More News & Features
By Patrick Yost
Lawns and gardens may be in for some relief, if a petition filed by the Madison Water Department to have Level 4 drought designation downgraded is successful.
According to Madison City Manager David Nunn, the city last Friday petitioned the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to lower the city’s water supply from Level 4 to Level 4B. Nunn said the EPD should respond to the petition in five working days.
The new designation would allow city water customers to irrigate lawns and gardens two days a week from midnight to 10 a.m. Currently no outdoor water use is allowed.
“We’re confident we’ll get to a Level 4B,” he said. The city has been under a Level 4 drought designation and a watering ban for the past eight months.
Nunn said he contacted the EPD after he learned that Greene and Jasper counties had been upgraded from Level 4 to Level 2, which allows for outdoor watering. Despite the petition, Nunn said the city continued to monitor its water sources with a close eye. “We’ve not come out of the drought but we’ve made headway. We are right on the edge.”
He also said he hoped city customers had learned that plants and lawns can survive with limited water.
“I hope that the drought and restrictions have shown that we don’t need as much water on our yards as we thought.”
By Kathryn Purcell
After allowing for time for public comment on the issue, the Morgan County Board of Education voted unanimously Monday night to adopt a policy that will allow out-of-county residents to attend Morgan County High School beginning with the 2008-2009 school year.
The policy, first visited at last month's Board of Education meeting, will allow for 25 to 30 non-resident students to enroll at the school, as the class of rising ninth graders is about 40 students fewer than in past school years while as many as 14 non-resident students, who enrolled at Morgan County High School during the previous open enrollment period closed three to four years ago, graduated last month.
Superintendent Stan DeJarnett told the Board that he'd only received one comment in the past month, from a Madison real estate agent concerned with the effect open enrollment would have on home sales in Morgan County as well as increasing the proposed tuition cost for non-resident students.
The tuition cost for non-resident students is determined by law, according to DeJarnett.
"Non-resident tuition is calculated as prescribed in Georgia law," DeJarnett said. "You take the previous year's local revenue, the money collected from local property taxes, deduct the five mil share and divide the remainder by the number of full-time equivalent students."
Based on that calculation, tuition for non-resident students will cost $2,635 per student per year.
"That's a good bit more than we've charged in the past, but...it's still a bargain," DeJarnett said.
Also in his report, DeJarnett informed the Board that the Morgan County Board of Commissioners asked for money for compensation of school resource officers.
Identification for Richter studio pictures needed
By Kathryn Purcell
Madison once had a portrait studio. It was housed on South Main Street, in the middle of the block that currently houses Ye Old Colonial.
Pieces of Madison's history, decades-old pictures from the former studio were bought years ago at a flea market by a man living somewhere in the northwestern United States, maybe Oregon or Washington.
Reading the "Richter Studio, Madison, Georgia" stamp on the back of one of his purchases, the man decided to speak with City of Madison officials, and eventually ended up in contact with local historian Marshall "Woody" Williams. He agreed to ship Williams the pictures.
"He agreed to send me the pictures, let me borrow them, copy them," Williams said. "I thought that was nice because he didn't know me from Adam's housecat."
Williams promptly took the pictures to the University of Georgia, where he copied them, before sending them back north. The pictures stayed in their negative form for years, until Williams' son printed them.
Further, around 1980 the block that formerly house the studio was re-zoned commercial, and the space once occupied by the studio was taken by Fulton Federal Bank, where Clifton Hanes was the manager.
“He and I did an archaeological dig on the house," Williams said. "We found the last plate (the picture of the Richter Studio building) up under the house."
Williams and the Morgan County Archives are asking for any Morgan Countian with information that would help to identify these Richter Studio pictures to contact the Archives, open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at 706.343.6271.
By Matthew Burgoyne
The American Legion of Madison is looking for World War II veterans to take part in the Honor Flight program, which brings veterans to the new World War II memorial in Washington, D.C.
Honor Flight Fayette is one of two programs in Georgia and one of many in the country. The program is designed to provide World War II veterans with the opportunity to see the newly built memorial. It is run completely from donations from the community. It costs $400 on average for one veteran to make the trip to the memorial.
Everyday, 1,200 World War II veterans die, according to Jim NeSmith, who is organizing the Madison/Morgan County effort.
The trip is a full day of traveling. Veterans are brought to the airport and flown to Washington, D.C. They are then taken straight from the airport to the World War II memorial. Lunch is provided and then the veterans are taken to Arlington Cemetery and then back to the airport to be flown back to Atlanta.
Last month, 120 veterans in Georgia took part in the Honor Flight program.
“This is one of the things we need to do to show these guys that we are appreciative and what they did for our country is great,” said NeSmith.
The Honor Flight program is trying to get as many veterans to the memorial. With the number of World War II veterans dwindling rapidly, it is important to provide them with the chance to see the memorial in their honor.
Currently, the Honor Flight system works on a first come, first serve basis. There is a national waiting list of 4,000.
The American Legion is asking any interested veterans who are in good health to apply by June 15. To get an application, call (706) 342-2177. A picture is needed withe application. Once completed, send the completed application to:
P.O. Box 707
Madison, GA 30650
By Jessica Blomquist
Madison Community Theater’s newest production will have the audience saying, “Please sir, I want some more.”
MCT’s production, “Oliver!,” stars Dylan Jaynes as Oliver and Kirk Bozeman as Fagin, along with a 45-member cast and talented orchestra.
“Oliver!” is the musical adaptation of the novel "Oliver Twist," written by Charles Dickens, with music, lyrics and book adaptation by Lionel Bart. The original Broadway version was nominated for a Tony for Best Musical in 1963.
“It pretty much stays very close to the book,” said Kathleen Bryant, director of the show.
The musical, set in London in 1850, is about an orphan named Oliver who is kicked out of the orphanage for asking for more gruel and recruited into a gang of young boys who, under the leadership of Fagin, are taught to pick pockets in order to survive.
“It’s about how a poor orphan is introduced to some very realistic, but colorful characters and eventually finds a home back with his grandfather,” said Bryant. “Some people think it’s a dark show, but there’s a lot of subtle humor in it.”
The musical is a multigenerational show, featuring actors from first grade to adults.
“It’s a good community theater show to do,” said Bryant, because “there are strong older characters and opportunities for younger people too.”
The show features such recognizable musical numbers as “Consider Yourself At Home,” “Food, Glorious Food,” and “You’ve Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two.”
“It’s probably one of the strongest musical casts we’ve had,” said Bryant.
Getting to opening night will be no easy task, though.
By Jessica Blomquist
School bells are silenced for summer, but church bells ring inviting children to attend Vacation Bible School. In the next month, many churches in Morgan County will hold Vacation Bible School, allowing children of all ages to learn about the gospel, have fun and get out of Mom’s hair for a few hours.
Presently, churches are busily preparing activities and Bible lessons in anticipation of entertaining and teaching the younger members of their congregations.
“I think it’s important because they are the future of our churches,” said Kristie Alligood, VBS director at Brownwood Baptist Church.
Soon, little voices will be singing “Jesus Loves Me” and carefully reciting John 3:16, whether the theme is the beach or boot camp. Each child will participate in arts and crafts, recreational activities, and music as well as learn Bible story lessons and memorize Bible verses.
“Number one, we teach them that Jesus loves them,” Alligood said.
Madison Presbyterian Church
383 S. Main Street, Madison
June 16 to June 20
9 a.m. to noon
$10 per child
Theme: “Beach Party: Surfin’ Through the Scriptures”
Activities: Crafts, Recreation, Snacks, Music, Bible Story Lesson – all geared to the theme
Pre-register or come early to register the day of.
Madison Baptist Church
328 S. Main Street, Madison
June 9 to June 13
9 a.m. to noon
Free to the community
Ages: Four to sixth grade
Theme: “The Power Lab”
Centennial Baptist Church
5321 Brownwood Road, Rutledge
June 15 to June 19
5:45 p.m. to 9 p.m.