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State of athletics addressed by AD Doug Connelly

Staff Written Sports

By R. Alan Richaardson sports editor In this time of concern, it is obvious that many people, jobs, livelihoods, and lives have been affected.  We sat down with current Morgan County High School Athletic Director Doug Connelly to address some of his concerns.  The following will hopefully answer some of the many questions the community has about how our student-athletes will be affected.   Q1: What is the current timeline for going back to school? A1: As of today, Morgan County Charter School System schools are set to resume a …

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Betty Lou Hilsman

Staff Written Obituaries

Betty Lou Hilsman, 79, passed away on March 11, 2020.  She was born Feb. 18, 1941 in Redondo Beach, Calf.  She and her brother, Ted, moved to Gypsum, Kansas when she was four years old to live with her grandparents.  She married Robert T. Hilsman, Jr. on September 20, 1957. Mrs. Hilsman is survived by her husband of 62 years and three children, Marvin Hilsman and Beckie, Debbie Vaughan and William and Danny Hilsman and Denise.  She leaves grandchildren, Jessica Stanley (Billy), Ashley Mercardante (Vincent), Shanna Addison (Drew), Jill Thompson …

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Carl Sims

Staff Written Obituaries

Carl Sims, 90 of Rutledge, died March 11, 2020.  He was born on May 21, 1929 in Maysville, GA to Henry and Julie Hooper Sims.  He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean and Vietnam wars and later retired from the Army.  He was married to the late Eunice Stewart Sims.   Mr. Sims was a devoted Christian and husband.  He was a committed soldier and proud veteran.  He enjoyed fishing and cooking and singing.  Many people were the beneficiaries of Mr. Sims kindness. Carl Sims, Sr is survived by his …

John A. Clements, Jr.

Staff Written Obituaries

John A. Clements, Jr., was born Jan. 6, 1946 in Putnam County, Ga. as one of eight children to the late John A. Clements, Sr. and Maureen Braswell Clemons. He departed his earthly life on March 17, 2020. John is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 26 years, Margaret Curington Clements. His dear mother, Maureen braswell Clemens, his daughter, Nicole Clements Crawford, his stepdaughter, Minister Tony (Pastor Robert) Terrell Jr.; His sisters, Shirley Hughey, Lorene (Earnest) McRae, Rosell (Herbert) Stokes; his brothers Grady (Frankie) Clemons, Larry Clemons and …

In times of trouble I come back home

Staff Written Community

By Jeff Hood It’s early morning on Sat.March 21, and there’s evidence spring is in the air.  The azaleas are blooming, pollen laces the ribbon of asphalt outside of my home in Oconee County and a brilliant blue sky awaits today’s journey I call life.  I’m an avid runner. My typical Saturday (when I’m in town) begins alongside dozens of my closest friends in Clarke County in a group we call the Athens Road Runners. We meet briefly, take a photo for Facebook, then burn up the blacktop on our …

Fear, sure but there is also the opportunity for joy

Staff Written Community

By Forest Pagett To say that this past week has been crazy would be an understatement.  We live our lives in Madison enjoying what we all consider to be an incredible life in small town Georgia.  The coronavirus has been in the news for the past few months as we have watched from a distance hoping it would stay out of the U.S. and our “little world.”   This all changed not in a matter of months but weeks as we saw the number of cases go from one to …

Really, I miss my teammates more than anything

Contributed Community

By Ethan Stamps The corona virus has impacted many people as we know. It has impacted sports, the way we live, and in my case, my senior year. Even though our school facilities are shut down during this break I can’t just sit back and not work on the game I love. I haven’t been doing much other than working on baseball. I have been going to my personal  trainer three times a week so that I can keep my body in shape. I have to be ready if the …

A front line report from Madison’s world travelers

Contributed Community

By Ed and Martha Price During the last few months, we have been fortunate to have traveled to Europe and Australia/New Zealand.  The European trip was in June and the Australia/New Zealand was in February – March.  We returned from “down under” as the USA and the world began to try and contain or understand the coronavirus.   Now with the concern about the coronavirus, it would be easy to decide that our travels are over for a spell.  Well let’s think about our past experience and then decide about …

My heart sinks for students missed opportunities

Staff Written Community

By Angie D. Howard Education with the possibility of a COVID-19 out break in a small town is different from what we are accustomed to at Morgan County Middle School.  Are we surviving? Sure we are! We have a community full of faith based residents, a dedicated school system and 21st century students.   However, as a teacher, my heart sank when the word came that the annual eighth grade trip to Savannah would be canceled for the first time in some 23 years.  This comes as a result of the …

Take this time to unplug and get back to basics

Contributed Community

By Penny Moore Eighteen and a half years ago, life as we know it as Americans changed.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  My husband and I had just learned the week before that we were expecting our first child, and we could not have been more excited.  That alone was a life-changing event. However, this particular day was different.  It was a Tuesday; I was working in a single-wide trailer on the building site of a hotel down at Lake Oconee while John was commuting back and forth …

Navigating a desolate Atlanta leaves ‘eerie’ feeling

Staff Written Community

By Beth Bradley On March 18, Atlanta was a ghost town. On this date my husband, Brad, had eye surgery. We drove in the dark of night to make sure we would not be late to the 7 a.m. appointment and miss the daily Atlanta traffic. We soon realized the people of the State of Georgia had listened to the warnings and stayed home. During this difficult time, I am very proud of everyone complying with the restrictions, but it turned the highways into a ghost town.  When we arrived …

Now is the time for everyone to look out for their neighbors

Contributed Community

By Chet Thomas Even though I am no longer a resident of Morgan County, I still consider it to be my home. I am thankful that we have the ability to keep up with what’s going on “back home.”   How has the pandemic affected my world? You think you have everything planned out in detail, and then something comes clear out of the blue to blow all of those plans right out of the water.  Like most, I was not too terribly worried about this at first. Then, on …

Thankful for my hometown when college shuts down

Contributed Community

By Lucia Hodges  I’ve always known that I wanted to go to college as far away as possible. Don’t get me wrong, growing up in small town Madison was an absolute blessing and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. This tight knit community made me into the person I am today. However, when the time came to start applying for college, my adventurous spirit led me to apply to schools across the country. Ultimately, my heart was set on California, the sunshine state. I found Santa Clara University, …

New patient at HLC

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Rutledge residents breathed a sigh of relief Sunday when the sole patient quarantined at Hard Labor Creek’s “Corona Camp” was released and transported out of Morgan County. Rumors spread via social media that the isolation camp, comprised of seven medical trailers designed to hold up to 14 patients, would be dismantled and closed. But Morgan County officials announced a new patient infected with COVID-19 arrived to Hard Labor Creek for quarantine on Monday.  “Officials from Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) advised that a patient …

Gov. shuts down schools for March

Staff Written Community

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor All Morgan County Schools, along with every other K-12 school in Georgia, will be closed through March in an attempt to slow the spread of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced the decision late last week.  Superintendent Dr. James Woodard is committed to keeping the schools “operational” despite the physical absence of students, with school leaders designing at-home and online course work.   “With extended suspension and closure, we are preparing how to work from home,” said Woodard. “These times call for special …

COVID compassion

Staff Written Community

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor In the wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic, groceries and sanitation products are flying off the shelves faster than stores can restock them. Pictures of shoppers hoarding toilet paper and other supplies have flooded social media platforms as people all over the country prepare to self-quarantine in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. But the community in Morgan County will not forsake each other in this time of crisis.  Jamisha Allen, a healthcare worker born and raised in Madison, orchestrated a care-package drive out …

One Val, Two Sals

Staff Written Community, Featured

Last week, Morgan County High School announced this yearís Valedictorian and two Salutatorians for the Class of 2020. Morgan County Senior Michael Peters earned the top slot as valedictorian. Seniors Mason Autry and Natalie Rogers tied academically as salutatorians. The studentsí families gathered for the surprise announcement last week at Morgan County High School, celebrating the academic achievements each of the students has dedicated their high school careers to earn.

Panic buying leaves store shelves empty

Staff Written Community

By Quinn Rafferty staff writer Every morning for the last week there has been a line of customers outside the door at Ingles waiting for the 6 a.m. opening. On Tuesday, by 10 a.m. there was no toilet paper left on the shelves. On St. Patrick’s Day, for the first time ever an unidentified Ingles employee said, there is no corned beef. Last week, the employee said, a manager had to comfort a crying customer on the toilet paper aisle. “She just broke down,” the employee said. In light of …

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Cancellations around Morgan County

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Postponements, cancellations, and closings are happening all over Morgan County, along with the rest of the country, in the wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic. This week, President Donald Trump asked the entire nation to avoid gatherings of 10 people or more for at least the next two weeks in order to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Officials are worried about overwhelming the healthcare system should the virus spread too rapidly. The President also urged the public to avoid discretionary travel, drinking at bars …

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Presidential Primary Election postponed

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor Amid growing fears over the spread of the COIVD-19 virus, which has now been declared a coronavirus pandemic and prompted a National Emergency, the State of Georgia has decided to postpone the March 24 Presidential Primary election. State officials fear the virus could spread more rapidly when people gather in lines in large numbers to vote. As of press time on Tuesday, Mar. 17, Over 60 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been found in Georgia, with one death thus far.  “I want to assure …