Judge says no trial

Patrick Yost Featured, News

A 23-year-old man charged in the cold-blooded killing of his mother and a family friend was deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial Friday and was sent immediately to a Georgia mental facility. Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Allison Burleson made the ruling at the request of District Attorney Stephen Bradley during a brief hearing at the Morgan County Courthouse. Judge Burleson agreed, she said, with the diagnosis of a doctor who had interviewed Justin Sandiver Slaughter and determined that Slaughter is “incompetent to stand trial.” Slaughter was arrested on …

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Pearl St. school fate in hands of DDA

Tia Lynn Ivey News

With the new high school completion date fast approaching this October, Morgan County school officials are turning their focus onto the new middle school construction project. The entire project is estimated to cost $59 million for both new schools, the College and Career Academy and Transportation Center. The new middle school, to be built on the site of the old high school, is anticipated to be completed in December 2019. School and community leaders have been preparing for the repurposing of the current middle school on Pearl Street once the …

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New hires highlight racial disparity

Tia Lynn Ivey News

When the Morgan County School System released a photo on social media to welcome this year’s crop of new teachers, a swift online backlash ensued, with accusations that the school system is, literally, whitewashing the teaching staff. The photo revealed that all 26 of the newly hired teachers pictured were white. Sonya Hope, a community support specialist with the Georgia Family Connection Partnership, made a Facebook post on July 24 sharing the picture and criticizing the school system for widening the already disheartening racial disparity between teachers and students. The …

Charges against Rickard in Oconee Co. surfaced

Tia Lynn Ivey News

More details are surfacing surrounding the charges against Ryan Rickard, the former assistant principle at Morgan County High School who is currently in jail on charges of rape and sexual battery against three former students in three different counties. According to reporting by Michael Prochaska, journalist with the Oconee Enterprise, court documents reveal the nature of Rickard’s alleged crimes in Oconee County. Rickard faces separate charges in Walton and Morgan counties, including a rape charge. The details around the charges in Morgan and Walton counties have not yet been made …

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Historic group files new motions in city suit

Tia Lynn Ivey News

A new motion has been filed in the ongoing lawsuit against the City of Madison launched by a group of Historic District residents contesting the city’s rezoning approval that paves the way for a new housing development behind the historic Foster-Thomason Miller House in Madison. While City of Madison officials await a ruling on their previous motion for dismissal of the entire lawsuit, a new motion has been filed with the court by the petitioners to allow for a discovery process to begin. The new motion, filed on Monday, August …

County breaks ground on new fire station

Tia Lynn Ivey News

Morgan County Fire and Rescue held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new $500,000 Godfrey Fire Station last Tuesday, Aug. 14. The new station, that will be built on Godfrey Road was approved back in June when the Morgan County Board of Commissioners voted for a $508,985 construction bid from Sunbelt Builders, Inc. a Covington-based company that submitted the lowest bid for the job. The BOC passed the bid in a 3-to-1 vote with Commissioner Philip Von Hanstein voting against the bid. The total cost of the project is estimated at …

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Athens Tech in, Ga. Piedmont out in Morgan

Tia Lynn Ivey News

Athens Technical College is replacing Piedmont Technical College in servicing Morgan County. On August 3, Morgan County officials appeared before the Technical College System of Georgia’s state board to request the change and the board voted unanimously to approve it. Athens Technical College will now provide Morgan County students with opportunities for dual enrollment and workforce training, as well as provide opportunities for adult education and economic development. “The commitment of Morgan County Charter School System is to deliver a wall-to-wall college and career academy which can serve as a …

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Madison agrees to public art exhibit lease

Sarah Wibell News

Madison’s City Council approved the ordinance amendment regarding soil erosion and sedimentation and the Public Arts Commission’s artist lease agreement on Monday, August 13. The intergovernmental agreements for both Service Delivery and the Georgia Safari Conservation Park were postponed until the next meeting in order to finalize a few details and terminology. The Public Arts Commission’s (PAC) artist lease and agreement would allow for a 22-month exhibition – September 2018 to July 2020 – of a sculpture by artist Gregory Johnson. Chris Lambert facilitated the lease of the artwork. The …

Madison Police Department

Madison Police Department

Patrick Yost Law Enforcement

On Aug. 12 a simple assault and cruelty to children complaint was filed at a Micha Way residence. According to reports, a woman alleged that a man known to her engaged in an argument with her and her 2-year-old child. The woman said the man wouldn’t let her leave and tried to hit her but she restrained the man by placing him in a choke hold. The woman said she was able to leave and walked with the child to her cousin’s house and, at first, the man followed her …

Morgan County Sheriff's Department

Morgan County Sheriff’s Department

Patrick Yost Law Enforcement

On Aug. 12 a hit and run complaint was filed at an Atlanta Highway location. According to reports, a woman reported that as she was driving east on Atlanta Highway waiting for a vehicle in front of her to make a turn on Hawkins Avenue she was struck from behind by a white Ford Focus. The complainant was able to record a license number as she followed the vehicle and after it fled the scene. Pursuit was stopped per Morgan County Dispatch instructions, near Brownwood Road. The Ford was driven …

Town Park’s gonna party, Rutledge fabulous

Dianne Yost News

Lord-a-mercy-Good-gracious-almighty! Momma’s got her music TURNED UP! She’s blastin’ eardrums from Bostwick to Newborn!  Tell the preacher to cover his eyes ‘cause Momma’s bustin’ a move in her bellbottoms! I mean she’s dancin’ like it’s 1977! Like Auburn beat Bama in the final SECOND! Like she’s sipped on the sacred White Lighten! It’s KC & Sunshine Band on the boom box! Shoot fire I flat can’t help it! Dancin’ fever is CONTAGIOUS! I. Can’t. Stay. Still. Guitar. Horns. Drums!  Here we go: “Baby, baby let’s get together. Honey, hon me …

Morgan’s Finest

Sports Reports Featured, Sports

Over the next several weeks we will occasionally be sharing some of Morgan’s Finest Behind the Scenes Volunteers over the past many years.  This week’s choice was an easy one.  Clifton Hanes was the man behind the football camera for 38 years (to the best of his recollection).  From 1970 as a MCHS graduate until 2008 he only missed a handful of games taking care of the filming for the Morgan County Bulldogs. Hanes mentioned a few others that could also be considered as some of the greatest volunteers in …

Tough week for Lady Diamond Dogs

Sports Reports Sports

Jason McBay’s season opened up the week with a big come-from-behind win over Commerce in their final at bat.  The rest of the week wasn’t quite so kind.  AA’s second-ranked Monticello Hurricanes took the Dogs down by the tune of 13-2 and Jefferson (highly ranked in AAA) got a 7-2 victory over Morgan in their first Region 8-AAA contest. Monticello got off the bus hitting line drives taking a 3-0 lead after the first inning of play.  A single, triple, and homerun from the first four batters did the damage.  …

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JV volleyball does well in opening tournament

Sports Reports Sports

Coach Carrie McClain reported on the opening JV volleyball team in the North Oconee Titans Invitational to open their season. She said, “The records don’t really reflect how well the girls played. For our first outing and given the competition that we played I am really proud of the girls. They did a lot of things really well and I look forward to seeing how much better they are going to get over this season. Learning the rotation and getting comfortable in their position is still a work in progress, …

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Spike Dogs gear up for first week

Sports Reports Sports

This week the Morgan County High School volleyball squad will enter into their first matches of the season.  Tuesday they open up with Madison County and Habersham Central on the road and finish up the week with their first home event of the season hosting Lake Oconee Academy and Gatewood. First year Head Coach Olivia Daniel told the Morgan County Citizen that her team is young.  She said, “I’m excited about the upcoming season.  We are a very young team with only two seniors and mostly ninth and tenth graders …

Swingin’ with the Medallions

Jesse Walker Community

  Over 200 supporters helped make the Swingin’ Medallions concert on August 11, 2018 a huge success, according to David Land, President of the Historic Madison-Morgan Foundation (HMMF). The HMMF sponsored the fundraiser/concert in support of the ongoing restoration of the 1901 Central of Georgia Railroad Depot in downtown Madison. The mission of HMMF is to help preserve Madison’s and Morgan      County’s historic architectural and natural resources. “Our first project was the publication of Madison, A Classic Southern Town, and the restoration of the abandoned depot was a …

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Morgan County monthly building activity

Dianne Yost News

July 2018 • Agricultural (Pole Barn): Owner Wayne and Sheri Cornelius of Clarks Fork Road, Property Owner Acting as Contractor, $12,000. • Residential (Boatlift): Owner John Gill of 1171 Fawnfield Drive, Contractor Oconee Boatlifts, $9,000. • Agricultural (Barn): Owner Edward McDuffie of 2761 Athens Highway, Property Owner Acting as Contractor, $40,000. • Residential  (Dock): Owner Mike and Carol Barnes of 1140 Sailview Drive, Contractor Tracy Jordan, $9,000. • Commercial (Existing Permit Upgrade 2017-823): Owner Piedmont Equine of 1051 Morris Road, Contractor Sheridan Construction, $105,532. • Residential (Single Family Dwelling): Owner …

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$1 million in real estate sold

Dianne Yost News

August 3, 2018 • Mark J. Accetturo of Rutledge to Carl A. Sims, Jr. of Rutledge, (3201 Doster Road, Rutledge, 8.46 acres, $60,000. August 6, 2018 • Bank of Madison of Madison to R&D Properties GA, LLC of Monroe, Lot 4 Davis Academy Road, Rutledge, $25,000. • Bank of Madison of Madison to R&D Properties GA, LLC of Monroe, Lot 3 Davis Academy Road, Rutledge, $30,000. • Bank of Madison to R&D Properties GA, LLC of Monroe, Lot 2 Davis Academy Road, Rutledge, $30,000. • Kenneth Leatherwood of Conyers to …

Ashley Michelle McDowell

Jesse Walker Obituaries

Ashley Michelle McDowell, 23 of Buckhead, died August 5, 2018.  Ashley was the daughter of Mike McDowell and Sonya Reed McDowell.  Ashely was a Surgical Technician at Piedmont Athens and loved her job.  Ashley enjoyed art, especially drawing.  She loved her family and her dog, Sage. Ashley McDowell is survived by her parents, Mike McDowell and Sonya McDowell.  She also leaves a sister, Connie and a brother, Lee.  Ashley is also survived by aunts and uncles as well as nieces and nephews. The family received friends on Thursday, August 9 …

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Terence Shawn Huff

Jesse Walker Obituaries

Terence Shawn Huff, 30 of Madison, died August 10, 2018.  Shawn was born in Athens on November 6, 1987 to Stanley and Janet Harvey Huff.  He was a graduate of Morgan County High School.  Shawn worked at Ingles in Madison until his health prevented him from working any longer.  He enjoyed fishing and spending time with his family.  He loved movies and video games and will be remembered for his sense of humor. Shawn Huff is survived by his parents, Stanley and Janet Huff as well as a brother, Richard …