< It's endangering me keeping my home. >
That's the bottom line...says this resident of the Zebulon Road area...where neighbors are fighting a rezoning that'll let in a major shopping development.
Hello everyone. Thank you for joining us.
I'm Frank Malloy.
250 thousand square feet.
That's the size of that new shopping mall that could come to a North Macon neighborhood.
Anita Oh spoke to neighbors...like the man you just heard from... who are fighting the proposal.
The Hendrix family has lived in this home off Zebulon Road for 16 years.
<we moved here for the peace and quietness of the neighborhood>
But with the possibility of a new 250-thousand square foot shopping center...
And the re-zoning of more than 25 acres behind their neighborhood, they say all of that is at stake.
<it's endangering me keeping my home>
Land east of Northway Church and Sonny Carter Elementary School on Zebulon Road was supposed to stay residential.
The new proposal by Alabama-based company - Blackwater Resources - would change that.
Neighbors are afraid there will be no end to commercial expansion in their backyards.
<I need to know I have this place to come to in peace and rest and heal>
Instead? She feels...
<cheated... Just like... They're snatching away from us our hopes and dreams>
So far, Macon's Planning and Zoning Commission has received over 400 signed petitions from neighbors opposing the new development.
Residents say the new retail center will cause heavier traffic, more noise and lowered property values.
<we've worked and saved our money to buy this little piece of land for us to live on... And now... The taxes probably won't go down but the value of the home will go down>
For these neighbors on Zebulon Road...
All they want... Is to keep their peace and quiet.
Anita Oh 13wmaz eyewitness news.
We reached out to the developer....Blackwater Resources... but they did not respond to our call.
The Planning and Zoning Commission is scheduled to vote Monday on whether to re-zone the land.
A legal fight, some say-- was about preserving peace in another North Macon neighborhood has met an end.
That's barring further appeals.
A Bibb County judge stopped a Macon activist's lawsuit...seeking to stop a project to widen Forest Hill Road.
Lindsay Holliday...a member of the Caution Macon activist group...filed the lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Transportation.
A source familiar with the case told 13WMAZ that Judge Ed Ennis ruled yesterday that Holliday had no further legal grounds from which to fight the plan.
A court trial got underway Monday, but the case...and the arguments...aren't new.
The 8 point 4 million dollar Forest Hill Road project has been on...and off... for 15 years.
It involves putting in a turn lane...between Northside Drive and Wimbish Road...and widening Forest Hill to four lanes...on the span that stretches from Wimbush to Vineville.
Holliday can still appeal the ruling... He has 35 days to do that.
If not, construction could start as soon as a judge lifts an injuction.
Lindsey Holliday couldn't be reached for comment today.
We're less than two weeks away from election day... And we wanted to introduce you to the candidates vying for city council's post four seat in Warner Robins.
Jennifer Moulliet sat down with each of them... Here's what they had to say.
There are three people running for post four.
<i'm not going to vote for anything that increases taxes or costs us money... I understand if you don't have it you don't spend it and if you do have it you put it up for rainy days>
Tim Thomas... A businessman in Warner robins for thirty years... Says he's been around politics his whole life.
<i'm tired of hearing politicians say that we want to get business and they never explain how they're going to do it. >
<we have to market ourselves, we market our place our city and our people and then we go and target the companies we want to bring in here we just don't take anything, we want to make sure we bring the right companies that fit Warner Robins >
He says local government currently lacks leadership.
<i'm not pointing fingers and saying blame is here or there but from this point on we need to be strong in our leadership >
there are seven seats on local government... And there's a possibility that only two will be returning from the previous team... Bob Wilbanks says he's been asked to run because he's served on council before.
<people are uncomfortable with what's going to happen when you have such a turnover at one time it's very wise to have some continuity to have some people who knew what the plans were who knew how we grew when we were growing you know when I was on council we were named the best place to raise a child >
Wilbanks is the police chief for central georgia technical college... And served on city council from 2008 to 2011.
<i have a record of voting against raising taxes in fact I voted to lower taxes I always stood up for the people >
He says he's for cleaning up the area near robins air force base and bringing more businesses to that area... As well as near interstate 75.
But while doing it.. he says the government needs to be transparent.
<the people who pay the taxes in the city of warner robins deserve to know what are challenges are they deserve to know what we're going to do about it and what it's going to cost them. >
Wilbanks thinks his time on council in the past is a positive... But ben campbell disagrees.
<just because you were there before, just because you've done it before does not mean you're the best person for the job. >
Campbell... A 21 year Air Force veteran... is now a program manager. And says has experience budgeting large sums of money.
<and actually have managed budgets the size of the city budget the largest year budget i've managed was seventy-five million dollars and each year it's been over fifty-million dollars. >
He says officials should market the city to young professionals and encourage them to relocate... Also at the top of his list... Turning warner robins into a city of ethics.
<everything is done with the community involvement beforehand and not hurry votes through and then everyone have to deal with it a city of ethics is everything in the open you do what you say you're going to do, keep the community involved >
They all want to increase public safety by creating additional incentives for police officers to encourage them to stay with the force... And they all want to bring more parks to the westside of town.
In warner robins... Jennifer moulliet 13wmaz eyewitness news. >
Election day is Tuesday November 5th.
Early voting runs through the first.
Crawford County's coroner says a man was shot to death Tuesday night.
It happened around 9 p.m. on Blasingame Road. That's near Fort Valley.
Coroner Allen O'Neal said it happened after two half-brothers argued.
He...and the sheriff's department...have not released the victim's name.
The Crawford County sheriff's office said the victim's body was found outside a home...and was sent to a GBI crime lab.
We'll update this story when more details are available...at 13WMAZ-dot-com.
It's Homecoming week for Fort Valley State University.
But before the Wildcats big game....a parade with floats from students and the community will take over the streets of Fort Valley.
They show...Austin Lewis....what they've got in store for people this year.
It's not the wood
Nor the coat of paint...that's the secret to success for the AgriDemic student group...
It's all in the hands.
<John Levell Miles, Fort Valley: We build our own floats we are the only student organization that does that, everybody else pays somebody else they give them an idea tell them what they want and they pay. >
The theme...this year...is School Daze...and the agriculture department's student group's take...is a 'grease' movie theme...
And elbow...grease went into turning...wood...into the Ag Department's Grease lightening.
<Katherine Kirby, Fort Valley: And then we could have the old car which we made into a truck that's more on the agriculture side and we named it the 'corn Cruiser' instead of 'grease Lightening'>
Last year...the AgriDemics won the student competition...with fresh crops...and plants as part of the float. Students say it wowed the judges...and the crowd.
<Katherine Kirby, Fort Valley:I saw some kids last year they look like it was Christmas morning when they opened up a present it's like oh my gosh look at that, it's really cool like they have all of this on there how did they do that,>
<John Levell Miles, Fort Valley:Wow, they have done it again. >
And...while there's still much to do...to 30 foot long float...the rest will be shrouded in secrecy.
<John Levell Miles, Fort Valley:We are the only people that could really store our float here nobody could see it.>
Because to create a prize-winning float again....
<John Levell Miles, Fort Valley: You know, we lock the doors. >
And save it all for parade day.
Austin Lewis 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.
The parade will start on Main Street in Downtown Fort Valley...on Saturday at 9.
The winners are announced during the Homecoming game.
First prize...is 300 dollars.
It just doesn't get any cuter than this.
They're the pride and joy of Zoo Atlanta...and now they're a hundred days old.