Centennial Student Ministry has busy summer

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Centennial News By Allen Brown We have had an AWESOME summer in the Centennial Student Ministry.  CBC students spent the last week of June at PowerLife Camp in Johnson City, Tenn., growing closer to the Lord and one another.  Several of our students volunteered as Student Counselors at our Morgan County Baptist Association Children’s Camp.  We have also led several students to volunteer their time in service over the summer break.  It has been an action-packed summer at ‘WNR’ as well.  We have just finished our annual ‘WNR GAME NIGHT,’ a …

Beautiful day and music, great crowd and message for Homecoming last Sunday

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Sugar Creek News By Mae Buice I am just a very happy person this Monday morning. After such a wonderful weekend, seems I look forward to each rewarding day as I get a day older. I truly do have so much to be thankful for. We had a beautiful day for Homecoming on Sunday, a great crowd, beautiful music and a great message. After listening to the Sonrise Trio, enjoyed by all, who can give you a message from song, Butch took his message from a favorite passage of scripture, …

Living Yes!: Local author Randy Gregg pens book, “Living Yes in a No World,” stemming from Facebook discussion

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By Leila Dycus Intern Madison resident Randy Gregg, author of the book Living Yes in a No World, is much more than just your everyday author. He has started a Facebook community, which chooses to “live yes.” Gregg started the journey towards writing his fourth book by posting a few simple ideas on Facebook, which would later evolve into much more, including a retreat, webinars and a community of people who come together to share their life stories. “I had an idea, or dream, to write a book, for some …

Spotlight on high school’s International Baccalaureate Diploma earners

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By Nick Nunn Staff Writer Among the 2013 International Baccalaureate (IB) class at the Morgan County High School (MHCS), which included a total of 29 IB Diploma candidates, 18 students earned an IB Diploma. Among the requirements for earning the IB Diploma are: compiling 24 or more points on six IB exams, completing an Extended Essay project, writing a Theory of Knowledge paper and completing 150 hours of service in the Community, Action, Service (CAS) program. The maximum total points that a candidate can earn on the exams is 45, …

Roadside flowers: Beautiful gifts from Mother Nature

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By Stephanie Hudak One of the benefits of being a passenger in a vehicle is that you get to see all the things along the roads and highways. I don’t have that luxury much anymore, but when I’m driving my eyes still manage to catch the bright colors in the roadside shoulders and ditches – and I don’t mean the never ending supply of cans, bottles and paper. I mean those beautiful bursts of color from the wildflowers that take up residence there. This parade of color starts in early …

BOC OKs lease with lumber company: Agreement to use space at the Public Safety Complex will bring the county $10,000-plus per month

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By Nick Nunn Staff Writer During a special called meeting of the Morgan County Building Authority on July 16, the Building Authority – the county commission – approved a lease with Brand-Vaughan Lumber Co., Inc. as well as a contract for the payment of brokerage fees to Joseph Terrell Interests, Inc., DBA Highgate Partners by Morgan County. The lease states that Brand-Vaughan will pay the Morgan County Building Authority a rate of $2.50 per square foot for the use of 48,500 square feet of the Morgan County Public Safety Complex, which …

Man found dead on I-20

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By Patrick Yost Editor A Morgan County deputy discovered the deceased body of a white male in the backseat of a Ford Bronco on Interstate 20 Tuesday morning. The man, according to Capt. Chris Bish, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigations Division, died from a single gun shot. Bish said a 9mm pistol was located in the 1996 Bronco. The vehicle was locked and the windows were rolled up, Bish said. The 56-year-old male, Bish said, appears to have taken his own life. “All evidence indicates it’s a self-inflicted gunshot …

BER preps for precinct consolidation hearings

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By Nick Nunn Staff Writer The Board of Elections held a meeting on July 18 to prepare for public hearings on the board’s proposed precinct consolidation plan, which will take place on July 25 at 7 p.m. and July 30 at 7 p.m. at the Board of Elections building. The proposed precinct consolidation plan would involve reducing the number of current voting precincts in Morgan County from 11 precincts to five precincts, whose boundaries would map onto the current dividing lines of the five districts in Morgan County. Board Member …

BOC adopts millage rate increase

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By Nick Nunn Staff Writer Last week, the Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) held two public meetings on a proposed 2013 millage rate increase. At a special called meeting on July 23, the BOC adopted the tax increase, which raised the millage rate by an additional .242 mills for a total millage rate of 9.49 for 2013. During the two public hearings, which were held at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on July 16, the commissioners discussed the proposed tax increase, which, according to the BOC’s notice, will increase …

Council sets city, downtown district, corridor millage rates: Madison City Council votes to set millage rate for city at 6.565; downtown district, 1.464; and corridor, 1.432

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By Nick Nunn Staff Writer Last Thursday, during a called meeting by the City of Madison Mayor and Council, the council members voted to adopt millage rates for the City of Madison and special taxes for the downtown and corridor districts. The council unanimously voted to approve the rollback millage rates of 6.565 for the City of Madison, 1.464 for the downtown district, and 1.432 for the corridor. The taxes for the downtown and corridor districts are special taxes, which are levied in addition to the standard millage rate in …

Planning Commission revisits tennis court lighting during work session: Board expected to vote on matters Thursday

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By Nick Nunn Staff Writer The Morgan County Planning Commission held a work session last Friday, July 19 to discuss several issues, including a petition for a text amendment of a City of Madison zoning ordinance, which would allow tennis court illumination on residential properties or 2.5 acres or more. The text amendment, which was originally proposed to the Planning Commission almost a month ago, was filed by attorney Ben Whidham on behalf of Von and Christy Friesen, who built tennis courts with lighting structures despite existing ordinances prohibiting such …

Green card issues force Madison resident Lauren Bell back to the UK

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By Nick Nunn Staff Writer Last September, the Morgan County Citizen published a report about Lauren Bell, a young woman who was facing deportation on her birthday at the end of January 2013. Lauren Bell, moved to the United States with her parents and younger sister from Great Britain in 2003. In 2012, after almost 10 years of attempting to apply for a green card, Lauren and her family found out that she faced deportation on her twenty-first birthday if she was not able to obtain a valid visa before …

Local man drowns while canoeing the Chattooga River

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By Patrick Yost Editor A 64-year-old Madison man drowned while canoeing on the Chattooga River in South Carolina on Monday, July 15. Ralph Neal Head was pronounced dead at the scene by Oconee County, S.C. Coroner Karl Addis after the 5:40 p.m. accident. According to Addis, Head was in a canoe by himself when the boat capsized. Head was with a friend during the incident, Addis said, and the friend reported that he saw Head floating in the water and apparently under no distress. However, Addis said, when the friend …

Nunnsense: (Brick) House, M.D.

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By Nick Nunn Scene: a woman sits alone in an examination room. The door opens, and a doctor walks in holding a chart. The doctor has a very serious look on her face. “What is it, doctor?” asks the woman. “Is it serious?” The doctor is slow to respond, but, finally, he looks right at the woman and says, “Yes. I’m afraid you have a bad case of ghetto booty.” Stage goes black. The previous scene, while only a fictionalization created for the stage – perhaps the best one-act play …

Writer believes columnist betrays political values with Trayvon Martin commentary

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To the Editor: A libertarian is a person who espouses freedom especially when it concerns one’s thoughts or deeds. Free will is the essence of a libertarian. In the July 18 edition of the Citizen, self-proclaimed libertarian, Greg Morin, criticized the leaders of the black community. He characterized them as “race baiters” for their response to the not guilty verdict for the defendant in the death Trayvon Martin. Morin described the leaders as “self-appointed,” as indicative of their lack of credibility or validity. However one feels about the verdict for …

Family of artist Jackson Bailey cites inaccuracies in June 27 Rutledge column, “Jackson Bailey: Simple man with a big vision”

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To the Editor: The family of Jackson Bailey requests the following corrections to your article of June 27, 2013. Jackson Bailey did not meet his future wife, Beverly, in 1968. She was contracted to work for him in 1969. Her name was Beverly Williams and at the time was married. The couple could not have possibly “fell madly in love” at this time as they did not meet until 1969. Beverly Williams never held title of “Chief of Staff and Artist Assistant.” The “Life of Christ” painting never found its …

Columnist: “Think different, think free”

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By Greg Morin It is a peculiar characteristic of U.S. anti-trust law (Sherman Anti-Trust Act) that competition itself can be characterized as “anti-competitive.” The recent e-book price-fixing case against Apple (in which Apple was ruled against on July 10) is a prime example. The case is rather “weedy” so I will provide a pared down synopsis, however for those interested in the details please see http://tidbits.com/e/13912 for an excellent summary. Prior to Apple’s entry into the e-book market in 2010, Amazon was in a monopsony position in the wholesale e-book …

Congress: The country’s economic obstacle

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By Celia Murray Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke expects the American economy would gain strength in the coming months IF Congress doesn’t throw up too many roadblocks. As Roll Call reported on his comments, “Congress is the main impediment to a more robust economy.” Bernanke and others expect Republicans in Congress to make things worse before the end of the year by insisting on deeper cuts. Chairman Bernanke appeared last week before the House Financial Services Committee in what was likely his last report on the Fed’s conduct of monetary …

County commission consents to electricity for hunting camps

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By Nick Nunn Staff Writer The Board of Commissioners came to the consensus that electrical power should be allowed in hunting camps as long as everything remains up to code. Chuck Jarrell, planning director, brought it to the attention of the board that he receives a lot of requests this time of year to allow the use of electricity at hunting camps. Jarrell explained to the board that, although it had been decided years ago to stop allowing power to be added at newly created deer camps – existing camps …

BOC discusses GDOT railroad proposal to update, consolidate crossings

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By Nick Nunn Staff Writer The Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) discussed a plan proposed by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) in conjunction with CSX Transportation, Inc., which would involve upgrading warning devices and consolidation of crossings, impacting nine public grade crossings in Morgan County. The plan was prepared for the GDOT in June 2012 and suggests the installation of new warning devices at five public road grade crossings while permanently closing grade crossing on found public roads. According to the proposal, the crossings in Buckhead at Fraction …