Georgia Schools Given Guidelines For Reopening Amid COVID-19

Dianne Yost News

By Beau EvansStaff WriterCapitol Beat News Service Georgia school officials released guidelines Monday on how to reopen the state’s public schools for the 2020-2021 school year amid the coronavirus pandemic. The guideline document, called “Georgia’s Path to Recovery for K-12 Schools,” outlines steps local schools should take to prevent the highly infectious virus from entering classroom environments and to curb its spread if an outbreak occurs. Georgia’s school districts halted in-person classes in more than 2,200 schools starting in late March as concerns ramped up over coronavirus. The state’s roughly …

Woman’s unhappy meal turns into a McPanic

Staff Written Featured, Law Enforcement, News

By Patrick Yost editor  An apparent lack of sauces in a McDonald’s order is leading to the arrest of one woman and juvenile complaints being filed for aggravated assault against a 16-year-old girl. According to Madison Police Department reports, Kenya Shanell Rivers, 28, Madison entered the restaurant on Eatonton Road at noon after ordering food in the drive-through. Reports state that Rivers approached the front counter and said, “Y’all (expletive) didn’t give me my sauces.” A 15-year-old McDonald’s employee told her manager she thought she had put the sauces in …

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County sets budget at $19.3 million

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Morgan County’s proposed general fund budget for the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year is over $19.3 million, a 3.9 percent increase from the current county budget. County Finance Director Lori Sayer presented the proposed budget to the Morgan County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, May 19.  The total proposed budget comes in at $19,317,122, up from last year’s $18,590,559 budget. Despite the proposed $726,563 increase, the county anticipates taking the millage rollback rate this summer.  “The budget has increased since we have more revenue coming in …

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Baptist group steps up for Clothes Closet

Staff Written Community

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  For over 35 years, the Clothes Closet has served families in need throughout Madison and Morgan County by providing free clothes and household items donated from the community. The charitable organization, located in at 195 East Jefferson Street in Downtown Madison, was in danger of closing down due to a deteriorating building owned by Morgan County government. But the Clothes Closet will stay put, thanks to a  deal between Morgan County government and the Morgan County Baptist Association, which oversees the Clothes Closet.  The …

‘Non-traditional’ but full of pride and glory

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Morgan County High School’s Class of 2020 graduated last week. About 210 seniors received diplomas and praise over the course of a three-day non-traditional graduation ceremony.  To reduce the spread of the coronavirus, each graduating senior was celebrated “individually” at the high school, among their family, teachers, school faculty, and even their pets.  “On behalf of the faculty and staff of MCHS, congratulations and we can’t wait to see what you do! It has been a privilege to be a part of your journey,” …

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Virus cases keep rising, state says

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Confirmed coronavirus cases continue to rise across the state of Georgia, with 37 confirmed cases in Morgan County, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH). Statewide, confirmed cases climb to 43,730 and deaths top 1,871 as of press time on Tuesday, May 26.  As of press time, Morgan County’s 37 confirmed cases include four hospitalizations and zero deaths.  As of press time, Georgia has conducted a total of 514,945 tests statewide. According to GDPH, out of Georgia’s 43,730 confirmed cases, 7,547 people …

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Record number of absentee voters in Morgan

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor  Early voting kicked off on May 18 for the upcoming June 9 Presidential Preferred Primary, General Election and Non-Partisan races. According to Jennifer Doran, Morgan County’s election supervisor, over 520 voters have cast their ballots in person and a record number of absentee ballots have been requested and received. Over 3,900 absentee (mail) ballots have been requested and over 1,900 absentee ballots have been received by the Morgan County Board of Election and Registration.  “It’s pretty phenomenal,” said Doran. “Back in 2018, Stacy Abrams …

Search warrant leads to meth arrest

Staff Written Law Enforcement

By Patrick Yost editor  A 67-year-old Bethany Road man was arrested and charged with multiple drug offenses including possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, after authorities executed a search warrant at the man’s residence. Michael Lee Jordan, Sr. was taken into custody on Friday, May 15 at 7 p.m. after investigators with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office executed a Fourth Amendment probation search on both Jordan and his son, Michael Jordan, Jr., 38. Reports state that when investigators entered the residence the “kitchen smelled of burnt marijuana. Mr. …

Madison Police Department

Madison Police Department

Staff Written Law Enforcement

On May 24 a cruelty to animals complaint was filed at Ingles, Eatonton Road. According to reports, an anonymous caller called Morgan County Dispatch and reported that a dog was locked in a Chevrolet Blazer near the front of Ingles. An officer arrived and observed all four windows cracked with a small black puppy in the back seat with a bowl of water. The puppy was “aggressively panting,” reports state. The officer removed the dog and placed it in his cruiser with air conditioning. Air temperature at the time was …

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office

Staff Written Law Enforcement

On May 22 three arrest warrants for felony interference with government property were issued against James Colt Saunchegraw, 35, Covington. According to reports, a deputy was called to a Mergandollar Road residence regarding graffiti painted on a roadway and road sign. Reports state that the property owner alleged that Saunchegraw admitted to painting the messages via text message. A deputy spoke with Saunchegraw via phone and Saunchegraw allegedly admitted painting the road but not the road sign. He later allegedly admitted to both paintings. On May 24 a domestic dispute …

Michael Clay Nations

Staff Written Obituaries

Michael Clay Nations “Mike”, 58 passed away May 21, 2020 in his beloved town of Athens. He was the husband of Dana Nations and they shared 36 years of marriage together. He is survived by his two children, Justin (Christina) and Liz (Joseph), his two grandchildren, Carson and Sydney with his third grandchild due in December, his mother JoAnn Nations, brother Alec Nations and sister Melissa (Rick) Rittenhouse, along with two nieces Katherine and Caroline and many other family members who loved him dearly. As Mike entered the presence of …

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Bonita Raye Malcom

Staff Written Obituaries

Bonita Raye Malcom, 72, died on May 21, 2020 after a long and courageously-fought battle with cancer.  She never stopped fighting. No matter how sick she was always determined to spend time with her family, without any complaint of her illness. Her compassion permeated all around her as she lived a life of putting others before herself. Her jovial laugh will forever echo inside those who loved and knew her. Through our time with her, we gained faith, resilience and perseverance. We learned to be both strong and loving. She …

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Roy William Bowman

Staff Written Obituaries

Roy William Bowman, 71 of Farmington passed away on May 22, 2020 at his home from a heart disease. He was born on July 23, 1948. He was welcomed into the gates of Heaven by his wife Nora Bowman and his parents Mrytis and Robert Bowman. Roy is survived by by his sisters-in-law, Barbara Teran, Brenda Arnold, Joyce Coltrain and Sherry Hawk and brothers-in-law, Tommy Hawk and Mike Arnold; nephews, Thomas Hawk and family, Clinton Johnson and family and Seth Coltrain and family; nieces, Tangie Merritt and family, Michelle Hawk …

Hannah Knight has photo in ‘USA Today’

Contributed Community

Ethel Lytton rutledge correspondent  I first became aware of Hannah as a photographer when I saw her photo shoot on Facebook.  I set up an interview with her and during the interview process she was contacted by a Sports Media Program at University of Georgia (UGA). They were asking permission to use her football shot in a USA Today article (May 20, 2020) about Morgan County High School (MCHS). She said YES!  Another milestone for her will be on July 9, 2020 when she graduates from Georgia Military College. Q: …

AFLAT goes virtual

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Tia Lynn Ivey  managing editor  Every year, creative students from all four Morgan County schools submit art pieces for the annual A Funky Little Art Thing (AFLAT) exhibit. School leaders had to improvise this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. But instead of cancelling, art teachers created an online website to showcase this year’s student artwork for the entire community to enjoy. “AFLAT is a tradition that my Art Dogs and I look forward to every year,” said Ty Manning, art teacher at Morgan County High School (MCHS).  “In …

Our Stories: Reflections

Staff Written Community

By Ellen Beckham As I reflect over the last few weeks, I would like to go back to Thanksgiving Day, 2019 when all was well. I gathered with my family at our Mother’s home and everyone was happy and carefree. I remember Thanksgiving night I was so thankful for another wonderful day with my whole family. Little did I know, the next day would begin change. I knew it was coming but not so quickly. Clifton called to let me know that Mama would be entering a nursing home and …

Our Stories: A wakeup call

Staff Written Community

By Carol Seabolt Not quite sure when it all began but one day I found myself thrust into an ever changing, ever evolving world of a pandemic called Covid-19.  It seemed to innocently sneak into our lives and begin to upset normal life and daily routines. As the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases started to rise and schools, churches, restaurants, and workplaces began to close and/or adapt to change, it dawned on me that this pandemic thing was getting too close to my world. For weeks I had heard the …

Our Stories: The days from which my memories come

Staff Written Community

By Kathryn Foskey Reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic by three sisters who grew up on a farm in Madison. Kathryn Foskey is retired from Pennington Seed, Carol Seabolt is Vice President of  Finance, Central Garden & Pet Inc. and Ellen Beckham is a retired Kindergarten teacher and current employee of Bank of Madison. Reflections from Kathryn Foskey: Everyone has been affected by the pandemic in one way or another. As I put my thoughts on paper, I realize it’s just another phase of a spiritual journey for me. My faith …

Our Stories: It’s The Laughter We Will Remember

Staff Written Community

By Lydia Bell Norburg I am a hugger. So you know this whole pandemic shutdown ordeal has not been easy for me. Especially when it has meant being away from my favorite fellow-hug enthusiasts, my five grandchildren. Well, it may be a stretch to say that the oldest two (who are in that stand-offish no-PDA preteen phase) have actually missed GiGi’s hugs. Even so, four months is too long to go between hugs for anybody, even preteens. And won’t they be excited when GiGi arrives to make up for her …

Our Stories: What opportunities am I grasping?

Contributed Community

By Pat Leming As you read this we are in day 81 of Shelter in Place (SIP) at the Leming household with 22 more days until the governor sets us elderly types free. That’s 103 days total – 2,472 hours – 148,320 minutes. How can we make that much time count?  There is no doubt this nasty Covid-19 virus has robbed us of things we value:  freedom to go where we want when we want; large group gatherings, everything from church services to concerts to family holiday celebrations; businesses operating …