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Bond denied for Fort Valley rape suspect


The man accused of a series of rapes and break-ins in Fort Valley will remain in jail for now.

Judge Tillman Self today denied bond for Darrell Ross.

Prosecutor Cindy Adams argued against bond during the hearing, saying that Ross was arrested for burglaries twice before in 2007 and 2009, and was on probation from a 2009 case.

His public defender, Bill Phillips, said Ross denies all the charges against him, and that Ross believes the real rapist is still free.

According to Chief Lawrence Spurgeon, there have been no rapes reported since Ross was arrested, and the number of break-ins that have occurred are low.

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Crawford coroner indicted on charges of violating oath

A Crawford county grand jury indicted county coroner Allen O'Neal Wednesday for violating his oath of office.

According to the indictment, the two charges came about after O'Neal refused to answer a call after a death on May 2. Then it says O'Neal ordered deputy coroner Kent Winslett not to respond. When Winslett answered the call, O'Neal fired him.

The GBI investigated and arrested O'Neal. O'Neal has battled Crawford County commissioners over funding and equipment for his office. Earlier this year, he sued the County for not providing him a vehicle to answer coroner calls, but a judge threw the case out.

Fort Valley cooks world's largest peach cobbler

It's a Peach County tradition.

Every year, Fort Valley celebrates the Georgia Peach Festival by cooking up the world's largest Peach Cobbler.

Peopled lined Church Street, eager to get a taste of the cobbler, which measured 11 feet long, 5 feet wide, and 6 inches deep. Volunteers started working on the giant desert around 3 a.m. Saturday morning.

Rich Bennett has been the head chef of the world's largest peach cobbler since 2006. He says the best part is serving the community.

"It's a lot of work, for sure, and a lot of people and organizations have come together to put this together for us, but it's a lot of fun too," says Bennett.

What goes in the world's largest peach cobbler?

Preparations begin for the Ga. Peach Festival


With countless pounds of peaches already harvested, Peach County and surrounding orchards are gearing up for the annual Georgia Peach Festival.

The annual Georgia Peach Festival kicks off Saturday morning bright and early with a parade starting at 9:30 a.m. Spokeswoman Sandee Khoury says it brings the community and Georgia farmers together.

"It's about the Georgia peach farmers," Khoury said. "There are several different growers in our area that produce approximately 83 percent of the peaches in Georgia."

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Boys and Girls club hosting 'Steak and Steak Dinner'

About 195 children joined the Boys and Girls Club in Fort Valley this year.

During the summer, they have activities like board games, Foosball, and hula hoops.

But the club's staff says some changes are needed.

"Some of our equipment is outdated. We have tables that we're looking to replace, and making sure that we're in the 21st century," said John Mack, the chief professional officer.

He says the club needs new furniture and games for the kids.

Which is why they're hosting a "Steak and Steak Dinner" on June 20th.

Organizers hope ticket sales can drum up enough money to make the updates.

"It lends to really attracting the kids," said Mack, "If there is plenty for them to do, and we keep them engaged, then we know we can keep them involved and coming to the club more frequently."

NASA experts teach educators STEM exercises

Making a tower out of spaghetti and marshmallows may seem simple, but eight teachers from across central Georgia found out just how hard it can be.

It was part of a workshop run by NASA experts at Fort Valley State on Tuesday.

Edward Hill, the dean of the school's college of education, invited NASA to train teachers who work closely with students.

"Some simple, basic activities from NASA that they can take right back to their classroom to help spark the interest in STEM," said John Weis, a specialist from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

He says the desire for science and engineering jobs drops once children get to middle school.

"[NASA] did a survey not too long ago and found that somewhere around 30 percent of our work force is of retirement age," said Weis.

FVSU cuts out-of-state tuition for 3 states

Starting this fall school year, Fort Valley State University is waiving out-of-state tuition for students enrolling from Alabama, South Carolina, and Florida.

The Georgia Board of Regents approved Fort Valley and 10 other schools to offer the waiver.

For most students taking 15 credits, it means a difference of about $6,300 a semester.

"It will encourage students to leave their state instead of staying home, so I think it's a good thing," said Darrell Lake.

He is a senior who is originally from Florida.

He says during his sophomore year, he was offered in-state tuition because he was an athlete, saving him a pretty penny.

" [It] was about $8,000 difference from out of state," said Lake.

He says giving that opportunity to other students like him will only strengthen his school's appeal for more athletes.