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Zschimmer & Schwarz plant coming to Ivey


Zschimmer & Schwarz, a family-owned international chemical company, is building its second U.S. facility in Ivey.

The German-based company supplies chemicals found in ceramic tiles, carpet fibers, leather, cosmetics and cleaning products. The groundbreaking for the $15 million plant took place just off of the Fall Line Freeway in Ivey on Wednesday.

The size of the new plant will be 46,000 square feet. It is expected to provide around 25 jobs, including chemical engineers and chemists.

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Tackling blight: New fines take effect

With more than 1,150 structures that have been deemed unsafe in Macon-Bibb, county officials are trying something new, but it could hit some folks in the wallet.

Starting July 1, county inspectors can start handing out citations for unkempt properties with each violation costing $100.

It's a new weapon in the county's fight against blight, a persistent problem that has plagued Macon-Bibb for years.

"It's an eyesore. It's disgusting, it really is," neighbor Glenda McDuffie, who lives in the Kings Park neighborhood in east Macon, told 13WMAZ. "It's so much all over the place. You got these abandoned houses that some people just don't care about."

Violations range from weeds over 12 inches high, inoperable or unlicensed vehicles, trash and debris, rodent infestation and more.

Macon Chamber announces $2.7 million campaign


The Macon Chamber of Commerce announced its $2.7 million campaign to bring more economic development to the city. Organizers say the money will come from the local business community and supporters over the next five years.

The Chamber launched its third phase of Macon Now, an initiative to bring more jobs to Macon. Organizers say the plan uses new and existing businesses to grow the region's economy.

Macon Now announced its campaign chairman, Virgil Adams. Adams is a personal injury attorney in Macon. He says he hopes to create new jobs. "Creating approximately 7,000 jobs both directly and indirectly as a result," said Adams.

Middle Georgia State becomes a university


The day has finally come for Middle Georgia State. Wednesday the school's name changed from college to University.

President Christopher Blake says it was an "absolutely wonderful day."

"We've been preparing for this for many years, but as soon as the day happened, we're all celebrating in a good mood, but it's work continuing as normal," Blake said.

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Current, former mayors differ on future of downtown statue


Former Mayor C. Jack Ellis says he wants the county to remove the Confederate statue at Cotton Avenue and Second Street in downtown Macon. He says the statue symbolizes racism and suffering that slaves endured before and during the civil war.

Mayor Robert Reichert says Confederate memorials in Macon aren't about racism - they're about supporting the military.

Ellis says he didn't try remove the statues during his eight years as mayor because the time wasn't right. He says now the time has come. He wants it removed from public property.

Reichert disagrees saying the monument is about the gallantry of soldiers, not slaves and racism.

UPDATE: Jasento Flowers guilty, sentenced to life

UPDATE: 7/1/15: 6:38 P.M.

The jury found Jasento Flowers guilty of felony murder and malice murder and four other counts.

Judge Howard Simms sentenced him to life without possible parole. The jury deliberated for just over an hour.

"I feel so relieved. I think I'll be able to sleep at night," said Bridgette Flowers' daughter Tearro Moore.

She testified Tuesday saying she witnessed Jasento shoot Bridgette in the face. Moore calls Wednesday afternoon's verdict fair and just.

Flowers was found guilty of malice murder, felony murder, and 4 counts of aggravated assault.

Prosecutor Jonathan Adams says one key piece of evidence was the surveillance video from Wal Mart, that showed Jasento punching Bridgette twice in the face eight days before the murder.

National VA head meets with veterans in Macon

The nation's Secretary of Veterans Affairs says conditions are improving at the nation's VA facilities, but not fast enough for him.

Bob McDonald, along with Congressman Sanford Bishop, met with veterans in Macon Wednesday afternoon.

The meeting was held at Central Georgia Technical College's Macon campus.

The Veterans Affairs Town Hall Meeting began and ended with applause from more than 100 veterans, many who were pleased with the secretary's work.

"I really think the VA is in the right direction," said Vietnam Veteran Larry Evans.

Vietnam Veteran David Wilson agreed, saying, "I think it helped because it was a lot of questions that people brought up and secretary McDonald and Congressman Bishop had some good answers."