The Macon Newsroom

Macon’s oldest church, historic school part of planned housing for seniors

Fulton Baptist church, which is slated to be part of the Hawthorne Commons housing project, is believed to be Macon's oldest church building.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

June 15, 2020

The thought of taking away an historic downtown church from its congregation alarmed Macon-Bibb County Commissioner Virgil Watkins. Once Watkins learned the Fulton Baptist Church is still active at 506 Hawthorne St., he could not support recently revealed plans to convert it to apartments. “You...

COVID-19 grace period ending for Macon Water Authority customers

The Macon Water Authority is ending its COVID-19 grace period for disconnects, late fees and administrative charges.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

June 8, 2020

As more businesses reopen and Georgia’s stay-at-home orders relax, some Macon Water Authority customers could be without water late next month. Last week, authority members voted to resume non-pay disconnects on July 14, which will give customers about six weeks to make payment arrangements. Due...

Your vote for mayor puts hundreds of other people in power

Mayor Robert Reichert, left, has the authority to appoint dozens of people  to numerous boards and authorities.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

June 8, 2020

/ As the Age Friendly Communities Advisory Council was planning strategy for 2020, members realized they are lame ducks appointed by Mayor Robert Reichert, who is in his last year of office. “So, the new mayor could change everything?” one of them asked. “Right,” was the reply. A similar conversation took place at last month’s Land Bank Authority meeting. While discussing the COVID-19 drain on tax revenues and th...

Does it matter where your mayor lives? Macon-Bibb charter is unclear

Does it matter where your mayor lives? Macon-Bibb charter is unclear

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

June 5, 2020

The most recent meeting of the Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections began with a public comment questioning the residency of one of the mayoral candidates. Speaking “on behalf of all concerned citizens of Macon, Georgia,” the woman alleged Marc Whitfield actually lives out of state but the elections...

Navicent’s new COVID-19 testing machine makes ‘significant impact’ in fighting virus

Medical Center, Navicent Health, medical lab technicians Diane Jones, left, and Jeri Fountain, use the new Roche Cobas 6800 testing machine that will allow the hospital to do all its COVID-19 testing in house.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

June 3, 2020

As the world fights a pandemic, Medical Center, Navicent Health, has acquired a coveted testing machine. Dr. Gene Battles, a pathologist at the downtown hospital, was told only two Roche Cobas 6800 molecular analyzers rolled off the assembly line last month in Basel, Switzerland. Navicent qualified...

New roundabouts for Mercer University Drive; GDOT proposes more

GDOT secured federal funding for Mercer University Drive roundabouts at Anthony and Columbus roads.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

June 1, 2020

Federal safety money will help pay for two new roundabouts and other pedestrian enhancements on Mercer University Drive. The Georgia Department of Transportation has committed to the project although no timeline is currently available, GDOT District Traffic Engineer Tyler Peek told Macon-Bibb County...

Publix closing leaves large retail space to fill in north Macon

The Publix on Tom Hill Sr. Blvd. in North Macon will close June 9, leaving another hole in the retail landscape.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

May 29, 2020

When Publix opened a new store at Bass and Bowman roads in the summer of 2009, some thought the days were numbered for the company’s supermarket on Tom Hill Sr. Blvd. About 11 years later, time is up for Macon’s first Publix which anchored the $18 million Rivergate Shopping Center when it opened...

Concerned about Macon-Bibb’s budget? Here’s how to get your voice heard

COVID-19 forced Macon-Bibb County to hold a virtual public hearing on the Fiscal '21 budget which will require people to email questions and concerns to

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

May 29, 2020

COVID-19 pandemic guidelines mean Macon-Bibb County citizens will not be allowed to physically appear before commissioners at Tuesday’s Fiscal Year ‘21 budget hearing. Mayor Robert Reichert and the commission again will meet virtually on a Zoom teleconference to limit the number of people present at ...

 Will COVID-19 kill off or boost planned downtown Macon projects?

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

May 22, 2020

Just a few short months ago, downtown Macon was bustling with new businesses about to open and some ambitious development plans. Now that COVID-19 has pulled out the rug from under the U.S. economy, some projects appear to be on hold and others might not happen at all. Central City Commons - an...

Georgia budget cuts cause ‘grave concern’ for Macon-Bibb health board

The Macon-Bibb County Board of Health sent Gov. Brian Kemp a letter Tuesday expressing concern over state-mandated budget cuts as health workers fight COVID-19.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

May 20, 2020

With the state of Georgia battling a deadly pandemic, cutting funding for public health is untenable, say members of the Macon-Bibb County Board of Health. Gov. Brian Kemp calls for a 14 percent reduction in state spending across the board. Monday, during the health board's monthly meeting, members...

Sheep are eating their way through Macon-Bibb’s newest park

The Cud Crew is eating away poison ivy and briars in Randall Heights Park between East Buford and West Buford roads off Ingleside as the county plans a passive park on the 2.3-acre lot donated to Macon-Bibb County.

Liz Fabian and Rylee Kirk, Center for Collaborative Journalism

May 12, 2020

When Mayor Robert Reichert was a young boy growing up in Ingleside, a small brook often lured him to the woods between East Buford and West Buford roads. “I spent countless hours down there playing in the creek,” Reichert told current neighbors who gathered early this year to talk about what to...

Census folks could come calling as Macon sees mixed response rates

Downtown Macon census response rates are low although dozens of loft apartments have been added in the past decade.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

May 11, 2020

As of Wednesday, U.S. Census Bureau workers will be back on the streets of Georgia after field operations were suspended in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Marilyn Stephens, assistant regional census manager, said the crews will be hand-delivering packets to residents who do not receive mail...

The Macon Newsroom features work from the collaboration among Mercer's Center for Collaborative Journalism, 13WMAZ, Georgia Public Broadcasting and The Telegraph
For The People