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Perry creates council to lure in sporting events


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


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."

Reward offered in Perdue Farms bomb threat

The Houston County Sheriff's Office is looking for help in finding the person who phoned in a bomb threat to the Perdue Farms chicken plant three weeks ago.

It happened Feb. 4 at the plant on the Highway 247 spur in Perry.

On Tuesday, Macon Regional Crimestoppers says a woman phoned in the threat around 7:30 that morning.

She said that several bombs were hidden, and one would go off every hour.

The company evacuated the building and investigators searched the building for about three hours, with the help of bomb-sniffing dogs. No bomb was found.

Sergeant Chris Paul says Perdue is offering a reward of $2,500 for anyone that can give them information on the case.

2015 Georgia National Rodeo comes to Perry

Jerry Olson has been working with horses since he learned to walk.

"I was born and raised doing it. I started when I was eighteen months old, riding on my dad's shoulders while he stood on the back of two horses," he said.

Now, he is a performer in the 2015 Georgia National Rodeo in Perry.

He and his two horses, J.B. and Lickety Split, practiced before the show Friday night.

Another contestant performing is Natalie Foutch.

She's the 2012 Great Lakes Champion in barrel racing, and will be competing in the RAM national finals in Kissimmee, Florida in March.

In Perry, she and her horse, Orville, are competing against 100 other people to win thousands of dollars.

"You run against the clock, it's not a judged event," said Foutch, "You are running against the clock and you watch that timer and you try to make it stop as fast as you can."

Turkey callers meet in Perry for a gobble-off


May the best gobbler win. Turkey callers gathered at the Great Outdoors Show in Perry Saturday for a calling contest. 14 people competed in two divisions, junior and senior, to see who could make the most convincing turkey calls.

"Sounding like a turkey. You have to sound like a wild turkey. If it's a yelp, then it needs to sound like a turkey yelping in the woods," says head judge Robert Mosely. "If he can make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, then he did a pretty good job."

Contestants are judged on the specific call they're asked to perform, such as a turkey roosting, one feeding, or a turkey that is excited.