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Relay For Life Challenge Leads to Locks of Love Donation

Houston County's Relay for Life steps off Friday, and one woman is celebrating with a new hairdo.

Jeanette Valadez challenged her family and friends to help her raise $212 for the relay.

In return, she said she would donate nine inches of her hair to Locks of Love.

Thursday afternoon, Valadez got the big chop to help raise awareness and help someone else benefit from her shorter style.

"It's personal as well," she says.  "My brother lost his battle with cancer and my grandmother as well, so I'm making this contribution in their honor as well."

Valadez is part of the Midsouth Community Federal Credit Union team, which raise $3,500 in total contributions.

She says she nearly doubled her challenge amount with $372, but would have gladly donated the hair either way.

Man Accused of Starving His Son Found Guilty

William Thomas Davis III, the man accused of starving his 2-year-old son to death in 2010, was found guilty Thursday afternoon of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of the lesser included offence of reckless conduct.

Davis was sentenced for 10 years with credit for time already served.  He's already been in jail for about two years.

The trial began on Monday. Davis waived his right to a jury trial, so Superior Court Judge Katherine Lumsden heard the case and delivered the verdict.

Dan Bibler, Houston County's Assistant District Attorney, told 13WMAZ his office is satisfied that Davis is being held accountable for the death of his son.

"It's a win given the circumstances," said Ryan English, a senior law clerk for the Public County Defender's office. "It's obviously not the best possible verdict that we could have received. It's tragic in the loss of D'Shawn, but this verdict today prevented a second tragedy."

Houston County Schools Rank High with US News & World Report

Houston County Schools Rank High with US News & World Report

How do Houston County high schools stack up against others in Central Georgia? According to the latest US News & World Report high school rankings, the news is good.

Houston County, Warner Robins, Perry and Northside High Schools all ranked in the top ten for “College Readiness” in Central Georgia according to US News & World Report, based on the percentage of students who took and passed Advanced Placement (AP) exams. The Houston County Career and Technology Center also merited a National Bronze Recognition.

In fact, Houston County high schools fared well across the board as each student body scored at or above state averages in math and English proficiency.

The rankings are based on several factors, but the question is:  Do you think these rankings are fair? Whether you’re a current or former student, or the parent of a current or former student, share your stories with us at 13WMAZ.com

Macon Man Stabbed in Warner Robins

Warner Robins police are searching for the person who stabbed a Macon man Thursday morning. 

Warner Robins police spokesperson Tabitha Pugh says Tracy Smith, 34, was stabbed several times in the 200 block of Williamsburg Avenue.  

Smith was taken the Medical Center of Central Georgia for treatment.

Investigators are still looking into the stabbing and have not identified a suspect.  They are asking that anyone with additional information contact Warner Robins police at 478-929-6911.

Kit Colburn Search Cost Warner Robins Police $11,744

Warner Robins police say the two-day search for a 10-year-old runaway cost them more than $11,000 in overtime.

That brings the total cost to various agencies to more than $44,440.

Warner Robins police on Wednesday released a list of 40 officers, the number of hours they claimed in connection with the search and the amount of overtime pay.

They range from one officer who received $86.57 for two hours' overtime to another who worked 18 extra hours, at a cost of $636.06.

In all, the 40 officers worked 417 extra hours on the search. The total cost, $11,744.09.

13WMAZ contacted the more than 20 agencies that helped in the search for Kit Colburn to tally the cost.

Warner Robins Man Receives Arson Reward

A Houston County man received a reward for turning in a man who pleaded guilty to four arson cases.

Bani Velazquez Ortiz just received a hefty reward.

The Warner Robins Fire Department awarded him $3,500 for information that lead to an arrest in an arson investigation.

"Earlier in 2010, throughout the year, we had 8 or 9 calls in an area on Tabor Drive, and all the fires appeared to be arsons," said Lieutenant Danny Williams. "We had no leads until a man stepped forward."

Ortiz doesn't speak English, but that didn't stop him from calling in a tip.

Through a translator he told us why he made the call.

"He saw when the crime was committed. He knew it was wrong and life could be in danger so that's why he decided to make the phone call," said Ortiz.

Williams says the tip helped lead them to an arrest.

Man Arrested after Burglary Suspect Shot

Warner Robins police are investigating a shooting that injured a burglary suspect.  Investigators say it happened Sunday night in the 1000 block of Elberta Road.  According to Warner Robins police spokesperson Tabitha Pugh, Gabriel Duncan, 18, was inside his apartment when two men broke in. Investigators say Duncan shot at the men and they left the apartment. 

A short time later, the Houston County Sheriff's deputies answered a shooting call in the 100 block of Dixie Trail.  They were told that Justin Gladden, 20, had been shot at Duncan's address.   Gladden was taken to the Medical Center of Central Georgia and is expected to be okay.

Police say the gun Duncan used had an altered serial number.  He was arrested and charged with criminal use of an altered ID mark. According to the Houston County jail website, Duncan is also charged with criminal trespass and damage.