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UPDATE: Confederate soldier in dug up Crawford grave identified

UPDATE, 1:40 P.M.:

Crawford County Sheriff Lewis Walker said the Confederate soldier whose grave was dug up by a vandal(s) in a cemetery earlier this week is James A. Nichols.

According to historic records, Nichols was elected junior 2nd lieutenant of Company F, 2nd Regiment, 1st Brigade, Georgia State Troops, Oct. 14, 1861 - mustered out in 1862 and elected 2nd lieutenant of company F's 57th Regiment Georgia Infantry on May 3, 1862.

Nichols was captured at Vicksburg, Mississippi on July 4, 1863. He contracted chronic diarrhea while in the service and died Nov. 9, 1866.

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Flint Energies Joins Deal to Deploy Large Utility-Scale Solar Power System in Taylor County

REYNOLDS/BUTLER, GA-Flint Energies, together with Cobb EMC and Sawnee EMC, will purchase the entire power output of a 131-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) solar project to be constructed outside of Butler, Georgia. The electric membership cooperatives inked the deal with Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power.

Southern Power selected First Solar to be the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the facility. Construction of the plant is scheduled to begin in September 2015, and the project is expected to achieve commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016. 

UPDATE: Name released of teen killed in Crawford Co. shooting

UPDATE, 1 p.m.: Crawford County authorities released the named of the teen killed in a shooting Thursday.

Malcolm Malik Bentley, 17, of Knoxville died of gunshot wounds while visiting with friends on Springhill Church Road.

The shooting is still under investigation and no arrests have been made, according to a Crawford County Sheriff's Office news release.

No other details were released regarding the circumstances of the shooting.


The GBI and Crawford County sheriff are investigating the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old.

J.T.Ricketson of the GBI's Perry office says it happened around 10 a.m. Thusday at a home on Springhill Church Road.

The boy was visiting a friend, who is also 17.

Sheriff: Teens fabricated Peach Co. shooting report

Two Peach County teens were arrested Wednesday after the sheriff said they fabricated a report of an attempted robbery after one of the boys was shot.

Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese says the Friday
shooting on Bible Camp Road
involving a child shot in the chest was made up by the two teens involved.

The 15-year-old victim retrieved a gun from the woods and investigators found it at his house, Deese said. Deese added that the boy provided his cousin with the gun and instructed his cousin to shoot him and made up the false attempted robbery report.

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Child shot in Fort Valley; suspect at large

Peach County investigators are trying to find out who shot a 15-year-old boy outside his home.

That's according to Sheriff Terry Deese.

he says it happened around 4 p.m. Friday on Bible Camp Road. That's off Highway 49 near Byron.

Deese says the boy said he and his cousin were walking by the road when a man in a gray pickup truck stopped and demanded money.

They didn't have any, the sheriff said, so the man shot the boy in the upper left shoulder.

He was treated at Medical Center-Navicent Health in Macon and released Saturday afternoon. The other child, also 15, was not hurt.

Anyone with information on the case can call (478) 825-5144.

FVSU holds ceremony for future teachers

While teaching is seen as an underestimated and sometimes thankless job, it is still a very vital part of our community.

12 students out of 60 met the requirements to take part in Fort Valley State's 8th Annual Educator Initiation ceremony.

The ceremony symbolizes a checkpoint for students who are aspiring teachers.

Jasmine Roddie, a senior at Fort Valley State, says she was inspired by her aunt, a special needs teacher.

"I'm very passionate about special education because that's where the teachers are needed the most," she said.

"For me, I come from a title one school, free and reduced lunch," said Rodriguez Fillingam, "So for me to be able to come and get this education to give back to students and show them that 'You too can achieve'."

Fillingam says his inspiration is giving back to low-income schools .

More than 60 family members call Blue Bird home

Peach County's biggest employer, Blue Bird, has been putting buses together since 1927. Blue Bird is the nation's leading producer of school buses, and more than 1,600 people are employed there.

13WMAZ's Paula Rotondo found a special connection runs deep at the company.

Blue Bird is known for keeping its employees around. The average tenure is about 18 years, but it's how those employees relate to each other, literally, that makes working there a family affair.

A typical Blue Bird school bus can hold 30 people. Members of the Askew family who work there could fill two of them.

Hector Askew greets many of his family members on the line each day. There's a lot of them. Over 60 members of his family work at Blue Bird, including parents, cousins, uncles, aunts, and siblings.