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Folks Chowed Down At Macon's First 'Levee Fest'

Some folks got the chance to chow down on tasty barbecue at Macon's first "Levee Fest" Saturday. 

The Cherry Blossom Festival Committee presented its new festival at Central City Park Saturday. Gates opened at 11 a.m. 

Committee member Stacy Campbell says they hope the fall event attracts tourists to Macon, outside of their annual March festival.

"We'd like to create a sense of place and an event that Macon likes to call their own," Campbell said. "They've done that with the Cherry Blossom Festival, they've done that with Bragg Jam."

This year, the one-day event features a barbecue cook-off among fifteen teams, including "backyard cookers" and professional teams, Campbell said.

Musician Corey Smith headlined the festival with a concert at 8 p.m.

The event wraps up with a fireworks show at 10 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults.

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Macon Woman and Nephew Charged With Selling Crack

Macon police say they discovered $500 worth of crack cocaine at a "shot house" where two people were illegally selling alcohol out of their apartment, according to a news release. 

The Macon Police Narcotics Unit and Strike Team found the crack cocaine Friday at 7 p.m. at an apartment on Ferguson Street,  police say. That's near Vineville Avenue in Macon's Pleasant Hill neighborhood.

Mary Sanders, 64, and her nephew, Quartez Johnson, 22, were arrested and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, said the release. 

 

Smell Traced to Macon Paper Mill

Macon-Bibb County emergency crews have determined the cause of a mystery odor, which led dozens to call 911 and some to go to the hospital.

 

Since early Sunday morning, Maconites have complained of a distinct, pungent smell near downtown. Battalion Chief Donny Mercer says they've pinpointed it to the Graphic Packaging paper mill in South Macon.

The source, but not the odor, had eluded many since the wee hours of the morning.

"It's not so much a septic smell, but it has that after-odor," says Shawn Williams says, who caught a whiff on his way to work around 6 a.m.

Williams says he's smelled it before, but not at that magnitude.

Other travelers downtown say they suspected a paper mill was the cause, but described the odor as having a "sulfur-like" or a "trash" smell to it.

 

Animal-lovers Get Some Tips On Pet Ownership

Some animal-lovers leashed up their furry friends and brought them out for a fun day at the park.

Folks came out to a south Macon park for the annual "Woof Stock" event hosted by the Furever Friends Humane Society. The four-legged animals enjoyed activities like an obstacle course and contests.

Dog owners got some tips on responsible pet ownership, house- breaking techniques and learned about some local rescue shelters.  The group also collected cat and dog food that will go towards a food bank to help families that can't afford to feed their pets.

"This is a very important event because it brings awareness to all the animals that are out there that need homes, it also is just  fun for the family... for education and letting them know what responsible pet ownership is all about," said Stephanie Parker, Furever Friends Humane Society.

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Macon Lawyer Steve Dillard Named to State Appeals Court

A prominent Macon lawyer is joining the state's court of appeals for at least the next two years.

Gov. Sonny Perdue on Wednesday appointed Steve Dillard to the appeals court to fill a two-year vacancy.

Dillard is a local attorney, conservative blogger and Republican party activist.

He's a counsel with the Macon law firm of James Bates Pope Spivey, and received his bachelor of arts from Samford University and his law degree from Mississippi College of Law.

Macon Tile Plant May Join Superfund List

The Environmental Protection Agency wants to add a Macon tile plant to its list of hazardous waste sites.

They've proposed added Armstrong World Industries to the Superfund National Priorities List.

Superfund is a program that investigates and cleans up complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites.

The plant is at 4520 Broadway in south Macon's industrial district.

The company also operates a landfill on its property near Rocky Creek.

Save the Halls Group Launches Website

The group working to keep the Georgia Sports and Music halls of fame in Macon has a new web site.

The group was first incorporated last week, and now organizer Kenny Burgamy says their goal is to have 35,000 signatures by Dec. 10 on a petition to attach to their proposal to keep the halls in Macon.

You can visit their website at www.savethehalls.com for more information and to sign the petition.