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Organizations Recognized by Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation

At a luncheon in Atlanta on Friday, December 12, the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation announced that five state-level awards for individuals and organizations in Macon-Bibb County. Awards were presented to the Austin Center for Development, Historic Macon Foundation, Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Foundation, and Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert.

Macon-Bibb beautiful commission gives away cherry saplings


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More than 40 years ago a Realtor and a woman with a vision partnered to share their love for beautiful Yoshino cherry trees with the city of Macon. William Fickling Sr. and Carolyn Crayton worked together to plant the first cherry blossom trees in the Wesleyan Woods neighborhood.

Today, the Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission continues their mission. Macon is now home to more than 300,000 of the blossoming beauties.

Friday morning at Riverside Ford, the Commission gave away Yoshino Cherry tree saplings for free.

UPDATE: Third victim in Wings Cafe Shooting dies


UPDATE, 2:06 P.M.:

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Markques Patterson, the fifth suspect arrested in the Wings Cafe shooting was denied bond in Bibb County court today.

Patterson answered to the magistrate judge's questions with his lawyer, Kevin Bradley.

He is charged with two counts of murder, one count of participating in criminal street gang activity and five counts of aggravated assault, according to a sheriff's office news release.

After the hearing, Bradley sent this statement saying, quote:

Bibb Sheriff's Office monitors 8 to 10 gangs


The Wings Cafe shooting has shed more light on Bibb County's gang activity. Sheriff David Davis said they are monitoring eight to ten gangs.

Davis won't say who specifically is on that list. But he said gang names often are geographical, like the East Macon Mafia Family, The Bloomfield Crips and The Walker Avenue Crips.

Age can be a factor too. "The Top Side Crips are the older gang members, the Bottom Side ones are the younger ones, or something like that," said Davis.

And just because they share a similar name, that doesn't mean they're related. "There's conflict even amongst a gang group that may have the same name," he said.

8th annual James Brown Bridge wreath-laying celebration


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The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, was honored this afternoon at the James Brown Memorial Bridge on Walnut Street.

The singer got his start right here in Macon. People came out to remember Brown by laying a wreath on the bridge. There was plenty of singing, celebrating, and music to honor the late singer.

Tascha Houston, Brown's backup dancer, puts on the event each year. "This is my passion, I think everyone should know that he has a bridge here in Macon, Georgia and we must, we must keep the legacy of the Godfather of Soul going," said Houston.

Science fiction movie to be shot in downtown Macon


Once again, downtown Macon is prepping for scenes on the big screen.

A sci-fi flick is set to film here in just a couple of weeks.

"The 5th Wave" is about an alien invasion that attacks Earth in five waves.
It stars Chloe Grace Moretz, who's also appeared in movies like "Dark Shadows," "If I Stay" and the recently released "The Equalizer" with Denzel Washington.

Norcross-based Garden Films Productions is making the movie, according to filming notification letters sent to residents and businesses in the area.

Film crews will be in downtown from Jan. 2 through Jan. 13.

One of the filming sites 13WMAZ has learned about is Cotton Avenue.

UPDATE: Funeral times announced for Macon minister Frank Ray


UPDATE: The funeral for Macon's Bishop Frank Ray will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at the Copula at Hart's Mortuary on Peake Road in Macon.

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A man of the cloth and a man of the ring.

Today, many people in Bibb County are mourning the Rev. Frank Ray, 85.

He was both a Macon minister and a booster for boxing in the city.

Ray was the longtime president of the Macon Boxing Club and the county's new boxing arena was named in his honor earlier this year.

According to his friend, Macon-Bibb County Commissioner Al Tillman, the Reverend Ray died in a Macon nursing home.