Vaccine comes to Morgan

Staff Written Front Page, News

Front line hospital workers first to get  COVID-19 vaccination By Tia Lynn Ivey Managing Editor  The coronavirus vaccine has landed in Morgan County, with local healthcare workers among the first to receive the new vaccine.  On Monday, Dec. 28, healthcare workers from Morgan Medical Center in Madison were injected with Moderna’s new COVID-19 vaccine, sparking hope that there is a light at the end of the pandemic’s tunnel.  “I see the vaccine as the first step in our journey back to normalcy and the routine living of our lives,” said …

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Hospital stands firm against city

Staff Written Featured, News

Zoning clash over drug rehab has hospital wanting automatic transfer; city pushing for public hearing By Tia Lynn Ivey News editor The Morgan Medical Center Hospital (MMC) Authority is pressing forward to secure the sale of the old hospital property to a drug rehabilitation center, despite the City of Madison pumping the brakes on the deal. A zoning dispute is heating up between the City of Madison and the MMC hospital authority that will likely end up in court. A lawsuit against the City of Madison is not off the …

City breaks ground on Canaan Crossing

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By Tia Lynn Ivey News editor A new “work-force affordable housing” project is underway, as city leaders and developers gathered last Friday for the Canaan Crossing groundbreaking on Wheat Street in Madison. Local leaders are hoping the new townhouse and apartment complex will provide a feasible option for those who want to work in Madison, but cannot currently afford to live here. Canaan Crossing is part of the effort to revitalize the Canaan neighborhood. Construction will now begin on the 60-unit low-to-moderate income housing development to be built on a …

Demarius Brinkley: Transforming education into action

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By Tia Lynn Ivey News editor Demarius Brinkley is a political activist for Fair Fight Action in Atlanta, but his heart never left his hometown of Madison. Brinkley graduated from Morgan County High School in 2013 and went on to study political science and philosophy at Morehouse College. Now at age 25, Brinkley is using his voice and savvy skills to advocate for voting rights throughout Georgia. But he hasn’t forgotten Morgan County, returning often to take part in local events and programs to advocate for transparency in law enforcement, …

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Local businessman invited to White House at Christmas

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By Patrick Yost Staff writer When Morgan County businessman Wendell McNeal stood outside the north entrance of the White House with his friend Karen McCoy in preparation to begin a two-day stint as a volunteer greeter, he had one emotion. “I was scared,” McNeal said. To McNeal, the structure that stood before him represented “The People’s House” and stood as a monument to the culmination of years of American history and struggle.  And, he said, it was the greatest place he could have ever spent a Christmas vacation. McNeal spent …

School system hopes to snare $2M literacy grant

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By Patrick Yost Staff Writer The Morgan County Charter School System and a comprehensive group of community and business leaders are working in hopes of qualifying Morgan County for a Literacy for Learning, Living and Leading in Georgia Grant (L4GA) that could bring between $2 million to $4 million for literary efforts to Morgan County. According to Susan Tolbert, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, Morgan County Charter School System, “a collaborative committee of over 20 people representing various groups that serve Morgan County Children began work on the grant …

MCHS Drama Dogs

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By Tia Lynn Ivey  The Morgan County High School (MCHS) Drama Dogs are headed to a statewide theater competition after winning a slew of awards at last week’s District 4AAA One Act Theater Competition.  “These students have worked so hard, and with the challenges presented to all of us during the pandemic, it has required even more from everyone. The students so deserved this recognition, and I can’t wait for even more people to get to experience this show,” MCHS Drama Director Lenea Rose.  The Drama Dogs won First Place …

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Matthew David Oliver, Sr.

Staff Written Obituaries

On February 7, 2021, Matthew David Oliver, Sr., beloved husband and father, passed away at the age of 40. Matt was born in Lilburn, Georgia in 1980 to Mitch and Debbie Oliver. In 2004, he married his best friend, Kristy Wood, and shortly thereafter they settled in Buckhead where he lived the rest of his life. Matt was employed by Grant Thornton as a Healthcare Consultant and was the type of colleague and boss everyone should strive to be; he truly cared about the people he worked with and those …

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Willie A. Thomas

Staff Written Obituaries

November 28, 1941 – January 31, 2021 Willie A. Thomas was born November 28, 1941. He was the eldest son of the late Elbert Perriman Thomas and Willie Martin Thomas. On January 31, 2021, God saw fit to call one of his children home.  Willie joined Mount Zion Baptist Church at an early age. He attended Mount Zion neighborhood schools. Eventually he was employed within the dairy industry and later  owned a transportation company. In the year of 1963, he was blessed with a daughter (Carolyn) with Pearlie Randall. In 1966 he …

Andrea Gable named editor of Morgan County Citizen

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Special to The Citizen Andrea Gable has been named executive editor of the Morgan County Citizen, Madison’s award-winning weekly newspaper, recently purchased by Times-Journal Inc. Gable takes the reins from editor and publisher, Patrick Yost, who founded the Morgan County Citizen in 1997, along with the region’s flagship magazine, Lake Oconee Living. She has served as editor of Lake Oconee Living since 2011, devoting a decade to covering stories throughout the lake area for the magazine. “I have some big shoes to fill,” said Gable. “Patrick has been a fair-minded …

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Hospital to set up drive-thru vaccine site

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By Tia Lynn Ivey News editor This week, Madison Mayor Fred Perriman rolled up his sleeve and received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Morgan County Health Department, which began vaccinating patients on Jan. 25, after receiving a shipment of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. “I just want to urge our community to take the vaccine when it is available to them,” said Perriman. “I just wanted to show our community that I took it, it’s safe, and encourage everyone who can to take the vaccine to protect our …

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Drug Rehab fate uncertain, hospital threatens to sue city of Madison

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By Tia Lynn Ivey News editor A heated legal battle may be on the horizon between the City of Madison and the Morgan Medical Center Hospital Authority over a potential buyer aiming to transform the old hospital property into an inpatient drug rehabilitation facility. Madison Mayor Fred Perriman made a public announcement at Monday’s city council meeting, declaring that the city would not issue a certification letter requested by the hospital authority and Flashpoint Recovery – a high-end drug rehab – to preemptively approve the use of a drug rehabilitation …

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Man arrested for shooting over $500 bet

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By Patrick Yost Staff writer A man wanted for aggravated assault after he allegedly shot a man during an argument over a racing bet was arrested on Tuesday, Feb. 2 while attending a funeral. According to Morgan County Sheriff’s Office reports, Leroy Nelson, Jr., 48, was arrested while sitting in a gold Chevrolet Tahoe in the parking lot of the Unions Springs Baptist Church on West Main Street in Rutledge at approximately 2 p.m. Nelson was arrested without incident after two Morgan County Sheriff’s Office deputies were alerted that Nelson …

Dairy show draws youth from across the state

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By Tia Lynn Ivey News editor A special commercial dairy show was held in Morgan County last weekend to honor Dave Clark, a dairyman who passed away in 2019. The Dave Clark Commercial Dairy Heifer Show, open to youth across the state, was held at the Morgan County Agricultural Center, drawing a large turnout for the event. “The show was open to everyone in the commercial dairy program in the state and we had 132 calves and 90 exhibitors. It was judged by Mr. Matt Mitchell of Tennessee,” said Carol …

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Schools get $2M in CARES Act relief funds

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost Staff writer The Morgan County Charter School System has been awarded $2 million from a federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act 2). The funds were announced Monday by Dr. Virgil Cole, superintendent, Morgan County Charter School System. The federal funds come on the heels of a previous $500,000 CARES Act grant the school system received during the first Coronavirus Aid period. Dr. Cole said the system was currently reviewing how to best use the money. “We’re finalizing what we are going to spend …

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Stanton road closures make room for development

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By Patrick Yost Staff writer The Morgan County Board of Commissioners Tuesday unanimously agreed to abandon all of Stanton Road (3,000 feet) and a portion of Sewell Church Road north from the Stanton Springs development to the Georgia Department of Transportation easement on Interstate 20. The abandonment was requested by the Joint Development Authority (JDA) of Walton, Morgan, Newton and Jasper counties to open up an area of the Stanton Springs Development for further development. According to Andrea Gray, attorney, JDA, the abandonment of Stanton Road and Sewell Church Road …

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Four teachers receive $20k in grants from Walton EMC

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost Staff writer Four teachers in the Morgan County Charter School System have been awarded more than $20,000 in grants from Walton EMC. The Morgan County High School engineering teacher was awarded a $5,000 grant for his class to finish the class Tiny Home project. The home, being constructed by the students, is part of the program’s smart home technology and green energy application component. Also at Morgan County High School, science instructor Alec Johnson was awarded a $3,060 grant to purchase four telescopes and accessories that connect …

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Madison Police Department

Staff Written Law Enforcement

On Feb. 6, Fraquan T.M. Moore, 24, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. According to reports, an officer was called to a Morgan Circle residence after a relative alleged that Moore was acting disruptive and combative since coming home from a party the previous night. The relative alleged that Moore was “high on something” and she refused to give him her car keys. An officer spoke to Moore but reported that he was difficult to understand because of slurred words. An hour later, the officer was called back to …

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Morgan County Sheriff’s Office

Staff Written Law Enforcement

On Feb. 4, a dispute complaint was filed at a Godfrey Road residence. According to reports, a man came to the sheriff’s office and alleged that while he was working at a dairy, a co-worker punched him in the face and cut him with a knife on the chin. The man said the incident occurred at 7 a.m. when the co-worker pushed a cattle gate into his back and then attacked him. The man said he then went to the hospital. A deputy spoke with the co-worker who said he …

THEY GOT THE DEAL

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By Tia Lynn Ivey The savvy panel of investors on ABC’s “Shark Tank” offered a $150,000 deal to Bob Mackey and his business partner Michael Green after the motivated pair pitched their invention on last Friday’s episode.  Mackey, the CEO and President of the Boys & Girls Club of North Central Georgia (BGCNCG), which includes Morgan County, stood before the “Shark Tank” panel of judges to make the case for his invention, the Yono Clip, which is a portable hook designed to hang personal belongings to prevent contact with germs …

Dog, deputies search for wanted man

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost Staff writer Members of the Georgia Department of Corrections used a tracking dog to assist Morgan County Sheriff’s Office deputies locate and arrest a man who fled a car crash on Sandy Creek Road on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at approximately 9 p.m. According to reports, Thomas Jake Malcom, 32, Clyde, N.C., was arrested after he was found hiding behind a tree at the top of an embankment near the crash scene. A witness told a deputy that a 2005 Nissan Titan, allegedly driven by Malcom, passed the …