Teen goes on road rampage

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By Quinn Rafferty, Staff A high-speed chase unfolded over the weekend, beginning in Morgan County, racing through Walton County and then back to Morgan again. Morgan County Deputy Christopher Lash pursued four juvenile males in a white hatchback on Sunday, Jan. 5, around 2 a.m. The driver, a 16-year-old male, led police on a wild chase through two counties.  The chase began when Lash noticed the vehicle speeding by his patrol unit at 64 miles per hour when he was conducting traffic enforcement. After initiating pursuit of the vehicle, the …

Milton won’t run again

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor Longtime County Commissioner Ron Milton, representing the county’s 5th District, announced Tuesday that he will not seek reelection in 2020.  “This year will conclude my second full term on the Morgan County Board of Commissioners and I will not be on the ballot for the 2020 election,” said Milton.  “It has been an honor to serve as Commissioner  for the 5th District and all of Morgan County’s citizens.” Milton, who served as the board’s chairman for the last two years, is hoping the right …

Plane crashes near Broughton Road

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By Patrick Yost, Editor A single-engine plane crashed Monday afternoon on the Morgan County/ Jasper County line, killing the pilot. The plane, a Cessna 172 according to Morgan County Fire and Rescue Director Jeff Stone, was piloted by Millwood Ashley Dekle, 72. The plane crashed into a heavily wooded area south of Shiloh Road near the Broughton Road area of Morgan County sometime around 2:30 p.m., said Chief Deputy Keith Howard, Morgan County Sheriffn’s Office. Authorities said multiple persons called both Morgan County and Jasper County Dispatch to report the …

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County gets 72 new voting machines

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor Morgan County is among the first in Georgia to receive its fleet of new voting machines. As of Dec. 19, just 25 counties out of 159 Georgia counties received the new voting equipment. Morgan County received 72 new voting machines on Dec. 20.  “It’s a lot,” said Jennifer Doran, election supervisor for Morgan County.  In all, the county received 72 touchscreen tablets and 72 printers.  “One of each makes a voting machine,” said Doran.  The county also received 10 ballot boxes, 10 precinct scanners …

New era of leadership for Madison fire department

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor As three veteran firefighters retire this year, with a combined 94-years experience between them, the Madison Volunteer Fire Department is entering into a new era of leadership. Madison Fire Chief Tim Carter, Frank Nesbitt, and Ray Gilbert are hanging up their helmets and hoses, retiring after more than 30 years of service each. The trio leaves behind big boots to fill but three young men are set to slip into them and carry on the legacy on into the future. Brooks Pennington IV, a …

Farmer finds evidence in back pasture

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By Patrick Yost, Editor A Buckhead farmer found two shirts, including a distinctive hoodie, that investigators believe are connected to a two state crime spree that ended with a Buckhead man being shot and car-jacked. According to Sgt. Chase Young, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, the farmer found the wet and soiled clothing in a pasture area on Dec. 26 off Parks Mill Road that was directly in line with a stolen car the two suspects had left on Interstate 20 and the Alford Lane residence of 72-year-old Raymond McCullough. Tre’ …

Empty Stocking Fund brings joy to Morgan families

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By Patrick Yost, Editor More than 100 families representing 250 children aged infant to 12-years-old had a merrier Christmas last Friday thanks to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Empty Stocking program. Parents and guardians who had signed up for the program through an application published in the Morgan County Citizen arrived throughout the day at the Morgan County Public Safety Center where trustees and volunteers delivered large bags of toys for the parents to take home, wrap and deliver to children on Christmas day. The toys have either been donated, according …

Behold, a Christmas Miracle

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor Edward and Angela Binion turned the key to their home of 17 years to discover nothing less than a Christmas miracle this week.  Earlier this year, the Binion family fell on hard times, with their Hough Circle house falling into severe disrepair and the couple’s three children put into foster care as a result.  Struggling financially and out of options, Edward and Angela feared all hope was lost to fix their home and put their family back together. “We didn’t know what we were …

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor Santa and his helpers ushered in the biggest Christmas celebration in Madison last weekend. The Annual Holiday Parade and Caroling by Candle Light was held in Downtown Madison last Saturday.  The Holiday Parade featured floats, walking groups, vintage cars, horses, dogs, dancers, and the award winning MCHS Marching Bulldog Band, all decorated to this year’s theme, ‘Up On The Rooftop, Click, Click, Click…’ After the parade, people sang medleys of holiday music in Town Park by candlelight. This event was orchestrated by Madison Main …

New hospital allows for growth of health services

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor Morgan County’s new hospital turns one-year-old this December, but the vision for the Morgan Medical Center was more than 15 years in the making.  Hospital leaders are celebrating the one-year anniversary since the Morgan Medical Center, a $35 million replacement hospital, opened its doors to the public .  “The past year has been a positive one, from a growth perspective as well as financially.  We are excited to enter 2020 with a continued commitment to grow and expand the services we are able to …

City celebrates huge land gift

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor An anonymous donor is gifting 40 acres of land to the City of Madison that is potentially worth more than $400,000. The Madison Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to accept the gift at the Dec, 9 regular meeting.  “To my knowledge, it’s the largest land gift the city has ever gotten,” said City Manager David Nunn. “This is a nice piece of property and a very generous gift.” The parcel is located off Bass Road in Madison, near 441 North and is currently …

County acquires new rescue truck for $200

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor Just $200 bought the Morgan County Fire and Rescue (MCFR) a military truck and generator with a combined worth of $132,000.  According to Fire Chief Jeff Stone, the new equipment from the a federal surplus program, could “easily cost between $250,000 to $300,000 [for the truck] and $75,000 [for the generator].” The new truck, which must be transformed by the county into a proper apparatus for the fire department, will replace one of the aging “knocker” trucks. The county is hoping more trucks from …

Peters wins Senior Center raffle

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Special to the Citizen For years now, from January through November, you’ll find a group of hard-working talented Morgan County residents, all members of its Senior Center, hunkered in the center’s ceramics room, busily painting and firing hundreds of items for that year’s ceramics and craft sale.  Most of their output is Christmassy in nature but, being so close to Athens, a lot of their designs end up Bulldog Red and Black with big Gs on them.  They also make doll clothes, quilts, and home décor such as candlesticks. All …

Warrants, search leads to meth arrests in Rutledge

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By Patrick Yost, Editor Police attempting to execute an arrest warrant on a Centennial Road resident ended up adding drug charges to both the suspect and a woman at the residence. According to Morgan County Sheriff’s Office reports, Avery Lee Long, 28, Rutledge and Brittany McCoy, 31, Rutledge were both arrested at 9 a.m. on drug charges after officers serving the arrest warrant also performed a Fourth Amendment search on Long’s residence, a camper trailer parked behind a residence off Centennial Road. Inside the camper, reports state, where a black …

Following Sherman’s March to the Sea

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By Patrick Yost, Editor An Akron, Ohio patent attorney has donned a Civil War era Union soldier uniform and is attempting to follow Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s army’s route during the 1864 March to the Sea. On Monday, Ray Slatterly walked from Rutledge to Madison and was hoping to get to the Apalachee River before calling it quits for the night. Slatterly, who also participates in Civil War reenactments, said he is trying to follow the route that his Great-great grandfather John Slatterly walked as part of the 149th New …

Love Light fundraiser continues success

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor Morgan Medical Center’s annual premier fundraiser brought in over $12,000 this year. The Love Light Tree fundraiser, held last Thursday, Dec. 5, was particularly special.  “Our hospital lobby was filled with joy and light as our Auxiliary celebrated the 20th reception for our Love Light Tree!” said Jodie Schmidt, the 2019 Love Light Chair.  “A cheerful crowd gathered as we honored friends and loved ones through this annual tradition of fellowship.  Our Auxiliary members should be truly proud of the efforts through the years that …

Sunflower gets second chance

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor After a stern rebuke from the Madison Mayor and City Council meeting last month, the Sunflower Convenience Store in Madison may get a second chance.  Madison Police Officer Philip Malcom, who originally urged the city council to enact a 7-day suspension of alcohol sales at Sunflower, had a change of heart, asking the council on Monday night for leniency–with some strings attached. Malcom repeatedly witnessed Sunflower patrons loitering outside of the store, consuming alcohol on the premises illegally, and worried the situation could lead to more …

Morgan Dems join statewide voting petition

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor The statewide election security debate over voting machines rages on as the Democratic Presidential Primary fast approaches in March of 2020. Morgan County Democrats joined other election security advocate groups to sign a petition requesting new rules for the State Election Board to better ensure free and fair elections.  The new petition aims to reduce voting lines, protect ballot secrecy and improve security to ward against hacking, technical malfunctions, or other tampering attempts. The petition also calls for the state to adopt the new …

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Volunteers serve 150 Thanksgiving meals

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By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor The community came together on Thanksgiving to ensure everyone who wanted a traditional Thanksgiving meal got one. The 35-year-long tradition is facilitated by Calvary Baptist Church and St. Paul’s AME church in Madison, along with Morgan County High School.  Forty volunteers gave up time on Thanksgiving day to prepare and deliver hot Thanksgiving meals to 150 people in Morgan County.  “The menu was turkey, dressing, green beans, cranberry sauce,potato souffle and rolls,” said Angela Daniel, administrator for Calvary Baptist. Over the years, individuals, businesses …