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New Jail in Dodge Still Sits Empty

New Jail in Dodge Still Sits Empty

Just on the edge of the city of limits of Eastman, on a several-acre plot, divided from the rest of the world by trees, sits a brand new building designed to be high-tech and extremely secure.

The air-condition and heating systems run consistently during the correct seasons to keep the building from experiencing any kind of temperature damage.

An advanced security system, with high-quality cameras, monitors every movement in the building.
 

Birago Blackshear Sentenced to 25 Years

Correction: This story originally incorrectly described the charges that Blackshear pleaded guilty to. They are: voluntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

 A Hawkinsville man who admitted killing his ex-girlfriend last year was sentenced to 25 years in prison today.

Birago Blackshear pleaded guilty in Pulaski County Superior Court today to voluntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was accused of shooting 18-year-old Ashton Bartlett last June.

Judge Sarah Wall sentenced him to serve 20 years on the manslaughter charge and five on the weapons charge.

Jury selection for Blackshear's murder trial was scheduled to begin today.

District Attorney Tim Vaughn said he agreed to let Blackshear plead guilty to the lesser charge in order to guarantee a heavy jail term.

Apps Help Fight Sexual Violence

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, women ages 16 to 24 experience the highest rates of sexual assault and dating violence.

One in five women in college will be a victim. That's why last year, a nation-wide challenged developers to create phone apps that could help lower that statistic.

Circle of 6 and Watch Me 911 are winners of the White House-sponsored Apps Against Abuse technology challenge. At a few taps of the screen, they connect you with a group of trusted friends and family to let them know where you are and if you need help.

They can also connect you with 911 or victims advocacy groups like Crisis Line and Safe House. Sexual assault advocacy program director Dottie Stafford says a phone app might not be the magic solution for dangerous situations, but it's an additional tool that can help.

Royals Close out Home Regular Season with Win Versus East Laurens

Royals Close out Home Regular Season with Win Versus East Laurens

Friday's regular season home finale for Bleckley was extra special.  Not only was it senior night, a win meant the Royals were guaranteed second in 3B-AA and Tuesday's game at Dodge County would be for the subregion championship.  Up 1-0 in the fourth, Cal Young's two-run single made it 3-0.  One batter later, Young would come home on a Bryant Trice two-run home run with two outs.  ELHS tried to rally in the seventh, capitalizing on three Royal errors.  BCHS would hang on for a 5-2 win.

Young finished 2 for 3.  Chastain Coleman was 2 for 3 with 1 RBI.  Dylan Churchwell was 2 for 3 with a double.  Monday's game at Jeff Davis has been moved to 5:30 p.m.  Tuesday, Bleckley and Dodge will square off in Eastman for top seed in the upcoming region playoffs.  It will be varsity only and start at 6 p.m.

Book Characters on Parade at Bleckley Primary School

Book Characters on Parade at Bleckley Primary School

Bleckley Primary School students have had their noses in books the past two days.  Thursday evening, the school had a family reading night.  Friday afternoon was the annual book character parade. 

Ga. Labor Department Closing Eastman Career Center

Unemployed people in the Eastman area will have to travel farther soon for job-hunting help.

The Georgia Department of Labor says it's closing seven regional career centers on July 1, including the one in Eastman.

"In order for us to keep more individuals more of our employees in the field which is where they really count most, we're going to have to make some cost-saving measures to continue to provide service for the money that we're still alloted," said Commissioner Mark Butler of the Georgia Department of Labor.

In a news release, they say people who use that office can get services at their Dublin office, about 32 miles away. The Eastman office serves people in Bleckley, Dodge, Wilcox and Telfair counties. They all have unemployment in the double digits.

Eastman Career Center to Close

Eastman Career Center to Close

Thursday, April 12, the Georgia Department of Labor announced that it will not renew the lease for the office place that currently houses its Eastman Career Center.

According to the release, those Georgians who have been served by the GDOL Eastman Career Center, commonly called “the unemployment office” can receive services at the nearby Dublin Career Center beginning on July 1.