When a man goes to war

Staff Written Featured, News

By Patrick Yost editor In 1968, the day after he and his wife Denny graduated from the University of Georgia, Doug Ewing walked to the mailbox. He opened the box and took out a notification from the United States Selective Service. “Oh, hell.” He was 23-years-old with a newly minted college degree and a newly minted marriage certificate and he had been commanded to serve his country in Vietnam.  And like thousands of men before him, he left family and country, joined the U.S. Navy and found himself on the …

One family’s mission to see the world

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Judy Garrison guest writer Of the thousands of photos living in self-crafted photography books on shelves, the multi-colored glass sculptures resting on wooden coffee tables, tapestries of kaleidoscopic colors softening the hard wood floors, what is encased in a wooden shadow box hanging on the basement wall of the Campbell’s home is what she wishes me to see.   “I got this in Papua New Guinea,” says Alla Campbell. “It’s a fertility necklace worn by men. I bargained with the lady but she wouldn’t budge. Her grandmother made it.” …

A good time was had by all…

Staff Written Community, Featured

By  Tia Lynn Ivey staff writer “The annual Browns Chapel Soulful Sounds in the Park rocked out last Saturday night, June 29,  in Madison’s Town Park.  A large crowd gathered to dance to the groovy musical styling of Kasper and The 911 Band, an Atlanta-based group specializing in soulful sounds. The band is comprised of Kasper Rouser, Derrick Alexander,Micheal Hall, Gary Webster, Herbert Williams, Reginald Williams, and Edsel Robinson. The group performed a lively show in perfect weather as the audience danced and swayed and socialized all evening. 

Happy China gunmen jailed?

Staff Written Featured, News

By Sidhartha Wakade staff writer Three men were arrested in connection with the armed robberies targeting Asian restaurants in the metro Atlanta area and across at least four counties. Local officials believe these men could be the gunmen who robbed Happy China in Madison a couple of weeks ago.  Emmanuel Rakestraw, 26, Decatur, Shaquille Rucker, 22, Decatur and Earnest Sims, 19, Jenkinsburg, were arrested in connection with the robberies.  Detective Wes Thompson, Madison Police Department, said the three were caught thanks to video footage from previous robberies and convenience store …

Local Outdoor Legends, Jesse Parker

Staff Written Featured

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Some legends are born out of passion, others out of necessity.  Legends conjure up images of old men with grizzled faces and leathery skin worn from battling the elements of wind, rain, and sun.  Their crooked old smiles belie the wealth of knowledge hidden beneath.  It’s like they know something you don’t.  One look at their beat up old hands of steel give a clue as to the hard life they’ve sometimes lived.  Mother Nature has honed them.  They are long-in-the-tooth salty dogs with …

Rutledge Lakers host Reunion

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Sidhartha Wakade staff writer The Lakers held a reunion in Walton County last Saturday, but not in the way most people are thinking. To those expecting coverage of Shaq, Kobe or more recently, LeBron: it is not about those Lakers, “Showtime,” or otherwise. The Lakers in this case were the legendary local slow-pitch women’s softball team that formed in Rutledge, Georgia in 1968 and was disbanded in 1985, not the legendary basketball team that still exists and is not connected to Morgan County.  Known in their time as the …

African American Museum houses new art

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey staff writer Although this year’s June Fest at the Morgan County African American Museum (MCAAM) in Madison  was cancelled due to the threat of inclement weather last Saturday, a small group gathered at the museum to view the new artwork on display.  A talented artist debuted his artwork at the MCCAAM last Saturday. Ernso Brown, a 29-year-old artist from Indianapolis, Indiana, gave a brief talk Saturday about several of his paintings now on display at the MCAAM for the next month.  Brown said he draws from …

MCRD Boys win District

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor The Morgan County Recreation Department hosted the 7-8 All-Stars District Playoffs this week with the Morgan boys coming out on top.  Head Coach Andy Frost guided the young guns to a 20-16 shootout victory of Jasper to propel them into the State Playoffs in Calhoun starting Tuesday, June 25 at 3:30 pm.  Frost has been a long-time coach and volunteer for the MCRD for many years. The veteran coaching staff consisted of Frost, Wes Jackson, Lyndsi Jackson, and Merritt Ainslie.  According to a report …

Humane Society hosts Puppy Bowl

Staff Written Featured

By Sidhartha Wakade staff writer The Humane Society of Morgan County (HSMC) held its third annual Puppy Bowl Cornhole Tournament and after party in an effort to raise money for the shelter.  “We had about 25 teams and everybody had a ball,” said Celia Visscher, the chair for the event. “It was hot, but it wasn’t too hot.” Pat Stokes, the secretary for the HSMC board of directors, thought the event was successful. “We had great participation,” Stokes said. “ It could not have been successful if not for the …

Chamber celebrates local government

Staff Written Featured, News

By  Sarah Wibell staff writer “It didn’t just happen.” This sentiment referencing the growing local economy and business environment was reiterated by Chamber President Bob Hughes and Congressman Jody Hice during the Madison-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce 65th Annual Meeting at Empire Mills on Thursday, June 13. The Chamber of Commerce seeks to “promote a suitable climate for quality economic development in all its forms; industrial, commercial, agricultural, institutional and residential,” according to their website. During the meeting, Excellence in Government Awards were presented to Morgan County and the City …

Summer sport camps a big hit for MCRD

Staff Written Featured, Sports

By R. Alan Richardson sports editor During the month of June, the Morgan County Recreation Department runs a number of youth sports camps that have become a rite of passage for many MCHS future stars.  The camps run the gamut of all sports across the board.  In addition, the camps are run by some of the finest coaches and players in the state from the high school and beyond. This past week the softball camp featured MCHS Coach Jason McBay in charge along with several of Morgan’s finest graduates lending …

Local creamery offers tours

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor With summer in full swing, there is no better time to take the whole family on a local adventure that is both fun and educational. Rock House Creamery, located on farm in Newborn, Ga., is hosting a public tour of the facility where the company’s popular milk and cheese products are made. On June 27, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., you can walk the grounds on a guided tour to learn how fresh and natural dairy products are produced before they hit the …

Rutledge Concert Series kicks off

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Sidhartha Wakade staff writer Rutledge’s Annual Music in the Park series kicked off last Friday at the TownPark Gazebo with the twangy tunes of Caroline Aiken, a local Blues Grass musician. Stormy weather couldn’t keep the music lovers away and locals still gathered to hear the concert beneath the overcast skies.  Every upcoming Friday at 7 p.m. through August, local musicians will take the gazebo stage, located at 113 Fairplay Street,  to perform.  This coming Friday, Doug Deluxe & the Rodeo Clowns will provide an evening of “Western Swing” …

Citizen takes home General Excellence Award

Staff Written Featured, News

Staff Reports The Morgan County Citizen was named the best weekly in the state of Georgia last Friday at the annual meeting of the Georgia Press Association. Competing with weekly newspapers across the state, the Citizen and its staff placed in several categories including Page One Design, Local News Coverage, Special Issues, Spot News Photo, Feature Photo and Religion Writing. Managing Editor Tia Lynn Ivey won first place in the Enterprise Story category in part with a story she produced in 2018 attempting to explain ambulance response times and costs …

Black History Celebrated

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Sidhartha Wakade staff writer The Morgan County branch of the NAACP held the annual Black History Parade and Festival in Town Park last Saturday, June 1. The parade. marching every year since the 1980’s, is as a way to celebrate black history, according to Sheila Tolbert, the secretary of Morgan County NAACP and the event coordinator. “We try to bring awareness to regarding black history, whether locally or nationally as well,” Tolbert said. The event began at the Aquatic Center and included bands, floats, and a march through downtown …

Pointe Of Grace takes the stage

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The Pointe of Grace Dance Academy lept across the stage of the Morgan County High School Performing Arts Center for the final dance performance of the year. Dancers gave a moving performance to “Seasons of Love” for audiences last Friday and Saturday evenings.  Pointe of Grace Dance Academy provides dance instruction for children of all ages in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, and hip hop. 

Hats off to the Class Of 2019

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Sarah Wibell staff writer On Friday night, May 24, in the Bill Corey Stadium, 197 students received their diplomas as the first class to graduate from the new Morgan County High School campus. Family, friends, faculty, and staff cheered for the graduates as their hard work, personal growth, and future possibilities were recognized. Noting that graduating marked the first chapter of the rest of the seniors’ lives, one of this year’s two Salutatorians, Mackenzie Ward, stated, “We are continuously climbing and reaching new heights we did not even know …

Honoring the fallen

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Sidhartha Wakade staff writer More than a thousand motorcycles poured into downtown Madison as a part of the 21st Ride for America in remembrance of fallen veterans on Memorial Day. Last Monday, the annual ride set out from Loganville and culminated at Madison’s Town Park for a special ceremony featuring local leaders and veterans.  According to Jim NeSmith, commander of the American Legion Calvin George Post 37 and the organizer of the event, close to 1,400 riders on 800 bikes showed up this year. Including locals and visitors, NeSmith …

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.