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Military contractor returns from Afghanistan


It was an emotional homecoming in Houston County for Don Hawkins.

He's a military contractor who's been in Afghanistan for 10 months.

Sunday, he surprised his 9-year-old son, Donovan, at lunch.

Hawkins has spent the better part of the last 4 years supporting the military as a civilian contractor

Hawkins says being away from his family was the hardest part.

"It's very difficult. It's hard to be away one day, but 10 months, it's something else. But, really, over there a long time without seeing your family."

Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival ends after 34 years

After 34 years, the family that brought you the Mossy Creek Festival has decided to discontinue the event.

Bill Chester, the owner of the Perry festival, said his family wanted to focus on taking care of the founder, 93-year-old Carolyn Chester, who has late stage dementia.

The festival was best known for its handmade arts and crafts, and visual demonstrations.

The last event was held on Oct. 18, 2014.

Warner Robins coach relives lightning strike

"I actually remember the toss," says Mike Martin. "The coin toss, sending the captains out and everything and after that it's blank."

Longtime Warner Robins Middle School coach Mike Martin has trouble remembering details of that football match-up with Feagin Mill in September 2008, but not because of the outcome on the scoreboard.

Man runs away after causing three-car wreck

Wednesday, a man tried to make a quick exit after making several wrong turns in a wreck that left multiple cars damaged.

The accident happened near Houston Lake Road and the North Perry Bypass around 3:45 p.m.

Georgia State Patrol Senior Trooper John Hardage says Kenneth Nathan Ellis sideswiped a white pickup truck, then backed into another before running away from the scene.

A deputy went after him, but he hid in the woods for about an hour and a half before being taken into custody around 5 p.m. He was ultimately found in a storage shed.

That was on Wren Drive, just off of Lake Joy Road.

Ellis is charged with leaving the scene of the accident, driving under the influence, improper backing and failure to maintain lanes.

No one was injured.

Controlled burn Wednesday at Robins Air Force Base

There will be a controlled burn of piles of logs at Robins Air Force Base on today.

Base officials say environmental personnel and the Georgia Forestry Commission officials will burn six to seven piles of logs on the south side of the Base.

Officials say the Robins Air Force Base fire department will supervise the controlled burn, and also say the burn may produce smoke in the area for a few days.

Kids slip and slide on the slopes in Warner Robins


It wasn't in the forecast, but there was snow in Warner Robins Saturday and Sunday.

Not real snow, of course. The Winter Wonderfest took over the Museum of Aviation and kids got to have fun tubing and playing in the snow.

"We're trying to bring a little bit of winter back to the community here in middle Georgia," says museum director of finance Jenny Maas.

"Well, I don't think that they see it very much at all. We had a lot of kids, I was up there helping them on the ride this morning and they would touch it when they were about to get on and they were like, 'Is this real snow?' And it is real ice." says Maas.

Houston Co. contractor charged with worker's-comp fraud

A state agency has charged a Houston County contractor with committing workers-compensation fraud.

According to a news release from the State Board of Workers' Compensation, Mark A. Brannen, 50, was arrested Tuesday.

He's been charged with insurance fraud and first-degree forgery, both felonies. He also faces one felony count of providing a fraudulent document to a government agency.

Brannen owns Brannen Construction Co., which does carpentry, painting and tile work in Central Georgia, the news release states. The state agency says Brannen recently was a successful bidder for a government-housing contract in Macon County.

He allegedly created and presented a bogus certificate showing that his business is covered by workers' compensation insurance.