Transgender fire chief demands job back, Lester the dog and other Middle Georgia news

Meet Lester, a dog looking for someone to save him

Lester is a bulldog mix at the Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare shelter who could be euthanized soon if he isn't adopted. The shelter is running out of space due to a recent influx of strays.
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Lester is a bulldog mix at the Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare shelter who could be euthanized soon if he isn't adopted. The shelter is running out of space due to a recent influx of strays.

Missed the big stories last week? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

Former transgender fire chief demands job back

Former Byron fire chief Rachel Mosby is demanding that the city reinstate her with full benefits and pay.

In a letter sent to Byron’s mayor and city council last week, Mosby’s attorney, Kenneth E. Barton, said Mosby’s performance has been exemplary. The letter also mentions a possible lawsuit.

The city fired Mosby on June 4 citing failing job performance, but her attorney alleges that the action was discriminatory. Mosby was born male. She transitioned and identifies as female. She informed her supervisors in early 2018 of her transition and gender identity.

To read more on the ongoing dispute, read here.

Lester, the shelter dog gets adopted

Lester, a bulldog mix who was being housed at Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare, was adopted last week.

The Telegraph featured Lester as an example of just one of many dogs at the shelter that could be put down soon to make room for more strays coming in.

The shelter is facing this problem for the first time in a year.

The shelter’s adoption fee is $100 for dogs and $75 for cats, which includes spay or neutering and vaccinations.

Adoption hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. The shelter is at 4214 Fulton Mill Road.

For more information, call 478-621-6774.

Two charged in alleged kickback scheme tied to Fort Benning

Two businessmen were charged for their role in an alleged kickback scheme tied to construction projects at two Georgia military installations.

The names include David Kennedy, an official of an unnamed company who was indicted last month, and Gary Hamby of Southern Atlantic Construction, LLC, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Act and is awaiting sentencing.

Kennedy has pleaded not guilty, according to court documents.

Hamby’s company allegedly gave an $800 box of cigars and $5,000 in cash to Kennedy in exchange for Kennedy’s employer giving Hamby’s company subcontract work at Fort Benning.

The group also allegedly concocted a scheme to collect money for work that wasn’t going to be done at Augusta’s Fort Gordon.

If convicted, prosecutors will call for Kennedy to forfeit approximately $463,000 he allegedly obtained via wire fraud, according to court documents.

Want more details? Read here.

Columbus, Macon get Smart community grants from Georgia Tech

Columbus and Macon-Bibb County will receive Georgia Tech’s Georgia Smart Communities Challenge Grants.

The Columbus program will focus on improving safety in the Uptown district. You’ll see license plate-readers and motion sensors that count cars and people.

The Macon program’s goal is to provide better access to government resources in under-served communities, officials said. There, you’ll see kiosks that tell when trash will be picked up and applications for government jobs will be accessible online.

In both cities, the public will have access to stronger WiFi networks.

Macon and Columbus will provide a local match of $25,000 to go along with the $50,000 grant. The programs will begin in September and last one year. A Georgia Tech researcher and other experts will aid the city throughout the project.

What will all of that include? Read here.