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Macon Police Kick Off Crime Task Force, Targets Montpelier Avenue Area

Macon City Councilman Mike Cranford says police began a task force Tuesday night to curb the uptick in crime around the Montpelier Avenue and surrounding area.

Cranford says many of the recent shootings happened in his Ward, which includes Montpelier Avenue and North Atwood Drive.  He says the latest task force includes more than 30 officers, including patrol and gang investigators.  Cranford says they're working in "trouble spots."   

"Canvassing neighborhoods, interviewing people, increasing police presence," said Cranford, "Trying to solve these crimes."

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Unionville Church Works To Bring Unity

A Unionville church works to bring peace and unity to their neighborhood through a series of nightly outdoor fellowships.

Pastor William Fambro heads up 'All Things Are Possible Ministries' on Blossom Avenue in Macon.

Since Sunday, Fambro says his group began offering nightly fellowships inside a tent that seats up to 300 people.  He says the larger, future goal, is multiple tents across the city, representing not only religion but love.

"We're not here for entertainment, we're here for interchangement, we want to change people's mindset," said Fambro. 

Macon, Bibb Launch Halls of Fame Drive

 

Bibb School Bus Driver Suspended

A Bibb County bus driver was suspended last week for allegedly detouring from his regular route.

That's according to Bibb County School District spokesman Chris Floore.

He says, after reviewing tapes from the bus, school officials decided that the case also involves school discipline issues, which he would not describe.

The Department of Transportation says after reviewing the bus' GPS tracking system, they determined bus driver, Claude Johnson, detoured from his regular route.

They looked into the matter after receiving a complaint from a parent whose child was on the bus.

That parent says Johnson, whom the kids know as "C.J.," told her daughter to go to the back of the bus where there was a boy from Howard High School waiting for her.

She says the bus driver told her sixteen-year-old daughter to go to the back to make out with the 18-year-old boy.

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Reichert Asks for Four-Month Service-Delivery Extension

Macon Mayor Robert Reichert says the city and county are still a long way from agreeing on a service delivery strategy.

 

So he wants to ask the state for a four-month extension on the plan, until February.

 

The service delivery plan sets out who provides which services and who pays for them.

 

The city and county must agree to stay eligible for state grants and funds. The state's deadline is Oct. 31.

 

But Reichert says Macon and Bibb are still waiting for a study by UGA's Carl Vinson Institute on tax fairness in the city and county before they negotiate further with Bibb County. Reichert and other city officials contend that Macon residents are taxed double by the city and county for duplicate services.

 

Middle Georgia Schools To Get $15M From Race to the Top

Four Middle Georgia school systems will get a total of more than $15 million from the Race to the Top grant during the next four school years.

Bibb, Jones, Peach and Pulaski schools will benefit from the federal school-improvement grants. Bibb will get the largest chunk, more than $13 million.

According to the state Department of Education, Peach will get nearly $1.2 million, Jones about $570,000 and Pulaski about $338,000.

The Bibb County district says Superintendent Sylvia McGee and other representatives from Bibb County attended a meeting at the Georgia Department of Education about the grant.

They say allocations for the 26 participating districts are based on the federal Title I formula, which counts the number of needy children in the district.

According to the GaDOE, that means Bibb County will receive $13,297,398 during the next four years.

Council Committee Allots Money For Airport Improvements

Macon City Council's Ordinances and Resolutions Committee voted Monday night to appropriate $5,497 towards a grant match for the Middle Georgia Regional Airport.

It is the last of money needed to provide the required  $79,397 in local match funds towards a $3,017,088 federal grant.

According to the grant agreement, the money will go towards repaving and "rehabilitating," runways at the airport.

The city says the improvements will allow the airport to accommodate larger and heavier aircrafts on their runway.