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Twiggs woman wins trip to Grammys


 

One lucky 13WMAZ viewer will take the trip of a lifetime in less than two weeks.

The Twiggs County woman won all expenses paid trip to the 2016 Grammy Awards. 

"I didn't think it was gonna happen to me," Stephanie Smith said.

Christmas tree farm opens for the season


It's part of the post-thanksgiving tradition: gearing up to buy your Christmas tree.

 

If you're looking to get one the old fashioned way, then check out Sandy Creek Christmas Tree Farm in Twiggs County.

Claire Davis spent the afternoon there to learn more about what the farm has to offer and what families are doing to get ready for the holidays.

The Prine family is searching for the perfect Christmas Tree.

"One for the living room, one for my sons, the boys' bedroom and then one for the office," said Jay Prine.

Twiggs sees highest graduation rate increase


Many Central Georgia districts saw an increase in graduation rates last spring. Twiggs County had the greatest increase, up 34 points.

The state of Georgia says Twiggs County High School's graduation rate is 78 percent.
But Superintendent Elgin Dixon said all of his seniors received their diplomas last year. That's because the graduation rate isn't based solely on the senior class, but by tracking students over four years, starting the first day of freshman year.

"The number of students that entered into ninth grade that walk through those doors at ninth grade and the number of students that completed all requirements for graduation four years later," Dixon said.

He attributes part of the rise in graduation rate to Georgia ending its graduation test requirement, something he's been concerned about for years.

School districts prepare for second run of Georgia Milestones tests


For the second time this year, Georgia students will take the Milestones test.

It's a test the state uses to measure whether public schools are improving. It replaces several standardized tests that students took previously.

Truck accident slows traffic on I-16 west in Twiggs


An accident involving two tractor trailer trucks is slowing traffic on Interstate 16 west in Twiggs County.

Major James Faulk of the Twiggs Sheriff's office says one truck rear-ended the other, and there's debris across the highway.

Nobody was injured, but Faulk says one and a half lanes are closed near mile marker 15.

The Georgia State Patrol is investigating. So far, there's no word on charges.

Check back with 13WMAZ.com for updates on this story today.


Twiggs County schools to start August 31st


There is an ever-present buzzing noise at certain parts of Twiggs County's Middle-High school complex.

It may not be music to everyone's ears, but at that school, the low hum is the sound of progress.

"It's a complete HVAC renovation. We've pretty much taken the whole system completely out," Mike Harnage with Parrish Construction explains.

The company has replaced it with a new $1.5 million heating and cooling system funded in part through a penny sales tax.

"We started in mid-March and we'll finish up in about two more weeks, right before school starts," he said.

Twiggs Superintendent Elgin Dixon says the upgrades will make the school day more comfortable than the previous 24-year-old system allowed.

"They will be cool when it is hot and warm when it is cold," he said.

Logistics company plans 259-acre Twiggs Co. warehouse


East West Logistics International, a Georgia-California partnership, is planning to construct a 259-acre warehouse in the Interstate 16 Industrial Park in Twiggs County.

The company has secured an option to buy the property, according to a news release from the Jeffersonville-Twiggs County Development Authority.

The project, which will be constructed in phases, has the potential to reach up to 2 million square feet in warehouse, distribution and light manufacturing operations, the news release states.

Twiggs couple accused of abusing disabled


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A Twiggs County couple is accused of financial abuse of two mentally disabled people living in their home.

A news release from the sheriff's office says it happened at a home on Richard Drive in Jeffersonville.

Officers came to the home on May 24 due to a domestic dispute and found a stolen car in the back yard, according to the release.

They also found two mentally disabled people in the home, according to the report.

The homeowner, Keyana Williams, said the two people were her patients, but she also told the officers she was not licensed to run a personal care home, the report says.

Former Twiggs students get diploma years later


Over 50 former Twiggs County students had the chance to graduate high school.

Some have waited for this opportunity for twenty years.

Governor Nathan Deal recently signed House Bill 91, which got rid of the High School Graduation test.

Now, 9,000 students all over the state who may have failed part of that test can get their diplomas.

State Representative Bubber Epps attended the Twiggs County ceremony. He says he is glad students will be measured by their work as a whole, rather than one test.

Truck hits bear on I-16 in Twiggs


One lane of Interstate 16 was closed for quite some time in Twiggs County Wednesday while officers removed a dead bear.

The Twiggs County Sheriff's Office says an 18-wheeler hit the animal shortly after noon near mile marker 25 in the eastbound lane.

Officers had to call the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for help.

Black bears are common in Central Georgia, especially along the Ocmulgee River and in Bond Swamp in Twiggs County. They can weigh up to 500 pounds. But there are no recorded attacks by bears on humans in Georgia, according to the state DNR. But, wildlife officials say, there are no recorded attacks by bears on humans in Georgia.