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85-Year-Old Robbed Outside Galleria Mall

Centerville police have charged a Macon man with robbing an 85-year-old woman and snatching her purse outside the Galleria Mall.

A police news release says it happened around 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Police say the woman had finished shopping and was returning to her car when a man approached her, grabbed the purse and ran away.

On Thursday, police say, they arrested Curtis Dowl of Shi Place, Macon, the news release says. He is in the Houston County jail, charged with robbery by force, aggravated assault and battery.

It's the second time in about seven months that a woman in her 80s was assaulted in broad daylight outside the mall. In March, an 87-year-old woman was kidnapped and carjacked. Her arm was broken in the robbery.

Chief Anthony Cooper says a suspect in that case was later arrested in North Carolina. The state Department of Corrections says David Lee Cunningham is now in a state prison after being convicted of several charges.

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Suspicious Object Found at Houston High

Right now, police and fire crews are gathered at Houston County High School, where someone found a suspicious object.

Spokeswoman Beth McLaughlin says the object was found outside the school and classes are proceeding as normal.

She wouldn't describe the object, but she says emergency crews are examining it and investigating.

Check back with 13WMAZ.com for updates on this story today.

In Some Places, Halloween Comes Early

Many Central Georgia communities, including Macon and Warner Robins, will hold trick-or-treat activities on Saturday, Oct. 30.

But depending on where you live, little ghouls and goblins could be visiting on Friday or Sunday nights.

In Forsyth, Halloween comes a little early on Friday, Oct. 29.

Children were already getting in the Halloween spirit on Wednesday at Forsyth United Methodist Church.

They dressed up in costumes, visited a 'spooky room', and made themed crafts.

And that's just the beginning for children in Forsyth.

Pre-kindergarten children in the city will have the chance to trick-or-treat with their schools at participating businesses in the downtown area Friday morning.

Elementary school kids will have the same opportunity Friday evening from 5:30-7:30.

 According to Mayor Tye Howard, all children are invited to trick-or-treat in Forsyth on Saturday, Oct. 31. 

Hail Chasers Eye Houston County

It doesn't take a lot of noise for Eric Chandler to work out a dent in the hood of a car.

He's been smoothing out chinks in cars for the last thirteen years and says not everyone's in it for the good of the customer.

Several auto repair shops in Houston County like Chandler Collision Center say out-of-town dent repair groups began to contact them after Monday's storms.

"For some of them, their idea is to come into town and make as much money as they can, and the second they have a few slow days, they're going to go to the next storm and try to make some quick cash," said Chandler.

The Better Business Bureau says you should be skeptical of repair services that go door-to-door and those that come from out-of-town. The consumer group says business cards without physical addresses should raise a red flag.

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Perdue, Legislators Lecture Warner Robins Officials on Conflict

Gov. Sonny Perdue and Houston County state legislators are warning Warner Robins city officials that their bickering may hurt the city's reputation and its future.

They're offering their help, and that of the state's Carl Vinson Institute, to smooth out conflict at city hall.

Perdue, state Sen. Cecil Staton, and state representatives Larry O'Neal, Willie Talton, and Tony Sellier signed the Sept. 8 letter.

They sent a copy of the letter to Mayor Chuck Shaheen and all six council members. 13WMAZ requested one of the copies through an open records request. Council member Mike Daley's letter was the one provided, but each letter contained the same message.


Shaheen Says He'll Talk to Council About 'Respect'


Warner Robins Mayor Chuck Shaheen says he'll speak to council members about showing respect for each other.

His statement came after two council members -- Deron Lee and John Williams -- went on CNN to debate Williams' alleged racial comment during Monday night's meeting.

Shaheen's statement says he didn't hear the details of that exchange.


During the meeting, Lee complained about being disrespected by fellow council members and said, "I'm not working in a cotton field."

Wiliams replied, "You should be."

That came two weeks after another council member reportedly called Lee "boy."

On Wednesday, the Houston County NAACP called on Williams to resign, and on Thursday, Lee and Williams went on CNN to debate the conflict at city hall.

Not long after they appeared, Shaheen faxed this statement to 13WMAZ:

Councilman Williams Reacts to "Cotton Field" Reference

Warner Robins councilman John Williams came to the 13WMAZ studio Thursday afternoon to expand on the comments he made toward councilman Daron Lee during a Warner Robins council meeting Monday night.

"I am really offended that councilman Lee would make me appear to be maybe a slave master. I didn't bring the racial comment up. I didn't think it was racial and I was commenting on his behavior. Cotton field work is hard work. It's nothing wrong with it. There's nothing demeaning about it," said Williams.