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Macon County schools announce new superintendent


After months of searching, Macon County school board members announced Wednesday they elected Dr. D. Ray Hill as their new superintendent.

Superintendent Secretary Geraldine Northcut says the board voted Hill in Tuesday evening.

Dr. Hill succeeds Dr. Carolyn Medlock, who is retiring.

The search for a new superintendent began in April with the assistance of the state board of education.

Northcut says the process began with 21 applicants, which then narrowed down to 8, then 5, then 3 before Hill was chosen.

Dr. Hill is a Marine Corps veteran and served in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm before his career as an educator.

He worked in several Atlanta area school systems and Valdosta before his position as superintendent in Greene County.

Hill's first day of work will be Monday, August 25.


UPDATE: Houston County burglary suspects identified

UPDATE: Houston County burglary suspects identified

The Houston County Sheriff's Office identified the two people they believe are responsible for a string of burglaries.

Investigators arrested Jabrea Deanna Vason, 21, of Montezuma Thursday after a traffic stop on Macedonia Church Road in Pulaski County.

Eddie McTrail Allen, 32, of Americus, ran from the car on foot prompting a massive manhunt in the area of Macedonia Road and Hwy 26.

Reynolds officer fired after domestic violence arrest


A Reynolds police officer is off the job after being arrested for domestic violence.

Taylor County Sheriff Jeff Watson says around 10:45 p.m. Tuesday night, Christopher Rachalla went to a house in Butler to confront his estranged wife and a friend.

Watson says there was a confrontation and Rachalla hit the estranged wife's car with a flashlight.

Watson says Rachalla left and went to the home of his boss, Reynolds Police Chief Lonnie Holder. Watson says Chief Holder fired Rachalla on the spot and drove him to the jail.

Watson says Rachalla is charged with simple battery under the Family Violence Act, simple battery, terroristic threats, 2nd degree criminal damage to property, criminal trespassing, and violation of his oath of office.

Rachalla was in the Taylor county jail Wednesday afternoon, awaiting a bond hearing.

Vienna husband and wife found dead


A Vienna husband and wife were found dead Thursday night.

The GBI is investigating it as a "death investigation," GBI Special-Agent-in-Charge J.T. Ricketson says. He identified the two as Terry and Elois Anderson, but wouldn't comment on how they died until the autopsy results are released.

Vienna police and emergency personnel responded to 315 Tomlinson Street around 11:20 p.m. and found two people who had died at the scene. They called the GBI to assist.

Ricketson says their son, who is under 18 years old, was home at the time.

Authorities believe they've recovered the weapon used at the scene, but are waiting for scientific proof.


Vienna fire department wins "Best of U.S." contest


Vienna Volunteer Fire Department won $10,000 for their firehouse in a national contest.

They were named a Grand Prize winner in Johnsonville Sausage's "Best of U.S." contest for volunteer firehouses after the company invited the public to vote online for the best firehouses in the U.S.

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They are one of ten grand prize winners in the "Best of US" contest, according to a release.

Butler soldier killed in Afghanistan


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A Butler man is among the five American soldiers killed in a suspected friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan.

The Defense Department identified him as 28-year-old Staff Sergeant Jason A. McDonald.

The Defense Department said the soldiers were killed in an airstrike Monday during a battle with enemy forces in Zabul Province, which borders Pakistan's tribal areas.

The Pentagon said the incident is under investigation.

Trial starting for Macon State prison guards


The trial gets underway this week for seven prison guards at Macon State Prison accused of repeatedly attacking inmates.

An indictment, filed last year in U.S. District Court in Macon, accuses members of the Correctional Emergency Response Team of beating inmates in retaliation for previous assaults on prison guards at Macon State Prison in Oglethorpe.

The defendants are also accused of taking steps to mislead investigators about the attacks and cover up evidence.

Prosecutors say that in one attack around Dec. 16, 2010, after an inmate was beaten and taken from the prison in an ambulance, four of the team members encouraged each other to give false statements regarding the prisoner's injuries.