Alleged arsonist indicted

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost editor  A Morgan County Grand Jury Monday returned criminal indictments against two men charged in connection with the burning of five cabins on a Morgan County farm. According to Morgan County Superior Court documents, Carl Marin Johnson, 25, was indicted on two counts burglary in the first degree, one count arson in the first degree and one count criminal damage to property in the second degree. The same grand jury also indicted a co-conspirator Maynard Moses Ray, 29, on two counts burglary, one count arson in the …

Election qualifying opens

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Qualifying week kicked off Monday, March 2, along with early voting for the March 24 Presidential Primary. As of press time on Tuesday, March 3, 13 candidates have come forward for a variety of local races and 120 votes have been cast in early voting.  So far, the local races shaping up for a showdown between competing candidates include the County Commissioner District 5 Seat, the Board of Education District 3 Seat and County Tax Commissioner. May 19, 2020 is the primary election for …

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Coronavirus comes to Georgia, officials say

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By Tia Lynn Ivey editor  After dozens of cases cropped up across America last week resulting in two deaths to date, the Coronavirus has officially arrived in Georgia. As of press time on Tuesday, March 3, two cases were confirmed in Fulton County as State leaders scramble to educate the public and prepare hospitals and health departments for a possible outbreak.  Last week, after a conference call with Vice President Mike Pence, who is heading up the Trump Administration’s federal response team to the coronavirus, Governor Brian Kemp announced the …

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Nearly $7 million in real estate sales in Morgan County

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By Dianne Yost managing editor  Feb. 18 2020 •Ronald L. Pelfrey of Madison to Steven A. Pringle of Newborn, 1981 Broughton Road, 10.83 acres, Newborn, $535,000. •Elizabeth Fowler of Madison to Shannon Smith Sengstack of Madison, 1401 Beaverdam Road, Madison, $329,000. •Richard H. Smith of Columbus. to Eric W. Atkinson of Buckhead, Eatonton Highway, Madison, $598,584. •Donna Hamilton of Madison to Elizabeth Fowler of Madison, 2391 Pierce Dairy Road, 1.506 acres, Madison, $260,000. •Stephen K. Woodruff of Watkinsville. to Deborah M. Roberts of Madison, 1120 Madison Lakes Parkway, Madison, $63,000. …

Grant Catterton to run for county commissioner seat

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By Patrick Yost managing editor  A Buckhead resident qualified Monday to enter the District 5 Morgan County Board of Commissioners race.  Grant Catterton, 53, said he qualified as a Republican.  Bill Kurtz has also qualified in the race to replace a retiring Ron Milton.Catterton is the vice president of Catterton Interiors, Inc. a commercial construction company founded in 1984.  He is married with three small children. Carterton said, in part, he was interested in serving on the Board of Commissioners to preserve a lifestyle for his children. “I’ve seen what …

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County aims to block ‘Airbnb bill’

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Companies like Airbnb have revolutionized the lodging industry as millions of people opt to rent out their own bedrooms, in-law suites, or entire houses to tourists and vacationers for some extra cash. But short-term vacation rentals continue to be a source of controversy, with heated opposition from established lodging businesses, neighboring property owners, and local governments attempting to regulate the latest trend in today’s “sharing economy.”  A new state bill making its way through the Georgia House of Representatives is aiming to expand short-term …

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Buckhead primed to double in size

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  A new massive development proposal could catapult the Town of Buckhead into a prosperous future, but critics worry such explosive growth could jeopardize Buckhead’s small town rural way of life.  The Town of Buckhead could more than double in size if a request to annex 487 acres into the small town is approved. Five property owners, working with a developer and Buckhead, are requesting seven parcels of land near Seven Islands Road on the Northside of I-20 to be annexed into the Town of …

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Nearly $2 million in real estate sold last week

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Compiled by Dianne Yost staff Feb. 14, 2020 • Karender C. Coutee of Covington, Ga. to Samuel Head, Sr. of Jefferson, Ga., 1500A Peppers Road, Madison, $9,500. Feb. 17, 2020 • Nancy Annette Thomason Parker of Gonzales, LA to Matthew Robert Mullins, Rutledge, Dickson Road, 43.54 acres, Rutledge, $80,000. Feb. 18, 2020 • Richard H. Smith of Columbus, Ga. to Eric W. Atkinson of Buckhead, Eatonton Highway, 99 acres, Madison, $598,584. • Ronald L. Pelfrey of Madison to Steven A. Pringle of Newborn, 1981 Broughton Road, 10.83 acres, Newborn, $535,000. …

Stan Harrison, Georgia Bio’s Biotech Teacher of the Year

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Stan Harrison, a biotech teacher at Morgan County High School, is preaching the good news of science to his students and fellow teachers across the state.  “I am evangelizing,” said Harrison, who sees a scientific revolution on the horizon that will change the landscape of America’s economy and medical industry. “It will be as significant as the industrial revolution was, and it’s coming fast. My goal is to get my students equipped with the skillset and training to take advantage of the new jobs …

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County seeking Clothes Closet building solution

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The Clothes Closet, a charity that has provided families with free clothes and household items for over 35 years, may be forced out of its current location before long.  The group’s current building, owned by the county, is in need of a brand new roof. County officials announced at a board meeting Tuesday evening that the lowest bid to replace the roof came in at a whopping $81,932.06 “As great of a service as the Clothes Closet is, i don’t think the county can …

New Senator visits Morgan

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor The Morgan County Republican Party hosted its 20th Annual Presidents Day celebration last Monday,  which drew about 150 attendees and several state and local elected officials, including the newly appointed United States Senator for Georgia Kelly Loeffler.  U.S. Congressman Jody Hice and State Representative Dave Belton also attended Monday night’s celebration.  Loeffler spoke to the crowd, pledging to uphold conservative values, to fight for conservative legislation, to support the appointment of conservative judges, and to proudly support President Donald Trump’s Administration.  “It’s truly humbling,” …

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Bone, Breco Realty broker city land deal

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  The largest land donation in Madison’s history would not have been possible without Jack Bone, owner of Breco Realty, say city officials.  “It just would not have happened without Jack,” said Monica Callahan, director of city planning. “He deserves a ton of credit for this.” Back in December 2019, the city announced a substantial land donation of 40 acres, worth over $400,000, from anonymous property owners.  According to the City of Madison, Bone is the one who suggested the donation to the landowners and …

Brad Hawk announces run for District 3 school board position

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By Patrick Yost editor  Fairplay resident Brad Hawk announced Monday that he would qualify for the District 3 Morgan County Board of Education seat. The position is currently held by Bostwick resident Keith Howard, Howard said several weeks ago he would not seek. another term. In a prepared statement, Hawk, 39, commended Howard and his family for “their efforts in providing outstanding leadership to all families, students, teachers  and staff of the Morgan County School system. Hawk is a native Morgan County resident, a 1998 graduate of Morgan County High …

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Real estate sales top $3 million

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Feb. 7, 2020 • Charles Anthony Carpenter, Jr. of Buckhead to Michael Allan Wallace of Mitchell, Ga., Sugar Creek Trail, Buckhead, $100,000. • C. Everett Royal, Jr. of Madison to Walter Daniel Zant, Jr. of Madison, 742 Old Post Road, 0.37 acre, Madison, $65,000. • Equity Trust Company FBO William O. Lombard IRA of Eatonton, Ga. to Gregory Walters, II of Madison, 1260 Brown Lane, Madison, 3.5 acres, $145,000. • Joel Thomas Perry and Susan P. Perry of Newnan, Ga. to Rex Deloach, Jr. of Buckhead, 1101 Fisher Way, 2 …

Privacy concerns plague voting efforts

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Georgia’s new $100 million voting system is plagued with voter privacy concerns as election advocacy groups ramp up efforts to persuade officials to ditch the new system altogether and make a last minute switch to paper ballots before the March 24 Presidential Primary Election.  The Morgan County Board of Elections and Registration (BOER) discussed the new voting system at a special-called meeting last Thursday.  BOER member Helen Butler slammed the new system as confusing and worried that the “secrecy of the ballot” could not …

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Town Hall to center on plant’s use of ethylene oxide

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  BD Bard, a manufacturing company recently under scrutiny for its use of a cancer causing gas, ethylene oxide, at the plants in both Covington and Madison, will answer to the public next month. The Madison Mayor and City Council announced at Town Hall meeting with BD Bard officials has been slated for Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m. in the city’s meeting hall located at 160 North Main Street Suite 400 in Madison.  “BD Bard is still doing some testing and trying to finalize …

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It was an earthquake

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  The mystery of the loud boom that shook Morgan County and several other communities in Georgia last week has been solved, says a local high school science teacher, Michelle Ozburn.  “It was an earthquake,” said Ozburn, who heard the boom and felt the ground shake on Sunday, Feb. 2. “Right away, I thought it was an earthquake.” While over 200 people flooded Morgan County Dispatch with calls within 10 minutes of the boom and social media platforms were abuzz with speculations as to what …

Got the blues? R+B will take them away

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This column is dedicated to songs that chase the blues. Time travelin’! Yeah! It’s 1972 and I’m sittin’ at my little desk in my childhood room with a heavy case of the ding dang blues . . . that’s ‘cause my dyslexic mind is strugglin’ with elementary school homework that I just can’t grasp! Hey but my far out, groovy yellow ball, Panasonic, panapet AM transitor radio on my desk is tuned on the dial to Huntsville’s WAAY a.m. Radio and the best song ever just starts playin! I’m talkin’ …

Dual enrollment bill will affect MC students

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  A new bill expected to pass next week is aiming to curb Georgia’s wildly successful, but increasingly expensive, Dual Enrollment Program, in which high school students can earn college credits. The new bill proposes cutting funding for the program, capping the dual enrollment program to 30 credit hours per student, restricting the type of classes students can take, and prohibiting ninth and 10th graders from participating.  The bill would eliminate “elective courses,” such as fine arts from the program. Proponents of the bill believe the …

Kathryn Cardwell to seek BOE District 2 seat

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By Patrick Yost editor  On the heels of District 2 Morgan County Board of Education member Nelson Hale’s announcement that he would not seek another term, Kathryn Cardwell announced this week that she would seek the position.  Cardwell, 54, also said she would run as an Independent, as did Hale, and was currently working toward getting the 117 signatures she needs by district voters to run non-partisan. Cardwell recently served as the chairperson of the school system’s Capital Campaign Committee. The committee was tasked with raising more than $1 million …