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Attorney, Historian Uses Best Tool To Keep Going

You could point out nearly any property in Bleckley County and 68-year-old Lonnie Barlow likely knows who owns it.  

Barlow, a Cochran native, says he's practiced real estate law for 40 years and found his passion in the dealings and history of land ownership.  His office holds about 9,000 real estate transaction records.

"The way land is handled, who owns it, the way it's transferred and how you acquire it," said Barlow.

In the midst of researching wills, probates and transactions, the attorney found himself a hobby.

"The most wonderful thing about Bleckley County is its religious heritage. We have over 40 churches," said Barlow.

Barlow says he could tell you who owns 85 percent of Bleckley County's property and likely how it happened. 

"I like to think that I came to this office not to make money but to help people," he said.

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Hawkinsville Receives Loan to Upgrade Water System

The city of Hawkinsville will get more than $86,000 to improve its waste water system.

The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority announced that the state would finance improvements for eight projects around the state, including in Hawkinsville.

A news release says the Clean Water State Revolving Fund helps communities grow and develop economically through low-interest loans. It says eligible projects include a wide variety of storm and wastewater collection and treatment projects.

Hawkinsville will get $86,350 to finance wastewater system improvements to increase line capacity. The program says that will help correct overflow problems during heavy rain.

The city of Hawkinsville will pay 3.81 percent interest on the ten-year loan.

Athlete of the Week: Ashton Holt

The Dodge County Indians are in the elite eight and trying to win a state softball title. All of the kids are talented, but they've leaned on the powers of their pitcher for success.

My Teacher is Tops

Sixth grader Autumn Dye says she nominated her favorite teacher at Pulaski County Middle School for always keeping a smile on her face.

"She tells us stories, funny stories. They make us laugh," she says.

After 10 years of teaching, Samantha Arnold says she thinks outside of the box to keep her sixth graders on their toes.

"We play 'Jeopardy!' to study the day before the tests," says Autumn.

And students say playing the game show isn't the only teaching activity.

"We categorize the nouns, we do Pictionary with the nouns," says Ana Kilgore.

Ms. Arnold's class says when they're not on teams, they like to work as partners to help each other learn.

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Middle Georgia Schools To Get $15M From Race to the Top

Four Middle Georgia school systems will get a total of more than $15 million from the Race to the Top grant during the next four school years.

Bibb, Jones, Peach and Pulaski schools will benefit from the federal school-improvement grants. Bibb will get the largest chunk, more than $13 million.

According to the state Department of Education, Peach will get nearly $1.2 million, Jones about $570,000 and Pulaski about $338,000.

The Bibb County district says Superintendent Sylvia McGee and other representatives from Bibb County attended a meeting at the Georgia Department of Education about the grant.

They say allocations for the 26 participating districts are based on the federal Title I formula, which counts the number of needy children in the district.

According to the GaDOE, that means Bibb County will receive $13,297,398 during the next four years.

My Teacher is Tops

One second grade class says they've had their favorite teacher two years in a row.

"Oh my goodness!" Kim Peterson says she was in shock when she received the My Teacher is Tops award.  

After 19 years of teaching, Mrs. Peterson says having the same batch of students for two of those years makes the classroom feel like home.

"I got to know them last year and knowing that I was going to have them again this year made it that much more special," she says.

Seven-year-old Grace Hendrix says she couldn't imagine spending those years with a more special teacher.

"She is the best teacher in the whole world, and the prettiest," says Hendrix.

Bleckley County Commissioner Resigns

The man who runs Bleckley County government stepped down Thursday, says Sheriff Harold Lancaster.

Sole County Commissioner Mike Polsky left a letter for him, Polsky's secretary and the county's probate judge, saying that he resigned effective at midnight Thursday, said Lancaster.

The sheriff says Polsky cited "health problems and family problems and all the flak he'd been taking about having to raise taxes."

Polsky, commissioner for six years, could not be reached for comment.

"He had done an outstanding job, but he had some health problems," said Lancaster. The sheriff said Polsky had seen his cardiologist earlier in the week, "and he told him he had to slow down."

He said Polsky was not on the job Friday.

Probate judge Kenneth Powell will fill in as sole commissioner until a special election can be held. Lancaster said that probably won't be until March.