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Tweeting Teacher Picked to View Shuttle Launch

A Central Georgia woman says she tweeted her way into an opportunity that's out of this world.

Earlier this month, Patricia Henderson Cleveland, a fourth-grade teacher at Jeffersonville Elementary School, entered NASA's Tweet Up contest. She won one of 150 spots to visit the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the space shuttle program's final launch in July.

"I got the email and I literally was jumping up and down and screaming 'yes, yes, I got in,'" Henderson Cleveland said. 

She was selected from more than 5,000 applicants across the country. She has the chance to meet astronauts, mission specialists and mechanics.

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'Exceptional' Drought Grips Much of Central Georgia

The state's climatologist says 17 Central Georgia counties are now in an 'exceptional drought' -- drier and more severe than extreme drought.

The hot and dry conditions are causing wildfires and creating record-low levels for rivers and wells across the southern two-thirds of the state, according to a news release from state climatologist David Stooksbury.

He says these counties are now in exceptional drought, the worst category: Taylor, Crawford, Bibb, Twiggs, Wilkinson, Johnson, Peach, Houston, Bleckley, Laurens, Dodge, Pulaski, Macon, Dooly, Wilcox, Telfair, Wheeler and Treutlen.

Stooksbury reports:

 Daily record-low flows are occurring along South and Central Georgia rivers, including the Flint River at Newton and the Ocmulgee River at Lumber City.

Groundwater levels in the coastal plain are at or near record low levels. Some communities in the region are drilling deeper wells to maintain water supplies.

How to Help Firefighters in Okefonekee Swamp

The Waycross-Ware County Chamber of Commerce has asked for donations for firefighters in the Okefenokee Swamp.

To drop off your donations in Twiggs, bring them to the Twiggs Chamber of Commerce from 10-2 Monday throug Thursday.

Items needed:

Rainfall Surpluses in the Past

“Rain is a Good Thing,” at least that’s what country singer and Georgia native Luke Bryan sings. And these days I think all of us, not just the farmers, agree! I know my husband and I want it for our grass, which is definitely a little crunchy these days. When Mother Nature waters the lawn, it’s cheaper than when we run the sprinklers!

With the extremely dry conditions lately, it’s hard to think about when we have had extremely wet conditions…at least that is the case for me and I’m not the only one! A viewer wanted to know when was the last time we had a rainfall surplus going into the spring and going into the summer. After some help from the National Weather Service, this is what I found:

The normal rainfall amount in Macon for January 1st through March 21st is 12.96 inches.

We had a surplus going into the spring in 2003…we started the spring with 14.49”, which is 1.53” above normal.

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Voter Registration Ends Today

Voter Registration Ends Today

If you want to vote in next month's Macon city election, you've got until 5:30 p.m. to register.

Registration for the july 19 election ends tonight.

And that also applies to people in Houston, Twiggs and Wilkinson counties who want to vote in special elections for the general assembly.

If you're already registered and haven't moved since the last election, you're good to vote.

People in Bibb County can register at the board of elections office off Pio Nono Avenue at a public library or a DFACS office.

You can also register online through the Georgia Secretary of State's web site, but your application must be printed out and postmarked today.

Next month, Macon voters will pick among four Democratic candidates for mayor and decide seven city council races.

Your Guide to Cheap Eats

We asked for Central Georgia's cheap eats recommendations. Here they are, divided by location.

Thank you for your responses on our Where You Live post and our Facebook page! To add to the list, just comment on this post. We will update the guide as needed.

A few people said that eating at home,  from a fast food dollar menu, or somewhere with coupons is ultimately the cheapest option.

Perry

  • The Swanson
  • The Oil Lamp
  • Yoder's Sandwich Shop
  • China House

Sandersville

  • Dairy Lane

Gray

  • Treasures by the Tracks Cafe

Dublin

  • Peter's Place 
  • A.B. Ribs

Macon

Some Changes are Coming!!

The official start to summer is right on our doorstep as the season begins tomorrow at 1:16 p.m. It doesn’t seem like a big deal though since it has felt like summer for the past month! Highs have been 90° or higher since May 20th. I should mention that 5 days so far this month we have topped out in the triple digits. The heat isn’t going away any time soon, but it is expected to be less intense for the end of the work week and the upcoming weekend.  

While there has been an abundance of heat, there has been a shortage of rain. Almost all of Central Georgia is still in an extreme drought. In Macon, we are over 7 and a half inches below where we should be in rainfall for the year. Rain chances are looking decent Thursday and Friday as a trough of low pressure at the upper levels of the atmosphere sets up across the area. This trough is also responsible for the “cooler” temperatures.