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Three New Arrests in Twiggs County Identity Fraud Case

More people are facing charges in a growing identity theft and fraud case that started in Twiggs County.

The Twiggs County Sheriff's Office says a tax preparer in Jeffersonville filed people's taxes without them knowing.

Robert Rodgers with the Twiggs County Sheriff's Office says when he started investigating one complaint of tax fraud in November 2008. He says he couldn't imagine how widespread the damage was.

"In 2010, it really broke," Rodgers says. "We got a lot of information on the street level. I actually went back to my sheriff and said 'this is too big for me, I've got to get some help.'"

Twiggs County Sheriff Darren Mitchum says Sharon Chappell, Chasity Pitts and Latricia Griffin were arrested for allegedly selling people's identities, including names and social security numbers, to Jackie Elvine, a Jeffersonville tax preparer.

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Summer Safety Tips for Pets

Summer Safety Tips for Pets
Summer Safety Tips

Hot weather can make us all uncomfortable, and it poses special risks for your dog. Keep the following safety concerns in mind as the temperature rises, and follow our tips to keep your dog cool.

Heat Hazards

If your dog is outside on a hot day, make sure he has a shady spot to rest in. Doghouses are not good shelter during the summer as they can trap heat. You may want to fill a child's wading pool with fresh water for your dog to cool off in.

Never leave your dog in a closed vehicle on a hot day. The temperature inside a car can rise to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes.

Always provide plenty of cool, fresh water.

Avoid strenuous exercise on extremely hot days. Take walks in the early mornings or evenings, when the sun's heat is less intense.

Try to avoid prolonged exposure to hot asphalt or sand, which can burn your dog's paws.

Vote: Your Farmers Market as America's Favorite

Make sure to vote in America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest and let the world know why you love your local market. 

1. Once you click the link, search for your town or zip code in the box. 

2. When you see your farmers market, click on the farmers market name.

3. Submit the information, with a short description of why your farmers market is great to finish your vote!

Beware of the Humidity!

Heat and humidity are the two “H’s” that get us in the summertime. In fact, the combination can be downright unbearable. Need some proof? Well here you go… 95° compared with a 70° dew point feels like 105°!! You can check out other temperature and dew point combinations on the heat index chart.

The humidity can be deceiving though! My husband and I were about to go to the gym yesterday afternoon when I decided we should run around the neighborhood since it wasn’t raining and temperatures were only in the 70s (the reasons we were that “mild” at 2pm were the clouds and previous rain). 

About a quarter of a mile into the run, I realized that it may not be hot but it was incredibly steamy. I think I sweat more than I ever have on a run!

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Twiggs at Sunset

Twiggs at Sunset

Viewer submitted photo from one of our galleries.

Twiggs Residents to Vote on Senate Race

Twiggs Residents to Vote on Senate Race

People in Macon can start casting votes Monday on the mayor's race, seven city council contests and two seats in the General Assembly.

Advance voting on the July 19 primary opens at 8:30 a.m. at the Bibb County Board of Elections. That's at 2445 Pio Nono Ave.

Elections supervisor Elaine Carr says that voting "officially" starts Tuesday but people who show up at the headquarters can vote Monday.

These races are on the Democratic primary ballot:

The mayor's race among Paul Bronson, Robert Brown, C. Jack Ellis and Mayor Robert Reichert.


Ward 1, Post 3, Chris Horne is challenging incumbent Elaine Lucas.

Ward 2, Post 2, Henry Gibson is challenging incumbent Mike Cranford.

Former Ellis Manager Denies DUI Charge

The Twiggs County Sheriff's Department says a former campaign manager for C. Jack Ellis faces driving under the influence charges.

But Muarion Zimmerman told 13WMAZ that he was not intoxicated.

Zimmerman was arrested around 8:20 a.m. Sunday at Prospect Church Road and Highway 96, said Chief Deputy Billy Boney.

He said a caller complained about a Dodge Charger weaving on I-16. The driver said the Charger nearly stuck another vehicle.

An officer caught up with the vehicle and stopped it on Highway 96, Boney said.

He said Zimmerman, the driver, failed a field sobriety test. The officer said Zimmerman seemed incoherent.

The incident report says the officer noted that Zimmerman told him that he was trying to drive from Macon to Forsyth. The officer noted that, on I-16 in Twiggs, he was some miles out of his way.