Farm to table: Camp Twin Lakes is sowing the seeds of sustainability

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By Leila Dycus, Intern The seeds have been sown, sprouting the farm-to-table initative at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge. What started out as a small organic garden at the camp has blossomed into a full farm program, with even more room to grow. The farm-to-table initiative is part of Camp Twin Lakes’ move to be more sustainable. The camp hosts people of all ages year-round and, just as the campers and their families are constantly changing, so are the crops available on the farm. The idea for the initiative started …

Morgan, Madison square off over LOST funds

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City and County Recommendations Madison Proposal: City begins with the share that it currently has but increases gradually to 26 percent, leaving Morgan County with about 67.5 percent of the funds. Morgan Proposal: Involves a 3 percent increase, giving the county 76 percent, and Madison’s percentage would drop 4 points to approximately 18 percent. By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer Superior Court Judge Robert S. Reeves heard testimony regarding the contested Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) allocation between Morgan County and the City of Madison in the upper courtroom of the …

“Thugball” players defecate on citizens’ property?

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By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer During the Sept. 16 meeting of the Rutledge City Council, Sherry Kelly and Craig Dukes, Rutledge citizens, expressed concerns relating to their claims that “full-grown men,” who had been playing basketball at Rutledge’s nearby Fairplay Park, had been urinating and defecating on their property. “I was very afraid of the basketball courts,” said Kelly, describing how she felt when she realized that a basketball court was part of the development plan at the park. Kelly stated that she expressed these concerns to Rutledge Mayor Spencer …

Alternative Ed students now in MCHS ROTC

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By Kathryn Schiliro, Managing Editor Students enrolled in Morgan County’s Alternative Education program at CrossRoads now have the opportunity to participate in the ROTC program at Morgan County High School. The move, which came from a need for more students in ROTC, means students are bused over to the high school for one period a day, accompanied by a paraprofessional, four days a week, Alternative Education program Director Greg Thompson told the Board of Education (BOE) at their meeting Sept. 9. “They’re not on campus for anything other than this,” …

Man flees vehicle, leaves children

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By Patrick Yost, Editor A routine traffic stop on Saturday turned into more serious charges after a man allegedly fled the vehicle, leaving behind a 3-year-old male and 2-year-old female child. According to Madison Police Department reports, Corp. Jeremy Hoffman allegedly observed Stephen Christopher Warren, 22, make an illegal pass of a vehicle on Pearl Street at approximately 7:50 p.m. Hoffman reported that he made eye contact with Warren and instructed him to stop the 2001 Mazda Protege he was driving. The reports state that initially Warren slowed as if …

School board’s general fund total comparable to FY13

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By Kathryn Schiliro, Managing Editor The Morgan County Board of Education (BOE) last Monday, Sept. 9 approved a financial report with a general fund ending balance of more than $1.7 million for the month of August. The system’s general fund began last month with near $3 million, received more than $1.3 million and spent $2.5 million-plus. “We’re about where we were this time last year,” Superintendent Dr. Ralph Bennett told the board. He continued to say that expenses were a bit more than they were by about $200,000 compared to …

Buckhead council working to repair playground

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By Leila Dycus, Intern Repairs to Buckhead’s town playground, not in compliance with certain safety requirements, are on their way. At Monday’s Buckhead City Council meeting, Councilwoman Robin Bone and City Clerk Cheryl Safford shared that they talked to Gary Timberlake, a local playground builder who has the ability to repair the playground. The council is working to come up with ways in which they can provide funding for the project. To cut down on costs, the council suggested they join with the fire department and the community to provide …

911 Advisory Board discusses radio system, PowerPhone updates

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By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer During the September meeting of the Morgan County 911 Advisory Board, the board discussed updates having to do with the county’s VHF radio and PowerPhone projects. The board stated that the PowerPhone system, a software-based protocol system designed to handle most emergency calls, should be up and running by October. A manual version of the system was passed around at the meeting. The manual version included tabbed pages with headings for different types of emergencies. Each page then listed the questions that the dispatcher should …

Council discusses crosswalks with Madison Police Chief

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By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer The Madison City Council discussed the topic of crosswalk safety with the Madison Police Chief Bill Ashburn during their Sept. 13 work session. Chief Ashburn stated during the meeting that crosswalk safety is “one of our biggest topics” and that the responsibility for that safety is shared between the drivers and the pedestrians. “We do what we can to make [crosswalks] as safe as possible,” said Ashburn, but noted that pedestrians must take it upon themselves to make sure drivers see them enter the crosswalks. …

Teachers to look for another AP Econ text

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By Kathryn Schiliro, Managing Editor Morgan County High School teachers and administrators will look for another textbook to suggest for Board of Education (BOE) approval following BOE member Dave Belton’s opposition to a proposed Advanced Placement (AP) Economics textbook last month. The proposed book was called “Krugman’s Economics for AP,” authored by Margaret Ray and David Anderson, is based on the work of Paul Krugman, a Princeton University Professor of Economics, Nobel Prize for Economics winner, author and New York Times columnist. “Unfortunately, Paul Krugman is a self-professed political partisan …

Horse: RV with legs

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By Nick Nunn If you were going to ride a horse 600 miles to your brother’s wedding, what would you pack to take along on the horse? Water? Food? Toiletries? A map? Money? Patrick Neal Schumacher, 45, apparently decided that none of these things were essential for a 600-horse ride. When Schumacher was arrested in Boulder, Co., on charges of animal cruelty, prohibited use of weapons, riding a horse while under the influence of alcohol and reckless endangerment, riding his horse on a main road with some 60 miles of …

The meaning of “American Exceptionalism”

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By Dave Belton “American Exceptionalism” is a term that has been used a lot lately, both by Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin. That a Soviet dictator misuses the term is not very surprising. That our own President does, however, is sad. For most of human history, oppression by a tyrant has been the norm. The lives we live are (thankfully) so benign that we blithely believe that most people throughout time have enjoyed peaceful democracies. Actually – by a very wide margin – the opposite is true. The vast majority …

“What war would Jesus start?”

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By Greg Morin For a supposedly Christian nation that was presumably founded upon Christian values, the United States has a rather bellicose history that is entirely incongruous with the Christian message of loving your enemy and turning the other cheek. As easy as it was for most of us to have been caught up in the patriotic fervor of striking back at the stronghold of the 9/11 hijackers, that response was fundamentally un-Christian. Not only does Jesus say that one must turn the other cheek but that one must likewise …

Local interior designer to be featured on television show

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By Dianne Lively Yost, Staff Writer Local interior designer Shane Meder is headed for television fame this month! Meder, the owner and principal designer at Atlanta-based Black Sheep Interiors who also occupies a large retail space at Madison Markets in Madison, will star later this month on Home And Style. The Atlanta-based television show, hosted by Donna Davis, will feature Meder’s latest design triumph, a home on Lake Oconee at Reynolds. The home’s design was a “romance” story between the homeowners and the home, explained Meder. “The inspiration for the …

Law Enforcement: Sept. 19, 2013 edition

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Madison Police Department On September 14 a 13-year-old male was arrested and charged with shoplifting and underage person in possession of alcohol. According to reports, an officer was called to Ingles, Eatonton Highway, after an employee reported observing the male attempting to place items in a bag. Reports state that nine items including alcohol products were discovered in the bag. The juvenile was released to the custody of his mother. On September 14 a burglary complaint was filed at the Budget Inn Motel, Eatonton Road, after a woman reported that …

The Buzz: Charcoal Lane, Ga. Military College, Junque Korner, Retro Cinema at Ricky D’s

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By Dianne Lively Yost Come on Petey the Poodle! Let’s skip and sing! Follow the red dirt road… follow the red dirt road… follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the red dirt… Momma?! Why in the Sam Hill are you standin’ in the middle of the corn field lookin’ like a ding dang Scarecrow from Children of the Corn Part 2? You flat scared me baldheaded! I flat ain’t kiddin’ y’all! OK so there’s a crazy Scarecrow contest in Rutledge for students (16 and under) and adults! Prizes are $25 for …

Morgan wins one, loses one at Lady Dog Invitational

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By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer The Morgan County High School varsity Lady Dogs beat opponent Locust Grove 5-2 during Saturday’s Lady Dog Invitational Medal Games before losing to Social Circle 5-11. Earlier in the week, the Dogs beat region opponents Jackson County and Elbert County 7-6 and 9-0, respectively. The win over Jackson County went 10 innings. The game was tied at 6-6 until the bottom of the 10th, when a sacrifice fly by Alisha Ellis gave Morgan County a walk-off win. The Dogs kicked off their game against the …

Mad-town Skate-boys (and girls)

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By Nick Nunn A couple of weeks back, at a Madison City Council meeting, Chad Foster spoke to the council about the possibility of building a skateboard park at one of Madison’s existing parks. In broad terms, Foster outlined what a proposed skate park would require as far as construction, area and cost; noted that Rutledge and many cities near Madison already have skate parks; and repeatedly described skateboarding as a “safe” activity for individual athletes. It was only at that point – his insistence that skateboarding is safe – …

MCHS cross country competes in E. Jackson Eagle Invitational

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At E. Jackson Boys 5K (Sixth of 14) Jeremy Craft, 16th place; Dalton Shaw, 27th place; Luke Zimmerman, 33rd place Girls 5K (Ninth of 12) Yakira Chapman, 44th place; Carolina Zant, 47th place By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer The Morgan County High School (MCHS) cross country team competed in the Seventh Annual Eagle Invitational, which was held at East Jackson High School last Thurs., Sept. 12. As a team, the MCHS boys placed sixth out of 14 teams in the Varsity Boys 5K race, with an average time of 18:37.68. …

Spike Dogs defeat Prince Avenue, Jackson County on the road

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By Leila Dycus, Intern The Morgan County High School Spike Dogs were on the road last week, traveling to different area schools. The varsity team took on Prince Avenue and Jackson County at Prince on Tuesday, Sept. 12. The varsity and JV Dogs traveled to Hart County Sept. 14. And, while the varsity team took Saturday off, the JV team headed to Oconee County for a Play Day. The varsity Spike Dogs fought Prince in a three-set match on Sept. 12. Prince Avenue took the first set, edging out Morgan …