Mercer University has received a 5-million dollar grant to help revitalize the neighborhood near its Macon campus. The Knight Foundation is giving the College Hill Corridor Commission the money to implement a master plan to fix up parks, bring in businesses and enhance the local arts scene. Mercer President, Bill Underwood says the money will help increase public and private investment in the 1.5 mile stretch. "It can provide a catalyst to generating the resources necessary to make the College Hill Corridor an even more attractive, livable, lively, and sustainable residential commercial and recreational district in the heart of our historic neighborhoods." The grant could help bring even more money to the area. Congressman Jim Marshall has included close to 6-million dollars in transportation funding for the project in a bill now before Congress. Mercer says it will match a portion of those funds if the bill is approved.
A soldier with Georgia's 48th Brigade has died in Afghanistan. Sgt. John Blair of Calhoun died over the weekend after a grenade struck his vehicle. He was assigned to the brigade's 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry base in Lawrenceville. He's the fourth member of the 48th killed since soldiers began arriving in Afghanistan in May. More than 2-thousand members of the 48th based in Macon have been deployed to Afghanistan to help train the country's police and security forces.