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Dallemand Backs Down on Grade-Level Changes

Bibb County school superintendent Romain Dallemand said he is amending the parts of his strategic plan calling for grade restructuring and longer school days.

In a statement, Dallemand said, "I have decided to provide the School Board with a second option which will maintain the current grade level configuration."

The original plan called for elementary schools to end in 3rd grade, middle schools to hold grades 4 to 7, and high school to start in 8th grade.

He announced his decision on the day before the school board holds a public forum on the strategic plan at Southwest High School. 

Dallemand said that would have saved more than $23 million, by allowing the district to close up to 12 schools and cutting 300 teacher jobs.

If the board approves the amendment, he said those savings will no longer be realized.

Families Gather for Science Night

MACON, GA.--More than 250 people attended Family Science Night at Heritage Elementary School on Thursday, February 2.

To read more about what students and parents learned at the event, click here.

Mercer Bears Blast FAMU

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Mercer baseball team continued its early season fireworks on the offensive side of the ball in a 19-1 win over Florida A&M on Wednesday evening at Moore-Kittles Field.

Mercer (5-1) pounded out 21 hits in the contest, its second game of the young season with 20 or more hits.

To balance out the Bears potent offense, freshman Eric Nyquist put together a strong outing on the mound. The Chicago, Ill. native went five innings, allowing just one earned run on five hits while striking out two.

With the score 1-0 in favor of the visitors in the top of the second, the Bears bats began to go to work with a five-run frame. Junior Evan Boyd hit an RBI double in the inning and junior Logan Gaines followed up with a two-RBI single to go up by a 6-1 margin.

MACON MIRACLE: Educator on Realigning Grades

13WMAZ's Candace Adorka sat down with former Dean of Education at Georgia College, John Lounsbury.

Lounsbury has been teaching for more than 60 years, and during the 1960's, he co-authored many studies that helped to develop and launch the concept of middle schools. His idea highlighted the different developmental needs of students between 10 and 15 years old and that their needs are different from those of other age groups.

Lounsbury says that separating students by ages doesn't really make sense because the world, family and life aren't artificially separated. He continues to say, "As a matter of fact, one of the best things that can happen to 4th graders is to have a chance to work with a 7th grader. It's good for them and the 7th graders take on new meaning in their own lives as they see they can help kids."

Central Georgian Christians Celebrate Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Lenten season Christians worldwide. For many it's a season of fasting and penance, when people give up bad habits and find other ways to grow spiritually. 

At St. Joseph's Catholic Church on New Street in downtown Macon, many Central Georgian Catholics came to particpate in the ash rite. 

The Wagner family, who live in Macon, during the Ash Wednesday services they think of Christ's journey in the desert for 40 days. 

"I'm thinking about when Jesus was dying for our sins," said 8-year-old, John Wagner III. "He died for all of our sins so we wouldn't have to suffer and I just thank the Lord for that."

"I am a small speck in the eyes of God, but I came from dust and that's where I will return," said John Wagner II.  

Mercer Law Honors First African-American Graduate

Students at Mercer Law School celebrated black history month Wednesday by holding a forum on on the state of civil rights in America.

The Black Law Students Association hosted the discussion with a group of lawyers and community leaders.

They included Isaiah Hugley, the first African American City Manager of Columbus, Georgia and Jerry Boykin, who was the first African American graduate of Mercer Law.

They each spoke about social injustices in America. Organizer Ashley Pruitt said that includes education and the criminal justice system.

"One of the main focuses of the BLSA chapter here in Macon and just nationally is diversity and we just wanted to have something that would provoke intellectual thought," said Pruitt.

Boykin also received a medal and award honoring him as the school's first African American graduate.

Sen. Isakson Believes BRAC Won't Hurt Robins AFB

Although sen. Johnny Isakson doesn't expect another round of base closings and realignment this year, he believes Robins Air Force won't be hurt when one does come.

Isakson, a Cobb County Republican, made the remarks Wednesday at meeting of the Downtown Rotary Club in Macon, where he served the keynote speaker.

Prior to addressing the Rotary Club, Isakson and Eight District Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ashburn, visited Robins on a tour through central Georgia. Scott also said Robins would be okay if another Base Realignment and Closure Commission is formed in the future.

Among other things, Isakson also discussed the need for the federal government to reduce spending, reform entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, lower tax rates and becoming energy independent.

"What we should be doing most importantly other than working on spending and saving, we need to start working on energy independence," Isakson said.