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Bibb precinct cuts draw fire at Board of Elections meeting


UPDATE: Bibb County's Board of Elections wants to create a citizens panel to advise them on their proposal to reduce the number of voting precincts.

They voted around noon Thursday to form that 10-person panel. It will contain members of community groups including the League of Women Voters.

The vote came after a two-hour hearing at which many speakers opposed a proposed cut in polling places.

So far, there is no timetable on when the board might take up the issue again

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EARLIER:

A plan to reduce the number of election precincts by a third drew fire at a Bibb County Board of Elections meeting Thursday morning.

Macon woman convicted of killing child released from prison


A Macon woman convicted of killing her 6-year-old daughter in 1991 is scheduled for release from prison Wednesday.

Teresa Fargason was serving her sentence at Arrendale State Prison in Alto. Georgia Pardon and Paroles spokesman Steve Hayes said.

Fargason was convicted of murdering Taylor Fargason during her 1993 trial and was sentenced to life in prison. Taylor's body was found on the side of a road a short while after Fargason reported her missing.

Fargason maintained that Taylor disappeared while they were shopping at Kroger on Forsyth Road.

But authorities considered her a suspect from the beginning. Among other investigative techniques, they tapped her phone and hid recording devices at her daughter's grave.

Surveillance photos released of Macon store robbery


Police are looking for a man who robbed a Macon auto parts store at gunpoint Wednesday.

According to the Bibb County Sheriff's Office, at 8:42 p.m. Wednesday, a man entered the Auto Zone, located at 905 Shurling Drive in Macon, brandished a gun and demanded money from the clerks.

The man took an undisclosed amount of money from the cash registers, and then left the store.

Anyone with information about the robbery or a possible suspect is asked to call Macon Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-877-68CRIME.

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Macon area unemployment rate falls slightly in December


The unemployment rate in Metro Macon for December was 6.8 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from 6.9 in November.

While the rate fell slightly, the number of jobs in Metro Macon declined by about 100 jobs to 100,900 compared to 101,000 in November, according to a news release from the Georgia Department of Labor.

Most of the job loss came in professional and business services, along with the goods-producing sector including manufacturing and construction, the news release states.

There was an over-the-year gain of 1,200 jobs, or 1.2 percent from December 2013 to December 2014.

Most of the growth came in professional and business services, education and health services and hospitality and financial services.

There was an increase in new claims for unemployment insurance from November (663) to December (674).

'Greatest Show on Earth' moves into Macon


The circus is in town!

Shows start Thursday night at the Macon Centreplex, and the last one is Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Ringling Brothers spent most of the day Wednesday hard at work putting together the "Greatest Show on Earth."

Between world-famous elephants, Asia and April, that paint pictures, as well as many more animal performers, there's no shortage of things to see.

"We have motorcycles riding 65 miles an hour in this globe of steel, 360 degrees. We have the crossbow Casanova. He's going to have eight crossbows set up in the ring," said ringmaster Andre McClain.

"I saw them practicing!" said 5-year-old Aydalyne Ferguson. "They were going up on one wheel!"

Crews spent the day installing lights and creating the stage.

The theme of this year's show is "Built to Amaze" and it features all brand new acts and performances.

Georgia NAACP opposes Bibb precinct cuts


Georgia's NAACP opposes a plan to cut a third of Bibb County's voting precincts, saying it will affect African American voters the most.

Bibb County's board of elections is scheduled to vote at 10 a.m. Thursday on whether to approve the plan. Election superintendent Jeanetta Watson says they plan to reduce the number of polling places from 40 to 26 to save money. She said it would affect mostly smaller precincts with lower turnout.

But the NAACP news release says 10 of the 14 precincts being cut have "overwhelming African American" turnout that increased between 2012 and 2014.

"This defies conventional wisdom about voter apathy, turnout, and gives some valuable insight in understanding why these precincts are being targeted in the guise of saving a few dollars," says statewide NAACP president Francys Johnson.

Man wanted for December Circle-K robbery in Macon


Police are looking for a man who robbed a Macon convenience store in December of 2014.

The Bibb Sheriff's Office says the man went into the Circle K around 4:30 a.m. on December 19th, 2014, and told the clerk he had a gun in his pocket.

He never showed a weapon, but took cash from the clerk and ran toward Riverside Drive.

The sheriffs office says he was wearing a zip-up hoodie, blue bandanna over his mouth and nose, and black and white tennis shoes.

No one was injured during the robbery, and it is under investigation.

Anyone with information on the robbery or a possible suspect is asked to call Macon Regional CrimeStoppers at 1-877-68-CRIME.