 children and teens served annually at Camp Twin Lakes have the opportunity to participate in year-round, transformative camp programs, regardless of the families’ ability to pay.  For more than 25 years, Camp Twin Lakes has provided life-changing camp experiences to thousands of children and teens just through …

Spike Dogs move to State Playoffs

Staff Written Featured, Sports

The MCHS Spike Dogs punched their ticket to the State Volleyball Championship with a win over Monroe Area this past week.  The victory pushed Morgan into the 8-AAA Region Championship Final Four.  A loss to Jefferson and a win over Hart County gives them the third slot from the Area.  This means they will travel to Westminster Schools Saturday, Oct. 19 to face the second seeded team out of Area 6-AAA, North Murray.  Times have yet to be determined.  Ringgold will be the number one seed at 25-15 for the …

Sweet Sacrifice

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  “It was all worth it!” giggled Cindy Aaron after taking a big bite of a free cookie dough blizzard from Madison’s local Dairy Queen. And all it cost her was a kidney.  When Ernest Fulton, a 49-year-old husband, a father of four, and the assistant manager at the Madison Dairy Queen, was told he only had six months to live in 2018, he thought his time in this world would soon be over.  Ernest was diagnosed with Stage 3 prostate cancer in addition to …

IKK ‘hate group’ comes to Morgan

Staff Written Featured, News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor A cross covered in Christmas lights shone in darkness off of Aqua Road in Morgan County last weekend. But the festive lights could not disguise the startling message beneath—a message of hate, racism and white supremacy, according to local law enforcement and concerned neighbors.  The International Keystone Knights (IKK), a chapter of Ku Klux Klan, gathered at a local private residence on Aqua Lane for a two-day event on October 4-5, advertised as a board meeting, and a barbecue with speeches. According to local …

A Roast, Toast, and Tribute to Christine Lambert

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey editor  At her 90th Birthday “Roast, Toast, and Tribute,” Christine Lambert may have been the butt of the jokes for the evening, but her legacy is no laughing matter. Since Lambert arrived in Madison over 50 years ago, she rose to become a vital pillar of the community, wielding her wealth and influence to protect public education, historic homes and landmarks, green space, and create a thriving local art venue through the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC). Since Lambert played a pivotal role in founding the MMCC, …

Fourth Annual Shoot For Seth

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  The memory of Seth Stapleton, a Morgan County high school football player who tragically died in 2015, lives on as his family and friends carry on what he loved to do in his honor.  The Fourth Annual Shoot for Seth was held last weekend at Old Hudson Plantation in Sparta. The Sporting clay tournament included 100 targets and was open to both adults and kids. The event featured a live auction, a silent auction, games and raffle tickets. All funds raised will go to …

County’s hands tied over ambulance service deal

Staff Written Featured, News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Just when Morgan County was accelerating the search for a new ambulance provider, county officials were forced to slam on the brakes.  “Here I thought the county was in control,” said County Commissioner Donald Harris. “Today I found out, that’s not the case.” Ambulance service in Morgan County has been under scrutiny in the last year, after several instances of citizens with severe medical emergencies endured extraordinarily long wait times for an ambulance to arrive.  County officials have been pressed by residents to either …

Bulldogs win over Monroe Area

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By Alvin Richardson staff writer Since 2016 either Morgan County or Monroe Area have been Region 8AAA champs so the matchup last Friday night at Bill Corry Stadium was a big one.  The Bulldogs of Coach Bill Malone passed that test with a solid 27-17 win over the Purple Hurricanes on Homecoming Night in front of a raucous crowd.  It was the first region game of the campaign and the Bulldogs played well on both sides of the ball to get the win. Head Coach Bill Malone was well pleased …

Lady Dogs sweep East Jackson

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor The Lady Diamond Dogs stamped their ticket to the State Softball Tournament this past weekend by defeating the East Jackson Lady Eagles in two straight games.  The best of three series was played in Madison with the number four MCHS girls hosting East Jackson.  Coach Jason McBay’s squad took the contests by scores of 7-4 in the opener and 10-5 in the afternoon portion of a double-header.  With the two wins, MOCO will now move into the Final Four of the 8-AAA Region Tournament …

Homecoming Week

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey editor  Morgan County High School students spent all last week celebrating Homecoming.  In preparation for the big Homecoming Football game, in which the Morgan County High School Bulldogs reigned supreme, students dressed up each day, marched in a parade and spent Friday afternoon competing and cheering in the annual pep rally. GO DOGS!

Historic house burns

Staff Written Featured, News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor A beloved historic house in Rutledge caught fire last week, severely damaging the home owned by John Pisello and Keith Rex.  A blazing fire broke out at the historic Hollis House, built in 1905, and located at 171 Fairplay Street in Rutledge on Friday, Sept. 20, taking four fire departments to extinguish. After completing an investigation, the Morgan Fire Department and the State Fire Marshall’s Office determined the cause of the fire was “most likely from smoking.” “It is a very sad day in …

Getting ready for a region run

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Morgan County’s softball squad had an up-and-down week with losses to Region 8-AAA opponents Franklin County and East Jackson before finishing up on the positive side with a win over Monticello Monday.  The girls now sit in fourth place in 8-AAA with Franklin County and Jackson County leading the pack at 9-2 while Jefferson is on their heels at 8-3.  MOCO is now 14-11 overall with a 5-7 record in Region play.   The Region is always one of the toughest in the State.  …

Nine decades, one amazing woman

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managaing editor  The year was 1929. President Herbert Hoover was inaugurated as the United States 31st president and “Black Tuesday” sent the Wall Street Stock Market crashing, triggering the Great Depression of the 1930s. Sport fans cheered baseball player Lou Gehrig hitting three consecutive home runs out the park and radio listeners sang along to popular tunes like Singin’ in the Rain, Tiptoe Through the Tulips, and Happy Days are Here Again. This was the year Christine Davis Lambert came into the world—a time many of …

Development fears prompt HMC meeting

Staff Written Featured, News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor A local watchdog group has set its gaze on a large farm currently for sale, concerned over development prospects.  The Historic Madison Coalition (HMC) has identified Pritchard Farms, owned by the Pritchard family, as a possible site for future developments since the 1,763-acre farm is currently up for sale.  The HMC is worried about increased traffic and other negative consequences associated with new developments in Madison’s Historic District. The group is hosting a neighborhood information meeting to discuss the matter this Sunday, Sept. 22 …

‘May’ I have $1.5 mil?

Staff Written Featured, News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor A short-term rental controversy has become a long-term debacle for Morgan County.  Christine May, a former Morgan County homeowner, filed a federal lawsuit against Morgan County last week, stemming from a near decade-long dispute over short-term rentals out of her lake house in Buckhead, Georgia. The eight-year legal battle escalated to the point of May, a woman in her  70s, being charged with a criminal misdemeanor and sentenced to 30 days in jail for continuing to use her house as a vacation rental property. …