The Macon Newsroom

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...

COVID-19: Coliseum releases test results as Macon hospitals resume procedures

Coliseum Medical Centers released results of COVID-19 testing since March 1 during a Chamber of Commerce webinar Friday morning.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

May 8, 2020

A Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce virtual healthcare town hall Friday revealed some encouraging results from Coliseum Medical Centers COVID-19 testing. Stephen J. Daugherty, CEO of Coliseum Health System, said since March 1 the hospital has tested 656 symptomatic patients from 39 counties. Only...

Tension rises in contentious debate over Macon-Bibb insurance broker

The Macon-Bibb County Commission spent 45 minutes of their teleconference meeting Tuesday undoing last week's move to change the insurance agent of record.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

May 6, 2020

Confusion over changing Macon-Bibb County’s insurance agent led to accusations of lying and providing misleading information to commissioners. During Tuesday’s Macon-Bibb County Commission meeting, some commissioners indicated they felt duped by Mayor Robert Reichert in voting to change the “broker...

GA absentee ballots are different; Gov. Kemp’s COVID-19 order could limit poll workers

Absentee ballots mailed from Georgia's Secretary of State do not have a privacy envelope but contain a sheet of paper to be wrapped around the ballot before it is inserted in a yellow and white mailing envelope.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

May 1, 2020

More than a million Georgia voters have requested absentee ballots but some who have gotten them are confused and have questions. Plus, as the state copes with the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Brian Kemp’s “shelter-in-place” extension could affect the availability of poll workers for the June 9 election. The...

Hotel-motel tax shortfall hurts Macon-Bibb non-profit organizations

Visit Macon, the local convention and visitor's bureau, cut last quarter spending about 35 percent due to uncertainty of revenue shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CEO Gary Wheat said.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

April 29, 2020

Each March, the Cherry Blossom Festival typically lures thousands of people to local hotel rooms. Come this July, two large Jehovah’s Witness conventions were expected to fill hundreds more motel rooms in Macon. The festival and both events were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We...

COVID-19 task force encourages hospitals to resume elective surgery. Is Macon ready?

HCA's Coliseum Medical Centers and other hospitals will cautiously resume elective surgeries  postponed due to COVID-19.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

April 24, 2020

During Thursday’s COVID-19 briefing, Vice President Mike Pence said the White House Coronavirus Task Force is encouraging hospitals to resume elective surgeries where possible. “We recognize the role elective surgeries play in finances for local hospitals and we’ll be working with states to...

Macon-Bibb leaders urge Gov. Kemp to let them decide when to reopen

As Macon-Bibb County expects a COVID-19 peak in mid-May, local leaders want Gov. Kemp to give them authority to decide when to reopen nonessential businesses.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

April 22, 2020

With the threat of the worst of the COVID-19 outbreak still ahead of Macon-Bibb County, local leaders want to control when closed businesses should reopen. Both the Macon-Bibb County Commission and the Board of Health passed resolutions urging Gov. Brian Kemp to reconsider his statewide order that...

Macon-Bibb a potential ‘powder keg’ as COVID-19 peak likely weeks away

A public health worker collects a sample for a COVID-19 test.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

April 20, 2020

As parts of the country prepare to resume more normal operations, Macon-Bibb County has not seen the worst of COVID-19. “We expect our surge to be some time now in mid-May,” Medical Center, Navicent Health, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrice Walker told the Macon-Bibb County Board of Health during...

Have questions about this year’s Macon-Bibb elections? Here are some answers

Macon-Bibb County elections officer Thomas Gillon demonstrates the new voting machines at the board of elections office on Pio Nono Avenue.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

April 17, 2020

When do I vote in Macon-Bibb County? June 9 is the date for the General Primary for Democrat and Republican candidates, Nonpartisan General Election and the Presidential Preference Primary. The ballot will include candidates for Macon-Bibb mayor, commission, school board, Macon Water Authority, state...

Commissioner worries about COVID-19 spread in factories, questions validity of Macon-Bibb’s virus numbers

Georgia's Department of Public Health releases COVID-19 case numbers twice daily but the statistics don't show the complete picture.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

April 15, 2020

Commissioner Elaine Lucas gets regular reports from the health department on the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Macon-Bibb county but has no confidence in those figures. “I’m just worried because the numbers that we have been getting from the different departments are not true numbers...

Need help for a small business? COVID-19 relief coaching available

Storefronts might be closed due to COVID-19 but online help is available through Newtown Macon and the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center.

Liz Fabian, Civic Reporting Senior Fellow

April 13, 2020

During these days of COVID-19 uncertainty, small business owners are not alone. Shelter in place guidelines prevent coming together to seek help getting recovery relief, but information, guidance and coaching are available online. Newtown Macon and the University of Georgia Small Business Devel...

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