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200 high school students do 'ice bucket challenge'


At Peach County High School, some students and teachers didn't have any trouble cooling off.

They participated in what they call "Middle Georgia's largest ice bucket challenge."

About 200 students and teachers were soaked thanks to the Peach County Fire Department.

The school's Future Farmers of America Club were challenged by the Newton County High School chapter.

Members of the club took $1 donations from students who wanted to participate.

The club then matched the total they received from students, ending with around $400 being donated to ALS research.

The challenge was then passed on to Perry High School, Crawford County High School, and Warner Robins High School.

One student whose family is affected by ALS, says she's glad she did the challenge.

State approves Byron-Peach Charter High School


The Old Byron Elementary School, now being used by community groups and Central Georgia Technical College, is getting new life. Come next August, it'll be known as the Byron-Peach Charter High School.

Board chairman Roy Lewis said it's been about two years in the making. Lewis said they are a state charter, not a local charter, because the Peach County School Board voted to deny their application.

"The school is funded solely through state funds and grant programs. The state will give you about $5,200 per student," said Lewis.

That $5,200 would pay for teachers salaries, utilities, administrators and other support staff, but the school will have to pay for renovations.

Among other things they've found asbestos and that the building needs new floor, ceiling tiles, and paint. The charter plans to apply for federal grants that help charters get started and by fundraising.

FVSU to hold international festival Saturday


Fort Valley State University is having its first International Cultural Festival and Soccer Exhibition this Saturday.

The event kicks off at 9 a.m. with a parade down State University Drive.

"I think it's a great opportunity," said Joshua Murfree, the director of intercollegiate athletics, "One for this community, one for this community as a university, and one for people who say, 'Well, I want to stay home this holiday season and enjoy what is gonna happen.'"

At 10 a.m, the soccer exhibition will start.

Two teams from Atlanta and two teams from Peach County will compete for a chance to win the festival cup.

Fort Valley's Jolly Nut Company closes


In 1975, Kay Meyer and her husband took over Jolly Nut Company, a pecan company.

Her father, Wallis Hardeman, bought it in the late 1940s and changed it from its original name, Wright and Solomon Incorporated.

"Daddy thought it up. It just seemed to work. Who's gonna remember Wright and Solomon Incorporated?" she said with a laugh.

The company has been in Fort Valley since 1924, but 90 years later, Meyer says it's time for Jolly Nut to close its doors.

The mother of two says since her children are happy with other careers, she felt the time was right to close the company.

"My husband and I had two premises: to offer quality and service, and I do believe we've done that," Meyer said.

When her father took over the company, it was simply a shelling plant.

Woman killed in Byron housing project


Byron police are investigating a homicide.

They say Ratavious Canion stabbed his 20-year-old girlfriend to death today. He was arrested and charge with the murder of Destiny Clarke.

Byron Police found Clarke's body inside her home on Boy Scout road around 3 p.m. Friday.

Peach County commissioners discuss water park


Peach County Commissioners discussed providing "public accessibility" to a Warner Robins water park at commission meeting at 4:30 on Thursday.

Commissioner Melvin Walker said, by phone, the commissioners agreed to provide an access road to the park and that they would meet again for further review.

The city administrator, Marcia Johnson, says there still needs to be an agreement between the developer, development authority, and commissioners on the park plans.

Jeff Franklin, the President of Spirit of America Theme Park and Development, is the developer of the park and has been planning on building it for about a year.

The park would go on Vietnam Veterans Parkway near Interstate 75 in Warner Robins.

In July, Franklin told 13WMAZ that he is planning on opening the park next April, with an amphitheater across from it.


UPDATE: Victim identified in fatal Crawford Co. shooting


The GBI has identified a man who was shot to death Monday, reportedly after a family dispute in Crawford County.

Crawford County deputies found the man shot to death around 11 a.m. at a home on Haywood Circle.

Coroner Allen O'Neal identified fire him as Ben Tyler Rowland, 26, of Byron. The home belongs to a relative.

Special agent J-T Ricketson of the GBI's Perry office says Rowland was reportedly shot by a male relative and the two men had some past disagreements.

He said the case is still under investigation.

He would not release any further details on the case and said a GBI autopsy on Rowland is scheduled for Monday.

Ricketson said the fatal shooting was not related to another one Sunday night in Crawford County, when a man was wounded at a home on Sandy Point Road.