Macon-Bibb

Marianna Bacallao

Organizers and city leaders are still puzzling out why a job fair at the Anderson Conference Center in Macon recently saw an unexpectedly large turnout.

More than 3,500 job hunters stood in a line a mile long, and some continued to wait hours after the fair technically closed.  This all happened amidst reports of low unemployment rates for the county and state.


Samantha Max / The Telegraph

Drive through almost any neighborhood in Macon-Bibb County and you're apt to spot some houses with crumbling facades, shuttered windows and overgrown lawns. They're among the county's nearly 4,000 unoccupied properties. Most of them are only in poor or fair condition, but more than 400 are in such bad shape they need to be demolished.

Samantha Max just wrapped a series and a podcast on blight for The Telegraph, where she covers health. She joined On Second Thought from Macon to explain the roots of the problem and what residents and local leaders are doing to fix it. 


 

Last week, Gov. Nathan Deal announced his pick for Deputy Commissioner for Rural Georgia. In January, GPB Special Correspondent Celeste Headlee looked at legislative efforts to improve services like health care and internet access in rural parts of the state. She spoke with Mark Niesse, a reporter with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Sharon Wright Austin, Political Science Professor at the University of Florida.

 

Grant Blankenship / GPB News

Macon-Bibb County officials meet later this month to discuss why the rate of pedestrian fatalities is so high in the city. It’s either the most deadly or close to the most deadly county in the state for walkers, depending on how you count it. Chris Tsavatewa of the Macon-Bibb Board of Health tells us why he's made pedestrian safety a top issue.

A Macon Library Battles For Funding Help

Jul 22, 2016

A 9-year-old taekwondo black belt prepared to break a board that his instructor held up. Other children sat nearby.

 

“3,2,1,” they said counting down in unison. The children cheered as he broke the board with his hand.

 

This didn’t happen at a dojo, but at the Shurling Library in East Macon where children watched a demonstration performed by a local taekwondo school. Libraries have become more than a place to check out books.

Tearing Down Blight In Macon-Bibb County

May 11, 2016

In February Macon-Bibb county commissioners agreed to take $4.5 million and spend it on 15 blighted projects in the county. One commissioner called the move historic.  Building an arts village in Mill Hill, tearing down blighted homes in Village Green and Tindall Heights, all of these projects were part of the initial outlay of blight money by Macon-Bibb County. There's still a little less than half of the $10 million borrowed for blight projects.  So, where do things stand today with battling blight? Cass Hatcher, hired by Macon-Bibb as a blight consultant, addressed that issue. 

Macon-Bibb Sheriff Candidates Speak

May 6, 2016

In less than three weeks people will head to the polls. One of the races on the ballot: The sheriff of Macon-Bibb County. David Davis holds that job now. Challenging Davis are two former law enforcement officers, Mike Smallwood and Tim Rivers. We invited Davis, Smallwood and Rivers for "Off the Cuff" conversations here at GPB Macon. 

GPB’s Michael Caputo first spoke with Smallwood and asked about why he’s running for the job.

Mike Smallwood: Well actually I love law enforcement. I still love the sheriff's office. And I think I can make a difference.

Private Funds Hire Off-Duty Public Patrols

Apr 1, 2016
Grant Blankenship / GPB

Bill Fickling sat on his front porch in the Ingleside neighborhood of Macon.

 

He pointed beyond the cherry blossom trees, well-known to those who live in the city. Through the woods is a house.

 

“The burglars were actually using that as a hide out, apparently that house is vacant,” said Fickling.

Paying for Crumbling Stormwater Systems

Feb 23, 2016
Grant Blankenship / Georgia Public Broadcasting

 

Clay Murphey, a project manager for Macon Bibb County, walked through an eight-foot-high stormwater culvert under a busy intersection. As sloshed through three inches of water, Murphey ran a hand along a jagged crack in the dusty red brick.

"This is the stuff we're concerned about. These large cracks," Murphey said. “You got seepage that's coming from above. That shouldn't be happening. Everytime you're seeping, you are washing away the mortar that's holding this brick in place.”

Then Murphey pointed down to brick rubble lying in the water.