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GOP Backs Keown For Agriculture Seat

ATLANTA (AP) -- House Minority Leader John Boehner has promised to support putting a Republican challenger from southwest Georgia on the House Agriculture Committee.

Mike Keown said Tuesday that he approached the Republican leader seeking his support. Boehner would be in a position to deliver if the GOP wins a House majority and Boehner is elected House speaker.

Keown is challenging Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop in the 2nd Congressional District where agriculture is a big employer. Keown said it's important that a district lawmaker sits on the Agriculture Committee and supports farmers.

Bishop has a seat on an agriculture subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. Bishop has said he's effective in securing federal funds for agriculture.

A Bishop spokesman didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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Macon-Bibb, Crawford, Peach Launch Public Emergency-Notification System

Macon, Bibb County, Crawford County and Peach County announced the launch of a Code Red notification system Monday.

Mayor Reichert, along with other officials held a news conference Monday morning to explain how the system works.

Reichert says the system will use phone calls, text messages and email to let people know about emergencies

He says the system is capable of placing up to 3,000 calls per minute in the event of a major disaster like a tornado.

But he says it can also be programmed to notify people in smaller areas about "items of convenience."

"If a road is out or blocked, or a power line (falls) onto a certain thoroughfare into an area of town, we can notify or target people just in that area that are directly affected," he said. "If a child is missing, or an adult, or an older person has wandered away and they're looking for them, you can notify people in that neighborhood only."

Middle Georgia Schools To Get $15M From Race to the Top

Four Middle Georgia school systems will get a total of more than $15 million from the Race to the Top grant during the next four school years.

Bibb, Jones, Peach and Pulaski schools will benefit from the federal school-improvement grants. Bibb will get the largest chunk, more than $13 million.

According to the state Department of Education, Peach will get nearly $1.2 million, Jones about $570,000 and Pulaski about $338,000.

The Bibb County district says Superintendent Sylvia McGee and other representatives from Bibb County attended a meeting at the Georgia Department of Education about the grant.

They say allocations for the 26 participating districts are based on the federal Title I formula, which counts the number of needy children in the district.

According to the GaDOE, that means Bibb County will receive $13,297,398 during the next four years.

Man Killed in Fort Valley Car Accident

CORRECTION: This story originally incorrectly reported the name of the accident victim. His name is Toure' Joseph Abner.

A man died in a Fort Valley accident Monday.

According to Peach County Coroner Kerry Rooks, 34-year-old Toure' Joseph Abner died in the accident.

Authorities say the car accident happened in Fort Valley around 9 o'clock Monday morning.

Rooks says it happened at the U.S. 341 and Camp John Hope Road intersection.

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Crawford Pair Charged With Growing Marijuana


A man and woman in Crawford County are charged with growing marijuana plants.


A news release from Sheriff Lewis Walker says, responding to a tip, deputies raided a home at 1766 Hayes Farm Road just before noon Wednesday.


He says they found seven plants and a large amount of marijuana, valued at more than $18,000.


Walker says 44-year-old Vicki Ann Holcomb and 48-year-old Kenneth Nolan Hutcheson, who both live at that address, face several charges.

Walker says they are each charged with manufacturing marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of marijuana over an ounce.


Fort Valley State Gets National Fundraising Help

Fort Valley State University will take to the national stage to raise scholarship money for students.

The Tom Joyner Foundation has selected the school as its "School of the Month" for October.

Neil Foote, a spokesman for the foundation says the group chooses eleven schools a year and allows it to use Tom Joyner, host of a nationally-syndicated morning radio program, in its marketing and outreach campaigns.

The foundation selects historically black colleges and universities to spotlight.

Foote says during the selected month, the Tom Joyner Morning Show encourages listeners to donate to the spotlighted school.

He says the program reaches nearly 115 cities and 8 million listeners a week.

UnitedHealthcare Again Covering Medical Center

UnitedHealthcare has resumed covering patients at the Medical Center of Central Georgia, according to the insurer and the Medical Center.

In a statement, UnitedHealthcare said that since Monday, the Medical Center is again a "participating facility" for policyholders.

"We are extremely pleased that a new agreement has been reached between UnitedHealthcare and the Medical Center of Central Georgia, including its urgent care centers and other ancillary facilities," according to the statement e-mailed to us by Tracey Lempner, the public-relations director for UnitedHealthcare's southeast region.