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Georgia Football Classic Coming to Macon in 2011

The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame is bringing an interstate high school football classic to Macon starting next year.

The first Georgia Invitational Football Classic will kick off here starting in December 2011, according to Ben Sapp, acting executive director of the sports hall of fame.

In a news release, Sapp says it will feature teams of high school players from Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina.

He says two games will be held on Dec. 29, 2011, followed by a championship game on Dec. 31. Games will be played at the Ed Defore Sports Complex and Henderson Stadium.

Sapp says the game will showcase "second and third tier blue-chip recruits that have yet to commit to a college or university."

Georgia's team will be led by Westside linebacker coach, C.B. Cornett., who also formerly coached Central High School.

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Macon Gets Service Delivery "Warning Letter" From State

Macon Mayor Reichert told city council Tuesday night that the city received a "warning letter" from the state, reminding them of the Oct. 31 deadline for service delivery strategy negotiations between Macon and Bibb County.

 The service delivery strategy would define which services the city and county supply and who should pay for them, but talks were put on hold pending the results of a study to investigate whether city residents are taxed fairly.

Laura Mathis of the Middle Georgia Regional Commission attended the meeting to remind council of their options.

She says they have four choices: vote to extend the current strategy agreement, enter into a new agreement, take no action and risk losing Qualified Local Government status or take legal action.

If they lose Qualified Local Government status, Mathis says, the city will become ineligible for state grants and loans and face other sanctions.

I-75 Lanes Will Close in Macon This Weekend

The Georgia Department of Transportation is warning people again about delays on Interstate 75 this weekend due to construction.

Contractors will close lanes on I-75 north and southbound between mile marker 167 (N. Pierce Avenue) and 169 (Arkwright Road), from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.


Crews will remove and replace the outside shoulders along I-75.

The state awarded Prince Construction of Tampa, Fla, a $55 million contract to widen I-75 between Arkwright Road and Pierce Avenue. That's a stretch of about 3.3 miles.

They'll change the interstate from four lanes to six, reconstruct bridges and rework the interchanges.

That work is scheduled to last until May 2013.


Macon Transit Authority Lowers Fares for Some

The Macon Transit Authority announced it will increase the hours that senior citizens, disabled and student riders can receive discounted fares. CEO and General Manager Rick Jones says changes will take effect Friday.

Currently senior and disabled riders are allowed to ride for 65 cents, while students (K-12) are allowed to ride for 75 cents during peak hours.

Peak hours are Monday through Friday form 6 a.m to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Students are only allowed to ride for these prices during the school year.

60-year old James Digby says he doesn't use a senior pass, but might consider getting one now, with the change.

"Yeah, I'm quite sure I'd be interested in it," he said.

The new change taking effect on Friday will allow seniors, mobility impaired and student riders to ride at these discounted rates during all regularly scheduled hours.

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Man Robs East Macon Drugstore

A man with a gun robbed a Walgreens in East Macon early Thursday, police said.

A Macon police news release said a man entered the store at 1:30 a.m., pulled out a pistol and demanded that a clerk fill a bag with cash. He took the money and was last seen walking south on Gray Highway.

If you have any information on this crime, call the police at (478) 751-7500 or Crimestoppers at 1-877-68 CRIME. All tips are confidential.

Westside HS Students Getting Netbook Computers

Bibb County students and teachers discussed the importance of integrating technology in schools during a Skype conference call with state officials on Thursday.

Students answered questions about why they like using certain technology, like laptop and netbook computers.

At Westside High School, the district plans to make classrooms more tech-friendly this school year by supplying all ninth and tenth grade students with netbook computers.

So far, the district says more than 600 of the school's approximate 700 ninth and tenth grade students have received the computers. They hope to distribute the remaining computers, which will be on loan until the end of the school year, by the end of the month.

Westside High School is one of two schools in Georgia to receive federal 'blended learning' grant funds, to integrate technology in its classrooms.

UnitedHealthcare Again Covering Medical Center

UnitedHealthcare has resumed covering patients at the Medical Center of Central Georgia, according to the insurer and the Medical Center.

In a statement, UnitedHealthcare said that since Monday, the Medical Center is again a "participating facility" for policyholders.

"We are extremely pleased that a new agreement has been reached between UnitedHealthcare and the Medical Center of Central Georgia, including its urgent care centers and other ancillary facilities," according to the statement e-mailed to us by Tracey Lempner, the public-relations director for UnitedHealthcare's southeast region.