Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will star in a film that will use Middle Georgia Regional Airport as the backdrop for some of its scenes, Macon-Bibb County officials announced Tuesday.
The megastar Johnson and fellow cast members of “Rampage” will start filming the action picture in May. The film is based on the 1980s video game in which monsters attempt to destroy cities, according to IMDb.com.
Johnson is a semi-retired professional wrestler turned movie star, whose latest film, “Fate of the Furious,” raked in more than $600 million worldwide since its debut over Easter weekend.
Other “Rampage” cast members include Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Marley Shelton.
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S&K Pictures is paying Macon-Bibb $45,000 for the use of the airport. The filming will take place from May 10-12, according to the agreement.
The Macon-Bibb County Commission approved Tuesday an amendment to an anti-discrimination section of the county charter in the first of two required votes.
The 6-3 vote came before a packed County Commission Chambers filled with a majority of people who were supporting the changes. People with differing views on the amendment spoke prior to the vote.
The amendment would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the part of the charter prohibiting discrimination in employment, appointments and promotions. The section currently includes sex, race, age, natural origin, religion or political affiliation as protected classes.
Macon resident Rinda Wilson said adding gender identity and sexual orientation to the ordinance could lead to future proposals for public accommodations and high school sports.
The determination of gender identity is “determined by feelings and doesn’t have any science behind it,” said Wilson, a Republican representative of the Bibb County elections board. “If that’s so then the bathroom issue will be a big problem with women because there will be all kind of transgendered pretenders.”
The addition to the charter is about a governmental issue instead of a theological one, said Claire Cox, a member of the Georgia Women and Those Who Stand With Us group.
“This amendment does not affect private hiring, but Macon-Bibb County with its passage can lead by example by showing that discrimination ... is not OK,” Cox said prior to Tuesday’s vote.
Commissioners Al Tillman, Larry Schlesinger, Elaine Lucas, Virgil Watkins, Gary Bechtel and Bert Bivins supported the measure Tuesday. Commissioners Mallory Jones, Joe Allen and Scotty Shepherd voted against it.
There will be a second vote May 2 since the measure involves a change in the county charter.
Lucas and Tillman said as black people they understand the unfairness of discrimination of any kind.
“It doesn’t feel good and it’s unfair when people don’t have the protection that they deserve,” Lucas said. “It’s a shame that we have to write into law: ‘Treat people the way you want to be treated.’ ”
Shepherd said he voted against the ordinance because he believes the current language in the charter is sufficient to cover anyone.
Jones said there have not been any complaints filed in the last several decades with the Macon-Bibb government employees dealing with sexual orientation or gender identity.
Political correctness is out of control, he said.
“This is contrary to traditional American values, it’s contrary to public safety,” Jones said.
The Macon-Bibb County Commission referred a roundabout resolution back to committee.
The resolution is a letter of support for a potential roundabout at the Seven Bridges intersection in south Bibb. The measure was moved from Tuesday’s commission agenda to next week’s committee meetings so officials could have further discussion, Mayor Robert Reichert said.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is looking at a variety of traffic calming options for the intersection that includes Ga. 247 and various other state highways.
Other major roads that are part of the six-lane divided highway include Houston Avenue, Houston Road, Broadway and Pio Nono Avenue. Even with Macon-Bibb’s letter of support, the GDOT would still need to sign off on the scope of the project.
Commissioners approved a timeline and budget for the $280 million special purpose local option sales tax referendum funds.
The documents provide an outline for projects for the next round of SPLOST projects that cover areas such as recreation, stormwater, roads and economic development. The guideline outlines spending from 2017-2027, although commissioners will be able to make changes and have to approve each specific project.
Major renovations to Freedom Park received the green light on Tuesday.
The commission voted in favor of a $2.3 million construction agreement at the 3301 Roff Ave. park. SPLOST revenue will be used to build a four field softball complex with concession stand, restrooms and a new splash pad. Funds would also be used to demolish the swimming pool.
In other business Tuesday, the commission also approved $300,000 for a Kings Park community center.