Topping our newscasts tonight... Good news for the job market in three Central Georgia Communities.
First... A project years in the making finally moving forward.
We first learned last night... Construction on a Kumho tire facility in Bibb County will roll on in 2015.
The Korea-based company made that official with an announcement today.
Tom George was there this morning and has more.
Back in 2008, the big news was Kumho, a Korean tire company planning to bring its first American plant...and 300 jobs... to Macon...
But four years ago, global economic struggles brought progress to a halt.
< Basically after the Lehman, the financial crisis, in Korea, we had some financial problems in the whole group ... The Kumho international group. >
Now, the project is back on track, as Kumho officials met with Macon-Bibb leaders to announce an extension of the original agreement ...letting construction on the 225 million dollar plant move ahead.
< The site for the project still hasn't changed. It's right here on a 150 acre plot at the Sofkee Industrial Park. Unlike four years ago, organizers say this time they're confident it'll be finished. >
< Barring any unforeseen tragedies, the company, their parent company, their supporters in Korea, their suppliers, and their customers, and their employees are all committed to building this factory. >
Kumho says they chose Macon in part to be close to big car companies like Hyundai and Kia.
Once they get going, they're planning on producing 3 million tires per year ... And hiring hundreds of technicians and tire workers.
< We will be at around, 300 jobs, and then it can be gradually expanded, depends on the market situation and the tire industry.>
They're hoping to start construction in 2015, and be up and running by 2016.
In Macon, Tom George, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.
The company says it may eventually expand to production of 10 million tires per year, and has the ability to get more space in the industrial park if necessary.
Kumho Tires is truly an international company, based in Korea and selling tires in 160 countries worldwide.
The company was founded in 1960 near Seoul, South Korea as Samyang Tire.
They sold tires for passenger cars, mostly in Asia.
By the early 2000s, lots of growth occurred... Kumho was ranked 9th in the tire industry worldwide and produced tires for passenger cars, aircraft, and even motorcross performance vehicles.
The Kumho USA home office is in California and the stateside research and development center is located in Akron, Ohio.
Locally, Kumho tires are sold at Sears and several individual tire retailers.
Opportunities coming to Laurens County too ... As a 330-thousand square foot warehouse is getting a major facelift.
Anita Oh explains the developments in Dublin..
A run-down distribution center in Dublin is getting a makeover...
<It's pretty old>
And it's bringing jobs with it....
<this project will probably generate about 65 new jobs with the investment of about $4 million dollars by the company>
Farmers home furniture recently bought all 330,000 ft of this warehouse ...
Before that, they only rented out a small part of it.
Now, it's going to need repairs.
<Developers say this building behind me on Industrial Boulevard in Dublin has been an eyesore for years. But they say soon, that's all going to change>
<Now that Farmers has acquired the bldg, they'll put it back into full service, rehab the building, update the building, update grounds, fencing, put it back into full service so that its not just leased for 6 months at a time or rented for 3 months at a time. It'll truly become a full time distribution center employing people on a full time basis)
Farmers Home Furniture CEO said he could've put this warehouse in other places...
<we were looking in the state of alabama or north carolina>
But... He chose Dublin, where he has deep roots.
<we've been here for 33 years. We raised a family of 4. The schools are great. My wife was a teacher and did all of that. Of course the business community has been really good for us>
If all goes according to plan, that won't change anytime soon...
<we've been around since 1949... We plan to be around until 2049!>
It's been good for Laurens County too...
The expansion of this warehouse means more jobs, more growth -- and more furniture too.
In Dublin. Anita Oh. 13 WMAZ. Eyewitness News.
Farmers Home Furniture tell us it'll take about 5 years to finish the expansion.
And finally, a Connecticut-based freight company plans to open its doors at a new facility in Oglethorpe.
According to a release, SCB Minerals plans to move into an 18-acre property... where they'll store products and load rail cars.
SCB Minerals bought an old peanut mill near Chatham Street and tore down part of a collapsed office. They plan to also restore the rail spur.
More problems in the Bibb County voter rolls.
Today.. Macon City Councilman Henry Ficklin says he discovered 14 voters on College Street near downtown.. Who were put in District 2 when hey actually live in District 8.
Ficklin says he met with Elections Supervisor Jeanetta Watson. He says she told him the problem has been corrected and that none of the 14 people had voted early.
But Ficklin remains concerned.. Especially since new problems pop up every day and that more than 800 voters were put in District 2 erroneously.
Henry Ficklin, District 2 Candidate: So I'm very concerned about this particularly in District 2 where we continue to have sanfus of voters being placed in District 2 who are not supposed to be from District 2. I don't know if something sinster's going on that we don't know about.>
Ficklin.. Along with fellow Macon council member Elaine Lucas.. Wants the election halted until all district locations are correct.. And verified as correct.
If that isn't done.. Ficklin says there'll probably a lawsuit contesting the outcome.
A Macon homeowner has been charged with reporting a false crime after he told police a stranger shot him in the thigh Wednesday when he opened his door.
According to a police news release, Macon Police detectives visited Drexel Holton at his Sugarloaf Circle home in north Macon Thursday ...and he admitted, there was no gunman... But that he shot himself.
He had originally told police that he opened his door yesterday after he heard a noise.
According to Holton...when he opened it, a man he didn't know shot him in the upper thigh. He later retracted that story.
Holton was charged with a false report of a crime and was taken to jail, to be later released on 13-hundred dollars bond.
New information tonight about a Wheeler County Inmate who escaped... To be recaptured a day later.
Authorities found Raymond..Rod..Solomon around 11 pm....in a mobile home in Hazelhurst. That's in Jeff Davis County.
Wheeler Sheriff...Maurice Johnson...says police got a tip around 7:30 pm.
Solomon escaped from the booking area in the Wheeler County Jail Tuesday.
Johnson says Solomon walked a long distance from the jail...but they're not sure how he got to Hazelhurst...where he has family.
The sheriff rode with Solomon to the hospital...but says the inmate didn't speak very much.
he made maybe two or three statements, but he was real dehydrated, sleepy, mumbling, couldn't really understand what he was saying. >
The Georgia Department of Corrections web site says Solomon was released from state prison just last Friday...after serving time on cocaine charges.
If you have any information on the case....you can contact the Wheeler County Jail at (912) 568-7107.
Again.. That's 912-568-7107.
We have a clarification on a story we brought you Monday on Eyewitness News at 6.
The story concerned a rally by a group of women discussing birthing practices at area hospitals.
Spokeswomen for the Medical Center of Central Georgia... and Coliseum Hospital...say they allow women the option of vaginal births after having previous caEserean surgery.
They say it's up to the individual doctors...to decide with their patients...how best to perform the delivery.
Six candidates signed up for the Warner Robins mayor's race.
One of them was a surprise to the ballot... 66-year-old Eva Folse.
She explained to Lorra Lynch Jones why's she's running... And why she doesn't think her legal troubles with the city will stand in the way.
Eva Folse describes herself as an animal lover.
Evidence of that surrounds her Warner Robins home.
But.. She thinks the city's animal control unit needs new priorities.
It's part of the reason she wants to be mayor.
<there are some things going on that I've witnessed, experienced that are not good, >
Folse is currently battling the city... Over 31 citations issued to her in May.
Animal control officers they found 11 cats in this vacant Lynn Avenue rental house.. That Folse owns.
City law prohibits owning more than three.
The officer described the conditions saying, "the odor inside the residence was very strong. There was trash and animal feces and litter covering the room."
The officer accused her of trying to interfere with their investigation... Not providing food for the cats... And not showing proof of rabies shots.
<it was just total meanness is what it was.>
That's all Folse will say about the case... Until her September 24th court date.
However... She believes animal control may be "persecuting" her.
They cited her five years ago for a similar violation... Costing her twelve hundred dollars in fines.
<We have animal control peeping toms, that look in your windows and say you're over the limit. This is unconstitutional. >
She believes through the course of the campaign... people will see the truth.
<people are very, they can distinguish between what's going on.>
She thinks they'll appreciate her education... fiscal responsibility and maturity....then check Eva Folse for mayor.
In Warner Robins.. Lorra Lynch Jones.. Eyewitness News>
Folse ran for the Houston County school board in 1982.. And the county commission in 1990.
She's never held public office.
She has worked in the insurance business and been a substitute teacher.
Mike Brashear... Chuck Chalk... Daron Lee... Joe Musselwhite... And Randy Toms are also running for Warner Robins mayor in the November 5th election.