Monday, October 15, 2007

Headlines for Monday, October 15, 2007

Bibb County will begin a new property tax evaluation in the coming weeks. Tyler CLT will handle most of the work. The work will cost the county about 2-million dollars. The Bibb County Commission expects to approve the contract this week.

Closing arguments are expected today in a Milledgeville murder trial. Brian Duane Brookins was found guilty over the weekend for shooting his wife and stepdaughter. The prosecution has asked for the death penalty in the case. Brookins lawyers say their client is mentally retarded and therefore should not qualify for the death penalty.

Macon police are still looking for the killer of Macon businessman Waldo Sheftall. Police now say they believe he knew his killer. Last week police discovered Sheftall dead in his Washington Avenue home of multiple gunshot wounds. Funeral arrangements are still pending.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Headlines for Friday, October 12, 2007

Macon police detectives continue to investigate a murder that has shocked the community. Local businessman and community volunteer Waldo Sheftall was found shot to death in his Washington Avenue home late Wednesday evening. Police say robbery may have been the motive and that no suspects have been arrested at this time.

Meanwhile a double murder trial is continuing in Milledgeville. Brian Duane Brookins is accused of murdering his wife and step-daughter and faces the death penalty. Defense attorneys put a psychiatrist on the stand Thursday who testified that Brookins is mentally retarded. Prosecutors dispute these findings saying the defendant has an IQ of 72. Legally a person must have an IQ of 70 to be considered mentally retarded. Those found mentally retarded cannot face the death penalty.

Bibb County's Chief Tax Appraiser, Jim Davis, is staying in Macon. Davis was offered a job in Glynn County but turned it down. This means he will oversee a massive reevaluation project set to begin in a few weeks.

A Macon woman remains in jail after being charged with theft. Trudy Rutland is accused of stealing nearly a quarter million dollars from the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth. Investigators discovered the theft after the center's anniversary celebration. Proceeds from the celebration could not be found, and when officials checked the account they discovered the shortage.

A Bolingbroke zebra is back home. Ziggy was given back to his owners after they paid fines and fees to the Department of Natural Resources. Officials confiscated the animal in August saying the family did not have the proper permits.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Headlines for Thursday, October 11, 2007

Macon Mayor, Jack Ellis is refusing to sign off on a deal to build a hotel in the parking lot of the Wilson Convention Center. The documents, awaiting his signature, will secure bond financing and allow construction to begin. But, attorney's say the project will move forward with or without his signature. The Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority has already approved the deal. Macon City Council President, Anita Ponder says she can sign the documents if the mayor continues to refuse to do so.

Georgia College and State University will move forward with plans to buy and renovate Milledgeville's Downtown Campus Theatre. According to the Telegraph the State Board of Regents will fund the project to convert the Art Deco facility into a bookstore and performance space. The board also approved a new stadium for Fort Valley State University.

On Wednesday a Central State Hospital psychiatrist testified in a Milledgeville murder trial. The doctor said Brian Duane Brookins, accused of a double murder, is not mentally retarded and therefore competent to stand trial. She did say that he suffers from several personality disorders. Brookins is accused of killing his wife and step-daughter and faces the death penalty.

For the first time in years the flu vaccine is here on time. Starting Monday the Bibb County Health Department will begin its week long flu shot clinic. The shots cost 25 dollars.

Three members of a prominent Mennonite family from Montezuma have survived a plane crash in Virginia. Richard Yoder, his brother Wade and father Melvin Yoder remain hospitalized after their small plane was flipped by a strong gust of wind while landing. They are listed in fair condition and expected to recover.

In today's weather we'll have mostly sunny skies with a high of 78 degrees. Tonight skies will remain clear and the temperature will dip to 45.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Headlines for Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Lawyers for a Baldwin County man, accused of killing his wife and step-daughter, say he suffers from mental illness and mental retardation and therefore should not receive the death penalty. Brian Duane Brookins is accused of shooting and killing the two women and faces the death penalty. His trial is underway in Milledgeville.

Bibb County's Chief Tax Appraiser, Jim Davis, has still not accepted a job in Glynn County. Davis was offered the top appraisers position just as Bibb County is set to begin a massive reevaluation. Glynn County officials say they are still looking for someone to fill the position.

A local teach has announced that he will run against Congressman Jim Marshall in the Democratic primary for the Eighth Congressional District. Robert Nowak, who lives in Macon but works in Warner Robins, joins Macon Mayor Jack Ellis in the growing field of potential candidates. Nowak says he disagrees with Marshall on funding for children's health care programs and the Iraq War.

Macon Mayor, Jack Ellis, has reserved the city council chambers this evening for a celebration. The mayor, along with the Macon Islamic Center, will host an event to mark the end of the Islamic holiday, Ramadan. Ramadan does not officially end until Friday. The event includes a panel discussion and a community feast. Ellis converted to Islam last December.

In today's weather we'll have partly cloudy skies with a high of 91 degrees. There's a 20% chance of rain this afternoon.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Headlines for Monday, October 8,2007

The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday. On Georgia over 6-million people are eligible to vote, but just over 5-million are registered. Registration is open to all legal residents over the age of 18. Voters casting ballots in person must have valid forms of photo ID when they show up to vote.

According to the Telegraph two deputy appraisers in the Bibb County tax Assessors office continue to receive the same pay, even though they have been demoted. The two men were moved from their deputy chief positions, but kept their salaries of nearly 75-thousand dollars a year. Officials say it's because county policy only allows them to reduce workers wages when they can prove poor performance.

Middle Georgia Technical College in Warner Robins is experiencing record enrollment. This Fall there was a seven percent jump in students. The campus leads all other technical schools in the state in both enrollment and the number of credit hours their students are taking. Officials cite a strong economy, low unemployment, and population growth as reasons. They also attribute the rise to programs that work closely with local businesses and others that allow dual enrollment at local high schools and the college.

The Washington County Sheriffs office has arrested a man and charged him with setting a fire that destroyed Holly Springs Baptist Church in June. Kevin Tanner was arrested after police found the meter box from the church at his home. He is also a possible suspect in an arson fire that destroyed Mount Sinai Baptist Church around the same time.

Today's weather partly cloudy with a high of 88 degrees.