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Suspect arrested after exchanging stolen phone for Teddy bear

A Macon man's nose was broken after he was punched in the face by a man who reportedly stole his cellphone.

The victim was in the 100 block of Ward Street at about 8:30 a.m. Friday when he was confronted by the suspect, Sean Parker Stephens, according to a sheriff's office news release.

The responding deputy called the victim's cellphone.

Stephens answered the phone and the deputy identified himself, the news release states.

The deputy then asked Stephens if he would be willing to apologize to the victim and return the cellphone in exchange for a Teddy bear.

Stephens said "yes" and gave the deputy his location and clothing description, according to the news release.

The deputy told Stephens he's sending two deputies to meet him and their code word would be "Teddy bear."

Macon guitarist Tim Brooks dies at 60

A longtime fixture of Macon's music scene died this week.

He is guitar player Tim Brooks.

BIbb County coroner Leon Jones said Brooks died Wednesday at home of congestive heart failure.

He was 60.

Brooks recorded extensively over the past 40 years, both as a solo artist, with his brother and with other artists. He also appeared regularly with his band, Tim Brooks and the Alien Sharecroppers. He sat in with other big-name artists, like the Allman Brothers.

Crest Lawn Funeral Home in Macon is handling arrangements.

Contamination cleanup to begin at former downtown Macon gas plant

Crews with Atlanta Gas Light and Georgia Power companies will be starting a major cleanup of a former gas plant in downtown Macon.

The site, located on a parcel located along Terminal Avenue near the intersection of Mulberry and 6th streets, was formerly a manufactured gas plant during the 1860s through the early 1880s.

The work is an effort to cleanup groundwater impacts below the ground surface associated with the former plant, according to a news release from Atlanta Gas Light.

The cleanup of a portion of the site between Mulberry and Walnut streets, north of 7th Street, was completed in 2002 and 2009, the news release states.

Company officials said the work is scheduled to start this week.

The cleanup is subject to Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division's rules and regulations, the news release states.

Board member wants more minority business contracts


A Bibb County school board member said the district isn't doing enough to secure contracts with minority vendors.

Tom Hudson said the committee designed to address that issue hasn't met in months.

He said there are too few contracts awarded to minorities, and the number doesn't accurately reflect the student population or Macon-Bibb's demographics. Hudson said the county government has found ways to fix the problem, and he doesn't see why the school district can't do the same.

"If you have a committee, the committee needs to come together as a whole, formulate a process and bring recommendations back to the board," he said at Thursday night's meeting.

13 WMAZ asked Hudson about committee chair Lester Miller's attempts to reach minority businesses.

Inaugural Tattnall Square Park Service Awards held

ID=27741045Thursday, Friends of Tattnall Square Park presented members of the community with their first-ever service awards.

3 people were recognized for their contribution to the community with a tree planted in their honor.

Julia Byron is a second grader at Alexander II and a big fan of Tattnall Square Park.

She was recognized for leading a fundraiser at her school for the park.

"That makes me feel, I mean, very, very special," says Julia. "I feel great now that I've done what I've done and I feel really glad."

Macon woman, puppy attacked by pitbull

Macon-Bibb Animal Control had to take away a dog after a woman and her dog were attacked Wednesday morning on Shaw Drive.

Shunder Clowers, 44, told deputies when she let her small poodle-mix out in her backyard, a white and tan pitbull attacked, according to a Bibb County Sheriff's Office incident report. As she tried to rescue her dog, the pitbull bit her on the hand. Clowers told deputies this was the second time the pitbull attacked her dog. Cynthia Murphy, Clowers' neighbor, said when the pitbull left Clowers' yard, it went to her yard and also attacked her puppy.

The pitbull, according to the report, belongs to Murphy's son. Murphy said the dog had been staying at her house until three weeks ago when it attacked Clowers' dog the first time. Clowers' dog was also bleeding from its chest, and Clowers' hand was bleeding, the report states.

Retired police officer honored at funeral

ID=27686695Family, friends and Warner Robins law enforcement gathered at a funeral honoring a retired police officer that died this past weekend.

Charlie Sadlo was a retired Captain with the Warner Robins Police Department. He died on Saturday, which was also his birthday. He was 73.

The funeral took place at McCullough Funeral Home on South Houston Lake Road. The procession then traveled down Watson and Pleasant Hill Road to Magnolia Park Cemetery.