A Houston County Superior Court puts a Bonaire man behind bars on drug charges Wednesday. 41-year-old Lester Efford Jr. was found guilty of Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute. He's sentenced to 15 years, serving 8 of those in prison.
In January 2010, Efford was caught trying to avoid a road safety check on Highway 247 near the Bibb County line, with cocaine in his possession.
The Macon Police department rolled up in their mobile command vehicle, to flex their muscles in select Macon neighborhoods, in an effort to deter crime.
The force is specifically targeting residential burglaries and entering autos.
According to Major Robert Grabowski, those two crimes are on the rise in many neighborhoods. He says compared to last year, the two crimes have increased 18% in the first six months of this year.
He says people will notice extra patrols, and a larger show of force.
"Officers will be getting out, knocking on doors, asking citizens to tell them what concerns or problems they may have in their community, so we can address them as well," Grabowski says.
The extra patrols are not coming from a hiring of more officers. Grabowski says the department is changing officers' schedules, and rotating their shifts, to free up more than 50 officers for this task. Those officers will be able to focus solely on patrolling neighborhoods that need it most.
Grabowski says people can do a few simple things to keep from being a victim of crimes like these. He urges people to keep valuables out of sight, or out of the car completly, when you are not in the car. If people can see items inside, they are more likely to break in and steal the property.
Also, he says keeping items like lawn mowers and bikes out of the front yard will help keep people from stealing them, or breaking into your house.
It's clear the city of Macon supports Robert Reichert as their mayor, but he hasn't solidified a victory quite yet. It looks like there's going to be a runoff against former mayor C. Jack Ellis.
Mayor Reichert leads the race with 47.9 percent of the vote, but former mayor C. Jack Ellis is close enough behind with 37.6 percent to force a runoff on August 16th. Reichert says there are a number of positives that separate him from Ellis, noting his fiscally sound approach to spending and creating jobs.
"We've been able to get the first clean audit, an unqualified opinion from the external auditor for the first time in ten years. So we're moving the city financially in the direction we need to move and we'll have a record of accomplishment as far as bringing jobs in even with this bad economy," said Reichert.
Reichert told supporters his runoff campaign starts now. He plans to focus on job creation and improving Macon's economy if re-elected.
Ward 5, Post 1 will continue to see a familiar face representing them. Lauren Benedict held her spot on the city council list, beating out fellow democrat Sarah Mincey Hunt.
Benedict spent her evening watching the numbers come in at the Rookery in downtown Macon.
Hunt spent her evening at a hotel in north Macon with family and friends.
Bendict says winning the race gives her a chance to continue with her initiatives. She congratulated Jones for running a good race, but says she is happy to move on and continue to serve her constituents.
"A first term is really a learning curve. So I look forward to not being the new person on the block. And you just sort of can do a little bit more once you've been around a while," Benedict says.