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Flint Energies Joins Deal to Deploy Large Utility-Scale Solar Power System in Taylor County

REYNOLDS/BUTLER, GA-Flint Energies, together with Cobb EMC and Sawnee EMC, will purchase the entire power output of a 131-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) solar project to be constructed outside of Butler, Georgia. The electric membership cooperatives inked the deal with Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power.

Southern Power selected First Solar to be the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the facility. Construction of the plant is scheduled to begin in September 2015, and the project is expected to achieve commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016. 

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Homeland Response Force trains at Guardian Center

With artificial wounds and walkers in tow, several guardsmen pretended to be casualties from a collapsed building.

It's training for the National Guard's Homeland Response Force at the Guardian Center in Perry.

"They're an asset that each FEMA region has in case of any disaster or incident," said Lieutenant Colonel Michael Maddox, "It doesn't just have to be a terrorist incident, it can also be a hurricane or a tornado or anything that involves mass casualties."

Maddox says Homeland Response Force, or HRF for short, steps in when first responders need help for large scale disasters.

There are 10 HRFs in the United States.

Ball Street open, lanes wider

Construction on the section of Ball Street between Main and Duncan Street in Perry is complete. Drivers used to the road will notice some big changes.

"It really needed some improvement. It was about 18 foot wide all together" said Chairman of Houston County Commission Tommy Stalnaker.

He says small lanes caused the most complaints. But now each lane is 3 feet wider, as well as some other additions

"They now have 23 street side parking spaces" said Stalnaker

Businesses in the area say they'll benefit from the increased parking

"Often times we would have clients circle the parking lot and have to end up parking down the street further" said John Hulbert of Walker Hulbert Gray& Moore law firm.

Five fun finds at Mistletoe Market

Perry's Mistletoe Market at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter opened Friday morning, inside the Miller-Murphy-Howard Building.

Organizer, Lisa Hayes, says they have 221 vendor spaces, offering crafts, clothing, toys and much more.

Last year, more than 10,000 people came for the three-day show.

It costs $5 to get in the door. Once you buy a ticket, it's good for return trips.

Hayes says the money from admission fees goes to local charities including Jay's Hope, Abba House in Perry, and Grace Village in Perry. She said last year, they donated $47,000 to charity.

Watch the video to see some of the most interesting finds at this year's show.

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Perdue: 'No Regrets' for Go Fish

It's been four years- a full gubernatorial term- since the Go Fish Education Center opened in Perry.

Former governor Sonny Perdue championed the $17 million aquarium as part of an effort to lure more fisherman, and their dollars, to Georgia.

On a recent morning, Hope Grumilla took a field trip with her Houston County class to Go Fish. They came eye-to-eye with creatures, that some of the students, only thought existed on computers.

Grumilla said, "I saw it on an iPad before, but not real."

The Go Fish Education Center offered that hands one experience to about 5,000 students last year.

That's precisely why Program Manager for Go Fish, Jeremy Wixson, says it exists.

Tax credit for affordable housing in Houston County

A federal housing tax credit is helping some affordable housing projects in Houston County.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs awarded the County about $1.7 million in tax credits.

Potemkin Village, a complex for seniors, received $692,668 in tax credits. It will add 52 extra units.

Oliver place, which hasn't been built yet in Perry, received $981,733 thousand in tax credits. Developers plan on putting up 100 single family units.

Director of Community Development Mike Beecham says the Oliver Place project will help the city.

"Some of our other lower income apartments, subsidized housing I believe there's a waiting list for those so this will be a benefit," said Beecham.

The project will have standard apartment complex amenities: a laundry facility, playground area, and a fitness center.

Mistletoe Market coming to Perry

Organized in 1980, the Balvaunuca Club has been an active civic club for women in the Perry are. This will be the eighth year the group has hosted Mistletoe Market in Perry. All proceeds from the market benefit local charities.

In 2012, the show hosted over 8,000 shoppers within the 3 days.

They offer everything from clothing to jewelry, home furnishings, decorative items, holiday items, children's clothing, and even a variety of monogrammed items.

Tickets are $5 at the door, and that ticket is good for all three days.