Meth, cocaine seized in ‘major’ arrest

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost editor  A citizen’s tip and nimble collaboration between the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and Madison Police Department led to the arrest of six people Monday, including a man investigators called a “major player in drugs in Madison and Morgan County for a long while.” More than six ounces of suspected methamphetamine and several ounces of both powder and crack cocaine were seized from both Jermaine Shaffer’s person and his Meadow Ridge Drive residence, Lt. Brandon Sellers, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, said. Sellers said initially a tip led …

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TSPLOST approved

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Morgan County voters have spoken, passing a new sales tax by a 10 percent margin with 395 votes (55 percent) for and 319 votes (45 percent) against on Tuesday, Mar. 19 during a special election. The vote had a 5.3 percent turnout of active voters in Morgan County. TSPLOST (a Transportation Special Project Local Option Sales Tax) is another one-penny sales tax proposed to garner more revenue exclusively to fund transportation-related projects and expenses, such as road repairs, paving, and maintenance, as well as …

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B’head man’s body found

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The peculiar death of a local Buckhead man has been officially ruled a suicide by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office after the body of John Charles Martin, 48, was found in the back of his pickup truck parked in the Wildlife Management Area on Checking Station Road in Putnam County last week.  According to Putnam County law enforcement officials Martin, a Desert Storm veteran with a long history of mental illness, committed suicide by stabbing himself in the chest on March 13.  “It was …

Mullins indicted by feds

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Gary Daniel Mullins Jr., a 47-year-old Mansfield man who was recently arrested for allegedly firing gun shots at Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markley, has now been arrested and federally indicted on new charges after allegedly threatening to assault and murder Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents in December 2018.   Earlier this month, a Morgan County Grand Jury declined to indict Mullins on charges of aggravated of assault for allegedly shooting at Markley. However, Mullins is currently in state custody on new federal charges, …

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$100 million 441 project unveiled

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  A long-term $100 million road-widening project is in the works for over eight miles of U.S. 441 beginning in 2023.  The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) hosted a Public Information Open House at the Morgan County High School to display proposed project plans for the $100 million widening and reconstruction of US 441 from the Madison Bypass to the Watkinsville Bypass last Tuesday night. An estimated 74 people attended the open house to speak with the 20-30 staff members and consultants who were present …

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Morgan real estate sales top $11 million

Staff Written News

Compiled by Dianne Yost staff writer Feb. 27, 2019 • Garnett A. Fisher of Lilburn,  to Crown Ridge Homes, LLC of Rutledge, 1091 Madison Lakes Parkway, Madison, $40,000. • RBC Homes, LLC of Madison to Kayla N. Borders of Madison, 2011 Clack Road, Madison, 2.13 acres, $257,943. • Michael Hawkins of Dunwoody,  to Valerie S. Alfieri of Buckhead, 1791 Sugar Creek Trail, Buckhead, $461,950. • Shirley L. Almand of Madison to John A. Branon, Jr. of Buckhead 556 East Avenue, Madison, $47,000. • Troy J. Bryant of Madison to Melody …

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Parole visit turns bad for Madison man

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By Patrick Yost editor A man who arrived for a visit with a parole officer ended up in a tussle with several law enforcement officers and arrested on possession of cocaine and Ecstasy pills. Laronte Maurice Jackson, 22, Madison was arrested after officers subdued Jackson, who, reports state, had suspected cocaine and Ecstasy pills in his pocket. According to Morgan County Sheriff’s Office reports, Jackson arrived at the Department of Community Affairs office inside the Morgan County Public Safety Center at 2:11 p.m. to meet with his parole officer. Prior …

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Morgan Grand Jury returns criminal indictments

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By Patrick Yost editor  A Morgan County Grand Jury met last week and returned several criminal indictments. The following persons were indicted: • Monterey Tyshay Junious, 19, Wilmington, N.C. was indicted on one count possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. According to court records, Junious was arrested on Sept. 6, 2018 by a Georgia State Patrol trooper on Interstate 20. The vehicle was stopped for a traffic violation and, warrants state, consequent to the stop the trooper allegedly found three pounds of marijuana in a shoe box in the …

Youth dies in wreck

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost editor A 26-year-old Morgan County man died tragically on Wednesday, March 6 after the Ford Mustang  he was driving east on Greensboro Road left the roadway and struck a tree. Brandon Patrick McCarthy was pronounced dead at the scene of the one vehicle wreck. According to Georgia State Patrol reports, the Mustang McCarthy was driving failed to maintain the roadway, crossed over the centerline and struck a large tree with the front of the vehicle.  Reports state that both an airbag and seatbelt were in use at …

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Fourth of July BBQ axed

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost editor The Buckhead Volunteer Fire Department announced last week that it would end an nearly 50 year tradition in Morgan County by cancelling its annual July 4th barbecue and fireworks fundraiser. The reason, said Buckhead Fire Chief Chuck Jarrell, is two fold. Property used to park cars near downtown Buckhead is being developed and areas used for the fireworks display are being used as active pasture now. Primarily, however, is the reduction of volunteers in the fire department. On the wall in Buckhead City Hall, a space …

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Countryside of Madison buys Louie Herron

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost editor Louie Herron Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Madison has a new owner. On Tuesday, March 5 Countryside of Madison Chrysler, Dodge Jeep, Ram took ownership of the dealership after completing a deal with Herron. According to Brandon Rosier, general manager, the deal adds a second dealership to the Countryside brand. Currently, Countryside has a similar dealership in Jackson, Ga. “We were looking to find another store,” Rosier said. “We’re super-excited about it.” With the sale completed, Countryside hung its new banner at the dealership and Rosier …

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Crime rates on the rise, city report states

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Violent Crime and property crime is on a slight upswing in Madison, according to the latest Crime Report presented to the Madison Mayor and City Council last Monday, Mar. 11.  Madison City Staff compiled and presented the findings, which indicated a minimal increase in violent crimes and property crimes in 2017 after two years of diminishing.  According to the report, “In Madison both violent crime and property crime ticked back up, reversing former downward trends. Violent crime included a marked increase in the incidence …

Indictments given in robberies

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost editor A Morgan County Grand Jury returned criminal indictments against two men charged in separate incidents of robbery. Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Stephen Bradley presented evidence against Jose Montijo, 44, Greensboro regarding Montijo’s alleged armed robbery of the River Store, Greensboro Highway. The Grand Jury returned an indictment for armed robbery against Montijo. Montijo was arrested less than a day after he allegedly shoved a clerk at the River Store into a cigarette display counter and emptied the store’s cash drawer. Morgan County Sheriff reports state …

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Real estate sales top $800,000

Staff Written News

Compiled by Dianne Yost Feb. 22, 2019 • Oconee Acquisitions, LLC of Knoxville, Tenn. to Robert L. Raynor of Covington, 1080 Dockside Drive, 1.24 acres, Buckhead, $150,000. • Julius Floyd Adcock of Madison to 871 North Main, LLC of Loganville, 871 North Main Street, 0.51, Madison, $250,000. Feb. 25, 2019 • Sharon L. Jarrell of Covington to Crown Ridge Homes, LLC of Rutledge, 1005 Crape Myrtle Drive, Madison, $25,000. Feb. 26, 2019 • Leroy G. Hunt of Rutledge to Natasha Matts of Rutledge, 1100 Reese Road, Rutledge, $280,000. • Sandra …

Madison City Council considering raise

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  After 24 years of stagnant pay, the Madison Mayor and City Council is considering giving themselves a raise.  The mayor and council discussed options for raising the respective salaries of the mayor, mayor pro tem, and council members. The last increase was passed in 1996.  City Manager David Nunn, presented numbers based on the Consumer Pricing Index (CPI) which is used to determine pay scales for all other city employees. According to the CPI, if the council were to adopt the increased rate for …

Madison PD makes pitch for tag readers

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Madison Police Chief Bill Ashburn has asked the Mayor and City Council to consider at $66,000 purchase for four tag-readers, that would be installed in four city police vehicles, to detect passing license plates reported for criminal activity or civil violations.  According to Ashburn, the tag-reader technology will help law enforcement agencies work together to catch stolen vehicles, suspected kidnappers, murderers, thieves, as well as detect vehicles with expired tags or drivers with suspended licenses.  “It would benefit Madison and help with a lot …

Dogs punch ticket to fifth straight Final Four under Sims

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By R. Alan Richardson Sports Editor On a night when the ultra-talented Morgan County Bulldogs didn’t play their best game of the season, it was senior guard Tyrin Lawrence who paced the Dogs to the victory.  His 30 points was almost half of Morgan’s winning total of 62-52 to advance to the Final Four.  Coach Jamond Sims has now taken his teams to five straight Final Four’s in his five-year stint as the heead coach.  It’s been an amazing run of skill, talent, heart, and coaching that most programs would …

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Stanton Springs brings revenue

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Morgan County is poised to receive over $141,000 dollars in 2020—a 15 percent share of the first tax revenues generated from Stanton Springs through Takeda, a $1.2 billion biopharmeceutical company that setup shop in the industrial park. Stanton Springs is managed by the Joint Development Authority (JDA). Morgan is one of the four counties with a seat the on the JDA, along with Newton, Walton, and Jasper counties.  The JDA anticipates a total of $945,000 from the first year of tax revenues generated through …

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$3.5 million parkway approved

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor A parkway extension project is underway, which could further benefit Morgan County.  The Joint Development Authority (JDA), the four-county board tasked with the development of Stanton Springs Industrial Park, voted to accept a $3.546 million bid to extend the Stanton Springs Parkway all the way into Morgan County last Tuesday.  The JDA voted unanimously to accept the bid from Plateau Excavation, which only accounts for the construction costs. The JDA tabled the proposed budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 to calculate exactly how much …

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Early voting for TSPLOST begins

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Early voting for a special local election, a referendum on TSPLOST, (a Transportation Special Project Local Option Sales Tax) kicked off last Monday.  “We are ready to go,” said Jennifer Doran, elections supervisor for the Morgan County Board of Elections and Registration at the last regular meeting on Thursday, Feb. 21.  TSPLOST is another one-penny sales tax proposed to garner more revenue exclusively to fund transportation-related projects and expenses, such as road repairs, paving, and maintenance, as well as purchasing and maintaining equipment and …