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Teachers: Applications for Bright Ideas Grant Due Saturday

Teachers: Applications for Bright Ideas Grant Due Saturday

Teachers can apply for a grant to fund innovative classroom projects this week.

The Bright Ideas grant, funded by Tri-County EMC, is open to all Georgia certified teachers in grades pre-k through 12 in public or private schools in Baldwin, Jones, Putnam, Twiggs and Wilkinson counties.

Projects could be funded for up to $1,500.

Applications should be received by Dec. 1.

Get full information online.

Macon Unemployment Down, Hancock Co. Rate at 23 Percent


The unemployment rate for the Metro Macon area is on the decline for the second straight month.

New numbers from the Georgia Department of Labor say the rate ticked down a tenth of a percent, from 9.1 percent to 9 percent in October. It was 10 percent in October of last year.

The DOL says an increase in 1600 jobs helped push the rate down. Most came in the service related industries.

But in the city to the south of Macon -- Warner Robins -- unemployment is up. It was 7.2 percent in September and rose to 7.3 percent.

The release from the labor department says there were 265 layoffs in the International City.

As it has for several months in a row, Metro Athens has the lowest jobless rate at 6.2 percent. Dalton continues with the highest unemployment rate in the state: 11.3 percent.

Down South | Southerner's Tactical Guide to Black Friday

As most Southerners already know, Black Friday requires what most hunting expeditions need: focus, strategy and patience.

If you want to be like the serious Black Friday Christmas shoppers, consider these hunting tactics to land the best "game."

--Scout out the land before you take the deer stand.

Go to Black Friday.com to review the big box store advertisements. You'll find when store doors open and the 'doorbuster' deals.

You can also download smartphone apps to scout out the best deals before crouching into position. Just search "Black Friday" in your phone's app store. Scope out which deals you need most, and then plant yourself and family members or friends at the doors so you can divide and conquer.

--Get there early.

Air Force Training over Central Georgia Today

An Air Force command says it is practicing responding to hijackings, interceptions, air-space violations and other high-altitude emergencies today.

Those drills will be taking place over the Macon area today, according to a news release from the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

"People in the area may hear and/or see NORAD-controlled fighter jets in close proximity to a military or military contracted aircraft," NORAD says.

"All NORAD exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled," the command says.

The Air Force has conducted drills like these over the U.S. and Canada as part of its response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Kidd, Howell Vie For District 145 Representative Seat

Georgia's District 145 voters, which include Baldwin and Putnam County, will chose between State Representative Rusty Kidd, a registered independent, and Milledgeville businessman and Democrat Quentin Howell this November. 

Quentin Howell said his number one focus if elected will be bringing more jobs to Baldwin-Putnam County. Howell owns a medical supply store in Milledgeville and said that he knows firsthand what small business owners need to grow. 

Howell said one of the ways that he plans to bring jobs is by tackling an unfair tax structure. 

"We are giving billion dollar companies million dollar tax incentives, and these same companies are leaving going to Mexico, China wherever the case may be," said Howell. "Small business owners like me and others throughout this community we live in Milledgeville, we live in Putnam County, when we start business here we're going to stay here cause this is our home."

High Fire Danger Conditions in Central Georgia

The National Weather Service has issued a warning for High Fire Danger Conditions in Central Georgia.

That's mostly due to "low relative humidities" Thursday afternoon and evening.

If you live in one of the following areas, contact local authorities to check whether you can burn outside:

--Oconee
--Oglethorpe
--Greene
--Jasper
--Putnam
--Hancock
--Monroe
--Jones
--Baldwin
--Washington
--Crawford
--Bibb
--Twiggs
--Wilkinson
--Johnson
--Macon Co.
--Peach
--Houston
--Bleckley
--Laurens
--Treutlen
--Dooly
--Crisp
--Pulaski
--Wilcox
--Dodge
--Telfair
--Wheeler

Middle Ga. Dairy Farmers Plead for Help

It's a common items in many people's fridges: milk.

And if a new farm bill is not passed by Congress by the end of this year, consumers could be the ones paying the price.

According to the National Milk Producers Federation, the cost of milk per gallon could double if the bill is not passed.  Jeff Wooten at Jeff Wooten Dairy in Eatonton says while a small increase in price could help him financially, such a large increase would hurt him.

"You know we need the money, but then again, we don't want it to be a great increase to where we run folks away from the product in the store," Wooten says.

Wooten says he uses funds for feed, fertlizer, fuel, veterinary services, and other things necessary to keep his business afloat.  He says the problem is that farmers only get a small portion of the farm bill money, which also includes money for programs including food stamps.