Our network

People

IRS red flags: How to avoid a tax audit

IRS red flags: How to avoid a tax audit

Jeff Reeves, Special for USA TODAY

There's a general conception that the Internal Revenue Services is too understaffed at tax time to go after anyone but high rollers and blatant cheats.

Don't believe it.

While it's true that the IRS only audits a small percentage of returns, government officials are getting smarter about which taxpayers are the likeliest to be overstating deductions or underreporting income.

Six Republicans qualify in 10th Congressional District

Six Republicans qualify in 10th Congressional District

Six people, all Republicans, have qualified to run for the 10th Congressional District seat. That distirct includes Baldwin, Hancock, Washington and Johnson counties, and Paul Broun is vacating that seat to run for U.S. Senate.

The candidates in the 10th so far are:

Donna Sheldon, Monroe, business owner;

Garry Gerrard, Athens, attorney;

MLK to get new memorial at Ga. State Capitol

MLK to get new memorial at Ga. State Capitol

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- After more than 80 years as the Georgia State Capitol's most prominent statue, the likeness of 19th century white supremacist politician and newspaperman Tom Watson was quietly removed the day after Thanksgiving.

That prompted some civil rights leaders to ask that it be replaced with a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr.

State Representative Tyrone Brooks (D-Atlanta) even introduced a bill to make it happen.

Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes and Hayrides Galore

Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes and Hayrides Galore

The time is near for picking out pumpkins and decorating for autumn!

Where to Go for Pumpkin Patches:

  • Elliott Farms, Lizella: features a pumpkin patch, tractor hay rides, snacks, farm animals. Opens in October. Call 478-935-8180 for more information.
  • Troup Corn, Laurens County: Features corn maze, hay ride, pumpkin patch and a mini-maze. Call 478-272-8170. Open October 12-November 23
  • Twin Oaks Fun Farm, Monroe County. Features pumpkins and a corn maze. 
  • Our Cotton Pickin' Christmas Tree Farm, Hawkinsville. Check their Facebook page for updates.Pick your own pumpkin from the patch. Also enjoy cider or cocoa on the porch while the kids climb the hay mountain. Open 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
  • Crooked Pines in Eatonton: Pumpkin Festival October 5, 6

October Festivals in Central Georgia

October Festivals in Central Georgia

USA TODAY

Middle Georgia -- sometimes referred to as Central Georgia or the Heart of Georgia -- is home to several bustling small cities, including Macon, a cultural and educational center for the region; Milledgeville, a former state capital; and Warner Robins, the metropolitan area around Robins Air Force Base. Though many of the cities in this area have festivals throughout the year -- including Dublin's St. Patrick's Day celebration and Forsyth's March Forsythia Festival -- the region's mild autumn weather in Middle Georgia makes October a popular time for festivals.

Near Macon

In late October, the Riverside Cemetery conservation group hosts a spooky evening celebration. Tour the pre-Civil War cemetery, where you'll run into the spirits of notable folks from Macon's past, including escaped slaves-turned-celebrities and Southern belles with nerves of steel. Unlike most festivals, the aptly named Spirits in October celebration requires you to sign up in advance to participate, because only a limited number of participates can join each walking tour. Tours take place every half-hour between 6 and 10 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and the event usually takes place the weekend before Halloween.

Near Perry

Check out Georgia arts and crafts, ranging from word carvings to cornshuck weaving to pottery, and tap your feet to Appalachian music and gospel singalongs at the Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival. This semi-annual celebration devoted to old-fashioned skills takes place in March and October just north of Perry. In addition to music and crafts, you'll find demonstrations of vintage skills, such as tatting lace and braiding bullwhips, as well as hayrides, storytelling and special performances. Though kids are encouraged to join the festivities, pets aren't allowed, so plan accordingly.

Near Milledgeville

You'll find local and national bands, plenty of kids activities, live stage shows and arts and crafts at the annual Deep Roots Festival in Milledgeville. The festival takes place every year in late October. One of the biggest attractions at the festival is the People's Choice BBQ Championship, where festival attendees can sample and cast their vote for the festival's best pulled pork. The festival also hosts several other contests, and there are prizes for photography, crafts, cooking and more.

Near Eatonton

In Eatonton, the Briar Patch Arts Festival is an October highlight. The festival, which started in 2010, gets its name from the works of Joel Chandler Harris, who was born in Eatonton, and features work by local artists and craftspeople. Bands set up on live music stages throughout the festival, so you can check out local music while you browse the offerings at the booths.

Jones Co. Man Remembers Segregated South

Jones Co. Man Remembers Segregated South

Fifty years ago this month, Martin Luther King told America about his dream.

In August 1963, he delivered his "I have a dream" speech to a huge crowd in Washington DC.

That became one of the landmark moments of the civil rights movement.

This week and next, thousands of Americans will travel to the nation's capital to commemorate that day including many from Central Georgia.

But it's also a time to remember the way it was, how America changed and why.

When getting a drink at a fountain came down to color and the ease of buying a car was based on what you looked like, that was Central Georgia 50 years ago.

In that time Felton Miller lived according to the rules of black and white.

"You were white and I was black. They didn't care about me than a rabbit out there in the woods," he says.

Miller, now 83 years old, was born and raised in Jones County. The segregated South was what Miller described as hard and unfair.