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Westside Elem. Collects 3,000 Cans

You're never to young to experience the joy of giving.

Students at Westside Elementary in Warner Robins learned that through a successful can drive.

They collected about 3,000 of them during the past month.

Guidance Counselor Linda Morse says most Westside students don't come from the affluent families. It is a Title I school, with 100-percent of the students receiving free lunch.

So, Morse says giving a little means a lot for most of the students.

She says children who couldn't bring cans, helped lift boxes or sort food.

Morse says everyone pitched in.

She said, "One of our fifth graders made a poster and it was, it said, 'What would you do if you woke up on Thanksgiving and this was your cupboard?'. It was a picture of any empty cabinet. So, those are the reasons our students give for wanting to do this."

Rep. Austin Scott addresses veteran motorcycle clubs

Tuesday, men and women across Central Georgia took time out to honor veterans, past and present.

In Warner Robins, servicemen and their families gathered to celebrate Veterans Day.

Riders from several veteran motorcycle groups led the way into the ceremony.

The American Legion Riders, Tuskegee Airmen Motorcycle Club, and U.S. Military Vets Motorcycle Club were in attendance.

The speakers included Mayor Randy Toms and Congressman Austin Scott.

Scott said he has been speaking with veterans and understands their concerns.

Family still recovering after Warner Robins fire

Aashaleen Lawson says her family has nothing left after an accidental fire struck their Warner Robins home.

"We lost everything. Anything you can think [that's in] in the house, it's gone. Everything," Lawson explained, "From clothes to shoes to baby food, beds. Everything is gone."

A report from the Warner Robins fire department says it happened when an extension cord attached to the refrigerator caught fire.

Lawson, a mother of two, is unemployed and looking for work as a pharmacy technician.

She says her boyfriend was laid-off of his job as a maintenance worker around the time fire happened.

UPDATE: Cook-Out opening in Warner Robins on Russell Pkwy

UPDATE: We previously reported that Cook-Out Restaurant was opening in Warner Robins, but we couldn't find out where.

We have learned that the chain is opening at 113 Richard B. Russell Parkway in the former Checkers, which closed in 2009.

The building, which has been vacant since then, was originally a Hardees and was later a RicoMex.

We still don't have an exact location for the planned Macon location, but a company official told us last week it would be in the "Mercer University Drive area."

Both restaurants are scheduled to open in January or February, a company officialsaid.


Cook-Out Restaurant chain is planning to open a Macon and Warner Robins locations soon.

Warner Robins council see's vision for downtown area

Plans to build a Downtown in Warner Robins could be coming to fruition. On Monday, Warner Robins Council looked at a vision for the downtown area.

Council members were presented with a location and size of the space. Contractors suggested beginning the development within a quarter mile radius.

The center of that radius would be Watson Blvd and Davis Drive. Some of the Council members didn't seem moved by the presentation. Mayor Randy Toms says there's a reason for the lack of enthusiasm.

"Some people have been through this and we've seen it over the years and I just think it was a matter of people not wanting to get their hopes up about it" said Toms.

Toms says he was impressed by the presentation and wants to get a move on the plan.

Family meets Red Cross rescuer

Jenna Vega and Chris Kirby met on Monday morning for the second time.

The first time they met, Kirby had saved Vega from a fire at their apartment complex.

"I mean, it was a God-led situation. I mean, there was no way that ordinarily that would have happened," said Kirby.

Last Monday night, Vega had just taken a shower and given her two sons a bath.

Her husband, Michael, a senior airman, and was on leave in Korea.

When she went into the living room, she saw smoke.

Her apartment building had caught on fire.

"That's when I heard Mr. Kirby outside the door," she explained, " I went and I opened the door and I just saw, pretty much, the whole side of the wall was up in flames."

Kirby, a Red Cross volunteer, had just left work, and was heading to his apartment building that was next door to Vega's.

Some optimistic about Warner Robins unemployment rate

Unemployment rate in Georgia has been a hot topic. With Georgia ranked as having the highest rate, many are taking a closer look at the numbers in their local cities.

In Warner Robins, unemployment is at 7.1% from 7.7%.

Unemployment in Warner Robins is actually higher than it was at the same time last year where it was 6.9%.

According to the Department of Labor, Warner Robins lost 200 jobs this September.

Angie Gheesling at Houston County's Development Authority says that's an effect of the sequestration at the Air Force Base. But she says there's an upside to the loss of jobs.

With the amount of talent lost from the base, she thinks people ready to work and skilled to do highly technical jobs, make Warner Robins more appealing to potential businesses.