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Features
Class of ’56 to meet for Christmas brunch in lieu of monthly breakfast

The Madison County High School Class of 1956 alumni will not meet for their monthly breakfast this month but will instead meet for Christmas brunch at the home of Alton and Ann Rowe on Moon’s Grove Church Road on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 1 p.m. All spouses and friends are invited to attend.


By Marty Buffington 

Dave Ward, CEO of Medlink in Colbert, speaks at the Madison County Chamber of Commerce coffee Nov. 21 which was hosted by Medlink. To learn more about Medlink, visit http://www.medlinkga.org/index.cfm


Features
‘Camp Amp’ed’ offered for teen artists in Madison County

Madison County's Camp Kiwanis will host “Camp Amp’ed” over MLK weekend. And signups continue through Dec. 1.

“Do you know of a creative teenager in Madison County that is into the arts, theater or music?” organizers asked.

The camp is a rock style art weekend over the MLK weekend. The weekend will focus on art, music and performance education with workshops, led by professionals in visual art, film and media, creative writing, contemporary music and theater to culminate in a performance presentation on the last day.

“Camp Amp’ed” ends on Monday with a talent showcase created and developed by its participants and performed for guests and visitors in the Camp Kiwanis Amphitheatre (or Main Lodge).

The “Camp Amp'ed” project is for 60 teens, ages 13-18, from Metro Atlanta Boys & Girls Clubs and teens from Madison County, during the weekend of Jan. 17-20, at Camp Kiwanis in Danielsville.

Check out Camp Kiwanis events on Facebook, or sign up at www.tinyurl.com/2020CampAmpedApp.


Cheryl Watkins, manager of the Danielsville branch of Oconee Lending Group, is pictured at a Nov. 22 celebration at the company’s new location at 385 General Daniels Avenue at the corner of Hwy. 29 and Hwy. 98 in Danielsville. For more information about the business, email cheryl@oconeelending.com


The Jackson EMC Foundation board of directors awarded a total $95,500 in grants during its October meeting, including $15,000 to Madison County Habitat for Humanity, to purchase materials such as drywall, insulation, plumbing, interior construction and an HVAC unit that have not been donated for a house being built for its tenth partner family. At the check presentation are (L-R) Ruthie Holloman, Madison County Habitat for Humanity board member; John King, Madison County Habitat for Humanity board chair; Briane Schwab, Madison County Habitat for Humanity board member and Jackson EMC strategic planning analyst; and Jean Mullis, Jackson EMC district manager.


The Rotary Club of Madison County aims to give local youth a new option for summer fun: a splash pad at the recreation department. The club is planning to raise private funds for a 70’ by 30’ concrete pad near the batting cages and track at the Sammy Haggard Park off Hwy. 98 in Danielsville. The club has now raised $75,000 out of its $120,000 goal. And group members say they are hoping the community can help them make the new kids’ recreational option a reality. To make a tax-deductible donation for the splash pad, visit the Rotary Club of Madison County Facebook page and click on “shop now” or mail a check payable to the Madison County Rotary Foundation, Inc. at Rotary Club of Madison County, P.O. Box 596, Danielsville, Ga. 30633. Rotary members are pictured Nov. 22 by a sign for the splash pad at the recreation department.


The Rotary Club of Madison County constructed a handicap ramp Nov. 21 for Kathy Morgan, who lives on Stone Ridge Road in Madison County. It was the club’s 762nd ramp. Members of the club and volunteers gathered at Morgan’s home and constructed a 24-foot ramp that will provide access using her wheelchair. Morgan, 66, discovered about four months ago that she had no circulation in her legs and had trouble walking. She recently fell down on the steps and broke her shoulder and needed a wheelchair. The owner of her home Gene Strickland, contacted the Rotary Club about a ramp for her. He agreed to pay for the majority of the cost of materials. Moran was no stranger to elderly people needing help. She was a nurse aid in two different nursing homes, Heritage Home in Athens for five years, and another one in Commerce for eight years. Two granddaughters, Jaslin and Mission, watched the workers all through the construction. Workers included Alan Phillips, Bob Padilla, Roy Gandy, Ed Brown, Artry Bishop, Welton Hill, David McGinnis, Johnny Minish, James Adams, John Westmoreland and Jerry Coutant.


A fascinating race for US Senate just to our west

Georgia voters will have plenty to sort out during 2020 as both of our US Senate seats will be on the ballot.

David Perdue is up for re-election and with Georgia Democrats believing they can turn the state blue next year this race will be followed closely along with the open seat left by the retiring U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson. Perdue has several Democrats wanting to face him and he has even drawn some challengers from within the Republican Party.

An interesting development has come about in the process for Governor Brian Kemp to name a replacement for Isakson until November 2020 when he or she will have to face a special election with all candidates listed together on the ballot (Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, independents, etc.)

Reports indicate President Trump wants Kemp to name Congressman Doug Collins to the position. The governor, however, reportedly wants to name a woman or minority to the position in an effort to help when the general election in 2020 arrives.

As fascinating as this race will be the one to really watch (popcorn in hand) will be to our west in Alabama. Doug Jones is up for re-election after stunning many in 2018 when he was elected as a Democrat.

Of course, it’s probably safe to say had Republican voters in Alabama nominated anyone but Roy Moore for the general election that a Democrat would not hold this seat. Even with all the issues surrounding Moore he still almost won.

Moore is back again for the 2020 race but he is going to have a hard time getting to the general election this go around. For one, you have to think that Alabama GOP voters realize that the Republican candidate will in all likelihood win if it is someone besides Moore.

Second there are some very strong Republican candidates who are on the campaign trail in the primary. Former US Senator Jeff Sessions (who served as Attorney General for a while for President Trump) is in the race. Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville is also running and has huge recognition in the state of Alabama.

John Merrill, Alabama’s Secretary of State, is also running along with former state representative and current congressman Bradley Byrne. State representative Arnold Mooney is also in the race along with some lesser known candidates.

Jones has not drawn a Democratic challenger and likely will not. He is probably viewed as the champion of the Democratic Party in Alabama at the moment.

Moore will no doubt continue to have his loyal base although with such other prominent names in the GOP primary it is going to be extremely tough for him to win. Plus he has been tagged with doing the almost unthinkable in Alabama: losing a statewide election to a Democrat.

For political junkies this US Senate race in Alabama is like the Super Bowl or World Series.

“HELLO, IS ANYONE THERE….”

Former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is the latest to join the Democratic field for president.

Patrick is entering the race late but has already filed for the New Hampshire primary and is said to be concentrating on South Carolina where candidates have to do well with African-American voters to have a chance at doing well.

On the night of the Democratic debate last week in Atlanta, it was reported Patrick was supposed to have an event at Morehouse College. An organizer with the college who planned the event told CNN that Patrick cancelled the event when he arrived and learned that he would not have an audience.

A photo from the event showed a room where Patrick was to address voters with nothing but empty chairs. That’s not exactly a great way to start a candidacy.

Patrick is not known nationally and is going to have a very tough time making any traction in primary which remains very crowded.

In other Democratic presidential candidate news it was reported that Tom Steyer, a hedge fund manager with deep pockets, has spent $47 million of his own money on his candidacy. While Steyer has been able to participate in recent national debates he is still somewhat low in the polling although he is registering some support unlike others in the race.

I wanted to let Mr. Steyer know if he has more money burning a hole in his pocket he is more than welcome to send some to me. He can contact me at the email listed at the end of this column.

Chris Bridges is a former editor for MainStreet Newspapers. He can be reached at pchrisbridges@gmail.com.