mcc

New COVID-19 case in Morgan, testing limited

Staff Written News

Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  A second case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in Morgan County on Tuesday, March 31, according the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH). The highly contagious and potentially lethal COVID-19 virus is currently sweeping across the State of Georgia, the United States of America, and more than 150 countries across the globe. While Morgan County appears to be holding strong with just two confirmed cases as of press time on Tuesday, March 31,  the lack of testing for the virus in Georgia and across …

mcc

City extends emergency declaration

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  As the coronavirus sweeps across the country, the City of Madison voted to extend the local state of emergency declared earlier this month, which requires city residents to shelter-in-place and non-essential businesses to close, until the end of April. The city is choosing to go further than the State of Georgia’s current mandatory shutdowns and social distancing requirements and is calling upon Morgan County officials adopt countywide state of emergency restrictions on public gatherings and business closings.  “We had hoped the county would follow …

mcc

BD Bard gets EPD approval to amend judicial order

Staff Written News

Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  In light of the rapid spread of the coronavirus, which has prompted a severe shortage of medical supplies and equipment across the country, the BD Bard plants in Madison and Covington will be temporarily allowed to ramp up the use of ethylene oxide, a known cancer-causing gas used for sterilization.  BD Bard came under fire last year over concerns that the Covington plant produced elevated ethylene oxide emissions. Since then, the company has worked with local and state leaders, agreeing to a consent order to …

School closings extended to April 24

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Morgan County school students will not see the inside of a classroom again until the end of April at the earliest. As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc across the country, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced last week that all Georgia schools must be closed until April 24, issuing an executive order extending school closures by another month on March 26. School closings are part of a multifaceted strategy of social distancing and self-isolating to slow the spread of COVID-19, a highly contagious and potentially …

KEMP TO ISSUE SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER, SHUT DOWN K-12 SCHOOLS

Dianne Yost News

By Dianne Lively Yost & Capitol Beat Reporter Beau Evans Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced today at a 4 p.m. press conference held outside at Liberty Plaza at the Georgia State Capitol that he plans to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order that will go in effect from Friday, April 3 until April 13. Gov. Kemp also is issuing an order today that closes Georgia K-12 schools for the remainder of the school year, keeping online learning. On Thursday, Kemp will sign the shelter in place order, and he is planning …

SBA Will Forgive Paycheck Payroll Protection Loans for Small Businesses that Keep Employees on Payroll

Dianne Yost News

Here’s what you need to know By Dianne Lively Yost While the COVID-19 pandemic has already battered stock markets and played havoc on businesses both at home and across the nation, help from the U.S. Government is on the way. Morgan County small businesses can now apply for Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans that are eligible for loan forgiveness. The Federal government has authorized up to $349 billion for the PPP loan program to help small businesses. The SBA will forgive these PPP loans if: 1) …

Madison declares local state of emergency; city-wide shut downs

Staff Written Featured, News

Photos by Jesse Walker By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  On the heels of Morgan County’s first confirmed case of the coronavirus and Gov. Brian Kemp’s new mandatory public restrictions for the next two weeks, The Madison Mayor and City Council declared a local state of emergency Monday evening and grappled with a new local ordinance aimed to curb the spread of COVID-19. The council unanimously voted to enact a two-week emergency ordinance, beginning Tuesday, March 24 at noon until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April. 6. The council may extend …

mcc

Morgan gets first COVID case

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  The first known case of the coronavirus in Morgan County has been confirmed. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH), Morgan County now has one confirmed case of COVID-19 as of press time on Tuesday, March 24.  GDPH has reported as Tuesday, March 24, at noon that Georgia has a total of 1,026 confirmed cases of the coronavirus that has resulted in 32 deaths.  No information has been released about the infected person in Morgan County—neither how severe the case is nor …

State shuts down Hard Labor containment facility

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  The isolation camp at Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge was closed late last week, less than one month after opening to quarantine patients infected with COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus.  “The trailers at Hard Labor Creek are being moved to Monroe County,” announced State Representative Dave Belton on Friday, March 20.  On Friday, Morgan County government announced the quarantine camp at Hard Labor Creek State Park, which took local leaders by surprise and upset many Rutledge residents, would be closed.  “At …

BOE names new MCES principal

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Morgan County Elementary School (MCES) is getting a new principal. On Tuesday, March 24, the Morgan County Board of Education held a virtual special-called meeting to unanimously vote to approve Linda Smith, currently an assistant principal in Rockdale County, as the new principal of MCES.  “I am ready to take the reins at the end of the school year,” said Smith, who begins on July 1. “Morgan County has such a great reputation—not just here, but throughout the state. I am just glad to …

mcc

Mouth swabs in Rutledge ends with county citations

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Five persons were cited for a Morgan County peddling ordinance in Rutledge after citizens complained that the group was going door-to-door and taking both mouth swabs and personal information. According to Morgan County Sheriff’s Office reports, the group was stopped at the intersection of Fairplay Road and Dixie Avenue in downtown Rutledge by Morgan County Deputy Timothy Saye.  Complainants told deputies that the group came to their homes and said they were either collecting mouth swabs to check for the COVID-19 virus, were collecting …

School system gets high ranking

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Morgan County Charter School System was named 29th top school district in the State of Georgia this month.  “Our priority as a school system is ‘to create a performance culture focused on student achievement,’” said Dr. James Woodard, superintendent of Morgan County Schools.  “We are excited that our system was recognized in the top 30 school districts in the state.  This ranking validates that we are focused on creating a culture with students, parents, and staff which makes a positive difference for our students.” Morgan …

New patient at HLC

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Rutledge residents breathed a sigh of relief Sunday when the sole patient quarantined at Hard Labor Creek’s “Corona Camp” was released and transported out of Morgan County. Rumors spread via social media that the isolation camp, comprised of seven medical trailers designed to hold up to 14 patients, would be dismantled and closed. But Morgan County officials announced a new patient infected with COVID-19 arrived to Hard Labor Creek for quarantine on Monday.  “Officials from Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) advised that a patient …

mcc

Cancellations around Morgan County

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Postponements, cancellations, and closings are happening all over Morgan County, along with the rest of the country, in the wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic. This week, President Donald Trump asked the entire nation to avoid gatherings of 10 people or more for at least the next two weeks in order to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Officials are worried about overwhelming the healthcare system should the virus spread too rapidly. The President also urged the public to avoid discretionary travel, drinking at bars …

mcc

Presidential Primary Election postponed

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Amid growing fears over the spread of the COIVD-19 virus, which has now been declared a coronavirus pandemic and prompted a National Emergency, the State of Georgia has decided to postpone the March 24 Presidential Primary election. State officials fear the virus could spread more rapidly when people gather in lines in large numbers to vote. As of press time on Tuesday, Mar. 17, Over 60 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been found in Georgia, with one death thus far.  “I want to assure …

Morgan County Schools closed next week due to Coronavirus

Contributed Featured, News

Dear Morgan County Charter School System Community, We have been closely monitoring coronavirus (COVID-19) with guidance from the CDC, Georgia Department of Public Health, Morgan County Health Department,and the Georgia Department of Education. As the situation has continued to change rapidly, our top priority remains the health and well-being of our school community.  This afternoon, Governor Brian Kemp gave local school systems the ability to close school for up to two weeks to limit the spread of this virus. While there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Morgan County, in the …

Local officials blindsided by Coronavirus camp at Hard Labor Creek

Staff Written News

Photo by Jesse Walker By Tia Lynn IveyManaging Editor The establishment of a Coronavirus quarantine camp at Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge this week, which currently has one infected patient on the grounds, has local leaders scrambling to educate the public while pressing state leaders for answers.  At an open meeting on Wednesday morning at the Morgan County Jail, local leaders vented frustrations over Governor Brian Kemp’s decision to set up a coronavirus isolation camp at Hard Labor Creek without prior notification. “We found out along with everyone …

CORONA QUARANTINE

Staff Written Featured, News

Photos by Jesse Walker (Taken with a zoom lens from a safe distance on Tuesday, March 10th) State sets up COVID-19 camp at Hard Labor By Tia Lynn Ivey Managing Editor UPDATE: March 11 12 a.m. FIRST COVID-19 POSITIVE PATIENT NOW AT HARD LABOR CREEK STATE PARK FROM THE OFFICE OF GEORGIA GOV. KEMPFor Immediate Release Tuesday, March 10, 2020 First COVID-19 Patient at Hard Labor Creek State ParkAtlanta, GA – During a press conference with state emergency management officials and Coronavirus Task Force members, Governor Kemp and Georgia Emergency Management …

Hice bringing Commandments to courthouse

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Morgan County Courthouse will soon display The 10 Commandments, and other historical documents. The Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce raised the $1,200 to purchase the nine-piece set, which includes  The Ten Commandments, The Bill of Rights, The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Georgia Constitution, Lady Justice, The Magna-Carta, The Mayflower Compact, The National Motto, and The Star Spangled Banner.  “We thank the Chamber of Commerce for taking this on,” said County Commissioner Chairman Philipp Von Hanstein. “There was no taxpayer money used to …

mcc

Qualifying complete

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The window for political candidates to qualify for local races ended on Friday, Mar. 5. A total of 18 candidates qualified for local elections. Only five out of the 12 races are contested.  The local races shaping up for a showdown between competing candidates include the County Commissioner District 5 Seat, the Board of Education District 2 seat, the Board of Education District 3 Seat, Morgan County Sheriff, and County Tax Commissioner. May 19, 2020 is the primary election for Morgan County’s local races. …