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Peach County water park still going up


A developer is going ahead with plans to build a water park in Peach County.

Peach County Commissioners voted Thursday to put $300,000 they've budgeted towards the building of a roadway for a new water park.

The park is set to be built near the intersection of Highway 41 and Lakeview Road.

Elizabeth Hartwell, a manager at Monkey Joe's, likes the idea of the park coming.

"It's exciting because usually, you have to travel and traveling with kids is not that fun, if you have any, so a water park local, I think it'll be great," Hartwell said.

Since her business also caters to children, she expects to reap the benefits.

"A lot of people don't know about Monkey Joe's and it is word of mouth here in the community," she said, "I think business will increase actually, so I think it's a good idea that they approved this."

Byron girl's military care packages ready for send off


After weeks of preparation and hundreds of donated items, a 9-year-old Byron girl's military care packages are ready for their big send off.

We first told you about Alyssa Skinner, who collected the packages for her own birthday, last month.

Since then, the donations have poured in from across Central Georgia.

It takes a lot of thought to put together a care package. What exactly to put in....

"There's chips. There's sunglasses. There's razors," Skinner said.

And just where to put all of them.

But it's the amount of compassion stuffed into every one of 9-year-old Alyssa Skinner's bags that makes them so special.

"I decided to make 103 care packages for the military," she said.

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.