Slaughter indicted

Patrick Yost News

A Morgan County Grand Jury, last Thursday indicted murder suspect Jason Sandiver Slaughter, 23, on murder and aggravated assault charges in relation to the shooting death of his mother Paula Slaughter, 54, and family friend Collin Smith, 53. The Grand Jury returned true bills for two counts of murder, two counts of felony murder and two counts of aggravated assault against Slaughter. Slaughter was arrested on Monday, Dec. 4, after two family members found Smith dead on the driveway of the Slaughter home on Slaughter-Veasley Road. Paula Slaughter’s body was …

SPLOST passes

Tia Lynn Ivey News

Morgan County voters approved the new SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) by a wide margin Tuesday evening. A total of 62.36 percent of Morgan voters (1809 ballots) opted to renew the next six-year-long SPLOST, a one-penny sales tax to fund capital outlay projects for Morgan County and municipalities. Morgan Republican voters overwhelmingly cast their ballots for sitting U.S. Congressman for District 10 Jody Hice, who earned 81.68 percent (1623 ballots) of the vote. Morgan County Democratic voters were split between two Democratic candidates for District 10: Chalis Montgomery, …

Madison makes Nat’l Top 10 List

Tia Lynn Ivey News

For the second year in a row, Madison has been named one of the best Historic Small Towns in America by a national publication, USA Today. Competing against 20 small towns across the nation nominated for the recognition, Madison earned the number 10 spot of USA Today’s list. According to USA Today, “Despite its small size, this town an hour east of Atlanta boasts more than 45 specialty shops and 160 antique dealers, all with a distinct Southern small town feel. The historic district’s oak-lined streets, Antebellum homes, gardens and …

County poised to pass $24 million budget

Patrick Yost News

Despite an overall general fund increase of $697,000, Morgan County Commissioners last week at a monthly called work session reviewed a proposed 2019 county budget that leaves room for the board to take the rollback millage rate. The total general fund budget for the county is expected to be nearly $18 million. According to Morgan County Finance Director Lori Sayer, the general fund will experience the increase, in part because of a 3 percent cost of living pay raises for employees and an increase for the county’s depleted contingency fund. …

County pledges crackdown on use of RV’s for residence

Patrick Yost News

The Morgan County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, May 12, directed Morgan County Planning and Development Director Chuck Jarrell to begin enforcing the county’s regulations against people using recreational vehicles (RV) as full time residences. The direction came after Jarrell told the board that there were more than 20 persons or families living in the vehicles on property not associated with an RV park. “We’ve had a significant increase in finding people living in RV campers in the county. We’ve also had an increase in people wanting power to campers.” …

Chamber issues ‘scam alert’ on company

Tia Lynn Ivey News

A dubious effort to solicit money from local businesses is circulating around the community in the name of the Morgan County Library. According to the Morgan County Library Facebook Page, a business is attempting to deceive other local businesses into donating $500 under the guise of collaborating with the Morgan County Library. “Please be advised that Morgan County Library does not use third party vendors to represent us in the sale of any merchandise. This week we were notified by local businesses that there is a vendor using the Morgan …

Permit my be needed to cut down tree in Madison

Tia Lynn Ivey News

Madison’s Greenspace Commission is hoping to finalize a new tree ordinance proposal, which may call for private property owners to obtain a permit before cutting down or removing trees, by the next regular meeting in June. The Greenspace Commissioners discussed the evolving ordinance proposal at the May regular meeting last week. “Our hope is to have a few more committee meetings before the next Greenspace Commission meeting in June and iron out all the details and tweak it at that meeting to firm it all up and have everything in …

Criminal indictments returned by Grand Jury

Patrick Yost News

The Morgan County Grand Jury met on Thursday, May 17, and returned the following criminal indictments. • Malik Osiris Horton, 18, Fairborn, was indicted on one count possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, one count possession of Alprazolam and one count possession of marijuana, less than an ounce. According to court records, Horton was arrested on Nov. 5, 2017, by a Madison Police Department officer after the officer responded to a “Be On The Lookout” (BOLO) call on a 2015 Honda Accord that had allegedly been …

Opposing opinions on DiLetto

Tia Lynn Ivey Featured, News

Supporters and opponents of City Councilman Joe DiLetto clashed at Monday night’s regular meeting as citizens packed the meeting hall, some to support Theresa Bishop’s push for DiLetto’s resignation and others to vouch for DiLetto’s right to remain in office. Theresa Bishop addressed the Madison Mayor and City Council on Monday evening to further press the council to comment on her request for Councilman Joe DiLetto to resign due to allegations of bias, threats of bodily harm, and bullying. “I feel his actions toward me have been rude, threatening, sexist, …

Shire up for sale

Jesse Walker News

A leading global pharmaceutical company, Shire, is on the cusp of an historic acquisition by a Japan-based company, Takeda Pharmaceutical, for an unprecedented $62 billion dollars. Shire, an Ireland-based company with branches in more than 100 countries, bought out Baxalta International in early 2016 for $32 billion, taking over the $1.2 billion biopharmaceutical manufacturing plant with an adjacent $14 million Georgia BioScience training center located in Stanton Springs Technology Park, an industrial site governed by the four-county Joint Development Authority (JDA). Should Shire shareholders approve the sale, control of the …

Tree ordiance for city?

Tia Lynn Ivey News

The City of Madison is considering a new tree ordinance that could implement restrictions on private property owners’ rights to cut and remove trees on their own properties. During a public comment discussion about tree protection throughout the city at the Mayor City Council’s regular meeting, Councilwoman Chris Hodges announced a new tree ordinance is being considered and will be reviewed at this month’s Greenspace Commission on Tuesday, May 15 and eventually come to the council for a vote. “We are working on a new tree ordinance,” said Councilwoman Hodges …

JDA gets more hits from new project

Tia Lynn Ivey News

The Joint Development Authority (JDA), a four-county board – Morgan, Newton, Walton, and Jasper – charged with the task of developing Stanton Springs, a 1,600-acre mixed-use community, awaits Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Shire Pharmaceuticals. After closing on a deal with Facebook, the newest corporate entity, construction for the data center is underway. Jobs for both Shire and Facebook are being advertised with the former having had two open houses and the latter posting positions on the “Newton Data Center” Facebook page. Emphasizing commercial availability near Interstate 20, …

Fire fighters get city raise

Tia Lynn Ivey News

The Madison Mayor and City Council unanimously approved a pay-scale increase to $20 per call for the city’s volunteer firefighters at last Monday’s regular meeting.  The raise will go into effect at the beginning on the next fiscal year on July 1, 2018. “Since 2008, the rate has been $15 per call and per drill,” said City Manager David Nunn, who stressed the rate has not increased in a decade. “The budgetary impact is not that great. It’s a very small price to pay for the dedication and the work …

Georgia State Patrol in heavy recruiting phase

Sarah Wibell News

Have you ever considered a career as a Georgia State Patrol trooper? Are you curious if you have what it takes? Post 8 of the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) located in Madison is recruiting candidates who are interested in making a difference in the safety of drivers. With fewer people applying to the GSP now than in the past, a recruiting office was established in the last year and a half to inform the public of both training requirements and career compensation benefits. “We are offering a physical fitness test …

Mayor/Council respond to ‘transparency’ charges

Tia Lynn Ivey News

The Madison Mayor and City Council fired back against accusations of secrecy and lack of transparency during Monday evening’s regular meeting. Cathy Andrews approached the council, claiming to speak on behalf of numerous city residents, criticizing the recent approval of a C4 Text Amendment that paves the way for Love’s Truck Stop at the Highway 83 intersection with Amtico Road in Madison. After chastising the council for approving a rezoning the Foster-Thomason Miller House property to accommodate a 19-house subdivision, Andrews took aim at the council’s public notice process for …

Coldwell Banker makes Habitat donation

Jesse Walker News

Special to the Citizen Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty/Lake Country presented a $2,500 donation to Greene County Habitat for Humanity on April 19. The check was officially given during the Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty/Lake Country GCHFH Build Day. “The spirit of the donation is given for both the opportunity to provide financial support, as well as the unbending belief in the value of the program and local volunteers who continually give of their time and expertise,” Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty/Lake Country President and COO, Tom Martin said. A …

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City of Madison building permits issued May 8–11

Dianne Yost News

City of Madison Building Permits Issued May 8-11 May 8, 2018 • Historical Residential Addition/Remodel, Owner Connie Hughes, 351 North Main Street, Contractor Chad Roling, $75,000. May 9, 2018 • Plumbing, Owner Donald Whitley, 390 Johnson Street, Contractor Horace Wimpey, $2,000. • Mechanical HVAC, Owner Plainview Properties, Inc., Contractor Daniel Campbell, Jr., $3,400. • Mechanical HVAC, Owner Juanita Nash, 531 Hough Circle, Contractor Jeanne Walden, $3,300. • Historical Residential Addition/Remodel, Owner Terry Grund, 546 Foster Street, Contractor Homeowner, $42,500. • Accessory Building-Residential, Owner Terry Grund, 546 Foster Street, Contractor Homeowner, …

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Real estate transactions total $6,532,095

Dianne Yost News

May 1, 2018 • Crown Ridge Homes, LLC of Rutledge to Michael Talaga of Huntertown, Id., 532 Village Road, Madison, $545,500. • Crown Ridge Homes, LLC of Rutledge to Kenneth P. Grant of Madison 548 Village Road, Madison, $399,900. • David Neuhart of Columbus, Ga. to Knock Homes, LLC of San Francisco, 1220 Westminster Way, Madison, $314,000. May 2, 2018 • Doris A. Vandergriff of Cumming, to Samuel J. Lamont of Oxford, 1601 Sugar Creek Trail, Buckhead, $405,000. • Anne Hayes Tanner of Franklin, Tenn. to Jeremy Everett Durden of …

Rock Eagle to get both ‘Wild & Wet’

Jesse Walker News

Special to the Citizen Tadpoles, and dragonflies, and crayfish oh my! Join the Rock Eagle Environmental Education team as we discover what kinds of organisms live in the lake and stream as we explore our “wet and wild watershed”. Be prepared to get WET! Participants will use dip nets to collect and identify organisms found in the headwaters of Rock Eagle Lake. While in the stream, we will learn about watersheds, discuss watershed health, and what we can do in our community to keep our water clean and beautiful. Cool …

Sorohan new face of AT&T campaign

Tia Lynn Ivey Featured, News

A new AT&T national ad campaign aiming to warn against distracted driving features the story of Caleb Sorohan, a Morgan County teenager who died in 2009 during a car accident in which he checked his phone to read a text message before veering into the oncoming lane of traffic.    The slogan for the campaign is “No Distraction is Worth a Future.” The commercial explores what the lives of Caleb Sorohan and Forrest Cepeda, another victim of distracted driving, would be like today. AT&T took a bold approach to get …