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Anderson Foundation Donates $1.5 Million to Promote Macon

The Peyton Anderson Foundation is making a big donation to promote the City of Macon.

The foundation is giving NewTown Macon about $1.5 million to promote Macon to outside communities through a new program they are calling The Gateway Initiative.

Beth Dunwody is the Project Director for The Gateway Initiative, and she says the program will be reaching out to regional, state, and national communities to promote Macon.

Dunwody says they will be doing this through on-line applications, commercials, music videos, billboards, and kiosks throughout the state.

She says, they are hoping to reach a younger audience and attract people to downtown Macon.

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Folks Flock to Friday Fest

People in Macon headed downtown to celebrate the newly-named Friday Fest.

They enjoyed live music at Third Street Park, including the band Gertrude's Mojo.

Drinking laws are relaxed for Friday Fest and people can carry specially-marked cups with a logo from vendor to vendor.

Jenny Carter says she's enjoying the expansion of First Friday and plans to check it out more often.

"I liked the amount of people on the street, the weather is great, and the things going on like the concert really helped," she said.  "Seems like a lot more businesses are doing things that are catering to it, so it's really even fun."

Friday Fest kicks off every week at 5 p.m. in downtown Macon.

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.

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. 

 

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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.

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.