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Eastman Career Center to Stay Open

The Eastman Career Center will now stay open even though the Georgia Department of Labor was set to close the career center along with six others, according to an Eastman Career Center news release.

This also means the eight employees will keep their jobs.

State Representative Jimmy Pruett from Eastman negotiated a deal for the center to remain open rent-free.

WMAZ reported in April that the Department of Labor was set to close the Eastman Career Center by July 1 after they decided not to renew career center leases due to budget cuts.

This means Eastman Career Center patrons will not have to make a 32-mile trip to the next nearest center in Dublin.

According to Lori Martel, Field Services Manager for the Eastman career center, they helped 834 people find employment in 2011.

Coaching Changes from Bleckley BOE Meeting

There were coaching changes involving both Bleckley County High School and Bleckley County Middle School coming from Tuesday's regulariy scheduled Board Of Education meeting.  Kathryn Land was hired as a cheerleading coach for BCHS.  Land's primary job will be competition coach, replacing Angela Jones.  Jones remains a teacher at BCHS and announced her resignation as coach to the squad in November.  Lynn Young and Jenny Brooks also return as cheerleading coaches for BCHS.

The board approved Bleckley Middle School's athletic staffing plan for 2012-13.  In that plan are a pair of new coaches.  Phillip Hart, BCMS baseball coach, will be the new Lady Barons softball coach.  Hart replaces Greg Collins, who remains a teacher at BCMS.  Jennifer Kitchens returns as assistant softball coach.

MGC Wins State Tournament

The 2012 Middle Georgia Warriors added the title of Region 17 Champions to their season on Tuesday, May 15th.

The Warriors won 7-6 in 10 innings over Gordon College on championship day with plenty of heroics to spare in the game.  Blake Shouse and Ben Donath each had 3 hits on the day, but the most damage was done by Caleb Bryson's bat.

Bryson collected 4 RBI's on a 2-run 9th inning homer and the go ahead sac fly in the to of the 10th inning. He also had a run scoring double to tie the game in the 7th inning.

Bo Way scored the go ahead run as well as 2 more runs in the game with his lone hit, a double in the 10th. Khirus Ware added 2 hits and Matt Fears had a hit in the game. Dylan Kelly added a sac fly to take the lead in the 7th.

The Warriors will host the East Central District Championship May 18th-20th for a trip to the NJCAA World Series. MGC will play Columbia State in their first game.

Dodge County Standoff Ends Peacefully

A Dodge County man is in jail after police say he tried to shoot his wife with an assault rifle.

Captain Tony Winborn with the Dodge Count Sheriff's Office says 47-year-old Olen Hogan and his wife had been fighting for several days.

When she tried to escape the house on Glen Hickman Road early Tuesday morning, Winborn says, Hogan fired shots at her, then barricaded himself inside the home.

Winborn says Hogan threatened to shoot officers and their family pets, but finally surrendered around 3:45 p.m. Tuesday.

According to a press release, sheriff's deputies went to the residence just before 1pm to serve court protection orders and arrest warrants on the man for aggravated assault from a previous domestic violence incident.

Hogan is charged with aggravated assault and marijuana possession. Other charges are pending from the standoff incident.

Bleckley Student Athletes Sign Scholarships

Double the smiles are in order for a couple of Royal student athletes who made their college plans official. Two Bleckley County students signed letters of intent on Friday. Baseball player Ben Harris inked a deal with ABAC in Tifton. Harris hit an amazing.338 with a slugging percentage of .405 and Jacob Waters signed to battle on the pitch with Darton College. Waters is the first Bleckley County soccer player to sign an athletic scholarship. The senior had 15 goals this season, including three hat tricks.  

PHOTO CREDIT: David Whitaker, Bleckley Progress 

Bleckley Athletes Receive Region Player of the Year Honors

Bleckley Athletes Receive Region Player of the Year Honors

Four BCHS athletes were voted players of the year at their position by coaches in 3-AA at post-season meetings. 

Pitcher Kace Kirkpatrick was named pitcher of the year. 

Chastain Coleman, a two-year transfer from Pierce County, was named player of the year. 

For soccer, Blake Lucas was named 3-AA Player Of The Year.  Keeper Marcus Mack was the defender of the year.

Woman Dies in Eastman House Fire

A 67-year-old woman died in a house fire in Eastman early Sunday morning.

That's according to Dodge County Coroner, Joe Smith.

Smith says it happened on Bacon Avenue. He says 67-year-old Joyce Paul was taken to the Dodge County Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Smith says Paul's son, Greg Purvis, called in the fire around 12:30 a.m. He says Purvis woke up from the flames and tried to break into his mother's bedroom window, where she was, at the time of the fire.

He says crews fought the blaze from 12:30 to around 3:15 a.m.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.