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Work Session Focuses on Pension Issues

An issue that's been at the forefront of Macon city council discussions for several weeks got a bit heated during a work session Tuesday.

Some members of the Fire and Police Pension Board say they don't agree with wording in an IRS requested revision to their pension plan.

Mayor Robert Reichert says in order to avoid adverse tax consequences, the plan needs to be IRS-certified, so they need to go through the IRS before any plans can be finalized.

The work session got heated when retirees took the stand with questions.

"What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?" Council President James Timley interrupted former Bibb County commissioner Charlie Bishop. "Charlie, I'm not going to ask you again. Either you ask a question, or I'm going to rule you out of order and I'm going to ask the officer sitting right there to remove you from the auditorium."

Missing Bibb Man Found Safe 65 Miles Away

A Bibb County man missing for almost 24 hours was found safe over an hour away from home.

Workers at a D.O.T. construction site in Schley County stopped 79-year-old Thomas Prescott Jr. because he was headed north in the southbound lanes on U.S. Ga 3.

D.O.T. workers notified the Schley County Sheriff's office that Prescott seemed disoriented.  They ran his license plate and found that Prescott was reported missing from Bibb County.

Prescott was being held until family members come to take him home.

The Bibb County Sheriff's Office issued a statewide alert for Prescott after family members reported him missing Sunday night.  They said Prescott usually travels to the Kroger that's on Hartley Bridge Road, then back to his home.

According to the sheriff's office, Prescott left his home in August 2010 and was found the next day in Treutlen County by Sheriff's Deputies after he ran off the road and ended up in a ditch.

Macon Animal Control to Close for Pest Control

Macon Animal Control will close early next month for pest control treatment, and they'll stop taking new animals Tuesday in order to prepare.

Police spokeswoman Jami Gaudet says the closure will last three to five days beginning June 7.  She says that time could vary depending on how long it takes to resolve the infestation.

In the meantime, she says, MAC is trying to find homes for all of the animals currently at the shelter to avoid euthanizing them.

Gaudet says MAC will offer a seven-day pardon from euthanasia from May 22 - May 28.

She says no animals will be euthanized during that time.

If you'd like to adopt a dog or cat, you can call Macon Animal Control at 751-9200.

Bombardier Signs Contract for New Work at Macon Plant

Bombardier Aerospace may be adding jobs at its Macon service center.

The company has signed an exclusive nine-year heavy maintenance agreement with Republic Airlines, based in Indianapolis, according to a company new release.

The new deal gives Bombardier service centers in Macon and Tuscon Arizona sole responsibilty for all heavy maintenance tasks for Repbublic's Q400 aircraft.

The agreement will run through June 2021.

Bombardier opened its Macon service center in 2010 at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport and currently employs 160 people there. 

A company spokesman would not say how many jobs might be added as a result of the Republic contract.

Mark Masluch of Bombardier Aerospace says the new agreement will allow the company to incrementally increase employment at the Macon plant on a case-by-case basis. 

District's Employee Wellness Center Gets a Makeover

District's Employee Wellness Center Gets a Makeover

The District celebrated improvements to the Employee Wellness Center with a grand opening on May 15. Located at Hutchings Career Center, the Wellness Center is designed for staff and their immediate family members.

Renovations to the facility were funded entirely by membership fees that had accumulated over the years. To learn more about the Employee Wellness Center, click here.

District Announces 2012 Valedictorians and Salutatorians

District Announces 2012 Valedictorians and Salutatorians

Congratulations to the District's 2012 high school valedictorians and salutatorians, who are featured in this piece. To learn more about this year's valedictorians and salutatorians, click here. Commencement exercises for 2012 will take place May 25-26 at the Macon Centreplex, 200 Coliseum Drive, Macon.

To view the 2012 Graduation Ceremony and Expectations, click here.

Chairman Watkins Explains Anti-Gang Program

Two weeks after Macon committee members took no action on several anti-crime resolutions, Public Safety Chairman Virgil Watkins presented his ideas again.

"This comprehensive model, it's been tested, it's been tried, you've seen it," Watkins says, pointing to a slide show presentation.

Monday night was Watkins' second time presenting his Gang Reduction, Intervention, and Prevention, or G.R.I.P, program.

It comes two weeks after the public safety committee voted not to act on several anti-crime resolutions because they said they didn't have enough details.

"We didn't have a complete understanding of what this model was and how it could benefit our community," he says.

A steering committee would head the program and come up with new ideas, find target areas, and be the overall policy making board.

Just under that, Watkins says, comes the project director, who would be responsible for day-to-day management.