More News & Features
By Kathryn Schiliro
This year's Morgan County 12-hour Relay For Life, sponsored by Rema Tip Top, is set for April 19-20 – from 6 p.m. Friday, April 19, to 6 a.m. Saturday, April 20 – at the DuPree Track & Field in Madison.
The fund-raising goal for this year? $65,000, according to Sarah Burnheimer, American Cancer Society (ACS) South Atlantic Division community manager, responsible for representing the ACS in the county's Relay.
The 2009-2010 year saw near $53,000 collected in the county for the ACS; 2010-2011, more than $50,000; and 2011-2012, $59,000.
To date, according to the Morgan County Relay website, 17 teams have raised more than $11,000.
This year's theme is "HOPE Highway–On the Road to a Cure," and Relay teams "can represent a landmark, city, or your own spin on the theme – our destination is a cure and we've got the drive to fundraise for it," according to ACS literature.
Survivors of cancer are encouraged to attend the Relay and to register for and participate in the Survivors Lap and Survivors Dinner Friday evening. Survivor registration is free and can be completed at www.RelayForLife.org/MorganGA or by contacting Burnheimer at email@example.com or 706-930-2297.
For this ceremony, candles are placed in luminary bags around the track. These luminaries can be purchased in honor or memory of a loved one. "When lit, hundreds of luminaria will illuminate the path for Relay For Life walkers to keep walking into the night."
Luminaries are at least $5 (you can donate more) can be purchased at www.RelayForLife.org/MorganGA or by contacting Burnheimer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-930-2297.
Pictured above: Georgia Young Author Award winners include (left to right) Jonathan Jones, third grade; Abbey Adams, fourth grade; and Alexis Rothman, fifth grade. photo special
By Stephanie Johns
Three students from Morgan County Elementary School (MCES) have received a Young Author Award: third grader Jonathan Jones, fourth grader Abbey Adams, and fifth grader Alexis Rothman.
Students will receive recognition during Honors Night in May, according to fourth grade teacher Betty Webb.
Webb said she has Adams this year and taught Rothman last year.
She added that students were chosen classwide, then schoolwide, and their work was then sent on to the state.
All three students wrote in the narrative genre, she said: “Kids enjoy it more.”
Other genres students could have written in include informative and persuasive.
This is Webb’s 13th year working with the program. Her goal is to, “continue the love of writing” among her students.
She explained that every student has a writing piece and the opportunity to take it through the writing process and into the competition.
“We are using writing,” she said, adding that by doing so they are tapping into students’ natural talents. “They can write in their comfort zone without always being graded.”
Printed in the April 18, 2013 edition.
By Stephanie Johns
The Madison City Council agreed to have Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co. take care of Horse Branch stream bank restoration, pending approval by the homeowners’ association there.
City Manager David Nunn explained that this project has been on the city’s agenda for years.
“This area, the Meadow at Valley Farms, has taken much erosion and scouring over the years,” he said. He added that this project “will do some good.”
The project involves adding rip rap, or large granite stones, to the stream bank to break up rushing water and thereby slow erosion.
“This shows the EPD we’re serious about our commitment,” he said, noting that even though the city did nothing to cause the problem, it is being a good steward by improving it.
For about $40,000 the city will be able to pursue permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as well as the Environmental Protection Division (EPD), he said.
“It’s going to take a lot more money to get the permit than the project itself will take,” he said, adding that the original cost was higher but he was able to whittle that number down.
Nunn later explained via e-mail that the total cost of material and labor for the project will not be known until the engineering plan is complete. He wrote, “A rough, liberal estimate would be $15,000 to $20,000 total.”
During the meeting he said that the money for this project will come out of the wastewater fund, the majority of which is budgeted for next fiscal year.
He added that they have worked with the people at this company before.
“We’ve got a good continuity with them,” he said.
In other news:
By Kathryn Schiliro
A Pre-K student was found by City of Madison employees outside a school bus near the school system's bus shop on Monday, March 18.
The Morgan County school bus was parked near the school system's bus shop around 8 a.m. and the driver "inadvertantly" left the student on the bus, according to Superintendent Dr. Ralph Bennett.
City employees were working at the well station on the back parking lot near the bus shop, saw the student and returned the student to the bus shop, Bennett said. This was around 9 a.m.
Each of the system's buses have an alarm system "where bus drivers have to walk to the back of the bus [when it's parked and off] and reset the alarm," Bennett said. This does require the driver to walk the entirety of the bus, looking for students who may not have gotten off the bus.
Bennett speculated that the child fell asleep on the bus, curled up on the seat or floor.
In this case system administration believes the bus driver did follow procedure and walk the bus, but Bennett said the driver acknowledged that morning's inspection wasn't as thorough as it should've been.
The veteran bus driver received a formal reprimand for the incident, Bennett said.
The state Department of Education's Bus Driver Training Manual's post-trip inspection section, found at www.doe.k12.gs.us, does state: "Walk to the back of the bus to check for sleeping children. Check carefully under and on all seats. There is NO excuse for leaving children on a bus. It is YOUR responsibility to see that no child is left behind. Failing to check your bus can result in your termination. It is a Class 4 felony if you are convicted of leaving a child on a school bus."
Printed in the April 11, 2013 edition.