Investigation continues in motel shooting

Patrick Yost News

Madison authorities are continuing an investigation into a shooting at the Budget Inn that left one man hospitalized. According to Madison Police Department reports, Joshua Matthew Epps, 21, Rutledge, was shot once in the abdomen outside a Budget Inn Motel room on Tuesday, April 10 at 12:50 a.m. According to Madison Police Chief Bill Ashburn, Epps was transported to Athens Regional Medical Center for treatment. Investigators are still waiting to interview Epps regarding the shooting, Ashburn said. Reports state that witnesses at the motel told officers that Epps had arrived …

Kids in foster care doubles

Tia Lynn Ivey News

The ever-growing opioid crisis is not only creating an alarming number of addicts in life-threatening danger across the nation, but also an exploding foster child population. Morgan County is not exempt from this national trend. Within one year, the number of foster children in Morgan County has nearly doubled. Conversely, the number of foster homes remains disproportionately low in Morgan County. With over 50 Morgan County children currently in the foster care system from Morgan County, there are only eight certified foster homes in Morgan County. Velde Hardy, director of …

Council faces Foster lawsuit

Tia Lynn Ivey News

The Foster Park Housing development may return to limbo once again. Residents of the Historic District in Madison have filed an appeal suit with the Superior Court of Morgan County to challenge the Madison Mayor and City Council’s controversial 3-2 vote to rezone part of the Foster-Thomason-Miller property in order to accommodate a 19-house subdivision called Foster Park. In March, the city council, with the Mayor Fred Perriman as the tiebreaker, narrowly voted to rezone 10.36 acres behind the historic Foster-Thomason-Miller house to a Residential 4 (R4) designation, which allows …

HPC to decide on new house downtown

Sarah Wibell News

In Madison’s Historic District, one new house may be built while one old house will receive long overdue repairs. Madison’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) reviewed two applications last week, one proposing a new house to be built upon a small lot behind Whidby’s Jewelers on Second Street and the other proposing desperately-needed repairs to the historic Foster-Thomason Miller house on Main Street. The HPC was wary of the conceptual design for the new house on Second Street. While HPC Chair Flynn Clyburn shared that they had a 98 percent approval …

3,000 truckloads of dirt going to airport

Tia Lynn Ivey News

The slow-moving expansion for Madison’s airport may receive a boost off of another city project soon. The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) will soon be clearing a significant amount of dirt as part of the West Washington Gateway makeover project. According to City Manager David Nunn, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is considering funding the spreading and compacting of that dirt at the Madison Airport to help fill a deep ravine, which has made the progress on the airport expansion challenging. “If the DDA goes ahead and executes their project …

Group seeks reservoir answers

Sarah Wibell News

Greater Apalachee River Community (GARC) members, a couple of Oconee County Board of Commissioners, and others toured the Bear Creek Reservoir April 11 and 13 to see how a reservoir and intake site operates. GARC members have raised concerns over environmental, quality of life, and archaeological factors related to the proposed water intake site that is currently off of High Shoals Road on the Morgan County side of the Apalachee River. The history behind and some concerns about the Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir and its planned intake pump on …

Morgan County planning for 2019 budget

Tia Lynn Ivey News

As Morgan County prepares for budget season, county officials are reevaluating their financial needs in an attempt to reduce next year’s budget—or to at least keep the budget flat.  County department heads have been asked to reduce their budget proposals in order to achieve this goal. At the last Morgan County Board of Commissioners meeting in early April, Assistant County Manager Mark Williams reported to the board that county staff is working diligently to cut spending and produce a fiscally frugal, yet sufficient, budget for the next fiscal year, which …

Amici, General Store opens

Dianne Yost Biz Buzz, News

Momma let me catch up! You’re peddlin’ too ding dang fast! Whew! There just ain’t nothin’ like celebratin’ Spring in Morgan County than a bike ride! The only thing better would be for us to sing a little Classic Motown! Hit it Momma! “I never met a girl who makes me feel the way that you do (It’s all right) . .. .Whenever I’m asked who makes my dreams real, I say that do you (you’re outta sight). So fee fi fo fum, Look out baby cause here I come …

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Real estate transactions total $7,191,482

Dianne Yost News

April 2, 2018 • Steve P. Maxey of Watkinsville to Daniel J. DeRoche of Conyers, Old Mill Road, (11.28 acres), Rutledge, $93,740. • Mallard Ridge Development LLC of Roswell to Luke A. Golden of Bostwick, 1040 Mallard Ridge Road, Madison, $32,892. • Raymond J. Northcutt of Covington to Hannah Kalland of Covington, 1231 Spinnaker Road, Buckhead, $18,250. • Hidden Falls Development LLC of Madison to Jacob McClure of Rutledge, 260 Hidden Springs Dr. and 111 Spring Creek Drive, $10,000. • Joshua Coleman of Madison to Southerly Homes LLC of Covington, …

Buzzkill for DiLetto

Tia Lynn Ivey Featured, Front Page, News

A local citizen is demanding the resignation of Madison City Councilman Joe DiLetto. Theresa Bishop, a local shop owner, appeared before the Madison Mayor and City Council Monday evening, with several other citizens echoing support for her case, asking for DiLetto to immediately resign from the council and for the Mayor and City Council to join her in asking for his resignation. However, DiLetto did not resign nor did the council take a stance, but asked for more time to consider Bishop’s allegations. “I am not going to respond to …

Murder charges filed in missing person case

Patrick Yost News

Officers with a regional crime task force and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) were searching for evidence in a missing person case last week when they served a search warrant on a storage unit in the West Morgan Storage facility outside of Rutledge. On Friday, officers with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office said they had located a body wrapped in plastic inside a dilapidated pool used as a goat pen in a Loganville neighborhood. Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman said authorities have not made a positive identification of the …

Truck stops approved in Madison’s Commercial District

Tia Lynn Ivey News

The Madison Mayor and City Council unanimously approved a text amendment that allows for truck stops and travel plazas within Madison’s Commercial 4 (C4) District. The request was filed by Stacy Tippin, who represents Chipola Engineering, an engineering firm out of Marianna, Fla. The company has been contracted to build a 16-acre truck stop and travel plaza for Love’s Travel Stop at the intersection of Georgia Highway 83 and Amtico Road. No one spoke against the request during Monday night’s regular meeting. Last month, the Madison Planning Commission, in a …

Found artifacts in GARC may halt intake pump

Sarah Wibell News

Greater Apalachee River Community (GARC) members are reaching out to the University of Georgia and other resources to assess whether artifacts found in the Apalachee River or closely surrounding area are Native American or have other historic and cultural significance. If there is sufficient evidence of cultural resources in their area, their findings may pose a challenge for Walton County Water & Sewerage Authority, which has applied for an intake pump to build on a 202-acre tract of land on the Apalachee River in Morgan County. The proposed pump would …

‘If one child is abused it is one too many.’

Tia Lynn Ivey Featured, News

  Child abuse rates in Morgan County have fallen below the State of Georgia’s average, but there is still much work to be done, according to Velde Hardy, director of Morgan County Family Connection. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and local community leaders gathered for the annual Pinwheel Ceremony last week to formally recognize the local victims of child abuse and to recommit themselves to the work of keeping children safe and families strong. “Each of us here today have come to stand together in unity to ensure our …

Fashion to be emphasis of Artists Guild fundraiser

Tia Lynn Ivey News

The Madison Artists Guild (MAG) is putting on a fashion show fundraiser at the end of the month. This show will be Madison’s very own version of Project Runway. According Karen Strelecki, with MAG, the show will feature the trendiest spring looks from local retailers modeled by a variety of models for the crowd. Models will strut down the runway while also donning the unique fashion creations from members of the Madison-Morgan Boys and Girls Club and Chicken Tracts Art Academy. Local retailers participating in the MAG’s Project Runway include …

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Morgan County / Madison business permits sold

Dianne Yost News

April 2, 2018 • Electrical, Project Name JR Schmitt Homes, 2941 Newborn Road, $0.0, Contractor Hammonds Electric. • Electrical, Project Name RBC Homes – Lot 25, 1030 Matthew Lane, $4,000, Contractor Stoddard Electric. • Electrical, Project Name RBC Homes – Lot 27, 1010 Matthew Lane, Contractor Stoddard Electric. • Electrical, Project Name Meadows on Clack – Lot 1, 1061 Thankful Road, $4,000, Contractor Stoddard Electric. • Electrical, Project Name Bryan Alexander, 1151 South Trace, $0.0, Property Owner acting as Contractor. • Mechanical, Project Name Joseph Martin, 1961 Reids Ferry Road, …

DEA raids West Morgan storage facility

Patrick Yost Featured, News

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) executed a search warrant on a storage unit at the West Morgan Storage facility in Rutledge. Agents were at the facility in hazard material suits as they took items from the unit on Tuesday around noon. Local law enforcement officers aided in the search. Federal officials had not returned phone calls for comment by press time Tuesday. Photo by Jesse Walker

Police will not pursue DiLetto

Tia Lynn Ivey News

Madison City Police will not be pursuing a complaint filed against City Councilman Joe DiLetto alleging threats of physical violence against Theresa Bishop. “I read her letter and took it very seriously,” said Madison Police Chief Bill Ashburn. “I researched the law and could not find a crime that had been committed.” On March 25, Bishop submitted a voluntary statement to police alleging DiLetto wishes to cause her “bodily harm” and that he made “threatening statements” directed toward her in an email to City Planner Monica Callahan that was retrieved …

Tragic single-car accident kills local Rutledge man

Patrick Yost News

A Rutledge man died tragically last Saturday after the pickup truck he was driving left Davis Academy Road and struck a tree. According to Georgia State Patrol reports, Lonnie Martin Laster, 40, was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident. Reports state that at approximately 5:05 a.m., the truck Laster was driving east on Davis Academy Road failed to negotiate a left turn and left the right side of the roadway for approximately 204 feet before striking a tree with the right rear fender. After the initial impact, reports …

Hice holds roundtable discussion at Amici’s

Tia Lynn Ivey News

Congressman Jody Hice, a Republican currently running for reelection in the 10th District of Georgia, came through Madison on Monday for a small roundtable discussion with the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA). About a dozen local leaders and business owners attended the event, facilitated by Mike Torino, owner of Amici’s Italian Café. Hice shared the table with Karen Bremer, chief executive officer for the GRA, an advocacy group that lobbies congress regarding various legislation that affects the restaurant industry. “Congressman Hice has been very supportive of our industry,” praised Bremer, who …