The Macon Telegraph from Macon, Georgia on December 18, 2017 · A3
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The Macon Telegraph from Macon, Georgia · A3

Macon, Georgia
Issue Date:
Monday, December 18, 2017
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MONDAY DECEMBER 18 2017 3A Local & StateMACON.COM FACEBOOK.COM/TELEGRAPHGA » TWITTER.COM/TELEGRAPHGA BEAU CABELL A woman sleeps at the Carl Vinson monument on Coleman Hill Sunday afternoon, just hours before a deadline Macon-Bibb Mayor Robert Reichert imposed for moving homeless campers away from the Ocmulgee River banks. Critics of the plan say the only certain thing about it is people will camp elsewhere. Below, life Sunday seemed to be carrying on normally for those living in the area to be cleared. DEADLINE LOOMS FOR HOMELESS The state has recog- nized four area schools for their test scores over the past three years. Houston County High, Peach County’s Byron Middle and Peach County High, and Springdale Elementary in Bibb County received the 2017 Single Statewide Ac- countability System award from the Gover- nor’s Office of Student Achievement. Springdale and Peach County High received gold awards and Byron Middle silver in the “greatest gains” category. Houston County High won bronze awards in the “greatest gains” and “highest performing” categories. The awards looked at College and Career Ready Performance In- dex scores from the 2014- 15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. “Greatest gains” schools were at least in the 93rd percen- tile on their three-year average CCRPI progress scores, and “highest per- forming” schools had average CCRPI achieve- ment scores at least in the 93rd percentile. Four area schools recognized by state for test scores past 3 years BY ANDREA HONAKER Middle Georgia State University will add anoth- er academic program next year. In fall 2018, students can start work- ing toward a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy. It will be one of only four traditional re- spiratory therapy pro- grams in the state. The school’s two-year respiratory therapy de- gree will no longer be offered, although stu- dents who already have that degree will be able to enroll in a “bridge” pro- gram to complete the bachelor’s degree. The four-year program aligns with standards from the Commission on Accred- itation for Respiratory Care, which now only accredits new programs at the bachelor’s or grad- uate level. The program will be based on the Macon cam- pus, and Middle Georgia State has started recruit- ing students. For more information, go to sciences/respiratory- therapy/, call 478-471- 2783 or email teri. College adds respiratory therapy degree BY ANDREA HONAKER Interested in sending your child to the Acade- my for Classical Educa- tion? The charter school will start accepting pre- admission applications in January for the 2018-19 school year. Pre-admssion enters children in ACE's lottery system but does not guar- antee enrollment. Pre- admission closes at mid- night Jan. 31, and the lottery will take place Feb. 15. Students must live in Bibb County. All grades but kin- dergarten are full now, but the school is still taking applications for its wait list. Families may tour the school any Wednesday in January, but reservations must be made at 478-238-5757. A parent open house is planned for 10 a.m. Jan. 10. In addition, ACE is now accepting applications for teaching and counseling positions. A teacher recruitment fair is sched- uled for Jan. 27, with sessions for K-5 teaching candidates from 9-11 a.m. and grades 6-12 from 1-3 p.m. ACE to soon take applications for student lottery BY ANDREA HONAKER Monroe County schools received high marks from an accrediting agency on a recent five-year review. A consultant with the Georgia Accrediting Commission visited the district's schools Dec. 5-6 and rated them "accred- ited with quality," the highest possible ranking, said Alicia Elder, the district's assistant super- intendent. The review is separate from the more intense five-year review from accrediting agency Ad- vancED, which the dis- trict underwent during the 2015-16 school year. “We’re very pleased. It kind of goes back to how hard every employee works in our district. We’re proud of our chil- dren, we’re proud of our staff members and our Monroe schools receives high marks on review BY ANDREA HONAKER SEE MONROE, 5A ALBANY As firefighters in the air and on the ground contin- ue to battle devastating wildfires in Southern California, Georgia’s Forestry Commission took a major step forward Friday in helping prevent similar outbreaks here at home by taking delivery of the industry’s newest firefighting aircraft — the Thrush 510G Switchback. Powered by a General Electric H80 turbine engine, the Switchback is designated as a single- engine air tanker aircraft and will be used by the GFC for fire detection, rapid response firefight- ing and training. Thanks to its size and maneu- verability, Thrush offi- cials say the Switchback has the ability to quickly deliver 500 gallons of water, retardant or fire suppressant with pinpoint accuracy in tight envi- ronments. In addition, the Switch- back has the ability to switch from agricultural spray duties to firefight- ing capabilities in a mat- ter of minutes thanks to its unique firegate deliv- ery system. The Switchback can accurately deliver its entire 500-gallon payload in less than two seconds. The off-the-shelf price of the Switchback is approx- imately $1 million each. “We’re extremely proud to be adding the Switchback to our aerial firefighting fleet,” Forest- ry Commission Director Chuck Williams said. “It boasts many advantages for our firefighting efforts and heralds an exciting new chapter in our com- mitment to protect and conserve the more than 24 million acres of tim- berland across our state. “You’ll see these aircraft deployed not just for rapid fire suppression, but also in the very important role of rapid fire detection, which can sometimes make all the difference in being able to contain a wildfire versus having it become uncontrollable.” Williams said Georgia experiences an average of some 4,000 wildfires annually, which typically damage roughly 35,000 acres of forested land. With wood being one of the state’s leading com- modities, wildfires have the possibility of causing a significant impact on the state’s economy as well as its expansive forest re- sources. The GFC is responsible for the management and protection of those re- sources, and its aerial attack capabilities play a major role in both fire prevention and suppres- sion. “This is a significant day for all of us here at Thrush,” said Payne Hughes, president and CEO of Thrush Aircraft. “Not only are we deliver- ing our first 510G Switch- backs, but we also have the privilege of watching them go to work right here in our home state. “We designed and built this airplane to help and protect others from the ravages of wildfires — and it’s an honor to know they will now be in Georgia skies doing just that.” According to a Thrush handout, the two Switch- backs delivered Friday feature advanced avionics for navigation and sit- uational awareness, as well as providing pilots with numerous options for delivery of materials when making a firefighting drop. Thanks to its power and agility, the 510G Switch- back can make a drop from as low as 80 feet. Georgia’s forestry service gets newest firefighting aircraft BY TERRY LEWS The Albany Herald The Family Dollar store on Emery Highway in Macon was robbed Sat- urday by a man wielding a shotgun who fired a shot into the ceiling. The robbery happened at about 9:44 p.m. at the store on 160 Emery High- way, according to a Bibb County Sheriff's Office release. The gunman, who was wearing a mask, fired a shot into the ceiling and then demanded money from the cashier. He received an undisclosed amount and then fled in an unknown direction. Anyone with informa- tion on the incident is asked to call the sheriff's office at 478-751-7500 or Macon Regional Crime- stoppers at 1-877- 68CRIME. — WAYNE CRENSHAW Shot fired in robbery of Family Dollar A man walking down a highway in Monroe County on Saturday died after being struck by a car. Coroner Joey Proctor identified the victim as Jeffery Land, 35. Sheriff’s Sgt. Lawson Bittick said Land is be- lieved to be homeless and was living in the area of the accident. He said Land was walking south on the road when he crossed into the north- bound lane and was struck. The accident hap- pened at about 6 p.m. and Land was wearing dark clothing, Bittick said. He said there is a curve and a hill in the area that impact visibility, and there have been no charges against the driv- er. The accident happened just south of Forsyth near Murray Road. Proctor said Land was pro- nounced dead at Monroe County Hospital shortly after the accident. Pedestrian killed in Monroe County accident BY WAYNE CRENSHAW Some Georgia colleges will be opening their doors to Puerto Rican students so they can con- tinue their studies while the island works toward recovery. The Georgia Independent College Association, which repre- sents many private schools in the state, an- nounced last week 10 member schools would accept some Puerto Rican students who were at- tending private colleges on the island. Three months after two powerful hurricanes rocked the U.S. territory, more than 1,000 schools remain closed, and some teachers are reporting to work in empty class- rooms, the Washington Post reported. Georgia colleges open doors to PR students

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