One Pulaski County community gets national recognition. The Hawkinsville Better Hometown has been named an accredited National Main Street Program. The organization received the honor for its effort to strengthen the cities economy and protect the towns historic buildings.
Today, a judge heard from both the Bibb County DA's office and the attorney for Stephen McDaniel. They discussed whether it's appropriate for McDaniel's former employer to take the 25 year old to trial for two counts of felony burglary.
McDaniel is charged with stealing from apartments at the Barristers Hall Complex back in 2008 and 2009. The Barristers Hall Complex is also the same residence where murdered Mercer law grad Lauren Giddings once lived.
Judge Tilman Self called Friday's hearing a unique and rare motion. McDaniel worked for the DA's office from February 2011 through April 2011. McDaniel's attorney, Floyd Buford, filed a conflict of motion last week because he says McDaniel built personal relationships while he was worked there.
Over the course of his internship McDaniel worked around 300 hours. He prepared memos and worked closely with the juvenile court.
Bibb County DA Greg Winters says he understands why Buford filed the motion but does not agree with it.
Buford says if the DA's office stays on this case his client's 6th Amendment rights to due process will be violated.
"The problem in my view obviously in that 1) It is speculation. There's no concrete evidence, but 2) Where do you draw the line. If it was somebody that I grew up with or one of my assistance grew up with or somebody went to church with... and do you just remove that one person or in this case our entire office. Where do you draw the line?" says Winters.
McDaniel's parents were at Friday's hearing to support their son who has been in jail since July 1st.
Judge Tilman Self is expected to make a decision early next week. McDaniel faces up to 40 years in prison for these felony charges.
Police are still calling McDaniel a person of interest in the murder of his neighbor 27 year old Lauren Giddings.
Tonight, state representatives from house districts in middle and southern Georgia came together to allow you, the voters the chance to voice questions and concerns about redistricting in Georgia. At an open forum at Fort Valley State University, legislators took the opportunity to explain the process.
"Because of the growth in our state in northern and metro areas in our state, south Georgia is going to lose representation in the general assembly," says State Representative Carolyn Hugley, District 133.
So is middle Georgia. As students and members of rural communities like Peach County questioned the process of redistricting, former state representative David Lucas made it very clear that in the past, this process was dominated by the Republicans.
"The problem is, we will be fighting. Republicans are in charge and they are going to try and increase their numbers. Reapportionment has always been that way."
The state released Adequate Yearly Progress numbers for schools across Georgia, and some Bibb County schools aren't making the grade.
It's a scarlet letter on the Bibb County School record. For the 2010-2011 school year, 24 of the 39 schools in the county aren't meeting federal standards. In fact, not a single high school in Bibb County made the grade. In order to meet state requirements, 95% of schools must progress in academic performance, Dr. Romain Dallemand says the standard needs to be met.
That's the minimum standard," Dallemand said. "And we want for our students to excel and to achieve at high levels."
12 of the 24 elementary schools and 5 middle schools also didn't make AYP. School board members say they need to make goals that can be met on a short term basis, in order to reach the long term goal of significant improvement.
"Now we need to begin the dialogue of drastic change so that we can have significant increases year to year," said Tommy Barnes of the Bibb County Board of Education. "They won't happen the first year, but we're looking at in three to four years we need to really have this paradigm completely shifted to where the majority of our schools make AYP."
Members of the board say they plan to meet with students, teachers, parents and administrators to address the issue, so that schools don't keep falling behind.
"This coming September we're going to bring our staff together so that we can develop a strategic plan that will be our framework and our guide as to how we're going to transform our schools," Dallemand said.
Dallemand did not specify what he has in mind for the school district. He says the change will need to come from within, in order to achieve the desired results.
Bibb County's neighbor Houston county fared significantly better in the
AYP report. Only 7 of the 37 schools didn't meet federal requirements.
And across the state, 63 percent of schools made AYP. That number is down from 71 percent in 2010.
Hundreds of job seekers in Middle Georgia we're in Perry Thursday, hoping to find work. The Department of Labor hosted their annual July event at the Georgia National Fairgrounds this year to accommodate more people.
The Manager of the Houston County Career Center says more than 80 employers were on hand, ranging from technology companies to banks and universities.
"Well it's an opportunity for a lot of employers who are either hiring now or expect to be hiring soon, and a lot of people that are looking for work to get together under one roof and meet a lot of each other at the same time," said Jane Simpson, Houston County Career Center Manager.
Organizers say there were around 1,500 to 1,600 job seekers at the fair.
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- Police Continue Search For Evidence In Lauren Giddings Murder
- Bonaire Man Sentenced to 15 Years
- Milledgeville Police Teach Life Lessons to Students
- Macon Police Begin 'Neighborhood Saturation 2011' Initiative
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