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Superior Court Judge Candidates Speak to Voters at Forum

The candidates for Bibb County Superior Court Judge attended a forum with city council and school board candidates Thursday night at Macon City Hall.

Howard Simms, Morris Carr and Jim Barnes are running for the bench.

Simms stepped down as Bibb County District Attorney in June to run for judge. 

He says, his decades of legal experience make him the best candidate.

 "I bring a unique perspective to the bench.  We don't have a state level prosecutor on our bench anymore, we used to have one and we need that prosecutor's perspective now more than ever," says Simms. 

Morris Carr grew up in Macon and attended Mercer Law School  before opening his private practice.

He says the job would involve dealing with a lot of cases involving family issues such as child custody and divorce.

Carr says those are  both issues he has dealt with a lot in his private practice.

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Rutland Gun Case Postponed

The case of a Rutland eighth grader accused of bringing a gun to school was postponed Friday.

The boy was scheduled for arraignment in Bibb County juvenile court.

But prosecutor Michael Smith says it's off the docket for at least a week.

On Sept. 21, the unloaded gun led to a lockdown at Bibb County's Rutland middle and high schools.

An eighth-grade girl was originally also charged in the case, but Smith says charges against her were dropped.

The 13-year-old boy has been in a youth detention center since being arrested.

He faces three gun charges and is also accused of violating probation.

CGTC Wins Big Federal Grant

Georgia technical colleges in the Midstate were awarded more than a million dollars in federal grants to help serve low-and-middle income African-American students.

Central Georgia Technical College in Macon received the largest grant, more than $545,000, according to a news release from the Technical College System of Georgia.

Sandersville Technical College received more than $272,000 and Heart of Georgia Technical College in Dublin was awarded $250,000.

Almost 42% of students enrolled in the Technical College System of Georgia are African-American, according to the release.

Three other Georgia institutions received grants of more than $400,000 each. They are DeKalb Technical College, Columbus Technical College and Atlanta Technical College.

Bibb Commissioners Look at New Budget System

Bibb County continues to look for ways to get an early start on tackling next year's budget.

The board met Monday morning with department heads and county elected officials in a budget work session to talk about zero-based budgeting.

That means the county would first decide which programs and services they want to offer for the upcoming year, then budget the money for them. That's according to a consultant brought in to explain the system.

The process would require commissioners to take a hard look at the services and programs it offers.  They would have to decide if another agency or group could better provide the service, or if Bibb is offering too much, too little, or just enough of it.


After the presentation, several commissioners and elected officials said they didn't think the new way of budgeting would make enough difference to the bottom line, and would add and unnecessary layer to the process.

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Macon Police Release Photos of Flash Foods Robber

Macon police and the Bibb County sheriff's department are looking into whether two store robberies, on Sunday night and early Monday morning, are related.

The robberies happened about five hours apart, and in both cases, witnesses described a gunman with a red ball cap and a black shirt.

The first robbery happened at the Circle K at 4775 Chambers Road, in west Bibb County around 10:45., says a news release from the sheriff's office.

They say the man entered the store, acting as if he was going to make a purchase, but then waved a gun and demanded money from the cash register.

He ran out of the store with the money and no one was injured.

The sheriff's department describes the robber as a light-skinned black man, with a beard and mustache. He was about 6 feet tall, weighing around 200 lbs. The man was wearing a red baseball cap, a black T-shirt, and white pants.

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.

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.