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Teen indicted for murder, $50 robbery charge

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost editor  A Union Point teen charged in the killing of a 23-year-old Morgan County man, allegedly over the theft of $50, has been indicted by a Morgan County Grand Jury. Dontarious Lamonta Burke, 17, has been indicted on one count murder, one count felony murder and one count armed robbery by the Grand Jury after it met earlier in the month. Burke was arrested nearly a week after he allegedly shot and killed Kentrell Jones on Wednesday, Nov. 27 while Jones was standing on the street at …

End of an Era

Staff Written Featured, News

By Patrick Yost editor  On Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020 a nearly four decade institution will end.  William “Billy” Prior, chief judge, Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit has announced he will not seek another term in office. Chief Judge Prior, a Morgan County native and a venerated judge within the eight county circuit, said Friday he has decided to end a judicial career that began on July 1, 1981 when he was appointed to the position by then Gov. George Busbee. Chief Judge Prior said he received the appointment, in part, because Morgan …

Heroin, meth found

Staff Written News

Quinn Rafferty staff writer Two women have been charged with trafficking both suspected heroin and suspected methamphetamine after a speeding stop led police to search their rental vehicle. Andrea Strode, 35, of Aiken, S.C., and Brandy Odle, 35, also of Aiken, SC were pulled over after Strode was allegedly driving 98-miles-per-hour in a 70-miles-per-hour zone. Consequent to the traffic stop, reports state, an officer allegedly smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle and observed marijuana inside the vehicle.  After calling for backup, a second officer began to search the vehicle and opened …

Five cabins burned, arson charges filed

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost editor  Two men are in custody and face arson charges after a property manager of a Morgan County estate found five cabins burned to the ground. Three children, one near death authorities said, were also taken into protective custody following the arrests. According to Chief Deputy Keith Howard, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Carl Johnson, 25, Chicago was arrested on Tuesday, Jan. 7 and charged with first degree arson, construction and giving false name. Maynard Ray Moses, 29, Madison was arrested the same day and charged with first …

Wright Barksdale to seek Ocmulgee Circuit District Attorney slot

Staff Written News

By Quinn Rafferty staff writer A 33-year-old assistant district attorney announced Monday that he will seek the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorny job after current District Attorney Stephen Bradley announced his intention to run for a Superior Court judgeship.  Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Chief Judge William “Billy” Prior announced last Friday that he would not seek another term as judge. Wright Barksdale said becoming a district attorney has been a life-long dream. “I’ve wanted this for a long time. I’ve never wanted to be a judge,” he said. “I want to …

Higdon, Holt, Markley and Carter seek re-election

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost editor  Several Morgan County constitutional officers this week have announced their intention to seek another term in office. Superior Clerk of Court Jody Higdon Jody Higdon, 47, will seek a fifth term as the Morgan County Clerk of Court. Higdon, a Republican, started as the clerk of court in 2005 and since that time has transformed the office, utilizing technology to “fully digitalize” the mountains of data the office maintains. Higdon manages a six employees and an approximate $500,000 budget. “One of the things I’m proud of …

Residents ask City to bulk up police presence

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Local citizens are asking The City of Madison to increase police presence in Morgan Circle, a public housing neighborhood that recently suffered a murder on the street.  Pastor Lonnie Brown appeared before the Madison Mayor and City Council on Monday evening, along with other local citizens, to implore officials to follow through with previous discussions regarding more police in Morgan Circle.  “We are here to ask you all if anything has been decided about this,” said Brown to the council Monday evening. The council …

Twenty officer manhunt after routine traffic stop

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor When an officer made a routine traffic stop Monday afternoon, he never expected it to result in a manhunt with 20 officers in pursuit.  According to Morgan County officials,  a Department of Public Safety officer pulled over a vehicle carrying two males in the parking lot of Advance Auto Parks on Eatonton Road in Madison. As the officers questioned the driver, Maurice Rounds, 29, of Stone Mountain, the passenger, Michael Goodman, 27, of Stone Mountain, fled the scene, taking off on foot into the …

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Grand Jury returns criminal indictments

Staff Written Law Enforcement, News

By Patrick Yost editor  The following persons were indicted by a Morgan County Grand Jury during its January session. * James Theodore Miller, 59, Flowery Branch was indicted on one count possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, one count possession of methamphetamine, one count possession of hydrocodone, one count possession of tramadol, one count possession of clonazepam, one count possession of marijuana, less than an ounce, one count crossing the guard line with contraband, one count DUI and one count possession of drug related objects. According to court documents, …

Madison Morgan Conservancy celebrates its 20th Anniversary

Staff Written Featured, News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor For twenty years, in the midst of the Southeast’s largest and fastest-growing metropolitan area, the Madison-Morgan Conservancy has been protecting farms, forests, and front porches for future generations, successfully protecting critical resources and creating a culture of conservation.  On January 13, 2020, the organization celebrates its 20th Anniversary. The Conservancy’s story, from inception as the first county-wide conservancy in Georgia to its 2019 receipt of the Governor’s Award for the Arts & Humanities, is really a story of the power of one. In this …

Lady Dogs smother Hurricanes

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor It was a big win for Morgan County’s girls as they took care of business against Monroe Area last Friday 50-33.  The Lady Dogs are now looking at an 8-AAA third place 4-2 record that puts them solidly in third place behind Jefferson (14-3, 5-0) and Hart County (8-7, 4-1).  At present, MaxPreps has the Lady Dragons ranked number two in AAA with no other region teams ranked in the top 10.  Morgan’s next closest competitors all have only one win.  Morgan will face …

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Crossover to close at Bethany Road intersection

Tia Lynn Ivey Community, News Leave a Comment

By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor The Bethany Road Intersection on Madison Highway 441 will no longer allow a crossover option, and only allow a right turn onto the bypass. According to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), “Bethany Road at U.S. 441 median crossover will close Monday, Jan. 13. “When Pittman Construction’s work begins at Bethany Road, traffic will be in the final Reduced Conflict U-Turn (RCUT) configuration meaning right out only onto the Bypass. Drivers will have to use the two median cuts downstream to U-turn if they …

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Five car crashes on I-20

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By Quinn Rafferty, Staff Writer A sudden downpour last Friday caused a series of accidents on Interstate 20. According to Sgt. Justin Howard, Georgia State Patrol, nine cars were involved in accidents on Friday, Jan. 3 on I-20 east near mile marker 106. Between the nine cars, there were five crashes with various minor injuries. Time of the accidents spans from 11:17 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. According to Howard, the first incident involved a vehicle which  “lost control of the vehicle due to hydroplaning. The vehicle traveled off the road …

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Man held for drug possession

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By Quinn Rafferty, Staff Writer A domestic violence call resulted in the arrest of a Morgan County man for drug possession.  On Dec. 30, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call reporting a physical domestic altercation but when police arrived, the male subject had departed the residence. The male subject, Deyondray White, 19, was reported to be driving a black Ford Explorer and headed towards Madison on Greensboro Highway.  Morgan County officer Stubbs located and pulled White over and quickly detected a marijuana odor. Officer Stubbs then asked White …

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Drive-by shooting causes damage to residents’ vehicles

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By Quinn Rafferty, Staff Writer A drive-by shooting in Rutledge on Dec. 30 resulted in damage to two vehicles with no injuries. The shooting took place on Newborn Road around 11 p.m. Suspects in the shooting have not been identified. According to Lt. Brandon Sellers, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, investigators have collected and are observing surveillance camera footage from businesses near the shooting to attempt to identify the suspect or suspects. Sellers said two women who owned the vehicles said there was no apparent dispute that occurred leading up to …

Hardship request tabled, Commission torn

Tia Lynn Ivey News Leave a Comment

By Tia Lynn Ivey, Managing Editor A hardship request has the Morgan County Board of Commissioner torn.  The BOC tabled a hardship request from Terry Richards, who is currently living in an RV on his ill father’s 100-acre Rutledge property to help take care of him. To Richard’s surprise, his temporary RV home violates a county ordinance which only allows a person to live in an RV 15 days out of a 60-day period.  Richards bought the $15,000 RV and placed it on the property a year ago in order …

Service awards for Morgan County

Tia Lynn Ivey Announcements, Community, News Leave a Comment

The Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) presented awards of service to Ron Zay and the late Ruben Walker for their service to the county.  Zay and Walker’s wife, Hazel Walker, accepted the awards at Tuesday morning’s regular BOC Meeting. Walker served on the Morgan County Tax Assessors Board for two decades and the Development Authority. Zay served over 20 years on the Morgan County Tax Assessors Board. “Your dedication and service to the citizens of Morgan County are greatly appreciated,” read the certificates from Morgan County. Photo by Tia Lynn …

More than $3 million in real estate sold to end 2019

Dianne Yost Announcements, Community, News Leave a Comment

Compiled by Dianne Yost Dec. 18, 2019 • Karl Fossum of Forsyth,  to Tina Clay of Rutledge, 4541 Davis Academy Road, Rutledge, $320,000. • New Leaf Homes, LLC of Greensboro,  to Leslie J. Watkins of Madison, 1600 Westminster Way, Madison, $325,000. • RBD Development Company, LLC of Greensboro,  to New Leaf Homes. LLC of Greensboro, 1430 Westminster Way and Buckhead Manor Phase 6-B lot 107, Madison $55,000. • Rachel J. Bargo AKA Rachel J. Glover as Executor of the …* of Greensboro,  to MADH1 LLC of Covington, 1331 Atlanta Highway, …

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

Tia Lynn Ivey Announcements, Community, Featured, News Leave a Comment

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 …