Development fears prompt HMC meeting

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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?

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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. …

Buckhead man arrested for child molestation

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By Patrick Yost editor A Buckhead man has been arrested on charges of child molestation and sodomy.  Christopher Daniel Johnson, 21, turned himself in last Thursday, Sept. 12 after the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) determined probable cause and issued an arrest warrant.  Johnson is accused of sexually abusing a female minor over the course of four years, beginning when she was just 9-years-old, according to authorities. Johnson is approximately seven years older than the victim. The incidents allegedly took place between May 2014 and May 2018.  The GBI was …

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Madison-Morgan CVB earns state honor

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  The Madison-Morgan Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) accepted an award last week, bestowing a prestigious designation on the organization tasked with promoting local tourism. It was announced in July that the CVB would join an elite group of Georgia CVBs by earning a top ranking that only seven other CVBs across the state have received. Officials from the CVB and the City of Madison attended the Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference at Great World Lodge in LaGrange, on Sept. 8. The event is touted as the …

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City takes next step for zoo

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor A zoo in Morgan County has been more than 5 years in the making. The Georgia Safari Conservation Park, planned to be constructed off Highway 83, is headed toward Phase I of construction.  “I think it’s good that our city has faith in the Safari Park. It is going to be good for our city, our county, and our community,” said Madison Mayor Fred Perriman at Monday night’s regular meeting.  The Madison and Mayor City Council approved a commitment letter to provide utility extension …

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State, county scraps previous voting system

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor When Morgan County voters go to cast ballots for the 2020 Presidential Primary election, they will be introduced to a new voting system and procedures. Although the new $107 million system has not yet been implemented, legal challenges have already been filed against it by voting rights activists who allege the new system cannot adequately secure and verify election outcomes.  Earlier this year, Federal Judge Amy Totenberg ruled Georgia’s current Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting system unconstitutional, ordering the system be thrown out by …

Chase ends with meth arrest

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost editor A man who initially asked a Morgan County investigator for gas money in the parking lot of the Bostwick Citgo ended up arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug related objects and obstruction after he allegedly attempted to flee. James Oneal Allen, 49, allegedly approached Morgan County Investigator Joseph Pritchett on Friday, Sept. 6 at noon in the parking lot of the convenience store.  Pritchett said initially Allen asked for gas money and when Pritchett said he realized that Allen may have outstanding …

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Real estate sales total more than $5 million

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Compiled by Dianne Yost staff writer August 26, 2019 • Keith Joe Durham of Madison to Mark G. Woodham of Madison, Portion Crawley Road, 0.77 acre, $8,355, Madison. • J. Lynda Brady of Madison to ZF Cochran Road, LLC of Madison, Cochran Road, 5.309 acres, Madison, $49,536. August 27, 2019 • Scott Huff of Madison to Kenneth M. Bishop of Rutledge, East Dixie Highway, 23.92 acres, Rutledge, $263,120. • Weyerhaeuser Company of Atlanta to BPIV Land, LLC of Madison (169 South Main Street), Lower Apalachee Road, 201.89 acres, Lower Apalachee …

Man charged with taking water from city of Rutledge hydrant

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By Patrick Yost editor  A Smyrna Ga. man was arrested and charged with theft of services after he allegedly filled a tanker truck with Rutledge water from a fire hydrant. According to Morgan County Sheriff’s Office reports, Jose Alexis Rodriguez, 25, was arrested by Morgan County authorities after they responded to a complaint from a Rutledge city official that he had observed Rodriguez connect a hose from a fire hydrant at the intersection of Newborn and Davis Academy roads. Reports state that the deputy noted that there was no meter …

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Nine dogs removed from Madison house

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By Patrick Yost editor  Nine dogs were removed from a residence on Hendrix Lane on Tuesday, Sept. 3 after authorities entered the residence and, reports state, found “every room in the residence was covered with dog feces.” Reports also state that “pee pads’ scattered through the residence were “‘xtremely soiled.’” The dogs were removed and are currently being housed at the Morgan County Animal Control Shelter.  According to reports, a man who said he had been appointed power of attorney for a woman living in the residence requested a police …

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Kangaroo story prompts more sighting reports

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By Patrick Yost editor  Not to hop to a conclusion, but there may be something bouncing around the Buckhead area. A week after the Morgan County Citizen published a woman’s claims that she had seen a kangaroo hopping by the side of Old Buckhead Road near the former General Store, two more woman have come forward with their own kangaroo claims. Leah Anne Sellers, an employee of Morgan County High School, said she saw a kangaroo four years ago near the intersection of Apalachee River Road and Sugar Creek Church …

County threatened with million dollar lawsuit

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The husband of a woman killed in car crash involving a Morgan County Fire truck is threatening to sue the county for $1 million.  Last December, Firefighter Robert Kapp was driving a Morgan County Fire and Rescue (MCFR) Truck while responding to an emergency call. While crossing the Main Street intersection at State Route 24 Bypass, he collided with a southbound vehicle, driven by  Kimberly Kimmins Ford, 67, a former reporter and news editor of the Franklin Press, who was on her way back home …

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Kangaroo hops through Buckhead?

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By Patrick Yost editor A retired Buckhead school teacher had to stop her car on Tuesday, Aug. 20 after she saw something out of the corner of her eye. The time: 2:30 p.m., bright sunshine; the location: Old Buckhead Road near the former General Store location close to the intersection of Old Buckhead Road and Apalachee River Road. The sighting: a kangaroo. “It didn’t look like a deer,” she says. “I took a second look and it was hopping.” The woman, who requested anonymity, phoned her husband who then phoned …

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County to spend $1.3 mil on Broughton

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) approved a $1.33 million contract to resurface and widen all of Broughton Road as well as a repair on Pierce Dairy Road. The BOC unanimously voted to approve the project. Commissioners also approved a new roof for $286,440. Broughton Road is five miles long, running from Highway 83 to the county line. The road will be resurfaced and widened by two feet.  According to county officials, the first bid  for the project back in July was quoted at …

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Food trucks may have a future in Madison

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  The Madison Mayor and City Council is considering allowing food trucks to set up shop within city limits. Ben Crowe, owner of Crowe’s BBQ has requested the council change the city’s ordinance to allow for food trucks.  “I am writing this letter in hopes that I can change the ‘No Food Truck Policy’ in the City of Madison,” wrote Crowe to the council. “I also want to collaborate with you to create rules and regulations for the presence of food trucks within the city …

Commissioners approve fire truck purchase

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  A new fire truck has been secured for Morgan County, but with the county’s aging fleet, more costly trucks may be needed sooner rather than later.  Morgan County is finally replacing the fire truck lost in a fatal car crash from last December, in which a woman was killed after colliding with a Morgan County Fire and Rescue truck en route to a call. In late August, the Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) approved a $288,000 commercial four-door cab truck to replace it.  …

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HPC disputes role in Foster Park project

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor A new housing development is underway in the heart of Madison’s historic district, which has faced criticisms and obstacles every step of the way since its inception more than three years ago. Now, there is a new objection to the project.  Site work has begun for Foster Park, a 19-house subdivision set to be built behind the historic Foster-Thomason-Miller House on Main Street.  While design plans have been approved for the first two houses to be built and roadwork has already begun, one Historic …

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Company promises millions

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor In wake of recent reports highlighting the use of a carcinogenic gas linked to cancer in Madison and Covington, millions have been earmarked to reduce emission rates.  BD Bard, a medical sterilization company, announced this week that the company will spend $8 million to reduce ethylene oxide emissions at the Madison and Covington plants.  The federal Environmental Protection Agency deemed ethylene oxide a carcinogen and lowered limits on emission in 2016. The use of the gas has come under scrutiny in recent months after …

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DiLetto out, Latham in

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Municipal elections are slated for November 5, but there will be no contested races this time around.  When the qualifying window closed this week, no one threw their hat in the race to challenge any of the incumbents. However, there will be some new faces in local elected positions.  Madison City Councilman Joe DiLetto is retiring, opting not to run again for the Madison District 3 city council seat. Ed Latham, Chairman of Madison’s Downtown Development Authority, will assume the seat this November.  Incumbents …

Rosa new director at Convention Bureau

Staff Written News

By Dianne Yost staff writer Jennifer Rosa, whose wealth of experience in marketing, communications and the travel industry, was named director of the Madison-Morgan Convention & Visitors Bureau. She began her new position Tuesday.  Rosa is excited to have the opportunity to lead the Madison-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau.  “This is such a breathtaking community with so much natural beauty and historic value to share. I’m delighted to be able to help develop new avenues for tourism and share the area’s story and attractions with new visitors.  My background …