41 Rewind: Your Top Local 2014 Stories

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – 2014 was a big year for us at 41NBC. Our reporters filed more than 2,000 stories and talked to countless more sources. It was all done to bring you the stories that Middle Georgia wanted and needed to hear.
    
Here’s a look back at some of the top stories we covered in 2014 from all over Middle Georgia:

With the new year came a new Macon-Bibb government. Commissioners and the first mayor of the consolidated government were sworn into office.

The polar vortex struck in late January. It sent arctic air and snow across Middle Georgia. Schools and businesses shut down due to the weather. 41NBC kept you updated on the winter conditions with live coverage.

State lawmakers met at the Gold Dome in Atlanta. A big topic this year was legalizing medical marijuana. The bill failed during this legislative session. State Representative Allen Peake is making it is mission to bring families who left Georgia seeking treatment back home.

The nightmare for the family of Lauren Giddings, a Mercer law graduate who was murdered in 2011, came to an end in April. Her suspected killer, Stephen McDaniel, pleaded guilty to the crime. He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 2041.

Five-year-old Heaven Woods was found unresponsive in her Monroe County home in May. Authorities arrested her mother, Amanda Hendrickson, and her boyfriend, Roderick Buckner. They are facing several charges, including murder and cruelty to children. The community mourned the young life that was lost.

Gordon’s new mayor took office this year, but not without controversy. The group, “The Concerned Citizens of Gordon,” claims Mayor Mary-Ann Whipple Lue violated the Open Meetings Act. A judge temporarily removed her from office in June and she returned in August.

The pride of Sparta went down in flames in August. The Hancock County Courthouse was destroyed by a fire. All that was left of the building was a skeleton of the frame and the inside was a total loss.
 
Also in August, Georgia Military College in Milledgeville made a list of suggested places for Al-Qaeda to bomb. School officials said that the threat was not credible. A magazine that supports the terrorist group listed GMC among a group of suggested targets including Times Square, casinos, and night clubs in Las Vegas.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Norris died in September while responding to a suicide call on Haley Lane. Deputy Jeff Wilson was also injured. The man accused of fatally shooting Norris is 46-year-old Christopher Calmer. He is facing several charges, including murder and the attempted murder of Wilson.
 
In October, four Robins airmen were swept out to sea during a typhoon in Japan. One was rescued. Sadly, Senior Master Sergeant James Swartz, Master Sergeant David Pascal, and Staff Sergeant Joshua Schoenhoff lost their lives.

Robert Wayne Holsey died by lethal injection on December 9th for the murder of Baldwin County Sheriff’s Deputy Will Robinson. Holsey was convicted of killing Robinson in 1995.

Categories: Baldwin County, Bibb County, Hancock County, Houston County, Local News, Monroe County, Wilkinson County

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