Our network


Former Milledgeville mayor charged with insurance fraud


Former Milledgeville Mayor Richard Bentley, accused of insurance fraud, turned himself in Monday afternoon to the Baldwin County jail.

Baldwin County Sheriff Bill Massee said Bentley was booked into the jail around 4 p.m., his bond set at $50,000. According to a news release sent to 13WMAZ by the Georgia Insurance Commission, Bentley was arrested and charged with five counts of issuing fraudulent certificates of insurance and seven counts of misappropriation of insurance premiums.

Qualifying starts for Milledgeville mayor

Three candidates have come forward to run for Milledgeville mayor.

Floyd L. Griffin Junior qualified Thursday afternoon. Griffin is the Funeral Director at Slater's Funeral Home in Milledgeville. Real estate businessman Gary L. Thrower, and Melba Burrell, also a business owner, qualified on Wednesday.

The special June 16th election will replace Mayor Richard Bentley, who resigned in February.

City election supervisor Patti Rushin says qualifying runs through noon Friday.

Candidates must fill out paperwork and pay a $252 fee.

Community reacts to Plant Branch closing

After decades as a fixture in Central Georgia's landscape Plant Branch is officially closed for business.

Mary Massillo of Milledgeville greets everyone who passes through the door of the convenience store she works at like family.

She moved to Baldwin County about 30 years ago.

She's a fixture for those who stop in for snacks and cigarettes, kind of like her neighbor across the road, Plant Branch.

But while the sign out front of the store flashes "OPEN," the same can no longer be said for the plant.

As of April 15th, it's officially closed for business. For Massillo and her customers it means a loss of jobs.

"Jobs between Putnam County and Baldwin County are very much in demand," she said.

After years of transition more than 200 jobs are now gone.

Just 34 employees remain for cleanup before demolition.

Georgia College student found dead

The GBI crime lab will perform an autopsy on a 21-year-old Georgia College student found dead outside her apartment.

A roommate reportedly said Lauren Gainey was doing her laundry Sunday night. The roommate found her dead this morning outside their front door at the school's Bobcat Village, said Baldwin County coroner John Gonzalez.

He said the roommate hit the apartment's "panic button" and tried to do CPR. But Gainey was pronounced dead on the scene around 7:40 a.m. Monday. Gonzalez said there were no signs of foul play. He also said he's waiting for the toxicology report to come back, which will take six to eight weeks.

Milledgeville police and Georgia College campus police are also investigating.

Georgia College students dance for Children's Hospital

Georgia College students danced their hearts out to raise money for Children's Miracle Network.

Georgia College Miracle organizes the dance marathon every year to raise money for the Children's Hospital, Navicent Health.

About 300 students were locked in the school gym from noon to midnight, and danced throughout the night to raise money.

Kelsey Stone, executive director of Georgia College Miracle, got involved after her nephew was treated at the Children's Hospital.

"He actually spent the first 75 days of his life in the NICU at the Children's Hospital, Navicent Health, which is where all our money is going this year. So, through being at the hospital every day with my family and seeing how great they were, how awesome the hospital staff was, I just wanted to be able to give back in any way I could to the hospital that saved his life," said Stone.

Milledgeville toddler drowns in Lake Sinclaire

A toddler drowned in Lake Sinclair early Wednesday morning.

According to Baldwin County Coroner John Gonzales, the almost 2-year-old toddler wandered away from his parents' home. He was missing for about 45 minutes when he was found.

He was pronounced dead at Oconee Regional Hospital around 11:45 a.m.

One dead, 3 hospitalized in Milledgeville accident

One person is dead and three were rushed to the hospital after an accident involving a tractor trailer and two cars in Milledgeville.

The accident occurred just before 11 a.m. on East Hancock Street before the River Bridge across from the Salvation Army.

Baldwin County Coroner John Gonzales said he pronounced one person dead at the scene of the wreck. He has not released the victim's name yet.

One person was taken by ambulance to a Macon hospital while two others were taken to Oconee Regional Medical Center.

The tractor trailer was headed east on Hwy. 22 on the inside lane and a Nissan pickup towing a utility trailer was headed westbound, according to Georgia State Trooper Gerald Coffee.

A witness driving behind the tractor trailer told investigators that the Nissan suddenly turned into the tractor trailer's path, Coffee said, and the vehicles collided head on.