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Former school to become senior housing community


An elementary school that's been closed for years is finding a new purpose for seniors in East Macon.

Henry A. Hunt Elementary School is going to be renovated into Hunt School Village, a housing unit for seniors age 62 and older.

In-Fill Housing, a non-profit affiliate of the Macon Housing Authority, purchased the building this year.

They say it will cost around $10 million to renovate the building, with $450,000 of that from the city.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs is paying the rest through tax credits.

Three buildings will be renovated and two new ones will be built.

Macon woman, brother arrested for insurance fraud


A Macon woman and her brother are charged with insurance fraud after a routine audit found theft of nearly $80,000.

The state Insurance Commissioner's Office reports 42-year-old Arleatha Martin of Macon and her brother, Christopher Lorenzo Battle of Locust Grove are each charged with seven counts of insurance fraud and theft by deception, and three counts of identity theft.

Martin worked as a supervisor with Allstate Insurance and fraud investigators say between 2011 and 2012 she made fake accident claims in her brother's name, then issued him settlement payments totaling $79,538.71. The payments were directed to Battle's heating and air business, then the pair would split the proceeds.

Allstate discovered the scheme during a routine audit and reported it to the Insurance Department.

Martin was arrested Friday morning and is currently in the Bibb County Jail.

Man charged with misdemeanor in Lake Tobesofkee shooting


ID=26266165A west Bibb County man has been charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct for firing shots at fishermen in Lake Tobesofkee last month.

Sheriff David Davis today said Basil Ghali, who lives in a home on the lake, has been charged.

On March 21, three people told deputies that someone fired shots at their boat. They said they saw a person on a balcony on a lakeside home apparently fire the shots.

Macon houses torn down to tackle blight


Two more dilapidated houses were torn down today as part of Bibb County's effort to eliminate blight.

The city demolished 581 and 555 Cynthia Avenue, right off Second Street.

They mark the 100th and 101st houses to come down since July of 2014.

Mayor Robert Reichert and the blight task force have a goal of demolishing 100 blighted houses every year.

He says it is an issue, not only because of the eyesore, but the illegal activity that often takes place in the abandoned houses.

"It's a criminal issue. It's a nuisance issue. It's a property devaluation issue," said Reichert. "It's hard for people to maintain pride in a neighborhood where you've got blight."

Sheriff Davis calls out 'ineptitude' in shooting response


Bibb County Sheriff David Davis criticized 'ineptitude," poor communication and lack of knowledge in several letters reprimanding his officers' response to a March 21 shooting on Lake Tobesofkee.

Fisherman on lake arrest: "This is hard for me"


Shelby Smith is one of the three fishermen who were shot at while boating on Lake Tobesofkee on March 21.

Just over a month later, the Bibb County Sheriff's Office made an arrest in the case Thursday.

"This is hard for me," Smith said Thursday in a telephone interview with 13WMAZ when asked about the arrest. "I need to collect my thoughts."

Smith, Adriel Miles and Miles' son were in a boat that night in a cove when they saw the red laser of a semi-automatic gun sighted on them. Shots - about seven or eight - began hitting the water a few feet away from their boat, according to a sheriff's office incident report.

Miles and Smith publicly showed their displeasure with Bibb County Sheriff David Davis and the sheriff's office because they showed deputies the house where the shots came from, but no arrests were made.

UPDATE: Gunman arrested on Mercer campus after robbery attempt


Two juveniles were arrested after a reported armed robbery and chase on Mercer University's campus Wednesday.

University spokesman Larry Brumley says it happened around 12:30 p.m.

He said two students confronted two juvenile boys who were breaking into a vehicle in a campus parking lot.

Brumley said the two boys ran off and the two students chased them.

They contacted campus police and kept them up to date on the juveniles' whereabouts.

One of the intruders was quickly arrested.

The other turned and pointed a gun at one of the students and demanded money.

The student ducked away, Brumley said, and the gunman ran off.

He said the boy with the gun was caught a few minutes later behind a loading dock at the university's dining hall, and the gun was found nearby under some pine straw.