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NAACP Holds Rally at Dodge Courthouse

Macon's NAACP is continuing its protest against a Confederate flag outside the Dodge County courthouse. Tuesday evening, they took their concerns to the county commission.

The organization held a rally in front of the courthouse.

Those who attended called for Dodge County commissioners to remove the flag, which flies above a Civil War memorial.

Macon-Bibb NAACP chapter president David Booker also read letters to commissioners from Macon mayor Robert Reichert and city councilman Tom Ellington.

People who attended the rally said it's time for commissioners to listen to their concerns about the flag.

"We don't want our children to come up and have that legacy on what's up on that flag," says Harry Hand. "We want them to feel unity and love."

"It's sad, you know, that people can't come together and agree on something I think is important," says Sandra Northcutt.

Dodge County Small-Plane Crash Injures 84-Year-Old

An 84-year-old Georgia man was injured when a small ultralight plane crashed in treetops near the Dodge County community of Dubois.

Capt. Tony Winborn of the sheriff's office says James Spletstoser had just taken off from a small private air strip on his property when the one-person plane crashed in the woods.

It happened around 8 a.m. near the intersection of Dubois Church Road and Hardy Road. Dubois is north of Eastman on highways 23 and 87.

13WMAZ's Candace Adorka reports that the plane was lodged in the trees about 60 feet off the ground and suffered heavy damage.

Winborn said Spletstoser was flown to an area hospital, but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Spletstoser is an Vietnam veteran who flies as a hobby, Winborn said. His son witnessed the crash.

 

(Our original story reported the pilot's age incorrectly. He is 84 years old.)

 

 

Cochran Police Say Towel Didn't Shield Bank Robber

COCHRAN, Ga. -- Cochran police say a woman tried to rob a bank while using a towel to hide her face -- but the towel dropped.

They released photos of a woman at the bank's drive-through window. Police say she was passing notes through the window.

Cochran Detective Key McGuire says it happened at the Citizens Bank of Cochran Tuesday morning around 11:40.

In a news release, McGuire said a woman driving a white, four-door Ford pickup stopped at the drive-through window.

The woman, about 55 years old with reddish hair, leaned out of the driver's side window and, police say, passed a plastic bag and a note to the teller.

McGuire said the note read, "Put $10,000 in bag. Do not call police for 10 minutes, or a bomb will go off."

The teller didn't comply, McGuire said. The woman drove off leaving the note and bag.

GBI Says Hawkinsville Teen Shot By Ex-Boyfriend

The family of an 18-year old Hawkinsville girl is mourning her death after a Saturday morning shooting.

According to Todd Lowery with the Eastman GBI office, 33-year-old Birago Blackshear is charged with the murder of Ashton Bartlett.

Her family says Blackshear was a former boyfriend, and they tried to warn her about signs of trouble.

Showing pictures of her daughter's life, Michelle Bartlett says they show her daughter's beauty, but not her whole story.

She said, "She was planning on going to school. She was supposed to go take her test this morning."

The test she was set to take Monday, would let her study to be a radiologist.

Three Central Ga. Counties Eligible for Drought Relief

ATLANTA (AP) --Dodge, Telfair and Wheeler counties are among 22 in Georgia that are eligible for federal disaster aid due to the drought.

 Federal agriculture officials have declared those counties disaster areas due to drought conditions that have left crops parched.

Gov. Nathan Deal sought the federal help earlier this month in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
Deal on Monday said the designation means that farmers and their businesses will qualify for much-needed federal relief.

Also on the list are Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan, Chatham, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Effingham, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Lanier, Lowndes, Pierce, Thomas and Wayne.

Farmers in counties contiguous to the disaster counties may be considered for assistance.

Farmers may contact their local Farm Service Agency office for more information.

'Exceptional' Drought Grips Much of Central Georgia

The state's climatologist says 17 Central Georgia counties are now in an 'exceptional drought' -- drier and more severe than extreme drought.

The hot and dry conditions are causing wildfires and creating record-low levels for rivers and wells across the southern two-thirds of the state, according to a news release from state climatologist David Stooksbury.

He says these counties are now in exceptional drought, the worst category: Taylor, Crawford, Bibb, Twiggs, Wilkinson, Johnson, Peach, Houston, Bleckley, Laurens, Dodge, Pulaski, Macon, Dooly, Wilcox, Telfair, Wheeler and Treutlen.

Stooksbury reports:

 Daily record-low flows are occurring along South and Central Georgia rivers, including the Flint River at Newton and the Ocmulgee River at Lumber City.

Groundwater levels in the coastal plain are at or near record low levels. Some communities in the region are drilling deeper wells to maintain water supplies.

Pulaski County Works to Decrease Teen Pregnancy

Officials in Pulaski County say teen pregnancy in the area is a problem, and they're doing something about it.

They've teamed up with the University of Georgia's Archway Partnership and the Georgia Department of Affairs to sign a community of opportunity contract.

The two-year initiative will target seventh through twelfth grade boys and girls in hopes of reducing teen pregnancy.

Speakers will hold forums for students and their parents to talk about pregnancy prevention.

Michelle Elliott with Archway says, "Georgia has the 2nd highest rate in repeat teen pregnancies."

Family Connection Coordinator for Pulaski County, Vonnie Berryhill says, "We have a real issue with the girls. They seem to be starting younger. I mean we've had some in middle school and they repeat. It's not you know, I did this the first time. They end up having another child before the age of graduation."