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Officers receive surprise bonuses


Eighty eight Warner Robins officers got a big pat on the back in the form of a surprise bonus.

Council member Tim Thomas says officers were owed thousands of hours of holiday time.

They couldn't take all the time off, because of a lack of manpower.

Thomas says the mayor and council found a way to pay the officers for their time, and get it off the books.

That totaled $174,882.44, for 9,781.5 hours of work, according to a city payroll coordinator.

Police Chief Brett Evans said the checks were a "very big surprise to officers."

Robins MLK gate reopens Monday

Robins MLK gate reopens Monday

Robins AFB Martin Luther King Gate reopens Monday after scheduled road resurfacing.

According to a release, that gate opens for in-bound traffic from 6-8 a.m., and the outbound hours remain the same.

Warner Robins man charged with burglary

Warner Robins police have arrested a man they say stole a tool from someone's carport.

A news release from spokeswoman Tabitha Clark says officers responded to a "burglary in progress" call Wednesday morning at 10:08 in the 200 block of Peachtree Circle.

When police arrived, they saw a vehicle parked under the carport try to back out and leave. Officers were able to stop the car, and then arrested Gregernal Timothy Smith.

The 39-year-old from Warner Robins is charged with burglary and giving a fake name to law enforcement.

He was taken to the Houston County Jail where he remains without bond.

According to the jail website, Smith is also charged with deposit account fraud, contempt of court, and a magistrate court probation violation.

Horse barn destroyed in Warner Robins fire

Firefighters responded Wednesday evening to a fire at a horse barn on Carter Circle, off of Watson Boulevard in Warner Robins. No horses or people were injured and the flames were out by around 7:15 p.m.

Witnesses say the fire started around 5 p.m. and quickly spread through the property. Firefighters from three separate departments worked to put out the flames.

Rhonda Burkhart has lived in the neighborhood for decades and says she first noticed something was wrong as soon as she stepped out of her home.


Warner Robins council makes recreation top priority

The Warner Robins mayor and council mapped out their priorities for the coming year in a daylong planning session.

The meeting was held at the Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce and facilitated by Ted Baggett, a local government program manager from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia.

The city leaders left the meeting with a defined set of goals for the International City.

Five of the six council members put developing recreation areas as number one on their priority list.

Freshman council member Keith Lauritsen said, "Those are important. It's important for the community, for the quality of life."

Lauritsen said a 2012 penny sales tax collection designated money for recreation, including a large sports complex.

All of the money is not there yet, but Lauritsen said that shouldn't stop progress.

Ga. Supreme Court to hear Houston Co. drug case

The Georgia Supreme Court next week is scheduled to hear arguments on whether a Warner Robins police officer had the right to chase a man found at an elementary school after midnight.

Earnest Lee Walker is appealing his conviction for cocaine distribution, according to a summary from the court. Walker's lawyers argue that crack and a pipe that he threw away during the chase should not have been used as evidence.

A hearing on the case is scheduled for Monday at the state supreme court in Atlanta.

According to the summary, Walker was arrested Feb. 23, 2011 near Pearl Stephens Elementary School.

An officer saw him walking off school property, stopped and asked the man to take his hands out of his pockets.

Walker instead ran away, the summary says.

The officer caught him in a nearby yard, tased him and arrested him.

Dept. of Juvenile Justice hiring expands

Dept. of Juvenile Justice hiring expands

The Department of Juvenile Justice is hiring and hosting job fairs throughout Georgia.

DJJ hopes to hire highly qualified applicants, and promises to provide "enhanced" opportunities for military veterans. They're offering a one-time military salary increase incentive on certain job titles to current and former military members, according to a release.

These job fairs come after a DJJ regional recruiter Robert Long told 13WMAZ the DJJ faces difficulty with hiring because many applicants have been unable to pass background tests. In Eastman alone, they need 70 people to work at the YDC.