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Wilkinson Man Must Pay $4.6 Million for EBT Fraud

A Wilkinson County man was ordered to pay $4.6 million in restitution in a five-year EBT card fraud conspiracy.

Elbert Eugene Shinholster was also sentenced Friday to 40 months in prison and three years supervised release.

That's according to Sue McKinney of the U.S. Attorney's office in Macon.

EBT cards are intended to provide healthy foods for the needy. But two years ago, Shinholdster and five other people were accused of conspiring to cash out the cards for money.

Wilkinson Sheriff Richard Chatman said an undercover investigation focused on Shinholster's Grocery & Meat Market in Irwinton and Northwind Mini-Mart in McIntyre.

Chatman said the store owners gave the cardholders a seventy/thirty split of the proceeds.

Investigators went undercover and cashed out cards at both businesses, according to Chatman.

He said investigators believe Shinholster's committed more than $4.5 million in fraud between 2006 and 2011.

Coach Injured in Football Brawl Sues Hancock County

A visiting football coach injured in a brawl two years ago has filed a lawsuit against Hancock County schools, three sheriff's deputies and a former player.

Former Warren County coach David Daniel filed the lawsuit this week in the U.S. District Court in Macon.

PDF | Football Brawl Lawsuit

It comes after a fight between the Warren and Hancock football teams on Oct. 14, 2011 after a game in Sparta.

The lawsuit clams the two teams had an ongoing feud and that the Hancock players were the aggressors after the game. Warren County won, 21-2.

When the fight started outside the winners' locker room, the suit says, deputies Richard Mayweather, Tampa Lewis and Patrick Williams pepper-sprayed the Warren players but did not restrain the other team.

Milledgeville Court Program to Assist Rehab Patients

A new court program will assist drug rehab patients and their families in Central Georgia during substance-abuse treatment.

The Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit started a new program with River Edge Behavioral Health Center that'll help keep families together while parents go through treatment, according to a release.

That new program is called the Family Dependency Treatment Court, or FDTC, and a grant from Georgia's Criminal Justice Coordinating Council will help fund it.

FDTC is expected to help "fill in gaps in the child welfare system by providing extra monitoring and in-home visits, additional needed supports, as well as in-court compliance," Judge Spivey of the Ocmulgee Circuit says in the release.

The program also assists with parental skill training, domestic violence education and counseling as well as mental health maintenance.

Athens Singer-Songwriter Premieres Video

Brian Mansfield, Special for USA TODAY

Jones Zone Heads Into Week 7

Ben and Lorra GO head-to-head each week picking their game winners -- and you have a chance to weigh in!

As week 5 came to an end, Ben unveiled his new "strategy" but hasn't really said what it is! In a surprising turnaround of events, Ben managed to pick better than Lorra, by one.

And after both picking against Perry in Week 4, the Panthers have turned it around, winning two and a row. Ben and Lorra made sure to apologize during their week 5 picks.

Will this extra win help Ben? What about that new strategy of his?

The tally as we head into week 7 look like this:

Lorra: 11-7
Ben: 7-11

How will this week turn out? Vote now!

Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black Cooks Chicken and Dessert

Agriculture Comissioner Gary Black dropped by the studio today to whip up some smoked chicken and apple crisp for dessert.

The recipe for Gigi's Apple Crisp is as follows:

  • 6 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine apples, water and lemon juice in an lightly greased 8x8 inch baking dish. In a bowl combine oatmeal, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Pour in the butter and stir to make a crumbly mixture. Spread mixture evenly over apples, bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the topping is crisp and browned.

Meteor Shower Coming Monday Evening

By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY

The Draconid meteor shower will sweep across U.S. skies early Monday evening just after sunset.

Although not among the showiest showers of the year, the Draconids stand out for one reason: Unlike most meteor showers, they are best seen in the evening rather than before dawn. That makes them a great introduction to sky-watching because they don't require getting up early.

The shower this year should also be good watching because the moon is waxing and won't reflect enough light to significantly interfere with the display.

Some Draconids should also be visible just after sunset Tuesday evening, but that display is not expected to be as large.

Last year's Draconid shower was especially lively, which means this year the meteors are likely to be a little more sedate, according to EarthSky, a science news blog.