Boys & Girls Club chief pleads guilty

Brittany Whitley News

Former chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Club of North Central Georgia (BGCNCG) pled guilty last Wednesday to one count of theft by taking under Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Terry Massey. Landers Thomas, 52, Norcross, was sentenced to 15 years with the first 60 days to serve at the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department and the remainder to be served on probation. Thomas was also ordered by the court to pay restitution in the amount of $49,770 to benefit the BGCNCG and a fine of $1,000 as …

New day at MCHS

Tia Lynn Ivey News

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held last Monday to celebrate the newly completed Morgan County High School. The new high school is one part of an estimated $59 million project that will create a consolidated school campus that features a new high school, a new middle school, a College and Career Academy and a new transportation facility. Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle attended the event, along with State Senator Burt Jones, State Representative Dave Belton, Madison Mayor Fred Perriman, Morgan County Board of Education Chairman Nelson Hale,  Superintendent James Woodard. All …

System-wide Teacher of the Year named

Tia Lynn Ivey News

Jennifer Haynes, one the four Teachers of the Year, has been selected as the System-wide Teacher of the Year and will go on to compete with teachers from across Georgia for the title of State Teacher of the Year. “Ms. Haynes is a very engaging and encouraging teacher.  She has a genuine passion to create an awareness and appreciation for STEM related activities,” said Dr. James Woodard, superintendent of Morgan County Schools. “We are very proud of Jennifer Haynes as she represents Morgan County as the System Teacher of the Year,” …

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Financial and recidivism benefits of ‘Drug Court’

Sarah Wibell News

The Morgan County Citizen presents a four-part series on drug courts. These specific accountability treatment courts offer alternative means of addressing addiction and mental illness instead of sentencing offenders to prison. This is the fourth installment of that series. “These are not violent offenders – we’re not letting out murderers. These are people who truly have a substance abuse or mental health problem, and … they’re costing our county if you want to keep them in jail. Most people don’t think of it in those terms. They think about the …

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City/ County finally come to terms on SDS

Tia Lynn Ivey News

After years of negotiations between the City of Madison and Morgan County government, an agreement on the Service Delivery Strategy (SDS) has been reached. The City of Madison took the first step Monday evening, unanimously passing the new SDS agreement, which will next go before the county commissioners for approval. SDS sets forth the services provided to the city from the county. Since 2016, the City of Madison has been petitioning the county to renegotiate the SDS Agreement, alleging over taxation for county services. After more than two years of …

Shop, Sip & Stroll Saturday

Dianne Yost Biz Buzz, News

The Season is upon us Morgan County! Thanksgiving is incredibly just one week away! Holiday shopping has already begun for many families and our mailboxes are becoming full of catalogs from online retailers of every stripe. And, therein my friends lies the opportunity. Instead of shopping online from a far-away retail conglomerate, why not shop where it counts? Local.  It truly counts. In fact, our diverse collection of retail shops in Morgan County depends on it. Shop local. It’s not a challenge . . . it’s not a hassle. Instead, …

Council getting creative to make building lot

Tia Lynn Ivey News

Leon Peters was hoping to get a variance approval that would allow him to subdivide his property on Pearl Street in order to build a house that would add “workforce housing” to the neighborhood. Workforce housing is a term for homes that are affordable to the average worker. The City has long identified the lack of workforce house. While the council could not approve Mr. Peters’ variance request, due to concerns of broader negative precedents it could set throughout the entire city, the council vowed to find a way forward …

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Controversial terms removed from Comp Plan

Tia Lynn Ivey News

A draft of Madison’s Comprehensive Plan, a long-term visionary document laying out the goals for Madison’s future, was tweaked and approved at Monday evening’s Mayor and City Council Meeting, after another public hearing.  Changes centered around adding protections for the Historic District and revising controversial language that was previously criticized at the last public hearing for the Comp Plan Draft. At the last public hearing, complaints over the inclusion the terms “racism” and “classism” in a self-assessment portion on social and economic development of the appendix of the Comp Plan, …

County Comish approves slaughter house

Tia Lynn Ivey News

A small animal processing facility, at which sheep and goats will be raised and slaughtered upon immediate pickup, has been approved by the Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC). The BOC unanimously voted to approve the request for the conditional use from Robert Glosson Jr. to operate the animal processing facility out of 1311 Apalachee Road on Tuesday, Nov. 6, which the County Planning Commission also recommended for approval. “We have been needing something like this,” said Commissioner Andy Ainslie, before voting to approve it. Commissioner Ben Riden stressed that …

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Watson ‘unqualified’ planning member says

Tia Lynn Ivey News

The Morgan County Planning Commission has implored county commissioners to reject an application from Stephen Nolan Watson, who is seeking to replace long-time member Connie Booth on the planning commission this January. The Morgan County Planning Commission Chairman, Brian Lehman, appeared before the Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) on Nov. 6 to advocate for Booth and denounce Watson, who has a history of trouble with the commission. “Mr. Watson, unlike Connie, is totally unqualified,” began Lehman. “He has operated his business for several years in violation of the Zoning …

Stars light up the dance floor

Brittany Whitley Featured, News

For the seventh year in a row, the Madison-Morgan Boys & Girls Club (MMBGC) brought the stars to Madison, and the stars brought the heat in the club’s most notable and highly awaited Dancing with the Madison Stars fundraiser. The evening commenced with the most important stars of the night, the MMBGC youth, whose outstanding Bruno Mars and Michael Jackson inspired moves burst the packed gallery of the Cultural Center annex into action. MMBGC Youth of the Year Ar’Mond Wright’s speech added the sparkle atop the youth’s performance as he …

Kemp wins in Morgan

Tia Lynn Ivey News

The Midterm Election last Tuesday drew record numbers of voters across the country and Morgan County was no exception. Local voters have spoken, they overwhelmingly want Republicans in office and alcohol served before noon on Sundays. Just over 73 percent of registered Morgan County voters turned out for Tuesday’s election, casting a total of 9,574 ballots. Morgan County voters favored Republican Candidate for Governor Brian Kemp, who earned 71.19 percent of Morgan County votes, a total of 6,804 ballots.  Democratic candidate for Governor Stacey Abrams earned 27.96 percent of the …

Heroin found during arrest

Patrick Yost News

A Decatur man initially arrested for possession of marijuana charges now faces more serious charges after suspected heroin, methamphetamine and pills were located in his anal cavity. Calvin Lee Chege, 25, was charged Oct. 30 with three counts of possession of controlled substances, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, crossing guard lines with contraband and failure to maintain lane after a traffic stop on Interstate 20. According to Morgan County Sheriff’s reports, a deputy responding to motorist complaints of an unsafe driver traveling eastbound on Interstate 20. The …

Inside the lives of ‘Drug Court’ participants

Sarah Wibell Featured, News

The Morgan County Citizen presents a four-part series on drug courts. These specific accountability treatment courts offer alternative means of addressing addiction and mental illness instead of sentencing offenders to prison. This is the third installment of that series. “I have seen individuals give up their freedom, children, families for a drug, which to me is just mind-blowing how that can happen. But, for some people, the addiction is that great.” said Judge Amanda Petty, Ocmulgee Circuit of the 8th Superior Court District of Georgia “Addiction goes on forever, but …

Starbucks coming (back) to Madison at Ingles

Dianne Yost Biz Buzz, News

Come January, it’s gonna be a heck of a lot easier to wake up around here! That’s cause IT’S HAPPENING! That’s right y’all! Starbucks is coming to Madison’s Ingles in January! I just got all the scoop from manager Chip Scanland! They are already working to position the Starbucks at the main Ingles entrance! Oh and y’all need to know that the Sushi Bar, Pizza Bar and Asian Bar are all up and running already and if the line is any indication, then honey this is gonna be one popular …

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Lodging group continues hotel tax opposition

Tia Lynn Ivey News

The Madison Mayor and City Council received some pushback from local hoteliers over a proposed increase to the City’s Hotel Motel Tax. Mike Conrads, on behalf of The Madison-Morgan Lodging Association (MMLA), appeared before the Madison Mayor and City Council Friday morning, along with other MMLA members, to oppose a proposed tax increase, requesting that the Madison-Morgan Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) first be revamped before any further consideration is given to the tax increase. Conrads argued that any increase to the Hotel/Motel Tax would not only negatively impact the …

Turkish Rug exhibition, sale at Cultural Center

Brittany Whitley News

“Most of them were made before I was born,” proclaimed Hasan’s Rugs Owner Nile Candan as he stood among a velvet sea of dreams, traditions, and emotions carefully woven into century-old carpets spilled across the wooden Madison-Morgan Cultural Center floors. Locals and those from a far trickled in and speckled the center’s muraled floors Thursday night to marvel and even buy some of those aged, but timeless art rugs. The Turkish company searches villages, markets, auctions, and dying businesses throughout Turkey for traditional rugs, aging up to 200 years old, …

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Wellbridge senior community opens office

Staff Written News

Special to the Citizen Wellbridge Community of Madison is announcing the opening of a Senior Living Leasing Center at 230 W. Washington St., adjacent to Town 220. The Leasing Center provides information on the new Wellbridge campus and its array of senior housing options, amenities, and services soon to be developed at 1800 Bethany Rd. at the bypass.  A large scale, inclusive, senior living community focused on wellness is being developed on a sprawling 75 acres complete with 252 independent living cottages and apartments, along with 80 assisted living and …

Gun text case goes to judge

Patrick Yost News

A former Morgan County High School student arrested in March, 2018 after a text message she sent to six other students caused authorities to lock down Morgan County schools has been sentenced. Tysheannia Nicole Alexander, 18, Madison pled guilty to six counts of terroristic threats, one count of harassing communications and one count of disrupting a public school on Oct. 15 in Morgan County Superior Court. She was sentenced to three years probation and was fined $500. Alexander was arrested one day after several students showed authorities a text message …

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Housing practices lead to classism?

Tia Lynn Ivey News

The City of Madison’s proposed Comprehensive Plan, a long-term visionary document laying out the goals for Madison’s future, received some criticism from members of the public over the acknowledgement of classism and racism surrounding housing issues in the city and over how public input on the Comp Plan was gathered and assessed. Clint Buchanan spoke at Monday evening’s public hearing on the proposed Comprehensive Plan, and questioned the council about the inclusion of classism and racism in a “self-assessment” portion on social and economic development of the plan to be …