MCHS Class of 1983 celebrates 30th reunion: About 60 people attended 30th reunion events; sports team members recognized

Editor News Leave a Comment

By Stephanie Johns Staff Writer About 35 members of the Morgan County High School (MCHS) Class of 1983 celebrated their 30th reunion last Saturday. According to Jeff Hood, one of the 1983 graduates, they had “a pretty good turnout.” They had about 60 people in all, including graduates, spouses, and teachers. Coach Steve Cisson, who was the girls’ basketball coach in ’83 as well as three members of that team – Thelma Brown, Cynthia Dennis, and Sylvia Wilson – were present. Hood said they were recognized for being part of …

Elderly Bostwick man beaten and left: 70-year-old victim recovering in Athens hospital

Editor Front Page, News Leave a Comment

By Patrick Yost Editor Morgan County Sheriff’s Office investigators have identified suspects in a brutal attack that left a 70-year-old Bostwick man lying in a pool of blood. Thomas Gary Etris was found by a business partner on the floor of the carport at his Bostwick Highway home last Sunday at approximately 5 p.m. According to reports, Etris had been badly beaten and was unresponsive when authorities arrived. He was transported to Athens Regional Medical Center, said Capt. Chris Bish and is recovering from injuries that include a fractured eye socket …

1943 class celebrates 70th reunion

Editor News Leave a Comment

By Stephanie Johns Staff Writer Nine graduates of Madison High School will get together in July to celebrate their 70th reunion. Eunice Stewart Smith of Albany said they graduated during the war. “Our big class trip was to Rock Eagle,” she said. Louise Morris Washburn of Hendersonville, N.C. said because of the war they couldn’t go away. “We got on Robert Wood’s old farm truck without sides,” she said, mentioning a fellow classmate. “We had a good time. … It was a good trip, though.” Smith explained that they met …

City mixed-residential development to be vetted by Planning Commission

Editor Front Page, News Leave a Comment

By Kathryn Schiliro Managing Editor To receive the go-ahead for a new development, made of mixed residential units, in the Madison area known as Town Walk Circle and in the city’s West Washington Street Gateway, a change to the Planned Residential District (PRD) must be vetted by the county Planning Commission and approved by the Madison City Council. The PRD is located off of Fifth Street, near the historic Central of Georgia Depot, which the city’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is in the process of working to relocate and restore. …

Woman not driving in crash that killed her baby, boyfriend

Editor Front Page, News Leave a Comment

By Patrick Yost Editor A Morgan County woman whose 19-year-old boyfriend and 6-month-old son were killed in a May 10 I-20 crash was not driving the 1994 Honda at the time of the incident, Georgia State Patrol reports state. According to the results of a Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT) report, Edi Rodriquez was driving the Honda at the time of the fatal crash. Despite various media reports to the contrary at the time of the crash, the SCRT investigation found no evidence of racing during the crash. Rodriquez and …

Nunnsense: Need some bones?

Editor Nunnsense Leave a Comment

By Nick Nunn Columnist Hard times have befallen the Council Bluffs, Iowa chapter of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF). Apparently, IOOF – pronounced “ih-OOF” – decided that Council Bluffs isn’t odd enough to keep their chapter open any longer and revoked the branch’s charter. In an attempt to boost Council Bluffs’ odd-factor, Dave Burgstrum attempted to sell an antique oak coffin, which had been used during the chapter’s initiation rituals to represent death, on a website for $12,000. Oh, I forgot to mention that the coffin comes with …

Ideas are not property

Editor News Leave a Comment

By Greg Morin Columnist The US Supreme Court ruled unanimously this past week that human genes may not be patented. That was a good decision. However those in support of this ruling are by and large hypocrites. They vociferously decried the negative consequences of upholding such patents (limiting research, higher costs, limited choice) but then fail to acknowledge these same deleterious consequences occur for ALL patents. It’s not like these bad things don’t occur for “legitimate” patents but do occur for “illegitimate” ones. Patents are the problem, not their “legitimacy.” …

Zoo in Morgan County?

Editor Front Page, News Leave a Comment

By Kathryn Schiliro Managing Editor You heard right: a zoo is being proposed for Morgan County. The county Planning Commission, this Thursday, will hear a proposal for both a text amendment allowing zoo facilities in the county as well as a proposal, submitted by Michael Vaden, 1021 River Farm Run, Madison, on Highway 83, south of the Williams Dairy, for a conditional use request allowing him to put a zoo on his 33.5-acre property, which currently houses his private aviary and taxidermy business for exotic animals as well as his …

Insider Threat Program hearkens to ‘1984’

Editor News Leave a Comment

By Fred Johnson Columnist When I was in high school, we studied Halley’s Comet which passes near earth every 75 years. In 1910 the view was spectacular because the comet came so close, the earth passed through its tail. Our teacher told us, “You students will see this spectacular sight again in 1986.” But when 1986 came, the comet and the earth were on opposite sides of the sun creating the worst viewing circumstances in 2,000 years. Most people, including me, never even spotted the comet. Another thing we studied …

Body hears proposal to move College St. house to Pearl St.

Editor News Leave a Comment

By Kathryn Schiliro Managing Editor Madison’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has been approached by IV Henry and Leon Peters about repurposing the house at 787 College Street, Madison, near the water tower, City Planning Director Monica Callahan told the body at their meeting last Thursday, June 20. An asbestos survey report and quote to remove asbestos-laden materials from the property was prepared for the DDA by Norcross-based Peachtree Environmental. For $8,500-plus Peachtree Environment would remove and dispose of the transite siding – $3,100-plus of the total – and wall board and joint …

Depot relocation depends on power easements, zoning change

Editor News Leave a Comment

By Kathryn Schiliro Managing Editor Progress on moving the Central of Georgia Railroad depot continues as Madison’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) voted to endorse a $67,000 contract with Curtis Whitsel, contractor, to move the depot across the railroad tracks. The contract includes relocation of the depot onto a new foundation and stabilization, and doesn’t exceed what the authority has already reviewed as far as this aspect of the project, City Planning Director Monica Callahan told the DDA at their meeting last Thursday, June 20. Related to the move, topsoil will …

We love you too, MCMS band!

Editor Letters to the Editor Leave a Comment

To the Staff at Morgan County Citizen: Thank you so much for covering the events and activities of the band program this year. I appreciate the positive support and the press for the benefit of the students. They are always excited to see their picture and/or name appear in the paper. I know there are many events for you to cover but I wanted to express my gratitude for the coverage this school year. Your articles have helped make our program a more visible entity in the community. Thank you …

Country music star Trisha Yearwood films in Madison

Editor News Leave a Comment

By Dianne Lively Yost Staff Writer Trisha Yearwood, one of the highest-selling female artists in country music, two-time New York Times bestselling cookbook author and Georgia native, was in Madison last week filming an episode of TLC Network’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” at The James Madison Inn. TLC spokesman Dustin Smith confirmed the local star’s visit to Madison via email. TLC has ordered eight new hour-long episodes of the Emmy-nominated reality series “Who Do You Think You Are?” which reveals the hidden backstories of today’s biggest celebrities. Smith …

Former educator sees odd priorities of state legislators

Editor News Leave a Comment

By Patricia Stokes Nothing is more precious to me than my children and my grandchildren. Second to that, the children who attend public school in Morgan County have been precious to me since 1996 and always will be. I know that since 1996 some of the Morgan County High School graduates are now young adults who run our banks, work in our healthcare facilities, invest our money, and generally keep our fabulous cities and county moving forward. We have long heard that investing in our children is investing in our …

Local woman goes missing while kayaking, found 20-plus hours later

Editor News Leave a Comment

By Patrick Yost Editor After more than 20 hours, a Buckhead woman who had become separated from a companion while kayaking on the Apalachee River was found near the Greene County line by rescue workers last Sunday. According to Capt. Chris Bish, Criminal Investigations Division, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Jacqueline Bernard, 48, was found by rescue workers at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. Bish said a man who had been kayaking with Bernard on Saturday reported near Apalachee Road and Trimble Bridge that his companion was missing at 8 p.m. …

Independence Day events around the county set for July 3 and Fourth of July: Celebrations in Madison, Bostwick, Buckhead

Editor News Leave a Comment

Compiled by Staff Independence Day celebrations around the county abound – beginning June 30 on through the big day itself, families can take part in a variety of festivities, from inflatables to bbqs to fireworks. Centennial Baptist Church in Rutledge will hold its Annual Starlight Spectacular beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday. The event will include local live music, food – hotdogs, drinks, popcorn, peanuts, and snow cones – as well as inflatables and fireworks. Be sure to take your own lawn chairs and blankets. For more information, call 706-557-2120. On …

County food hub could have $3.3 million impact

Editor News Leave a Comment

By Stephanie Johns Staff Writer A food hub based in Morgan County could have a $3.3 million annual impact, according to Tommie Shepherd with the Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development at the University of Georgia. During their June work session, the Morgan County Commission heard about a food hub from Shepherd, an agricultural economist. He began by recognizing several contributors to the study: Bobby Smith, the county’s former extension agent, Lucy Ray, the county’s current extension agent, and Chris McCaulley, executive director of the Madison-Morgan Conservancy. He noted that …

County BOC will support city’s DDA

Editor News Leave a Comment

By Stephanie Johns Staff Writer The Morgan County Commission unanimously voted to share surplus office equipment with the City of Madison to benefit work at the Gilmore House on Burney Street. The Madison Downtown Development Authority has been working to transform the house into a multi-use facility to include a corner grocery store, a cannery and commercial kitchen, residential space and incubator spaces for new businesses. County Manager Michael Lamar recommended support of this project. Chair Ellen Warren agreed: “What they are doing will help more than the city’s citizens.” …

Commission to hear argument for lighting on private tennis courts in city

Editor News Leave a Comment

By Kathryn Schiliro Managing Editor On behalf of Madison property owners Von and Christy Freisen, attorney Ben Whidham has requested a change in the city’s zoning ordinance that will allow for the Freisen’s private tennis court, and future private tennis courts in the city, to include lighting. The Freisens have already constructed their tennis court “with illumination,” according to the Madison Staff Report, reviewed by the Morgan County Planning Commission at their work session last Friday, June 21. Windham submitted this application for the change on the Freisens’ behalf after …

Law Enforcement: June 27, 2013 edition

Editor Law Enforcement, News Leave a Comment

Madison Police Department On June 23 Raphael Vanness Brown, 24, Hephzibah, Ga., was arrested and charged with speeding and felony possession of marijuana. According to reports, a vehicle Brown was driving east bound on Interstate 20 was stopped by an officer for speeding. Consequent to the stop, reports state, the officer reported smelling the odor of green marijuana coming from the vehicle. A search of the vehicle allegedly produced two marijuana cigarettes and a vacuum packed bag of suspected marijuana in the vehicle. On June 19 Pledge Keeley, no age, …