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The 13 Top Stories for the Past Week | News

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The 13 Top Stories for the Past Week
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Let's take a look back at the most viewed and most talked about stories for the week of November 11-18, 2012.

Damon Jolly Pleads Guilty, Sentenced to Life

Damon Jolly apologized to the family of Bibb County deputy Joseph Whitehead in court last Wednesday, minutes after pleading guilty to killing Whitehead during a 2006 drug raid. In a plea agreement, Jolly was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 14 years. Jolly gets credit for the six years he's been in jail since his arrest after the murder.

Homeless family from NJ stuck in Macon, finally returns home

13WMAZ's Austin Lewis followed the story of a New Jersey family that was found squatting in an abandoned house in Macon. Andrew Wingfield said his family became homeless after he was laid off from work. Getting back home proved hard to do. He didn't want his wife and kids to be without a roof over their heads. 

They got help from a minister, Joel Chambliss, who smoothed things out with the property owner. After the story broke, central Georgians showed their generosity, providing supplies and even shelter. Then, last Thursday, the Wingfields were able to head back north where Andrew has a job waiting. 

Georgia, one of the first states to petition for secession

A few stories last week centered around petitions made with the White House to have certain states secede from the Union. A lot of people in central Georgia sounded off on the topic too. Of course, the effort is more symbolic than anything as the petitions start no legal process and secession itself would likely cripple any state that chose to depart.

Twinkies in Turmoil: Could the iconic brand relocate to Georgia?

People all over the country awoke to the news Friday that the Hostess Company wanted to shutter its bakeries and sell off its beloved brands, like Twinkies, Ho-Hos, Ding Dongs and Wonderbread. Among others, a Thomasville, Ga.-based company is considering a bid for Twinkies. Weighed down by debt and embroiled by labor strife, Hostess decided Chapter 11 bankruptcy wouldn't work. 

Neva Fickling, Georgia's only Miss America, dies in Macon

Maconite Neva Fickling was crowned Miss America in 1953 and was the only Miss Georgia to advance and win the Miss America title.
Her friend Edward Eikner says she never lost "that Miss America charm." Fickling lost her battle with cancer Sunday morning. Her memorial service is scheduled for Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Mulberry Street Methodist Church.

Carmen Collins, accused of killing her sister, pleads not guilty

The 17-year-old Kathleen resident who faces charges of arson and murder of her 12-year-old sister India pleaded not guilty last Wednesday. Carmen Collins's defense attorney said he thinks there is evidence of others' involvement.

Collins stood next to her attorney and pleaded not guilty to those charges. In court, Collins' family stood behind her saying "We love you Kaneisha" and "it'll be okay," as she was escorted outside of the courtroom.

Gov. Deal says no to Obamacare's Insurance Exchange

The state's Republican governor wrote a letter to the feds last Friday saying the Democratic president was taking a one-size fits all approach and the unknown cost to the state would be too big a risk to Georgia taxpayers. The exchanges are state- or federally-run clearinghouses that allow people to choose a health plan and compare benefits and costs of each plan. 

Sycamore, Ga. Police Chief Airlifted to Macon After Wreck

Justin Rutherford, police chief for Sycamore, was traveling northbound on I-75 when he lost control of his police car about a half-mile from the Turner County line. He hit a culvert and his car flipped several times. Rutherford was ejected from the vehicle. He was not believed to have been wearing his seat belt at the time. He was taken to the Medical Center of Central Georgia where he's still recovering.

Walmart Workers Plan Black Friday Walkout

As first reported on CNN's Money blog, a group of Walmart workers plan to walkout on the busiest retail shopping day of the year: Black Friday. The big box giant says the complaints of these workers don't reflect the feelings of the vast majority of their force. Shoppers around the country--especially on the 13WMAZ Facebook page--expressed concern about Black Friday. Some were even upset that, with unemployment so high, anyone with a job would complain.

Motorcyclist dies in Houston County accident

Delmar Michael Singleton of Macon was killed when his 2012 Triumph Motorcycle was struck by a van driven by 80-year-old James Leroy Edwards, who failed to stop for the light at the intersection of Davis Drive and Highway 247. Singleton was thrown from the bike and severely injured. He was transferred to the Houston Medical Center where he later died.

A Florida man upsets neighbors with upside-down flag protest

After learning that President Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term, Navy veteran Philip Hoelzel raised his flag upside down for the first time at this home. It just so happened that Veterans Day was five days into what he planned to be a four-year-long protest. That's also when his neighbors began to take notice.

Newly transplanted Maconite has first book published

Tennessee native Lauren Morrill just moved to Macon, from Boston, a few months ago. Now, she's celebrating the publication of her debut novel, "Meant to Be." Here, at the Golden Bough, she speaks with 13WMAZ.com's Jacqueline Harnevious. 

Honey Boo Boo gets a pet chicken... and names it Nugget

The pride of McIntyre, Ga., Honey Boo Boo Child said goodbye to her pet pig Glitzy, who was shipped off by Mama June. So in comes her new pet, a chicken, which she promptly named "Nugget." Almost as predictable, PETA then wrote Mama and Sugarbear asking them to make Honey Boo Boo a vegan

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