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Paddlers Hit the River in Hawkinsville

More than 100 people dropped their canoes and kayaks in the river this weekend to promote the 54 mile Ocmulgee River Blue Way.

It runs from Twiggs to Pulaski County.

Paddlers made the journey, which took about six hours, at their own pace.

It ended at Mile Branch Landing in Hawkinsville.

Organizers says the event brought out first timers to professionals, and it was a great way to get out to enjoy the fresh air and the river.

"People are looking for ways for entertainment, very economical entertainment, and you know to get outdoors and enjoy nature and so forth," said Lamar Phillips with the Georgia Canoeing Association.

They say they plan to make the paddle an annual event.

Royals Run Past Screven for Homecoming Win

Royals Run Past Screven for Homecoming Win

Tavon Ross rushed for 192 yards on 20 carries, scored three rushing touchdowns, and had a touchdown pass to Jaquante Burns, as Bleckley celebrated Homecoming with a 49-21 win over Screven County. 

The Royals rushed for 358 on 50 carries. 

Ken Hughesr rushed for two scores, he had 61 yards on 11 carries. 

Dytrez Nelson ran for 96 yards on 14 carries. 

Fullback Jeremy Marshall carried the offensive load for Screven.  He had 20 carries and ran for 180 of the Gamecocks 259 rushing yards. 

Johnson also scored twice.  BCHS is currently second in Region 3-AA.  They'll try to hold on to that position October 14 when the Royals play at Laney. 

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

Georgia National Fair Opens Today

 The Georgia National Fair in Perry begins with a sneak peek today.

The gates open at 3 p.m.

Today, admission for adults and seniors is $5; children 10 and under, free with paying adult.

The fair's opening ceremonies are at 4 p.m. and there's a free outdoor concert, featuring The Spinners with The Grapevine, at 7 p.m.

As usual, the national fair features rides, food, animal and craft shows and nightly fireworks.

 The Georgia National Fair officially opens Friday and will run through Oct. 16th.

For more information on the Georgia National Fair visit: www.georgianationalfair.com

Cochran's Mayor Defends Himself On Theft Charge

Cochran's mayor on Wednesday defended himself against a charge of stealing over 25 pieces of city-owned plastic pipe.

Clifford Avant says he asked some people to take the pipe to his church after the city's field superintendent said the city had no use for the pipe.

He told 13WMAZ, "I was told it was unusable and worthless. I chose to find a useful purpose for it." He said he saved Cochran the cost of dumping the pipe.

He said he would not comment further, on the advice of his lawyer.

But he said he thinks the charge resulted from a political rift with a city council member, whom he would not identify.

Avant also said his inital reaction to the arrest was surprise. 

"I had officers that were upset they were having to do that and process somebody for something that is, really, I mean in my opinion ridiculous, that it's come to this," he said.

Developing Leaders for our Community: Leadership Dodge

Developing Leaders for our Community: Leadership Dodge

The Eastman/Dodge County Chamber of Commerce held the initial Leadership Dodge session for the class of 2011-2012 on September 13th with a focus on team-building. Held at the new Chamber building in Eastman, the session was facilitated by Jim Lovett of the Georgia Power Company.  Mr. Lovett presented the class with an overview of economic development, and challenged them to examine the assets and changes facing Dodge County and to suggest possible solutions. Role-playing exercises further enhanced the session by challenging the class to develop real-life cooperative strategies for dealing with scenarios faced by city and county officials, governmental agencies, and community organizations.  Ms. Judy Madden, Chamber executive director, addressed the class in the afternoon with an overview of program goals, the agenda for the year, as well as expectations of participants.  Sgt. Major Steven Greer volunteered to serve as the class secretary. 

Contributor of the Week: Community Health Works

Tess Harper of Community Health Works dropped by WMAZ to share what types of events she posts to our Where You Live sites.

Firefighters Wanted for Chili Cook-Off

Firefighters Wanted for Chili Cook-Off

Firefighters and chili -- they seem to go together like barbecue and cole slaw.

That's why 13WMAZ is looking for some of Central Georgia's best chili-cookin' firefighters to join us for a cookoff.

We'd like to schedule live guests for Saturday mornings from Oct. 29 to Nov. 19. Four participants would appear on Weekend Mornin' to make their chili live on the air with Suzanne Lawler.

Then on Nov. 26, all four would appear to have their chili judged.
If you're nervous about being on camera, check out our recipes page on our website, where you can view our "How to be a Cooking Guest" video.

If you're interested, please email Brad Wilson at bwwilson@wmaz.gannett.com.

And if you've never made chili before, now is as good a time as any to give it a shot! We would love for you to participate in this so we can show our appreciation for all you do!