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Truck fire blocks all Southbound lanes of I-75 in Perry


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No one was injured in a fire that destroyed a tractor-trailer on I-75 Southbound in Perry on Sunday.

According to a news release from the Perry Fire Department, a truck carrying dog food caught fire just after 10:30 Sunday morning, near mile marker 138 on I-75 southbound in Perry.

All southbound lanes of I-75 were blocked as crews fought the fire, forcing motorists to detour on the shoulder of the road to go around the accident.

Two fire engines arrived and crews extinguished the fire in about an hour, with help from the Peach County Fire Department who brought extra water to the scene.

Perry Library renovations almost done


Elaine Herbst comes with her children to the library every week.

"We come for storytime and that's usually on Mondays for the toddler laptime," she said, "Then we come during the week to check out books."

But for now, Herbst and other Houston County residents have to use the temporary library, set up in the old Perry Primary school, because the Perry branch is still under construction. The $2.4 million renovation started last summer. It's funded through state bonds and $800,00 from Houston County's special purpose local options sales tax or SPLOST.

"Our children's area has been greatly expanded," said J. Sara Paulk, the director of the Houston county public library system. "We'll be able to have children's programs at the same that we could have a meeting room and have other groups meet here."

Houston Co. gets new fire station from Perdue Farms


Perdue Farms is donating almost five acres to Houston County to use for a new fire station.

This is the first expansion of the department in 30 years. The new location is along the Highway 247 near the Perdue chicken plant in Perry.

Wally Hunter, the director of operations at Perdue, says they had been talking with the county for several years about ways they could help out the community. He says when the Perdue plant had a fire last year, that motivated communication about the fire station.

Jimmy Williams, the Houston County fire chief, says the two closest stations fall outside the five-mile radius recommended by insurance companies.

"It will also benefit a lot of the community," he added.

Williams says that for anyone living within five miles of this new location, their insurance rates could drop by nearly half.

Perry creates council to lure in sporting events


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The folks in one Central Georgia town say sports can dump money into the area coffers.

Perry has just formed a sports council.

The 12-member voluntary board will actively go after fun events to show off the area and bring recognition to town known for dogwoods.

Sandi Smeltzer works with the Perry Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. She recently took on a big project.

"We're going to have to introduce Middle Georgia to Perry and the rest of the nation," she said with a smile.

Master Gardeners showcase flowers and more


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The pollen on your car means spring is in the air and it's time to ready your backyard garden.

Many people took a trip to the Home and Garden Show at the Georgia National Fairgrounds to see how the Master Gardeners of Central Georgia are preparing for spring.

"We highlight our local horticulture, our plants, our home and garden services here in middle Georgia," says Master Gardener Diane Stephens.

The Master Gardeners had a booth to give participants gardening tips. Master Naturalist Mattie Lovett's specialty is vegetables.

Perry kicks off 2015 Dogwood Festival


The 27th Annual Perry Dogwood Festival doesn't start for another 2 weeks, but that didn't stop organizers from kicking it off with the first ever "Perry Proud" event Saturday.

Organizers painted cars and local storefronts yellow and gave out yellow buttons.

Perry Chamber of Commerce president Darlene McLendon says the Perry Proud Kick-Off event is a great way for the community to reconnect and meet new people.

"It brings out the community. It's the time to reconnect with those that you know live in your community, your neighbors. It's time to meet those that maybe moved in over the winter months, you know, when it was cold and we weren't out and about. But now's the time to celebrate. We're Perry, we're proud. Come out, get to know each other, and see how we can keep making Perry strong," said McLendon.

High school students build robots for competition


The robots have taken over central Georgia, but there's no need for panic. It's all a part of Georgia FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a robotics competition for high school students.

Sunday was the final day of action for the Georgia Southern Classic at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry.

"They were given a challenge the first weekend in January at a kickoff even for FIRST," says Georgia FIRST robotics director Connie Haynes. "We kind of like to say have the event, hold the event, and they will come, and we've seen Perry come out in a big way. So, you're seeing that culmination of the robots that they've built, designed, and programmed."