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Suspects arrested in "elaborate" fraud ring


Five people were arrested for their role in what Baldwin County authorities call an "elaborate fraud ring" involving fake checks.

It all started with two fraudulent checks, totaling about $1,600, deposited into a SunTrust bank account in Atlanta.

One was allegedly written by the county commissioners' office to a juror for grand jury duty.

"Our jurors' checks are $35. This check was over $700," said Captain Brad King of the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office.

The second was allegedly written by the Sheriff's Office for an inmate who had bonded out.

King says there's no record of that inmate or the person who supposedly signed the check.

"If they have money on their books for either commissary or phone use, they can receive a check to clear their account," King said.

Suspects arrested in 'elaborate' fraud ring


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Five people were arrested for their role in what Baldwin County authorities call an "elaborate fraud ring" involving fake checks.

It all started with two fraudulent checks, totaling about $1,600, deposited into a SunTrust bank account in Atlanta.

One was allegedly written by the county commissioners' office to a juror for grand jury duty.

"Our jurors' checks are $35. This check was over $700," said Captain Brad King of the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office.

The second was allegedly written by the Sheriff's Office for an inmate who had bonded out.

Old Governor's Mansion in Milledgeville partners with Smithsonian


The Old Governor's Mansion became the first affiliate to the Smithsonian on Friday.

Officials from both Georgia College and the national museum gathered at the historic spot in Milledgeville to celebrate the mansion's new accolade and partnership.

A release from the college says that the Old Governor's Mansion is the ninth affiliate in the state and the first for Central Georgia.

Harold Closter, director of the Smithsonian Affliations program said, "The museum is not only a singular example of Greek Revival architecture, but it is also the place where all Americans can relive a long stretch of our nation's history."

Milledgeville acting mayor opposes merger


Milledgeville's acting mayor, Jeanette Walden, says she does not support the possible consolidation between Milledgeville and Baldwin County governments.

"I don't see that it would be beneficial to the city of Milledgeville at all," says Walden.

A charter to consolidate the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County governments goes before the Georgia General Assembly on January 12.

Walden says the plan should not even be before the legislature.

"They need to have the elected officials on board," she explains. "Because they put us in the spot to represent them, and we are their voice, and they should listen."

Proponents like State Representative Rusty Kidd and unification committee chairman Jim Peugh say consolidation will make government more efficient by eliminating duplication.

Walden says she respects their efforts but does not agree.

Milledgeville & Baldwin Co. could consolidate


A charter to consolidate the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County governments goes before the Georgia General Assembly on January 12th, but the city's acting mayor isn't pleased with what she sees as a lack of opportunity for public input.

Next Thursday a local committee will meet for the last time to put any finishing touches on the charter.

"Why have two governments when you can have one doing the same thing?" asks state representative Rusty Kidd.

He is one of the main players behind the merging of the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County governments.

The whole process has taken about three years, and in just a few weeks, it could be voted on in the General Assembly.

Baldwin deputy rescues woman from burning house


A Baldwin deputy went above and beyond the call of duty to rescue an elderly woman from a house fire.

It all started with the 911 call. When Baldwin County Dispatcher, James Bohannon, picked up the call at 4:27 Monday afternoon, the caller hung up.

"When I called it back the line actually picked up and then it immediately hung up," said Bohannon.

He says nine times out of ten, 911 hang ups are pranks, but since he's trained to take all calls seriously, he dials again. This time, he gets a busy signal.

"At that point, I dispatched the deputy and got the deputy in route" said Bohannon.

When Josh Mays arrived, he saw smoke, and without hesitation he went inside.

"As soon as I got the door open, I could hear a woman's voice screaming. She was hollering for help," said Mays.

He countered those screams with consoling words of his own.

Mayor's business under investigation


The G.B.I and the State Insurance Commissioner's Office are investigating an insurance company owned by the Mayor of Milledgeville.

The Milledgeville police department asked them to investigate Wilkinson Insurance Agency after receiving a complaint on December 2.

"I got a call from Chief Dray Swicord advising us that he had received an incident report from a complainant who had alleged theft of payments for his insurance rendered to Wilkinson Insurance Agency," said G.B.I Assistant Special Agent in Charge Joe Wooten.

He says they're in the very early stages of this investigation.

Wilkinson Insurance Agency is owned by Mayor Richard Bentley, who's been on medical leave from City Hall since October.